There are many things of import to notice in this portion: this is the 15th portion in the Torah but the first to focus on commandments; the first of many commandments in this portion centers around time-keeping (the new month); three of the “four children” at the seder appear; etc. So, it’s easy to overlook minor but fruitful points of interest.
The LORD disposed the Egyptians favorably toward the people. Moreover, Moses himself [ha-ish moshe] was much esteemed in the land of Egypt, among Pharaoh’s courtiers and among the people. — Exodus/Shemot 11:3
Now Moses [ha-ish moshe] was a very humble man, more so than any other man on earth. — Numbers/Bamidbar 12:3 (JPS)
Plaut’s commentary* notes that these are the “two personal assessments of Moses in the Torah” and that “both times the expression is used [ha-ish moshe], literally, ‘the man Moses.'”
What does it mean that, of all the virtues that might be ascribed to the central character of four of the five books of the Torah, “humility” is the only one explicitly applied to Moses? Why is Moses described is “much esteemed” by others — but presumably not himself?