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Exodus 9:15-16

Context
9:15 For by now I could have stretched out 1  my hand and struck you and your people with plague, and you would have been destroyed 2  from the earth. 9:16 But 3  for this purpose I have caused you to stand: 4  to show you 5  my strength, and so that my name may be declared 6  in all the earth.

1 tn The verb is the Qal perfect שָׁלַחְתִּי (shalakhti), but a past tense, or completed action translation does not fit the context at all. Gesenius lists this reference as an example of the use of the perfect to express actions and facts, whose accomplishment is to be represented not as actual but only as possible. He offers this for Exod 9:15: “I had almost put forth” (GKC 313 §106.p). Also possible is “I should have stretched out my hand.” Others read the potential nuance instead, and render it as “I could have…” as in the present translation.

2 tn The verb כָּחַד (kakhad) means “to hide, efface,” and in the Niphal it has the idea of “be effaced, ruined, destroyed.” Here it will carry the nuance of the result of the preceding verbs: “I could have stretched out my hand…and struck you…and (as a result) you would have been destroyed.”

3 tn The first word is a very strong adversative, which, in general, can be translated “but, howbeit”; BDB 19 s.v. אוּלָם suggests for this passage “but in very deed.”

4 tn The form הֶעֱמַדְתִּיךָ (heemadtikha) is the Hiphil perfect of עָמַד (’amad). It would normally mean “I caused you to stand.” But that seems to have one or two different connotations. S. R. Driver (Exodus, 73) says that it means “maintain you alive.” The causative of this verb means “continue,” according to him. The LXX has the same basic sense – “you were preserved.” But Paul bypasses the Greek and writes “he raised you up” to show God’s absolute sovereignty over Pharaoh. Both renderings show God’s sovereign control over Pharaoh.

5 tn The Hiphil infinitive construct הַרְאֹתְךָ (harotÿkha) is the purpose of God’s making Pharaoh come to power in the first place. To make Pharaoh see is to cause him to understand, to experience God’s power.

6 tn Heb “in order to declare my name.” Since there is no expressed subject, this may be given a passive translation.



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