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Exodus 5:19

Context
5:19 The Israelite foremen saw 1  that they 2  were in trouble when they were told, 3  “You must not reduce the daily quota of your bricks.”

1 tn The common Hebrew verb translated “saw,” like the common English verb for seeing, is also used to refer to mental perception and understanding, as in the question “See what I mean?” The foremen understood how difficult things would be under this ruling.

2 tn The text has the sign of the accusative with a suffix and then a prepositional phrase: אֹתָם בְּרָע (’otam bÿra’), meaning something like “[they saw] them in trouble” or “themselves in trouble.” Gesenius shows a few examples where the accusative of the reflexive pronoun is represented by the sign of the accusative with a suffix, and these with marked emphasis (GKC 439 §135.k).

3 tn The clause “when they were told” translates לֵאמֹר (lemor), which usually simply means “saying.” The thing that was said was clearly the decree that was given to them.



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