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Exodus 13:3

Context

13:3 Moses said to the people, “Remember 1  this day on which you came out from Egypt, from the place where you were enslaved, 2  for the Lord brought you out of there 3  with a mighty hand – and no bread made with yeast may be eaten. 4 

Exodus 13:9

Context
13:9 5  It 6  will be a sign 7  for you on your hand and a memorial 8  on your forehead, 9  so that the law of the Lord may be 10  in your mouth, 11  for 12  with a mighty hand the Lord brought you out of Egypt.

Exodus 13:14

Context

13:14 13 In the future, 14  when your son asks you 15  ‘What is this?’ 16  you are to tell him, ‘With a mighty hand 17  the Lord brought us out from Egypt, from the land of slavery. 18 

1 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).

2 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).

3 tn Heb “from this” [place].

4 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.

5 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.

6 tn That is, this ceremony.

7 tn Heb “for a sign.”

8 tn Heb “for a memorial.”

9 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.

10 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.

11 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).

12 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.

13 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.

14 tn Heb “tomorrow.”

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

16 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?”

17 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.

18 tn Heb “house of slaves.”



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