Courtesy E&H Manners, London

The vigilante. Moses becomes so enraged when he sees an Egyptian beating a Hebrew that he kills the attacker with his own club, as depicted on this delicate enamel wall plaque made in Alcora, Spain, in the mid-18th century. (The Latin inscription at the bottom identifies the scene.) Moses hides the corpse and slinks away, but he is still found out. The next day a Hebrew asks him: “Who appointed you as a ruler-man and judge-man over us? Do you propose to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” (Exodus 2:14).

He has a point: Moses has no real authority—at least not yet.

In the background of this scene are the daughters of Jethro; the artist has conflated two consecutive biblical scenes. When Moses is found out, he flees to the land of Midian, where he comes upon the daughters trying to water their sheep. Local shepherds refuse to let the women near the well, until Moses beats them up too.