Exodus 4:10
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Moses said to the LORD, "Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue."

New Living Translation
But Moses pleaded with the LORD, "O Lord, I'm not very good with words. I never have been, and I'm not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled."

English Standard Version
But Moses said to the LORD, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.”

New American Standard Bible
Then Moses said to the LORD, "Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue."

King James Bible
And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But Moses replied to the LORD, "Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent--either in the past or recently or since You have been speaking to Your servant--because I am slow and hesitant in speech."

International Standard Version
Then Moses told the LORD, "Please, LORD, I'm not eloquent. I never was in the past nor am I now since you spoke to your servant. In fact, I talk too slowly and I have a speech impediment."

NET Bible
Then Moses said to the LORD, "O my Lord, I am not an eloquent man, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant, for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Moses said to the LORD, "Please, Lord, I'm not a good speaker. I've never been a good speaker, and I'm not now, even though you've spoken to me. I speak slowly, and I become tongue-tied easily."

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither up until now, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy slave; but I am slow of speech and of a slow tongue.

King James 2000 Bible
And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before, nor since you have spoken unto your servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

American King James Version
And Moses said to the LORD, O my LORD, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since you have spoken to your servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

American Standard Version
And Moses said unto Jehovah, Oh, Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant; for I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Moses said: I beseech thee, Lord. I am not eloquent from yesterday and the day before: and since thou hast spoken to thy servant, I have more impediment and slowness of tongue.

Darby Bible Translation
And Moses said to Jehovah, Ah Lord! I am not eloquent, neither heretofore nor since thou hast spoken to thy servant, for I am slow of speech and of a slow tongue.

English Revised Version
And Moses said unto the LORD, Oh Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: for I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Moses said to the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoke to thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

World English Bible
Moses said to Yahweh, "O Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before now, nor since you have spoken to your servant; for I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue."

Young's Literal Translation
And Moses saith unto Jehovah, 'O, my Lord, I am not a man of words, either yesterday, or before, or since Thy speaking unto Thy servant, for I am slow of mouth, and slow of tongue.'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

4:10-17 Moses continued backward to the work God designed him for; there was much of cowardice, slothfulness, and unbelief in him. We must not judge of men by the readiness of their discourse. A great deal of wisdom and true worth may be with a slow tongue. God sometimes makes choice of those as his messengers, who have the least of the advantages of art or nature, that his grace in them may appear the more glorious. Christ's disciples were no orators, till the Holy Spirit made them such. God condescends to answer the excuse of Moses. Even self-diffidence, when it hinders us from duty, or clogs us in duty, is very displeasing to the Lord. But while we blame Moses for shrinking from this dangerous service, let us ask our own hearts if we are not neglecting duties more easy, and less perilous. The tongue of Aaron, with the head and heart of Moses, would make one completely fit for this errand. God promises, I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth. Even Aaron, who could speak well, yet could not speak to purpose, unless God gave constant teaching and help; for without the constant aid of Divine grace, the best gifts will fail.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 10. - And Moses said, O my Lord. The phrase used by Moses is full of force. It is "vox dolentis et supplicantis" (Noldius). Joseph's brethren use it to the steward of Joseph's house, when they expect to be fallen upon and taken for bondsmen (Genesis 43:20); Judah used it (Genesis 44:18) when pleading with Joseph for Benjamin; Aaron when pleading for Miriam (Numbers 13:11); Joshua when expostulating with God about Ai (Joshua 7:8). There is a deprecatory idea in it, as well as a supplicatory one; an idea like that which Abraham expanded into the words, "Oh! let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once" (Genesis 18:32). Moses feels that he is trying the patience of God to the uttermost; but yet he must make one more effort to escape his mission. I am not eloquent. Literally, as in the margin, "a man of words." "Words do not come readily to my tongue when I attempt to speak; I have never been a fluent speaker, neither yesterday (i.e. recently) nor the day before (i.e. formerly). Nor do I even find that I have become eloquent by divine inspiration since thou spakest with me. Still I remain slow of speech and slow of tongue." A question is raised whether the mere difficulty of finding words and giving them utterance - a difficulty felt at first by almost every speaker - is here meant, or something further, as "a natural impediment owing to defect in the organs of speech" (Kalisch), or a want of readiness, owing to disuse, in speaking the Hebrew language (Clarke). The latter suggestion is scarcely consistent with the ease and fluency with which Moses had carried on the conversation in Hebrew up to this point. The former is a possible meaning, though not a necessary one. According to a Jewish tradition, Moses had a difficulty in pronouncing the labials b, v, m, ph, p.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And Moses said unto the Lord,.... Notwithstanding the above miracles, he seems unwilling to go on the Lord's errand to Pharaoh and to the Israelites, and therefore invents a new objection after all his other objections had been sufficiently answered:

I am not eloquent; or "a man of words" (s), that has words at command, that can speak well readily, and gracefully; such an one, he intimates, was proper to be sent to a king's court, that was an orator, that could make fine speeches, and handsome addresses, for which he was not qualified:

neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken to thy servant; neither in his younger years had he ever been an eloquent man, nor was there any alteration in him in that respect, since God had given him this call:

but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue; had some impediment in his speech, could not freely and easily bring out his words, or rightly pronounce them; so Lucian (t) the Heathen calls Moses slow tongued, or one slow of speech, and uses the same word the Septuagint does here, which version perhaps he had seen, and from thence took it.

(s) "vir verborum", Paguinus, Montanus, Piscator, Ainsworth. (t) In Philopatride.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

10-13. I am not eloquent—It is supposed that Moses labored under a natural defect of utterance or had a difficulty in the free and fluent expression of his ideas in the Egyptian language, which he had long disused. This new objection was also overruled, but still Moses, who foresaw the manifold difficulties of the undertaking, was anxious to be freed from the responsibility.

Exodus 4:10 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Appointment of Aaron
10Then Moses said to the LORD, "Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue." 11The LORD said to him, "Who has made man's mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?…
Cross References
Exodus 3:11
But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?"

Exodus 4:1
Moses answered, "What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, 'The LORD did not appear to you'?"

Exodus 6:12
But Moses said to the LORD, "If the Israelites will not listen to me, why would Pharaoh listen to me, since I speak with faltering lips?"

Exodus 6:30
But Moses said to the LORD, "Since I speak with faltering lips, why would Pharaoh listen to me?"

Jeremiah 1:6
"Alas, Sovereign LORD," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am too young."

Micah 6:4
I brought you up out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. I sent Moses to lead you, also Aaron and Miriam.
Treasury of Scripture

And Moses said to the LORD, O my LORD, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since you have spoken to your servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

eloquent. Heb. a man of words.

Exodus 4:1 And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, …

Job 12:2 No doubt but you are the people, and wisdom shall die with you.

1 Corinthians 2:1-4 And I, brothers, when I came to you, came not with excellency of …

2 Corinthians 10:10 For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily …

2 Corinthians 11:6 But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have …

heretofore.

Exodus 6:12 And Moses spoke before the LORD, saying, Behold, the children of …

Jeremiah 1:6 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.

Acts 7:22 And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was …

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