3:4 When the Lord 1 saw that 2 he had turned aside to look, God called to him from within the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” 3 And Moses 4 said, “Here I am.”
4:3 The Lord 5 said, “Throw it to the ground.” So he threw it to the ground, and it became a snake, 6 and Moses ran from it.
1 tn The preterite with the vav (ו) is subordinated as a temporal clause to the main point of the verse, that God called to him. The language is anthropomorphic, as if God’s actions were based on his observing what Moses did.
2 tn The particle כִּי (ki, “that”) introduces the noun clause that functions as the direct object of the verb “saw” (R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 81, §490).
3 sn The repetition of the name in God’s call is emphatic, making the appeal direct and immediate (see also Gen 22:11; 46:2). The use of the personal name shows how specifically God directed the call and that he knew this person. The repetition may have stressed even more that it was indeed he whom the
4 tn Heb “And he said”; the referent (Moses) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
5 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the
6 sn The details of the verse are designed to show that there was a staff that became a snake. The question is used to affirm that there truly was a staff, and then the report of Moses running from it shows it was a genuine snake. Using the serpent as a sign would have had an impact on the religious ideas of Egypt, for the sacred cobra was one of their symbols.