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Exodus 1:16

Context
1:16 1  “When you assist 2  the Hebrew women in childbirth, observe at the delivery: 3  If it is a son, kill him, 4  but if it is a daughter, she may live.” 5 

Exodus 10:9

Context
10:9 Moses said, “We will go with our young and our old, with our sons and our daughters, and with our sheep and our cattle we will go, because we are to hold 6  a pilgrim feast for the Lord.”

1 tn The verse starts with the verb that began the last verse; to read it again seems redundant. Some versions render it “spoke” in v. 15 and “said” in v. 16. In effect, Pharaoh has been delayed from speaking while the midwives are named.

2 tn The form is the Piel infinitive construct serving in an adverbial clause of time. This clause lays the foundation for the next verb, the Qal perfect with a vav consecutive: “when you assist…then you will observe.” The latter carries an instructional nuance (= the imperfect of instruction), “you are to observe.”

3 tn Heb “at the birthstool” (cf. ASV, NASB, NRSV), but since this particular item is not especially well known today, the present translation simply states “at the delivery.” Cf. NIV “delivery stool.”

4 sn The instructions must have been temporary or selective, otherwise the decree from the king would have ended the slave population of Hebrews. It is also possible that the king did not think through this, but simply took steps to limit the population growth. The narrative is not interested in supplying details, only in portraying the king as a wicked fool bent on destroying Israel.

5 tn The last form וָחָיָה (vakhaya) in the verse is unusual; rather than behaving as a III-Hey form, it is written as a geminate but without the daghesh forte in pause (GKC 218 §76.i). In the conditional clause, following the parallel instruction (“kill him”), this form should be rendered “she may live” or “let her live.”

6 tn Heb “we have a pilgrim feast (חַג, khag) to Yahweh.”



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