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Exodus 12:35-36

Context
12:35 Now the Israelites had done 1  as Moses told them – they had requested from the Egyptians 2  silver and gold items and clothing. 12:36 The Lord 3  gave the people favor 4  in the sight of the Egyptians, and they gave them whatever they wanted, 5  and so they plundered Egypt. 6 

1 tn The verbs “had done” and then “had asked” were accomplished prior to the present narrative (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 99). The verse begins with disjunctive word order to introduce the reminder of earlier background information.

2 tn Heb “from Egypt.” Here the Hebrew text uses the name of the country to represent the inhabitants (a figure known as metonymy).

3 tn The holy name (“Yahweh,” represented as “the Lord” in the translation) has the vav disjunctive with it. It may have the force: “Now it was Yahweh who gave the people favor….”

4 sn God was destroying the tyrant and his nobles and the land’s economy because of their stubborn refusal. But God established friendly, peaceful relations between his people and the Egyptians. The phrase is used outside Exod only in Gen 39:21, referring to Joseph.

5 tn The verb וַיַּשְׁאִלוּם (vayyashilum) is a Hiphil form that has the root שָׁאַל (shaal), used earlier in Qal with the meaning “requested” (12:35). The verb here is frequently translated “and they lent them,” but lending does not fit the point. What they gave the Israelites were farewell gifts sought by demanding or asking for them. This may exemplify a “permissive” use of the Hiphil stem, in which “the Hiphil designates an action that is agreeable to the object and allowed by the subject” (B. T. Arnold and J. H. Choi, A Guide to Biblical Hebrew Syntax, 52).

6 sn See B. Jacob, “The Gifts of the Egyptians; A Critical Commentary,” Journal of Reformed Judaism 27 (1980): 59-69.



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