Exodus 6:26
These are that Aaron and Moses, to whom the LORD said, Bring out the children of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their armies.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(26) Their armies.—This expression is here used of the Israelites for the first time. It seems to refer to that organisation, of a quasi-military character, which was given to the people by the order of Moses during the long struggle with Pharaoh, and which enabled them at last to quit Egypt, not a disorderly mob, but “harnessed,” or “in military array” (Exodus 13:18). The expression is repeated in Exodus 7:4; Exodus 12:17; Exodus 12:51.

Exodus 6:26. According to their armies — Like numerous armies, in military order, and with great power. In the close of the chapter he returns to his narrative, from which he had broken off some-what abruptly, (Exodus 6:13,) and repeats the charge God had given him to deliver his message to Pharaoh, Exodus 6:29.6:14-30 Moses and Aaron were Israelites; raised up unto them of their brethren, as Christ also should be, who was to be the Prophet and Priest, the Redeemer and Lawgiver of the people of Israel. Moses returns to his narrative, and repeats the charge God had given him to deliver his message to Pharaoh, and his objection against it. Those who have spoken unadvisedly with their lips ought to reflect upon it with regret, as Moses seems to do here.Uncircumcised, is used in Scripture to note the unsuitableness there may be in any thing to answer its proper purpose; as the carnal heart and depraved nature of fallen man are wholly unsuited to the services of God, and to the purposes of his glory. It is profitable to place no confidence in ourselves, all our sufficiency must be in the Lord. We never can trust ourselves too little, or our God too much. I can do nothing by myself, said the apostle, but I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.This emphatic repetition shows the reason for inserting the genealogy. The names of Moses and Aaron are given twice and in a different order; used in Exodus 6:26 probably to mark Aaron as the older in the genealogy, and used in Exodus 6:27 to denote the leadership of Moses. 23. Elisheba—that is, Elizabethan. These minute particulars recorded of the family of Aaron, while he has passed over his own, indicate the real modesty of Moses. An ambitious man or an impostor would have acted in a different manner. i.e. According to their numerous families, which were equal to great armies, and which went out of Egypt like several armies in military order, and with great power. See Exodus 12:41,51 13:18 14:8. These are that Aaron and Moses,.... Aaron is set before Moses, because he was the eldest, and because he prophesied in Egypt before Moses, as Aben Ezra observes; though Moses was greater in dignity than he, and therefore the true reason may be the modesty of Moses; though in a following verse Moses is set before Aaron, to show that they were equal, as Jarchi thinks; and perhaps the thing was quite an indifference to the historian, and done without any care and intention, however these words are emphatically expressed, on purpose to point out the persons to future ages:

to whom the Lord said, bring out the children of Israel from the land of Egypt: which is the charge he gave them both, Exodus 6:13, and the account of which is returned to again, after an interruption by the genealogy before recorded: Israel were to be brought out:

according to their armies; denoting their numbers, and the order in which they were to march out of Egypt, as they did, not by flight, nor in confusion, but in a formidable manner, and in great composure and order, with these two men, Moses and Aaron, as their generals at the head of them.

These are that Aaron and Moses, to whom the LORD said, Bring out the children of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their {k} armies.

(k) For their families were so great, that they might be compared to armies.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
26. These] The men whose genealogy has just been stated.

Bring out, &c.] as vv. 6, 13.

according to their hosts] The expression hosts (i.e. armies: 2 Samuel 2:8, &c.), of the Israelites at the Exodus, is peculiar to P (Exodus 7:4, Exodus 12:7, SD 41, 51, Numbers 1:3; Numbers 2:3-4; Numbers 2:6, &c., Exodus 9:10; Exodus 9:16, &c., Exodus 10:14-16, &c., Exodus 33:1): as Dillm. remarks, it is part of the picture that he had formed of Israel at the Exodus, as marching out and journeying through the wilderness in battle array (cf. Numbers 1, 2, 10).

26, 27. At the close of the genealogy the writer refers emphatically to Moses and Aaron, the two men on whose account the entire genealogy has been introduced.Verses 26, 27. - The genealogy being concluded as a separate document, its author appends a notice that the Aaron and Moses mentioned in it (ver. 20) are the very Aaron and Moses who received the Divine command to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, and who appeared before Pharaoh, and "spoke to him" on their behalf. As the heading of the document was kept upon its insertion into the narrative of the Exodus (see the comment on ver. 13), so its concluding sentences were kept, though (according to modern ideas) superfluous. Verse 26. - According to their armies. The term "armies" had not been previously used of the Israelitish people; but it occurs in Exodus 7:4, which was probably in the mind of the writer who drew up the genealogy

CHAPTER 6:28-30 The Genealogy of Moses and Aaron. - "These are their (Moses' and Aaron's) father's-houses." בּית־אבות father's-houses (not fathers' house) is a composite noun, so formed that the two words not only denote one idea, but are treated grammatically as one word, like בּית־עצבּים idol-houses (1 Samuel 31:9), and בּית־בּמות high-place-houses (cf. Ges. 108, 3; Ewald, 270c). Father's house was a technical term applied to a collection of families, called by the name of a common ancestor. The father's-houses were the larger divisions into which the families (mishpachoth), the largest subdivisions of the tribes of Israel, were grouped. To show clearly the genealogical position of Levi, the tribe-father of Moses and Aaron, among the sons of Jacob, the genealogy commences with Reuben, the first-born of Jacob, and gives the names of such of his sons and those of Simeon as were the founders of families (Genesis 46:9-10). Then follows Levi; and not only are the names of his three sons given, but the length of his life is mentioned (Exodus 6:16), also that of his son Kohath and his descendant Amram, because they were the tribe-fathers of Moses and Aaron. But the Amram mentioned in Exodus 6:20 as the father of Moses, cannot be the same person as the Amram who was the son of Kohath (Exodus 6:18), but must be a later descendant. For, however the sameness of names may seem to favour the identity of the persons, if we simply look at the genealogy before us, a comparison of this passage with Numbers 3:27-28 will show the impossibility of such an assumption. "According to Numbers 3:27-28, the Kohathites were divided (in Moses' time) into the four branches, Amramites, Izharites, Hebronites, and Uzzielites, who consisted together of 8600 men and boys (women and girls not being included). Of these, about a fourth, or 2150 men, would belong to the Amramites. Now, according to Exodus 18:3-4, Moses himself had only two sons. Consequently, if Amram the son of Kohath, and tribe-father of the Amramites, was the same person as Amram the father of Moses, Moses must have had 2147 brothers and brothers' sons (the brothers' daughters, the sisters, and their daughters, not being reckoned at all). But as this is absolutely impossible, it must be granted that Amram the son of Kohath was not the father of Moses, and that an indefinitely long list of generations has been omitted between the former and his descendant of the same name" (Tiele, Chr. des A. T. p. 36).

(Note: The objections of M. Baumgarten to these correct remarks have been conclusively met by Kurtz (Hist. of O. C. vol. ii. p. 144). We find a similar case in the genealogy of Ezra in Ezra 7:3, which passes over from Azariah the son of Meraioth to Azariah the son of Johanan, and omits five links between the two, as we may see from 1 Chronicles 6:7-11. In the same way the genealogy before us skips over from Amram the son of Kohath to Amram the father of Moses without mentioning the generations between.)

The enumeration of only four generations, viz., Levi, Iohath, Amram, Moses, is unmistakeably related to Genesis 15:16, where it is stated that the fourth generation would return to Canaan. Amram's wife Jochebed, who is merely spoken of in general terms as a daughter of Levi (a Levitess) in Exodus 2:1 and Numbers 26:59, is called here the דּודה "aunt" (father's sister) of Amram, a marriage which was prohibited in the Mosaic law (Leviticus 18:12), but was allowed before the giving of the law; so that there is no reason for following the lxx and Vulgate, and rendering the word, in direct opposition to the usage of the language, patruelis, the father's brother's daughter. Amram's sons are placed according to their age: Aaron, then Moses, as Aaron was three years older than his brother. Their sister Miriam was older still (vid., Exodus 2:4). In the lxx, Vulg., and one Hebrew MS, she is mentioned here; but this is a later interpolation. In Exodus 6:21. not only are the sons of Aaron mentioned (Exodus 6:23), but those of two of Amram's brothers, Izhar and Uzziel (Exodus 6:21, Exodus 6:22), and also Phinehas, the son of Aaron's son Eleazar (Exodus 6:25); as the genealogy was intended to trace the descent of the principal priestly families, among which again special prominence is given to Aaron and Eleazar by the introduction of their wives. On the other hand, none of the sons of Moses are mentioned, because his dignity was limited to his own person, and his descendants fell behind those of Aaron, and were simply reckoned among the non-priestly families of Levi. The Korahites and Uzzielites are mentioned, but a superior rank was assigned to them in the subsequent history to that of other Levitical families (cf. Numbers 16-17; Numbers 26:11, and Numbers 3:30 with Leviticus 10:4). Aaron's wife Elisheba was of the princely tribe of Judah, and her brother Naashon was a tribe-prince of Judah (cf. Numbers 2:3). אבות ראשׁי (Exodus 6:25), a frequent abbreviation for בית־אבות ראשׁי, heads of the father's-houses of the Levites. In Exodus 6:26 and Exodus 6:27, with which the genealogy closes, the object of introducing it is very clearly shown in the expression, "These are that Aaron and Moses," at the beginning of Exodus 6:26; and again, "These are that Moses and Aaron," at the close of Exodus 6:27. The reversal of the order of the names is also to be noticed. In the genealogy itself Aaron stands first, as the elder of the two; in the conclusion, which leads over to the historical narrative that follows, Moses takes precedence of his elder brother, as being the divinely appointed redeemer of Israel. On the expression, "according to their armies," see Exodus 7:4.

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