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Exodus 5:5-6

Context
5:5 Pharaoh was thinking, 1  “The people of the land are now many, and you are giving them rest from their labor.”

5:6 That same day Pharaoh commanded 2  the slave masters and foremen 3  who were 4  over the people: 5 

1 tn Heb “And Pharaoh said.” This is not the kind of thing that Pharaoh is likely to have said to Moses, and so it probably is what he thought or reasoned within himself. Other passages (like Exod 2:14; 3:3) show that the verb “said” can do this. (See U. Cassuto, Exodus, 67.)

2 tn Heb “and Pharaoh commanded on that day.”

3 tn The Greek has “scribes” for this word, perhaps thinking of those lesser officials as keeping records of the slaves and the bricks.

4 tn The phrase “who were” is supplied for clarity.

5 sn In vv. 6-14 the second section of the chapter describes the severe measures by the king to increase the labor by decreasing the material. The emphasis in this section must be on the harsh treatment of the people and Pharaoh’s reason for it – he accuses them of idleness because they want to go and worship. The real reason, of course, is that he wants to discredit Moses (v. 9) and keep the people as slaves.



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