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Exodus 4:12

Context
4:12 So now go, and I will be with your mouth 1  and will teach you 2  what you must say.” 3 

Exodus 4:15-16

Context

4:15 “So you are to speak to him and put the words in his mouth. And as for me, I will be with your mouth 4  and with his mouth, 5  and I will teach you both 6  what you must do. 7  4:16 He 8  will speak for you to the people, and it will be as if 9  he 10  were your mouth 11  and as if you were his God. 12 

1 sn The promise of divine presence always indicates intervention (for blessing or cursing). Here it means that God would be working through the organs of speech to help Moses speak. See Deut 18:18; Jer 1:9.

2 sn The verb is וְהוֹרֵיתִיךָ (vÿhoretikha), the Hiphil perfect with a vav (ו) consecutive. The form carries the instructional meaning because it follows the imperative “go.” In fact, there is a sequence at work here: “go…and/that I may teach you.” It is from יָרָה (yara), the same root behind תּוֹרָה (torah, “law”). This always referred to teaching either wisdom or revelation. Here Yahweh promises to teach Moses what to say.

3 tn The form is the imperfect tense. While it could be taken as a future (“what you will say”), an obligatory imperfect captures the significance better (“what you must say” or “what you are to say”). Not even the content of the message will be left up to Moses.

4 tn Or “I will help you speak.” The independent pronoun puts emphasis (“as for me”) on the subject (“I”).

5 tn Or “and will help him speak.”

6 tn The word “both” is supplied to convey that this object (“you”) and the subject of the next verb (“you must do”) are plural in the Hebrew text, referring to Moses and Aaron. In 4:16 “you” returns to being singular in reference to Moses.

7 tn The imperfect tense carries the obligatory nuance here as well. The relative pronoun with this verb forms a noun clause functioning as the direct object of “I will teach.”

8 tn The word “he” represents the Hebrew independent pronoun, which makes the subject emphatic.

9 tn The phrase “as if” is supplied for clarity.

10 tn Heb “and it will be [that] he, he will be to you for a mouth,” or more simply, “he will be your mouth.”

11 tn Heb “he will be to you for a mouth.”

12 tn The phrase “as if” is supplied for clarity. The word “you” represents the Hebrew independent pronoun, which makes the subject emphatic.

sn Moses will be like God to Aaron, giving him the words to say, inspiring him as God would inspire a prophet. The whole process had now been removed one step. Instead of God speaking to Moses and Moses telling the people, Aaron would be the speaker for a while. But God was still going to work through Moses.



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