וילך איש מבית לוי רבותינו אמרו שהלך אחר עצת בתו (סוטה יב:). ור''א אמר (אבן עזרא על שמות ב׳:א׳) כי בערים רבות היו ישראל יושבים, וזאת האשה היתה בעיר אחרת. ומה צורך שיזכיר הכתוב זה. ועל דעתי, בעבור שלא חשש לגזרת פרעה ולקח לו אשה להוליד ממנה בנים, אמר הכתוב כן. בעבור כי בכל מזדרז לעשות ענין חדש יאמר כן, וילך ראובן וישכב את בלהה (בראשית לה כב), וילך ויקח את גמר בת דבלים (הושע א ג), לכו ונמכרנו לישמעאלים (בראשית לז כז), לכו ונכהו בלשון (ירמיה יח יח), לכו נא ונוכחה (ישעיה א יח). וכן זה נזדרז ויקח את בת לוי ולא הזכיר הכתוב שם האיש ולא שם אשתו אשר לקח, והיה זה בעבור כי יצטרך ליחסם ולהזכיר שמם מי אביהם ואבי אביהם עד אל לוי, ועכשיו ירצה לקצר עד לדת המושיע, ואחר כן (להלן ו יד-כה) ייחס גם שאר השבטים בעבורו בסדר השני:
ועל דרך הפשט שהיה זה תחלת הנשואין, אין מוקדם ומאוחר בפרשה, כי היה זה קודם גזירת פרעה, וילדה מרים ואהרן, ואחר כן גזר פרעה כל הבן הילוד היאורה תשליכוהו, ותלד הבן הטוב הזה ולא הזכיר הכתוב לדת מרים ואהרן, כי לא היה בלדתם חדוש דבר. ועל דעת רבותינו (סוטה יב:) הם לקוחים שניים, שפירש ממנה מפני גזירת פרעה והחזירה בנבואת בתו (עי' שם יג.) ועשה בה מעשה לקוחים, הושיבה באפריון ומרים ואהרן מרקדים לפניהם, בשמחתם כי על ידי זה יגאלו ישראל. ואע''פ שהיה אהרן קטן, נתן השם שמחה בלבו בענין הזה, או מרים אחותו מלמדתו: AND THERE WENT A MAN OF THE HOUSE OF LEVI. Our Rabbis have said51Sotah 12a. that he went after the advice of his daughter.52Amram and Jochebed, Moses’ parents, had been married previously. The children of that union were Miriam and Aaron. “When Pharaoh decreed that the male children of the Hebrews be killed, Amram separated from his wife, and his example was followed by all of the Israelites. Miriam then told her father that his decree is worse than that of the king. ‘Pharaoh decreed only against the male children, while you include the girls as well. It is doubtful if the decree of wicked Pharaoh will persist, while you are a righteous man and your enactment will surely be upheld by G-d.’ Upon recognizing the justice of her plea, Amram remarried his wife, and the men who had previously followed his example also remarried” (Sotah 12 b). It is this episode which the verse suggests by saying, And there went a man, i.e., “went” after the advice of his daughter and remarried his divorced wife. See also further on in the text for a reference to a prophecy Miriam made at that time. Rabbi Abraham ibn Ezra said that the Israelites dwelled in many cities, and this woman Jochebed lived in another city. [This would explain the term “went” in the above verse, i.e., he went to another city for his wife.] But what need is there for Scripture to mention this?
In my opinion Scripture uses the term “went” because this man paid no heed to Pharaoh’s decree and took to himself a woman to beget children. Such is Scripture’s way of speaking of anyone who prompts himself to do something new. Thus: And Reuben went and lay with Bilhah;53Genesis 35:22. So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim;54Hosea 1:3. Since she was a harlot, it required self-prompting on his part to perform the novel act of marrying her. Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites;55Genesis 37:27. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue;56Jeremiah 18:18. Come now, and let us reason together.57Isaiah 1:18. Similarly this man Amram alerted himself and married a daughter of Levi.
The reason Scripture does not mention the name of the man nor the name of the woman he married is to avoid tracing their genealogy and mentioning who their fathers and their fathers’ fathers were up to Levi. At this point, Scripture desires to shorten the subject until the birth of the redeemer takes place, and after that, in the second seder,58I.e., in Seder Va’eira. (A seder is the weekly portion of the Torah read in the synagogue at the Sabbath morning services.) Specifically, Moses’ genealogy is found in Seder Va’eira, Chapter 6, Verses 16-20. He traced the genealogy even of other tribes59Reuben and Simeon. (Ibid., Verses 14-15). on account of Moses.
In line with the simple meaning of Scripture, i.e., that this was a first marriage [and not a remarriage as stated above], there is no significance in its being mentioned earlier or later in the chapter. This marriage took place before Pharaoh’s decree [that all male Hebrew children be killed], and she gave birth to Miriam and Aaron. After that, Pharaoh decreed, Every son that is born, ye shall cast into the river,60Above, 1:22. and then she gave birth to this goodly son Moses. Scripture did not mention the birth of Miriam and Aaron inasmuch as there was nothing new about them. However, in the opinion of our Rabbis,51Sotah 12a. this was a remarriage, since Amram separated from his wife in consequence of Pharaoh’s decree and then took her back on account of his daughter’s prophecy.61Miriam prophesied, “My mother is destined to bear a son who will deliver Israel” (Sotah 13 a). He made her a wedding and placed her in the litter, while Miriam and Aaron danced about them in their joy62So clearly stated in Sotah 12a. because through this marriage, Israel would be redeemed [from Egypt]. Even though Aaron was young63He could have been no more than two years old since he was but three years older than Moses, and Moses was born after the second marriage. [at that time], G-d put gladness in his heart for this occasion, or possibly his sister Miriam taught him.