Exodus 8:26
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
But Moses said, "That would not be right. The sacrifices we offer the LORD our God would be detestable to the Egyptians. And if we offer sacrifices that are detestable in their eyes, will they not stone us?

New Living Translation
But Moses replied, "That wouldn't be right. The Egyptians detest the sacrifices that we offer to the LORD our God. Look, if we offer our sacrifices here where the Egyptians can see us, they will stone us.

English Standard Version
But Moses said, “It would not be right to do so, for the offerings we shall sacrifice to the LORD our God are an abomination to the Egyptians. If we sacrifice offerings abominable to the Egyptians before their eyes, will they not stone us?

New American Standard Bible
But Moses said, "It is not right to do so, for we will sacrifice to the LORD our God what is an abomination to the Egyptians. If we sacrifice what is an abomination to the Egyptians before their eyes, will they not then stone us?

King James Bible
And Moses said, It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the LORD our God: lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But Moses said, "It would not be right to do that, because what we will sacrifice to the LORD our God is detestable to the Egyptians. If we sacrifice what the Egyptians detest in front of them, won't they stone us?

International Standard Version
"It wouldn't be right to sacrifice in this way," Moses replied, "because if we do, we will sacrifice to the LORD our God what is offensive to the Egyptians. If we offer sacrifices that are offensive to the Egyptians in front of them, they'll stone us, won't they?

NET Bible
But Moses said, "That would not be the right thing to do, for the sacrifices we make to the LORD our God would be an abomination to the Egyptians. If we make sacrifices that are an abomination to the Egyptians right before their eyes, will they not stone us?

New Heart English Bible
Moses said, "It isn't appropriate to do so; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the LORD our God. Look, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and won't they stone us?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Moses replied, "It wouldn't be right to do that. The sacrifices we offer to the LORD our God are disgusting to Egyptians. If they see us offer sacrifices that they consider disgusting, won't they stone us to death?

JPS Tanakh 1917
And Moses said: 'It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the LORD our God; lo, if we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, will they not stone us?

New American Standard 1977
But Moses said, “It is not right to do so, for we shall sacrifice to the LORD our God what is an abomination to the Egyptians. If we sacrifice what is an abomination to the Egyptians before their eyes, will they not then stone us?

Jubilee Bible 2000
And Moses replied, It is not convenient to do so; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the LORD our God. Behold, if we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, will they not stone us?

King James 2000 Bible
And Moses said, It is not proper so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us?

American King James Version
And Moses said, It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the LORD our God: see, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us?

American Standard Version
And Moses said, It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to Jehovah our God: lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us?

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Moses said: It cannot be so: for we shall sacrifice the abominations of the Egyptians to the Lord our God: now if we kill those things which the Egyptians worship, in their presence, they will stone us.

Darby Bible Translation
And Moses said, It is not proper to do so; for we should sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to Jehovah our God: lo, if we sacrificed the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, would they not stone us?

English Revised Version
And Moses said, It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the LORD our God: lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us?

Webster's Bible Translation
And Moses said, It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the LORD our God: Lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us?

World English Bible
Moses said, "It isn't appropriate to do so; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to Yahweh our God. Behold, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and won't they stone us?

Young's Literal Translation
and Moses saith, 'Not right to do so, for the abomination of the Egyptians we do sacrifice to Jehovah our God; lo, we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes -- and they do not stone us!
Study Bible
Pharaoh's Heart Hardened
25Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and said, "Go, sacrifice to your God within the land." 26But Moses said, "It is not right to do so, for we will sacrifice to the LORD our God what is an abomination to the Egyptians. If we sacrifice what is an abomination to the Egyptians before their eyes, will they not then stone us? 27"We must go a three days' journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the LORD our God as He commands us."…
Cross References
Genesis 43:32
So they served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians could not eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is loathsome to the Egyptians.

Genesis 46:34
you shall say, 'Your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now, both we and our fathers,' that you may live in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is loathsome to the Egyptians."

Deuteronomy 7:25
"The graven images of their gods you are to burn with fire; you shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, or you will be snared by it, for it is an abomination to the LORD your God.
Treasury of Scripture

And Moses said, It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the LORD our God: see, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us?

it is not

Exodus 3:18 And they shall listen to your voice: and you shall come, you and …

2 Corinthians 6:14-17 Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship …

we shall

Genesis 43:32 And they set on for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and …

Genesis 46:34 That you shall say, Your servants' trade has been about cattle from …

Deuteronomy 7:25,26 The graven images of their gods shall you burn with fire: you shall …

Deuteronomy 12:30,31 Take heed to yourself that you be not snared by following them, after …

Ezra 9:1 Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, …

Isaiah 44:19 And none considers in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding …

the abomination. The animals which they worshipped; for an account of which, see not on ch.

Exodus 9:3 Behold, the hand of the LORD is on your cattle which is in the field, …

1 Kings 11:5-7 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and …

2 Kings 23:13 And the high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the …

(26) It is not meet so to do.--Pressed to remain "in the land," and sacrifice, Moses deemed it right to explain to the king why this was impossible. The Israelites would have to "sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians"--i.e., animals of which the Egyptians abominated the killing; and if they did this in the presence of Egyptians, a riot would be certain to break out--perhaps a civil war would ensue. The animal worship of the Egyptians is a certain, and generally recognised, fact. It seemed to the Greeks and Romans the most striking characteristic of the Egyptian reliction. (See Herod, ii. 65-76; Diod. Sic. i. 82-84; Cic. De Nat. Deor. i. 36; &c.) The sacrificial animals of the Hebrews--sheep, goats, and cattle--were all of them sacred animals, either to the Egyptians generally, or to the inhabitants of certain districts. A Theban could not endure the sacrifice of a sheep, nor a Men-desian that of a goat (Herod. ii. 42). White cows and heifers--perhaps cows and heifers generally--were sacred to Isis-Athor. Any bull-calf might be an Apis; and it could not be known whether he was Apis or not till the priests had examined him (Herod. iii. 28). The extent to which the Egyptians carried their rage when a sacred animal was killed in their presence is illustrated by many facts in history. On one occasion a Roman ambassador, who had accidentally killed a cat, was torn to pieces by the populace (Diod. Sic. i. 83). On another, war broke out between the Oxyrinchites and the Cynopolites, because the latter had eaten one of the fish considered sacred by the former (Plutarch, De Isid. et Osir. 44). The fear of Moses was thus not at all groundless.

Will they not stone us?--This is the first mention of "stoning" in Scripture or elsewhere. It was not a legalised Egyptian punishment; but probably it was everywhere one of the earliest, as it would be one of the simplest, modes of wreaking popular vengeance. schylus mentions it (Sept. 100 Th. 183), also Herodotus (v. 38). It was known in ancient Persia (Ctes. Fr. 50).

Verse 26. - It is not meet so to do. So many animals were held sacred by the Egyptians, some universally, some partially, that, if they held a great festival anywhere in Egypt, the Israelites could not avoid offending the religious feelings of their neighbours. Some animals would be sure to be sacrificed - white cows, or heifers, for instance - by some of the people, which the Egyptians regarded it as sacrilegious to put to death. A bloody conflict, or even a civil war, might be the consequence. By the abomination of the Egyptians seems to be meant animals of which the Egyptians would abominate the killing. It has generally been supposed that either cows alone, or "cows, bulls and oxen" are meant; but recent researches seem to show that it was only white cows which it was absolutely unlawful to sacrifice. (See 'Records of the Past,' vol. 2. pp. 90, 96, 99; vol. 10. pp. 44, 62, etc.) Will they not stone us? Death was the legal penalty for wilfully killing any sacred animal in Egypt (Herod. 2:65). On one occasion even a Roman ambassador was put to death for accidentally killing a eat (Diod. Sic. 1:88). Stoning does not appear to have been a legal punishment in Egypt, so that we must suppose Moses to have feared the people present taking the law into their own hands, seizing the sacrificers, and killing them by this ready method. And Moses said, it is not meet so to do,.... It being the command and will of God that they should go three days' journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice there; and besides it was dangerous, the Egyptians might be provoked by their sacrifices to fall upon them, and kill them:

for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the Lord our God; by which Moses is not to be understood as calling the idols of Egypt an abomination, as being so to God and to all good men, that were not idolaters; for though they were, Moses would scarcely call them so before Pharaoh, when he could have made use of another word as well; but his meaning is, that the Israelites would sacrifice that which would be an abomination, and very detestable to the Egyptians for them to do. And so the Targum of Jonathan;"for the sheep, which are the idols of the Egyptians, we shall take and offer before the Lord our God.''Herodotus (w) says, it was not accounted with the Egyptians lawful to sacrifice any creature but swine, and male oxen, and calves, such as were clean; but nevertheless, as after these times the Egyptians did offer such creatures as oxen, sheep, and goats, at least some of them did, Bishop Patrick thinks this may only refer to the rites and ceremonies of sacrificing, and to the qualities and condition of the beasts that were offered, about which the Egyptians in later ages were very curious; however, be it which it will, something might be done which would displease the Egyptians, and therefore it was best to sacrifice out of their land:

lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us? rise up in a body in great wrath, and fall upon us and slay us, by taking up stones and casting at us, or by some means or another dispatch us while offering; just as Pilate mingled the blood of the Galilaeans with their sacrifices, Luke 13:1 and the Egyptians were a people that greatly resented any indignity done to their deities, and would prosecute it with great wrath and fury; as appears from an instance which Diodorus Siculus (x) reports he was an eyewitness of, as that a certain Roman having killed a cat, (which is an Egyptian deity,) the mob rose about his house, so that neither the princes sent by the king of Egypt to entreat them, nor the common dread of the Roman name, could deliver the man from punishment, though he did it imprudently, and not on purpose.

(w) Euterpe, sive l. 2. c. 41, 42, 45. (x) Bibliothec. l. 1. p. 75. 8:20-32 Pharaoh was early at his false devotions to the river; and shall we be for more sleep and more slumber, when any service to the Lord is to be done? The Egyptians and the Hebrews were to be marked in the plague of flies. The Lord knows them that are his, and will make it appear, perhaps in this world, certainly in the other, that he has set them apart for himself. Pharaoh unwillingly entered into a treaty with Moses and Aaron. He is content they should sacrifice to their God, provided they would do it in the land of Egypt. But it would be an abomination to God, should they offer the Egyptian sacrifices; and it would be an abomination to the Egyptians, should they offer to God the objects of the worship of the Egyptians, namely, their calves or oxen. Those who would offer acceptable sacrifice to God, must separate themselves from the wicked and profane. They must also retire from the world. Israel cannot keep the feast of the Lord, either among the brick-kilns or among the flesh-pots of Egypt. And they must sacrifice as God shall command, not otherwise. Though they were in slavery to Pharaoh, yet they must obey God's commands. Pharaoh consents for them to go into the wilderness, provided they do not go so far but that he might fetch them back again. Thus, some sinners, in a pang of conviction, part with their sins, yet are loth they should go very far away; for when the fright is over, they will turn to them again. Moses promised the removal of this plague. But let not Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: if we think to cheat God by a sham repentance and a false surrender of ourselves to him, we shall put a fatal cheat upon our own souls. Pharaoh returned to his hardness. Reigning lusts break through the strongest bonds, and make men presume and go from their word. Many seem in earnest, but there is some reserve, some beloved, secret sin. They are unwilling to look upon themselves as in danger of everlasting misery. They will refrain from other sins; they do much, give much, and even punish themselves much. They will leave it off sometimes, and, as it were, let their sin depart a little way; but will not make up their minds to part with all and follow Christ, bearing the cross. Rather than that, they venture all. They are sorrowful, but depart from Christ, determined to keep the world at present, and they hope for some future season, when salvation may be had without such costly sacrifices; but, at length, the poor sinner is driven away in his wickedness, and left without hope to lament his folly.
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