8:8 Then Pharaoh summoned 1 Moses and Aaron and said, “Pray 2 to the Lord that he may take the frogs away 3 from me and my people, and I will release 4 the people that they may sacrifice 5 to the Lord.”
8:15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, 6 he hardened 7 his heart and did not listen to them, just as the Lord had predicted. 8
1 tn The verb קָרָא (qara’) followed by the lamed (ל) preposition has the meaning “to summon.”
2 tn The verb הַעְתִּירוּ (ha’tiru) is the Hiphil imperative of the verb עָתַר (’atar). It means “to pray, supplicate,” or “make supplication” – always addressed to God. It is often translated “entreat” to reflect that it is a more urgent praying.
3 tn This form is the jussive with a sequential vav that provides the purpose of the prayer: pray…that he may turn away the frogs.
sn This is the first time in the conflict that Pharaoh even acknowledged that Yahweh existed. Now he is asking for prayer to remove the frogs and is promising to release Israel. This result of the plague must have been an encouragement to Moses.
4 tn The form is the Piel cohortative וַאֲשַׁלְּחָה (va’ashallÿkhah) with the vav (ו) continuing the sequence from the request and its purpose. The cohortative here stresses the resolve of the king: “and (then) I will release.”
5 tn Here also the imperfect tense with the vav (ו) shows the purpose of the release: “that they may sacrifice.”
6 tn The word רְוָחָה (rÿvakhah) means “respite, relief.” BDB 926 relates it to the verb רָוַח (ravakh, “to be wide, spacious”). There would be relief when there was freedom to move about.
7 tn וְהַכְבֵּד (vÿhakhbed) is a Hiphil infinitive absolute, functioning as a finite verb. The meaning of the word is “to make heavy,” and so stubborn, sluggish, indifferent. It summarizes his attitude and the outcome, that he refused to keep his promises.
8 sn The end of the plague revealed clearly God’s absolute control over Egypt’s life and deities – all at the power of the man who prayed to God. Yahweh had made life unpleasant for the people by sending the plague, but he was also the one who could remove it. The only recourse anyone has in such trouble is to pray to the sovereign Lord God. Everyone should know that there is no one like Yahweh.