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?” 1 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 2 a pilgrim feast for the Lord.”
10:10 He said to them, “The Lord will need to be with you 3 if I release you and your dependents! 4 Watch out! 5 Trouble is right in front of you! 6 10:11 No! 7 Go, you men 8 only, and serve the Lord, for that 9 is what you want.” 10 Then Moses and Aaron 11 were driven 12 out of Pharaoh’s presence.
10:24 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and said, “Go, serve the Lord – only your flocks and herds will be detained. Even your families 13 may go with you.”
10:25 But Moses said, “Will you also 14 provide us 15 with sacrifices and burnt offerings that we may present them 16 to the Lord our God? 10:26 Our livestock must 17 also go with us! Not a hoof is to be left behind! For we must take 18 these animals 19 to serve the Lord our God. Until we arrive there, we do not know what we must use to serve the Lord.” 20
10:27 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was not willing to release them.
1 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.
2 tn Heb “we have a pilgrim feast (חַג, khag) to Yahweh.”
3 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.
4 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.
5 tn Heb “see.”
6 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.
7 tn Heb “not thus.”
8 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.
9 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).
10 tn Heb “you are seeking.”
11 tn Heb “they”; the referent (Moses and Aaron) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
12 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.
13 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.
14 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.
15 tn Heb “give into our hand.”
16 tn The form here is וְעָשִּׂינוּ (vÿ’asinu), 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.
17 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.
18 tn The same modal nuance applies to this verb.
19 tn Heb “from it,” referring collectively to the livestock.
20 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.