Exodus 4:6
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Again, the LORD said to him, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” And he put his hand inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous like snow.

King James Bible
And the LORD said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow.

American Standard Version
And Jehovah said furthermore unto him, Put now thy hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, as white as'snow.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the Lord said again: Put thy hand into thy bosom. And when he had put it into his bosom, he brought it forth leprous as snow.

English Revised Version
And the LORD said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, as white as snow.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the LORD said furthermore to him, Put now thy hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow.

Exodus 4:6 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Not only would God compel Pharaoh to let Israel go; He would not let His people go out empty, but, according to the promise in Genesis 15:14, with great substance. "I will give this people favour in the eyes of the Egyptians;" that is to say, the Egyptians should be so favourably disposed towards them, that when they solicited of their neighbours clothes and ornaments of gold and silver, their request should be granted. "So shall ye spoil the Egyptians." What is here foretold as a promise, the Israelites are directed to do in Exodus 11:2-3; and according to Exodus 12:35-36, it was really carried out. Immediately before their departure from Egypt, the Israelites asked (ישׁאלוּ) the Egyptians for gold and silver ornaments (כּלים not vessels, either for sacrifice, the house, or the table, but jewels; cf. Genesis 24:53; Exodus 35:22; Numbers 31:50) and clothes; and God gave them favour in the eyes of the Egyptians, so that they gave them to them. For אשּׁה שׁאלה, "Let every woman ask of her (female) neighbour and of her that sojourneth in her house" (בּיתהּ גּרת, from which it is evident that the Israelites did not live apart, but along with the Egyptians), we find in Exodus 11:2, "Let every man ask of his neighbour, and every woman of her (female) neighbour." - ושׂמתּם, "and put them upon your sons and daughters." על שׂוּם, to put on, applied to clothes and ornaments in Leviticus 8:8 and Genesis 41:42. This command and its execution have frequently given occasion to the opponents of the Scriptures to throw contempt upon the word of God, the asking being regarded as borrowing, and the spoiling of the Egyptians as purloining. At the same time, the attempts made to vindicate this purloining from the wickedness of stealing have been in many respects unsatisfactory.

(Note: For the different views as to the supposed borrowing of the gold and silver vessels, see Hengstenberg, Dissertations on the Pentateuch, vol. ii. pp. 419ff., and Kurtz, History of the Old Covenant, vol. ii.319ff.)

But the only meaning of שׁאל is to ask or beg,

(Note: Even in 2 Kings 5:6; see my commentary on the passage.)

and השׁאיל, which is only met with in Exodus 12:36 and 1 Samuel 1:28, does not mean to lend, but to suffer to ask, to hear and grant a request. ישׁאלוּם (Exodus 12:36), lit., they allowed them to ask; i.e., "the Egyptians did not turn away the petitioners, as not wanting to listen to them, but received their petition with good-will, and granted their request. No proof can be brought that השׁאיל means to lend, as is commonly supposed; the word occurs again in 1 Samuel 1:28, and there it means to grant or give" (Knobel on Exodus 12:36). Moreover the circumstances under which the שׁאל and השׁאיל took place, were quite at variance with the idea of borrowing and lending. For even if Moses had not spoken without reserve of the entire departure of the Israelites, the plagues which followed one after another, and with which the God of the Hebrews gave emphasis to His demand as addressed through Moses to Pharaoh, "Let My people go, that they may serve Me," must have made it evident to every Egyptian, that all this had reference to something greater than a three days' march to celebrate a festival. And under these circumstances no Egyptian could have cherished the thought, that the Israelites were only borrowing the jewels they asked of them, and would return them after the festival. What they gave under such circumstances, they could only give or present without the slightest prospect of restoration. Still less could the Israelites have had merely the thought of borrowing in their mind, seeing that God had said to Moses, "I will give the Israelites favour in the eyes of the Egyptians; and it will come to pass, that when ye go out, ye shall not go out empty" (Exodus 3:21). If, therefore, it is "natural to suppose that these jewels were festal vessels with which the Egyptians furnished the poor Israelites for the intended feast," and even if "the Israelites had their thoughts directed with all seriousness to the feast which they were about to celebrate to Jehovah in the desert" (Baumgarten); their request to the Egyptians cannot have referred to any borrowing, nor have presupposed any intention to restore what they received on their return. From the very first the Israelites asked without intending to restore, and the Egyptians granted their request without any hope of receiving back, because God had made their hearts favourably disposed to the Israelites. The expressions את־מצרים נצּלתּם in Exodus 3:22, and וינצּלוּ in Exodus 12:36, are not at variance with this, but rather require it. For נצל does not mean to purloin, to steal, to take away secretly by cunning and fraud, but to plunder (2 Chronicles 20:25), as both the lxx (σκυλεύειν) and Vulgate (spoliare) have rendered it. Rosenmller, therefore, is correct in his explanation: "Et spoliabitis Aegyptios, ita ut ab Aegyptiis, qui vos tam dura servitute oppresserunt, spolia auferetis." So also is Hengstenberg, who says, "The author represents the Israelites as going forth, laden as it were with the spoils of their formidable enemy, trophies of the victory which God's power had bestowed on their weakness. While he represents the gifts of the Egyptians as spoils which God had distributed to His host (as Israel is called in Exodus 12:41), he leads us to observe that the bestowment of these gifts, which outwardly appeared to be the effect of the good-will of the Egyptians, if viewed more deeply, proceeded from another Giver; that the outwardly free act of the Egyptians was effected by an inward divine constraint which they could not withstand" (Dissertations, vol. ii. p. 431). - Egypt had spoiled Israel by the tributary labour so unjustly enforced, and now Israel carried off the spoil of Egypt-a prelude to the victory which the people of God will one day obtain in their conflict with the power of the world (cf. Zechariah 14:14).

Exodus 4:6 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

leprous as snow.

Numbers 12:10 And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked on Miriam, and...

2 Kings 5:27 The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall stick to you, and to your seed for ever...

Cross References
Leviticus 13:25
the priest shall examine it, and if the hair in the spot has turned white and it appears deeper than the skin, then it is a leprous disease. It has broken out in the burn, and the priest shall pronounce him unclean; it is a case of leprous disease.

Numbers 12:10
When the cloud removed from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, like snow. And Aaron turned toward Miriam, and behold, she was leprous.

2 Kings 5:27
Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and to your descendants forever." So he went out from his presence a leper, like snow.

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