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Exodus 9:30-34

Context
9:30 But as for you 1  and your servants, I know that you do not yet fear 2  the Lord God.”

9:31 (Now the 3  flax and the barley were struck 4  by the hail, 5  for the barley had ripened 6  and the flax 7  was in bud. 9:32 But the wheat and the spelt 8  were not struck, for they are later crops.) 9 

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 10  that the rain and hail and thunder ceased, he sinned again: 11  both he and his servants hardened 12  their hearts.

1 tn The verse begins with the disjunctive vav to mark a strong contrastive clause to what was said before this.

2 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).

3 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).

4 tn The unusual forms נֻכָּתָה (nukkatah) in v. 31 and נֻכּוּ (nukku) in v. 32 are probably to be taken as old Qal passives. There are no attested Piel uses of the root.

5 tn The words “by the hail” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied from context.

6 tn Heb “was in the ear” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NRSV); NIV “had headed.”

7 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.

8 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).

9 tn Heb “for they are late.”

10 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.

11 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.

12 tn This phrase translates the Hebrew word כָּבֵד (kaved); see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 53.



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