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Exodus 13:14-15

Context

13:14 1 In the future, 2  when your son asks you 3  ‘What is this?’ 4  you are to tell him, ‘With a mighty hand 5  the Lord brought us out from Egypt, from the land of slavery. 6  13:15 When Pharaoh stubbornly refused 7  to release us, the Lord killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of people to the firstborn of animals. 8  That is why I am sacrificing 9  to the Lord the first male offspring of every womb, but all my firstborn sons I redeem.’

1 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.

2 tn Heb “tomorrow.”

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

4 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?”

5 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.

6 tn Heb “house of slaves.”

7 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.”

8 tn The text uses “man” and “beast.”

9 tn The form is the active participle.



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