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Exodus 10:4-6

Context
10:4 But if you refuse to release my people, I am going to bring 1  locusts 2  into your territory 3  tomorrow. 10:5 They will cover 4  the surface 5  of the earth, so that you 6  will be unable to see the ground. They will eat the remainder of what escaped 7  – what is left over 8  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 9  neither 10  your fathers nor your grandfathers have seen since they have been 11  in the land until this day!’” Then Moses 12  turned and went out from Pharaoh.

1 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.”

2 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.

3 tn Heb “within your border.”

4 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.

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

6 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.

7 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.

8 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.”

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

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

11 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).

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



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