Exodus 3:18
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"The elders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, 'The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God.'

New Living Translation
"The elders of Israel will accept your message. Then you and the elders must go to the king of Egypt and tell him, 'The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. So please let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the LORD, our God.'

English Standard Version
And they will listen to your voice, and you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; and now, please let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.’

New American Standard Bible
"They will pay heed to what you say; and you with the elders of Israel will come to the king of Egypt and you will say to him, 'The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. So now, please, let us go a three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.'

King James Bible
And they shall hearken to thy voice: and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
They will listen to what you say. Then you, along with the elders of Israel, must go to the king of Egypt and say to him: Yahweh, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Now please let us go on a three-day trip into the wilderness so that we may sacrifice to Yahweh our God."

International Standard Version
"The elders of Israel will listen to you, and then you and they are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, 'The LORD God of the Hebrews has met with us. Now, let us take a three-day journey into the desert to sacrifice to the LORD our God.'

NET Bible
"The elders will listen to you, and then you and the elders of Israel must go to the king of Egypt and tell him, 'The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. So now, let us go three days' journey into the wilderness, so that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.'

New Heart English Bible
They will listen to your voice, and you shall come, you and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt, and you shall tell him, 'The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Now please let us go three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD, our God.'

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"The leaders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the leaders must go to the king of Egypt and say to him, 'The LORD God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please let us travel three days into the desert to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God.'

JPS Tanakh 1917
And they shall hearken to thy voice. And thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him: The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, hath met with us. And now let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.

New American Standard 1977
“And they will pay heed to what you say; and you with the elders of Israel will come to the king of Egypt, and you will say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. So now, please, let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.’

Jubilee Bible 2000
And they shall hearken to thy voice, and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews has found us; therefore, we shall now go three days' journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.

King James 2000 Bible
And they shall hearken to your voice: and you shall come, you and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and you shall say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews has met with us: and now let us go, we beseech you, three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.

American King James Version
And they shall listen to your voice: and you shall come, you and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt, and you shall say to him, The LORD God of the Hebrews has met with us: and now let us go, we beseech you, three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.

American Standard Version
And they shall hearken to thy voice: and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, Jehovah, the God of the Hebrews, hath met with us: and now let us go, we pray thee, three days journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to Jehovah our God.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And they shall hear thy voice: and thou shalt go in, thou and the ancients of Israel, to the king of Egypt, and thou shalt say to him: The Lord God of the Hebrews hath called us: we will go three days' journey into the wilderness, to sacrifice unto the Lord our God.

Darby Bible Translation
And they shall hearken to thy voice. And thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, Jehovah, the God of the Hebrews, hath met with us; and now, let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to Jehovah our God.

English Revised Version
And they shall hearken to thy voice: and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, hath met with us: and now let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.

Webster's Bible Translation
And they shall hearken to thy voice: and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt, and ye shall say to him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go (we beseech thee) three days journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.

World English Bible
They will listen to your voice, and you shall come, you and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt, and you shall tell him, 'Yahweh, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Now please let us go three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to Yahweh, our God.'

Young's Literal Translation
'And they have hearkened to thy voice, and thou hast entered, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye have said unto him, Jehovah, God of the Hebrews, hath met with us; and now, let us go, we pray thee, a journey of three days into the wilderness, and we sacrifice to Jehovah our God.
Study Bible
Moses at the Burning Bush
17"So I said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, to a land flowing with milk and honey."' 18"They will pay heed to what you say; and you with the elders of Israel will come to the king of Egypt and you will say to him, 'The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. So now, please, let us go a three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.' 19"But I know that the king of Egypt will not permit you to go, except under compulsion.…
Cross References
Genesis 14:13
Then a fugitive came and told Abram the Hebrew. Now he was living by the oaks of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and brother of Aner, and these were allies with Abram.

Exodus 4:1
Then Moses said, "What if they will not believe me or listen to what I say? For they may say, 'The LORD has not appeared to you.'"

Exodus 4:31
So the people believed; and when they heard that the LORD was concerned about the sons of Israel and that He had seen their affliction, then they bowed low and worshiped.

Exodus 5:1
And afterward Moses and Aaron came and said to Pharaoh, "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'Let My people go that they may celebrate a feast to Me in the wilderness.'"

Exodus 5:3
Then they said, "The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please, let us go a three days' journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God, otherwise He will fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword."

Exodus 7:16
"You shall say to him, 'The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you, saying, "Let My people go, that they may serve Me in the wilderness. But behold, you have not listened until now."

Exodus 8:1
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh and say to him, 'Thus says the LORD, "Let My people go, that they may serve Me.

Exodus 8:20
Now the LORD said to Moses, "Rise early in the morning and present yourself before Pharaoh, as he comes out to the water, and say to him, 'Thus says the LORD, "Let My people go, that they may serve Me.

Exodus 8:27
"We must go a three days' journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the LORD our God as He commands us."

Exodus 17:5
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Pass before the people and take with you some of the elders of Israel; and take in your hand your staff with which you struck the Nile, and go.
Treasury of Scripture

And they shall listen to your voice: and you shall come, you and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt, and you shall say to him, The LORD God of the Hebrews has met with us: and now let us go, we beseech you, three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.

and they.

Exodus 3:16 Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, The …

Exodus 4:31 And the people believed: and when they heard that the LORD had visited …

Joshua 1:17 According as we listened to Moses in all things, so will we listen …

2 Chronicles 30:12 Also in Judah the hand of God was to give them one heart to do the …

Psalm 110:3 Your people shall be willing in the day of your power, in the beauties …

Jeremiah 26:5 To listen to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent to …

and thou.

Exodus 5:1-3 And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus said …

the Lord.

Exodus 7:16 And you shall say to him, The LORD God of the Hebrews has sent me …

Exodus 9:1,13 Then the LORD said to Moses, Go in to Pharaoh, and tell him, Thus …

Exodus 10:3 And Moses and Aaron came in to Pharaoh, and said to him, Thus said …

met.

Exodus 4:24 And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, …

Exodus 5:3 And they said, The God of the Hebrews has met with us: let us go, …

Exodus 25:22 And there I will meet with you, and I will commune with you from …

Exodus 29:42,43 This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations …

Exodus 30:6,36 And you shall put it before the veil that is by the ark of the testimony, …

Genesis 12:1 Now the LORD had said to Abram, Get you out of your country, and …

Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, …

Genesis 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to …

Genesis 48:3 And Jacob said to Joseph, God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the …

Numbers 17:4 And you shall lay them up in the tabernacle of the congregation before …

Numbers 23:3,4,15,16 And Balaam said to Balak, Stand by your burnt offering, and I will …

Isaiah 64:5 You meet him that rejoices and works righteousness, those that remember …

three days'.

Exodus 8:27 We will go three days' journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice …

Exodus 13:17,18 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God …

that we may.

Exodus 3:12 And he said, Certainly I will be with you; and this shall be a token …

Exodus 7:16 And you shall say to him, The LORD God of the Hebrews has sent me …

Exodus 8:25-28 And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, Go you, sacrifice …

Exodus 9:1 Then the LORD said to Moses, Go in to Pharaoh, and tell him, Thus …

Exodus 10:24-26 And Pharaoh called to Moses, and said, Go you, serve the LORD; only …

Exodus 19:1 In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out …

Jeremiah 2:2,6 Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus said the LORD; …

(18) They shall hearken.--The pronoun "they" refers to "the elders" of Exodus 3:16. For the fulfilment of the promise, see Exodus 4:29-31. The elders appear to have been persuaded easily, and at once.

Thou and the elders.--We are not told in Exodus 5 that the elders did present themselves before Pharaoh; but it is possible that they may have done so. Or Moses and Aaron, who spoke in their name, and by their authority, may have been regarded as sufficiently representing them.

The Lord God of the Hebrews hath met with us.--Heb., Jehovah, the God of the Hebrews. Pharaoh would readily comprehend this statement. He would quite understand that the Hebrews, being of a different race from the Egyptians, had a God of their own, and that this God would from time to time give intimations to them of His will. Such intimations were supposed to be given to the Egyptian kings occasionally by their gods.

Three days' journey.--The necessity for withdrawing to so great a distance arose from that remarkable peculiarity in the Egyptian religion, the worship of animals. Cows, or at any rate, white cows, were sacred throughout the whole of Egypt, and to kill them was regarded as a crime of the deepest dye. Sheep were sacred to the inhabitants of one nome or canton, goats to those of another (Herod. ii. 42). Unless the Hebrews retired to a place where there were no Egyptians, they would be unable to perform their sacred rites without danger of disturbance, and even bloodshed. (See below, Exodus 8:26.)

The wilderness.--"The wilderness" to those who dwelt in Goshen was the broad sandy and rocky tract which intervened between Egypt and Palestine--the modern El-Tih--a desert reckoned at three days' journey across (Herod. iii. 5). It is "a vast limestone plateau of irregular surface, projecting wedge-fashion into the peninsula of Sinai, just as Sinai itself projects into the Red Sea. It terminates in a long cliff or encampment, steep and abrupt on the south-western side, gradually falling away towards the south-east."--(Our Work in Palestine, p. 275.)

That we may sacrifice.--It is idle to speculate whether, if Pharaoh had granted the request, the Israelites would have returned to Egypt after sacrificing. God knew that he would not grant it.

Verse 18. - They shall hearken to thy voice. Moses thought they would despise him - turn a deaf ear to his words - look upon him as unworthy of credit. But it was not so. The hearts of men are in God's hands, and he disposed those of the elders to receive the message of his servant, Moses, favourably, and believe in it. (See Exodus 4:29-31.) Thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt. This future is perhaps one of command rather than of prophetic announcement. The elders do not seem to have actually made their appearance before Pharaoh. (See Exodus 5:1-4.) They may, however, have authorised Moses and Aaron to speak in their name. The Lord God of the Hebrews hath met with us. Through our representative Moses. "Met with us" is undoubtedly the true meaning. That we may sacrifice. There was reticence here, no doubt, but no falseness. It was a part of God's design that sacrifice, interrupted during the sojourn in Egypt for various reasons, should be resumed beyond the bounds of Egypt by His people. So much of his purpose, and no more, he bade Moses lay before Pharaoh on the first occasion. The object of the reticence was not to deceive Pharaoh, but to test him. And they shall hearken to thy voice,.... The elders of Israel, who would give credit to his commission, attend to what he said, and obey his orders, and follow the directions that he should give them, and not slight and reject him, as some had done before:

and thou shall come, thou, and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt: the elders of Israel in a body, and Moses at the head of them; though we do not read of their approaching to Pharaoh, and addressing him in such a manner, only of Moses and Aaron applying to him:

and you shall say unto him, the Lord God of the Hebrews hath met with us; with one of them, who had reported to the rest what he had said; the children of Israel are here called Hebrews, because that seems to be a name the Egyptians most commonly called them, and by which they were best known to them, see Genesis 39:14.

and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days' journey into the wilderness; the wilderness of Sinai and Arabia, and to Mount Horeb in it; which from the borders of Egypt was three days' journey going the direct road, but the Israelites going somewhat about, and stopping by the way, did not get to it until the third month of their going out of Egypt, Exodus 19:1,

that we may sacrifice to the Lord God; in the place where he had appeared to a principal man among them, and where they would be in no danger of being insulted and molested by the Egyptians. Some think the reason of this request they were directed to make, to sacrifice out of the land of Egypt, was, because what they sacrificed the Egyptians worshipped as gods, and therefore would be enraged at such sacrifices; but for this there is no sufficient foundation; See Gill on Genesis 46:34, rather the design was under this pretence to get quite away from them, they being no subjects of the king of Egypt, nor had he a right to detain them; nor were they obliged to acquaint him with the whole of their intentions, and especially as they were directed of God himself to say this, and no more, and which being so reasonable, made Pharaoh's refusal the more inexcusable. 3:16-22 Moses' success with the elders of Israel would be good. God, who, by his grace, inclines the heart, and opens the ear, could say beforehand, They shall hearken to thy voice; for he would make them willing in this day of power. As to Pharaoh, Moses is here told that petitions and persuasions, and humble complaints, would not prevail with him; nor a mighty hand stretched out in signs and wonders. But those will certainly be broken by the power of God's hand, who will not bow to the power of his word. Pharaoh's people should furnish Israel with riches at their departure. In Pharaoh's tyranny and Israel's oppression, we see the miserable, abject state of sinners. However galling the yoke, they drudge on till the Lord sends redemption. With the invitations of the gospel, God sends the teaching of his Spirit. Thus are men made willing to seek and to strive for deliverance. Satan loses his power to hold them, they come forth with all they have and are, and apply all to the glory of God and the service of his church.
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