Exodus 4:19
And the LORD said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought thy life.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(19) In Midian.—Moses appears to have delayed his departure after he obtained permission to go from Jethro. Hence the address “Go, return,” which is peremptory.

All the men which sought thy life.—Not only the Pharaoh (Exodus 2:23), but the kindred of the murdered man, and the officials empowered by the Pharaoh to arrest Moses. As forty years had elapsed since the homicide, this is readily conceivable.

Exodus 4:19-20. The Lord said unto Moses — This seems to have been a second vision, whereby God calls him to the present execution of the command given before. The rod of God — His shepherd’s crook, so called, as it was God’s instrument in so many glorious works.

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.Instead of a mouth - We may bear in mind Aaron's unbroken habitude of speaking Hebrew and his probable familiarity with Egyptian.

Instead of God - The word "God" is used of persons who represent the Deity, as kings or judges, and it is understood in this sense here: "Thou shalt be to him a master."

19. all the men are dead which sought thy life—The death of the Egyptian monarch took place in the four hundred and twenty-ninth year of the Hebrew sojourn in that land, and that event, according to the law of Egypt, took off his proscription of Moses, if it had been publicly issued. This seems to have been a second vision, whereby God calls him forth to the present and speedy execution of that command which before was more generally delivered.

Which sought thy life, to wit, to take it away. See the like expression, 1 Samuel 22:23 1 Kings 19:14 Matthew 2:20. God knew very well that one great cause of Moses’s unwillingness to this undertaking was his carnal fear, though he was ashamed to profess it, and therefore gives him this cordial.

And the Lord said unto Moses in Midian,.... After he had obtained leave of his father-in-law to quit Midian, but before he left it:

go, return into Egypt: that is, directly, immediately; before he had only given him a commission at large to go thither, but had not fixed the time when he should go; but now he orders him to set forward at once:

for all the men are dead which sought thy life; to take it away, the king of Egypt, and his ministers, and the friends of the Egyptian Moses had slain; and this is said to encourage him to go; and though Moses had never expressed his fear on this account, or made it an objection, yet it might lie secretly in his heart, and be one reason of his backwardness to go into Egypt, and which was now removed.

And the LORD said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought thy life.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
19. That Moses should now be commanded by God to do what he has already both determined to do, and obtained Jethro’s permission to do, is remarkable; and, as Dillm. remarks, can only be explained by the fact that the verse is by a different narrator from v. 18 (viz. J)1[107].

[107] ‘Said’ cannot, consistently with Hebrew grammar, be interpreted to mean ‘had said.’

which sought thy life] the Pharaoh and his servants (Exodus 2:15; Exodus cf.23).

Verse 19. - And the Lord said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return. It would seem that Moses was still reluctant, and was delaying his departure, even after he had obtained Jethro's leave to go. Perhaps he was making it an excuse to himself for not setting out that if he returned he might still suffer death on account of the offence which had driven him into exile. To remove this last impediment, God assured him that "all the men were dead who had sought his life." Exodus 4:19Return of Moses to Egypt. - Exodus 4:19-23. On leaving Midian, Moses received another communication from God with reference to his mission to Pharaoh. The word of Jehovah, in Exodus 4:19, is not to be regarded as a summary of the previous revelation, in which case ויּאמר would be a pluperfect, nor as the account of another writer, who placed the summons to return to Egypt not in Sinai but in Midian. It is not a fact that the departure of Moses is given in Exodus 4:18; all that is stated there is, that Jethro consented to Moses' decision to return to Egypt. It was not till after this consent that Moses was able to prepare for the journey. During these preparations God appeared to him in Midian, and encouraged him to return, by informing him that all the men who had sought his life, i.e., Pharaoh and the relatives of the Egyptian whom he had slain, were now dead.
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