And they said to Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? why have you dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Because there were no graves in Egypt.—Spoken in bitter irony, doubtless, but scarcely with any conscious reference to Egypt as “a land of tombs.” They meant simply to say: “Might we not as well have died there as here?”
because there were no graves in Egypt; as if there had been none, when there were so many; the Egyptians being more solicitous about their graves than their houses, as Diodorus Siculus reports (u); thus upbraiding Moses in a sarcastic way for what he had done:
hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? that so there might be room and graves enough to bury them in, for nothing but death was before their eyes:
wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? which was very ungrateful and disingenuous.And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)11. Comp. similar expostulations in Exodus 16:3, Exodus 17:3, Numbers 11:4 f., Exodus 14:3, Exodus 16:13, Exodus 20:3 f., Exodus 21:5.
the wilderness] as v. 3, the Egyptian wilderness, W. of the Isthmus and Gulf of Suez.Verse 11. - And they said to Moses. It was not unnatural that, while flying to God as their only refuge, they should be angry with Moses. Moses, they would argue, ought to have known better than to have brought them into a situation of such peril. He, the leader, should have known the geography of the country - he, the courtier, should have known the temper of the court. It is always a satisfaction to men to vent their anger upon some one when they are in a difficulty. No graves in ]Egypt. Egypt, with a necropolis outside every city, was "a land of tombs;" surely they might have found graves there, instead of being led out to such a distance simply to die. 1 Kings 6:14), and took his people (i.e., his warriors) with him," viz., "six hundred chosen war chariots (Exodus 14:7), and all the chariots of Egypt" (sc., that he could get together in the time), and "royal guards upon them all." שׁלשׁים, τριστάται, tristatae qui et terni statores vocantur, nomen est secundi gradus post regiam dignitatem (Jerome on Ezekiel 23:23), not charioteers (see my Com. on 1 Kings 9:22). According to Exodus 14:9, the army raised by Pharaoh consisted of chariot horses (רכב סוּס), riding horses (פּרשׁים, lit., runners, 1 Kings 5:6), and חיל, the men belonging to them. War chariots and cavalry were always the leading force of the Egyptians (cf. Isaiah 31:1; Isaiah 36:9). Three times (Exodus 14:4, Exodus 14:8, and Exodus 14:17) it is stated that Jehovah hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he pursued the Israelites, to show that God had decreed this hardening, to glorify Himself in the judgment and death of the proud king, who would not honour God, the Holy One, in his life. "And the children of Israel were going out with a high hand:" Exodus 14:8. is a conditional clause in the sense of, "although they went out" (Ewald, 341). רמה יד, the high hand, is the high hand of Jehovah with the might which it displayed (Isaiah 26:11), not the armed hand of the Israelites. This is the meaning also in Numbers 33:3; it is different in Numbers 15:30. The very fact that Pharaoh did not discern the lifting up of Jehovah's hand in the exodus of Israel displayed the hardening of his heart. "Beside Pihachiroth:" see Exodus 14:2.
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