Exodus 4:23
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
and I told you, "Let my son go, so he may worship me." But you refused to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son.'"

New Living Translation
I commanded you, "Let my son go, so he can worship me." But since you have refused, I will now kill your firstborn son!'"

English Standard Version
and I say to you, “Let my son go that he may serve me.” If you refuse to let him go, behold, I will kill your firstborn son.’”

Berean Study Bible
and I told you to let My son go so that he may worship Me. But you have refused to let him go, so I will kill your firstborn son!’”

New American Standard Bible
"So I said to you, 'Let My son go that he may serve Me'; but you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son, your firstborn."'"

King James Bible
And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.

Christian Standard Bible
I told you: Let my son go so that he may worship me, but you refused to let him go. Look, I am about to kill your firstborn son!"

Contemporary English Version
and I commanded you to release him, so he could worship me. But you refused, and now I will kill your first-born son."

Good News Translation
I told you to let my son go, so that he might worship me, but you refused. Now I am going to kill your first-born son.'"

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I told you: Let My son go so that he may worship Me, but you refused to let him go. Now I will kill your firstborn son!"

International Standard Version
And I say to you, 'Let my son go so he may serve me. If you refuse to let him go, then I will kill your firstborn son.'"'"

NET Bible
and I said to you, 'Let my son go that he may serve me,' but since you have refused to let him go, I will surely kill your son, your firstborn!"'"

New Heart English Bible
and I have said to you, "Let my son go, that he may serve me;" and you have refused to let him go. Look, I will kill your son, your firstborn.'"

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I told you to let my son go so that he may worship me. But you refused to let him go. So now I'm going to kill your firstborn son.'"

JPS Tanakh 1917
And I have said unto thee: Let My son go, that he may serve Me; and thou hast refused to let him go. Behold, I will slay thy son, thy first-born.'--

New American Standard 1977
“So I said to you, ‘Let My son go, that he may serve Me’; but you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son, your first-born.”’”

Jubilee Bible 2000
And I have said unto thee, Let my son go that he may serve me, but thou hast refused to let him go; therefore, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.

King James 2000 Bible
And I say unto you, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if you refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay your son, even your firstborn.

American King James Version
And I say to you, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if you refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay your son, even your firstborn.

American Standard Version
and I have said unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me; and thou hast refused to let him go: behold, I will slay thy son, thy first-born.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I have said to thee: Let my son go, that he may serve me, and thou wouldst not let him go: behold I will kill thy son, thy firstborn.

Darby Bible Translation
And I say to thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me. And if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will kill thy son, thy firstborn.

English Revised Version
and I have said unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me; and thou hast refused to let him go: behold, I will slay thy son, thy firstborn.

Webster's Bible Translation
And I say to thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou shalt refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy first-born.

World English Bible
and I have said to you, "Let my son go, that he may serve me;" and you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son, your firstborn.'"

Young's Literal Translation
and I say unto thee, Send away My son, and he doth serve Me; and -- thou dost refuse to send him away -- lo, I am slaying thy son, thy first-born.'
Study Bible
Moses Leaves for Egypt
22Then tell Pharaoh that this is what the LORD says: ‘Israel is My firstborn son, 23and I told you to let My son go so that he may worship Me. But you have refused to let him go, so I will kill your firstborn son!’” 24Now at a lodging place along the way, the LORD confronted Moses and was about to kill him.…
Cross References
Exodus 5:1
Afterward, Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Let My people go, so that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.'"

Exodus 6:11
"Go and tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the Israelites go out of his land."

Exodus 7:16
Then say to him, 'The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to tell you: Let My people go, so that they may worship Me in the wilderness. But you have not listened until now.

Exodus 8:1
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh and tell him that this is what the LORD says: 'Let My people go, so that they may worship Me.

Exodus 8:20
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Get up early in the morning, and when Pharaoh goes out to the water, stand before him and tell him that this is what the LORD says: 'Let My people go, so that they may worship Me.

Exodus 9:1
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh and tell him that this is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: 'Let My people go, so that they may worship Me.

Exodus 9:13
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Get up early in the morning, stand before Pharaoh, and tell him that this is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: 'Let My people go, so that they may worship Me.

Exodus 10:3
So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and told him, "This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: 'How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Let My people go, so that they may worship Me.

Exodus 11:5
and every firstborn son in the land of Egypt will die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, to the firstborn of the servant girl behind the hand mill, as well as the firstborn of all the cattle.

Exodus 12:29
Now at midnight the LORD struck down every firstborn male in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on his throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner in the dungeon, as well as all the firstborn among the livestock.

Exodus 18:8
Then Moses recounted to his father-in-law all that the LORD had done to Pharaoh and the Egyptians for Israel's sake, all the hardships they had encountered along the way, and how the LORD had delivered them.

Psalm 105:36
Then He struck all the firstborn in their land, the firstfruits of all their vigor.

Psalm 135:8
He struck down the firstborn of Egypt, of both man and beast.

Psalm 136:10
He struck down the firstborn of Egypt His loving devotion endures forever.

Hosea 11:1
When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son.

Treasury of Scripture

And I say to you, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if you refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay your son, even your firstborn.

Exodus 11:5 And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first …

Exodus 12:29 And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn …

Psalm 78:51 And smote all the firstborn in Egypt; the chief of their strength …

Psalm 105:36 He smote also all the firstborn in their land, the chief of all their strength.

Psalm 135:8 Who smote the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and beast.

(23) I will slay thy son, even thy first-born.--The threat was not made until immediately before the tenth plague (Exodus 11:5). It is not recorded in the words which Moses is here directed to use; but the speech of Moses in Exodus 11 is no doubt much abbreviated.

Verse 23. - I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn. For the fulfilment of the threat, see Exodus 12:29. Moses did not utter it till all other arguments were exhausted, and he knew that he was having his last interview with the monarch (Exodus 10:29; Exodus 11:4, 5). In this reserve and in the whole series of his dealings with the Egyptian king, we must regard him as simply carrying out the special directions which, after his return to Egypt, he continually received from the Almighty. (See Exodus 6:11; Exodus 7:9, 15 19: 8:1, 5, 16, 20, etc.)

CHAPTER 4:24-26 And I say unto thee, let my son go, that he may serve me,.... Worship God according to his will in the place he had designed for him, and where he might be safe and free; and which service was due from him as a son, and to be performed not in a servile way, but in a filial manner, and therefore as a servant he could demand his dismission, and much more as his son; and this is required in an authoritative way, for saying is here commanding, insisting on it as a point of right to be done:

and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn; meaning, not only in a strict and literal sense Pharaoh's firstborn son, and heir to his crown, but the firstborn of all his subjects, which in a civil sense were his. This was not to be said to Pharaoh at the first opening of his commission to him, but after all methods had been tried, and the several other plagues designed were inflicted on him to no purpose, he was to be told this, which was the last plague, and succeeded; but this is told to Moses before hand, that when other messages he should be sent with to him, and all that should be done by him would prove ineffectual, this, when sent with and performed, would have the desired effect. 4:18-23 After God had appeared in the bush, he often spake to Moses. Pharaoh had hardened his own heart against the groans and cries of the oppressed Israelites; and now God, in the way of righteous judgment, hardens his heart against the teaching of the miracles, and the terror of the plagues. But whether Pharaoh will hear, or whether he will forbear, Moses must tell him, Thus saith the Lord. He must demand a discharge for Israel, Let my son go; not only my servant, whom thou hast no right to detain, but my son. It is my son that serves me, and therefore must be spared, must be pleaded for. In case of refusal I will slay thy son, even thy first-born. As men deal with God's people, let them expect so to be dealt with.
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