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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 1  and with his mouth, 2  and I will teach you both 3  what you must do. 4  4:16 He 5  will speak for you to the people, and it will be as if 6  he 7  were your mouth 8  and as if you were his God. 9 

Exodus 7:1-2

Context

7:1 So the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God 10  to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet. 11  7:2 You are to speak 12  everything I command you, 13  and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh that he must release 14  the Israelites from his land.

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

2 tn Or “and will help him speak.”

3 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.

4 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.”

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

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

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

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

9 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.

10 tn The word “like” is added for clarity, making explicit the implied comparison in the statement “I have made you God to Pharaoh.” The word אֱלֹהִים (’elohim) is used a few times in the Bible for humans (e.g., Pss 45:6; 82:1), and always clearly in the sense of a subordinate to GOD – they are his representatives on earth. The explanation here goes back to 4:16. If Moses is like God in that Aaron is his prophet, then Moses is certainly like God to Pharaoh. Only Moses, then, is able to speak to Pharaoh with such authority, giving him commands.

11 tn The word נְבִיאֶךָ (nÿviekha, “your prophet”) recalls 4:16. Moses was to be like God to Aaron, and Aaron was to speak for him. This indicates that the idea of a “prophet” was of one who spoke for God, an idea with which Moses and Aaron and the readers of Exodus are assumed to be familiar.

12 tn The imperfect tense here should have the nuance of instruction or injunction: “you are to speak.” The subject is singular (Moses) and made emphatic by the presence of the personal pronoun “you.”

13 tn The phrase translated “everything I command you” is a noun clause serving as the direct object of the verb “speak.” The verb in the clause (אֲצַוֶּךָ, ’atsavvekha) is the Piel imperfect. It could be classified as a future: “everything that I will command you.” A nuance of progressive imperfect also fits well: “everything that I am commanding you.”

sn The distinct emphasis is important. Aaron will speak to the people and Pharaoh what Moses tells him, and Moses will speak to Aaron what God commands him. The use of “command” keeps everything in perspective for Moses’ position.

14 tn The form is וְשִׁלַּח (vÿshillakh), a Piel perfect with vav (ו) consecutive. Following the imperfects of injunction or instruction, this verb continues the sequence. It could be taken as equal to an imperfect expressing future (“and he will release”) or subordinate to express purpose (“to release” = “in order that he may release”).



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