And they said, The God of the Hebrews has met with us: let us go, we pray you, three days' journey into the desert, and sacrifice to the LORD our God; lest he fall on us with pestilence, or with the sword.
Jump to: Barnes • Benson • BI • Calvin • Cambridge • Clarke • Darby • Ellicott • Expositor's • Exp Dct • Gaebelein • GSB • Gill • Gray • Haydock • Hastings • Homiletics • JFB • KD • KJT • Lange • MacLaren • MHC • MHCW • Parker • Poole • Pulpit • Sermon • SCO • TTB • WES • TSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The God of the Hebrews.—Moses accepts Pharaoh’s view, and does not insist on the authority of Jehovah over Egyptians, but makes an appeal ad misericordiam. He has, at any rate, authority over Hebrews; and, having made a requirement, He will be angered if they neglect it. Will not Pharaoh allow them to escape His anger?
With the sword.—Egypt was very open to invasion on its eastern frontier; and the brunt of an invasion in this quarter would fall upon the Hebrews. In the time of the nineteenth dynasty, Hittite incursions were especially feared.Exodus 5:3. Three days’ journey into the desert — And that on a good errand, and unexceptionable: we will sacrifice to the Lord our God — As other people do to theirs; lest if we quite cast off his worship, he fall upon us — With one judgment or other, and then Pharaoh will lose his vassals.
Though it was the intention of the Israelites quite to leave Egypt; yet the request was made only to go three days’ journey into the desert to sacrifice, probably to set the tyranny of the king in a stronger light, who would not indulge them in this small liberty even for the performance of religious rites. And as this demand was made by the express order of God, who knew that Pharaoh would not grant it, all appearance of there being any artful design in it to deceive Pharaoh is taken away.Exodus 3:18 note.
With pestilence, or with the sword - This shows that the plague was well known to the ancient Egyptians. The reference to the sword is equally natural, since the Israelites occupied the eastern district, which was frequently disturbed by the neighboring Shasous.Hath met with us, i.e. hath appeared to us lately, and laid this command upon us. Others, is called upon us, i.e. his name is called upon us, or we are called by his name. But why should Moses so solemnly tell that to Pharaoh which all the people knew, to wit, that the Hebrews did worship the God of the Hebrews? And our translation is confirmed by comparing this with Exodus 3:18, where this very message is prescribed.
Lest he fall upon us; lest he punish, either us, if we disobey his command, or thee, if thou hinderest us from obeying it: but this latter they only imply, as being easily gathered from the former.
let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the desert: a request which was made in a very humble and modest manner, and not at all extravagant, nor anything dangerous and disadvantageous to him; for now they speak as of themselves, and therefore humbly entreat him; they do not ask to be wholly and for ever set free, only to go for three days; they do not propose to meet and have their rendezvous in any part of his country, much less in his metropolis, where he night fear they would rise in a body, and seize upon his person and treasure, only to go into the wilderness, to Mount Sinai there. And hence it appears, that the distance between Egypt and Mount Sinai was three days' journey, to go the straightest way, as Aben Ezra observes:
and sacrifice unto the Lord our God: which is what was meant by keeping a feast; some sacrifices the people, as well as the priests, feasted on; this was not a civil, but a religious concern:
lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword: this they urge as a reason to have their request granted, taken from the danger they should be exposed unto, should they not be allowed to go and offer sacrifice to God; though by this they might suggest both loss and danger to Pharaoh, in order to stir him up the more to listen to their request; for should they be smitten with pestilence, or the sword, he would lose the benefit of their bond service, which would be a considerable decline in his revenues; and besides, if God would be so displeased with the Israelites for not going, and not sacrificing, when they were detained, how much more displeased would he be with Pharaoh and the Egyptians for hindering them?And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the LORD our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)3. The request itself, as far as ‘our God,’ is repeated almost verbatim from Exodus 3:18 (J). ‘God of the Hebrews’ is J’s standing expression (see the note ibid.); contrast ‘God of Israel,’ v. 1.
lest he fall upon us, &c.] for neglecting the duty laid upon us.Verse 3. - And they said. Moses and Aaron are not abashed by a single refusal. They expostulate, and urge fresh reasons why Pharaoh should accede to their request. But first they explain that Jehovah is the God of the Hebrews, by which name the Israelites seem to have been generally known to the Egyptians (See Exodus 1:15, 16, 19; Exodus 2:6, 7.) Their God, they say, has met with them - made, that is. a special revelation of himself to them - an idea quite familiar to the king, and which he could not pretend to misunderstand and he has laid on them an express command. They are to go a three days' journey into the desert - to be quite clear of interruption from the Egyptians. Will not Pharaoh allow them to obey the order? If they do not obey it, their God will be angry, and will punish them, either by sending a pestilence among them, or causing an invader to fall upon them with the sword. The eastern frontier of Egypt was at this time very open to invasion, and was actually threatened by a vast army some ten or fifteen years later (Brugsch, 'History of Egypt,' vol. 2, pp. 147-9). Exodus 3:1). To Aaron he related all the words of Jehovah, with which He had sent (commissioned) him (שׁלח with a double accusative, as in 2 Samuel 11:22; Jeremiah 42:5), and all the signs which He had commanded him (צוּה also with a double accusative, as in Genesis 6:22). Another proof of the favour of God consisted of the believing reception of his mission on the part of the elders and the people of Israel. "The people believed" (ויּאמן) when Aaron communicated to them the words of Jehovah to Moses, and did the signs in their presence. "And when they heard that Jehovah had visited the children of Israel, and had looked upon their affliction, they bowed and worshipped." (Knobel is wrong in proposing to alter ישׁמעוּ into ישׂמחוּ, according to the Sept. rendering, καὶ ἐχάρη). The faith of the people, and the worship by which their faith was expressed, proved that the promise of the fathers still lived in their hearts. And although this faith did not stand the subsequent test (Exodus 5), yet, as the first expression of their feelings, it bore witness to the fact that Israel was willing to follow the call of God.
LinksExodus 5:3 Interlinear
Exodus 5:3 Parallel Texts
Exodus 5:3 NIV
Exodus 5:3 NLT
Exodus 5:3 ESV
Exodus 5:3 NASB
Exodus 5:3 KJV
Exodus 5:3 Bible Apps
Exodus 5:3 Parallel
Exodus 5:3 Biblia Paralela
Exodus 5:3 Chinese Bible
Exodus 5:3 French Bible
Exodus 5:3 German Bible