|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:1-9 Moses objects, that the people would not take his word, unless he showed them some sign. God gives him power to work miracles. But those who are now employed to deliver God's messages to men, need not the power to work miracles: their character and their doctrines are to be tried by that word of God to which they appeal. These miracles especially referred to the miracles of the Lord Jesus Christ. It belonged to Him only, to cast the power of the devil out of the soul, and to heal the soul of the leprosy of sin; and so it was for Him first to cast the devil out of the body, and to heal the leprosy of the body.
Verse 2. - A rod. Or "a staff." Some suppose the ordinary shepherd's staff, or crook, to be meant; but it is objected that this would have been an unfit object to have brought into the presence of Pharaoh (Kalisch), being unsuitable for a court, and emblematic of an occupation which the Egyptians loathed (Genesis 46:34); and the suggestion is therefore made, that it was the baton or long stick commonly carried by Egyptians of good position and especially by persons in authority. But Moses in Midian, forty years after he quitted Egypt, is not likely to have possessed such an article; nor, if he had possessed it, would he have taken it with him when shepherding. Probably a simple staff, the natural support of a man of advanced years, is meant.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the Lord said unto him,.... Not reproving him for contradicting him, or showing any diffidence of what he had said; but rather as approving the hint he gave of having some sign or miracle wrought, to command from the Israelites an assent unto him, as commissioned of God to deliver them:
what is that in thine hand? which question is put, not as being ignorant of what it was, but to lead on to what he had further to say, and to the working of the miracle:
and he said, a rod; or staff, such as shepherds use in the management of their flocks, for Moses was now feeding the flock of his father-in-law; but Aben Ezra seems rather to think it was a walking staff, such as ancient men lean upon, since Moses did not go to Pharaoh after the manner of a shepherd; yea, it may be added, he went with the authority of a prince or ruler of Israel, and even with the authority of the ambassador of the King of kings.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. the Lord said, … What is that in thine hand?—The question was put not to elicit information which God required, but to draw the particular attention of Moses.
A rod—probably the shepherd's crook—among the Arabs, a long staff, with a curved head, varying from three to six feet in length.
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