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Exodus 10:1--15:27

Context
The Eighth Blow: Locusts

10:1 1 The Lord said 2  to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, in order to display 3  these signs of mine before him, 4  10:2 and in order that in the hearing of your son and your grandson you may tell 5  how I made fools 6  of the Egyptians 7  and about 8  my signs that I displayed 9  among them, so that you may know 10  that I am the Lord.”

10:3 So Moses and Aaron came to Pharaoh and told him, “Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews: ‘How long do you refuse 11  to humble yourself before me? 12  Release my people so that they may serve me! 10:4 But if you refuse to release my people, I am going to bring 13  locusts 14  into your territory 15  tomorrow. 10:5 They will cover 16  the surface 17  of the earth, so that you 18  will be unable to see the ground. They will eat the remainder of what escaped 19  – what is left over 20  for you – from the hail, and they will eat every tree that grows for you from the field. 10:6 They will fill your houses, the houses of your servants, and all the houses of Egypt, such as 21  neither 22  your fathers nor your grandfathers have seen since they have been 23  in the land until this day!’” Then Moses 24  turned and went out from Pharaoh.

10:7 Pharaoh’s servants said to him, “How long 25  will this man be a menace 26  to us? Release the people so that they may serve the Lord their God. Do you not know 27  that Egypt is destroyed?”

10:8 So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh, and he said to them, “Go, serve the Lord your God. Exactly who is going with you?” 28  10:9 Moses said, “We will go with our young and our old, with our sons and our daughters, and with our sheep and our cattle we will go, because we are to hold 29  a pilgrim feast for the Lord.”

10:10 He said to them, “The Lord will need to be with you 30  if I release you and your dependents! 31  Watch out! 32  Trouble is right in front of you! 33  10:11 No! 34  Go, you men 35  only, and serve the Lord, for that 36  is what you want.” 37  Then Moses and Aaron 38  were driven 39  out of Pharaoh’s presence.

10:12 The Lord said to Moses, “Extend your hand over the land of Egypt for 40  the locusts, that they may come up over the land of Egypt and eat everything that grows 41  in the ground, everything that the hail has left.” 10:13 So Moses extended his staff over the land of Egypt, and then the Lord 42  brought 43  an east wind on the land all that day and all night. 44  The morning came, 45  and the east wind had brought up 46  the locusts! 10:14 The locusts went up over all the land of Egypt and settled down in all the territory 47  of Egypt. It was very severe; 48  there had been no locusts like them before, nor will there be such ever again. 49  10:15 They covered 50  the surface 51  of all the ground, so that the ground became dark with them, 52  and they ate all the vegetation of the ground and all the fruit of the trees that the hail had left. Nothing green remained on the trees or on anything that grew in the fields throughout the whole land of Egypt.

10:16 53 Then Pharaoh quickly 54  summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned 55  against the Lord your God and against you! 10:17 So now, forgive my sin this time only, and pray to the Lord your God that he would only 56  take this death 57  away from me.” 10:18 Moses 58  went out 59  from Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord, 10:19 and the Lord turned a very strong west wind, 60  and it picked up the locusts and blew them into the Red Sea. 61  Not one locust remained in all the territory of Egypt. 10:20 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not release the Israelites.

The Ninth Blow: Darkness

10:21 62 The Lord said to Moses, “Extend your hand toward heaven 63  so that there may be 64  darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness so thick it can be felt.” 65 

10:22 So Moses extended his hand toward heaven, and there was absolute darkness 66  throughout the land of Egypt for three days. 67  10:23 No one 68  could see 69  another person, and no one could rise from his place for three days. But the Israelites had light in the places where they lived.

10:24 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and said, “Go, serve the Lord – only your flocks and herds will be detained. Even your families 70  may go with you.”

10:25 But Moses said, “Will you also 71  provide us 72  with sacrifices and burnt offerings that we may present them 73  to the Lord our God? 10:26 Our livestock must 74  also go with us! Not a hoof is to be left behind! For we must take 75  these animals 76  to serve the Lord our God. Until we arrive there, we do not know what we must use to serve the Lord.” 77 

10:27 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was not willing to release them. 10:28 Pharaoh said to him, “Go from me! 78  Watch out for yourself! Do not appear before me again, 79  for when 80  you see my face you will die!” 10:29 Moses said, “As you wish! 81  I will not see your face again.” 82 

The Tenth Blow: Death

11:1 83 The Lord said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt; after that he will release you from this place. When he releases you, 84  he will drive you out completely 85  from this place. 11:2 Instruct 86  the people that each man and each woman is to request 87  from his or her neighbor 88  items of silver and gold.” 89 

11:3 (Now the Lord granted the people favor with 90  the Egyptians. Moreover, the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, respected by Pharaoh’s servants and by the Egyptian people.) 91 

11:4 Moses said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘About midnight 92  I will go throughout Egypt, 93  11:5 and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh 94  who sits on his throne, to the firstborn son of the slave girl who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle. 11:6 There will be a great cry throughout the whole land of Egypt, such as there has never been, 95  nor ever will be again. 96  11:7 But against any of the Israelites not even a dog will bark 97  against either people or animals, 98  so that you may know that the Lord distinguishes 99  between Egypt and Israel.’ 11:8 All these your servants will come down to me and bow down 100  to me, saying, ‘Go, you and all the people who follow 101  you,’ and after that I will go out.” Then Moses 102  went out from Pharaoh in great anger.

11:9 The Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, so that my wonders 103  may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.”

11:10 So Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh, but the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not release the Israelites from his land.

The Institution of the Passover

12:1 104 The Lord said 105  to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, 106  12:2 “This month is to be your beginning of months; it will be your first month of the year. 107  12:3 Tell the whole community of Israel, ‘In the tenth day of this month they each 108  must take a lamb 109  for themselves according to their families 110  – a lamb for each household. 111  12:4 If any household is too small 112  for a lamb, 113  the man 114  and his next-door neighbor 115  are to take 116  a lamb according to the number of people – you will make your count for the lamb according to how much each one can eat. 117  12:5 Your lamb must be 118  perfect, 119  a male, one year old; 120  you may take 121  it from the sheep or from the goats. 12:6 You must care for it 122  until the fourteenth day of this month, and then the whole community 123  of Israel will kill it around sundown. 124  12:7 They will take some of the blood and put it on the two side posts and top of the doorframe of the houses where they will eat it. 12:8 They will eat the meat the same night; 125  they will eat it roasted over the fire with bread made without yeast 126  and with bitter herbs. 12:9 Do not eat it raw 127  or boiled in water, but roast it over the fire with its head, its legs, and its entrails. 12:10 You must leave nothing until morning, but you must burn with fire whatever remains of it until morning. 12:11 This is how you are to eat it – dressed to travel, 128  your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. You are to eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover. 129 

12:12 I will pass through 130  the land of Egypt in the same 131  night, and I will attack 132  all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both of humans and of animals, 133  and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment. 134  I am the Lord. 12:13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, so that when I see 135  the blood I will pass over you, 136  and this plague 137  will not fall on you to destroy you 138  when I attack 139  the land of Egypt. 140 

12:14 This day will become 141  a memorial 142  for you, and you will celebrate it as a festival 143  to the Lord – you will celebrate it perpetually as a lasting ordinance. 144  12:15 For seven days 145  you must eat 146  bread made without yeast. 147  Surely 148  on the first day you must put away yeast from your houses because anyone who eats bread made with yeast 149  from the first day to the seventh day will be cut off 150  from Israel.

12:16 On the first day there will be a holy convocation, 151  and on the seventh day there will be a holy convocation for you. You must do no work of any kind 152  on them, only what every person will eat – that alone may be prepared for you. 12:17 So you will keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because on this very 153  day I brought your regiments 154  out from the land of Egypt, and so you must keep this day perpetually as a lasting ordinance. 155  12:18 In the first month, 156  from the fourteenth day of the month, in the evening, you will eat bread made without yeast until the twenty-first day of the month in the evening. 12:19 For seven days 157  yeast must not be found in your houses, for whoever eats what is made with yeast – that person 158  will be cut off from the community of Israel, whether a foreigner 159  or one born in the land. 12:20 You will not eat anything made with yeast; in all the places where you live you must eat bread made without yeast.’”

12:21 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel, and told them, “Go and select 160  for yourselves a lamb or young goat 161  for your families, and kill the Passover animals. 162  12:22 Take a branch of hyssop, 163  dip it in the blood that is in the basin, 164  and apply to the top of the doorframe and the two side posts some of the blood that is in the basin. Not one of you is to go out 165  the door of his house until morning. 12:23 For the Lord will pass through to strike Egypt, and when he sees 166  the blood on the top of the doorframe and the two side posts, then the Lord will pass over the door, and he will not permit the destroyer 167  to enter your houses to strike you. 168  12:24 You must observe this event as an ordinance for you and for your children forever. 12:25 When you enter the land that the Lord will give to you, just as he said, you must observe 169  this ceremony. 12:26 When your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ 170 12:27 then you will say, ‘It is the sacrifice 171  of the Lord’s Passover, when he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt, when he struck 172  Egypt and delivered our households.’” The people bowed down low 173  to the ground, 12:28 and the Israelites went away and did exactly as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron. 174 

The Deliverance from Egypt

12:29 175 It happened 176  at midnight – the Lord attacked all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the prison, and all the firstborn of the cattle. 12:30 Pharaoh got up 177  in the night, 178  along with all his servants and all Egypt, and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was no house 179  in which there was not someone dead. 12:31 Pharaoh 180  summoned Moses and Aaron in the night and said, “Get up, get out 181  from among my people, both you and the Israelites! Go, serve the Lord as you have requested! 182  12:32 Also, take your flocks and your herds, just as you have requested, and leave. But bless me also.” 183 

12:33 The Egyptians were urging 184  the people on, in order to send them out of the land quickly, 185  for they were saying, “We are all dead!” 12:34 So the people took their dough before the yeast was added, 186  with their kneading troughs bound up in their clothing on their shoulders. 12:35 Now the Israelites had done 187  as Moses told them – they had requested from the Egyptians 188  silver and gold items and clothing. 12:36 The Lord 189  gave the people favor 190  in the sight of the Egyptians, and they gave them whatever they wanted, 191  and so they plundered Egypt. 192 

12:37 The Israelites journeyed 193  from Rameses 194  to Sukkoth. There were about 600,000 men 195  on foot, plus their dependants. 196  12:38 A mixed multitude 197  also went up with them, and flocks and herds – a very large number of cattle. 198  12:39 They baked cakes of bread without yeast using the dough they had brought from Egypt, for it was made without yeast – because they were thrust out 199  of Egypt and were not able to delay, they 200  could not prepare 201  food for themselves either.

12:40 Now the length of time the Israelites lived in Egypt was 430 years. 202  12:41 At the end of the 430 years, on the very day, all the regiments 203  of the Lord went out of the land of Egypt. 12:42 It was a night of vigil for the Lord to bring them out from the land of Egypt, 204  and so 205  on this night all Israel is to keep the vigil 206  to the Lord for generations to come.

Participation in the Passover

12:43 207 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover. No foreigner may 208  share in eating it. 209  12:44 But everyone’s servant who is bought for money, after you have circumcised him, may eat it. 12:45 A foreigner and a hired worker must not eat it. 12:46 It must be eaten in one house; you must not bring any of the meat outside the house, and you must not break a bone of it. 12:47 The whole community of Israel must observe it.

12:48 “When a foreigner lives 210  with you and wants to observe the Passover to the Lord, all his males must be circumcised, 211  and then he may approach and observe it, and he will be like one who is born in the land 212  – but no uncircumcised person may eat of it. 12:49 The same law will apply 213  to the person who is native-born and to the foreigner who lives among you.”

12:50 So all the Israelites did exactly as the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron. 214  12:51 And on this very day the Lord brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt by their regiments.

The Law of the Firstborn

13:1 215 The Lord spoke 216  to Moses: 13:2 “Set apart 217  to me every firstborn male – the first offspring of every womb 218  among the Israelites, whether human or animal; it is mine.” 219 

13:3 Moses said to the people, “Remember 220  this day on which you came out from Egypt, from the place where you were enslaved, 221  for the Lord brought you out of there 222  with a mighty hand – and no bread made with yeast may be eaten. 223  13:4 On this day, 224  in the month of Abib, 225  you are going out. 226 

13:5 When 227  the Lord brings you to the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites, and Jebusites, which he swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, 228  then you will keep 229  this ceremony 230  in this month. 13:6 For seven days 231  you must eat 232  bread made without yeast, and on the seventh day there is to be 233  a festival to the Lord. 13:7 Bread made without yeast must be eaten 234  for seven days; 235  no bread made with yeast shall be seen 236  among you, and you must have no yeast among you within any of your borders.

13:8 You are to tell your son 237  on that day, 238  ‘It is 239  because of what 240  the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ 13:9 241  It 242  will be a sign 243  for you on your hand and a memorial 244  on your forehead, 245  so that the law of the Lord may be 246  in your mouth, 247  for 248  with a mighty hand the Lord brought you out of Egypt. 13:10 So you must keep 249  this ordinance at its appointed time from year to year. 250 

13:11 When the Lord brings you 251  into the land of the Canaanites, 252  as he swore to you and to your fathers, and gives it 253  to you, 13:12 then you must give over 254  to the Lord the first offspring of every womb. 255  Every firstling 256  of a beast that you have 257  – the males will be the Lord’s. 258  13:13 Every firstling 259  of a donkey you must redeem 260  with a lamb, and if you do not redeem it, then you must break its neck. 261  Every firstborn of 262  your sons you must redeem.

13:14 263 In the future, 264  when your son asks you 265  ‘What is this?’ 266  you are to tell him, ‘With a mighty hand 267  the Lord brought us out from Egypt, from the land of slavery. 268  13:15 When Pharaoh stubbornly refused 269  to release us, the Lord killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of people to the firstborn of animals. 270  That is why I am sacrificing 271  to the Lord the first male offspring of every womb, but all my firstborn sons I redeem.’ 13:16 It will be for a sign on your hand and for frontlets 272  on your forehead, for with a mighty hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt.” 273 

The Leading of God

13:17 274 When Pharaoh released 275  the people, God did not lead them 276  by the way to the land 277  of the Philistines, 278  although 279  that was nearby, for God said, 280  “Lest 281  the people change their minds 282  and return to Egypt when they experience 283  war.” 13:18 So God brought the people around by the way of the desert to the Red Sea, 284  and the Israelites went up from the land of Egypt prepared for battle. 285 

13:19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph 286  had made the Israelites solemnly swear, 287  “God will surely attend 288  to you, and you will carry 289  my bones up from this place with you.”

13:20 They journeyed from Sukkoth and camped in Etham, on the edge of the desert. 13:21 Now the Lord was going before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them in the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, 290  so that they could 291  travel day or night. 292  13:22 He did not remove the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night from before the people. 293 

The Victory at the Red Sea

14:1 294 The Lord spoke to Moses: 14:2 “Tell the Israelites that they must turn and camp 295  before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea; you are to camp by the sea before Baal Zephon opposite it. 296  14:3 Pharaoh will think 297  regarding the Israelites, ‘They are wandering around confused 298  in the land – the desert has closed in on them.’ 299  14:4 I will harden 300  Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after them. I will gain honor 301  because of Pharaoh and because of all his army, and the Egyptians will know 302  that I am the Lord.” So this is what they did. 303 

14:5 When it was reported 304  to the king of Egypt that the people had fled, 305  the heart of Pharaoh and his servants was turned against the people, and the king and his servants said, 306  “What in the world have we done? 307  For we have released the people of Israel 308  from serving us!” 14:6 Then he prepared 309  his chariots and took his army 310  with him. 14:7 He took six hundred select 311  chariots, and all the rest of the chariots of Egypt, 312  and officers 313  on all of them.

14:8 But the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he chased after the Israelites. Now the Israelites were going out defiantly. 314  14:9 The Egyptians chased after them, and all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh and his horsemen and his army overtook them camping by the sea, beside Pi-hahiroth, before Baal-Zephon. 14:10 When 315  Pharaoh got closer, 316  the Israelites looked up, 317  and there were the Egyptians marching after them, 318  and they were terrified. 319  The Israelites cried out to the Lord, 320  14:11 and they said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the desert? 321  What in the world 322  have you done to us by bringing 323  us out of Egypt? 14:12 Isn’t this what we told you 324  in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone so that we can serve the Egyptians, 325  because it is better for us to serve 326  the Egyptians than to die in the desert!’” 327 

14:13 Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! 328  Stand firm 329  and see 330  the salvation 331  of the Lord that he will provide 332  for you today; for the Egyptians that you see today you will never, ever see again. 333  14:14 The Lord 334  will fight for you, and you can be still.” 335 

14:15 The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. 336  14:16 And as for you, 337  lift up your staff and extend your hand toward the sea and divide it, so that 338  the Israelites may go through the middle of the sea on dry ground. 14:17 And as for me, I am going to harden 339  the hearts of the Egyptians so that 340  they will come after them, that I may be honored 341  because 342  of Pharaoh and his army and his chariots and his horsemen. 14:18 And the Egyptians will know 343  that I am the Lord when I have gained my honor 344  because of Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”

14:19 The angel of God, who was going before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them, and the pillar 345  of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them. 14:20 It came between the Egyptian camp and the Israelite camp; it was a dark cloud 346  and it lit up the night so that one camp did not come near the other 347  the whole night. 348  14:21 Moses stretched out his hand toward the sea, and the Lord drove the sea apart 349  by a strong east wind all that night, and he made the sea into dry land, and the water was divided. 14:22 So the Israelites went through the middle of the sea on dry ground, the water forming a wall 350  for them on their right and on their left.

14:23 The Egyptians chased them and followed them into the middle of the sea – all the horses of Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen. 14:24 In the morning watch 351  the Lord looked down 352  on the Egyptian army 353  through the pillar of fire and cloud, and he threw the Egyptian army 354  into a panic. 355  14:25 He jammed 356  the wheels of their chariots so that they had difficulty driving, 357  and the Egyptians said, “Let’s flee 358  from Israel, for the Lord fights 359  for them against Egypt!”

14:26 The Lord said to Moses, “Extend your hand toward the sea, so that the waters may flow 360  back on the Egyptians, on their chariots, and on their horsemen!” 14:27 So Moses extended his hand toward the sea, and the sea returned to its normal state 361  when the sun began to rise. 362  Now the Egyptians were fleeing 363  before it, but the Lord overthrew 364  the Egyptians in the middle of the sea. 14:28 The water returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen and all the army of Pharaoh that was coming after the Israelites into the sea 365  – not so much as one of them survived! 366  14:29 But the Israelites walked on dry ground in the middle of the sea, the water forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. 14:30 So the Lord saved 367  Israel on that day from the power 368  of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead 369  on the shore of the sea. 14:31 When Israel saw 370  the great power 371  that the Lord had exercised 372  over the Egyptians, they 373  feared the Lord, and they believed in 374  the Lord and in his servant Moses. 375 

The Song of Triumph

15:1 376 Then Moses and the Israelites sang 377  this song to the Lord. They said, 378 

“I will sing 379  to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously, 380 

the horse and its rider 381  he has thrown into the sea.

15:2 The Lord 382  is my strength and my song, 383 

and he has become my salvation.

This is my God, and I will praise him, 384 

my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

15:3 The Lord is a warrior, 385 

the Lord is his name. 386 

15:4 The chariots of Pharaoh 387  and his army he has thrown into the sea,

and his chosen 388  officers were drowned 389  in the Red Sea.

15:5 The depths have covered them, 390 

they went down to the bottom 391  like a stone.

15:6 Your right hand, O Lord, was majestic 392  in power,

your right hand, O Lord, shattered the enemy.

15:7 In the abundance of your majesty 393  you have overthrown 394 

those who rise up against you. 395 

You sent forth 396  your wrath; 397 

it consumed them 398  like stubble.

15:8 By the blast of your nostrils 399  the waters were piled up,

the flowing water stood upright like a heap, 400 

and the deep waters were solidified in the heart of the sea.

15:9 The enemy said, ‘I will chase, 401  I will overtake,

I will divide the spoil;

my desire 402  will be satisfied on them.

I will draw 403  my sword, my hand will destroy them.’ 404 

15:10 But 405  you blew with your breath, and 406  the sea covered them.

They sank 407  like lead in the mighty waters.

15:11 Who is like you, 408  O Lord, among the gods? 409 

Who is like you? – majestic in holiness, fearful in praises, 410  working wonders?

15:12 You stretched out your right hand,

the earth swallowed them. 411 

15:13 By your loyal love you will lead 412  the people whom 413  you have redeemed;

you will guide 414  them by your strength to your holy dwelling place.

15:14 The nations will hear 415  and tremble;

anguish 416  will seize 417  the inhabitants of Philistia.

15:15 Then the chiefs of Edom will be terrified, 418 

trembling will seize 419  the leaders of Moab,

and the inhabitants of Canaan will shake.

15:16 Fear and dread 420  will fall 421  on them;

by the greatness 422  of your arm they will be as still as stone 423 

until 424  your people pass by, O Lord,

until the people whom you have bought 425  pass by.

15:17 You will bring them in 426  and plant them in the mountain 427  of your inheritance,

in the place you made 428  for your residence, O Lord,

the sanctuary, O Lord, that your hands have established.

15:18 The Lord will reign forever and ever!

15:19 For the horses of Pharaoh came with his chariots and his footmen into the sea,

and the Lord brought back the waters of the sea on them,

but the Israelites walked on dry land in the middle of the sea.”

15:20 Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a hand-drum in her hand, and all the women went out after her with hand-drums and with dances. 429  15:21 Miriam sang in response 430  to them, “Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and its rider he has thrown into the sea.” 431 

The Bitter Water

15:22 432 Then Moses led Israel to journey 433  away from the Red Sea. They went out to the Desert of Shur, walked for three days 434  into the desert, and found no water. 15:23 Then they came to Marah, 435  but they were not able to drink 436  the waters of Marah, because 437  they were bitter. 438  (That is 439  why its name was 440  Marah.)

15:24 So the people murmured 441  against Moses, saying, “What can 442  we drink?” 15:25 He cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him 443  a tree. 444  When Moses 445  threw it into the water, the water became safe to drink. There the Lord 446  made for them 447  a binding ordinance, 448  and there he tested 449  them. 15:26 He said, “If you will diligently obey 450  the Lord your God, and do what is right 451  in his sight, and pay attention 452  to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, then all 453  the diseases 454  that I brought on the Egyptians I will not bring on you, for I, the Lord, am your healer.” 455 

15:27 Then they came to Elim, 456  where there were twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees, and they camped there by the water.

1 sn The Egyptians dreaded locusts like every other ancient civilization. They had particular gods to whom they looked for help in such catastrophes. The locust-scaring deities of Greece and Asia were probably looked to in Egypt as well (especially in view of the origins in Egypt of so many of those religious ideas). The announcement of the plague falls into the now-familiar pattern. God tells Moses to go and speak to Pharaoh but reminds Moses that he has hardened his heart. Yahweh explains that he has done this so that he might show his power, so that in turn they might declare his name from generation to generation. This point is stressed so often that it must not be minimized. God was laying the foundation of the faith for Israel – the sovereignty of Yahweh.

2 tn Heb “and Yahweh said.”

3 tn The verb is שִׁתִי (shiti, “I have put”); it is used here as a synonym for the verb שִׂים (sim). Yahweh placed the signs in his midst, where they will be obvious.

4 tn Heb “in his midst.”

5 tn The expression is unusual: תְּסַפֵּר בְּאָזְנֵי (tÿsapper bÿozne, “[that] you may declare in the ears of”). The clause explains an additional reason for God’s hardening the heart of Pharaoh, namely, so that the Israelites can tell their children of God’s great wonders. The expression is highly poetic and intense – like Ps 44:1, which says, “we have heard with our ears.” The emphasis would be on the clear teaching, orally, from one generation to another.

6 tn The verb הִתְעַלַּלְתִּי (hitallalti) is a bold anthropomorphism. The word means to occupy oneself at another’s expense, to toy with someone, which may be paraphrased with “mock.” The whole point is that God is shaming and disgracing Egypt, making them look foolish in their arrogance and stubbornness (W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:366-67). Some prefer to translate it as “I have dealt ruthlessly” with Egypt (see U. Cassuto, Exodus, 123).

7 tn Heb “of Egypt.” The place is put by metonymy for the inhabitants.

8 tn The word “about” is supplied to clarify this as another object of the verb “declare.”

9 tn Heb “put” or “placed.”

10 tn The form is the perfect tense with vav consecutive, וִידַעְתֶּם (vidatem, “and that you might know”). This provides another purpose for God’s dealings with Egypt in the way that he was doing. The form is equal to the imperfect tense with vav (ו) prefixed; it thus parallels the imperfect that began v. 2 – “that you might tell.”

11 tn The verb is מֵאַנְתָּ (meanta), a Piel perfect. After “how long,” the form may be classified as present perfect (“how long have you refused), for it describes actions begun previously but with the effects continuing. (See GKC 311 §106.g-h). The use of a verb describing a state or condition may also call for a present translation (“how long do you refuse”) that includes past, present, and potentially future, in keeping with the question “how long.”

12 tn The clause is built on the use of the infinitive construct to express the direct object of the verb – it answers the question of what Pharaoh was refusing to do. The Niphal infinitive construct (note the elision of the ה [hey] prefix after the preposition [see GKC 139 §51.l]) is from the verb עָנָה (’anah). The verb in this stem would mean “humble oneself.” The question is somewhat rhetorical, since God was not yet through humbling Pharaoh, who would not humble himself. The issue between Yahweh and Pharaoh is deeper than simply whether or not Pharaoh will let the Israelites leave Egypt.

13 tn הִנְנִי (hinni) before the active participle מֵבִיא (mevi’) is the imminent future construction: “I am about to bring” or “I am going to bring” – precisely, “here I am bringing.”

14 tn One of the words for “locusts” in the Bible is אַרְבֶּה (’arbeh), which comes from רָבָה (ravah, “to be much, many”). It was used for locusts because of their immense numbers.

15 tn Heb “within your border.”

16 tn The verbs describing the locusts are singular because it is a swarm or plague of locusts. This verb (וְכִסָּה, vÿkhissah, “cover”) is a Piel perfect with a vav consecutive; it carries the same future nuance as the participle before it.

17 tn Heb “eye,” an unusual expression (see v. 15; Num 22:5, 11).

18 tn The text has לִרְאֹת וְלֹא יוּכַל (vÿloyukhal lirot, “and he will not be able to see”). The verb has no expressed subjects. The clause might, therefore, be given a passive translation: “so that [it] cannot be seen.” The whole clause is the result of the previous statement.

19 sn As the next phrase explains “what escaped” refers to what the previous plague did not destroy. The locusts will devour everything, because there will not be much left from the other plagues for them to eat.

20 tn הַנִּשְׁאֶרֶת (hannisheret) parallels (by apposition) and adds further emphasis to the preceding two words; it is the Niphal participle, meaning “that which is left over.”

21 tn The relative pronoun אֲשֶׁר (’asher) is occasionally used as a comparative conjunction (see GKC 499 §161.b).

22 tn Heb “which your fathers have not seen, nor your fathers’ fathers.”

23 tn The Hebrew construction מִיּוֹם הֱיוֹתָם (miyyom heyotam, “from the day of their being”). The statement essentially says that no one, even the elderly, could remember seeing a plague of locusts like this. In addition, see B. Childs, “A Study of the Formula, ‘Until This Day,’” JBL 82 (1963).

24 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Moses) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

25 sn The question of Pharaoh’s servants echoes the question of Moses – “How long?” Now the servants of Pharaoh are demanding what Moses demanded – “Release the people.” They know that the land is destroyed, and they speak of it as Moses’ doing. That way they avoid acknowledging Yahweh or blaming Pharaoh.

26 tn Heb “snare” (מוֹקֵשׁ, moqesh), a word used for a trap for catching birds. Here it is a figure for the cause of Egypt’s destruction.

27 tn With the adverb טֶרֶם (terem), the imperfect tense receives a present sense: “Do you not know?” (See GKC 481 §152.r).

28 tn The question is literally “who and who are the ones going?” (מִי וָמִי הַהֹלְכִים, mi vami haholÿkhim). Pharaoh’s answer to Moses includes this rude question, which was intended to say that Pharaoh would control who went. The participle in this clause, then, refers to the future journey.

29 tn Heb “we have a pilgrim feast (חַג, khag) to Yahweh.”

30 sn Pharaoh is by no means offering a blessing on them in the name of Yahweh. The meaning of his “wish” is connected to the next clause – as he is releasing them, may God help them. S. R. Driver says that in Pharaoh’s scornful challenge Yahweh is as likely to protect them as Pharaoh is likely to let them go – not at all (Exodus, 80). He is planning to keep the women and children as hostages to force the men to return. U. Cassuto (Exodus, 125) paraphrases it this way: “May the help of your God be as far from you as I am from giving you permission to go forth with your little ones.” The real irony, Cassuto observes, is that in the final analysis he will let them go, and Yahweh will be with them.

31 tn The context of Moses’ list of young and old, sons and daughters, and the contrast with the word for strong “men” in v. 11 indicates that טַפְּכֶם (tappÿkhem), often translated “little ones” or “children,” refers to dependent people, noncombatants in general.

32 tn Heb “see.”

33 tn Heb “before your face.”

sn The “trouble” or “evil” that is before them could refer to the evil that they are devising – the attempt to escape from Egypt. But that does not make much sense in the sentence – why would he tell them to take heed or look out about that? U. Cassuto (Exodus, 126) makes a better suggestion. He argues that Pharaoh is saying, “Don’t push me too far.” The evil, then, would be what Pharaoh was going to do if these men kept making demands on him. This fits the fact that he had them driven out of his court immediately. There could also be here an allusion to Pharaoh’s god Re’, the sun-deity and head of the pantheon; he would be saying that the power of his god would confront them.

34 tn Heb “not thus.”

35 tn The word is הַגְּבָרִים (haggÿvarim, “the strong men”), a word different from the more general one that Pharaoh’s servants used (v. 7). Pharaoh appears to be conceding, but he is holding hostages. The word “only” has been supplied in the translation to indicate this.

36 tn The suffix on the sign of the accusative refers in a general sense to the idea contained in the preceding clause (see GKC 440-41 §135.p).

37 tn Heb “you are seeking.”

38 tn Heb “they”; the referent (Moses and Aaron) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

39 tn The verb is the Piel preterite, third person masculine singular, meaning “and he drove them out.” But “Pharaoh” cannot be the subject of the sentence, for “Pharaoh” is the object of the preposition. The subject is not specified, and so the verb can be treated as passive.

40 tn The preposition בְּ (bet) is unexpected here. BDB 91 s.v. (the note at the end of the entry) says that in this case it can only be read as “with the locusts,” meaning that the locusts were thought to be implicit in Moses’ lifting up of his hand. However, BDB prefers to change the preposition to לְ (lamed).

41 tn The noun עֵשֶּׂב (’esev) normally would indicate cultivated grains, but in this context seems to indicate plants in general.

42 tn The clause begins וַיהוָה (vaadonay [vayhvah], “Now Yahweh….”). In contrast to a normal sequence, this beginning focuses attention on Yahweh as the subject of the verb.

43 tn The verb נָהַג (nahag) means “drive, conduct.” It is elsewhere used for driving sheep, leading armies, or leading in processions.

44 tn Heb “and all the night.”

45 tn The text does not here use ordinary circumstantial clause constructions; rather, Heb “the morning was, and the east wind carried the locusts.” It clearly means “when it was morning,” but the style chosen gives a more abrupt beginning to the plague, as if the reader is in the experience – and at morning, the locusts are there!

46 tn The verb here is a past perfect, indicting that the locusts had arrived before the day came.

47 tn Heb “border.”

48 tn This is an interpretive translation. The clause simply has כָּבֵד מְאֹד (kaved mÿod), the stative verb with the adverb – “it was very heavy.” The description prepares for the following statement about the uniqueness of this locust infestation.

49 tn Heb “after them.”

50 tn Heb “and they covered.”

51 tn Heb “eye,” an unusual expression (see v. 5; Num 22:5, 11).

52 tn The verb is וַתֶּחְשַׁךְ (vattekhshakh, “and it became dark”). The idea is that the ground had the color of the swarms of locusts that covered it.

53 sn The third part of the passage now begins, the confrontation that resulted from the onslaught of the plague. Pharaoh goes a step further here – he confesses he has sinned and adds a request for forgiveness. But his acknowledgment does not go far enough, for this is not genuine confession. Since his heart was not yet submissive, his confession was vain.

54 tn The Piel preterite וַיְמַהֵר (vaymaher) could be translated “and he hastened,” but here it is joined with the following infinitive construct to form the hendiadys. “He hurried to summon” means “He summoned quickly.”

55 sn The severity of the plague prompted Pharaoh to confess his sin against Yahweh and them, now in much stronger terms than before. He also wants forgiveness – but in all probability what he wants is relief from the consequences of his sin. He pretended to convey to Moses that this was it, that he was through sinning, so he asked for forgiveness “only this time.”

56 sn Pharaoh’s double emphasis on “only” uses two different words and was meant to deceive. He was trying to give Moses the impression that he had finally come to his senses, and that he would let the people go. But he had no intention of letting them out.

57 sn “Death” is a metonymy that names the effect for the cause. If the locusts are left in the land it will be death to everything that grows.

58 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Moses) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

59 tn Heb “and he went out.”

60 tn Or perhaps “sea wind,” i.e., a wind off the Mediterranean.

61 tn The Hebrew name here is יַם־סוּף (Yam Suf), sometimes rendered “Reed Sea” or “Sea of Reeds.” The word סוּף is a collective noun that may have derived from an Egyptian name for papyrus reeds. Many English versions have used “Red Sea,” which translates the name that ancient Greeks used: ejruqrav qalavssa (eruqra qalassa).

sn The name Red Sea is currently applied to the sea west of the Arabian Peninsula. The northern fingers of this body of water extend along the west and east sides of the Sinai Peninsula and are presently called the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba or the Gulf of Eilat. In ancient times the name applied to a much larger body of water, including the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf (C. Houtman, Exodus, 1:109-10). See also Num 14:25; 21:4; Deut 1:40; 2:1; Judg 11:16; 1 Kgs 9:26; Jer 49:21. The sea was deep enough to drown the entire Egyptian army later (and thus no shallow swamp land). God drives the locusts to their death in the water. He will have the same power over Egyptian soldiers, for he raised up this powerful empire for a purpose and soon will drown them in the sea. The message for the Israelites is that God will humble all who refuse to submit.

62 sn The ninth plague is that darkness fell on all the land – except on Israel. This plague is comparable to the silence in heaven, just prior to the last and terrible plague (Rev 8:1). Here Yahweh is attacking a core Egyptian religious belief as well as portraying what lay before the Egyptians. Throughout the Bible darkness is the symbol of evil, chaos, and judgment. Blindness is one of its manifestations (see Deut 28:27-29). But the plague here is not blindness, or even spiritual blindness, but an awesome darkness from outside (see Joel 2:2; Zeph 1:15). It is particularly significant in that Egypt’s high god was the Sun God. Lord Sun was now being shut down by Lord Yahweh. If Egypt would not let Israel go to worship their God, then Egypt’s god would be darkness. The structure is familiar: the plague, now unannounced (21-23), and then the confrontation with Pharaoh (24-27).

63 tn Or “the sky” (also in the following verse). The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heavens” or “sky” depending on the context.

64 sn The verb form is the jussive with the sequential vavוִיהִי חֹשֶׁךְ (vihi khoshekh). B. Jacob (Exodus, 286) notes this as the only instance where Scripture says, “Let there be darkness” (although it is subordinated as a purpose clause; cf. Gen 1:3). Isa 45:7 alluded to this by saying, “who created light and darkness.”

65 tn The Hebrew term מוּשׁ (mush) means “to feel.” The literal rendering would be “so that one may feel darkness.” The image portrays an oppressive darkness; it was sufficiently thick to possess the appearance of substance, although it was just air (B. Jacob, Exodus, 286).

66 tn The construction is a variation of the superlative genitive: a substantive in the construct state is connected to a noun with the same meaning (see GKC 431 §133.i).

67 sn S. R. Driver says, “The darkness was no doubt occasioned really by a sand-storm, produced by the hot electrical wind…which blows in intermittently…” (Exodus, 82, 83). This is another application of the antisupernatural approach to these texts. The text, however, is probably describing something that was not a seasonal wind, or Pharaoh would not have been intimidated. If it coincided with that season, then what is described here is so different and so powerful that the Egyptians would have known the difference easily. Pharaoh here would have had to have been impressed that this was something very abnormal, and that his god was powerless. Besides, there was light in all the dwellings of the Israelites.

68 tn Heb “a man…his brother.”

69 tn The perfect tense in this context requires the somewhat rare classification of a potential perfect.

70 tn Or “dependents.” The term is often translated “your little ones,” but as mentioned before (10:10), this expression in these passages takes in women and children and other dependents. Pharaoh will now let all the people go, but he intends to detain the cattle to secure their return.

71 tn B. Jacob (Exodus, 287) shows that the intent of Moses in using גַּם (gam) is to make an emphatic rhetorical question. He cites other samples of the usage in Num 22:33; 1 Sam 17:36; 2 Sam 12:14, and others. The point is that if Pharaoh told them to go and serve Yahweh, they had to have animals to sacrifice. If Pharaoh was holding the animals back, he would have to make some provision.

72 tn Heb “give into our hand.”

73 tn The form here is וְעָשִּׂינוּ (vÿasinu), the Qal perfect with a vav (ו) consecutive – “and we will do.” But the verb means “do” in the sacrificial sense – prepare them, offer them. The verb form is to be subordinated here to form a purpose or result clause.

74 tn This is the obligatory imperfect nuance. They were obliged to take the animals if they were going to sacrifice, but more than that, since they were not coming back, they had to take everything.

75 tn The same modal nuance applies to this verb.

76 tn Heb “from it,” referring collectively to the livestock.

77 sn Moses gives an angry but firm reply to Pharaoh’s attempt to control Israel; he makes it clear that he has no intention of leaving any pledge with Pharaoh. When they leave, they will take everything that belongs to them.

78 tn The expression is לֵךְ מֵעָלָי (lekh mealay, “go from on me”) with the adversative use of the preposition, meaning from being a trouble or a burden to me (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 84; R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 51, §288).

79 tn Heb “add to see my face.” The construction uses a verbal hendiadys: “do not add to see” (אַל־תֹּסֶף רְאוֹת, ’al-toseph rÿot), meaning “do not see again.” The phrase “see my face” means “come before me” or “appear before me.”

80 tn The construction is בְּיוֹם רְאֹתְךָ (bÿyom rÿotÿkha), an adverbial clause of time made up of the prepositional phrase, the infinitive construct, and the suffixed subjective genitive. “In the day of your seeing” is “when you see.”

81 tn Heb “Thus you have spoken.”

82 tn This is a verbal hendiadys construction: “I will not add again [to] see.”

83 sn The last plague is the most severe; it is that for which all the others were preliminary warnings. Up to this point Yahweh had been showing his power to destroy Pharaoh, and now he would begin to do so by bringing death to the Egyptians, a death that would fulfill the warning of talionic judgment – “let my son go, or I will kill your son.” The passage records the announcement of the judgment first to Moses and then through Moses to Pharaoh. The first two verses record the word of God to Moses. This is followed by a parenthetical note about how God had elevated Moses and Israel in the eyes of Egypt (v. 3). Then there is the announcement to Pharaoh (vv. 4-8). This is followed by a parenthetical note on how God had hardened Pharaoh so that Yahweh would be elevated over him. It is somewhat problematic here that Moses is told not to see Pharaoh’s face again. On the one hand, given the nature of Pharaoh to blow hot and cold and to change his mind, it is not impossible for another meeting to have occurred. But Moses said he would not do it (v. 29). One solution some take is to say that the warning in 10:28 originally stood after chapter 11. A change like that is unwarranted, and without support. It may be that vv. 1-3 are parenthetical, so that the announcement in v. 4 follows closely after 10:29 in the chronology. The instruction to Moses in 11:1 might then have been given before he left Pharaoh or even before the interview in 10:24-29 took place. Another possibility, supported by usage in Akkadian, is that the expression “see my face” (and in v. 29 “see your face”) has to do with seeking to have an official royal audience (W. H. C. Propp, Exodus 1–18 [AB], 342). Pharaoh thinks that he is finished with Moses, but as 11:8 describes, Moses expects that in fact Moses will soon be the one in a position like that of royalty granting an audience to Egyptians.

84 tn The expression כְּשַּׂלְּחוֹ כָּלָה (kÿsallÿkho kalah) is difficult. It seems to say, “as/when he releases [you] altogether.” The LXX has “and when he sends you forth with everything.” Tg. Onq. and modern translators make kala adverbial, “completely” or “altogether.” B. S. Childs follows an emendation to read, “as one sends away a bride” (Exodus [OTL], 130). W. C. Kaiser prefers the view of Yaron that would render it “in the manner of one’s sending away a kallah [a slave purchased to be one’s daughter-in-law]” (“Exodus,” EBC 2:370). The last two readings call for revising the vocalization and introducing a rare word into the narrative. The simplest approach is to follow a meaning “when he releases [you] altogether,” i.e., with all your people and your livestock.

85 tn The words are emphatic: גָּרֵשׁ יְגָרֵשׁ (garesh yÿgaresh). The Piel verb means “to drive out, expel.” With the infinitive absolute it says that Pharaoh “will drive you out vigorously.” He will be glad to be rid of you – it will be a total expulsion.

86 tn Heb “Speak now in the ears of the people.” The expression is emphatic; it seeks to ensure that the Israelites hear the instruction.

87 tn The verb translated “request” is וְיִשְׁאֲלוּ (vÿyishalu), the Qal jussive: “let them ask.” This is the point introduced in Exod 3:22. The meaning of the verb might be stronger than simply “ask”; it might have something of the idea of “implore” (see also its use in the naming of Samuel, who was “asked” from Yahweh [1 Sam 1:20]).

88 tn “each man is to request from his neighbor and each woman from her neighbor.”

sn Here neighbor refers to Egyptian neighbors, who are glad to see them go (12:33) and so willingly give their jewelry and vessels.

89 sn See D. Skinner, “Some Major Themes of Exodus,” Mid-America Theological Journal 1 (1977): 31-42.

90 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”

91 tn Heb “in the eyes of the servants of Pharaoh and in the eyes of the people.” In the translation the word “Egyptian” has been supplied to clarify that the Egyptians and not the Israelites are meant here.

sn The presence of this clause about Moses, which is parenthetical in nature, further indicates why the Egyptians gave rather willingly to the Israelites. They were impressed by Moses’ miracles and his power with Pharaoh. Moses was great in stature – powerful and influential.

92 tn Heb “about the middle of the night.”

93 tn Heb “I will go out in the midst of Egypt.”

94 sn The firstborn in Egyptian and Israelite cultures was significant, but the firstborn of Pharaoh was most important. Pharaoh was considered a god, the son of Re, the sun god, for the specific purpose of ruling over Re’s chief concern, the land of Egypt. For the purpose of re-creation, the supreme god assumed the form of the living king and gave seed which was to become the next king and the next “son of Re.” Moreover, the Pharaoh was the incarnation of the god Horus, a falcon god whose province was the heavens. Horus represented the living king who succeeded the dead king Osiris. Every living king was Horus, every dead king Osiris (see J. A. Wilson, “Egypt,” Before Philosophy, 83-84). To strike any firstborn was to destroy the heir, who embodied the hopes and aspirations of the Egyptians, but to strike the firstborn son of Pharaoh was to destroy this cardinal doctrine of the divine kingship of Egypt. Such a blow would be enough for Pharaoh, for then he would drive the Israelites out.

95 tn Heb “which like it there has never been.”

96 tn Heb “and like it it will not add.”

97 tn Or perhaps “growl”; Heb “not a dog will sharpen his tongue.” The expression is unusual, but it must indicate that not only would no harm come to the Israelites, but that no unfriendly threat would come against them either – not even so much as a dog barking. It is possible this is to be related to the watchdog (see F. C. Fensham, “Remarks on Keret 114b – 136a,” JNSL 11 [1983]: 75).

98 tn Heb “against man or beast.”

99 tn The verb פָּלָה (palah) in Hiphil means “to set apart, make separate, make distinct.” See also Exod 8:22 (18 HT); 9:4; 33:16.

100 sn Moses’ anger is expressed forcefully. “He had appeared before Pharaoh a dozen times either as God’s emissary or when summoned by Pharaoh, but he would not come again; now they would have to search him out if they needed help” (B. Jacob, Exodus, 289-90).

101 tn Heb “that are at your feet.”

102 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Moses) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

103 sn The thought is essentially the same as in Exod 7:3-4, but the wonders, or portents, here refer to what is yet to be done in Egypt.

104 sn Chapter 12 details the culmination of the ten plagues on Egypt and the beginning of the actual deliverance from bondage. Moreover, the celebration of this festival of Passover was to become a central part of the holy calendar of Israel. The contents of this chapter have significance for NT studies as well, since the Passover was a type of the death of Jesus. The structure of this section before the crossing of the sea is as follows: the institution of the Passover (12:1-28), the night of farewell and departure (12:29-42), slaves and strangers (12:43-51), and the laws of the firstborn (13:1-16). In this immediate section there is the institution of the Passover itself (12:1-13), then the Unleavened Bread (12:14-20), and then the report of the response of the people (12:21-28).

105 tn Heb “and Yahweh said.”

106 tn Heb “saying.”

107 sn B. Jacob (Exodus, 294-95) shows that the intent of the passage was not to make this month in the spring the New Year – that was in the autumn. Rather, when counting months this was supposed to be remembered first, for it was the great festival of freedom from Egypt. He observes how some scholars have unnecessarily tried to date one New Year earlier than the other.

108 tn Heb “and they will take for them a man a lamb.” This is clearly a distributive, or individualizing, use of “man.”

109 tn The שֶּׂה (seh) is a single head from the flock, or smaller cattle, which would include both sheep and goats.

110 tn Heb “according to the house of their fathers.” The expression “house of the father” is a common expression for a family.

sn The Passover was to be a domestic institution. Each lamb was to be shared by family members.

111 tn Heb “house” (also at the beginning of the following verse).

112 sn Later Judaism ruled that “too small” meant fewer than ten (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 88).

113 tn The clause uses the comparative min (מִן) construction: יִמְעַט הַבַּיִת מִהְיֹת מִשֶּׂה (yimat habbayit mihyot miseh, “the house is small from being from a lamb,” or “too small for a lamb”). It clearly means that if there were not enough people in the household to have a lamb by themselves, they should join with another family. For the use of the comparative, see GKC 430 §133.c.

114 tn Heb “he and his neighbor”; the referent (the man) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

115 tn Heb “who is near to his house.”

116 tn The construction uses a perfect tense with a vav (ו) consecutive after a conditional clause: “if the household is too small…then he and his neighbor will take.”

117 tn Heb “[every] man according to his eating.”

sn The reference is normally taken to mean whatever each person could eat. B. Jacob (Exodus, 299) suggests, however, that the reference may not be to each individual person’s appetite, but to each family. Each man who is the head of a household was to determine how much his family could eat, and this in turn would determine how many families shared the lamb.

118 tn The construction has: “[The] lamb…will be to you.” This may be interpreted as a possessive use of the lamed, meaning, “[the] lamb…you have” (your lamb) for the Passover. In the context instructing the people to take an animal for this festival, the idea is that the one they select, their animal, must meet these qualifications.

119 tn The Hebrew word תָּמִים (tamim) means “perfect” or “whole” or “complete” in the sense of not having blemishes and diseases – no physical defects. The rules for sacrificial animals applied here (see Lev 22:19-21; Deut 17:1).

120 tn The idiom says “a son of a year” (בֶּן־שָׁנָה, ben shanah), meaning a “yearling” or “one year old” (see GKC 418 §128.v).

121 tn Because a choice is being given in this last clause, the imperfect tense nuance of permission should be used. They must have a perfect animal, but it may be a sheep or a goat. The verb’s object “it” is supplied from the context.

122 tn The text has וְהָיָה לָכֶם לְמִשְׁמֶרֶת (vÿhaya lakem lÿmishmeret, “and it will be for you for a keeping”). This noun stresses the activity of watching over or caring for something, probably to keep it in its proper condition for its designated use (see 16:23, 32-34).

123 tn Heb “all the assembly of the community.” This expression is a pleonasm. The verse means that everyone will kill the lamb, i.e., each family unit among the Israelites will kill its animal.

124 tn Heb “between the two evenings” or “between the two settings” (בֵּין הָעַרְבָּיִם, ben haarbayim). This expression has had a good deal of discussion. (1) Tg. Onq. says “between the two suns,” which the Talmud explains as the time between the sunset and the time the stars become visible. More technically, the first “evening” would be the time between sunset and the appearance of the crescent moon, and the second “evening” the next hour, or from the appearance of the crescent moon to full darkness (see Deut 16:6 – “at the going down of the sun”). (2) Saadia, Rashi, and Kimchi say the first evening is when the sun begins to decline in the west and cast its shadows, and the second evening is the beginning of night. (3) The view adopted by the Pharisees and the Talmudists (b. Pesahim 61a) is that the first evening is when the heat of the sun begins to decrease, and the second evening begins at sunset, or, roughly from 3-5 p.m. The Mishnah (m. Pesahim 5:1) indicates the lamb was killed about 2:30 p.m. – anything before noon was not valid. S. R. Driver concludes from this survey that the first view is probably the best, although the last view was the traditionally accepted one (Exodus, 89-90). Late afternoon or early evening seems to be intended, the time of twilight perhaps.

125 tn Heb “this night.”

126 sn Bread made without yeast could be baked quickly, not requiring time for the use of a leavening ingredient to make the dough rise. In Deut 16:3 the unleavened cakes are called “the bread of affliction,” which alludes to the alarm and haste of the Israelites. In later Judaism and in the writings of Paul, leaven came to be a symbol of evil or corruption, and so “unleavened bread” – bread made without yeast – was interpreted to be a picture of purity or freedom from corruption or defilement (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 90-91).

127 sn This ruling was to prevent their eating it just softened by the fire or partially roasted as differing customs might prescribe or allow.

128 tn Heb “your loins girded.”

129 tn The meaning of פֶּסַח (pesakh) is debated. (1) Some have tried to connect it to the Hebrew verb with the same radicals that means “to halt, leap, limp, stumble.” See 1 Kgs 18:26 where the word describes the priests of Baal hopping around the altar; also the crippled child in 2 Sam 4:4. (2) Others connect it to the Akkadian passahu, which means “to appease, make soft, placate”; or (3) an Egyptian word to commemorate the harvest (see J. B. Segal, The Hebrew Passover, 95-100). The verb occurs in Isa 31:5 with the connotation of “to protect”; B. S. Childs suggests that this was already influenced by the exodus tradition (Exodus [OTL], 183, n. 11). Whatever links there may or may not have been that show an etymology, in Exod 12 it is describing Yahweh’s passing over or through.

130 tn The verb וְעָבַרְתִּי (vÿavarti) is a Qal perfect with vav (ו) consecutive, announcing the future action of God in bringing judgment on the land. The word means “pass over, across, through.” This verb provides a contextual motive for the name “Passover.”

131 tn Heb “this night.”

132 tn The verb נָכָה (nakhah) means “to strike, smite, attack”; it does not always mean “to kill,” but that is obviously its outcome in this context. This is also its use in 2:12, describing how Moses killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand.

133 tn Heb “from man and to beast.”

134 tn The phrase אֶעֱשֶׂה שְׁפָטִים (’eeseh shÿfatim) is “I will do judgments.” The statement clearly includes what had begun in Exod 6:1. But the statement that God would judge the gods of Egypt is appropriately introduced here (see also Num 33:4) because with the judgment on Pharaoh and the deliverance from bondage, Yahweh would truly show himself to be the one true God. Thus, “I am Yahweh” is fitting here (see B. Jacob, Exodus, 312).

135 tn Both of the verbs for seeing and passing over are perfect tenses with vav (ו) consecutives: וּפָסַחְתִּיוְרָאִיתִי (vÿraiti...ufasakhti); the first of these parallel verb forms is subordinated to the second as a temporal clause. See Gesenius’s description of perfect consecutives in the protasis and apodosis (GKC 494 §159.g).

136 tn The meaning of the verb is supplied in part from the near context of seeing the sign and omitting to destroy, as well as the verb at the start of verse 12 “pass through, by, over.” Isa 31:5 says, “Just as birds hover over a nest, so the Lord who commands armies will protect Jerusalem. He will protect and deliver it; as he passes over he will rescue it.” The word does not occur enough times to enable one to delineate a clear meaning. It is probably not the same word as “to limp” found in 1 Kgs 18:21, 26, unless there is a highly developed category of meaning there.

137 tn The word “plague” (נֶגֶף, negef) is literally “a blow” or “a striking.” It usually describes a calamity or affliction given to those who have aroused God’s anger, as in Exod 30:12; Num 8:19; 16:46, 47; Josh 22:17 (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 92-93).

138 tn Heb “for destruction.” The form מַשְׁחִית (mashkhit) is the Hiphil participle of שָׁחַת (shakhat). The word itself is a harsh term; it was used to describe Yahweh’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 13:10).

139 tn בְּהַכֹּתִי (bÿhakkoti) is the Hiphil infinitive construct from נָכָה (nakhah), with a preposition prefixed and a pronominal suffix added to serve as the subjective genitive – the subject of this temporal clause. It is also used in 12:12.

140 sn For additional discussions, see W. H. Elder, “The Passover,” RevExp 74 (1977): 511-22; E. Nutz, “The Passover,” BV 12 (1978): 23-28; H. M. Kamsler, “The Blood Covenant in the Bible,” Dor le Dor 6 (1977): 94-98; A. Rodriguez, Substitution in the Hebrew Cultus; B. Ramm, “The Theology of the Book of Exodus: A Reflection on Exodus 12:12,” SwJT 20 (1977): 59-68; and M. Gilula, “The Smiting of the First-Born: An Egyptian Myth?” TA 4 (1977): 94-85.

141 tn Heb “and this day will be.”

142 tn The expression “will be for a memorial” means “will become a memorial.”

sn The instruction for the unleavened bread (vv. 14-20) begins with the introduction of the memorial (זִכָּרוֹן [zikkaron] from זָכַר [zakhar]). The reference is to the fifteenth day of the month, the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. B. Jacob (Exodus, 315) notes that it refers to the death blow on Egypt, but as a remembrance had to be held on the next day, not during the night. He also notes that this was the origin of “the Day of the Lord” (“the Day of Yahweh”), which the prophets predicted as the day of the divine battle. On it the enemy would be wiped out. For further information, see B. S. Childs, Memory and Tradition in Israel (SBT). The point of the word “remember” in Hebrew is not simply a recollection of an event, but a reliving of it, a reactivating of its significance. In covenant rituals “remembrance” or “memorial” is designed to prompt God and worshiper alike to act in accordance with the covenant. Jesus brought the motif forward to the new covenant with “this do in remembrance of me.”

143 tn The verb וְחַגֹּתֶם (vÿkhaggotem), a perfect tense with the vav (ו) consecutive to continue the instruction, is followed by the cognate accusative חַג (khag), for emphasis. As the wording implies and the later legislation required, this would involve a pilgrimage to the sanctuary of Yahweh.

144 tn Two expressions show that this celebration was to be kept perpetually: the line has “for your generations, [as] a statute forever.” “Generations” means successive generations (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 94). עוֹלָם (’olam) means “ever, forever, perpetual” – no end in sight.

145 tn This expression is an adverbial accusative of time. The feast was to last from the 15th to the 21st of the month.

146 tn Or “you will eat.” The statement stresses their obligation – they must eat unleavened bread and avoid all leaven.

147 tn The etymology of מַצּוֹת (matsot, “unleavened bread,” i.e., “bread made without yeast”) is uncertain. Suggested connections to known verbs include “to squeeze, press,” “to depart, go out,” “to ransom,” or to an Egyptian word “food, cake, evening meal.” For a more detailed study of “unleavened bread” and related matters such as “yeast” or “leaven,” see A. P. Ross, NIDOTTE 4:448-53.

148 tn The particle serves to emphasize, not restrict here (B. S. Childs, Exodus [OTL], 183, n. 15).

149 tn Heb “every eater of leavened bread.” The participial phrase stands at the beginning of the clause as a casus pendens, that is, it stands grammatically separate from the sentence. It names a condition, the contingent occurrences of which involve a further consequence (GKC 361 §116.w).

150 tn The verb וְנִכְרְתָה (vÿnikhrÿtah) is the Niphal perfect with the vav (ו) consecutive; it is a common formula in the Law for divine punishment. Here, in sequence to the idea that someone might eat bread made with yeast, the result would be that “that soul [the verb is feminine] will be cut off.” The verb is the equivalent of the imperfect tense due to the consecutive; a translation with a nuance of the imperfect of possibility (“may be cut off”) fits better perhaps than a specific future. There is the real danger of being cut off, for while the punishment might include excommunication from the community, the greater danger was in the possibility of divine intervention to root out the evildoer (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 94). Gesenius lists this as the use of a perfect with a vav consecutive after a participle (a casus pendens) to introduce the apodosis (GKC 337 §112.mm).

sn In Lev 20:3, 5-6, God speaks of himself as cutting off a person from among the Israelites. The rabbis mentioned premature death and childlessness as possible judgments in such cases, and N. M. Sarna comments that “one who deliberately excludes himself from the religious community of Israel cannot be a beneficiary of the covenantal blessings” (Exodus [JPSTC], 58).

151 sn This refers to an assembly of the people at the sanctuary for religious purposes. The word “convocation” implies that the people were called together, and Num 10:2 indicates they were called together by trumpets.

152 tn Heb “all/every work will not be done.” The word refers primarily to the work of one’s occupation. B. Jacob (Exodus, 322) explains that since this comes prior to the fuller description of laws for Sabbaths and festivals, the passage simply restricts all work except for the preparation of food. Once the laws are added, this qualification is no longer needed. Gesenius translates this as “no manner of work shall be done” (GKC 478-79 §152.b).

153 tn Heb “on the bone of this day.” The expression means “the substance of the day,” the day itself, the very day (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 95).

154 tn The word is “armies” or “divisions” (see Exod 6:26 and the note there; cf. also 7:4). The narrative will continue to portray Israel as a mighty army, marching forth in its divisions.

155 tn See Exod 12:14.

156 tn “month” has been supplied.

157 tn “Seven days” is an adverbial accusative of time (see R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 12, §56).

158 tn The term is נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh), often translated “soul.” It refers to the whole person, the soul within the body. The noun is feminine, agreeing with the feminine verb “be cut off.”

159 tn Or “alien”; or “stranger.”

160 tn Heb “draw out and take.” The verb has in view the need “to draw out” a lamb or goat selected from among the rest of the flock.

161 tn The Hebrew noun is singular and can refer to either a lamb or a goat. Since English has no common word for both, the phrase “a lamb or young goat” is used in the translation.

162 tn The word “animals” is added to avoid giving the impression in English that the Passover festival itself is the object of “kill.”

163 sn The hyssop is a small bush that grows throughout the Sinai, probably the aromatic herb Origanum Maru L., or Origanum Aegyptiacum. The plant also grew out of the walls in Jerusalem (1 Kgs 4:33). See L. Baldensperger and G. M. Crowfoot, “Hyssop,” PEQ 63 (1931): 89-98. A piece of hyssop was also useful to the priests because it worked well for sprinkling.

164 tn The Greek and the Vulgate translate סַף (saf, “basin”) as “threshold.” W. C. Kaiser reports how early traditions grew up about the killing of the lamb on the threshold (“Exodus,” EBC 2:376).

165 tn Heb “and you, you shall not go out, a man from the door of his house.” This construction puts stress on prohibiting absolutely everyone from going out.

166 tn The first of the two clauses begun with perfects and vav consecutives may be subordinated to form a temporal clause: “and he will see…and he will pass over,” becomes “when he sees…he will pass over.”

167 tn Here the form is the Hiphil participle with the definite article. Gesenius says this is now to be explained as “the destroyer” although some take it to mean “destruction” (GKC 406 §126.m, n. 1).

168 tn “you” has been supplied.

169 tn The verb used here and at the beginning of v. 24 is שָׁמַר (shamar); it can be translated “watch, keep, protect,” but in this context the point is to “observe” the religious customs and practices set forth in these instructions.

170 tn Heb “what is this service to you?”

171 sn This expression “the sacrifice of Yahweh’s Passover” occurs only here. The word זֶבַח (zevakh) means “slaughtering” and so a blood sacrifice. The fact that this word is used in Lev 3 for the peace offering has linked the Passover as a kind of peace offering, and both the Passover and the peace offerings were eaten as communal meals.

172 tn The verb means “to strike, smite, plague”; it is the same verb that has been used throughout this section (נָגַף, nagaf). Here the construction is the infinitive construct in a temporal clause.

173 tn The two verbs form a verbal hendiadys: “and the people bowed down and they worshiped.” The words are synonymous, and so one is taken as the adverb for the other.

174 tn Heb “went away and did as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.” The final phrase “so they did,” which is somewhat redundant in English, has been represented in the translation by the adverb “exactly.”

175 sn The next section records the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, and so becomes the turning point of the book. Verses 28 and 29 could be included in the exposition of the previous section as the culmination of that part. The message might highlight God’s requirement for deliverance from bondage through the application of the blood of the sacrifice, God’s instruction for the memorial of deliverance through the purging of corruption, and the compliance of those who believed the message. But these verses also form the beginning of this next section (and so could be used transitionally). This unit includes the judgment on Egypt (29-30), the exodus from Egypt (31-39) and the historical summation and report (40-42).

176 tn The verse begins with the temporal indicator וַיְהִי (vayÿhi), often translated “and it came to pass.” Here it could be left untranslated: “In the middle of the night Yahweh attacked.” The word order of the next and main clause furthers the emphasis by means of the vav disjunctive on the divine name preceding the verb. The combination of these initial and disjunctive elements helps to convey the suddenness of the attack, while its thoroughness is stressed by the repetition of “firstborn” in the rest of the verse, the merism (“from the firstborn of Pharaoh…to the firstborn of the captive”), and the mention of cattle.

177 tn Heb “arose,” the verb קוּם (qum) in this context certainly must describe a less ceremonial act. The entire country woke up in terror because of the deaths.

178 tn The noun is an adverbial accusative of time – “in the night” or “at night.”

179 sn Or so it seemed. One need not push this description to complete literalness. The reference would be limited to houses that actually had firstborn people or animals. In a society in which households might include more than one generation of humans and animals, however, the presence of a firstborn human or animal would be the rule rather than the exception.

180 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Pharaoh) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

181 tn The urgency in Pharaoh’s words is caught by the abrupt use of the imperatives – “get up, go” (קוּמוּ צְּאוּ, qumu tsÿu), and “go, serve” (וּלְכוּ עִבְדוּ, ulÿkhuivdu) and “take” and “leave/go” (וָלֵכוּקְחוּ, qÿkhu...valekhu).

182 tn Heb “as you have said.” The same phrase also occurs in the following verse.

sn It appears from this clause that Pharaoh has given up attempting to impose restrictions as he had earlier. With the severe judgment on him for his previous refusals he should now know that these people are no longer his subjects, and he is no longer sovereign. As Moses had insisted, all the Israelites would leave, and with all their possessions, to worship Yahweh.

183 tn The form is the Piel perfect with a vav (ו) consecutive (וּבֵרַכְתֶּם, uverakhtem); coming in the sequence of imperatives this perfect tense would be volitional – probably a request rather than a command.

sn Pharaoh probably meant that they should bless him also when they were sacrificing to Yahweh in their religious festival – after all, he might reason, he did let them go (after divine judgment). To bless him would mean to invoke good gifts from God for him.

184 tn The verb used here (חָזַק, khazaq) is the same verb used for Pharaoh’s heart being hardened. It conveys the idea of their being resolved or insistent in this – they were not going to change.

185 tn The phrase uses two construct infinitives in a hendiadys, the first infinitive becoming the modifier.

186 tn The imperfect tense after the adverb טֶרֶם (terem) is to be treated as a preterite: “before it was leavened,” or “before the yeast was added.” See GKC 314-15 §107.c.

187 tn The verbs “had done” and then “had asked” were accomplished prior to the present narrative (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 99). The verse begins with disjunctive word order to introduce the reminder of earlier background information.

188 tn Heb “from Egypt.” Here the Hebrew text uses the name of the country to represent the inhabitants (a figure known as metonymy).

189 tn The holy name (“Yahweh,” represented as “the Lord” in the translation) has the vav disjunctive with it. It may have the force: “Now it was Yahweh who gave the people favor….”

190 sn God was destroying the tyrant and his nobles and the land’s economy because of their stubborn refusal. But God established friendly, peaceful relations between his people and the Egyptians. The phrase is used outside Exod only in Gen 39:21, referring to Joseph.

191 tn The verb וַיַּשְׁאִלוּם (vayyashilum) is a Hiphil form that has the root שָׁאַל (shaal), used earlier in Qal with the meaning “requested” (12:35). The verb here is frequently translated “and they lent them,” but lending does not fit the point. What they gave the Israelites were farewell gifts sought by demanding or asking for them. This may exemplify a “permissive” use of the Hiphil stem, in which “the Hiphil designates an action that is agreeable to the object and allowed by the subject” (B. T. Arnold and J. H. Choi, A Guide to Biblical Hebrew Syntax, 52).

192 sn See B. Jacob, “The Gifts of the Egyptians; A Critical Commentary,” Journal of Reformed Judaism 27 (1980): 59-69.

193 tn Heb “and the sons of Israel journeyed.”

194 sn The wilderness itinerary begins here. W. C. Kaiser records the identification of these two places as follows: The name Rameses probably refers to Qantir rather than Tanis, which is more remote, because Qantir was by the water; Sukkoth is identified as Tell el Maskhuta in the Wadi Tumilat near modern Ismailia – or the region around the city (“Exodus,” EBC 2:379). Of the extensive bibliography, see G. W. Coats, “The Wilderness Itinerary,” CBQ 34 (1972): 135-52; G. I. Davies, “The Wilderness Itineraries: A Comparative Study,” TynBul 25 (1974): 46-81; and J. T. Walsh, “From Egypt to Moab. A Source Critical Analysis of the Wilderness Itinerary,” CBQ 39 (1977): 20-33.

195 tn The word for “men” (הַגְּבָרִים, haggÿvarim) stresses their hardiness and capability – strong men, potential soldiers – in contrast with the word that follows and designates noncombatants.

sn There have been many attempts to calculate the population of the exodus group, but nothing in the text gives the exact number other than the 600,000 people on foot who were men. Estimates of two million people are very large, especially since the Bible says there were seven nations in the land of Canaan mightier than Israel. It is probably not two million people (note, the Bible never said it was – this is calculated by scholars). But attempts to reduce the number by redefining the word “thousand” to mean clan or tribe or family unit have not been convincing, primarily because of all the tabulations of the tribes in the different books of the Bible that have to be likewise reduced. B. Jacob (Exodus, 347) rejects the many arguments and calculations as the work of eighteenth century deists and rationalists, arguing that the numbers were taken seriously in the text. Some writers interpret the numbers as inflated due to a rhetorical use of numbers, arriving at a number of 60,000 or so for the men here listed (reducing it by a factor of ten), and insisting this is a literal interpretation of the text as opposed to a spiritual or allegorical approach (see R. Allen, “Numbers,” EBC 2:686-96; see also G. Mendenhall, “The Census Lists of Numbers 1 and 26,” JBL 77 [1958]: 52-66). This proposal removes the “embarrassingly” large number for the exodus, but like other suggestions, lacks completely compelling evidence. For a more extensive discussion of the large numbers used to describe the Israelites in their wilderness experience, see the note on “46,500” in Num 1:21.

196 tn For more on this word see 10:10 and 24.

197 tn The “mixed multitude” (עֵרֶב רַב, ’erev rav) refers to a great “swarm” (see a possible cognate in 8:21[17]) of folk who joined the Israelites, people who were impressed by the defeat of Egypt, who came to faith, or who just wanted to escape Egypt (maybe slaves or descendants of the Hyksos). The expression prepares for later references to riffraff who came along.

198 tn Heb “and very much cattle.”

199 sn For the use of this word in developing the motif, see Exod 2:17, 22; 6:1; and 11:1.

200 tn Heb “and also.”

201 tn The verb is עָשׂוּ (’asu, “they made”); here, with a potential nuance, it is rendered “they could [not] prepare.”

202 sn Here as well some scholars work with the number 430 to try to reduce the stay in Egypt for the bondage. Some argue that if the number included the time in Canaan, that would reduce the bondage by half. S. R. Driver (Exodus, 102) notes that P thought Moses was the fourth generation from Jacob (6:16-27), if those genealogies are not selective. Exodus 6 has Levi – Kohath – Amram – Moses. This would require a period of about 100 years, and that is unusual. There is evidence, however, that the list is selective. In 1 Chr 2:3-20 the text has Bezalel (see Exod 31:2-5) a contemporary of Moses and yet the seventh from Judah. Elishama, a leader of the Ephraimites (Num 10:22), was in the ninth generation from Jacob (1 Chr 7:22-26). Joshua, Moses’ assistant, was the eleventh from Jacob (1 Chr 7:27). So the “four generations” leading up to Moses are not necessarily complete. With regard to Exod 6, K. A. Kitchen has argued that the four names do not indicate successive generations, but tribe (Levi), clan (Kohath), family (Amram), and individual (Moses; K. A. Kitchen, Ancient Orient and Old Testament, 54-55). For a detailed discussion of the length of the sojourn, see E. H. Merrill, A Kingdom of Priests, 75-79.

203 sn This military term is used elsewhere in Exodus (e.g., 6:26; 7:4; 12:17, 50), but here the Israelites are called “the regiments of the Lord.”

204 tn There is some ambiguity in לֵיל שִׁמֻּרִים הוּא לַיהוָה (lel shimmurim hu’ la’adonay [layhveh]). It is likely that this first clause means that Yahweh was on watch for Israel to bring them out, as the next clause says. He was protecting his people (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 102). Then, the night of vigil will be transferred to Israel, who now must keep it “to” him.

205 tn “and so” has been supplied.

206 tn Heb “this night is for Yahweh a vigil for all Israelites for their generations.”

207 sn The section that concludes the chapter contains regulations pertaining to the Passover. The section begins at v. 43, but vv. 40-42 form a good setting for it. In this unit vv. 43-45 belong together because they stress that a stranger and foreigner cannot eat. Verse 46 stands by itself, ruling that the meal must be eaten at home. Verse 47 instructs that the whole nation was to eat it. Verses 48-49 make provision for foreigners who may wish to participate. And vv. 50-51 record the obedience of Israel.

208 tn This taken in the modal nuance of permission, reading that no foreigner is permitted to share in it (apart from being a member of the household as a circumcised slave [v. 44] or obeying v. 48, if a free individual).

209 tn This is the partitive use of the bet (ב) preposition, expressing that the action extends to something and includes the idea of participation in it (GKC 380 §119.m).

210 tn Both the participle “foreigner” and the verb “lives” are from the verb גּוּר (gur), which means “to sojourn, to dwell as an alien.” This reference is to a foreigner who settles in the land. He is the protected foreigner; when he comes to another area where he does not have his clan to protect him, he must come under the protection of the Law, or the people. If the “resident alien” is circumcised, he may participate in the Passover (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 104).

211 tn The infinitive absolute functions as the finite verb here, and “every male” could be either the object or the subject (see GKC 347 §113.gg and 387 §121.a).

212 tn אֶזְרָח (’ezrakh) refers to the native-born individual, the native Israelite as opposed to the “stranger, alien” (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 104); see also W. F. Albright, Archaeology and the Religion of Israel, 127, 210.

213 tn Heb “one law will be to.”

214 tn Heb “did as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.” The final phrase “so they did,” which is somewhat redundant in English, has been represented in the translation by the adverb “exactly.”

215 sn This next section seems a little confusing at first glance: vv. 1 and 2 call for the dedication of the firstborn, then vv. 3-10 instruct concerning the ritual of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and then vv. 11-16 return to the firstborn. B. Jacob (Exodus, 360) explains that vv. 3-16 contain a sermon, in which Moses “began his speech by reminding the people of the events which had just occurred and how they would be recalled by them in the future,” and then he explained the rulings that went along with it. So the first two verses state the core of the sermon, a new command calling for the redeemed (firstborn) to be sanctified. The second portion stresses that God requires the redeemed to remember their redemption by purifying themselves (3-10). The third section (11-16) develops the theme of dedication to Yahweh. The point is that in view of God’s mighty redemption, the redeemed (represented by the firstborn) must be set apart for Yahweh’s service.

216 tn Heb “and Yahweh spoke.”

217 tn The verb “sanctify” is the Piel imperative of קָדַשׁ (qadash). In the Qal stem it means “be holy, be set apart, be distinct,” and in this stem “sanctify, set apart.”

sn Here is the central principle of the chapter – the firstborn were sacred to God and must be “set apart” (the meaning of the verb “sanctify”) for his use.

218 tn The word פֶּטֶּר (petter) means “that which opens”; this construction literally says, “that which opens every womb,” which means “the first offspring of every womb.” Verses 12 and 15 further indicate male offspring.

219 tn Heb “to me it.” The preposition here expresses possession; the construction is simply “it [is, belongs] to me.”

220 tn The form is the infinitive absolute of זָכַר (zakhar, “remember”). The use of this form in place of the imperative (also found in the Decalogue with the Sabbath instruction) stresses the basic meaning of the root word, everything involved with remembering (emphatic imperative, according to GKC 346 §113.bb). The verb usually implies that there will be proper action based on what was remembered.

sn There is a pattern in the arrangement of vv. 3-10 and 11-16. Both sections contain commands based on the mighty deliverance as reminders of the deliverance. “With a mighty hand” occurs in vv. 3, 9, 14, 16. An explanation to the son is found in vv. 8 and 14. The emphases “sign on your hand” and “between your eyes” are part of the conclusions to both halves (vv. 9, 16).

221 tn Heb “from a house of slaves.” “House” is obviously not meant to be literal; it indicates a location characterized by slavery, a land of slaves, as if they were in a slave house. Egypt is also called an “iron-smelting furnace” (Deut 4:20).

222 tn Heb “from this” [place].

223 tn The verb is a Niphal imperfect; it could be rendered “must not be eaten” in the nuance of the instruction or injunction category, but permission fits this sermonic presentation very well – nothing with yeast may be eaten.

224 tn The word הַיּוֹם (hayyom) means literally “the day, today, this day.” In this sentence it functions as an adverbial accusative explaining when the event took place.

225 sn Abib appears to be an old name for the month, meaning something like “[month of] fresh young ears” (Lev 2:14 [Heb]) (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 106). B. Jacob (Exodus, 364) explains that these names were not precise designations, but general seasons based on the lunar year in the agricultural setting.

226 tn The form is the active participle, functioning verbally.

227 tn Heb “and it will be when.”

228 tn See notes on Exod 3:8.

229 tn The verb is וְעָבַדְתָּ (vÿavadta), the Qal perfect with a vav (ו) consecutive. It is the equivalent of the imperfect tense of instruction or injunction; it forms the main point after the temporal clause – “when Yahweh brings you out…then you will serve.”

230 tn The object is a cognate accusative for emphasis on the meaning of the service – “you will serve this service.” W. C. Kaiser notes how this noun was translated “slavery” and “work” in the book, but “service” or “ceremony” for Yahweh. Israel was saved from slavery to Egypt into service for God as remembered by this ceremony (“Exodus,” EBC 2:383).

231 tn Heb “Seven days.”

232 tn The imperfect tense functions with the nuance of instruction or injunction. It could also be given an obligatory nuance: “you must eat” or “you are to eat.” Some versions have simply made it an imperative.

233 tn The phrase “there is to be” has been supplied.

234 tn The imperfect has the nuance of instruction or injunction again, but it could also be given an obligatory nuance.

235 tn The construction is an adverbial accusative of time, answering how long the routine should be followed (see GKC 374 §118.k).

236 tn Or “visible to you” (B. Jacob, Exodus, 366).

237 tn The form is the Hiphil perfect with the vav (ו) consecutive, carrying the sequence forward: “and you will declare to your son.”

sn A very important part of the teaching here is the manner in which the memory of the deliverance will be retained in Israel – they were to teach their children the reasons for the feast, as a binding law forever. This will remind the nation of its duties to Yahweh in gratitude for the great deliverance.

238 tn Heb “day, saying.” “Tell…saying” is redundant, so “saying” has not been included in the translation here.

239 tn “it is” has been supplied.

240 tn The text uses זֶה (zeh), which Gesenius classifies as the use of the pronoun to introduce a relative clause after the preposition (GKC 447 §138.h) – but he thinks the form is corrupt. B. S. Childs, however, sees no reason to posit a corruption in this form (Exodus [OTL], 184).

241 sn This passage has, of course, been taken literally by many devout Jews, and portions of the text have been encased in phylacteries and bound on the arm and forehead. B. Jacob (Exodus, 368), weighing the pros and cons of the literal or the figurative meaning, says that those who took it literally should not be looked down on for their symbolic work. In many cases, he continues, it is the spirit that kills and the letter makes alive – because people who argue against a literal usage do so to excuse lack of action. This is a rather interesting twist in the discussion. The point of the teaching was obviously meant to keep the Law of Yahweh in the minds of the people, to remind them of their duties.

242 tn That is, this ceremony.

243 tn Heb “for a sign.”

244 tn Heb “for a memorial.”

245 tn Heb “between your eyes” (KJV and ASV both similar); the same expression occurs in v. 16.

sn That these festivals and consecrations were to be signs and memorials is akin to the expressions used in the book of Proverbs (Prov 3:3, “bind them around your neck…write them on your heart”). The people were to use the festivals as outward and visible tokens to remind them to obey what the Law required.

246 tn The purpose of using this ceremony as a sign and a memorial is that the Law might be in their mouth. The imperfect tense, then, receives the classification of final imperfect in the purpose clause.

247 sn “Mouth” is a metonymy of cause; the point is that they should be ever talking about the Law as their guide as they go about their duties (see Deut 6:7; 11:19; Josh 1:8).

248 tn This causal clause gives the reason for what has just been instructed. Because Yahweh delivered them from bondage, he has the strongest claims on their life.

249 tn The form is a perfect tense with the vav (ו) consecutive, functioning as the equivalent of an imperfect of instruction or injunction.

250 tn Or “every year,” or “year after year.”

251 tn Heb “and it will be when Yahweh brings (will bring) you.”

252 sn The name “the Canaanite” (and so collective for “Canaanites”) is occasionally used to summarize all the list of Canaanitish tribes that lived in the land.

253 tn The verb וּנְתָנָהּ (unÿtanah) is the Qal perfect with the vav (ו) consecutive; this is in sequence to the preceding verb, and forms part of the protasis, the temporal clause. The main clause is the instruction in the next verse.

254 tn The unusual choice of words in this passage reflects the connection with the deliverance of the firstborn in the exodus when the Lord passed over the Israelites (12:12, 23). Here the Law said, “you will cause to pass over (וְהַעֲבַרְתָּ, vÿhaavarta) to Yahweh.” The Hiphil perfect with the vav (ו) provides the main clause after the temporal clauses. Yahweh here claimed the firstborn as his own. The remarkable thing about this is that Yahweh did not keep the firstborn that was dedicated to him, but allowed the child to be redeemed by his father. It was an acknowledgment that the life of the child belonged to God as the one redeemed from death, and that the child represented the family. Thus, the observance referred to the dedication of all the redeemed to God.

sn It was once assumed by some scholars that child sacrifice lay behind this text in the earlier days, but that the priests and prophets removed those themes. Apart from the fact that there is absolutely no evidence for anything like that, the Law forbade child sacrifice, and always used child sacrifice as the sample of what not to do in conformity with the pagans (e.g., Deut 12:31). Besides, how absurd would it be for Yahweh to redeem the firstborn from death and then ask Israel to kill them. See further B. Jacob, Exodus, 371.

255 tn Heb “every opener of a womb,” that is, the firstborn from every womb.

256 tn The descriptive noun שֶׁגֶר (sheger) is related to the verb “drop, cast”; it refers to a newly born animal that is dropped or cast from the womb. The expression then reads, “and all that first open [the womb], the casting of a beast.”

257 tn Heb “that is to you.” The preposition expresses possession.

258 tn The Hebrew text simply has “the males to Yahweh.” It indicates that the Lord must have them, or they belong to the Lord.

259 tn Heb “and every opener [of a womb].”

260 tn The verb תִּפְדֶּה (tifdeh), the instructional imperfect, refers to the idea of redemption by paying a cost. This word is used regularly of redeeming a person, or an animal, from death or servitude (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 109).

261 tn The conditional clause uses an imperfect tense; this is followed by a perfect tense with the vav consecutive providing the obligation or instruction. The owner might not redeem the donkey, but if he did not, he could not keep it, he had to kill it by breaking its neck (so either a lamb for it, or the donkey itself). The donkey could not be killed by shedding blood because that would make it a sacrifice, and that was not possible with this kind of animal. See G. Brin, “The Firstling of Unclean Animals,” JQR 68 (1977): 1-15.

262 tn Heb “and every firstborn of man among your sons.” The addition of “man” is clearly meant to distinguish firstborn humans from animals.

sn One was to sacrifice the firstborn animals to Yahweh, but the children were to be redeemed by their fathers. The redemption price was five shekels (Num 18:15-16).

263 sn As with v. 8, the Law now requires that the children be instructed on the meaning of this observance. It is a memorial of the deliverance from bondage and the killing of the firstborn in Egypt.

264 tn Heb “tomorrow.”

265 tn Heb “and it will be when your son will ask you.”

266 tn The question is cryptic; it simply says, “What is this?” but certainly refers to the custom just mentioned. It asks, “What does this mean?” or “Why do we do this?”

267 tn The expression is “with strength of hand,” making “hand” the genitive of specification. In translation “strength” becomes the modifier, because “hand” specifies where the strength was. But of course the whole expression is anthropomorphic for the power of God.

268 tn Heb “house of slaves.”

269 tn Heb “dealt hardly in letting us go” or “made it hard to let us go” (see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 110). The verb is the simple Hiphil perfect הִקְשָׁה (hiqshah, “he made hard”); the infinitive construct לְשַׁלְּחֵנוּ (lÿshallÿkhenu, “to release us”) could be taken epexegetically, meaning “he made releasing us hard.” But the infinitive more likely gives the purpose or the result after the verb “hardened himself.” The verb is figurative for “be stubborn” or “stubbornly refuse.”

270 tn The text uses “man” and “beast.”

271 tn The form is the active participle.

272 tn The word is טוֹטָפֹת (totafot, “frontlets”). The etymology is uncertain, but the word denotes a sign or an object placed on the forehead (see m. Shabbat 6:1). The Gemara interprets it as a band that goes from ear to ear. In the Targum to 2 Sam 1:10 it is an armlet worn by Saul (see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 110). These bands may have resembled the Egyptian practice of wearing as amulets “forms of words written on folds of papyrus tightly rolled up and sewn in linen” (W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:384).

273 sn The pattern of the passage now emerges more clearly; it concerns the grateful debt of the redeemed. In the first part eating the unleavened bread recalls the night of deliverance in Egypt, and it calls for purity. In the second part the dedication of the firstborn was an acknowledgment of the deliverance of the firstborn from bondage. They were to remember the deliverance and choose purity; they were to remember the deliverance and choose dedication. The NT will also say, “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price, therefore, glorify God” (1 Cor 6:20). Here too the truths of God’s great redemption must be learned well and retained well from generation to generation.

274 sn This short section (vv. 17-22) marks the beginning of the journey of the Israelites toward the sea and Sinai. The emphasis here is on the leading of Yahweh – but this leading is manifested in a unique, supernatural way – unlikely to be repeated with these phenomena. Although a primary application of such a passage would be difficult, the general principle is clear: God, by his clear revelation, leads his people to the fulfillment of the promise. This section has three short parts: the leading to the sea (17-18), the bones of Joseph (19), and the leading by the cloud and pillar (20-22).

275 tn The construction for this temporal clause is the temporal indicator with the vav (ו) consecutive, the Piel infinitive construct with a preposition, and then the subjective genitive “Pharaoh.”

276 sn The verb נָחָה (nakhah, “to lead”) is a fairly common word in the Bible for God’s leading of his people (as in Ps 23:3 for leading in the paths of righteousness). This passage illustrates what others affirm, that God leads his people in a way that is for their own good. There were shorter routes to take, but the people were not ready for them.

277 tn The word “way” is an adverbial accusative, providing the location for the verb “lead”; it is in construct so that “land of the Philistines” is a genitive of either indirect object (“to the land”) or location (“in” or “through” the land).

278 sn The term Philistines has been viewed by modern scholarship as an anachronism, since the Philistines were not believed to have settled in the region until the reign of Rameses III (in which case the term would not fit either the early or the late view of the exodus). But the OT clearly refers to Philistines in the days of the patriarchs. The people there in the earlier period may have been Semites, judging from their names, or they may have been migrants from Crete in the early time. The Philistines after the exodus were of Greek origin. The danger of warfare at this time was clearly with Canaanitish tribes. For further details, see K. A. Kitchen, “The Philistines,” Peoples of Old Testament Times, 53-54; J. M. Grintz, “The Immigration of the First Philistines in the Inscriptions,” Tarbiz 17 (1945): 32-42, and Tarbiz 19 (1947): 64; and E. Hindson, The Philistines and the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1970), 39-59.

279 tn The particle כִּי (ki) introduces a concessive clause here (see R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 73, §448).

280 tn Or “thought.”

281 tn Before a clause this conjunction פֶּן (pen) expresses fear or precaution (R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 75-76, §461). It may be translated “lest, else,” or “what if.”

282 tn יִנָּחֵם (yinnakhem) is the Niphal imperfect of נָחַם (nakham); it would normally be translated “repent” or “relent.” This nontheological usage gives a good illustration of the basic meaning of having a change of mind or having regrets.

283 tn Heb “see.”

284 tn The Hebrew term יַם־סוּף (Yam Suf) cannot be a genitive (“wilderness of the Red Sea”) because it follows a noun that is not in construct; instead, it must be an adverbial accusative, unless it is simply joined by apposition to “the wilderness” – the way to the wilderness [and] to the Red Sea (B. S. Childs, Exodus [OTL], 217).

sn The translation of this name as “Red Sea” comes from the sea’s Greek name in the LXX and elsewhere. The Red Sea on today’s maps is farther south, below the Sinai Peninsula. But the title Red Sea in ancient times may very well have covered both the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba (see Deut 1:1; 1 Kgs 9:26). The name “Sea of Reeds” in various English versions (usually in the form of a marginal note) and commentaries reflects the meaning of the Hebrew word סוּף a word for reedy water plants (Exod 2:3, 5; Isa 19:6; Jonah 2:6 [Eng. v. 5]) that may have a connection with an Egyptian word used for papyrus and other marsh plants. On this basis some have taken the term Yam Suph as perhaps referring to Lake Menzaleh or Lake Ballah, which have abundant reeds, north of the extension of the Red Sea on the western side of Sinai. Whatever exact body of water is meant, it was not merely a marshy swamp that the people waded through, but a body of water large enough to make passage impossible without divine intervention, and deep enough to drown the Egyptian army. Lake Menzaleh has always been deep enough to preclude passage on foot (E. H. Merrill, Kingdom of Priests, 66). Among the many sources dealing with the geography, see B. F. Batto, “The Reed Sea: Requiescat in Pace,” JBL 102 (1983): 27-35; M. Waxman, “I Miss the Red Sea,” Conservative Judaism 18 (1963): 35-44; G. Coats, “The Sea Tradition in the Wilderness Theme: A Review,” JSOT 12 (1979): 2-8; and K. A. Kitchen, On the Reliability of the Old Testament, 261-63.

285 tn The term חֲמֻשִׁים (khamushim) is placed first for emphasis; it forms a circumstantial clause, explaining how they went up. Unfortunately, it is a rare word with uncertain meaning. Most translations have something to do with “in battle array” or “prepared to fight” if need be (cf. Josh 1:14; 4:12). The Targum took it as “armed with weapons.” The LXX had “in the fifth generation.” Some have opted for “in five divisions.”

286 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Joseph) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

287 tn Heb “solemnly swear, saying” (so NASB). The construction uses the Hiphil infinitive absolute with the Hiphil perfect to stress that Joseph had made them take a solemn oath to carry his bones out of Egypt. “Saying” introduces the content of what Joseph said.

288 sn This verb appears also in 3:16 and 4:31. The repetition here is a reminder that God was doing what he had said he would do and what Joseph had expected.

289 tn The form is a Hiphil perfect with the vav (ו) consecutive; it follows in the sequence of the imperfect tense before it, and so is equal to an imperfect of injunction (because of the solemn oath). Israel took Joseph’s bones with them as a sign of piety toward the past and as a symbol of their previous bond with Canaan (B. Jacob, Exodus, 380).

290 sn God chose to guide the people with a pillar of cloud in the day and one of fire at night, or, as a pillar of cloud and fire, since they represented his presence. God had already appeared to Moses in the fire of the bush, and so here again is revelation with fire. Whatever the exact nature of these things, they formed direct, visible revelations from God, who was guiding the people in a clear and unambiguous way. Both clouds and fire would again and again represent the presence of God in his power and majesty, guiding and protecting his people, by judging their enemies.

291 tn The infinitive construct here indicates the result of these manifestations – “so that they went” or “could go.”

292 tn These are adverbial accusatives of time.

293 sn See T. W. Mann, “The Pillar of Cloud in the Reed Sea Narrative,” JBL 90 (1971): 15-30.

294 sn The account recorded in this chapter is one of the best known events in all of Scripture. In the argument of the book it marks the division between the bondage in Egypt and the establishment of the people as a nation. Here is the deliverance from Egypt. The chapter divides simply in two, vv. 1-14 giving the instructions, and vv. 15-31 reporting the victory. See among others, G. Coats, “History and Theology in the Sea Tradition,” ST 29 (1975): 53-62); A. J. Ehlen, “Deliverance at the Sea: Diversity and Unity in a Biblical Theme,” CTM 44 (1973): 168-91; J. B. Scott, “God’s Saving Acts,” The Presbyterian Journal 38 (1979): 12-14; W. Wifall, “The Sea of Reeds as Sheol,” ZAW 92 (1980): 325-32.

295 tn The two imperfects follow the imperative and therefore express purpose. The point in the verses is that Yahweh was giving the orders for the direction of the march and the encampment by the sea.

296 sn The places have been tentatively identified. W. C. Kaiser summarizes the suggestions that Pi-Hahiroth as an Egyptian word may mean “temple of the [Syrian god] Hrt” or “The Hir waters of the canal” or “The Dwelling of Hator” (“Exodus,” EBC 2:387; see the literature on these names, including C. DeWit, The Date and Route of the Exodus, 17).

297 tn Heb “and Pharaoh will say.”

298 sn The word translated “wandering around confused” indicates that Pharaoh thought the Israelites would be so perplexed and confused that they would not know which way to turn in order to escape – and they would never dream of crossing the sea (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 115).

299 tn The expression has also been translated “the desert has shut [the way] for them,” and more freely “[the Israelites are] hemmed in by the desert.”

300 tn In this place the verb חָזַק (hazaq) is used; it indicates that God would make Pharaoh’s will strong or firm.

301 tn The form is וְאִכָּבְדָה (vÿikkavÿda), the Niphal cohortative; coming after the perfect tenses with vav (ו) consecutives expressing the future, this cohortative indicates the purpose of the hardening and chasing. Yahweh intended to gain glory by this final and great victory over the strength of Pharaoh. There is irony in this expression since a different form of the word was used frequently to describe Pharaoh’s hard heart. So judgment will not only destroy the wicked – it will reveal the glory and majesty of the sovereignty of God.

302 tn This is the perfect tense with the vav (ו) consecutive. But it announces the fulfillment of an long standing purpose – that they might know.

303 tn Heb “and they did so.”

304 tn Heb “and it was told.” The present translation uses “reported,” since this involves information given to a superior.

305 tn The verb must be given a past perfect translation because the fleeing occurred before the telling.

306 tn Heb “and they said.” The referent (the king and his servants) is supplied for clarity.

307 tn The question literally is “What is this we have done?” The demonstrative pronoun is used as an enclitic particle for emphasis (R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 24, §118).

308 tn Heb “released Israel.” By metonymy the name of the nation is used collectively for the people who constitute it (the Israelites).

309 tn Heb “bound.”

310 tn Heb “his people.”

311 tn The passive participle of the verb “to choose” means that these were “choice” or superb chariots.

312 tn Heb “every chariot of Egypt.” After the mention of the best chariots, the meaning of this description is “all the other chariots.”

313 tn The word שָׁלִשִׁם (shalishim) means “officers” or some special kind of military personnel. At one time it was taken to mean a “three man chariot,” but the pictures of Egyptian chariots only show two in a chariot. It may mean officers near the king, “men of the third rank” (B. Jacob, Exodus, 394). So the chariots and the crew represented the elite. See the old view by A. E. Cowley that linked it to a Hittite word (“A Hittite Word in Hebrew,” JTS 21 [1920]: 326), and the more recent work by P. C. Craigie connecting it to Egyptian “commander” (“An Egyptian Expression in the Song of the Sea: Exodus XV.4,” VT 20 [1970]: 85).

314 tn Heb “with a high hand”; the expression means “defiantly,” “boldly,” or “with confidence.” The phrase is usually used for arrogant sin and pride, the defiant fist, as it were. The image of the high hand can also mean the hand raised to deliver a blow (Job 38:15). So the narrative here builds tension between these two resolute forces.

315 tn The disjunctive vav introduces a circumstantial clause here.

316 tn Heb “drew near.”

317 tn Heb “lifted up their eyes,” an expression that indicates an intentional and careful looking – they looked up and fixed their sights on the distance.

318 tn The construction uses הִנֵּה (hinneh) with the participle, traditionally rendered “and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them.” The deictic particle calls attention in a dramatic way to what was being seen. It captures the surprise and the sudden realization of the people.

319 tn The verb “feared” is intensified by the adverb מְאֹד (mÿod): “they feared greatly” or “were terrified.” In one look their defiant boldness seems to have evaporated.

320 sn Their cry to the Lord was proper and necessary. But their words to Moses were a rebuke and disloyal, showing a lack of faith and understanding. Their arrogance failed them in the crisis because it was built on the arm of flesh. Moses would have to get used to this murmuring, but here he takes it in stride and gives them the proper instructions. They had cried to the Lord, and now the Lord would deliver.

321 sn B. Jacob (Exodus, 396-97) notes how the speech is overly dramatic and came from a people given to using such exaggerations (Num 16:14), even using a double negative. The challenge to Moses brings a double irony. To die in the desert would be without proper burial, but in Egypt there were graves – it was a land of tombs and graves! Gesenius notes that two negatives in the sentence do not nullify each other but make the sentence all the more emphatic: “Is it because there were no graves…?” (GKC 483 §152.y).

322 tn The demonstrative pronoun has the enclitic use again, giving a special emphasis to the question (R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 24, §118).

323 tn The Hebrew term לְהוֹצִּיאָנוּ (lÿhotsianu) is the Hiphil infinitive construct with a suffix, “to bring us out.” It is used epexegetically here, explaining the previous question.

324 tn Heb “Is not this the word that we spoke to you.”

325 sn U. Cassuto (Exodus, 164) explains this statement by the people as follows: “The question appears surprising at first, for we have not read previously that such words were spoken to Moses. Nor is the purport of the protest of the Israelite foremen (v 21 [5:21]) identical with that of the words uttered now. However, from a psychological standpoint the matter can be easily explained. In the hour of peril the children of Israel remember that remonstrance, and now it seems to them that it was of a sharper character and flowed from their foresight, and that the present situation justifies it, for death awaits them at this moment in the desert.” This declaration that “we told you so,” born of fright, need not have been strictly accurate or logical.

326 tn Heb “better for us to serve.”

327 tn Since Hebrew does not use quotation marks to indicate the boundaries of quotations, there is uncertainty about whether the Israelites’ statement in Egypt includes the end of v. 12 or consists solely of “leave us alone so that we can serve the Egyptians.” In either case, the command to Moses to leave them alone rested on the assumption, spoken or unspoken, that serving Egypt would be less risky than what Moses was proposing. Now with the Egyptian army on the horizon, the Israelites are sure that their worst predictions are about to take place.

328 tn The use of אַל (’al) with the jussive has the force of “stop fearing.” It is a more immediate negative command than לֹא (lo’) with the imperfect (as in the Decalogue).

329 tn The force of this verb in the Hitpael is “to station oneself” or “stand firm” without fleeing.

330 tn The form is an imperative with a vav (ו). It could also be rendered “stand firm and you will see” meaning the result, or “stand firm that you may see” meaning the purpose.

331 tn Or “victory” (NAB) or “deliverance” (NIV, NRSV).

332 tn Heb “do,” i.e., perform or accomplish.

333 tn The construction uses a verbal hendiadys consisting of a Hiphil imperfect (“you will not add”) and a Qal infinitive construct with a suffix (“to see them”) – “you will no longer see them.” Then the clause adds “again, for ever.”

sn U. Cassuto (Exodus, 164) notes that the antithetical parallelism between seeing salvation and seeing the Egyptians, as well as the threefold repetition of the word “see” cannot be accidental; so too the alliteration of the last three words beginning with ayin (ע).

334 tn The word order places emphasis on “the Lord” (Heb “Yahweh”).

335 tn The imperfect tense needs to be interpreted in contrast to all that Yahweh will be doing. It may be given a potential imperfect nuance (as here), or it may be obligatory to follow the command to stand firm: “you must be still.”

336 tn The text literally says, “speak to the Israelites that they may journey.” The intent of the line, using the imperative with the subordinate jussive or imperfect expressing purpose is that the speaking is the command to move.

337 tn The conjunction plus pronoun (“and you”) is emphatic – “and as for you” – before the imperative “lift up.” In contrast, v. 17 begins with “and as for me, I….”

338 tn The imperfect (or jussive) with the vav (ו) is sequential, coming after the series of imperatives instructing Moses to divide the sea; the form then gives the purpose (or result) of the activity – “that they may go.”

339 tn הִנְנִי (hinni) before the participle gives it the force of a futur instans participle, meaning “I am about to harden” or “I am going to harden” their heart.

340 tn The form again is the imperfect tense with vav (ו) to express the purpose or the result of the hardening. The repetition of the verb translated “come” is interesting: Moses is to divide the sea in order that the people may cross, but God will harden the Egyptians’ hearts in order that they may follow.

341 tn For the comments on this verb see the discussion in v. 4. God would get glory by defeating Egypt.

342 tn Or “I will get glory over.”

343 tn The construction is unusual in that it says, “And Egypt will know.” The verb is plural, and so “Egypt” must mean “the Egyptians.” The verb is the perfect tense with the vav consecutive, showing that this recognition or acknowledgment by Egypt will be the result or purpose of the defeat of them by God.

344 tn The form is בְּהִכָּבְדִי (bÿhikkavÿdi), the Niphal infinitive construct with a preposition and a suffix. For the suffix on a Niphal, see GKC 162-63 §61.c. The word forms a temporal clause in the line.

345 sn B. Jacob (Exodus, 400-401) makes a good case that there may have been only one pillar, one cloud; it would have been a dark cloud behind it, but in front of it, shining the way, a pillar of fire. He compares the manifestation on Sinai, when the mountain was on fire but veiled by a dark cloud (Deut 4:11; 5:22). See also Exod 13:21; Num 14:14; Deut 1:33; Neh 9:12, 19; Josh 24:7; Pss 78:14; 105:39.

346 tn The two nouns “cloud” and “darkness” form a nominal hendiadys: “and it was the cloud and the darkness” means “and it was the dark cloud.” Perhaps this is what the Egyptians saw, preventing them from observing Moses and the Israelites.

347 tn Heb “this to this”; for the use of the pronouns in this reciprocal sense of “the one to the other,” see GKC 448 §139.e, n. 3.

348 tc The LXX reads very differently at the end of this verse: “and there was darkness and blackness and the night passed.” B. S. Childs (Exodus [OTL], 218) summarizes three proposals: (1) One takes the MT as it stands and explains it along the lines of the Targum and Jewish exegesis, that there was one cloud that was dark to one group and light to the other. (2) Another tries to reconstruct a verb from the noun “darkness” or make some use of the Greek verb. (3) A third seeks a different meaning for the verb “lit,” “gave light” by comparative philology, but no consensus has been reached. Given that there is no easy solution apart from reconstructing the text, and given that the MT can be interpreted as it is, the present translation follows the MT.

349 tn Or “drove the sea back” (NIV, NCV, NRSV, TEV). The verb is simply the Hiphil of הָלַךְ (halakh, “to walk, go”). The context requires that it be interpreted along the lines of “go back, go apart.”

350 tn The clause literally reads, “and the waters [were] for them a wall.” The word order in Hebrew is disjunctive, with the vav (ו) on the noun introducing a circumstantial clause.

sn S. R. Driver (Exodus, 119), still trying to explain things with natural explanations, suggests that a northeast wind is to be thought of (an east wind would be directly in their face he says), such as a shallow ford might cooperate with an ebb tide in keeping a passage clear. He then quotes Dillmann about the “wall” of water: “A very summary poetical and hyperbolical (xv. 8) description of the occurrence, which at most can be pictured as the drying up of a shallow ford, on both sides of which the basin of the sea was much deeper, and remained filled with water.” There is no way to “water down” the text to fit natural explanations; the report clearly shows a miraculous work of God making a path through the sea – a path that had to be as wide as half a mile in order for the many people and their animals to cross between about 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. (W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:389). The text does not say that they actually only started across in the morning watch, however.

351 tn The night was divided into three watches of about four hours each, making the morning watch about 2:00-6:00 a.m. The text has this as “the watch of the morning,” the genitive qualifying which of the night watches was meant.

352 tn This particular verb, שָׁקַף (shaqaf) is a bold anthropomorphism: Yahweh looked down. But its usage is always with some demonstration of mercy or wrath. S. R. Driver (Exodus, 120) suggests that the look might be with fiery flashes to startle the Egyptians, throwing them into a panic. Ps 77:17-19 pictures torrents of rain with lightning and thunder.

353 tn Heb “camp.” The same Hebrew word is used in Exod 14:20. Unlike the English word “camp,” it can be used of a body of people at rest (encamped) or on the move.

354 tn Heb “camp.”

355 tn The verb הָמַם (hamam) means “throw into confusion.” It is used in the Bible for the panic and disarray of an army before a superior force (Josh 10:10; Judg 4:15).

356 tn The word in the text is וַיָּסַר (vayyasar), which would be translated “and he turned aside” with the sense perhaps of removing the wheels. The reading in the LXX, Smr, and Syriac suggests a root אָסַר (’asar, “to bind”). The sense here might be “clogged – presumably by their sinking in the wet sand” (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 120).

357 tn The clause is וַיְנַהֲגֵהוּ בִּכְבֵדֻת (vaynahagehu bikhvedut). The verb means “to drive a chariot”; here in the Piel it means “cause to drive.” The suffix is collective, and so the verbal form can be translated “and caused them to drive.” The idea of the next word is “heaviness” or “hardship”; it recalls the previous uses of related words to describe Pharaoh’s heart. Here it indicates that the driving of the crippled chariots was with difficulty.

358 tn The cohortative has the hortatory use here, “Let’s flee.” Although the form is singular, the sense of it is plural and so hortatory can be used. The form is singular to agree with the singular subject, “Egypt,” which obviously means the Egyptian army. The word for “flee” is used when someone runs from fear of immanent danger and is a different word than the one used in 14:5.

359 tn The form is the Niphal participle; it is used as the predicate here, that is, the verbal use: “the Lord is fighting.” This corresponds to the announcement in v. 14.

360 tn The verb, “and they will return,” is here subordinated to the imperative preceding it, showing the purpose of that act.

361 tn The Hebrew term לְאֵיתָנוֹ (lÿetano) means “to its place,” or better, “to its perennial state.” The point is that the sea here had a normal level, and now when the Egyptians were in the sea on the dry ground the water would return to that level.

362 tn Heb “at the turning of the morning”; NASB, NIV, TEV, CEV “at daybreak.”

363 tn The clause begins with the disjunctive vav (ו) on the noun, signaling either a circumstantial clause or a new beginning. It could be rendered, “Although the Egyptians…Yahweh…” or “as the Egyptians….”

364 tn The verb means “shake out” or “shaking off.” It has the significance of “throw downward.” See Neh 5:13 or Job 38:13.

365 tn Heb “that was coming after them into the sea.” The referent of “them” (the Israelites) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

366 tn Heb “not was left among them as much as one.”

367 tn The Hebrew term וַיּוֹשַׁע (vayyosha’) is the key summation of the chapter, and this part of the book: “So Yahweh saved Israel.” This is the culmination of all the powerful works of God through these chapters.

368 tn Heb “the hand,” with “hand” being a metonymy for power.

369 tn The participle “dead” is singular, agreeing in form with “Egypt.”

370 tn The preterite with the vav (ו) consecutive introduces a clause that is subordinate to the main points that the verse is making.

371 tn Heb “the great hand,” with “hand” being a metonymy for work or power. The word play using “hand” contrasts the Lord’s hand/power at work on behalf of the Israelites with the hand/power of Egypt that would have killed them.

372 tn Heb “did, made.”

373 tn Heb “and the people feared.”

374 tn The verb is the Hiphil preterite of אָמַן (’aman).

sn S. R. Driver says that the belief intended here is not simply a crediting of a testimony concerning a person or a thing, but a laying firm hold morally on a person or a thing (Exodus, 122). Others take the Hiphil sense to be declarative, and that would indicate a considering of the object of faith trustworthy or dependable, and therefore to be acted on. In this passage it does not mean that here they came to faith, but that they became convinced that he would save them in the future.

375 sn Here the title of “servant” is given to Moses. This is the highest title a mortal can have in the OT – the “servant of Yahweh.” It signifies more than a believer; it describes the individual as acting on behalf of God. For example, when Moses stretched out his hand, God used it as his own (Isa 63:12). Moses was God’s personal representative. The chapter records both a message of salvation and of judgment. Like the earlier account of deliverance at the Passover, this chapter can be a lesson on deliverance from present troubles – if God could do this for Israel, there is no trouble too great for him to overcome. The passage can also be understood as a picture (at least) of the deliverance at the final judgment on the world. But the Israelites used this account for a paradigm of the power of God: namely, God is able to deliver his people from danger because he is the sovereign Lord of creation. His people must learn to trust him, even in desperate situations; they must fear him and not the situation. God can bring any threat to an end by bringing his power to bear in judgment on the wicked.

376 sn This chapter is a song of praise sung by Moses and the people right after the deliverance from the Sea. The song itself is vv. 1b-18; it falls into three sections – praise to God (1b-3), the cause for the praise (4-13), and the conclusion (14-18). The point of the first section is that God’s saving acts inspire praise from his people; the second is that God’s powerful acts deliver his people from the forces of evil; and the third section is that God’s demonstrations of his sovereignty inspire confidence in him by his people. So the Victory Song is very much like the other declarative praise psalms – the resolve to praise, the power of God, the victory over the enemies, the incomparability of God in his redemption, and the fear of the people. See also C. Cohen, “Studies in Early Israelite Poetry I: An Unrecognized Case of Three Line Staircase Parallelism in the Song of the Sea,” JANESCU 7 (1975): 13-17; D. N. Freedman, “Strophe and Meter in Exodus 15,” A Light unto My Path, 163-203; E. Levine, “Neofiti I: A Study of Exodus 15,” Bib 54 (1973): 301-30; T. C. Butler, “‘The Song of the Sea’: Exodus 15:1-18: A Study in the Exegesis of Hebrew Poetry,” DissAb 32 (1971): 2782-A.

377 tn The verb is יָשִׁיר (yashir), a normal imperfect tense form. But after the adverb “then” this form is to be treated as a preterite (see GKC 314-15 §107.c).

378 tn Heb “and they said, saying.” This has been simplified in the translation for stylistic reasons.

379 tn The form is the singular cohortative, expressing the resolution of Moses to sing the song of praise (“I will” being stronger than “I shall”).

380 tn This causal clause gives the reason for and summary of the praise. The Hebrew expression has כִּי־גָּאֹה גָּאָה (ki gaoh gaah). The basic idea of the verb is “rise up loftily” or “proudly.” But derivatives of the root carry the nuance of majesty or pride (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 132). So the idea of the perfect tense with its infinitive absolute may mean “he is highly exalted” or “he has done majestically” or “he is gloriously glorious.”

381 sn The common understanding is that Egypt did not have people riding horses at this time, and so the phrase the horse and its rider is either viewed as an anachronism or is interpreted to mean charioteers. The word “to ride” can mean on a horse or in a chariot. Some have suggested changing “rider” to “chariot” (re-vocalization) to read “the horse and its chariot.”

382 tn Heb “Yah.” Moses’ poem here uses a short form of the name Yahweh, traditionally rendered in English by “the LORD.”

383 tn The word וְזִמְרָת (vÿzimrat) is problematic. It probably had a suffix yod (י) that was accidentally dropped because of the yod (י) on the divine name following. Most scholars posit another meaning for the word. A meaning of “power” fits the line fairly well, forming a hendiadys with strength – “strength and power” becoming “strong power.” Similar lines are in Isa 12:2 and Ps 118:14. Others suggest “protection” or “glory.” However, there is nothing substantially wrong with “my song” in the line – only that it would be a nicer match if it had something to do with strength.

384 tn The word נָוָה (navah) occurs only here. It may mean “beautify, adorn” with praises (see BDB 627 s.v.). See also M. Dahood, “Exodus 15:2: ‘anwehu and Ugaritic snwt,” Bib 59 (1979): 260-61; and M. Klein, “The Targumic Tosefta to Exodus 15:2,” JJS 26 (1975): 61-67; and S. B. Parker, “Exodus 15:2 Again,” VT 21 (1971): 373-79.

385 tn Heb “man of war” (so KJV, ASV). “Warrior” is now the preferred translation since “man of war” is more commonly known today as a warship. The expression indicates that Yahweh is one who understands how to fight and defeat the enemy. The word “war” modifies “man” to reveal that Yahweh is a warrior. Other passages use similar descriptions: Isa 42:13 has “man of wars”; Ps 24:8 has “mighty man of battle.” See F. Cross, “The Divine Warrior in Israel’s Early Cult,” Biblical Motifs, 11-30.

386 tn Heb “Yahweh is his name.” As throughout, the name “Yahweh” is rendered as “the Lord” in the translation, as is typically done in English translations.

387 tn Gesenius notes that the sign of the accusative, often omitted in poetry, is not found in this entire song (GKC 363 §117.b).

388 tn The word is a substantive, “choice, selection”; it is here used in the construct state to convey an attribute before a partitive genitive – “the choice of his officers” means his “choice officers” (see GKC 417 §128.r).

389 tn The form is a Qal passive rather than a Pual, for there is not Piel form or meaning.

390 tn The verb form is יְכַסְיֻמוּ (yÿkhasyumu) is the Piel preterite. Normally a vav (ו) consecutive is used with the preterite, but in some ancient poems the form without the vav appears, as is the case frequently in this poem. That such an archaic form is used should come as no surprise, because the word also uses the yod (י) of the root (GKC 214 §75.dd), and the archaic suffix form (GKC 258 §91.l). These all indicate the antiquity of the poem.

391 tn The parasynonyms here are תְּהֹמֹת (tÿhomot, “deep, ocean depths, deep waters”) and מְצוֹלֹת (mÿtsolot, “the depths”); S. R. Driver says properly the “gurgling places” (Exodus, 134).

392 tn The form נֶאְדָּרִי (nedari) may be an archaic infinitive with the old ending i, used in place of the verb and meaning “awesome.” Gesenius says that the vowel ending may be an old case ending, especially when a preposition is inserted between the word and its genitive (GKC 253 §90.l), but he suggests a reconstruction of the form.

393 sn This expression is cognate with words in v. 1. Here that same greatness or majesty is extolled as in abundance.

394 tn Here, and throughout the song, these verbs are the prefixed conjugation that may look like the imperfect but are actually historic preterites. This verb is to “overthrow” or “throw down” – like a wall, leaving it in shattered pieces.

395 tn The form קָמֶיךָ (qamekha) is the active participle with a pronominal suffix. The participle is accusative, the object of the verb, but the suffix is the genitive of nearer definition (see GKC 358 §116.i).

396 sn The verb is the Piel of שָׁלַח (shalakh), the same verb used throughout for the demand on Pharaoh to release Israel. Here, in some irony, God released his wrath on them.

397 sn The word wrath is a metonymy of cause; the effect – the judgment – is what is meant.

398 tn The verb is the prefixed conjugation, the preterite, without the consecutive vav (ו).

399 sn The phrase “the blast of your nostrils” is a bold anthropomorphic expression for the wind that came in and dried up the water.

400 tn The word “heap” describes the walls of water. The waters, which are naturally fluid, stood up as though they were a heap, a mound of earth. Likewise, the flowing waters deep in the ocean solidified – as though they were turned to ice (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 175).

401 sn W. C. Kaiser observes the staccato phrases that almost imitate the heavy, breathless heaving of the Egyptians as, with what reserve of strength they have left, they vow, “I will…, I will…, I will…” (“Exodus,” EBC 2:395).

402 tn The form is נַפְשִׁי (nafshi, “my soul”). But this word refers to the whole person, the body and the soul, or better, a bundle of appetites in a body. It therefore can figuratively refer to the desires or appetites (Deut 12:15; 14:26; 23:24). Here, with the verb “to be full” means “to be satisfied”; the whole expression might indicate “I will be sated with them” or “I will gorge myself.” The greedy appetite was to destroy.

403 tn The verb רִיק (riq) means “to be empty” in the Qal, and in the Hiphil “to empty.” Here the idea is to unsheathe a sword.

404 tn The verb is יָרַשׁ (yarash), which in the Hiphil means “to dispossess” or “root out.” The meaning “destroy” is a general interpretation.

405 tn “But” has been supplied here.

406 tn Here “and” has been supplied.

407 tn The verb may have the idea of sinking with a gurgling sound, like water going into a whirlpool (R. A. Cole, Exodus [TOTC], 124; S. R. Driver, Exodus, 136). See F. M. Cross and D. N. Freedman, “The Song of Miriam,” JNES 14 (1955): 243-47.

408 tn The question is of course rhetorical; it is a way of affirming that no one is comparable to God. See C. J. Labuschagne, The Incomparability of Yahweh in the Old Testament, 22, 66-67, and 94-97.

409 sn Verses 11-17 will now focus on Yahweh as the incomparable one who was able to save Israel from their foes and afterward lead them to the promised land.

410 tn S. R. Driver suggests “praiseworthy acts” as the translation (Exodus, 137).

411 tn The verb is the prefixed conjugation, the preterite without the vav consecutive. The subject, the “earth,” must be inclusive of the sea, or it may indicate the grave or Sheol; the sea drowned them. Some scholars wish to see this as a reference to Dathan and Abiram, and therefore evidence of a later addition or compilation. It fits this passage well, however.

412 tn The verbs in the next two verses are perfect tenses, but can be interpreted as a prophetic perfect, looking to the future.

413 tn The particle זוּ (zu) is a relative pronoun, subordinating the next verb to the preceding.

414 tn This verb seems to mean “to guide to a watering-place” (See Ps 23:2).

415 tn This verb is a prophetic perfect, assuming that the text means what it said and this song was sung at the Sea. So all these countries were yet to hear of the victory.

416 tn The word properly refers to “pangs” of childbirth. When the nations hear, they will be terrified.

417 tn The verb is again a prophetic perfect.

418 tn This is a prophetic perfect.

419 tn This verb is imperfect tense.

420 tn The two words can form a nominal hendiadys, “a dreadful fear,” though most English versions retain the two separate terms.

421 tn The form is an imperfect.

422 tn The adjective is in construct form and governs the noun “arm” (“arm” being the anthropomorphic expression for what God did). See GKC 428 §132.c.

423 sn For a study of the words for fear, see N. Waldman, “A Comparative Note on Exodus 15:14-16,” JQR 66 (1976): 189-92.

424 tn Clauses beginning with עַד (’ad) express a limit that is not absolute, but only relative, beyond which the action continues (GKC 446-47 §138.g).

425 tn The verb קָנָה (qanah) here is the verb “acquire, purchase,” and probably not the homonym “to create, make” (see Gen 4:1; Deut 32:6; and Prov 8:22).

426 tn The verb is imperfect.

427 sn The “mountain” and the “place” would be wherever Yahweh met with his people. It here refers to Canaan, the land promised to the patriarchs.

428 tn The verb is perfect tense, referring to Yahweh’s previous choice of the holy place.

429 sn See J. N. Easton, “Dancing in the Old Testament,” ExpTim 86 (1975): 136-40.

430 tn The verb עָנָה (’ana) normally means “to answer,” but it can be used more technically to describe antiphonal singing in Hebrew and in Ugaritic.

431 sn This song of the sea is, then, a great song of praise for Yahweh’s deliverance of Israel at the Sea, and his preparation to lead them to the promised land, much to the (anticipated) dread of the nations. The principle here, and elsewhere in Scripture, is that the people of God naturally respond to God in praise for his great acts of deliverance. Few will match the powerful acts that were exhibited in Egypt, but these nonetheless set the tone. The song is certainly typological of the song of the saints in heaven who praise God for delivering them from the bondage of this world by judging the world. The focus of the praise, though, still is on the person (attributes) and works of God.

432 sn The first event of the Israelites’ desert experience is a failure, for they murmur against Yahweh and are given a stern warning – and the provision of sweet water. The event teaches that God is able to turn bitter water into sweet water for his people, and he promises to do such things if they obey. He can provide for them in the desert – he did not bring them into the desert to let them die. But there is a deeper level to this story – the healing of the water is incidental to the healing of the people, their lack of trust. The passage is arranged in a neat chiasm, starting with a journey (A), ending with the culmination of the journey (A'); developing to bitter water (B), resolving to sweet water (B'); complaints by the people (C), leading to to the instructions for the people (C'); and the central turning point is the wonder miracle (D).

433 tn The verb form is unusual; the normal expression is with the Qal, which expresses that they journeyed. But here the Hiphil is used to underscore that Moses caused them to journey – and he is following God. So the point is that God was leading Israel to the bitter water.

434 sn The mention that they travelled for three days into the desert is deliberately intended to recall Moses’ demand that they go three days into the wilderness to worship. Here, three days in, they find bitter water and complain – not worship.

435 sn The Hebrew word “Marah” means “bitter.” This motif will be repeated four times in this passage to mark the central problem. Earlier in the book the word had been used for the “bitter herbs” in the Passover, recalling the bitter labor in bondage. So there may be a double reference here – to the bitter waters and to Egypt itself – God can deliver from either.

436 tn The infinitive construct here provides the direct object for the verb “to be able,” answering the question of what they were not able to do.

437 tn The causal clause here provides the reason for their being unable to drink the water, as well as a clear motivation for the name.

438 sn Many scholars have attempted to explain these things with natural phenomena. Here Marah is identified with Ain Hawarah. It is said that the waters of this well are notoriously salty and brackish; Robinson said it was six to eight feet in diameter and the water about two feet deep; the water is unpleasant, salty, and somewhat bitter. As a result the Arabs say it is the worst tasting water in the area (W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:398). But that would not be a sufficient amount of water for the number of Israelites in the first place, and in the second, they could not drink it at all. But third, how did Moses change it?

439 tn The עַל־כֵּן (’al-ken) formula in the Pentateuch serves to explain to the reader the reason for the way things were. It does not necessarily mean here that Israel named the place – but they certainly could have.

440 tn Heb “one called its name,” the expression can be translated as a passive verb if the subject is not expressed.

441 tn The verb וַיִּלֹנוּ (vayyillonu) from לוּן (lun) is a much stronger word than “to grumble” or “to complain.” It is used almost exclusively in the wilderness wandering stories, to describe the rebellion of the Israelites against God (see also Ps 59:14-15). They were not merely complaining – they were questioning God’s abilities and motives. The action is something like a parliamentary vote of no confidence.

442 tn The imperfect tense here should be given a potential nuance: “What can we drink?” since the previous verse reports that they were not able to drink the water.

sn It is likely that Moses used words very much like this when he prayed. The difference seems to lie in the prepositions – he cried “to” Yahweh, but the people murmured “against” Moses.

443 tn The verb is וַיּוֹרֵהוּ (vayyorehu, “and he showed him”). It is the Hiphil preterite from יָרָה (yarah), which has a basic meaning of “to point, show, direct.” It then came to mean “to teach”; it is the verb behind the noun “Law” (תּוֹרָה, torah).

sn U. Cassuto notes that here is the clue to the direction of the narrative: Israel needed God’s instruction, the Law, if they were going to enjoy his provisions (Exodus, 184).

444 tn Or “a [piece of] wood” (cf. NAB, NIV, NRSV, TEV, CEV); NLT “a branch.”

sn S. R. Driver (Exodus, 143) follows some local legends in identifying this tree as one that is supposed to have – even to this day – the properties necessary for making bitter water sweet. B. Jacob (Exodus, 436) reports that no such tree has ever been found, but then he adds that this does not mean there was not such a bush in the earlier days. He believes that here God used a natural means (“showed, instructed”) to sweeten the water. He quotes Ben Sira as saying God had created these things with healing properties in them.

445 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Moses) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

446 tn Heb “there he”; the referent (the Lord) is supplied for clarity.

447 tn Heb “for him” (referring to Israel as a whole).

448 tn This translation interprets the two nouns as a hendiadys: “a statute and an ordinance” becomes “a binding ordinance.”

449 tn The verb נִסָּהוּ (nissahu, “and he tested him [them]”) is from the root נָסָה (nasah). The use of this word in the Bible indicates that there is question, doubt, or uncertainty about the object being tested.

sn The whole episode was a test from God. He led them there through Moses and let them go hungry and thirsty. He wanted to see how great their faith was.

450 tn The construction uses the infinitive absolute and the imperfect tense of שָׁמַע (shama’). The meaning of the verb is idiomatic here because it is followed by “to the voice of Yahweh your God.” When this is present, the verb is translated “obey.” The construction is in a causal clause. It reads, “If you will diligently obey.” Gesenius points out that the infinitive absolute in a conditional clause also emphasizes the importance of the condition on which the consequence depends (GKC 342-43 §113.o).

451 tn The word order is reversed in the text: “and the right in his eyes you do,” or, “[if] you do what is right in his eyes.” The conditional idea in the first clause is continued in this clause.

452 tn Heb “give ear.” This verb and the next are both perfect tenses with the vav (ו) consecutive; they continue the sequence of the original conditional clause.

453 tn The substantive כָּל־ (kol, “all of”) in a negative clause can be translated “none of.”

454 sn The reference is no doubt to the plagues that Yahweh has just put on them. These will not come on God’s true people. But the interesting thing about a conditional clause like this is that the opposite is also true – “if you do not obey, then I will bring these diseases.”

455 tn The form is רֹפְאֶךָ (rofÿekha), a participle with a pronominal suffix. The word is the predicate after the pronoun “I”: “I [am] your healer.” The suffix is an objective genitive – the Lord heals them.

sn The name I Yahweh am your healer comes as a bit of a surprise. One might expect, “I am Yahweh who heals your water,” but it was the people he came to heal because their faith was weak. God lets Israel know here that he can control the elements of nature to bring about a spiritual response in Israel (see Deut 8).

456 sn Judging from the way the story is told they were not far from the oasis. But God had other plans for them, to see if they would trust him wholeheartedly and obey. They did not do very well this first time, and they will have to learn how to obey. The lesson is clear: God uses adversity to test his people’s loyalty. The response to adversity must be prayer to God, for he can turn the bitter into the sweet, the bad into the good, and the prospect of death into life.



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