וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה בֹּא אֶל־פַּרְעֹה כִּי־אֲנִי הִכְבַּדְתִּי אֶת־לִבֹּו וְאֶת־לֵב עֲבָדָיו לְמַעַן שִׁתִי אֹתֹתַי 10:1
Exod. 10:1 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharoah, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, so that I set these, My signs, in his midst,
וּלְמַעַן תְּסַפֵּר בְּאָזְנֵי בִנְךָ וּבֶן־בִּנְךָ אֵת אֲשֶׁר הִתְעַלַּלְתִּי בְּמִצְרַיִם וְאֶת־אֹתֹתַי אֲשֶׁר־שַׂמְתִּי בָם 10:2
וִידַעְתֶּם כִּי־אֲנִי יְהוָה
Exod. 10:2 and so that you can recount in the ears of your son and your son’s son what I have thrust forth on the Egyptians, and My signs that I have put on them, that you shall know that I am the Lord.”
The first “you” is singular and indicates that the Lord is addressing Moses, while the second “you” is plural, apparently addressing all the future generations (your son and your son’s son, for example).
וַיָּבֹא מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן אֶל־פַּרְעֹה וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו כֹּה־אָמַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי הָעִבְרִים עַד־מָתַי מֵאַנְתָּ לֵעָנֹת 10:3
מִפָּנָי שַׁלַּח עַמִּי וְיַעַבְדֻנִי
Exod. 10:3 So Moses went, and Aaron, to Pharoah and they said to him, “Thus says the Lord, God of the Hebrews: ‘How long you have refused to humble yourself before Me! Let My people go so they may serve Me.’
There is a repeat of the non-inverting vav prefix to the word that has appeared twice before in Exod. 9:1 and 9:13, translated as so they may serve Me.
כִּי אִם־מָאֵן אַתָּה לְשַׁלֵּחַ אֶת־עַמִּי הִנְנִי מֵבִיא מָחָר אַרְבֶּה בִּגְבֻלֶךָ 10:4
Exod. 10:4 ‘For if you refuse to let My people go, behold, tomorrow I will be bringing a swarm of locusts into your territory
וְכִסָּה אֶת־עֵין הָאָרֶץ וְלֹא יוּכַל לִרְאֹת אֶת־הָאָרֶץ וְאָכַל אֶת־יֶתֶר הַפְּלֵטָה הַנִּשְׁאֶרֶת לָכֶם מִן־הַבָּרָד 10:5
וְאָכַל אֶת־כָּל־הָעֵץ הַצֹּמֵחַ לָכֶם מִן־הַשָּׂדֶה
Exod. 10:5 that will hide the sight of the earth so one will not be able to see the earth, and it shall eat the remaining remnant of yours left over from the hail, and eat every tree of yours growing out of the field,
וּמָלְאוּ בָתֶּיךָ וּבָתֵּי כָל־עֲבָדֶיךָ וּבָתֵּי כָל־מִצְרַיִם אֲשֶׁר לֹא־רָאוּ אֲבֹתֶיךָ וַאֲבֹות אֲבֹתֶיךָ מִיֹּום הֱיֹותָם 10:6
עַל־הָאֲדָמָה עַד הַיֹּום הַזֶּה וַיִּפֶן וַיֵּצֵא מֵעִם פַּרְעֹה
Exod. 10:6 and your houses and the houses of all your servants and the houses of all the Egyptians shall be filled such as your fathers had not seen, or the fathers of your fathers, from the day of their appearing in the land until this day.’” And he turned and went out from Pharoah.
In v. 10:3, we were told that Moses and Aaron were speaking to Pharoah. In this verse, however, we find that either Moses or Aaron turned and went out. Had the other left earlier, did he stay after the first had left, or did the scribe simply not assume it important enough to include the one who hadn’t been speaking?
וַיֹּאמְרוּ עַבְדֵי פַרְעֹה אֵלָיו עַד־מָתַי יִהְיֶה זֶה לָנוּ לְמֹוקֵשׁ שַׁלַּח אֶת־הָאֲנָשִׁים וְיַעַבְדוּ אֶת־יְהוָה 10:7
אֱלֹהֵיהֶם הֲטֶרֶם תֵּדַע כִּי אָבְדָה מִצְרָיִם
Exod. 10:7 Then the servants of Pharoah said to him, “How long should this be for a snare to us? Let the men go so they may worship the Lord, their God. Can you still not understand that Egypt has gone astray?”
וַיּוּשַׁב אֶת־מֹשֶׁה וְאֶת־אַהֲרֹן אֶל־פַּרְעֹה וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם לְכוּ עִבְדוּ אֶת־יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם מִי וָמִי הַהֹלְכִים 10:8
Exod. 10:8 And He again brought Moses and Aaron to Pharoah and he said to them, “Go serve the Lord, your God. Who is it will be going?”
וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה בִּנְעָרֵינוּ וּבִזְקֵנֵינוּ נֵלֵךְ בְּבָנֵינוּ וּבִבְנֹותֵנוּ בְּצֹאנֵנוּ וּבִבְקָרֵנוּ נֵלֵךְ כִּי חַג־יְהוָה לָנוּ 10:9
Exod. 10:9 And Moses said, “With our young and with our old we shall go, with our sons and with our daughters, with our sheep and with our cattle we will go, for a feast of the Lord will be ours.”
וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם יְהִי כֵן יְהוָה עִםָּכֶם כַּאֲשֶׁר אֲשַׁלַּח אֶתְכֶם וְאֶת־טַפְּכֶם רְאוּ כִּי רָעָה נֶגֶד פְּנֵיכֶם 10:10
Exod. 10:10 And he said to them, “Truly the Lord must be with you, as I would let you and your children go. Consider if evil is before your faces.”
The typical translation of the last sentence of the verse is “See that evil is before your face.” The classic commentators have tried to explain this confusing sentence in several rather imaginative ways. I suspect that its interpretation may instead be quite straightforward. Considering the first two words of the next verse, I suspect that Pharoah is simply trying to project a less guilty countenance. He’s saying to Moses and Aaron, “I’m not so bad.”
לֹא כֵן לְכוּ־נָא הַגְּבָרִים וְעִבְדוּ אֶת־יְהוָה כִּי אֹתָהּ אַתֶּם מְבַקְשִׁים וַיְגָרֶשׁ אֹתָם מֵאֵת פְּנֵי פַרְעֹה 10:11
Exod. 10:11 “Not so! Go now, men, and serve the Lord, since you have been demanding it.” And He thrust them out from the presence of Pharoah.
I believe that God was the one Who thrust them out, not Pharoah, so I capitalized the “H” in “He.” The scribe would have believed that God was angry. Why? Because Pharoah was allowing only the men to leave. The verse hints that Pharoah was refusing to let all the Hebrews go. See the next verse for a glimpse of the Lord’s “anger.”.
וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה נְטֵה יָדְךָ עַל־אֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם בָּאַרְבֶּה וְיַעַל עַל־אֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם וְיֹאכַל אֶת־כָּל־ 10:12
עֵשֶׂב הָאָרֶץ אֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר הִשְׁאִיר הַבָּרָד
Exod. 10:12 And the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch forth your hand over the land of Egypt for the locust swarm, so it will spring up upon the land of Egypt and devour every herb of the land, whatever the hail had left.”
וַיֵּט מֹשֶׁה אֶת־מַטֵּהוּ עַל־אֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם וַיהוָה נִהַג רוּחַ קָדִים בָּאָרֶץ כָּל־הַיֹּום הַהוּא וְכָל־הַלָּיְלָה 10:13
הַבֹּקֶר הָיָה וְרוּחַ הַקָּדִים נָשָׂא אֶת־הָאַרְבֶּה
Exod. 10:13 So Moses stretched forth his staff over the land of Egypt and the Lord brought an east wind in the land all that day and all night. The morning appeared, and the east wind carried the locust swarm.
Once more Moses doesn’t follow the Lord’s instructions to the letter. In v. 10:12, God tells him to stretch forth his hand, but here in v. 10:13 he stretches forth his staff. See what may be the first example in Exod. 3:18 and the second example in Exod. 9:23.
[Return to Exod. 14:21] [Return to Levi. 8:13] [Return to Levi. 20:14]
[Return to Numb. 20:11]
וַיַּעַל הָאַרְבֶּה עַל כָּל־אֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם וַיָּנַח בְּכֹל גְּבוּל מִצְרָיִם כָּבֵד מְאֹד לְפָנָיו לֹא־הָיָה כֵן אַרְבֶּה 10:14
כָּמֹהוּ וְאַחֲרָיו לֹא יִהְיֶה־כֵּן
Exod. 10:14 And the locust swarm sprang up over all the land of Egypt and settled throughout the territory of Egypt, very numerous. Before it there had been no such locust swarm as it, and after it such would not be,
וַיְכַס אֶת־עֵין כָּל־הָאָרֶץ וַתֶּחְשַׁךְ הָאָרֶץ וַיֹּאכַל אֶת־כָּל־עֵשֶׂב הָאָרֶץ וְאֵת כָּל־פְּרִי הָעֵץ אֲשֶׁר הֹותִיר 10:15
הַבָּרָד וְלֹא־נֹותַר כָּל־יֶרֶק בָּעֵץ וּבְעֵשֶׂב הַשָּׂדֶה בְּכָל־אֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם
Exod. 10:15 that it hid the surface of all the land and the earth was darkened. And it devoured every herb of the land and all the tree fruit that the hail had left. So there did not remain any green thing on a tree or on herbage of the field throughout the land of Egypt.
וַיְמַהֵר פַּרְעֹה לִקְרֹא לְמֹשֶׁה וּלְאַהֲרֹן וַיֹּאמֶר חָטָאתִי לַיהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם וְלָכֶם 10:16
Exod. 10:16 Then Pharoah hastened to call for Moses and for Aaron and said, “I have sinned regarding the Lord, your God, and regarding you.”
וְעַתָּה שָׂא נָא חַטָּאתִי אַךְ הַפַּעַם וְהַעְתִּירוּ לַיהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם וְיָסֵר מֵעָלַי רַק אֶת־הַמָּוֶת הַזֶּה 10:17
Exod. 10:17 “So now please forgive my sin only this time and pray to the Lord, your God, that He will just remove this death from me.”
The sixth word before the last in this verse, , translated as that He will ... remove, contains a non-inverting vav prefix. The verb is a third-person imperfect consequence of the preceding action pray. By the way, the next verse contains the same root verb, pray, in third-person imperfect form, but the vav is inverting. This rule, unlike the one relating to first-person imperfect verbs, is by no means universal.
וַיֵּצֵא מֵעִם פַּרְעֹה וַיֶּעְתַּר אֶל־יְהוָה 10:18
Exod. 10:18 And he went out from Pharoah and prayed to the Lord.
וַיַּהֲפֹךְ יְהוָה רוּחַ־יָם חָזָק מְאֹד וַיִּשָּׂא אֶת־הָאַרְבֶּה וַיִּתְקָעֵהוּ יָמָּה סּוּף לֹא נִשְׁאַר אַרְבֶּה אֶחָד בְּכֹל 10:19
Exod. 10:19 And the Lord turned around an exceedingly strong west wind that carried away the locust swarm and drove it to the Reed Sea. Not one locust remained throughout the territory of Egypt.
וַיְחַזֵּק יְהוָה אֶת־לֵב פַּרְעֹה וְלֹא שִׁלַּח אֶת־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל 10:20
Exod. 10:20 But the Lord had hardened the heart of Pharoah so he did not let the children of Israel go.
וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה נְטֵה יָדְךָ עַל־הַשָּׁמַיִם וִיהִי חֹשֶׁךְ עַל־אֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם וְיָמֵשׁ חֹשֶׁךְ 10:21
Exod. 10:21 And the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch forth your hand toward the heavens that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, that it may feel the darkness.”
וַיֵּט מֹשֶׁה אֶת־יָדֹו עַל־הַשָּׁמָיִם וַיְהִי חֹשֶׁךְ־אֲפֵלָה בְּכָל־אֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים 10:22
Exod. 10:22 And Moses stretched forth his hand toward the heavens and a thick darkness existed throughout the land of Egypt three days.
לֹא־רָאוּ אִישׁ אֶת־אָחִיו וְלֹא־קָמוּ אִישׁ מִתַּחְתָּיו שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים וּלְכָל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הָיָה אֹור 10:23
Exod. 10:23 They did not see each other or rise, each from his place, three days, but for all the children of Israel there was light in their dwellings.
וַיִּקְרָא פַרְעֹה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה וַיֹּאמֶר לְכוּ עִבְדוּ אֶת־יְהוָה רַק צֹאנְכֶם וּבְקַרְכֶם יֻצָּג גַּם־טַפְּכֶם יֵלֵךְ עִםָּכֶם 10:24
Exod. 10:24 And Pharoah called to Moses and said, “Go serve the Lord. Only your sheep and your cattle will stay, though your little ones may go with you.”
וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה גַּם־אַתָּה תִּתֵּן בְּיָדֵנוּ זְבָחִים וְעֹלֹות וְעָשִׂינוּ לַיהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ 10:25
Exod. 10:25 Then Moses said, “You must also give sacrifices and burnt offerings into our hands that we can make to the Lord, our God.”
וְגַם־מִקְנֵנוּ יֵלֵךְ עִמָּנוּ לֹא תִשָּׁאֵר פַּרְסָה כִּי מִמֶּנּוּ נִקַּח לַעֲבֹד אֶת־יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וַאֲנַחְנוּ לֹא־נֵדַע 10:26
מַה־נַּעֲבֹד אֶת־יְהוָה עַד־בֹּאֵנוּ שָׁמָּה
Exod. 10:26 “So our cattle must also go with us. No hoof shall be left behind, for we must take from them to serve the Lord, our God, and we will not know how we will serve the Lord until our arrival there.”
וַיְחַזֵּק יְהוָה אֶת־לֵב פַּרְעֹה וְלֹא אָבָה לְשַׁלְּחָם 10:27
Exod. 10:27 But the Lord had hardened the heart of Pharoah so he was not willing to let them go.
וַיֹּאמֶר־לֹו פַרְעֹה לֵךְ מֵעָלָי הִשָּׁמֶר לְךָ אֶל־תֹּסֶף רְאֹות פָּנַי כִּי בְּיֹום רְאֹתְךָ פָנַי תָּמוּת 10:28
Exod. 10:28 And Pharoah said to him, “Go away from me! Protect yourself! You shall not be seeing my face again, for in the day of your seeing my face, you shall die.”
וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה כֵּן דִּבַּרְתָּ לֹא־אֹסִף עֹוד רְאֹות פָּנֶיךָ 10:29
Exod. 10:29 And Moses said, “You have spoken correctly. I will never again be seeing your face.”
In this chapter we have the following expression about the hardening of Pharoah’s heart. Pharoah’s heart is mentioned in three verses, and in all of them the Lord hardened Pharoah’s heart. Is the scribe becoming more sure of himself as the plagues progress?
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