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Pharaoh will think[a] regarding the Israelites, ‘They are wandering around confused[b] in the land—the desert has closed in on them.’[c] I will harden[d] Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after them. I will gain honor[e] because of Pharaoh and because of all his army, and the Egyptians will know[f] that I am the Lord.” So this is what they did.[g]

When it was reported[h] to the king of Egypt that the people had fled,[i] the heart of Pharaoh and his servants was turned against the people, and the king and his servants said,[j] “What in the world have we done?[k] For we have released the people of Israel[l] from serving us!”

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  1. Exodus 14:3 tn Heb “and Pharaoh will say.”
  2. Exodus 14:3 sn The word translated “wandering around confused” indicates that Pharaoh thought the Israelites would be so perplexed and confused that they would not know which way to turn in order to escape—and they would never dream of crossing the sea (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 115).
  3. Exodus 14:3 tn The expression has also been translated “the desert has shut [the way] for them,” and more freely “[the Israelites are] hemmed in by the desert.”
  4. Exodus 14:4 tn In this place the verb חָזַק (hazaq) is used; it indicates that God would make Pharaoh’s will strong or firm.
  5. Exodus 14:4 tn The form is וְאִכָּבְדָה (veʾikkavedah), the Niphal cohortative. Coming after the perfect tenses with vav (ו) consecutives expressing the future, this cohortative indicates the purpose of the hardening and chasing. Yahweh intended to gain glory by this final and great victory over the strength of Pharaoh. There is irony in this expression since a different form of the word was used frequently to describe Pharaoh’s hard heart. So judgment will not only destroy the wicked—it will reveal the glory and majesty of the sovereignty of God.
  6. Exodus 14:4 tn This is the perfect tense with the vav (ו) consecutive. But it announces the fulfillment of a long standing purpose—that they might know.
  7. Exodus 14:4 tn Heb “and they did so.”
  8. Exodus 14:5 tn Heb “and it was told.” The present translation uses “reported,” since this involves information given to a superior.
  9. Exodus 14:5 tn The verb must be given a past perfect translation because the fleeing occurred before the telling.
  10. Exodus 14:5 tn Heb “and they said.” The referent (the king and his servants) is supplied for clarity.
  11. Exodus 14:5 tn The question literally is “What is this we have done?” The demonstrative pronoun is used as an enclitic particle for emphasis (R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 24, §118).
  12. Exodus 14:5 tn Heb “released Israel.” By metonymy the name of the nation is used collectively for the people who constitute it (the Israelites).

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