A A A A A
Bible Book List

Exodus 5:2-4 New English Translation (NET Bible)

But Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord[a] that[b] I should obey him[c] by releasing[d] Israel? I do not know the Lord,[e] and I will not release Israel!” And they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Let us go a three-day journey[f] into the wilderness so that we may sacrifice[g] to the Lord our God, so that he does not strike us with plague or the sword.”[h] The king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you cause the people to refrain from their work?[i] Return to your labor!”

Footnotes:

  1. Exodus 5:2 tn Heb “Yahweh.” This is a rhetorical question, expressing doubt or indignation or simply a negative thought that Yahweh is nothing (see erotesis in E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 944-45). Pharaoh is not asking for information (cf. 1 Sam 25:5-10).
  2. Exodus 5:2 tn The relative pronoun introduces the consecutive clause that depends on the interrogative clause (see GKC 318-19 §107.u).
  3. Exodus 5:2 tn The imperfect tense here receives the classification of obligatory imperfect. The verb שָׁמַע (shamaʿ) followed by “in the voice of” is idiomatic; rather than referring to simple audition—“that I should hear his voice”—it conveys the thought of listening that issues in action—“that I should obey him.”sn The construction of these clauses is similar to (ironically) the words of Moses: “Who am I that I should go?” (3:11).
  4. Exodus 5:2 tn The Piel infinitive construct here has the epexegetical usage with lamed (ל); it explains the verb “obey.”
  5. Exodus 5:2 sn This absolute statement of Pharaoh is part of a motif that will develop throughout the conflict. For Pharaoh, the Lord (Yahweh) did not exist. So he said “I do not know the Lord [i.e., Yahweh].” The point of the plagues and the exodus will be “that he might know.” Pharaoh will come to know this Yahweh, but not in any pleasant way.
  6. Exodus 5:3 tn The word “journey” is an adverbial accusative telling the distance that Moses wanted the people to go. It is qualified by “three days.” It is not saying that they will be gone three days, but that they will go a distance that will take three days to cover (see Gen 31:22-23; Num 10:33; 33:8).
  7. Exodus 5:3 tn The purpose clause here is formed with a second cohortative joined with a vav (ו): “let us go…and let us sacrifice.” The purpose of the going was to sacrifice.sn Where did Moses get the idea that they should have a pilgrim feast and make sacrifices? God had only said they would serve Him in that mountain. In the OT the pilgrim feasts to the sanctuary three times a year incorporated the ideas of serving the Lord and keeping the commands. So the words here use the more general idea of appearing before their God. They would go to the desert because there was no homeland yet. Moses later spoke of the journey as necessary to avoid offending Egyptian sensibilities (8:25-26).
  8. Exodus 5:3 sn The last clause of this verse is rather unexpected here: “lest he meet [afflict] us with pestilence or sword.” To fail to comply with the summons of one’s God was to invite such calamities. The Law would later incorporate many such things as the curses for disobedience. Moses is indicating to Pharaoh that there is more reason to fear Yahweh than Pharaoh.
  9. Exodus 5:4 sn The clause is a rhetorical question. Pharaoh is not asking them why they do this, but rather is accusing them of doing it. He suspects their request is an attempt to get people time away from their labor. In Pharaoh’s opinion, Moses and Aaron were “removing the restraint” (פָּרַע, paraʿ) of the people in an effort to give them rest. Ironically, under the Law the people would be expected to cease their labor when they went to appear before God. He would give them the rest that Pharaoh refused to give. It should be noted also that it was not Israel who doubted that Yahweh had sent Moses, as Moses had feared—but rather Pharaoh.
New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

  Back

1 of 1

You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more

Viewing of
Cross references
Footnotes