7:1 So the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God 1 to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet. 2 7:2 You are to speak 3 everything I command you, 4 and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh that he must release 5 the Israelites from his land. 7:3 But I will harden 6 Pharaoh’s heart, and although I will multiply 7 my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt, 7:4 Pharaoh will not listen to you. 8 I will reach into 9 Egypt and bring out my regiments, 10 my people the Israelites, from the land of Egypt with great acts of judgment. 7:5 Then 11 the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord, when I extend my hand 12 over Egypt and bring the Israelites out from among them.
7:8 The Lord said 13 to Moses and Aaron, 14 7:9 “When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Do 15 a miracle,’ and you say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down 16 before Pharaoh,’ it will become 17 a snake.” 7:10 When 18 Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh, they did so, just as the Lord had commanded them – Aaron threw 19 down his staff before Pharaoh and his servants and it became a snake. 20 7:11 Then Pharaoh also summoned wise men and sorcerers, 21 and the magicians 22 of Egypt by their secret arts 23 did the same thing. 7:12 Each man 24 threw down his staff, and the staffs became snakes. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. 7:13 Yet Pharaoh’s heart became hard, 25 and he did not listen to them, just as the Lord had predicted.
7:14 26 The Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is hard; 27 he refuses to release 28 the people. 7:15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning when 29 he goes out to the water. Position yourself 30 to meet him by the edge of the Nile, 31 and take 32 in your hand the staff 33 that was turned into a snake. 7:16 Tell him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to you to say, 34 “Release my people, that they may serve me 35 in the desert!” But until now 36 you have not listened. 37 7:17 Thus says the Lord: “By this you will know that I am the Lord: I am going to strike 38 the water of the Nile with the staff that is in my hand, and it will be turned into blood. 39 7:18 Fish 40 in the Nile will die, the Nile will stink, and the Egyptians will be unable 41 to drink water from the Nile.”’” 7:19 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over Egypt’s waters – over their rivers, over their canals, 42 over their ponds, and over all their reservoirs 43 – so that it becomes 44 blood.’ There will be blood everywhere in 45 the land of Egypt, even in wooden and stone containers.” 7:20 Moses and Aaron did so, 46 just as the Lord had commanded. Moses raised 47 the staff 48 and struck the water that was in the Nile right before the eyes 49 of Pharaoh and his servants, 50 and all the water that was in the Nile was turned to blood. 51 7:21 When the fish 52 that were in the Nile died, the Nile began 53 to stink, so that the Egyptians could not drink water from the Nile. There was blood 54 everywhere in the land of Egypt! 7:22 But the magicians of Egypt did the same 55 by their secret arts, and so 56 Pharaoh’s heart remained hard, 57 and he refused to listen to Moses and Aaron 58 – just as the Lord had predicted. 7:23 And Pharaoh turned and went into his house. He did not pay any attention to this. 59 7:24 All the Egyptians dug around the Nile for water to drink, 60 because they could not drink the water of the Nile.
7:25 61 Seven full days passed 62 after the Lord struck 63 the Nile. 8:1 (7:26) 64 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Release my people in order that they may serve me! 8:2 But if you refuse to release them, then I am going to plague 65 all your territory with frogs. 66 8:3 The Nile will swarm 67 with frogs, and they will come up and go into your house, in your bedroom, and on your bed, and into the houses of your servants and your people, and into your ovens and your kneading troughs. 68 8:4 Frogs 69 will come up against you, your people, and all your servants.”’” 70
8:5 The Lord spoke to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Extend your hand with your staff 71 over the rivers, over the canals, and over the ponds, and bring the frogs up over the land of Egypt.’” 8:6 So Aaron extended his hand over the waters of Egypt, and frogs 72 came up and covered the land of Egypt.
8:8 Then Pharaoh summoned 75 Moses and Aaron and said, “Pray 76 to the Lord that he may take the frogs away 77 from me and my people, and I will release 78 the people that they may sacrifice 79 to the Lord.” 8:9 Moses said to Pharaoh, “You may have the honor over me 80 – when shall I pray for you, your servants, and your people, for the frogs to be removed 81 from you and your houses, so that 82 they will be left 83 only in the Nile?” 8:10 He said, “Tomorrow.” And Moses said, 84 “It will be 85 as you say, 86 so that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God. 8:11 The frogs will depart from you, your houses, your servants, and your people; they will be left only in the Nile.”
8:12 Then Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh, and Moses cried 87 to the Lord because of 88 the frogs that he had brought on 89 Pharaoh. 8:13 The Lord did as Moses asked 90 – the 91 frogs died out of the houses, the villages, and the fields. 8:14 The Egyptians 92 piled them in countless heaps, 93 and the land stank. 8:15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, 94 he hardened 95 his heart and did not listen to them, just as the Lord had predicted. 96
8:16 97 The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Extend your staff and strike the dust of the ground, and it will become 98 gnats 99 throughout all the land of Egypt.’” 8:17 They did so; Aaron extended his hand with his staff, he struck the dust of the ground, and it became gnats on people 100 and on animals. All the dust of the ground became gnats throughout all the land of Egypt. 8:18 When 101 the magicians attempted 102 to bring forth gnats by their secret arts, they could not. So there were gnats on people and on animals. 8:19 The magicians said 103 to Pharaoh, “It is the finger 104 of God!” But Pharaoh’s heart remained hard, 105 and he did not listen to them, just as the Lord had predicted.
8:20 106 The Lord 107 said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and position yourself before Pharaoh as he goes out to the water, and tell him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Release my people that they may serve me! 8:21 If you do not release 108 my people, then I am going to send 109 swarms of flies 110 on you and on your servants and on your people and in your houses. The houses of the Egyptians will be full of flies, and even the ground they stand on. 111 8:22 But on that day I will mark off 112 the land of Goshen, where my people are staying, 113 so that no swarms of flies will be there, that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of this land. 114 8:23 I will put a division 115 between my people and your people. This sign will take place 116 tomorrow.”’” 8:24 The Lord did so; a 117 thick 118 swarm of flies came into 119 Pharaoh’s house and into the houses 120 of his servants, and throughout the whole land of Egypt the land was ruined 121 because of the swarms of flies.
8:25 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God within the land.” 122 8:26 But Moses said, “That would not be the right thing to do, 123 for the sacrifices we make 124 to the Lord our God would be an abomination 125 to the Egyptians. 126 If we make sacrifices that are an abomination to the Egyptians right before their eyes, 127 will they not stone us? 128 8:27 We must go 129 on a three-day journey 130 into the desert and sacrifice 131 to the Lord our God, just as he is telling us.” 132
8:29 Moses said, “I am going to go out 137 from you and pray to the Lord, and the swarms of flies will go away from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people tomorrow. Only do not let Pharaoh deal falsely again 138 by not releasing 139 the people to sacrifice to the Lord.” 8:30 So Moses went out from Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord, 8:31 and the Lord did as Moses asked 140 – he removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people. Not one remained! 8:32 But Pharaoh hardened 141 his heart this time also and did not release the people.
9:1 142 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, “Release my people that they may serve me! 9:2 For if you refuse to release them 143 and continue holding them, 144 9:3 then the hand of the Lord will surely bring 145 a very terrible plague 146 on your livestock in the field, on the horses, the donkeys, the camels, 147 the herds, and the flocks. 9:4 But the Lord will distinguish 148 between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, and nothing 149 will die of all that the Israelites have.”’” 150
9:5 The Lord set 151 an appointed time, saying, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this 152 in the land.” 9:6 And the Lord did this 153 on the next day; 154 all 155 the livestock of the Egyptians 156 died, but of the Israelites’ livestock not one died. 9:7 Pharaoh sent representatives to investigate, 157 and indeed, not even one of the livestock of Israel had died. But Pharaoh’s heart remained hard, 158 and he did not release the people.
9:8 159 Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Take handfuls of soot 160 from a furnace, and have Moses throw it 161 into the air while Pharaoh is watching. 162 9:9 It will become fine dust over the whole land of Egypt and will cause boils to break out and fester 163 on both people and animals in all the land of Egypt.” 9:10 So they took soot from a furnace and stood before Pharaoh, Moses threw it into the air, and it caused festering boils to break out on both people and animals.
9:11 The magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for boils were on the magicians and on all the Egyptians. 9:12 But the Lord hardened 164 Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not listen to them, just as the Lord had predicted to Moses.
9:13 165 The Lord said 166 to Moses, “Get up early in the morning, stand 167 before Pharaoh, and tell him, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews: “Release my people so that they may serve me! 9:14 For this time I will send all my plagues 168 on your very self 169 and on your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth. 9:15 For by now I could have stretched out 170 my hand and struck you and your people with plague, and you would have been destroyed 171 from the earth. 9:16 But 172 for this purpose I have caused you to stand: 173 to show you 174 my strength, and so that my name may be declared 175 in all the earth. 9:17 You are still exalting 176 yourself against my people by 177 not releasing them. 9:18 I am going to cause very severe hail to rain down 178 about this time tomorrow, such hail as has never occurred 179 in Egypt from the day it was founded 180 until now. 9:19 So now, send instructions 181 to gather 182 your livestock and all your possessions in the fields to a safe place. Every person 183 or animal caught 184 in the field and not brought into the house – the hail will come down on them, and they will die!”’”
9:20 Those 185 of Pharaoh’s servants who feared the word of the Lord hurried to bring their 186 servants and livestock into the houses, 9:21 but those 187 who did not take 188 the word of the Lord seriously left their servants and their cattle 189 in the field.
9:22 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Extend your hand toward the sky 190 that there may be 191 hail in all the land of Egypt, on people and on animals, 192 and on everything that grows 193 in the field in the land of Egypt.” 9:23 When Moses extended 194 his staff toward the sky, the Lord 195 sent thunder 196 and hail, and fire fell to the earth; 197 so the Lord caused hail to rain down on the land of Egypt. 9:24 Hail fell 198 and fire mingled 199 with the hail; the hail was so severe 200 that there had not been any like it 201 in all the land of Egypt since it had become a nation. 9:25 The hail struck everything in the open fields, both 202 people and animals, throughout all the land of Egypt. The hail struck everything that grows 203 in the field, and it broke all the trees of the field to pieces. 9:26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the Israelites lived, was there no hail.
9:27 So Pharaoh sent and summoned Moses and Aaron and said to them, “I have sinned this time! 204 The Lord is righteous, and I and my people are guilty. 205 9:28 Pray to the Lord, for the mighty 206 thunderings and hail are too much! 207 I will release you and you will stay no longer.” 208
9:29 Moses said to him, “When I leave the city 209 I will spread my hands to the Lord, the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, so that you may know that the earth belongs to the Lord. 210 9:30 But as for you 211 and your servants, I know that you do not yet fear 212 the Lord God.”
9:31 (Now the 213 flax and the barley were struck 214 by the hail, 215 for the barley had ripened 216 and the flax 217 was in bud. 9:32 But the wheat and the spelt 218 were not struck, for they are later crops.) 219
9:33 So Moses left Pharaoh, went out of the city, and spread out his hands to the Lord, and the thunder and the hail ceased, and the rain stopped pouring on the earth. 9:34 When Pharaoh saw 220 that the rain and hail and thunder ceased, he sinned again: 221 both he and his servants hardened 222 their hearts. 9:35 So Pharaoh’s heart remained hard, 223 and he did not release the Israelites, as the Lord had predicted through Moses.
10:1 224 The Lord said 225 to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, in order to display 226 these signs of mine before him, 227 10:2 and in order that in the hearing of your son and your grandson you may tell 228 how I made fools 229 of the Egyptians 230 and about 231 my signs that I displayed 232 among them, so that you may know 233 that I am the Lord.”
10:3 So Moses and Aaron came to Pharaoh and told him, “Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews: ‘How long do you refuse 234 to humble yourself before me? 235 Release my people so that they may serve me! 10:4 But if you refuse to release my people, I am going to bring 236 locusts 237 into your territory 238 tomorrow. 10:5 They will cover 239 the surface 240 of the earth, so that you 241 will be unable to see the ground. They will eat the remainder of what escaped 242 – what is left over 243 for you – from the hail, and they will eat every tree that grows for you from the field. 10:6 They will fill your houses, the houses of your servants, and all the houses of Egypt, such as 244 neither 245 your fathers nor your grandfathers have seen since they have been 246 in the land until this day!’” Then Moses 247 turned and went out from Pharaoh.
10:8 So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh, and he said to them, “Go, serve the Lord your God. Exactly who is going with you?” 251 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 252 a pilgrim feast for the Lord.”
10:10 He said to them, “The Lord will need to be with you 253 if I release you and your dependents! 254 Watch out! 255 Trouble is right in front of you! 256 10:11 No! 257 Go, you men 258 only, and serve the Lord, for that 259 is what you want.” 260 Then Moses and Aaron 261 were driven 262 out of Pharaoh’s presence.
10:12 The Lord said to Moses, “Extend your hand over the land of Egypt for 263 the locusts, that they may come up over the land of Egypt and eat everything that grows 264 in the ground, everything that the hail has left.” 10:13 So Moses extended his staff over the land of Egypt, and then the Lord 265 brought 266 an east wind on the land all that day and all night. 267 The morning came, 268 and the east wind had brought up 269 the locusts! 10:14 The locusts went up over all the land of Egypt and settled down in all the territory 270 of Egypt. It was very severe; 271 there had been no locusts like them before, nor will there be such ever again. 272 10:15 They covered 273 the surface 274 of all the ground, so that the ground became dark with them, 275 and they ate all the vegetation of the ground and all the fruit of the trees that the hail had left. Nothing green remained on the trees or on anything that grew in the fields throughout the whole land of Egypt.
10:16 276 Then Pharaoh quickly 277 summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned 278 against the Lord your God and against you! 10:17 So now, forgive my sin this time only, and pray to the Lord your God that he would only 279 take this death 280 away from me.” 10:18 Moses 281 went out 282 from Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord, 10:19 and the Lord turned a very strong west wind, 283 and it picked up the locusts and blew them into the Red Sea. 284 Not one locust remained in all the territory of Egypt. 10:20 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not release the Israelites.
10:22 So Moses extended his hand toward heaven, and there was absolute darkness 289 throughout the land of Egypt for three days. 290 10:23 No one 291 could see 292 another person, and no one could rise from his place for three days. But the Israelites had light in the places where they lived.
10:25 But Moses said, “Will you also 294 provide us 295 with sacrifices and burnt offerings that we may present them 296 to the Lord our God? 10:26 Our livestock must 297 also go with us! Not a hoof is to be left behind! For we must take 298 these animals 299 to serve the Lord our God. Until we arrive there, we do not know what we must use to serve the Lord.” 300
10:27 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was not willing to release them. 10:28 Pharaoh said to him, “Go from me! 301 Watch out for yourself! Do not appear before me again, 302 for when 303 you see my face you will die!” 10:29 Moses said, “As you wish! 304 I will not see your face again.” 305
11:1 306 The Lord said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt; after that he will release you from this place. When he releases you, 307 he will drive you out completely 308 from this place. 11:2 Instruct 309 the people that each man and each woman is to request 310 from his or her neighbor 311 items of silver and gold.” 312
11:4 Moses said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘About midnight 315 I will go throughout Egypt, 316 11:5 and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh 317 who sits on his throne, to the firstborn son of the slave girl who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle. 11:6 There will be a great cry throughout the whole land of Egypt, such as there has never been, 318 nor ever will be again. 319 11:7 But against any of the Israelites not even a dog will bark 320 against either people or animals, 321 so that you may know that the Lord distinguishes 322 between Egypt and Israel.’ 11:8 All these your servants will come down to me and bow down 323 to me, saying, ‘Go, you and all the people who follow 324 you,’ and after that I will go out.” Then Moses 325 went out from Pharaoh in great anger.
11:10 So Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh, but the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not release the Israelites from his land.
12:1 327 The Lord said 328 to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, 329 12:2 “This month is to be your beginning of months; it will be your first month of the year. 330 12:3 Tell the whole community of Israel, ‘In the tenth day of this month they each 331 must take a lamb 332 for themselves according to their families 333 – a lamb for each household. 334 12:4 If any household is too small 335 for a lamb, 336 the man 337 and his next-door neighbor 338 are to take 339 a lamb according to the number of people – you will make your count for the lamb according to how much each one can eat. 340 12:5 Your lamb must be 341 perfect, 342 a male, one year old; 343 you may take 344 it from the sheep or from the goats. 12:6 You must care for it 345 until the fourteenth day of this month, and then the whole community 346 of Israel will kill it around sundown. 347 12:7 They will take some of the blood and put it on the two side posts and top of the doorframe of the houses where they will eat it. 12:8 They will eat the meat the same night; 348 they will eat it roasted over the fire with bread made without yeast 349 and with bitter herbs. 12:9 Do not eat it raw 350 or boiled in water, but roast it over the fire with its head, its legs, and its entrails. 12:10 You must leave nothing until morning, but you must burn with fire whatever remains of it until morning. 12:11 This is how you are to eat it – dressed to travel, 351 your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. You are to eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover. 352
12:12 I will pass through 353 the land of Egypt in the same 354 night, and I will attack 355 all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both of humans and of animals, 356 and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment. 357 I am the Lord. 12:13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, so that when I see 358 the blood I will pass over you, 359 and this plague 360 will not fall on you to destroy you 361 when I attack 362 the land of Egypt. 363
12:14 This day will become 364 a memorial 365 for you, and you will celebrate it as a festival 366 to the Lord – you will celebrate it perpetually as a lasting ordinance. 367 12:15 For seven days 368 you must eat 369 bread made without yeast. 370 Surely 371 on the first day you must put away yeast from your houses because anyone who eats bread made with yeast 372 from the first day to the seventh day will be cut off 373 from Israel.
12:16 On the first day there will be a holy convocation, 374 and on the seventh day there will be a holy convocation for you. You must do no work of any kind 375 on them, only what every person will eat – that alone may be prepared for you. 12:17 So you will keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because on this very 376 day I brought your regiments 377 out from the land of Egypt, and so you must keep this day perpetually as a lasting ordinance. 378 12:18 In the first month, 379 from the fourteenth day of the month, in the evening, you will eat bread made without yeast until the twenty-first day of the month in the evening. 12:19 For seven days 380 yeast must not be found in your houses, for whoever eats what is made with yeast – that person 381 will be cut off from the community of Israel, whether a foreigner 382 or one born in the land. 12:20 You will not eat anything made with yeast; in all the places where you live you must eat bread made without yeast.’”
12:21 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel, and told them, “Go and select 383 for yourselves a lamb or young goat 384 for your families, and kill the Passover animals. 385 12:22 Take a branch of hyssop, 386 dip it in the blood that is in the basin, 387 and apply to the top of the doorframe and the two side posts some of the blood that is in the basin. Not one of you is to go out 388 the door of his house until morning. 12:23 For the Lord will pass through to strike Egypt, and when he sees 389 the blood on the top of the doorframe and the two side posts, then the Lord will pass over the door, and he will not permit the destroyer 390 to enter your houses to strike you. 391 12:24 You must observe this event as an ordinance for you and for your children forever. 12:25 When you enter the land that the Lord will give to you, just as he said, you must observe 392 this ceremony. 12:26 When your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ 393 – 12:27 then you will say, ‘It is the sacrifice 394 of the Lord’s Passover, when he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt, when he struck 395 Egypt and delivered our households.’” The people bowed down low 396 to the ground, 12:28 and the Israelites went away and did exactly as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron. 397
12:29 398 It happened 399 at midnight – the Lord attacked all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the prison, and all the firstborn of the cattle. 12:30 Pharaoh got up 400 in the night, 401 along with all his servants and all Egypt, and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was no house 402 in which there was not someone dead. 12:31 Pharaoh 403 summoned Moses and Aaron in the night and said, “Get up, get out 404 from among my people, both you and the Israelites! Go, serve the Lord as you have requested! 405 12:32 Also, take your flocks and your herds, just as you have requested, and leave. But bless me also.” 406
12:33 The Egyptians were urging 407 the people on, in order to send them out of the land quickly, 408 for they were saying, “We are all dead!” 12:34 So the people took their dough before the yeast was added, 409 with their kneading troughs bound up in their clothing on their shoulders. 12:35 Now the Israelites had done 410 as Moses told them – they had requested from the Egyptians 411 silver and gold items and clothing. 12:36 The Lord 412 gave the people favor 413 in the sight of the Egyptians, and they gave them whatever they wanted, 414 and so they plundered Egypt. 415
12:37 The Israelites journeyed 416 from Rameses 417 to Sukkoth. There were about 600,000 men 418 on foot, plus their dependants. 419 12:38 A mixed multitude 420 also went up with them, and flocks and herds – a very large number of cattle. 421 12:39 They baked cakes of bread without yeast using the dough they had brought from Egypt, for it was made without yeast – because they were thrust out 422 of Egypt and were not able to delay, they 423 could not prepare 424 food for themselves either.
12:40 Now the length of time the Israelites lived in Egypt was 430 years. 425 12:41 At the end of the 430 years, on the very day, all the regiments 426 of the Lord went out of the land of Egypt. 12:42 It was a night of vigil for the Lord to bring them out from the land of Egypt, 427 and so 428 on this night all Israel is to keep the vigil 429 to the Lord for generations to come.
12:43 430 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover. No foreigner may 431 share in eating it. 432 12:44 But everyone’s servant who is bought for money, after you have circumcised him, may eat it. 12:45 A foreigner and a hired worker must not eat it. 12:46 It must be eaten in one house; you must not bring any of the meat outside the house, and you must not break a bone of it. 12:47 The whole community of Israel must observe it.
12:48 “When a foreigner lives 433 with you and wants to observe the Passover to the Lord, all his males must be circumcised, 434 and then he may approach and observe it, and he will be like one who is born in the land 435 – but no uncircumcised person may eat of it. 12:49 The same law will apply 436 to the person who is native-born and to the foreigner who lives among you.”
1 tn The word “like” is added for clarity, making explicit the implied comparison in the statement “I have made you God to Pharaoh.” The word אֱלֹהִים (’elohim) is used a few times in the Bible for humans (e.g., Pss 45:6; 82:1), and always clearly in the sense of a subordinate to GOD – they are his representatives on earth. The explanation here goes back to 4:16. If Moses is like God in that Aaron is his prophet, then Moses is certainly like God to Pharaoh. Only Moses, then, is able to speak to Pharaoh with such authority, giving him commands.
2 tn The word נְבִיאֶךָ (nÿvi’ekha, “your prophet”) recalls 4:16. Moses was to be like God to Aaron, and Aaron was to speak for him. This indicates that the idea of a “prophet” was of one who spoke for God, an idea with which Moses and Aaron and the readers of Exodus are assumed to be familiar.
3 tn The imperfect tense here should have the nuance of instruction or injunction: “you are to speak.” The subject is singular (Moses) and made emphatic by the presence of the personal pronoun “you.”
4 tn The phrase translated “everything I command you” is a noun clause serving as the direct object of the verb “speak.” The verb in the clause (אֲצַוֶּךָ, ’atsavvekha) is the Piel imperfect. It could be classified as a future: “everything that I will command you.” A nuance of progressive imperfect also fits well: “everything that I am commanding you.”
sn The distinct emphasis is important. Aaron will speak to the people and Pharaoh what Moses tells him, and Moses will speak to Aaron what God commands him. The use of “command” keeps everything in perspective for Moses’ position.
5 tn The form is וְשִׁלַּח (vÿshillakh), a Piel perfect with vav (ו) consecutive. Following the imperfects of injunction or instruction, this verb continues the sequence. It could be taken as equal to an imperfect expressing future (“and he will release”) or subordinate to express purpose (“to release” = “in order that he may release”).
6 tn The clause begins with the emphatic use of the pronoun and a disjunctive vav (ו) expressing the contrast “But as for me, I will harden.” They will speak, but God will harden.
sn The imperfect tense of the verb קָשָׁה (qasha) is found only here in these “hardening passages.” The verb (here the Hiphil for “I will harden”) summarizes Pharaoh’s resistance to what God would be doing through Moses – he would stubbornly resist and refuse to submit; he would be resolved in his opposition. See R. R. Wilson, “The Hardening of Pharaoh’s Heart,” CBQ 41 (1979): 18-36.
7 tn The form beginning the second half of the verse is the perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive, הִרְבֵּיתִי (hirbeti). It could be translated as a simple future in sequence after the imperfect preceding it, but the logical connection is not obvious. Since it carries the force of an imperfect due to the sequence, it may be subordinated as a temporal clause to the next clause that begins in v. 4. That maintains the flow of the argument.
8 tn Heb “and Pharaoh will not listen.”
9 tn Heb “put my hand into.” The expression is a strong anthropomorphism to depict God’s severest judgment on Egypt. The point is that neither the speeches of Moses and Aaron nor the signs that God would do will be effective. Consequently, God would deliver the blow that would destroy.
11 tn The emphasis on sequence is clear because the form is the perfect tense with the vav consecutive.
sn The use of the verb “to know” (יָדַע, yada’) underscores what was said with regard to 6:3. By the time the actual exodus took place, the Egyptians would have “known” the name Yahweh, probably hearing it more than they wished. But they will know – experience the truth of it – when Yahweh defeats them.
12 sn This is another anthropomorphism, parallel to the preceding. If God were to “put” (נָתַן, natan), “extend” (נָטָה, nata), or “reach out” (שָׁלַח, shalakh) his hand against them, they would be destroyed. Contrast Exod 24:11.
13 tn Heb “And Yahweh said.”
14 tn Heb “said to Moses and Aaron, saying.”
15 tn The verb is תְּנוּ (tÿnu), literally “give.” The imperative is followed by an ethical dative that strengthens the subject of the imperative: “you give a miracle.”
16 tn Heb “and throw it.” The direct object, “it,” is implied.
17 tn The form is the jussive יְהִי ( yÿhi). Gesenius notes that frequently in a conditional clause, a sentence with a protasis and apodosis, the jussive will be used. Here it is in the apodosis (GKC 323 §109.h).
18 tn The clause begins with the preterite and the vav (ו) consecutive; it is here subordinated to the next clause as a temporal clause.
19 tn Heb “and Aaron threw.”
20 tn The noun used here is תַּנִּין (tannin), and not the word for “serpent” or “snake” used in chap. 4. This noun refers to a large reptile, in some texts large river or sea creatures (Gen 1:21; Ps 74:13) or land creatures (Deut 32:33). This wonder paralleled Moses’ miracle in 4:3 when he cast his staff down. But this is Aaron’s staff, and a different miracle. The noun could still be rendered “snake” here since the term could be broad enough to include it.
21 sn For information on this Egyptian material, see D. B. Redford, A Study of the Biblical Story of Joseph (VTSup), 203-4.
22 tn The חַרְטֻּמִּים (kharttummim) seem to have been the keepers of Egypt’s religious and magical texts, the sacred scribes.
23 tn The term בְּלַהֲטֵיהֶם (bÿlahatehem) means “by their secret arts”; it is from לוּט (lut, “to enwrap”). The Greek renders the word “by their magic”; Tg. Onq. uses “murmurings” and “whispers,” and other Jewish sources “dazzling display” or “demons” (see further B. Jacob, Exodus, 253-54). They may have done this by clever tricks, manipulation of the animals, or demonic power. Many have suggested that Aaron and the magicians were familiar with an old trick in which they could temporarily paralyze a serpent and then revive it. But here Aaron’s snake swallows up their snakes.
24 tn The verb is plural, but the subject is singular, “a man – his staff.” This noun can be given a distributive sense: “each man threw down his staff.”
25 tn This phrase translates the Hebrew word חָזַק (khazaq); see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 53.
sn For more on this subject, see B. Jacob, Exodus, 241-49. S. R. Driver (Exodus, 53) notes that when this word (חָזַק) is used it indicates a will or attitude that is unyielding and firm, but when כָּבֵד (kaved) is used, it stresses the will as being slow to move, unimpressionable, slow to be affected.
26 sn With the first plague, or blow on Pharaoh, a new section of the book unfolds. Until now the dominant focus has been on preparing the deliverer for the exodus. From here the account will focus on preparing Pharaoh for it. The theological emphasis for exposition of the entire series of plagues may be: The sovereign Lord is fully able to deliver his people from the oppression of the world so that they may worship and serve him alone. The distinct idea of each plague then will contribute to this main idea. It is clear from the outset that God could have delivered his people simply and suddenly. But he chose to draw out the process with the series of plagues. There appear to be several reasons: First, the plagues are designed to judge Egypt. It is justice for slavery. Second, the plagues are designed to inform Israel and Egypt of the ability of Yahweh. Everyone must know that it is Yahweh doing all these things. The Egyptians must know this before they are destroyed. Third, the plagues are designed to deliver Israel. The first plague is the plague of blood: God has absolute power over the sources of life. Here Yahweh strikes the heart of Egyptian life with death and corruption. The lesson is that God can turn the source of life into the prospect of death. Moreover, the Nile was venerated; so by turning it into death Moses was showing the superiority of Yahweh.
27 tn Or “unresponsive” (so HALOT 456 s.v. I כָּבֵד).
28 tn The Piel infinitive construct לְשַׁלַּח (lÿshallakh) serves as the direct object of מֵאֵן (me’en), telling what Pharaoh refuses (characteristic perfect) to do. The whole clause is an explanation (like a metonymy of effect) of the first clause that states that Pharaoh’s heart is hard.
29 tn The clause begins with הִנֵּה (hinneh); here it provides the circumstances for the instruction for Moses – he is going out to the water so go meet him. A temporal clause translation captures the connection between the clauses.
30 tn The instruction to Moses continues with this perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive following the imperative. The verb means “to take a stand, station oneself.” It seems that Pharaoh’s going out to the water was a regular feature of his day and that Moses could be there waiting to meet him.
31 sn The Nile, the source of fertility for the country, was deified by the Egyptians. There were religious festivals held to the god of the Nile, especially when the Nile was flooding. The Talmud suggests that Pharaoh in this passage went out to the Nile to make observations as a magician about its level. Others suggest he went out simply to bathe or to check the water level – but that would not change the view of the Nile that was prevalent in the land.
32 tn The verb תִּקַּח (tiqqakh), the Qal imperfect of לָקַח (laqakh), functions here as the imperfect of instruction, or injunction perhaps, given the word order of the clause.
33 tn The final clause begins with the noun and vav disjunctive, which singles this instruction out for special attention – “now the staff…you are to take.”
34 tn The form לֵאמֹר (le’mor) is the Qal infinitive construct with the lamed (ל) preposition. It is used so often epexegetically that it has achieved idiomatic status – “saying” (if translated at all). But here it would make better sense to take it as a purpose infinitive. God sent him to say these words.
35 tn The imperfect tense with the vav (וְיַעַבְדֻנִי, vÿya’avduni) following the imperative is in volitive sequence, showing the purpose – “that they may serve me.” The word “serve” (עָבַד, ’avad) is a general term to include religious observance and obedience.
36 tn The final עַד־כֹּה (’ad-koh, “until now”) narrows the use of the perfect tense to the present perfect: “you have not listened.” That verb, however, involves more than than mere audition. It has the idea of responding to, hearkening, and in some places obeying; here “you have not complied” might catch the point of what Moses is saying, while “listen” helps to maintain the connection with other uses of the verb.
37 tn Or “complied” (שָׁמַעְתָּ, shama’ta).
38 tn The construction using הִנֵּה (hinneh) before the participle (here the Hiphil participle מַכֶּה, makkeh) introduces a futur instans use of the participle, expressing imminent future, that he is about to do something.
39 sn W. C. Kaiser summarizes a view that has been adopted by many scholars, including a good number of conservatives, that the plagues overlap with natural phenomena in Egypt. Accordingly, the “blood” would not be literal blood, but a reddish contamination in the water. If there was an unusually high inundation of the Nile, the water flowed sluggishly through swamps and was joined with the water from the mountains that washed out the reddish soil. If the flood were high, the water would have a deeper red color. In addition to this discoloration, there is said to be a type of algae which produce a stench and a deadly fluctuation of the oxygen level of the river that is fatal to fish (see W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:350; he cites Greta Hort, “The Plagues of Egypt,” ZAW 69 : 84-103; same title, ZAW 70 : 48-59). While most scholars would agree that the water did not actually become blood (any more than the moon will be turned to literal blood [Joel 2:31]), many are not satisfied with this kind of explanation. If the event was a fairly common feature of the Nile, it would not have been any kind of sign to Pharaoh – and it should still be observable. The features that would have to be safeguarded are that it was understood to be done by the staff of God, that it was unexpected and not a mere coincidence, and that the magnitude of the contamination, color, stench, and death, was unparalleled. God does use natural features in miracles, but to be miraculous signs they cannot simply coincide with natural phenomena.
40 tn The definite article here has the generic use, indicating the class – “fish” (R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 19, §92).
41 tn The verb לָאָה (la’a), here in the Niphal perfect with a vav consecutive, means “be weary, impatient.” The Niphal meaning is “make oneself weary” in doing something, or “weary (strenuously exert) oneself.” It seems always to indicate exhausted patience (see BDB 521 s.v.). The term seems to imply that the Egyptians were not able to drink the red, contaminated water, and so would expend all their energy looking for water to drink – in frustration of course.
42 tn Or “irrigation rivers” of the Nile.
43 sn The Hebrew term means “gathering,” i.e., wherever they gathered or collected waters, notably cisterns and reservoirs. This would naturally lead to the inclusion of both wooden and stone vessels – down to the smallest gatherings.
44 tn The imperfect tense with vav (ו) after the imperative indicates the purpose or result: “in order that they [the waters] be[come] blood.”
45 tn Or “in all.”
46 sn Both Moses and Aaron had tasks to perform. Moses, being the “god” to Pharaoh, dealt directly with him and the Nile. He would strike the Nile. But Aaron, “his prophet,” would stretch out the staff over the rest of the waters of Egypt.
47 tn Heb “And he raised”; the referent (Moses) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
48 tn Gesenius calls the preposition on “staff” the בְּ (bet) instrumenti, used to introduce the object (GKC 380-81 §119.q). This construction provides a greater emphasis than an accusative.
49 tn The text could be rendered “in the sight of,” or simply “before,” but the literal idea of “before the eyes of” may stress how obvious the event was and how personally they were witnesses of it.
50 sn U. Cassuto (Exodus, 98) notes that the striking of the water was not a magical act. It signified two things: (1) the beginning of the sign, which was in accordance with God’s will, as Moses had previously announced, and (2) to symbolize actual “striking,” wherewith the Lord strikes Egypt and its gods (see v. 25).
51 sn There have been various attempts to explain the details of this plague or blow. One possible suggestion is that the plague turned the Nile into “blood,” but that it gradually turned back to its normal color and substance. However, the effects of the “blood” polluted the water so that dead fish and other contamination left it undrinkable. This would explain how the magicians could also do it – they would not have tried if all water was already turned to blood. It also explains why Pharaoh did not ask for the water to be turned back. This view was put forward by B. Schor; it is summarized by B. Jacob (Exodus, 258), who prefers the view of Rashi that the blow affected only water in use.
52 tn The first clause in this verse begins with a vav disjunctive, introducing a circumstantial clause to the statement that the water stank. The vav (ו) consecutive on the next verb shows that the smell was the result of the dead fish in the contaminated water. The result is then expressed with the vav beginning the clause that states that they could not drink it.
53 tn The preterite could be given a simple definite past translation, but an ingressive past would be more likely, as the smell would get worse and worse with the dead fish.
54 tn Heb “and there was blood.”
55 tn Heb “thus, so.”
56 tn The vav consecutive on the preterite introduces the outcome or result of the matter – Pharaoh was hardened.
57 tn Heb “and the heart of Pharaoh became hard.” This phrase translates the Hebrew word חָזַק (khazaq; see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 53). In context this represents the continuation of a prior condition.
58 tn Heb “to them”; the referents (Moses and Aaron) have been specified in the translation for clarity.
59 tn The text has וְלֹא־שָׁת לִבּוֹ גַּם־לָזֹאת (vÿlo’-shat libbo gam-lazo’t), which literally says, “and he did not set his heart also to this.” To “set the heart” to something would mean “to consider it.” This Hebrew idiom means that he did not pay attention to it, or take it to heart (cf. 2 Sam 13:20; Ps 48:13; 62:10; Prov 22:17; 24:32). Since Pharaoh had not been affected by this, he did not consider it or its implications further.
60 sn The text stresses that the water in the Nile, and Nile water that had been diverted or collected for use, was polluted and undrinkable. Water underground also was from the Nile, but it had not been contaminated, certainly not with dead fish, and so would be drinkable.
61 sn An attempt to connect this plague with the natural phenomena of Egypt proposes that because of the polluted water due to the high Nile, the frogs abandoned their normal watery homes (seven days after the first plague) and sought cover from the sun in homes wherever there was moisture. Since they had already been exposed to the poisonous water, they died very suddenly. The miracle was in the announcement and the timing, i.e., that Moses would predict this blow, and in the magnitude of it all, which was not natural (Greta Hort, “The Plagues of Egypt,” ZAW 69 : 95-98). It is also important to note that in parts of Egypt there was a fear of these creatures as embodying spirits capable of great evil. People developed the mentality of bowing to incredibly horrible idols to drive away the bad spirits. Evil spirits are represented in the book of Revelation in the forms of frogs (Rev 16:13). The frogs that the magicians produced could very well have been in the realm of evil spirits. Exactly how the Egyptians thought about this plague is hard to determine, but there is enough evidence to say that the plague would have made them spiritually as well as physically uncomfortable, and that the death of the frogs would have been a “sign” from God about their superstitions and related beliefs. The frog is associated with the god Hapi, and a frog-headed goddess named Heqet was supposed to assist women at childbirth. The plague would have been evidence that Yahweh was controlling their environment and upsetting their beliefs for his own purpose.
62 tn The text literally has “and seven days were filled.” Seven days gave Pharaoh enough time to repent and release Israel. When the week passed, God’s second blow came.
63 tn This is a temporal clause made up of the preposition, the Hiphil infinitive construct of נָכָה (nakhah), הַכּוֹת (hakkot), followed by the subjective genitive YHWH. Here the verb is applied to the true meaning of the plague: Moses struck the water, but the plague was a blow struck by God.
64 sn Beginning with 8:1, the verse numbers through 8:32 in English Bibles differ from the verse numbers in the Hebrew text (BHS), with 8:1 ET = 7:26 HT, 8:2 ET = 7:27 HT, 8:3 ET = 7:28 HT, 8:4 ET = 7:29 HT, 8:5 ET = 8:1 HT, etc., through 8:32 ET = 8:28 HT. Thus in English Bibles chapter 8 has 32 verses, while in the Hebrew Bible it has 28 verses, with the four extra verses attached to chapter 7.
65 tn The construction here uses the deictic particle and the participle to convey the imminent future: “I am going to plague/about to plague.” The verb נָגַף (nagaf) means “to strike, to smite,” and its related noun means “a blow, a plague, pestilence” or the like. For Yahweh to say “I am about to plague you” could just as easily mean “I am about to strike you.” That is why these “plagues” can be described as “blows” received from God.
66 tn Heb “plague all your border with frogs.” The expression “all your border” is figurative for all the territory of Egypt and the people and things that are within the borders (also used in Exod 10:4, 14, 19; 13:7).
sn This word for frogs is mentioned in the OT only in conjunction with this plague (here and Pss 78:45, 105:30). R. A. Cole (Exodus [TOTC], 91) suggests that this word “frogs” (צְפַרְדְּעִים, tsÿfardÿ’im) may be an onomatopoeic word, something like “croakers”; it is of Egyptian origin and could be a Hebrew attempt to write the Arabic dofda.
67 sn The choice of this verb שָׁרַץ (sharats) recalls its use in the creation account (Gen 1:20). The water would be swarming with frogs in abundance. There is a hint here of this being a creative work of God as well.
68 sn This verse lists places the frogs will go. The first three are for Pharaoh personally – they are going to touch his private life. Then the text mentions the servants and the people. Mention of the ovens and kneading bowls (or troughs) of the people indicates that food would be contaminated and that it would be impossible even to eat a meal in peace.
69 tn Here again is the generic use of the article, designating the class – frogs.
70 sn The word order of the Hebrew text is important because it shows how the plague was pointedly directed at Pharaoh: “and against you, and against your people, and against all your servants frogs will go up.”
72 tn The noun is singular, a collective. B. Jacob notes that this would be the more natural way to refer to the frogs (Exodus, 260).
73 tn Heb “thus, so.”
74 sn In these first two plagues the fact that the Egyptians could and did duplicate them is ironic. By duplicating the experience, they added to the misery of Egypt. One wonders why they did not use their skills to rid the land of the pests instead, and the implication of course is that they could not.
75 tn The verb קָרָא (qara’) followed by the lamed (ל) preposition has the meaning “to summon.”
76 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.
77 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.
78 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.”
79 tn Here also the imperfect tense with the vav (ו) shows the purpose of the release: “that they may sacrifice.”
80 tn The expression הִתְפָּאֵר עָלַי (hitpa’er ’alay) is problematic. The verb would be simply translated “honor yourself” or “deck yourself with honor.” It can be used in the bad sense of self-exaltation. But here it seems to mean “have the honor or advantage over me” in choosing when to remove the frogs. The LXX has “appoint for me.” Moses is doing more than extending a courtesy to Pharaoh; he is giving him the upper hand in choosing the time. But it is also a test, for if Pharaoh picked the time it would appear less likely that Moses was manipulating things. As U. Cassuto puts it, Moses is saying “my trust in God is so strong you may have the honor of choosing the time” (Exodus, 103).
81 tn Or “destroyed”; Heb “to cut off the frogs.”
82 tn The phrase “so that” is implied.
83 tn Or “survive, remain.”
84 tn Heb “And he said”; the referent (Moses) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
85 tn “It will be” has been supplied.
86 tn Heb “according to your word” (so NASB).
87 tn The verb צָעַק (tsa’aq) is used for prayers in which people cry out of trouble or from danger. U. Cassuto observes that Moses would have been in real danger if God had not answered this prayer (Exodus, 103).
88 tn Heb “over the matter of.”
89 tn The verb is an unusual choice if it were just to mean “brought on.” It is the verb שִׂים (sim, “place, put”). S. R. Driver thinks the thought is “appointed for Pharaoh” as a sign (Exodus, 64). The idea of the sign might be too much, but certainly the frogs were positioned for the instruction of the stubborn king.
91 tn Heb “and the frogs died.”
92 tn Heb “and they piled them.” For clarity the translation supplies the referent “the Egyptians” as the ones who were piling the frogs.
93 tn The word “heaps” is repeated: חֳמָרִם הֳמָרִם (khomarim khomarim). The repetition serves to intensify the idea to the highest degree – “countless heaps” (see GKC 396 §123.e).
94 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.
95 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.
96 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.
97 sn The third plague is brief and unannounced. Moses and Aaron were simply to strike the dust so that it would become gnats. Not only was this plague unannounced, but also it was not duplicated by the Egyptians.
98 tn The verb is the perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive, meaning “and it will be.” When הָיָה (hayah) is followed by the lamed (ל) proposition, it means “become.”
99 tn The noun is כִּנִּים (kinnim). The insect has been variously identified as lice, gnats, ticks, flies, fleas, or mosquitoes. “Lice” follows the reading in the Peshitta and Targum (and so Josephus, Ant. 2.14.3 [2.300]). Greek and Latin had “gnats.” By “gnats” many commentators mean “mosquitoes,” which in and around the water of Egypt were abundant (and the translators of the Greek text were familiar with Egypt). Whatever they were they came from the dust and were troublesome to people and animals.
101 tn The preterite with vav (ו) consecutive is here subordinated to the main clause as a temporal clause.
102 tn Heb “and the magicians did so.”
sn The report of what the magicians did (or as it turns out, tried to do) begins with the same words as the report about the actions of Moses and Aaron – “and they did so” (vv. 17 and 18). The magicians copy the actions of Moses and Aaron, leading readers to think momentarily that the magicians are again successful, but at the end of the verse comes the news that “they could not.” Compared with the first two plagues, this third plague has an important new feature, the failure of the magicians and their recognition of the source of the plague.
103 tn Heb “and the magicians said.”
104 tn The word “finger” is a bold anthropomorphism (a figure of speech in which God is described using human characteristics).
sn The point of the magicians’ words is clear enough. They knew they were beaten and by whom. The reason for their choice of the word “finger” has occasioned many theories, none of which is entirely satisfying. At the least their statement highlights that the plague was accomplished by God with majestic ease and effortlessness. Perhaps the reason that they could not do this was that it involved producing life – from the dust of the ground, as in Genesis 2:7. The creative power of God confounded the magic of the Egyptians and brought on them a loathsome plague.
105 tn Heb “and the heart of Pharaoh became hard.” This phrase translates the Hebrew word חָזַק (khazaq; see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 53). In context this represents the continuation of a prior condition.
106 sn The announcement of the fourth plague parallels that of the first plague. Now there will be flies, likely dogflies. Egypt has always suffered from flies, more so in the summer than in the winter. But the flies the plague describes involve something greater than any normal season for flies. The main point that can be stressed in this plague comes by tracing the development of the plagues in their sequence. Now, with the flies, it becomes clear that God can inflict suffering on some people and preserve others – a preview of the coming judgment that will punish Egypt but set Israel free. God is fully able to keep the dog-fly in the land of the Egyptians and save his people from these judgments.
107 tn Heb “And Yahweh said.”
108 tn The construction uses the predicator of nonexistence – אֵין (’en, “there is not”) – with a pronominal suffix prior to the Piel participle. The suffix becomes the subject of the clause. Heb “but if there is not you releasing.”
109 tn Here again is the futur instans use of the participle, now Qal with the meaning “send”: הִנְנִי מַשְׁלִיחַ (hinni mashliakh, “here I am sending”).
110 tn The word עָרֹב (’arov) means “a mix” or “swarm.” It seems that some irritating kind of flying insect is involved. Ps 78:45 says that the Egyptians were eaten or devoured by them. Various suggestions have been made over the years: (1) it could refer to beasts or reptiles; (2) the Greek took it as the dog-fly, a vicious blood-sucking gadfly, more common in the spring than in the fall; (3) the ordinary house fly, which is a symbol of Egypt in Isa 7:18 (Hebrew זְבוּב, zÿvuv); and (4) the beetle, which gnaws and bites plants, animals, and materials. The fly probably fits the details of this passage best; the plague would have greatly intensified a problem with flies that already existed.
111 tn Or perhaps “the land where they are” (cf. NRSV “the land where they live”).
112 tn Or “distinguish.” וְהִפְלֵיתִי (vÿhifleti) is the Hiphil perfect of פָּלָה (palah). The verb in Hiphil means “to set apart, make separate, make distinct.” God was going to keep the flies away from Goshen – he was setting that apart. The Greek text assumed that the word was from פָּלֵא (pale’), and translated it something like “I will marvelously glorify.”
113 tn The relative clause modifies the land of Goshen as the place “in which my people are dwelling.” But the normal word for “dwelling” is not used here. Instead, עֹמֵד (’omed) is used, which literally means “standing.” The land on which Israel stood was spared the flies and the hail.
114 tn Or “of the earth” (KJV, ASV, NAB).
115 tn The word in the text is פְדֻת (pÿdut, “redemption”). This would give the sense of making a distinction by redeeming Israel. The editors wish to read פְלֻת (pÿlut) instead – “a separation, distinction” to match the verb in the preceding verse. For another view, see G. I. Davies, “The Hebrew Text of Exodus VIII 19 [English 23]: An Emendation,” VT 24 (1974): 489-92.
116 tn Heb “this sign will be tomorrow.”
117 tn Heb “and there came a….”
118 tn Heb “heavy,” or “severe.”
119 tn Here, and in the next phrase, the word “house” has to be taken as an adverbial accusative of termination.
120 tn The Hebrew text has the singular here.
121 tc Concerning the connection of “the land was ruined” with the preceding, S. R. Driver (Exodus, 68) suggests reading with the LXX, Smr, and Peshitta; this would call for adding a conjunction before the last clause to make it read, “into the house of Pharaoh, and into his servants’ houses, and into all the land of Egypt; and the land was…”
tn The Hebrew word תִּשָּׁחֵת (tishakhet) is a strong word; it is the Niphal imperfect of שָׁחַת (shakhat) and is translated “ruined.” If the classification as imperfect stands, then it would have to be something like a progressive imperfect (the land was being ruined); otherwise, it may simply be a preterite without the vav (ו) consecutive. The verb describes utter devastation. This is the verb that is used in Gen 13:10 to describe how Yahweh destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Swarms of flies would disrupt life, contaminate everything, and bring disease.
122 sn After the plague is inflicted on the land, then Pharaoh makes an appeal. So there is the familiar confrontation (vv. 25-29). Pharaoh’s words to Moses are an advancement on his previous words. Now he uses imperatives: “Go, sacrifice to your God.” But he restricts it to “in the [this] land.” This is a subtle attempt to keep them as a subjugated people and prevent their absolute allegiance to their God. This offered compromise would destroy the point of the exodus – to leave Egypt and find a new allegiance under the
123 tn The clause is a little unusual in its formation. The form נָכוֹן (nakhon) is the Niphal participle from כּוּן (kun), which usually means “firm, fixed, steadfast,” but here it has a rare meaning of “right, fitting, appropriate.” It functions in the sentence as the predicate adjective, because the infinitive לַעֲשּׂוֹת (la’asot) is the subject – “to do so is not right.”
124 tn This translation has been smoothed out to capture the sense. The text literally says, “for the abomination of Egypt we will sacrifice to Yahweh our God.” In other words, the animals that Israel would sacrifice were sacred to Egypt, and sacrificing them would have been abhorrent to the Egyptians.
125 tn An “abomination” is something that is off-limits, something that is tabu. It could be translated “detestable” or “loathsome.”
126 sn U. Cassuto (Exodus, 109) says there are two ways to understand “the abomination of the Egyptians.” One is that the sacrifice of the sacred animals would appear an abominable thing in the eyes of the Egyptians, and the other is that the word “abomination” could be a derogatory term for idols – we sacrifice what is an Egyptian idol. So that is why he says if they did this the Egyptians would stone them.
127 tn Heb “if we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians [or “of Egypt”] before their eyes.”
128 tn The interrogative clause has no particle to indicate it is a question, but it is connected with the conjunction to the preceding clause, and the meaning of these clauses indicate it is a question (GKC 473 §150.a).
129 tn The verb נֵלֵךְ (nelekh) is a Qal imperfect of the verb הָלַךְ (halakh). Here it should be given the modal nuance of obligation: “we must go.”
130 tn This clause is placed first in the sentence to stress the distance required. דֶּרֶךְ (derekh) is an adverbial accusative specifying how far they must go. It is in construct, so “three days” modifies it. It is a “journey of three days,” or, “a three day journey.”
131 tn The form is the perfect tense with a vav (ו) consecutive; it follows in the sequence: we must go…and then [must] sacrifice.”
132 tn The form is the imperfect tense. It could be future: “as he will tell us,” but it also could be the progressive imperfect if this is now what God is telling them to do: “as he is telling us.”
133 sn By changing from “the people” to “you” (plural) the speech of Pharaoh was becoming more personal.
134 tn This form, a perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive, is equivalent to the imperfect tense that precedes it. However, it must be subordinate to the preceding verb to express the purpose. He is not saying “I will release…and you will sacrifice,” but rather “I will release…that you may sacrifice” or even “to sacrifice.”
135 tn The construction is very emphatic. First, it uses a verbal hendiadys with a Hiphil imperfect and the Qal infinitive construct: לֹא־תַרְחִיקוּ לָלֶכֶת (lo’ tarkhiqu lalekhet, “you will not make far to go”), meaning “you will not go far.” But this prohibition is then emphasized with the additional infinitive absolute הַרְחֵק (harkheq) – “you will in no wise go too far.” The point is very strong to safeguard the concession.
136 tn “Do” has been supplied here to convey that this somewhat unexpected command is tacked onto Pharaoh’s instructions as his ultimate concern, which Moses seems to understand as such, since he speaks about it immediately (v. 29).
137 tn The deictic particle with the participle usually indicates the futur instans nuance: “I am about to…,” or “I am going to….” The clause could also be subordinated as a temporal clause.
138 tn The verb תָּלַל (talal) means “to mock, deceive, trifle with.” The construction in this verse forms a verbal hendiadys. The Hiphil jussive אַל־יֹסֵף (’al-yosef, “let not [Pharaoh] add”) is joined with the Hiphil infinitive הָתֵל (hatel, “to deceive”). It means: “Let not Pharaoh deceive again.” Changing to the third person in this warning to Pharaoh is more decisive, more powerful.
139 tn The Piel infinitive construct after lamed (ל) and the negative functions epexegetically, explaining how Pharaoh would deal falsely – “by not releasing.”
140 tn Heb “according to the word of Moses” (so KJV, ASV).
141 tn This phrase translates the Hebrew word כָּבֵד (kaved); see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 53.
142 sn This plague demonstrates that Yahweh has power over the livestock of Egypt. He is able to strike the animals with disease and death, thus delivering a blow to the economic as well as the religious life of the land. By the former plagues many of the Egyptian religious ceremonies would have been interrupted and objects of veneration defiled or destroyed. Now some of the important deities will be attacked. In Goshen, where the cattle are merely cattle, no disease hits, but in the rest of Egypt it is a different matter. Osiris, the savior, cannot even save the brute in which his own soul is supposed to reside. Apis and Mnevis, the ram of Ammon, the sheep of Sais, and the goat of Mendes, perish together. Hence, Moses reminds Israel afterward, “On their gods also Yahweh executed judgments” (Num 33:4). When Jethro heard of all these events, he said, “Now I know that Yahweh is greater than all the gods” (Exod 18:11).
143 tn The object “them” is implied in the context.
144 tn עוֹד (’od), an adverb meaning “yet, still,” can be inflected with suffixes and used as a predicator of existence, with the nuance “to still be, yet be” (T. O. Lambdin, Introduction to Biblical Hebrew, 171-72, §137). Then, it is joined here with the Hiphil participle מַחֲזִיק (makhaziq) to form the sentence “you are still holding them.”
145 tn The form used here is הוֹיָה (hoyah), the Qal active participle, feminine singular, from the verb “to be.” This is the only place in the OT that this form occurs. Ogden shows that this form is appropriate with the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) to stress impending divine action, and that it conforms to the pattern in these narratives where five times the participle is used in the threat to Pharaoh (7:17; 8:2; 9:3, 14; 10:4). See G. S. Ogden, “Notes on the Use of הויה in Exodus IX. 3,” VT 17 (1967): 483-84.
147 sn The older view that camels were not domesticated at this time (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 70; W. F. Albright, Archaeology and the Religion of Israel, 96; et. al.) has been corrected by more recently uncovered information (see K. A. Kitchen, NBD3 160-61).
149 tn There is a wordplay in this section. A pestilence – דֶּבֶר (dever) – will fall on Egypt’s cattle, but no thing – דָּבָר (davar) – belonging to Israel would die. It was perhaps for this reason that the verb was changed in v. 1 from “say” to “speak” (דִּבֶּר, dibber). See U. Cassuto, Exodus, 111.
150 tn The lamed preposition indicates possession: “all that was to the Israelites” means “all that the Israelites had.”
151 tn Heb “and Yahweh set.”
152 tn Heb “this thing.”
153 tn Heb “this thing.”
154 tn Heb “on the morrow.”
155 tn The word “all” clearly does not mean “all” in the exclusive sense, because subsequent plagues involve cattle. The word must denote such a large number that whatever was left was insignificant for the economy. It could also be taken to mean “all [kinds of] livestock died.”
156 tn Heb “of Egypt.” The place is put by metonymy for the inhabitants.
157 tn Heb “Pharaoh sent.” The phrase “representatives to investigate” is implied in the context.
158 tn Heb “and the heart of Pharaoh was hardened.” This phrase translates the Hebrew word כָּבֵד (kaved; see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 53). In context this represents the continuation of a prior condition.
159 sn This sixth plague, like the third, is unannounced. God instructs his servants to take handfuls of ashes from the Egyptians’ furnaces and sprinkle them heavenward in the sight of Pharaoh. These ashes would become little particles of dust that would cause boils on the Egyptians and their animals. Greta Hort, “The Plagues of Egypt,” ZAW 69 : 101-3, suggests it is skin anthrax (see W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:359). The lesson of this plague is that Yahweh has absolute control over the physical health of the people. Physical suffering consequent to sin comes to all regardless of their position and status. The Egyptians are helpless in the face of this, as now God begins to touch human life; greater judgments on human wickedness lie ahead.
160 tn This word פִּיחַ (piakh) is a hapax legomenon, meaning “soot”; it seems to be derived from the verb פּוּחַ (puakh, “to breathe, blow”). The “furnace” (כִּבְשָׁן, kivshan) was a special kiln for making pottery or bricks.
161 tn The verb זָרַק (zaraq) means “to throw vigorously, to toss.” If Moses tosses the soot into the air, it will symbolize that the disease is falling from heaven.
162 tn Heb “before the eyes of Pharaoh.”
163 tn The word שְׁחִין (shÿkhin) means “boils.” It may be connected to an Arabic cognate that means “to be hot.” The illness is associated with Job (Job 2:7-8) and Hezekiah (Isa 38:21); it has also been connected with other skin diseases described especially in the Law. The word connected with it is אֲבַעְבֻּעֹת (’ava’bu’ot); this means “blisters, pustules” and is sometimes translated as “festering.” The etymology is debated, whether from a word meaning “to swell up” or “to overflow” (W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:359).
164 tn This phrase translates the Hebrew word חָזַק (khazaq); see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 53.
165 sn With the seventh plague there is more explanation of what God is doing to Pharaoh. This plague begins with an extended lesson (vv. 13-21). Rain was almost unknown in Egypt, and hail and lightning were harmless. The Egyptians were fascinated by all these, though, and looked on them as portentous. Herodotus describes how they studied such things and wrote them down (1.2.c.38). If ordinary rainstorms were ominous, what must fire and hail have been? The Egyptians had denominated fire Hephaistos, considering it to be a mighty deity (cf. Diodorus, 1.1.c.1). Porphry says that at the opening of the temple of Serapis the Egyptians worshiped with water and fire. If these connections were clearly understood, then these elements in the plague were thought to be deities that came down on their own people with death and destruction.
166 tn Heb “and Yahweh said.”
167 tn Or “take your stand.”
168 tn The expression “all my plagues” points to the rest of the plagues and anticipates the proper outcome. Another view is to take the expression to mean the full brunt of the attack on the Egyptian people.
169 tn Heb “to your heart.” The expression is unusual, but it may be an allusion to the hard heartedness of Pharaoh – his stubbornness and blindness (B. Jacob, Exodus, 274).
170 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.
171 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.”
172 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.”
173 tn The form הֶעֱמַדְתִּיךָ (he’emadtikha) 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.
174 tn The Hiphil infinitive construct הַרְאֹתְךָ (har’otÿkha) 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.
175 tn Heb “in order to declare my name.” Since there is no expressed subject, this may be given a passive translation.
176 tn מִסְתּוֹלֵל (mistolel) is a Hitpael participle, from a root that means “raise up, obstruct.” So in the Hitpael it means to “raise oneself up,” “elevate oneself,” or “be an obstructionist.” See W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:363; U. Cassuto, Exodus, 116.
177 tn The infinitive construct with lamed here is epexegetical; it explains how Pharaoh has exalted himself – “by not releasing the people.”
178 tn הִנְנִי מַמְטִיר (hinÿni mamtir) is the futur instans construction, giving an imminent future translation: “Here – I am about to cause it to rain.”
179 tn Heb “which not was like it in Egypt.” The pronoun suffix serves as the resumptive pronoun for the relative particle: “which…like it” becomes “the like of which has not been.” The word “hail” is added in the translation to make clear the referent of the relative particle.
180 tn The form הִוָּסְדָה (hivvasdah) is perhaps a rare Niphal perfect and not an infinitive (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 117).
181 tn The object “instructions” is implied in the context.
182 tn הָעֵז (ha’ez) is the Hiphil imperative from עוּז (’uz, “to bring into safety” or “to secure”). Although there is no vav (ו) linking the two imperatives, the second could be subordinated by virtue of the meanings. “Send to bring to safety.”
183 tn Heb “man, human.”
184 tn Heb “[who] may be found.” The verb can be the imperfect of possibility.
186 tn Heb “his” (singular).
187 tn The Hebrew text again has the singular.
188 tn Heb “put to his heart.”
189 tn Heb “his servants and his cattle.”
190 tn Or “the heavens” (also in the following verse). The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heavens” or “sky” depending on the context.
191 tn The jussive with the conjunction (וִיהִי, vihi) coming after the imperative provides the purpose or result.
192 tn Heb “on man and on beast.”
193 tn The noun refers primarily to cultivated grains. But here it seems to be the general heading for anything that grows from the ground, all vegetation and plant life, as opposed to what grows on trees.
194 tn The preterite with the vav (ו) consecutive is here subordinated to the next clause in view of the emphasis put on the subject, Yahweh, by the disjunctive word order of that clause.
195 tn By starting the clause with the subject (an example of disjunctive word order) the text is certainly stressing that Yahweh alone did this.
196 tn The expression נָתַן קֹלֹת (natan qolot) literally means “gave voices” (also “voice”). This is a poetic expression for sending the thunder. Ps 29:3 talks about the “voice of Yahweh” – the God of glory thunders!
197 sn This clause has been variously interpreted. Lightning would ordinarily accompany thunder; in this case the mention of fire could indicate that the lightning was beyond normal and that it was striking in such a way as to start fires on the ground. It could also mean that fire went along the ground from the pounding hail.
198 tn The verb is the common preterite וַיְהִי (vayÿhi), which is normally translated “and there was” if it is translated at all. The verb הָיָה (hayah), however, can mean “be, become, befall, fall, fall out, happen.” Here it could be simply translated “there was hail,” but the active “hail fell” fits the point of the sequence better.
199 tn The form מִתְלַקַּחַת (mitlaqqakhat) is a Hitpael participle; the clause reads, “and fire taking hold of itself in the midst of the hail.” This probably refers to lightning flashing back and forth. See also Ezek 1:4. God created a great storm with flashing fire connected to it.
200 tn Heb “very heavy” or “very severe.” The subject “the hail” is implied.
201 tn A literal reading of the clause would be “which there was not like it in all the land of Egypt.” The relative pronoun must be joined to the resumptive pronoun: “which like it (like which) there had not been.”
202 tn The exact expression is “from man even to beast.” R. J. Williams lists this as an example of the inclusive use of the preposition מִן (min) to be rendered “both…and” (Hebrew Syntax, 57, §327).
203 tn Heb “all the cultivated grain of.”
204 sn Pharaoh now is struck by the judgment and acknowledges that he is at fault. But the context shows that this penitence was short-lived. What exactly he meant by this confession is uncertain. On the surface his words seem to represent a recognition that he was in the wrong and Yahweh right.
205 tn The word רָשָׁע (rasha’) can mean “ungodly, wicked, guilty, criminal.” Pharaoh here is saying that Yahweh is right, and the Egyptians are not – so they are at fault, guilty. S. R. Driver says the words are used in their forensic sense (in the right or wrong standing legally) and not in the ethical sense of morally right and wrong (Exodus, 75).
207 tn The expression וְרַב מִהְיֹת (vÿrav mihyot, “[the mighty thunder and hail] is much from being”) means essentially “more than enough.” This indicates that the storm was too much, or, as one might say, “It is enough.”
208 tn The last clause uses a verbal hendiadys: “you will not add to stand,” meaning “you will no longer stay.”
209 tn כְּצֵאתִי (kÿtse’ti) is the Qal infinitive construct of יָצָא (yatsa’); it functions here as the temporal clause before the statement about prayer.
sn There has been a good deal of speculation about why Moses would leave the city before praying. Rashi said he did not want to pray where there were so many idols. It may also be as the midrash in Exodus Rabbah 12:5 says that most of the devastation of this plague had been outside in the fields, and that was where Moses wished to go.
210 sn This clause provides the purpose/result of Moses’ intention: he will pray to Yahweh and the storms will cease “that you might know….” It was not enough to pray and have the plague stop. Pharaoh must “know” that Yahweh is the sovereign Lord over the earth. Here was that purpose of knowing through experience. This clause provides the key for the exposition of this plague: God demonstrated his power over the forces of nature to show his sovereignty – the earth is Yahweh’s. He can destroy it. He can preserve it. If people sin by ignoring his word and not fearing him, he can bring judgment on them. If any fear Yahweh and obey his instructions, they will be spared. A positive way to express the expositional point of the chapter is to say that those who fear Yahweh and obey his word will escape the powerful destruction he has prepared for those who sinfully disregard his word.
211 tn The verse begins with the disjunctive vav to mark a strong contrastive clause to what was said before this.
212 tn The adverb טֶרֶם (terem, “before, not yet”) occurs with the imperfect tense to give the sense of the English present tense to the verb negated by it (GKC 314-15 §107.c). Moses is saying that he knew that Pharaoh did not really stand in awe of God, so as to grant Israel’s release, i.e., fear not in the religious sense but “be afraid of” God – fear “before” him (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 76).
213 tn A disjunctive vav introduces the two verses that provide parenthetical information to the reader. Gesenius notes that the boldness of such clauses is often indicated by the repetition of nouns at the beginning (see GKC 452 §141.d). Some have concluded that because they have been put here rather than back after v. 25 or 26, they form part of Moses’ speech to Pharaoh, explaining that the crops that were necessary for humans were spared, but those for other things were destroyed. This would also mean that Moses was saying there is more that God can destroy (see B. Jacob, Exodus, 279).
215 tn The words “by the hail” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied from context.
216 tn Heb “was in the ear” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NRSV); NIV “had headed.”
217 sn Flax was used for making linen, and the area around Tanis was ideal for producing flax. Barley was used for bread for the poor people, as well as beer and animal feed.
218 tn The word כֻּסֶּמֶת (kussemet) is translated “spelt”; the word occurs only here and in Isa 28:25 and Ezek 4:9. Spelt is a grain closely allied to wheat. Other suggestions have been brought forward from the study of Egyptian crops (see a brief summary in W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:363-64).
219 tn Heb “for they are late.”
220 tn The clause beginning with the preterite and vav (ו) consecutive is here subordinated to the next, and main clause – that he hardened his heart again.
221 tn The construction is another verbal hendiadys: וַיֹּסֶף לַחֲטֹּא (vayyosef lakhatto’), literally rendered “and he added to sin.” The infinitive construct becomes the main verb, and the Hiphil preterite becomes adverbial. The text is clearly interpreting as sin the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart and his refusal to release Israel. At the least this means that the plagues are his fault, but the expression probably means more than this – he was disobeying Yahweh God.
222 tn This phrase translates the Hebrew word כָּבֵד (kaved); see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 53.
223 tn The verb about Pharaoh’s heart in v. 35 is וַיֶּחֱזַק (vayyekhezaq), a Qal preterite: “and it was hardened” or “strengthened to resist.” This forms the summary statement of this stage in the drama. The verb used in v. 34 to report Pharaoh’s response was וַיַּכְבֵּד (vayyakhbed), a Hiphil preterite: “and he hardened [his heart]” or made it stubborn. The use of two descriptions of Pharaoh’s heart in close succession, along with mention of his servants’ heart condition, underscores the growing extent of the problem.
224 sn The Egyptians dreaded locusts like every other ancient civilization. They had particular gods to whom they looked for help in such catastrophes. The locust-scaring deities of Greece and Asia were probably looked to in Egypt as well (especially in view of the origins in Egypt of so many of those religious ideas). The announcement of the plague falls into the now-familiar pattern. God tells Moses to go and speak to Pharaoh but reminds Moses that he has hardened his heart. Yahweh explains that he has done this so that he might show his power, so that in turn they might declare his name from generation to generation. This point is stressed so often that it must not be minimized. God was laying the foundation of the faith for Israel – the sovereignty of Yahweh.
225 tn Heb “and Yahweh said.”
226 tn The verb is שִׁתִי (shiti, “I have put”); it is used here as a synonym for the verb שִׂים (sim). Yahweh placed the signs in his midst, where they will be obvious.
227 tn Heb “in his midst.”
228 tn The expression is unusual: תְּסַפֵּר בְּאָזְנֵי (tÿsapper bÿ’ozne, “[that] you may declare in the ears of”). The clause explains an additional reason for God’s hardening the heart of Pharaoh, namely, so that the Israelites can tell their children of God’s great wonders. The expression is highly poetic and intense – like Ps 44:1, which says, “we have heard with our ears.” The emphasis would be on the clear teaching, orally, from one generation to another.
229 tn The verb הִתְעַלַּלְתִּי (hit’allalti) is a bold anthropomorphism. The word means to occupy oneself at another’s expense, to toy with someone, which may be paraphrased with “mock.” The whole point is that God is shaming and disgracing Egypt, making them look foolish in their arrogance and stubbornness (W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:366-67). Some prefer to translate it as “I have dealt ruthlessly” with Egypt (see U. Cassuto, Exodus, 123).
230 tn Heb “of Egypt.” The place is put by metonymy for the inhabitants.
231 tn The word “about” is supplied to clarify this as another object of the verb “declare.”
232 tn Heb “put” or “placed.”
233 tn The form is the perfect tense with vav consecutive, וִידַעְתֶּם (vida’tem, “and that you might know”). This provides another purpose for God’s dealings with Egypt in the way that he was doing. The form is equal to the imperfect tense with vav (ו) prefixed; it thus parallels the imperfect that began v. 2 – “that you might tell.”
234 tn The verb is מֵאַנְתָּ (me’anta), a Piel perfect. After “how long,” the form may be classified as present perfect (“how long have you refused), for it describes actions begun previously but with the effects continuing. (See GKC 311 §106.g-h). The use of a verb describing a state or condition may also call for a present translation (“how long do you refuse”) that includes past, present, and potentially future, in keeping with the question “how long.”
235 tn The clause is built on the use of the infinitive construct to express the direct object of the verb – it answers the question of what Pharaoh was refusing to do. The Niphal infinitive construct (note the elision of the ה [hey] prefix after the preposition [see GKC 139 §51.l]) is from the verb עָנָה (’anah). The verb in this stem would mean “humble oneself.” The question is somewhat rhetorical, since God was not yet through humbling Pharaoh, who would not humble himself. The issue between Yahweh and Pharaoh is deeper than simply whether or not Pharaoh will let the Israelites leave Egypt.
236 tn הִנְנִי (hinni) before the active participle מֵבִיא (mevi’) is the imminent future construction: “I am about to bring” or “I am going to bring” – precisely, “here I am bringing.”
237 tn One of the words for “locusts” in the Bible is אַרְבֶּה (’arbeh), which comes from רָבָה (ravah, “to be much, many”). It was used for locusts because of their immense numbers.
238 tn Heb “within your border.”
239 tn The verbs describing the locusts are singular because it is a swarm or plague of locusts. This verb (וְכִסָּה, vÿkhissah, “cover”) is a Piel perfect with a vav consecutive; it carries the same future nuance as the participle before it.
241 tn The text has לִרְאֹת וְלֹא יוּכַל (vÿlo’ yukhal lir’ot, “and he will not be able to see”). The verb has no expressed subjects. The clause might, therefore, be given a passive translation: “so that [it] cannot be seen.” The whole clause is the result of the previous statement.
242 sn As the next phrase explains “what escaped” refers to what the previous plague did not destroy. The locusts will devour everything, because there will not be much left from the other plagues for them to eat.
243 tn הַנִּשְׁאֶרֶת (hannish’eret) parallels (by apposition) and adds further emphasis to the preceding two words; it is the Niphal participle, meaning “that which is left over.”
244 tn The relative pronoun אֲשֶׁר (’asher) is occasionally used as a comparative conjunction (see GKC 499 §161.b).
245 tn Heb “which your fathers have not seen, nor your fathers’ fathers.”
246 tn The Hebrew construction מִיּוֹם הֱיוֹתָם (miyyom heyotam, “from the day of their being”). The statement essentially says that no one, even the elderly, could remember seeing a plague of locusts like this. In addition, see B. Childs, “A Study of the Formula, ‘Until This Day,’” JBL 82 (1963).
247 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Moses) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
248 sn The question of Pharaoh’s servants echoes the question of Moses – “How long?” Now the servants of Pharaoh are demanding what Moses demanded – “Release the people.” They know that the land is destroyed, and they speak of it as Moses’ doing. That way they avoid acknowledging Yahweh or blaming Pharaoh.
249 tn Heb “snare” (מוֹקֵשׁ, moqesh), a word used for a trap for catching birds. Here it is a figure for the cause of Egypt’s destruction.
250 tn With the adverb טֶרֶם (terem), the imperfect tense receives a present sense: “Do you not know?” (See GKC 481 §152.r).
251 tn The question is literally “who and who are the ones going?” (מִי וָמִי הַהֹלְכִים, mi vami haholÿkhim). Pharaoh’s answer to Moses includes this rude question, which was intended to say that Pharaoh would control who went. The participle in this clause, then, refers to the future journey.
252 tn Heb “we have a pilgrim feast (חַג, khag) to Yahweh.”
253 sn Pharaoh is by no means offering a blessing on them in the name of Yahweh. The meaning of his “wish” is connected to the next clause – as he is releasing them, may God help them. S. R. Driver says that in Pharaoh’s scornful challenge Yahweh is as likely to protect them as Pharaoh is likely to let them go – not at all (Exodus, 80). He is planning to keep the women and children as hostages to force the men to return. U. Cassuto (Exodus, 125) paraphrases it this way: “May the help of your God be as far from you as I am from giving you permission to go forth with your little ones.” The real irony, Cassuto observes, is that in the final analysis he will let them go, and Yahweh will be with them.
254 tn The context of Moses’ list of young and old, sons and daughters, and the contrast with the word for strong “men” in v. 11 indicates that טַפְּכֶם (tappÿkhem), often translated “little ones” or “children,” refers to dependent people, noncombatants in general.
255 tn Heb “see.”
256 tn Heb “before your face.”
sn The “trouble” or “evil” that is before them could refer to the evil that they are devising – the attempt to escape from Egypt. But that does not make much sense in the sentence – why would he tell them to take heed or look out about that? U. Cassuto (Exodus, 126) makes a better suggestion. He argues that Pharaoh is saying, “Don’t push me too far.” The evil, then, would be what Pharaoh was going to do if these men kept making demands on him. This fits the fact that he had them driven out of his court immediately. There could also be here an allusion to Pharaoh’s god Re’, the sun-deity and head of the pantheon; he would be saying that the power of his god would confront them.
257 tn Heb “not thus.”
258 tn The word is הַגְּבָרִים (haggÿvarim, “the strong men”), a word different from the more general one that Pharaoh’s servants used (v. 7). Pharaoh appears to be conceding, but he is holding hostages. The word “only” has been supplied in the translation to indicate this.
259 tn The suffix on the sign of the accusative refers in a general sense to the idea contained in the preceding clause (see GKC 440-41 §135.p).
260 tn Heb “you are seeking.”
261 tn Heb “they”; the referent (Moses and Aaron) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
262 tn The verb is the Piel preterite, third person masculine singular, meaning “and he drove them out.” But “Pharaoh” cannot be the subject of the sentence, for “Pharaoh” is the object of the preposition. The subject is not specified, and so the verb can be treated as passive.
263 tn The preposition בְּ (bet) is unexpected here. BDB 91 s.v. (the note at the end of the entry) says that in this case it can only be read as “with the locusts,” meaning that the locusts were thought to be implicit in Moses’ lifting up of his hand. However, BDB prefers to change the preposition to לְ (lamed).
264 tn The noun עֵשֶּׂב (’esev) normally would indicate cultivated grains, but in this context seems to indicate plants in general.
265 tn The clause begins וַיהוָה (va’adonay [vayhvah], “Now Yahweh….”). In contrast to a normal sequence, this beginning focuses attention on Yahweh as the subject of the verb.
266 tn The verb נָהַג (nahag) means “drive, conduct.” It is elsewhere used for driving sheep, leading armies, or leading in processions.
267 tn Heb “and all the night.”
268 tn The text does not here use ordinary circumstantial clause constructions; rather, Heb “the morning was, and the east wind carried the locusts.” It clearly means “when it was morning,” but the style chosen gives a more abrupt beginning to the plague, as if the reader is in the experience – and at morning, the locusts are there!
269 tn The verb here is a past perfect, indicting that the locusts had arrived before the day came.
270 tn Heb “border.”
271 tn This is an interpretive translation. The clause simply has כָּבֵד מְאֹד (kaved mÿ’od), the stative verb with the adverb – “it was very heavy.” The description prepares for the following statement about the uniqueness of this locust infestation.
272 tn Heb “after them.”
273 tn Heb “and they covered.”
275 tn The verb is וַתֶּחְשַׁךְ (vattekhshakh, “and it became dark”). The idea is that the ground had the color of the swarms of locusts that covered it.
276 sn The third part of the passage now begins, the confrontation that resulted from the onslaught of the plague. Pharaoh goes a step further here – he confesses he has sinned and adds a request for forgiveness. But his acknowledgment does not go far enough, for this is not genuine confession. Since his heart was not yet submissive, his confession was vain.
277 tn The Piel preterite וַיְמַהֵר (vaymaher) could be translated “and he hastened,” but here it is joined with the following infinitive construct to form the hendiadys. “He hurried to summon” means “He summoned quickly.”
278 sn The severity of the plague prompted Pharaoh to confess his sin against Yahweh and them, now in much stronger terms than before. He also wants forgiveness – but in all probability what he wants is relief from the consequences of his sin. He pretended to convey to Moses that this was it, that he was through sinning, so he asked for forgiveness “only this time.”
279 sn Pharaoh’s double emphasis on “only” uses two different words and was meant to deceive. He was trying to give Moses the impression that he had finally come to his senses, and that he would let the people go. But he had no intention of letting them out.
280 sn “Death” is a metonymy that names the effect for the cause. If the locusts are left in the land it will be death to everything that grows.
281 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Moses) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
282 tn Heb “and he went out.”
283 tn Or perhaps “sea wind,” i.e., a wind off the Mediterranean.
284 tn The Hebrew name here is יַם־סוּף (Yam Suf), sometimes rendered “Reed Sea” or “Sea of Reeds.” The word סוּף is a collective noun that may have derived from an Egyptian name for papyrus reeds. Many English versions have used “Red Sea,” which translates the name that ancient Greeks used: ejruqrav qalavssa (eruqra qalassa).
sn The name Red Sea is currently applied to the sea west of the Arabian Peninsula. The northern fingers of this body of water extend along the west and east sides of the Sinai Peninsula and are presently called the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba or the Gulf of Eilat. In ancient times the name applied to a much larger body of water, including the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf (C. Houtman, Exodus, 1:109-10). See also Num 14:25; 21:4; Deut 1:40; 2:1; Judg 11:16; 1 Kgs 9:26; Jer 49:21. The sea was deep enough to drown the entire Egyptian army later (and thus no shallow swamp land). God drives the locusts to their death in the water. He will have the same power over Egyptian soldiers, for he raised up this powerful empire for a purpose and soon will drown them in the sea. The message for the Israelites is that God will humble all who refuse to submit.
285 sn The ninth plague is that darkness fell on all the land – except on Israel. This plague is comparable to the silence in heaven, just prior to the last and terrible plague (Rev 8:1). Here Yahweh is attacking a core Egyptian religious belief as well as portraying what lay before the Egyptians. Throughout the Bible darkness is the symbol of evil, chaos, and judgment. Blindness is one of its manifestations (see Deut 28:27-29). But the plague here is not blindness, or even spiritual blindness, but an awesome darkness from outside (see Joel 2:2; Zeph 1:15). It is particularly significant in that Egypt’s high god was the Sun God. Lord Sun was now being shut down by Lord Yahweh. If Egypt would not let Israel go to worship their God, then Egypt’s god would be darkness. The structure is familiar: the plague, now unannounced (21-23), and then the confrontation with Pharaoh (24-27).
286 tn Or “the sky” (also in the following verse). The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heavens” or “sky” depending on the context.
287 sn The verb form is the jussive with the sequential vav – וִיהִי חֹשֶׁךְ (vihi khoshekh). B. Jacob (Exodus, 286) notes this as the only instance where Scripture says, “Let there be darkness” (although it is subordinated as a purpose clause; cf. Gen 1:3). Isa 45:7 alluded to this by saying, “who created light and darkness.”
288 tn The Hebrew term מוּשׁ (mush) means “to feel.” The literal rendering would be “so that one may feel darkness.” The image portrays an oppressive darkness; it was sufficiently thick to possess the appearance of substance, although it was just air (B. Jacob, Exodus, 286).
289 tn The construction is a variation of the superlative genitive: a substantive in the construct state is connected to a noun with the same meaning (see GKC 431 §133.i).
290 sn S. R. Driver says, “The darkness was no doubt occasioned really by a sand-storm, produced by the hot electrical wind…which blows in intermittently…” (Exodus, 82, 83). This is another application of the antisupernatural approach to these texts. The text, however, is probably describing something that was not a seasonal wind, or Pharaoh would not have been intimidated. If it coincided with that season, then what is described here is so different and so powerful that the Egyptians would have known the difference easily. Pharaoh here would have had to have been impressed that this was something very abnormal, and that his god was powerless. Besides, there was light in all the dwellings of the Israelites.
291 tn Heb “a man…his brother.”
292 tn The perfect tense in this context requires the somewhat rare classification of a potential perfect.
293 tn Or “dependents.” The term is often translated “your little ones,” but as mentioned before (10:10), this expression in these passages takes in women and children and other dependents. Pharaoh will now let all the people go, but he intends to detain the cattle to secure their return.
294 tn B. Jacob (Exodus, 287) shows that the intent of Moses in using גַּם (gam) is to make an emphatic rhetorical question. He cites other samples of the usage in Num 22:33; 1 Sam 17:36; 2 Sam 12:14, and others. The point is that if Pharaoh told them to go and serve Yahweh, they had to have animals to sacrifice. If Pharaoh was holding the animals back, he would have to make some provision.
295 tn Heb “give into our hand.”
296 tn The form here is וְעָשִּׂינוּ (vÿ’asinu), the Qal perfect with a vav (ו) consecutive – “and we will do.” But the verb means “do” in the sacrificial sense – prepare them, offer them. The verb form is to be subordinated here to form a purpose or result clause.
297 tn This is the obligatory imperfect nuance. They were obliged to take the animals if they were going to sacrifice, but more than that, since they were not coming back, they had to take everything.
298 tn The same modal nuance applies to this verb.
299 tn Heb “from it,” referring collectively to the livestock.
300 sn Moses gives an angry but firm reply to Pharaoh’s attempt to control Israel; he makes it clear that he has no intention of leaving any pledge with Pharaoh. When they leave, they will take everything that belongs to them.
301 tn The expression is לֵךְ מֵעָלָי (lekh me’alay, “go from on me”) with the adversative use of the preposition, meaning from being a trouble or a burden to me (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 84; R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 51, §288).
302 tn Heb “add to see my face.” The construction uses a verbal hendiadys: “do not add to see” (אַל־תֹּסֶף רְאוֹת, ’al-toseph rÿ’ot), meaning “do not see again.” The phrase “see my face” means “come before me” or “appear before me.”
303 tn The construction is בְּיוֹם רְאֹתְךָ (bÿyom rÿ’otÿkha), an adverbial clause of time made up of the prepositional phrase, the infinitive construct, and the suffixed subjective genitive. “In the day of your seeing” is “when you see.”
304 tn Heb “Thus you have spoken.”
305 tn This is a verbal hendiadys construction: “I will not add again [to] see.”
306 sn The last plague is the most severe; it is that for which all the others were preliminary warnings. Up to this point Yahweh had been showing his power to destroy Pharaoh, and now he would begin to do so by bringing death to the Egyptians, a death that would fulfill the warning of talionic judgment – “let my son go, or I will kill your son.” The passage records the announcement of the judgment first to Moses and then through Moses to Pharaoh. The first two verses record the word of God to Moses. This is followed by a parenthetical note about how God had elevated Moses and Israel in the eyes of Egypt (v. 3). Then there is the announcement to Pharaoh (vv. 4-8). This is followed by a parenthetical note on how God had hardened Pharaoh so that Yahweh would be elevated over him. It is somewhat problematic here that Moses is told not to see Pharaoh’s face again. On the one hand, given the nature of Pharaoh to blow hot and cold and to change his mind, it is not impossible for another meeting to have occurred. But Moses said he would not do it (v. 29). One solution some take is to say that the warning in 10:28 originally stood after chapter 11. A change like that is unwarranted, and without support. It may be that vv. 1-3 are parenthetical, so that the announcement in v. 4 follows closely after 10:29 in the chronology. The instruction to Moses in 11:1 might then have been given before he left Pharaoh or even before the interview in 10:24-29 took place. Another possibility, supported by usage in Akkadian, is that the expression “see my face” (and in v. 29 “see your face”) has to do with seeking to have an official royal audience (W. H. C. Propp, Exodus 1–18 [AB], 342). Pharaoh thinks that he is finished with Moses, but as 11:8 describes, Moses expects that in fact Moses will soon be the one in a position like that of royalty granting an audience to Egyptians.
307 tn The expression כְּשַּׂלְּחוֹ כָּלָה (kÿsallÿkho kalah) is difficult. It seems to say, “as/when he releases [you] altogether.” The LXX has “and when he sends you forth with everything.” Tg. Onq. and modern translators make kala adverbial, “completely” or “altogether.” B. S. Childs follows an emendation to read, “as one sends away a bride” (Exodus [OTL], 130). W. C. Kaiser prefers the view of Yaron that would render it “in the manner of one’s sending away a kallah [a slave purchased to be one’s daughter-in-law]” (“Exodus,” EBC 2:370). The last two readings call for revising the vocalization and introducing a rare word into the narrative. The simplest approach is to follow a meaning “when he releases [you] altogether,” i.e., with all your people and your livestock.
308 tn The words are emphatic: גָּרֵשׁ יְגָרֵשׁ (garesh yÿgaresh). The Piel verb means “to drive out, expel.” With the infinitive absolute it says that Pharaoh “will drive you out vigorously.” He will be glad to be rid of you – it will be a total expulsion.
309 tn Heb “Speak now in the ears of the people.” The expression is emphatic; it seeks to ensure that the Israelites hear the instruction.
310 tn The verb translated “request” is וְיִשְׁאֲלוּ (vÿyish’alu), the Qal jussive: “let them ask.” This is the point introduced in Exod 3:22. The meaning of the verb might be stronger than simply “ask”; it might have something of the idea of “implore” (see also its use in the naming of Samuel, who was “asked” from Yahweh [1 Sam 1:20]).
311 tn “each man is to request from his neighbor and each woman from her neighbor.”
sn Here neighbor refers to Egyptian neighbors, who are glad to see them go (12:33) and so willingly give their jewelry and vessels.
312 sn See D. Skinner, “Some Major Themes of Exodus,” Mid-America Theological Journal 1 (1977): 31-42.
313 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”
314 tn Heb “in the eyes of the servants of Pharaoh and in the eyes of the people.” In the translation the word “Egyptian” has been supplied to clarify that the Egyptians and not the Israelites are meant here.
sn The presence of this clause about Moses, which is parenthetical in nature, further indicates why the Egyptians gave rather willingly to the Israelites. They were impressed by Moses’ miracles and his power with Pharaoh. Moses was great in stature – powerful and influential.
315 tn Heb “about the middle of the night.”
316 tn Heb “I will go out in the midst of Egypt.”
317 sn The firstborn in Egyptian and Israelite cultures was significant, but the firstborn of Pharaoh was most important. Pharaoh was considered a god, the son of Re, the sun god, for the specific purpose of ruling over Re’s chief concern, the land of Egypt. For the purpose of re-creation, the supreme god assumed the form of the living king and gave seed which was to become the next king and the next “son of Re.” Moreover, the Pharaoh was the incarnation of the god Horus, a falcon god whose province was the heavens. Horus represented the living king who succeeded the dead king Osiris. Every living king was Horus, every dead king Osiris (see J. A. Wilson, “Egypt,” Before Philosophy, 83-84). To strike any firstborn was to destroy the heir, who embodied the hopes and aspirations of the Egyptians, but to strike the firstborn son of Pharaoh was to destroy this cardinal doctrine of the divine kingship of Egypt. Such a blow would be enough for Pharaoh, for then he would drive the Israelites out.
318 tn Heb “which like it there has never been.”
319 tn Heb “and like it it will not add.”
320 tn Or perhaps “growl”; Heb “not a dog will sharpen his tongue.” The expression is unusual, but it must indicate that not only would no harm come to the Israelites, but that no unfriendly threat would come against them either – not even so much as a dog barking. It is possible this is to be related to the watchdog (see F. C. Fensham, “Remarks on Keret 114b – 136a,” JNSL 11 : 75).
321 tn Heb “against man or beast.”
323 sn Moses’ anger is expressed forcefully. “He had appeared before Pharaoh a dozen times either as God’s emissary or when summoned by Pharaoh, but he would not come again; now they would have to search him out if they needed help” (B. Jacob, Exodus, 289-90).
324 tn Heb “that are at your feet.”
325 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Moses) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
327 sn Chapter 12 details the culmination of the ten plagues on Egypt and the beginning of the actual deliverance from bondage. Moreover, the celebration of this festival of Passover was to become a central part of the holy calendar of Israel. The contents of this chapter have significance for NT studies as well, since the Passover was a type of the death of Jesus. The structure of this section before the crossing of the sea is as follows: the institution of the Passover (12:1-28), the night of farewell and departure (12:29-42), slaves and strangers (12:43-51), and the laws of the firstborn (13:1-16). In this immediate section there is the institution of the Passover itself (12:1-13), then the Unleavened Bread (12:14-20), and then the report of the response of the people (12:21-28).
328 tn Heb “and Yahweh said.”
329 tn Heb “saying.”
330 sn B. Jacob (Exodus, 294-95) shows that the intent of the passage was not to make this month in the spring the New Year – that was in the autumn. Rather, when counting months this was supposed to be remembered first, for it was the great festival of freedom from Egypt. He observes how some scholars have unnecessarily tried to date one New Year earlier than the other.
331 tn Heb “and they will take for them a man a lamb.” This is clearly a distributive, or individualizing, use of “man.”
332 tn The שֶּׂה (seh) is a single head from the flock, or smaller cattle, which would include both sheep and goats.
333 tn Heb “according to the house of their fathers.” The expression “house of the father” is a common expression for a family.
sn The Passover was to be a domestic institution. Each lamb was to be shared by family members.
334 tn Heb “house” (also at the beginning of the following verse).
335 sn Later Judaism ruled that “too small” meant fewer than ten (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 88).
336 tn The clause uses the comparative min (מִן) construction: יִמְעַט הַבַּיִת מִהְיֹת מִשֶּׂה (yim’at habbayit mihyot miseh, “the house is small from being from a lamb,” or “too small for a lamb”). It clearly means that if there were not enough people in the household to have a lamb by themselves, they should join with another family. For the use of the comparative, see GKC 430 §133.c.
337 tn Heb “he and his neighbor”; the referent (the man) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
338 tn Heb “who is near to his house.”
339 tn The construction uses a perfect tense with a vav (ו) consecutive after a conditional clause: “if the household is too small…then he and his neighbor will take.”
340 tn Heb “[every] man according to his eating.”
sn The reference is normally taken to mean whatever each person could eat. B. Jacob (Exodus, 299) suggests, however, that the reference may not be to each individual person’s appetite, but to each family. Each man who is the head of a household was to determine how much his family could eat, and this in turn would determine how many families shared the lamb.
341 tn The construction has: “[The] lamb…will be to you.” This may be interpreted as a possessive use of the lamed, meaning, “[the] lamb…you have” (your lamb) for the Passover. In the context instructing the people to take an animal for this festival, the idea is that the one they select, their animal, must meet these qualifications.
342 tn The Hebrew word תָּמִים (tamim) means “perfect” or “whole” or “complete” in the sense of not having blemishes and diseases – no physical defects. The rules for sacrificial animals applied here (see Lev 22:19-21; Deut 17:1).
343 tn The idiom says “a son of a year” (בֶּן־שָׁנָה, ben shanah), meaning a “yearling” or “one year old” (see GKC 418 §128.v).
344 tn Because a choice is being given in this last clause, the imperfect tense nuance of permission should be used. They must have a perfect animal, but it may be a sheep or a goat. The verb’s object “it” is supplied from the context.
345 tn The text has וְהָיָה לָכֶם לְמִשְׁמֶרֶת (vÿhaya lakem lÿmishmeret, “and it will be for you for a keeping”). This noun stresses the activity of watching over or caring for something, probably to keep it in its proper condition for its designated use (see 16:23, 32-34).
346 tn Heb “all the assembly of the community.” This expression is a pleonasm. The verse means that everyone will kill the lamb, i.e., each family unit among the Israelites will kill its animal.
347 tn Heb “between the two evenings” or “between the two settings” (בֵּין הָעַרְבָּיִם, ben ha’arbayim). This expression has had a good deal of discussion. (1) Tg. Onq. says “between the two suns,” which the Talmud explains as the time between the sunset and the time the stars become visible. More technically, the first “evening” would be the time between sunset and the appearance of the crescent moon, and the second “evening” the next hour, or from the appearance of the crescent moon to full darkness (see Deut 16:6 – “at the going down of the sun”). (2) Saadia, Rashi, and Kimchi say the first evening is when the sun begins to decline in the west and cast its shadows, and the second evening is the beginning of night. (3) The view adopted by the Pharisees and the Talmudists (b. Pesahim 61a) is that the first evening is when the heat of the sun begins to decrease, and the second evening begins at sunset, or, roughly from 3-5
348 tn Heb “this night.”
349 sn Bread made without yeast could be baked quickly, not requiring time for the use of a leavening ingredient to make the dough rise. In Deut 16:3 the unleavened cakes are called “the bread of affliction,” which alludes to the alarm and haste of the Israelites. In later Judaism and in the writings of Paul, leaven came to be a symbol of evil or corruption, and so “unleavened bread” – bread made without yeast – was interpreted to be a picture of purity or freedom from corruption or defilement (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 90-91).
350 sn This ruling was to prevent their eating it just softened by the fire or partially roasted as differing customs might prescribe or allow.
351 tn Heb “your loins girded.”
352 tn The meaning of פֶּסַח (pesakh) is debated. (1) Some have tried to connect it to the Hebrew verb with the same radicals that means “to halt, leap, limp, stumble.” See 1 Kgs 18:26 where the word describes the priests of Baal hopping around the altar; also the crippled child in 2 Sam 4:4. (2) Others connect it to the Akkadian passahu, which means “to appease, make soft, placate”; or (3) an Egyptian word to commemorate the harvest (see J. B. Segal, The Hebrew Passover, 95-100). The verb occurs in Isa 31:5 with the connotation of “to protect”; B. S. Childs suggests that this was already influenced by the exodus tradition (Exodus [OTL], 183, n. 11). Whatever links there may or may not have been that show an etymology, in Exod 12 it is describing Yahweh’s passing over or through.
353 tn The verb וְעָבַרְתִּי (vÿ’avarti) is a Qal perfect with vav (ו) consecutive, announcing the future action of God in bringing judgment on the land. The word means “pass over, across, through.” This verb provides a contextual motive for the name “Passover.”
354 tn Heb “this night.”
355 tn The verb נָכָה (nakhah) means “to strike, smite, attack”; it does not always mean “to kill,” but that is obviously its outcome in this context. This is also its use in 2:12, describing how Moses killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand.
356 tn Heb “from man and to beast.”
357 tn The phrase אֶעֱשֶׂה שְׁפָטִים (’e’eseh shÿfatim) is “I will do judgments.” The statement clearly includes what had begun in Exod 6:1. But the statement that God would judge the gods of Egypt is appropriately introduced here (see also Num 33:4) because with the judgment on Pharaoh and the deliverance from bondage, Yahweh would truly show himself to be the one true God. Thus, “I am Yahweh” is fitting here (see B. Jacob, Exodus, 312).
358 tn Both of the verbs for seeing and passing over are perfect tenses with vav (ו) consecutives: וּפָסַחְתִּי…וְרָאִיתִי (vÿra’iti...ufasakhti); the first of these parallel verb forms is subordinated to the second as a temporal clause. See Gesenius’s description of perfect consecutives in the protasis and apodosis (GKC 494 §159.g).
359 tn The meaning of the verb is supplied in part from the near context of seeing the sign and omitting to destroy, as well as the verb at the start of verse 12 “pass through, by, over.” Isa 31:5 says, “Just as birds hover over a nest, so the
360 tn The word “plague” (נֶגֶף, negef) is literally “a blow” or “a striking.” It usually describes a calamity or affliction given to those who have aroused God’s anger, as in Exod 30:12; Num 8:19; 16:46, 47; Josh 22:17 (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 92-93).
361 tn Heb “for destruction.” The form מַשְׁחִית (mashkhit) is the Hiphil participle of שָׁחַת (shakhat). The word itself is a harsh term; it was used to describe Yahweh’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 13:10).
362 tn בְּהַכֹּתִי (bÿhakkoti) is the Hiphil infinitive construct from נָכָה (nakhah), with a preposition prefixed and a pronominal suffix added to serve as the subjective genitive – the subject of this temporal clause. It is also used in 12:12.
363 sn For additional discussions, see W. H. Elder, “The Passover,” RevExp 74 (1977): 511-22; E. Nutz, “The Passover,” BV 12 (1978): 23-28; H. M. Kamsler, “The Blood Covenant in the Bible,” Dor le Dor 6 (1977): 94-98; A. Rodriguez, Substitution in the Hebrew Cultus; B. Ramm, “The Theology of the Book of Exodus: A Reflection on Exodus 12:12,” SwJT 20 (1977): 59-68; and M. Gilula, “The Smiting of the First-Born: An Egyptian Myth?” TA 4 (1977): 94-85.
364 tn Heb “and this day will be.”
365 tn The expression “will be for a memorial” means “will become a memorial.”
sn The instruction for the unleavened bread (vv. 14-20) begins with the introduction of the memorial (זִכָּרוֹן [zikkaron] from זָכַר [zakhar]). The reference is to the fifteenth day of the month, the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. B. Jacob (Exodus, 315) notes that it refers to the death blow on Egypt, but as a remembrance had to be held on the next day, not during the night. He also notes that this was the origin of “the Day of the
366 tn The verb וְחַגֹּתֶם (vÿkhaggotem), a perfect tense with the vav (ו) consecutive to continue the instruction, is followed by the cognate accusative חַג (khag), for emphasis. As the wording implies and the later legislation required, this would involve a pilgrimage to the sanctuary of Yahweh.
367 tn Two expressions show that this celebration was to be kept perpetually: the line has “for your generations, [as] a statute forever.” “Generations” means successive generations (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 94). עוֹלָם (’olam) means “ever, forever, perpetual” – no end in sight.
368 tn This expression is an adverbial accusative of time. The feast was to last from the 15th to the 21st of the month.
369 tn Or “you will eat.” The statement stresses their obligation – they must eat unleavened bread and avoid all leaven.
370 tn The etymology of מַצּוֹת (matsot, “unleavened bread,” i.e., “bread made without yeast”) is uncertain. Suggested connections to known verbs include “to squeeze, press,” “to depart, go out,” “to ransom,” or to an Egyptian word “food, cake, evening meal.” For a more detailed study of “unleavened bread” and related matters such as “yeast” or “leaven,” see A. P. Ross, NIDOTTE 4:448-53.
371 tn The particle serves to emphasize, not restrict here (B. S. Childs, Exodus [OTL], 183, n. 15).
372 tn Heb “every eater of leavened bread.” The participial phrase stands at the beginning of the clause as a casus pendens, that is, it stands grammatically separate from the sentence. It names a condition, the contingent occurrences of which involve a further consequence (GKC 361 §116.w).
373 tn The verb וְנִכְרְתָה (vÿnikhrÿtah) is the Niphal perfect with the vav (ו) consecutive; it is a common formula in the Law for divine punishment. Here, in sequence to the idea that someone might eat bread made with yeast, the result would be that “that soul [the verb is feminine] will be cut off.” The verb is the equivalent of the imperfect tense due to the consecutive; a translation with a nuance of the imperfect of possibility (“may be cut off”) fits better perhaps than a specific future. There is the real danger of being cut off, for while the punishment might include excommunication from the community, the greater danger was in the possibility of divine intervention to root out the evildoer (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 94). Gesenius lists this as the use of a perfect with a vav consecutive after a participle (a casus pendens) to introduce the apodosis (GKC 337 §112.mm).
sn In Lev 20:3, 5-6, God speaks of himself as cutting off a person from among the Israelites. The rabbis mentioned premature death and childlessness as possible judgments in such cases, and N. M. Sarna comments that “one who deliberately excludes himself from the religious community of Israel cannot be a beneficiary of the covenantal blessings” (Exodus [JPSTC], 58).
374 sn This refers to an assembly of the people at the sanctuary for religious purposes. The word “convocation” implies that the people were called together, and Num 10:2 indicates they were called together by trumpets.
375 tn Heb “all/every work will not be done.” The word refers primarily to the work of one’s occupation. B. Jacob (Exodus, 322) explains that since this comes prior to the fuller description of laws for Sabbaths and festivals, the passage simply restricts all work except for the preparation of food. Once the laws are added, this qualification is no longer needed. Gesenius translates this as “no manner of work shall be done” (GKC 478-79 §152.b).
376 tn Heb “on the bone of this day.” The expression means “the substance of the day,” the day itself, the very day (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 95).
379 tn “month” has been supplied.
380 tn “Seven days” is an adverbial accusative of time (see R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 12, §56).
381 tn The term is נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh), often translated “soul.” It refers to the whole person, the soul within the body. The noun is feminine, agreeing with the feminine verb “be cut off.”
382 tn Or “alien”; or “stranger.”
383 tn Heb “draw out and take.” The verb has in view the need “to draw out” a lamb or goat selected from among the rest of the flock.
384 tn The Hebrew noun is singular and can refer to either a lamb or a goat. Since English has no common word for both, the phrase “a lamb or young goat” is used in the translation.
385 tn The word “animals” is added to avoid giving the impression in English that the Passover festival itself is the object of “kill.”
386 sn The hyssop is a small bush that grows throughout the Sinai, probably the aromatic herb Origanum Maru L., or Origanum Aegyptiacum. The plant also grew out of the walls in Jerusalem (1 Kgs 4:33). See L. Baldensperger and G. M. Crowfoot, “Hyssop,” PEQ 63 (1931): 89-98. A piece of hyssop was also useful to the priests because it worked well for sprinkling.
387 tn The Greek and the Vulgate translate סַף (saf, “basin”) as “threshold.” W. C. Kaiser reports how early traditions grew up about the killing of the lamb on the threshold (“Exodus,” EBC 2:376).
388 tn Heb “and you, you shall not go out, a man from the door of his house.” This construction puts stress on prohibiting absolutely everyone from going out.
389 tn The first of the two clauses begun with perfects and vav consecutives may be subordinated to form a temporal clause: “and he will see…and he will pass over,” becomes “when he sees…he will pass over.”
390 tn Here the form is the Hiphil participle with the definite article. Gesenius says this is now to be explained as “the destroyer” although some take it to mean “destruction” (GKC 406 §126.m, n. 1).
391 tn “you” has been supplied.
392 tn The verb used here and at the beginning of v. 24 is שָׁמַר (shamar); it can be translated “watch, keep, protect,” but in this context the point is to “observe” the religious customs and practices set forth in these instructions.
393 tn Heb “what is this service to you?”
394 sn This expression “the sacrifice of Yahweh’s Passover” occurs only here. The word זֶבַח (zevakh) means “slaughtering” and so a blood sacrifice. The fact that this word is used in Lev 3 for the peace offering has linked the Passover as a kind of peace offering, and both the Passover and the peace offerings were eaten as communal meals.
395 tn The verb means “to strike, smite, plague”; it is the same verb that has been used throughout this section (נָגַף, nagaf). Here the construction is the infinitive construct in a temporal clause.
396 tn The two verbs form a verbal hendiadys: “and the people bowed down and they worshiped.” The words are synonymous, and so one is taken as the adverb for the other.
397 tn Heb “went away and did as the
398 sn The next section records the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, and so becomes the turning point of the book. Verses 28 and 29 could be included in the exposition of the previous section as the culmination of that part. The message might highlight God’s requirement for deliverance from bondage through the application of the blood of the sacrifice, God’s instruction for the memorial of deliverance through the purging of corruption, and the compliance of those who believed the message. But these verses also form the beginning of this next section (and so could be used transitionally). This unit includes the judgment on Egypt (29-30), the exodus from Egypt (31-39) and the historical summation and report (40-42).
399 tn The verse begins with the temporal indicator וַיְהִי (vayÿhi), often translated “and it came to pass.” Here it could be left untranslated: “In the middle of the night Yahweh attacked.” The word order of the next and main clause furthers the emphasis by means of the vav disjunctive on the divine name preceding the verb. The combination of these initial and disjunctive elements helps to convey the suddenness of the attack, while its thoroughness is stressed by the repetition of “firstborn” in the rest of the verse, the merism (“from the firstborn of Pharaoh…to the firstborn of the captive”), and the mention of cattle.
400 tn Heb “arose,” the verb קוּם (qum) in this context certainly must describe a less ceremonial act. The entire country woke up in terror because of the deaths.
401 tn The noun is an adverbial accusative of time – “in the night” or “at night.”
402 sn Or so it seemed. One need not push this description to complete literalness. The reference would be limited to houses that actually had firstborn people or animals. In a society in which households might include more than one generation of humans and animals, however, the presence of a firstborn human or animal would be the rule rather than the exception.
403 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Pharaoh) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
404 tn The urgency in Pharaoh’s words is caught by the abrupt use of the imperatives – “get up, go” (קוּמוּ צְּאוּ, qumu tsÿ’u), and “go, serve” (וּלְכוּ עִבְדוּ, ulÿkhu ’ivdu) and “take” and “leave/go” (וָלֵכוּ…קְחוּ, qÿkhu...valekhu).
405 tn Heb “as you have said.” The same phrase also occurs in the following verse.
sn It appears from this clause that Pharaoh has given up attempting to impose restrictions as he had earlier. With the severe judgment on him for his previous refusals he should now know that these people are no longer his subjects, and he is no longer sovereign. As Moses had insisted, all the Israelites would leave, and with all their possessions, to worship Yahweh.
406 tn The form is the Piel perfect with a vav (ו) consecutive (וּבֵרַכְתֶּם, uverakhtem); coming in the sequence of imperatives this perfect tense would be volitional – probably a request rather than a command.
sn Pharaoh probably meant that they should bless him also when they were sacrificing to Yahweh in their religious festival – after all, he might reason, he did let them go (after divine judgment). To bless him would mean to invoke good gifts from God for him.
407 tn The verb used here (חָזַק, khazaq) is the same verb used for Pharaoh’s heart being hardened. It conveys the idea of their being resolved or insistent in this – they were not going to change.
408 tn The phrase uses two construct infinitives in a hendiadys, the first infinitive becoming the modifier.
409 tn The imperfect tense after the adverb טֶרֶם (terem) is to be treated as a preterite: “before it was leavened,” or “before the yeast was added.” See GKC 314-15 §107.c.
410 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.
411 tn Heb “from Egypt.” Here the Hebrew text uses the name of the country to represent the inhabitants (a figure known as metonymy).
412 tn The holy name (“Yahweh,” represented as “the
413 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.
414 tn The verb וַיַּשְׁאִלוּם (vayyash’ilum) is a Hiphil form that has the root שָׁאַל (sha’al), 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).
415 sn See B. Jacob, “The Gifts of the Egyptians; A Critical Commentary,” Journal of Reformed Judaism 27 (1980): 59-69.
416 tn Heb “and the sons of Israel journeyed.”
417 sn The wilderness itinerary begins here. W. C. Kaiser records the identification of these two places as follows: The name Rameses probably refers to Qantir rather than Tanis, which is more remote, because Qantir was by the water; Sukkoth is identified as Tell el Maskhuta in the Wadi Tumilat near modern Ismailia – or the region around the city (“Exodus,” EBC 2:379). Of the extensive bibliography, see G. W. Coats, “The Wilderness Itinerary,” CBQ 34 (1972): 135-52; G. I. Davies, “The Wilderness Itineraries: A Comparative Study,” TynBul 25 (1974): 46-81; and J. T. Walsh, “From Egypt to Moab. A Source Critical Analysis of the Wilderness Itinerary,” CBQ 39 (1977): 20-33.
418 tn The word for “men” (הַגְּבָרִים, haggÿvarim) stresses their hardiness and capability – strong men, potential soldiers – in contrast with the word that follows and designates noncombatants.
sn There have been many attempts to calculate the population of the exodus group, but nothing in the text gives the exact number other than the 600,000 people on foot who were men. Estimates of two million people are very large, especially since the Bible says there were seven nations in the land of Canaan mightier than Israel. It is probably not two million people (note, the Bible never said it was – this is calculated by scholars). But attempts to reduce the number by redefining the word “thousand” to mean clan or tribe or family unit have not been convincing, primarily because of all the tabulations of the tribes in the different books of the Bible that have to be likewise reduced. B. Jacob (Exodus, 347) rejects the many arguments and calculations as the work of eighteenth century deists and rationalists, arguing that the numbers were taken seriously in the text. Some writers interpret the numbers as inflated due to a rhetorical use of numbers, arriving at a number of 60,000 or so for the men here listed (reducing it by a factor of ten), and insisting this is a literal interpretation of the text as opposed to a spiritual or allegorical approach (see R. Allen, “Numbers,” EBC 2:686-96; see also G. Mendenhall, “The Census Lists of Numbers 1 and 26,” JBL 77 : 52-66). This proposal removes the “embarrassingly” large number for the exodus, but like other suggestions, lacks completely compelling evidence. For a more extensive discussion of the large numbers used to describe the Israelites in their wilderness experience, see the note on “46,500” in Num 1:21.
420 tn The “mixed multitude” (עֵרֶב רַב, ’erev rav) refers to a great “swarm” (see a possible cognate in 8:21) of folk who joined the Israelites, people who were impressed by the defeat of Egypt, who came to faith, or who just wanted to escape Egypt (maybe slaves or descendants of the Hyksos). The expression prepares for later references to riffraff who came along.
421 tn Heb “and very much cattle.”
423 tn Heb “and also.”
424 tn The verb is עָשׂוּ (’asu, “they made”); here, with a potential nuance, it is rendered “they could [not] prepare.”
425 sn Here as well some scholars work with the number 430 to try to reduce the stay in Egypt for the bondage. Some argue that if the number included the time in Canaan, that would reduce the bondage by half. S. R. Driver (Exodus, 102) notes that P thought Moses was the fourth generation from Jacob (6:16-27), if those genealogies are not selective. Exodus 6 has Levi – Kohath – Amram – Moses. This would require a period of about 100 years, and that is unusual. There is evidence, however, that the list is selective. In 1 Chr 2:3-20 the text has Bezalel (see Exod 31:2-5) a contemporary of Moses and yet the seventh from Judah. Elishama, a leader of the Ephraimites (Num 10:22), was in the ninth generation from Jacob (1 Chr 7:22-26). Joshua, Moses’ assistant, was the eleventh from Jacob (1 Chr 7:27). So the “four generations” leading up to Moses are not necessarily complete. With regard to Exod 6, K. A. Kitchen has argued that the four names do not indicate successive generations, but tribe (Levi), clan (Kohath), family (Amram), and individual (Moses; K. A. Kitchen, Ancient Orient and Old Testament, 54-55). For a detailed discussion of the length of the sojourn, see E. H. Merrill, A Kingdom of Priests, 75-79.
427 tn There is some ambiguity in לֵיל שִׁמֻּרִים הוּא לַיהוָה (lel shimmurim hu’ la’adonay [layhveh]). It is likely that this first clause means that Yahweh was on watch for Israel to bring them out, as the next clause says. He was protecting his people (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 102). Then, the night of vigil will be transferred to Israel, who now must keep it “to” him.
428 tn “and so” has been supplied.
429 tn Heb “this night is for Yahweh a vigil for all Israelites for their generations.”
430 sn The section that concludes the chapter contains regulations pertaining to the Passover. The section begins at v. 43, but vv. 40-42 form a good setting for it. In this unit vv. 43-45 belong together because they stress that a stranger and foreigner cannot eat. Verse 46 stands by itself, ruling that the meal must be eaten at home. Verse 47 instructs that the whole nation was to eat it. Verses 48-49 make provision for foreigners who may wish to participate. And vv. 50-51 record the obedience of Israel.
431 tn This taken in the modal nuance of permission, reading that no foreigner is permitted to share in it (apart from being a member of the household as a circumcised slave [v. 44] or obeying v. 48, if a free individual).
432 tn This is the partitive use of the bet (ב) preposition, expressing that the action extends to something and includes the idea of participation in it (GKC 380 §119.m).
433 tn Both the participle “foreigner” and the verb “lives” are from the verb גּוּר (gur), which means “to sojourn, to dwell as an alien.” This reference is to a foreigner who settles in the land. He is the protected foreigner; when he comes to another area where he does not have his clan to protect him, he must come under the protection of the Law, or the people. If the “resident alien” is circumcised, he may participate in the Passover (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 104).
434 tn The infinitive absolute functions as the finite verb here, and “every male” could be either the object or the subject (see GKC 347 §113.gg and 387 §121.a).
435 tn אֶזְרָח (’ezrakh) refers to the native-born individual, the native Israelite as opposed to the “stranger, alien” (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 104); see also W. F. Albright, Archaeology and the Religion of Israel, 127, 210.
436 tn Heb “one law will be to.”
437 tn Heb “did as the