Exodus 14:12
New International Version
Didn't we say to you in Egypt, 'Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians'? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!"

New Living Translation
Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!’”

English Standard Version
Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”

Berean Study Bible
Did we not say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone so that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”

King James Bible
Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.

New King James Version
Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.”

New American Standard Bible
Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, ‘Leave us alone so that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness!”

NASB 1995
"Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, 'Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians '? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness."

NASB 1977
“Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”

Amplified Bible
Did we not say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians?’ For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians [as slaves] than to die in the wilderness.”

Christian Standard Bible
Isn’t this what we told you in Egypt: Leave us alone so that we may serve the Egyptians? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Isn't this what we told you in Egypt: Leave us alone so that we may serve the Egyptians? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness."

American Standard Version
Is not this the word that we spake unto thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it were better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Was this not the answer we were saying to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us that we may work for the Egyptians’, because it was better for us that we may work for the Egyptians than that we should die in this wilderness?”

Brenton Septuagint Translation
Is not this the word which we spoke to thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians? for it is better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in this wilderness.

Contemporary English Version
While we were there, didn't we tell you to leave us alone? We'd rather be slaves in Egypt than die in this desert!"

Douay-Rheims Bible
Is not this the word that we spoke to thee in Egypt, saying: Depart from us that we may serve the Egyptians? for it was much better to serve them, than to die in the wilderness.

English Revised Version
Is not this the word that we spake unto thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it were better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.

Good News Translation
Didn't we tell you before we left that this would happen? We told you to leave us alone and let us go on being slaves of the Egyptians. It would be better to be slaves there than to die here in the desert."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Didn't we tell you in Egypt, 'Leave us alone! Let us go on serving the Egyptians'? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!"

International Standard Version
Is this not what we told you in Egypt, when we said, 'Leave us alone!' and 'Let us serve the Egyptians!'? Indeed, it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!"

JPS Tanakh 1917
Is not this the word that we spoke unto thee in Egypt, saying: Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it were better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.'

Literal Standard Version
Is this not the word which we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, Cease from us, and we serve the Egyptians; for [it is] better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in a wilderness?”

NET Bible
Isn't this what we told you in Egypt, 'Leave us alone so that we can serve the Egyptians, because it is better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!'"

New Heart English Bible
Isn't this the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, 'Leave us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians?' For it were better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness."

World English Bible
Isn't this the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, 'Leave us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians?' For it were better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness."

Young's Literal Translation
Is not this the word which we spake unto thee in Egypt, saying, Cease from us, and we serve the Egyptians; for better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in a wilderness?'

Additional Translations ...
Context
Pharaoh Pursues the Israelites
11They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us into the wilderness to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12Did we not say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone so that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” 13But Moses told the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the LORD’s salvation, which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again.…

Cross References
Exodus 6:9
Moses relayed this message to the Israelites, but on account of their broken spirit and cruel bondage, they did not listen to him.

Exodus 13:17
When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them along the road through the land of the Philistines, though it was shorter. For God said, "If the people face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt."

Psalm 106:7
Our fathers in Egypt did not grasp Your wonders or remember Your abundant kindness; but they rebelled by the sea, there at the Red Sea.


Treasury of Scripture

Is not this the word that we did tell you in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.

is not this

Exodus 5:21
And they said unto them, The LORD look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us.

Exodus 3:9
Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.

let us alone

Hosea 4:17
Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.

Mark 1:24
Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.

Mark 5:7,17,18
And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not…

for it had

Jonah 4:3,8
Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live…









(12) Is not this the word that we did tell thee . . .?--At one time they had refused to listen to Moses (Exodus 6:9) but in the main they had acquiesced in his proceedings, and allowed him to act in their name. The reproach was therefore unjust and undeserved; but it is in human nature to make such reproaches in times of danger and difficulty.

Verse 12. - Is not this the word that we did tell thee? The reference was probably to that time of depression, after their burdens had been increased, and before the series of miracles began, when the Israelites had addressed reproaches to Moses and Aaron (Exodus 5:21), and refused to listen to words of encouragement (Exodus 6:9). It was not true that they had uniformly held the same language, and desired Moses and Aaron to cease their efforts. It had been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die. The spirit to prefer death to slavery, where they are the only alternatives, is not a common one; and we must not be surprised that a people which had grown up in servitude and had no traditions of national independence did not rise to the heroic height attained under other circumstances by Greeks, by Switzers. and by Poles. It would have been most extraordinary had they done so.

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
{Did we} not
הֲלֹא־ (hă·lō-)
Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's 3808: Not, no

say
דִּבַּ֨רְנוּ (dib·bar·nū)
Verb - Piel - Perfect - first person common plural
Strong's 1696: To arrange, to speak, to subdue

to you
אֵלֶ֤יךָ (’ê·le·ḵā)
Preposition | second person masculine singular
Strong's 413: Near, with, among, to

in Egypt,
בְמִצְרַ֙יִם֙ (ḇə·miṣ·ra·yim)
Preposition-b | Noun - proper - feminine singular
Strong's 4714: Egypt -- a son of Ham, also his descendants and their country in Northwest Africa

‘Leave us alone
חֲדַ֥ל (ḥă·ḏal)
Verb - Qal - Imperative - masculine singular
Strong's 2308: To be flabby, desist, be lacking, idle

so that we may serve
וְנַֽעַבְדָ֣ה (wə·na·‘aḇ·ḏāh)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive imperfect Cohortative - first person common plural
Strong's 5647: To work, to serve, till, enslave

the Egyptians’?
מִצְרָ֑יִם (miṣ·rā·yim)
Noun - proper - feminine singular
Strong's 4713: Egyptian -- inhabitant of Egypt

For
כִּ֣י (kî)
Conjunction
Strong's 3588: A relative conjunction

it would have been better
ט֥וֹב (ṭō·wḇ)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's 2896: Pleasant, agreeable, good

for us
לָ֙נוּ֙ (lā·nū)
Preposition | first person common plural
Strong's Hebrew

to serve
עֲבֹ֣ד (‘ă·ḇōḏ)
Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's 5647: To work, to serve, till, enslave

the Egyptians
מִצְרַ֔יִם (miṣ·ra·yim)
Noun - proper - feminine singular
Strong's 4713: Egyptian -- inhabitant of Egypt

than to die
מִמֻּתֵ֖נוּ (mim·mu·ṯê·nū)
Preposition-m | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct | first person common plural
Strong's 4191: To die, to kill

in the wilderness.”
בַּמִּדְבָּֽר׃ (bam·miḏ·bār)
Preposition-b, Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 4057: A pasture, a desert, speech


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OT Law: Exodus 14:12 Isn't this the word that we spoke (Exo. Ex)
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