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Exodus 5:20-21

Context

5:20 When they went out from Pharaoh, they encountered Moses and Aaron standing there to meet them, 1  5:21 and they said to them, “May the Lord look on you and judge, 2  because you have made us stink 3  in the opinion of 4  Pharaoh and his servants, 5  so that you have given them an excuse to kill us!” 6 

1 sn Moses and Aaron would not have made the appeal to Pharaoh that these Hebrew foremen did, but they were concerned to see what might happen, and so they waited to meet the foremen when they came out.

2 tn The foremen vented their anger on Moses and Aaron. The two jussives express their desire that the evil these two have caused be dealt with. “May Yahweh look on you and may he judge” could mean only that God should decide if Moses and Aaron are at fault, but given the rest of the comments it is clear the foremen want more. The second jussive could be subordinated to the first – “so that he may judge [you].”

3 tn Heb “you have made our aroma stink.”

4 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”

5 tn Heb “in the eyes of his servants.” This phrase is not repeated in the translation for stylistic reasons.

6 tn Heb “to put a sword in their hand to kill us.” The infinitive construct with the lamed (לָתֶת, latet) signifies the result (“so that”) of making the people stink. Their reputation is now so bad that Pharaoh might gladly put them to death. The next infinitive could also be understood as expressing result: “put a sword in their hand so that they can kill us.”



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