The Argument and the Call
Questions and Proposed Answers Supplied
Background and Printed Text: Exodus 2:15-4:17
Exodus 2:15 And Pharaoh heard this speech. And he sought to slay Draw [Moshe]. And Draw [Moshe] fled from the faces of Pharaoh. And he dwelt in the land of Contention [Midian]. And he dwelt upon the well.
16And seven daughters are to the priest of Midian. And they came. And they suspended and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17And the shepherds came. And they expelled them. And Draw arose. And he saved them. And he watered their flock.
18And they came to They-Shepherded-A-Mighty-[One] [Reuel] their father. And he said, “Why did ye rush to come today?” 19And they said, “An Egyptian man rescued us from the hand of the shepherds. And also suspending, he suspended to us. And he watered the flock!” 20And he said unto his daughters, “And where is he? Why is this? Ye forsook the man? Call to him! And he has eaten bread.”
21And Draw [Moshe] was content to dwell with the man. And he gave Ladybird [Zipporah] his daughter to Draw [Moshe]. 22And she childed a son. And he called his name Sojourner-There [Ger-Shom]. For he said, “I was a sojourner in a foreign land.”
23And he was in those many days. And the king of Egypt died. And the children of Israel sighed from the slavery. And they screamed. And their imploring ascended unto the Elohim from the slavery. 24And Elohim hearkened-to their groaning. And Elohim remembered His Covenant with Father-Of-A-Crowd [Avraham], with He-Will-Laugh [Isaac] and with He-Will-Heel [Jacob]. 25And Elohim saw the children of Israel. And Elohim knew.
1And Draw [Moshe] was shepherding the flock of His-Excess [Yetro] his father-in-law, priest of Midian. And he conducted the flock after the desert. And he came unto Mountain of the Gods Swordward [Horebward].
2And Messenger Yehovah appeared unto him in a flame of fire from the midst of the bush. And he saw. And behold, the bush burned in fire, and the bush─he is not being eaten! 3And Draw [Moshe] said, “I will turn, na. And I saw this big appearance! Why won’t the bush burn?” 4And Yehovah saw that he turned to see. And Elohim called unto him from the midst of the bush. And He said, “Draw [Moshe]! Draw [Moshe]!” And he said, “Behold, I!” 5And He said, “Don’t approach here! Remove thy shoes from upon thy feet! For the Place that thou art standing upon him—he is the soil of the Holy-[One]!”
6And He said, “I Am Gods of thy father—Gods of Father-Of-A-Crowd [Avraham], Gods of He-Will-Laugh [Isaac] and Gods of He-Will-Heel [Jacob].” And Draw [Moshe] hid his faces because he feared from peering unto the Gods.
7And Yehovah said, “Seeing, I saw the humiliation of My People who are in Egypt. And I hearkened-to their scream from the faces of his slave-drivers. For I knew his pains! 8And I descended to rescue him from the hand of Egypt and to ‘ascend’ him from that land unto a good and broad land, unto a land oozing milk and honey, unto the place of the Merchant [Canaanee] and the Hot-[one] [Khitee] and the Sayer [Amoree] and the Rural-[one] [Preezee] and the Villager [Khivee] and the Desecrater [Yevoosee].
9 “And now, behold, the scream of the sons of Israel came unto me. And I also saw the oppression that Egyptians oppress them! 10And now, walk! And I sent thee unto Pharaoh. And exit My People the sons of Israel from Egypt!”
11And Draw [Moshe] said unto the Elohim, “Who am I that I will walk unto Pharaoh, and that I will exit the sons of Israel from Egypt?” 12And He said, “Because I Will Be with thee! And this is the sign to thee that I—I sent thee: ye shall serve the Elohim upon this Mountain during thy exiting the People from Egypt.”
13And Draw [Moshe] said unto the Elohim, “Behold I am coming unto the sons of Israel. And I will say to them, ‘Gods of your fathers sent me unto you!’ And they shall say to me, ‘What is his name?’ What shall I say unto them?” 14And Elohim said unto Draw [Moshe], “I Will Be Who I Will Be!” And He said, “Thus shalt thou say to the sons of Israel, ‘I Will Be sent me unto you!’”
15And Elohim said more unto Draw [Moshe]. “So shalt thou say unto the sons of Israel, ‘Yehovah Gods of your fathers, Gods of Father-Of-A-Crowd [Avraham], Gods of He-Will-Laugh [Isaac] and Gods of He-Will-Heel [Jacob] sent me unto you!’ This is My Name to Hider. And this is My Remembrance to generation generation!
16 “Walk! And thou shalt gather the elders of Israel. And Thou shalt say unto them, ‘Yehovah Gods of your fathers appeared unto me─Gods of Father-Of-A-Crowd [Avraham], He-Will-Laugh [Isaac] and He-Will-Heel [Jacob] to say, “Visiting, I visited you and the doings to you in Egypt! 17And I said, ‘I will ascend you from the humiliation of Egypt unto the Land of the Merchant [Canaanee] and the Hot-[one] [Kheetee] and the Sayer [Amoree] and the Rural-[one] [Preezee] and the Villager [Kheevee] and the Desecrater [Yevoosee], unto a land oozing milk and honey!’ ” ’ 18And they shall hearken to thy voice.
“And thou shalt come—thou and the elders of Israel—unto the king of Egypt. And Ye shall say unto him, ‘Yehovah Gods of the Hebrews happened upon us! And now, we will walk, na, a way of three days into the desert. And we sacrificed her to Yehovah our Gods!’ 19And I, I knew that the king of Egypt will not give you to walk, and not via a gripping hand! 20And I will send My Hand! And I will smite Egypt via all my miracles that I will do in his midst! And afterwards established, he will send you! 21And I will give the favour of this People in the eyes of Egypt. And he shall be, for ye will walk; ye will not emptily walk! 22And a woman shall ask utensils of silver and utensils of gold and garments from her abider [fem.] and from the sojourner [fem.] of her house. And ye shall put upon your sons and upon your daughters. And ye shall rescue Egypt!”
1And Draw [Moshe] answered. And he said, “And behold, they will not believe me! And they will not hearken via my voice. For they will say, ‘Yehovah hath not appeared unto thee!’” “2And Yehovah said unto him, “What is that in thine hand?” And he said, “A rod.” 3And He said, “Cast him landward.” And he cast him landward. And he became to a serpent. And Draw [Moshe] fled from his faces. 4And Yehovah said unto Draw [Moshe], “Send thine hand. And grasp via his tail…”—And he sent forth his hand. And he gripped into him. And he became to a rod in his palm—5 “…in order that they will believe that Yehovah God of their fathers, the God of Father-Of-A-Crowd [Avraham], the God of He-Will-Laugh [Isaac] and the God of He-Will-Heel [Jacob] appeared unto thee.”
6And Yehovah further said to him, “Send, na, thy hand into thy lap.” And he sent his hand into his lap. And he exited her. And behold, his hand is scourged as snow! 7And He said, “Return thy hand unto thy lap.” And he returned his hand unto his lap. And he exited her from his lap. And behold, she returned as his flesh.
8 “And he shall be if they will not believe to thee and will not hearken to the voice of the first sign. And they will believe to the voice of the after sign. 9And he shall be if they will not believe also to these two signs and will not hearken to thy voice. And thou shalt take from the waters of the river. And thou shalt pour the dry. And they shall be the waters that thou shalt take from the river. And they shall become to blood in the dry.”
10And Draw [Moshe] said unto Yehovah, “Via me, my Lords? I am not a man of speeches─also from yesterday, also from three days ago, also from then—Thy speaking unto thy slave. For I am heavy of mouth and heavy of tongue!” 11And Yehovah said unto him, “Who put a mouth to Adam? Or who will put a dumb or a deaf or an open or a blind? Isn’t [it] I, Yehovah? 12And now, walk! And I, I Will Be with thy mouth! And I will teach thee what thou shalt speak!”
13And he said, “Via me, my Lords? Send, na, via the Hand Thou shalt send.” 14And the nose of Yehovah heated via Draw [Moshe]. And He said, “Isn’t Oy!-Conception! [Aharon] thy brother the Levite? I knew that speaking, he will speak—he! And also, behold, he exits to meet thee. And he will see thee; and he will rejoice in his heart! 15And thou shalt speak unto him. And thou shalt put the speeches via his mouth. And I, I Will Be with thy mouth and with his mouth! And I will teach you what ye shall do! 16And he, he shall speak unto the people to thee. And he shall be. He—he shall be to thee to a mouth. And thou—thou shalt be to him to Gods! 17And thou shalt take this staff, via whom thou shalt do the signs, via thy hand.”
I. Home (chapter 2, verse 15)
Moshe the fugitive left Egypt. He went to the land of Midian. When he arrived there, he came to a well. He dwelt upon that well.
1. What speech did Pharaoh hear? He heard about Moshe’s killing the Egyptian slavemaster.
2. Why did Pharaoh seek to slay Moshe over this incident? Moshe’s actions might spread into a rebellion of the Israelis if Pharaoh did nothing about it. Pharaoh didn’t see the justice in what Moshe had done; he instead was fearful that Moshe might become the feared leader of the Israelis who might rise up against the Egyptians.
3. Why did Moshe flee from the faces of Pharaoh? Was he afraid of Pharaoh?
Hebrews 11:27 He left Egypt by faith, not having feared the indignation of the king; for he mightily-did as seeing the Invisible [One].
He wasn’t afraid of Pharaoh. I propose that he left so that the Israelis wouldn’t suffer while the Egyptians hunted for Moshe. His leaving the country made him the focus of the hunt.
4. How much did Moshe give up by leaving? He gave up everything he had except the very clothes he wore. He had no job, no money except what he might have been carrying, no home, no status (rank), no animal to ride—he had nothing. He was willing to give up everything!
5. Why would a land be called the land of Contention? The word contention is directly related to the word contend—like when two are in a boxing ring. This land was where many groups and persons contended—fought over water, land, animals, possessions, etc. Everything was scarce in this land except space, sand, rocks, air, and sunshine.
6. Why did Moshe choose this land instead of some other land where much more was available? Where much more was available, the human population would be much larger. Word would come from that land that Moshe is living there, and Egyptians would be sent to kill Moshe there.
7. What does, “he dwelt upon the well” mean? The same word that means upon in Hebrew also means on, over, above and beside. I could have written it this way: “He dwelt beside the well,” but the Hebrew word really means more upon than it does beside.
The well was a hole in the ground where fresh water could be acquired with a bucket and a rope. There must have been fruit trees (like date palms) there, since Moshe had to eat something. While anyone could live there, it was a watering hole for various herds, and anyone claiming that well as his or her own would be moved or killed. It was public, and it would be kept public. Thus, anyone could freely go and stay by the well, but that was also a dangerous place to live if anyone had personal property! Everyone used the well, including honest folks and folks who were not honest! Moshe had nothing except his beautiful clothes, so he wasn’t in much danger.
II. Daughters and Conflict (verses 16-17)
A pagan priest of Midian had seven daughters who tended their father’s flock. They let down containers to fill in order to water the flock.
Shepherds came. They threw these daughters away from the well. Moshe arose and saved them, and he watered their flock.
1. What does “They suspended and filled the troughs” mean? They suspended buckets with ropes, letting the buckets down into the water of the well. They filled troughs—either hollowed wooden structures or hollowed stone structures that could hold water so that the sheep and goats could drink.
2. Who are the shepherds who came and who expelled the seven daughters? They were mean men and/or boys who also had flocks in the area!
3. Why did they expel the women and girls? The women and girls had already filled the watering troughs with water. Expelling them (throwing them away from the troughs) meant that they could then water their own flocks without having to get the water!
4. How did Moshe save them? He defended them from the shepherds. He was willing to fight for the seven women and girls. He also watered their flock for them.
5. Why did Moshe water their flock for them? Moshe was a gentleman. He was not arrogant or lazy. He was willing to serve others. He was humble—that is, he knew his rank and responsibilities before others, and he lived that way. What he did was only right.
6. What did these seven women/girls think of Moshe? They only saw his clothes and heard his accent and speech at this time. His clothes were of Egyptian royalty, and his speech was Egyptian.
III. The Stranger (verses 18-20)
The seven daughters came to Reuel their father. (This man has several names.) He saw that they were home very early today. He asked, “Why did ye rush to come today?” They said, “An Egyptian man rescued us from the hand of the shepherds. And also suspending, he suspended to us. And he watered the flock!” He said to them, “And where is he? Why is this? Ye forsook the man? Call to him! And he has eaten bread.”
1. The women said, “An Egyptian man rescued us from the hand of the shepherds.” What gave them the impression that Moshe was an Egyptian man? His clothing and his manner of speaking is what convinced them. They didn’t ask him questions while he watered their flock; they just watched and were amazed at his kindness.
2. What was so special about Moshe’s ‘suspending’ and watering the flock? Here was this nicely dressed gentleman who was treating the women and girls so well without knowing them, while the mean and cruel local shepherds had tried to cheat them out of the water they poured.
3. The first question that Reuel asked was, “And where is he?” What does this question tell about Reuel’s feelings? Reuel was angry. The man had done a valiant deed for them, and they had not even shown him courtesy or kindness. They just left him as if he had done nothing!
4. If the above answer is true, why did the women just leave Moshe? They didn’t know how to properly respond to kindness from a stranger. That was a rare experience for them. They didn’t know what to do.
5. What did Reuel mean by, “Why is this?” He wanted to know why they reacted so badly to a man who had done them such a kindness.
6. Reuel then says, “Ye forsook the man?” Why is this so bad in his eyes? After all, they were women; should women invite men home? They had alternatives. One or two of the women could have run home while the others stayed with the man and the flock. Just forsaking a man who did a kindness would show ungratefulness. Reuel was a priest; any priest has the responsibility to teach folks who believe in the gods of the priest to behave well toward others.
7. Reuel then said, “Call to him! And he has eaten bread.” How could they call to him? He didn’t have a cellular telephone. Also, what did Reuel mean by, “And he has eaten bread”? The only way to call to him would be to return to the well, and hope that he hasn’t left the area. Upon finding him, they would tell him to come to Reuel’s home to eat. For all Reuel knew, this stranger might not have much if anything to eat. Giving him food is part of hospitality, and it is well-deserved for the kindness he showed toward seven women and girls.
IV. Home and Wife (verses 21-22)
Moshe was content to dwell with this priest. The priest gave his daughter Ladybird (Zipporah) to Moshe for a wife.
She became pregnant and childed a son. Moshe called his name Sojourner There (Ger-Shom) because Moshe said, “I was a sojourner in a foreign land.”
1. Why would Moshe, a man who feared Yehovah the Gods of Israel, be content to dwell with a priest of a false god? A person who fears Yehovah and is born of God will value all good relationships. Some who believe in false gods will show the most excellent behaviours toward others, and will also value good relationships. Since followers of false gods are made in the image of the True God, anyone who believes in the True and Living God will see that image of God, and will value His image. A Biblical believer will do what is right toward neighbours regardless of the various faiths of the neighbours. Doing right includes treating those persons right and valuing them. The believer will avoid wicked and violent persons, and won’t be friends with folks who will try to get them to do wrong, but will be friends with neighbours who live right and do right even if they follow false gods.
Moshe’s father-in-law was a very gracious and kind priest of a false god. Moshe loved the man as a son loves a father, and the man loved him as a father loves a son.
2. Was Ladybird a believer in Moshe’s God? No, she wasn’t.
3. Why was Moshe willing to have her for a wife if the answer proposed to the above question is true? The Bible only commands against marrying an unbeliever under two conditions:
- Saints are being persecuted
- The Saint is able to refrain from marriage (for the time being) without doing wrong
The following text explains this:
1 Corinthians 7:26 “I think, then, this is good—that [it is] good for a man to be so [to be unmarried] because of the present necessity.”
Some type of persecution of Saints is making marriage not such a good idea for the time being.
A number of Saints in the Bible were married to non-saints, and the marriages were not wrong. There is one restriction. Look at the following text:
1 Corinthians 7:39 And if her husband shall have fallen asleep [that is, he died], she is free to be married [to] whom she wills—only in Yehovah.
She is a widow, and is therefore free to marry whoever she desires. (Many were involved in arranged marriages, and they did not have the freedom to choose.)
Moshe was not living in a time of persecution. He loved his father-in-law (in a good way), and therefore was pleased to have his daughter for a wife.
4. Did Moshe consider Midian a foreign land, and Egypt home? He definitely considered Midian a foreign land. I do not know what he considered home, but I don’t think he saw Egypt as home. He knew the promises of Yehovah to Avraham, Isaac and Jacob; Israel is his real home. I am convinced that this is what he considered home.
V. New Leader, New Suffering (verses 23-25)
Many days now passed. The king of Egypt died. The slavery of the Israelis continued and became heavier; the children of Israel sighed from the slavery. They also screamed. Their imploring ascended unto the Gods from the slavery.
Elohim hearkened to their groaning. He remembered His Covenant with Avraham, with Isaac and with Jacob.
Elohim saw the children of Israel. Elohim knew.
1. What is significant about the king of Egypt dying? The new king did not remember Moshe, and did not seek him to kill him.
2. Why did the children of Israel sigh from slavery? It was so hard, and they so wanted to rest. Yet, they could rarely rest.
3. To whom did they scream? They didn’t necessarily scream to anyone. They screamed because of the pain and cruelty of slavery. Slavemasters will sometimes kill a slave for little or no reason; some of the other slaves will scream as they lament (mourn) over the needless deaths from cruel hands.
4. Why did the Egyptians treat the Israelis this way? What drove them to do this? The following text explains:
Psalm 105:23 And Israel came—Egypt. And Jacob sojourned in the land of Kham. 24And He ‘fruited’ His people very much. And He ‘mightied’ him from [more than] his afflicters. 25He flipped-over their heart to hate His people, to make-themselves-unscrupulous via His slaves. 26He sent Moshe His slave, Aharon whom He chose via him.
Yehovah Himself caused the Egyptians to hate the Israelis! The Israelis suffered terribly from this. Thus, Yehovah will sometimes bring such suffering in order to strengthen a group to do excellent and life-saving works!
5. The text states, “their imploring ascended unto the Elohim from the slavery.” Did they implore to the Elohim? Some may have implored to the Elohim—that is, to the Gods, Yehovah. Others implored to the gods—that is, to false gods, including those of Egypt. The Israelis were mostly idolaters like the Egyptians!
Regardless of the gods to whom they implored, the implorings still ascended unto the Elohim (the Gods, Yehovah). He heard every bit of them.
6. What does “Elohim hearkened-to their groaning” mean and imply? This means that Yehovah not only heard their groaning, but He also determined to act to save them from the causes.
7. What is important about Elohim remembering His Covenant with Avraham, Isaac and Jacob? This Covenant stated that Yehovah will give Avraham, Isaac and Jacob the Land of Canaan (future Israel). Since the children of Israel are the children of Jacob, He must give that land to the Israelis in order to give it to Jacob. This will be the reason He will take the Israelis out of Egypt—to deliver them to that land.
8. The text next states, “And Elohim saw the children of Israel.” Why did this have to be written in the Bible? Wasn’t it quite obvious? It wasn’t obvious to the children of Israel. Most had no idea that He saw; few Israelis even believed in Him. This was stated so that readers of the Bible in the future will either know or will learn that Elohim does see the children of Israel! This will be very important during the Tribulation when again it won’t be obvious that Elohim is seeing anything!
9. The text then states, “And Elohim knew.” Why is this so important? Isn’t it also obvious? The word knew indicates more than just knowing the facts; it indicates experiencing something, and being intimate with it (as if it is the closest friend). Elohim knew what the Israelis experienced because He will experience it in person when He is later born as a baby, and grows up in Israel. Elohim isn’t limited by time, and what will happen over a thousand years later is happening right now to Him. That is how He knew this so well.
VI. A Normal Day (chapter 3, verse 1)
Moshe became a shepherd of Yetro’s flock, the flock of his father-in-law who was also a priest of Midian. Moshe conducted the flock after the desert—to locations where the desert gave way to hills. He came unto a hill known (or later known) as the Mountain of the Gods, toward Horeb.
1. How did Moshe become a shepherd? Work needed to be done, and Moshe was willing to do the work.
2. Wasn’t being a shepherd quite a step down for him, since he was educated with the best Egyptian education? It was not so much a step downward as a step sideways! Moshe was a humble man, and he was willing to work at whatever needed to be done. He had been given a great education, but that didn’t stop him from doing the lowest service to others. Being a shepherd will give him the training he needs to properly deal with the Israelis!
3. Why did Moshe conduct (lead) the flock after the desert? A flock needs to find grass. Moshe took the flock to places where he knew grass would be growing. Plants can grow very well at the foot of hills in dry areas, because the water that comes down from the hills is much more than what drops straight down on flat areas. The hills usually have rocks at the bottom, and water becomes trapped under the rocks, being held there until roots of plants find it. In a place where the annual rainfall is only about three to four inches, the amount of water at the foot of hills can be as if the area gets 40 inches a year! Look at the drawing next to see how this works:
This is also a good place to dig a well!
4. Where is this place called Mountain of the Gods? This is Mount Horeb (Sword Mountain) also known as Mount Sinai. It is located in Arabia, known today as Saudi Arabia. The first map below shows the entire Middle East, and was produced by the US government (copyright 2003, no copyright claim under Title 17 U.S.C.) and the second looks closely at the area where Mount Horeb/Mount Sinai was probably located (same US government map).
Its being called Mountain of the Gods (Mountain of the Elohim) is what it will later be called during the Time of Moshe.
VII. A Bush and Shoes (verses 2-5)
Messenger Yehovah appeared unto Moshe in a flame of fire from the middle of the bush. Moshe saw. He beheld that the bush burned in fire, and the bush isn’t being ‘eaten’ (consumed—used up)! Moshe said, “I will turn, na. And I saw this big appearance! Why won’t the bush burn?”
Yehovah saw that Moshe turned to see. Elohim called unto him from the midst of the bush! Elohim said, “Moshe! Moshe!” Moshe responded, “Behold, I!” Elohim continued, “Don’t approach here! Remove thy shoes from upon thy feet! For the Place that thou art standing upon him—he is the soil of the Holy-[One]!”
1. Who is Messenger Yehovah? He is Yehovah Himself in the form of a messenger. The word messenger and the word angel are both the same. A human can be a messenger, and one of Yehovah’s ministering spirits is an angel. The word angel comes from a Greek word meaning messenger, one who goes on an errand.
Yehovah can appear in any form He desires. When He appears as an angel, translators often put “the angel of the LORD,” when they should have put, “Messenger Yehovah.”
2. Why did Messenger Yehovah appear to Moshe in a flame of fire (of all things)? I can think of several reasons.
- A flame attracts much attention—especially when it is located where none is expected.
- A flame is bright, and it moves; motion attracts attention out in the desert.
- Yehovah is described as a consuming fire (though this fire isn’t a consuming fire!); that shows that Yehovah’s fire can be present and doesn’t have to hurt anything where it is burning.
Moshe was attracted to the flame.
3. What was burning in the fire? Explain. The bush was burning in the fire, but the bush wasn’t being ‘eaten’ (consumed—burned up). Therefore, the bush was unharmed.
4. Why was Moshe so curious about this burning bush that wasn’t being burned? Moshe had been trained in the sciences in Egypt. His training was the best in the land. He was therefore curious to understand how the bush could be on fire, yet not be burned up.
5. What does na mean? It is a Hebrew word that is a particle—it has no other form. It acts as a softener to communication instead of having a meaning. A person might make a comment that sounds harsh or demanding; adding na in Hebrew tells the other person that it was not said in a harsh or demanding way.
6. Why did Moshe use na when speaking to himself??? Moshe by now had gotten used to speaking to himself. He was alone with the sheep a good portion of the time. He has been doing sheep work for forty years! While he would go home on some occasions, he often would not.
7. Why does the text note that Yehovah saw that Moshe turned to see? Isn’t that obvious? It is obvious. Yet, this tells readers that Yehovah notices details of actions, not just major events. While He already knew that Moshe would respond this way, yet He interacted with Moshe as if He knew nothing about it. That is the way Yehovah works.
8. The text mentions Yehovah seeing, and then it says, “And Elohim called unto him from the midst of the bush. Before that, it stated that Messenger Yehovah appeared unto him. Why does the text give so many name/title combinations in one text? These are some of the identities of the Gods who are One: Yehovah. Messenger Yehovah will later prove to be Yeshua, the Salvation and Saviour of Israel and the world. Yehovah will be either the Father or the Spirit—both the same One God, but different ways of appearing and different ways of working with humans. Elohim (Gods) will later prove to be the Gods of Israel, the Holy One (Owned One) of Israel, the Creator, and the Messiah of Israel. Mentioning these here is very important so that readers can begin thinking of the identities of these characters, and can later conclude that they are One, but do different functions.
9. Why did Elohim call unto him from the midst of the bush? Moshe had gone up to the bush to look closely at it. This is what Elohim desired him to do. Now, Elohim has ‘a captive audience!’
10. Why did Elohim call him twice when he was right there? Moshe may have thought that he was seeing things. I propose that Moshe had been entranced (as in a trance) by the flame and the non-burning bush. Elohim desired Moshe’s undivided attention.
11. Why did he answer, “Behold, I”? This is the way that folks often respond in the Bible. Saying, “Behold!” is so that the other person can look in that direction, or hear in that direction. Saying, “I!” is short for saying, “I am here!”
12. Elohim said, “Don’t approach here!” What would have been wrong with approaching there? Moshe was wearing shoes; he would have been walking on someone else’s property. That is trespassing. Also, this wasn’t the time for trying to physically see Yehovah. The only reason Moshe would have had for approaching would be to try to see Yehovah. He could hear Him just fine. Yehovah does appear, but He didn’t want His form to be seen except as a flame of fire. He will deal with Moshe as if Moshe is all of Israel.
13. What does “For the Place that thou art standing upon him—he is the soil of the Holy-[One]” mean? The Place is being treated as if he is a person! Moshe is standing upon him! That place is owned soil, belonging to the Holy One. Moshe is therefore standing on soil that is owned, and Moshe didn’t know this.
14. Who is this Holy One? This is the Holy One of Israel. Thus, Israel owns this Holy One just as the Holy One owns the soil! The Messiah is the Holy One of Israel, and Yeshua is the Messiah.
15. Why did Elohim command Moshe to remove his shoes? Moshe was standing on property that was not his. His shoes had been everywhere, and included animal manure and other things that could be tracked onto the carpet of the Holy One’s soil! Moshe’s bare feet were fine, since humans are made of soil. In some cultures to this day, pointing the bottoms of shoes at a person’s face is considered an insult. In other cultures, wearing shoes inside a person’s home is an insult and very rude.
16. Wasn’t the soil quite hot when Moshe removed his shoes? It would have been quite hot, but Moshe’s feet were very tough by now.
17. How could Moshe tell where the border was so that he could go outside of the soil of the Holy One? He had no way of telling. The entire Land of Israel belonged to Yehovah!
VIII. God’s Identification (verse 6)
Elohim said, “I Am Gods of thy father—Gods of Avraham, Gods of Isaac and Gods of Jacob.” Moshe hid his faces. He feared staring at Elohim!
1. Why did Elohim next say, “I am Gods of thy father—Gods of Avraham, Gods of Isaac and Gods of Jacob”? He hadn’t yet identified Himself! As far as Moshe knew, the speaker may have been an angel. He now knew that this is Yehovah who appeared to Avraham, Isaac and Jacob.
2. Why did Moshe hide his faces? He hid his faces because he feared from peering unto the Gods!
3. Again, what would have been wrong with peering (looking closely and staring) unto the Gods? One who fears another won’t tend to stare into the eyes of the one he/she fears. Moshe understood that fear of Elohim kept a person from trying to see Elohim at this time. Living by faith is not the same as living by sight; they are opposites! Moshe did not desire to tempt (test) Yehovah.
IX. Yehovah’s Mission (verses 7-8)
Yehovah said, “Seeing, I saw the humiliation of My People who are in Egypt.” That covered seeing. He continued, “And I hearkened-to their scream from the faces of his slave-drivers.” That covered hearing. “For I knew his pains!” That covered knowing. “And I descended to rescue him from the hand of Egypt and to ‘ascend’ him from that land unto a good and broad land, unto a land oozing milk and honey, unto the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.”
1. Why does Yehovah start by explaining what He saw regarding His People, and why does He call them “My People”? He calls them “My People” because He owns them. This is not true for any other people; He doesn’t claim ownership of any other people. This is the first time that I remember Him calling the Israelis “My People.”
Yehovah starts by explaining what He saw regarding His People because Moshe needs to know that he will be part of the rescue operation.
2. Didn’t Moshe already know that he would be the deliverer of the Israelis? Yes, he knew that; but he knew that a long time ago. He knew that forty years ago. Now, he no longer knew that.
3. What humiliation did the Israelis suffer? They were taken from being a free people in Egypt to becoming slaves in Egypt. Thus, they were forcefully humbled, which means that they were humiliated. They were forced down in rank and were forced to be responsible for things that belonged to others. Everyone taken as a slave by force and not in a war is humiliated. American slaves were humiliated.
4. When Yehovah said, “Seeing, I saw the humiliation of My People who are in Egypt,” what was this implying about the Egyptians and Yehovah? It was implying that the Egyptians were mishandling and abusing Yehovah’s property, and Yehovah took this very personally.
5. Why did the Israelis scream? They screamed from the faces of Israel’s slavedrivers! Those wicked Egyptians beat and mistreated the Israelis to force them to work.
6. Why did Yehovah say, “For I knew his pains”? Who is his? His is all Israel as one person. Yehovah said, “For I knew his pains” because Yeshua will drink the cup centuries later, and will feel the pains that the gentiles will put on Him. Those pains will be of the same nature. Time doesn’t limit Yehovah; He knows the pains of the future as well as the pains of the past and present.
7. When did Yehovah descend to rescue him? He just did—that is why He is speaking to Moshe!
8. Which land is the good and broad land that oozes milk and honey? That is the land of Canaan, the future Land of Israel.
9. How can a land ooze milk? How can a land ooze honey? If the land is very good for cattle, the cattle will give much milk. That milk comes from the grasses and plants that cows eat. Thus, the land oozes milk by producing rich and plentiful grass.
If the land produces many flowers, it will have many bees to make honey. Honey comes from the pollen in the flowers that the bees eat and spit out! Honey is bee spit! Thus, the land will ooze honey.
10. Yehovah said that He would take Israel unto the place of the Canaanite, Hitite, Amorite, etc. Why did He take Israel to a place that was already populated, but with different groups, instead of leaving Israel in Egypt? Yehovah determined to slaughter those groups, killing everyone of them, and giving their land to Israel. That land belonged to Yehovah, and those groups were terribly sinning on His land. He then would command the Israelis to slaughter all the inhabitants because they will not turn from their violent sinning. That way, the Israelis could then move into homes already built; they could use fruit trees already grown; they could farm fields already prepared.
X. Moshe’s Mission (verses 9-10)
Yehovah continued, “And now, behold, the scream of the sons of Israel came unto me. And I also saw the oppression that Egyptians oppress them!” Yehovah again mentioned the sound and the sight.
“And now, walk! And I sent thee unto Pharaoh. And exit My People the sons of Israel from Egypt!”
1. The word scream is singular. What was occurring? Since the Israelis all had the same scream from the same oppression and cruelty they were experiencing, one continuing scream came from them to Yehovah.
2. What is oppression? This is putting others under great pressure by mistreating them on a regular basis. The Egyptians forced the Israelis to work without pay, and they violently mistreated the Israelis if they didn’t completely satisfy that work load.
3. Why did Yehovah command Moshe to walk instead of providing a beautiful chariot for him? Wouldn’t having a beautiful chariot make Moshe seem like someone worth giving a hearing? That is an idea that man thinks is true. That is why even members of the clergy (preaches, bishops, etc.) today like to have fancy and expensive cars, homes, etc. They think that this will give them more clout (a higher rank and status, with a view of having power with God). Yehovah had no intention for Moshe to arrive before Pharaoh with anything fancier than wearing sandals on foot! Moshe’s clout will come from what he does and says, not from his stuff.
4. Folks in the Bible are often commanded to walk. Why is this so important? Everything that is important to Yehovah has to do with walking—that is, with how one conducts himself/herself before Yehovah. No one needs legs to Biblically walk. Behaviour is one’s walk! Those who don’t walk (in the Biblical sense) aren’t doing anything—except one thing: they are wasting the image of God on them as if God Himself is a waste. Even an evil walk is better than no walk at all in one sense: the person is doing. (A person who walks in a bad way can turn to strongly walk in a good way; a person who doesn’t do anything is just lukewarm, tasteless, and useless.)
The Bible teaches all to walk, and it teaches all to righteously walk. That type of walk will benefit others and will demonstrate the image of God to others in a proper way.
5. Yehovah said, “I sent thee unto Pharaoh.” What other words (in English) are directly connected to being sent? The word apostle means a sent one (and it means no more than this). The word missionary means one sent on a mission, and therefore is exactly the same as an apostle. The word ambassador means one sent to represent another on a mission, and is therefore is the same as apostle and missionary. A diplomat also is sent with assignments to carefully represent another (like a country). All these have the idea of one being sent.
6. Who are Yehovah’s People, according to this text? They are the sons/children of Israel.
7. Are only boys included in sons? No! Unless the text specifically gives the impression that sons only include boys, the text is always indicating offspring or those who are like offspring regardless of gender. Girls and women are therefore included in sons. Be sure to read Biblical texts with this in mind.
8. What is Israel? Israel is Jacob! He is often mentioned in the Bible, and is thus a most important character!
XI. Who is Moshe? (verses 11-12)
Moshe had a question for the Elohim: “Who am I that I will walk unto Pharaoh, and that I will exit the sons of Israel from Egypt?” That seemed a little… bold. Elohim replied, “Because I Will Be with thee!” “I Will Be” is part of the Name Yehovah! He continued, “And this is the sign to thee that I—I sent thee: ye shall serve the Elohim upon this Mountain during thy exiting the People from Egypt.”
1. What did Moshe mean by the question, “Who am I that I will walk unto Pharaoh…”? Moshe wasn’t concerned about walking to Pharaoh; his concern was his lack of importance. How would he gain an audience with Pharaoh—that is, how would he be seen as important enough for Pharaoh to see him? Low-ranking folks can’t just walk into a king’s palace and have a conversation with a king!
2. What did Moshe mean by, “Who am I … that I will exit the sons of Israel from Egypt?” Moshe wasn’t an army. How would he cause an entire slave population to just walk out of the country where the slaves are held? The Egyptian army was very strong!
3. What did Yehovah mean by this answer: “Because I Will Be with thee”? Yehovah gave part of His Name: I Will Be. That will be Moshe’s advantage! He doesn’t need an army if he has Yehovah with him; Yehovah is stronger than any army.
4. Yehovah continued, “And this is the sign to thee that I—I sent thee: ye shall serve the Elohim upon this Mountain during thy exiting the People from Egypt.” What kind of a sign is useful when it is given for a time after everything is accomplished? Didn’t Moshe need a sign before he went to Pharaoh??? This sign isn’t so much for Moshe as it is for the Israelis!—and especially for the Israelis in a future time!
Yehovah did provide Moshe with another sign at that time. This sign (about serving the Elohim upon this mountain) will show the Israelis that Yehovah sent Moshe!
5. What mountain is this? It is a mountain that is toward Horeb (see verse 1). It is Mount Sinai.
6. Did the Israelis serve the Elohim uponthat mountain? I have never seen a text where they did! I propose that this is a future event—one that will occur during the Tribulation! Part of Israel will be in Egypt during part of the Tribulation, and those Israelis will escape from Egypt using camouflage. I propose that they will serve the Elohim on that very mountain at that future time, thus fulfilling this sign!
XII. What’s Your Name? (verses 13-14)
Moshe began to paint the scene that would occur if he did what Elohim commanded: “Behold I am coming unto the sons of Israel. And I will say to them, ‘Gods of your fathers sent me unto you!’ And they shall say to me, ‘What is his name?’ What shall I say unto them?” Elohim’s response was, “I Will Be Who I Will Be!” He then added, “Thus shalt thou say to the sons of Israel, ‘I Will Be sent me unto you!’”
1. Moshe thought that the following exchange would take place: “Behold I am coming unto the sons of Israel. And I will say to them, ‘Gods of your fathers sent me unto you!’ And they shall say to me, ‘What is his name?’” Do you think that would be the exchange (the talking back and forth) that would occur? I didn’t think that this is how the Israelis would react. I think that their reaction would be more like this: “Who are you, and what makes you think that we are going to believe that the Gods of our fathers, the Gods who have been ignoring us, sent you?” Moshe thought that they would ask the name of the Gods.
Moshe is a prophet. He actually did know what the Israelis would say!
2. Since Gods is plural, and his is singular (in, “What is his name?”), how would the Israelis know that the plural Gods is a singular being? They knew this from what they had heard about Avraham, Isaac and Jacob. They did have stories of these men, and those stories included much information about Yehovah.
3. What did Yehovah command Moshe to answer in response to the question about His name? Yehovah told him to give two answers:
- Elohim’s name is “I Will Be Who I Will Be.”
- “I Will Be sent me unto you!”
4. Were those clear answers? They required thought; they were not immediately clear. The name “I Will Be Who I Will Be!” is a rather long name, and it is very different. The name “I Will Be” is shorter, and in Hebrew it is Ehiyeh. That is still a different name from the names that the Israelis knew.
5. What is so important about His Name being “I Will Be Who I Will Be”? This shows that Yehovah:
- will continue to exist in the future
- will be exactly what and who He desires to be: He will be consistent with His own character
- will not be changed by any changes in humans (including what they think of Yehovah and what He ‘should’ be.
XIII. The Name (verse 15)
Elohim now told Moshe what to say: “So shalt thou say unto the sons of Israel, ‘Yehovah Gods of your fathers, Gods of Avraham, Gods of Isaac and Gods of Jacob sent me unto you!’ This is My Name to Hider. And this is My Remembrance to generation generation!”
1. Why did Elohim send Moshe to the Israelis instead of coming to them in person? If Yehovah came in person, the Israelis could not have faith, since faith only exists where what is expected hasn’t yet arrived.
Pleasing God is impossible without faith. Yehovah desired Israel to live by faith. If the Israelis refused to believe in Him, He still refused to force Himself on them by appearing. He will appear in person once Israel is entirely righteous. Appearing before that time could bring Yehovah’s wrath against Israel for sin. Therefore, it is His kindness toward Israel that He does not appear in person at this time.
2. What is God’s full name, according to this text? It is either Yehovah, or Yehovah Gods of your fathers, Gods of Avraham, Gods of Isaac and Gods of Jacob.
3. What is Hider? I propose that Hider refers to a time (that time beyond what has been revealed in the Bible) and a person (Yehovah, the One Who was and Who will be, the beginning and the ending). Thus, if this is His Name to Hider, this will be His Name until this planet ends and the New Earth begins.
4. How can a name be a remembrance? Since He will be, He is and He was, and since He is associated with Avraham, Isaac and Jacob, remembering them will be part of remembering Him from one generation to another generation. Thus, every generation that knows about Avraham, Isaac and Jacob will know about Yehovah.
5. What does generation generation mean? It means that each generation will remember Yehovah by remembering Avraham, Isaac and Jacob, and that Yehovah will continue to be as He always was and is in each generation.
XIV. Gather the Elders (verses 16-18)
Elohim next instructed Moshe: “Walk! And thou shalt gather the elders of Israel.” He didn’t tell him how he would accomplish this.
“And Thou shalt say unto them, ‘Yehovah Gods of your fathers appeared unto me─Gods of Avraham, Isaac and Jacob.’” That visit was so that Yehovah could tell the Israelis this: “Visiting, I visited you and the doings to you in Egypt!” This covers a visitation of Yehovah. When He visits, He also does something. “And I said, ‘I will ascend you from the humiliation of Egypt unto the Land of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and Jebusite, unto a land oozing milk and honey!’”
Yehovah then reassured Moshe, “And they shall hearken to thy voice!”
1. Yehovah told Moshe to walk, and to gather the elders of Israel. Where was he to walk? How did he know where to go? All Moshe needed to do was to walk (toward Egypt). Moshe had been there years ago, and he knew the layout of the land, as well as where the Israelis were being worked. Whatever he didn’t know, Yehovah would bring him into contact with what he needed.
2. Why did Yehovah command Moshe to gather the elders of Israel? They were the ranking ones in Israel who would have influence over Israel.
3. Yehovah told Moshe to say, “Visiting, I visited you and the doings to you in Egypt!” What is the difference between “Visiting, I visited” and “I visited”? This form of repeating the verb in Hebrew shows the hearers just how strong the statement is. It is like saying, “I certainly visited!”
4. What did Yehovah mean by, “I visited you”? This means that Yehovah personally came to see the folks who make up ‘you’ (the Israelis), and it also includes His taking action regarding the Israelis. Yehovah’s visitations always include taking action—either for or against.
5. He also said that He visited “the doings to you in Egypt.” What were those doings? They were the various forms of mistreatments that the Egyptians did against the Israelis as they increased the pain of enslavement.
6. Yehovah next stated, “I will ascend you from the humiliation of Egypt…” Why didn’t Yehovah just do it quickly instead of dragging it out over a long period of time? The Israelis were not ready to do as Yehovah said. Had He taken them immediately from Egypt into the Land of Canaan, they would have been unable to function. They would have been afraid of the Canaanites, and they would have developed no awareness of the power of Yehovah. They had to learn many things before they could be given the responsibilities of working with His (Yehovah’s) Land. Some of those lessons had to take place while they were still slaves. (For example, they needed to learn to fear Yehovah.)
7. Yehovah said that He will ascend the Israelis unto the Land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite. When He said this, He was stating that the land belonged to those folks (to the Canaanite, Hittite, Amorite, Perizzite, Hivite and Jebusite). Why would He take the Israelis to a land that belonged to other folks knowing that this will cause a conflict and a lot of death? Yehovah was furious with those races that were living in that land. His plan was to replace them with the Israelis once the Israelis were ready to do what was necessary to both live right in that land and to slaughter out the inhabitants. Since the Land of Canaan (later the Land of Israel) truly belongs to Yehovah, He has the right to place folks He desires on His Land, and to throw off folks who are doing wrong from His Land. While those folks lived, the land belonged to them. Once they are dead, they no longer have any right to the land. The Israelis will be commanded to slaughter them to get them out of the land (since they will not turn to Yehovah, and they will not learn to do right).
8. What is a land oozing milk? It is a land where cattle do very well, and therefore give much milk.
9. What is a land oozing honey? It is a land with much flower production—a land where many flowers grow. Honey bees make honey from the flowers. If the land is oozing honey, bee keepers can obtain much honey from the bees.
10. Yehovah said, “And they shall hearken to thy voice.” Who shall hearken, and when will they hearken? The Israeli elders shall hearken; they will hearken at this one trip that Moshe will make.
XV. The Plan in Short Form (verses 18-22)
The next thing to occur will be this: “And thou shalt come—thou and the elders of Israel—unto the king of Egypt.” Moshe and the elders will then say unto the pharaoh, “Yehovah Gods of the Hebrews happened upon us! And now, we will walk, na, a way of three days into the desert. And we sacrificed her to Yehovah our Gods!”
How will the king respond, according to Yehovah? “And I, I knew that the king of Egypt will not give you to walk, and not via a gripping hand!” So, what will Yehovah do? “And I will send My Hand! And I will smite Egypt via all my miracles that I will do in his midst! And afterwards established, he will send you!”
This isn’t the only event that will take place; Yehovah continued, “And I will give the favour of this People in the eyes of Egypt.” Thus, the Egyptians will look favourably upon the Israelis! How will this be known? “And he shall be, for ye will walk; ye will not emptily walk!” They will take things with them as they leave!
This is what will occur: “And a woman shall ask utensils of silver and utensils of gold and garments from her abider [fem.] and from the sojourner [fem.] of her house.”
Where will they put these items? “And ye shall put upon your sons and upon your daughters.”
What will be the result of this action of obtaining goods from the Egyptians? “And ye shall rescue Egypt!”
1. How can Moshe and the elders of Israel come unto the king of Egypt? Does the king let just anyone come before him? No one could just go see the king of Egypt; everyone had to have an invitation. Yehovah prepared the king of Egypt so that he permitted Moshe and the elders to come and speak directly to him.
2. How will the king of Egypt respond to Moshe’s declaration, “Yehovah Gods of the Hebrews happened upon us”? He won’t believe a word of it. He has no interest in the Gods of the Hebrews; their Gods haven’t done them any good for all these centuries, and the Egyptian gods have been very successful (as far as the king of Egypt is concerned).
3. Yehovah next told Moshe to say, “And now, we will walk, na, a way of three days into the desert. And we sacrificed her to Yehovah our Gods!” What would Moshe be telling the king that the Israelis were going to do? He would be telling the king that the Israelis, all of the Israelis, were going to walk out of the land of Egypt, and were going to do sacrifices to a God that is not one of the Egyptians’ gods. Thus, all of the Israeli slaves in Egypt were taking a holiday/vacation, going three days’ journey out of the land (and thus, would take another three days to return; the sacrifice would take one day), and being gone a total of one week!
4. Who is her in, “And we sacrificed her to Yehovah our Gods”? She is the sacrifice!
5. Yehovah next told Moshe, “And I, I knew that the king of Egypt will not give you to walk, and not via a gripping hand!” What does this mean? Yehovah already knew that the king wouldn’t give permission for the entire people of Israel to walk out of the land of Egypt. He was telling Moshe this so that Moshe wouldn’t be expecting results yet.
Yehovah added, “and not via a gripping hand!” This means that even if someone grabbed the king by the hand and pulled him, he still wouldn’t permit the Israelis to go out of the land. Yehovah must exert much more force before he will send the Israelis out!
6. Yehovah states, “And I will send My Hand!” Identify Yehovah’s Hand, and how Yehovah will send His Hand: Yehovah’s Hand is the Messiah—Messiah Yeshua!
The hand of anyone is the power of anyone. This description is designed for and about little children. They recognize the hands of adults being the power of adults, just as they recognize their own hands as being tools of power. (This is why a child cries when an adult flicks or swats the hand of a very young child who is reaching for what the child must not touch. The child’s power is being curtailed (that is, is being cut down and diminished to a smaller amount).
When Yehovah sends His Hand, He will be sending His Messiah.
7. He then states, “And I will smite Egypt via all my miracles that I will do in his midst!” What is He going to do? He is going to smite (hit, strike, attack) Egypt using all His miracles—each one will be a miracle—that He is going to do in the very middle of Egypt!
8. When will the king send the Israelis? He will send them after Yehovah sends His Hand and does all the miracles that smite Egypt! Yehovah said, “established, he will send you!” That is like saying, “You can be certain that he will send you!”
9. What does “And I will give the favour of this People in the eyes of Egypt” mean? This means that Yehovah will cause the Egyptians to voluntarily do benefits for the People of Israel, and even to become on their side!
10. Why will the Egyptians favour the People of Israel (besides Yehovah’s causing them to do this)? The Egyptians will fear the Israelis! The text states, “in the eyes of Egypt.” The Egyptians will look at the Israelis with fear and respect.
11. Who is he in, “And he shall be, for ye will walk”? He is the event that is about to take place. In this case, the event will be Yehovah giving Egyptian favour to the Israelis!
12. What does “for ye will walk” mean? It means that the Israelis will no longer remain in Egypt; they will physically transport themselves out of Egypt! They will go! The word walk can indicate going on foot, but it doesn’t have to indicate this. Often in the Bible, walking indicates how a person lives (in terms of right or wrong, morally or immorally, with justice or with injustice). In this text, the word walk indicates their leaving Egypt.
13. What does “ye will not emptily walk” mean? This means that they won’t leave with nothing; instead, they will carry valuable things with them.
14. Yehovah next told Moshe, “And a woman shall ask utensils of silver and utensils of gold and garments from her abider [fem.] and from the sojourner [fem.] of her house.” What are utensils of silver and utensils of gold? They are tools (like knives, spoons, forks, pots, and many other tools, and jewelry) that are made of silver and/or gold.
15. Why will a woman ask for these things? Yehovah is telling the Israeli women to ask for these things from the Egyptian women! These items will be like wages that the Israelis never received.
16. What are these garments that the Israelis will ask from Egyptian women? Clothing articles were very expensive and very valuable. Everything was made by hand, and a fine garment could take thousands of hours to make! A fine garment cost them as much as a fine new car costs today! Thus, the Israelis will ask Egyptian women for these very valuable items so that the Israelis can take them with them when they leave!
17. What is an abider? This is a person who is staying with another person—often for an extended period of time. This curiously describes an Egyptian woman who is staying with an Israeli woman! This is quite a reversal, since slaves normally live with slavemasters, and not the other way around!
18. What is a sojourner? A sojourner is a person who is on a journey and who temporarily stays or visits with others on the journey.
19. Why would Egyptian women be sojourners and be staying with Israeli women? This part of the description of what Egyptian women will be doing seemed very out-of-place for this part of the events of the exit (exodus) from Egypt. I began to think. This must be describing End Times events—events that will happen in the very far distant future, during the Tribulation! There will be a future incident where Israelis will again be in Egypt, and will again need to escape from Egypt in order to go to the Land of Israel. Egyptian women who help the Israelis will be fugitives—that is, they will be on the run from rulers in Egypt who desire to arrest them—and those women will stay with the Israelis whom they are helping. Those women will help the Israeli women look like Egyptians by dressing them in Egyptian clothing and jewelry so that they can escape undetected by the violent and evil rulers who will be ruling Egypt at that time. Yehovah does this: He joins past and future events that involve the same peoples!
20. The text states, “And ye shall put upon your sons and upon your daughters.” What shall they put upon their sons and upon their daughters? They shall put the silver and gold utensils (like jewelry) and the garments upon their sons and daughters! They will dress them up in those very expensive items!
While this describes what is about to happen under Moshe, it even more describes what will happen in the future, during the Tribulation! It will be as if the ancient Israelis coming out of Egypt will dress the future Israelis coming out of Egypt in the garments, jewelry and utensils of the Egyptians!
21. Explain “And ye shall rescue Egypt”—how will this act rescue Egypt? If the Israelis had left Egypt with nothing after being slaves of the Egyptians (and yet, really being the property of Yehovah), Yehovah would have taken vengeance on Egypt, and would have destroyed Egypt as a power. Instead, by receiving just a very small pay for the centuries of slavery for the Egyptians, this act kept Yehovah from vengeance against Egypt. Thus, the Israelis will rescue Egypt from Yehovah’s wrath by taking the utensils of silver and gold, and the garments!
XVI. Moshe’s Response (chapter 4, verses 1-5)
Moshe knew that the Israelis would not believe him: “And behold, they will not believe me! And they will not hearken via my voice. For they will say, ‘Yehovah hath not appeared unto thee!’” Yehovah then asked Moshe, “What is that in thine hand?” Moshe said, “A rod.” Yehovah said, “Cast him landward [toward the land].” Moshe did so. And the rod became a serpent! Moshe fled from the serpent’s faces!
Yehovah said to Moshe, “Send thine hand. And grasp via his tail…” Yehovah waited for Moshe to do this. Moshe sent his hand, and he gripped into the tail of the serpent. And the serpent became a rod in the palm of his hand. Yehovah then continued, “…in order that they will believe that Yehovah God of their fathers, the God of Avraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob appeared unto thee.”
1. Was Moshe correct when he said, “And behold, they will not believe me! And they will not hearken via my voice. For they will say, ‘Yehovah hath not appeared unto thee!’”? He was correct!—that is, if Yehovah doesn’t do something to change that outcome. Moshe wasn’t even considering the king’s reaction, but the reactions of the elders of Israel.
2. Why did Yehovah ask Moshe, “What is that in thine hand?” Didn’t Yehovah know? Yehovah knew. He asked that so that readers of the text would know what Moshe had in his hand, and that it was an item that Moshe normally carried.
3. What does “Cast him landward” mean? It means, throw it to the ground.
4. Why did Moshe flee when his rod became a serpent? Moshe wasn’t expecting his rod to change into a living creature, and serpents can be very dangerous.
5. From whose faces did Moshe flee? He fled from the faces of the serpent.
6. What does “send thine hand” mean? It means put forth thy hand, but it also shows reluctance on the part of the sender. That is why Yehovah commanded Moshe to send his hand. He didn’t want to do that!
7. Would you send your hand and grasp the tail of a snake if someone trustworthy told you to do that? (Different ones will have different answers.)
8. Moshe gripped into the serpent, and the serpent became a rod in the palm of his hand. Was this a magic trick that Yehovah taught Moshe? No! It wasn’t magic. It wasn’t something designed to fool the eye. It was a true miracle, since the rod truly turned into a living serpent, and the living serpent turned back into a dead rod (stick) of wood.
9. What was the purpose of this rod/serpent miracle? The text states, “in order that they will believe that Yehovah God of their fathers, the God of Avraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob appeared unto thee.” They refers to the elders of Israel.
XVII. Another Miracle (verses 6-7)
Yehovah then commanded Moshe, “Send, na, thy hand into thy lap.” He did what he was told, and then he brought his hand out. His hand now had the scourge, and it was white, the color of snow! Yehovah commanded him, “Return thy hand unto thy lap.” He did so, and brought it out again. His hand returned as normal—as his flesh.
1. What does na mean (verse 6), and why did Yehovah use it when speaking to Moshe? The Hebrew word na doesn’t have a meaning, but instead shows a softening of what might appear as a demand or a strong command. Yehovah was teaching Moshe what to do; He wasn’t angry that Moshe had said that the elders wouldn’t believe the words Yehovah sent Moshe to tell them.
2. What does scourged mean? Most translators think this is a disease called leprosy, but it isn’t related to leprosy (and never has been). It is a special disease that Yehovah describes in the Bible that involves discoloration and a different depth than normal skin (as in very bright white areas that are lower than the surrounding skin), curious changes in hair colors near the affected area, and other symptoms. The scourge can be in human skin (as described above), it can be in cloth, and it can be in rock!
3. What did his scourged hand resemble? It was white all over, with a change in the depth and texture. Moshe immediately recognized what it was.
4. Why did Yehovah tell Moshe to send his hand into his lap (striking it with disease), and then to return unto his lap (returning it back to normal) instead of just telling him what would happen? These miracles gave Moshe more hope that the elders would believe the signs.
XVIII. The “if’s” (verses 8-9)
What would Moshe do if they didn’t believe the first sign? “And he shall be if they will not believe to thee and will not hearken to the voice of the first sign. And they will believe to the voice of the after sign.
What would Moshe do if they didn’t believe both these signs? “And he shall be if they will not believe also to these two signs and will not hearken to thy voice. And thou shalt take from the waters of the river. And thou shalt pour the dry. And they shall be the waters that thou shalt take from the river. And they shall become to blood in the dry.”
1. Yehovah used if: “…if they will not believe to thee, and will not hearken to the voice of the first sign…” Why would Yehovah use if when He knows exactly what will happen? Yehovah knew that some of the elders would not believe Moshe. Therefore he had other actions for Moshe to take. The Israelis will not believe Moshe any more than the Egyptian leaders will. They will therefore also have to be convinced of Yehovah’s existence and power.
2. How can a sign talk—(“and will not hearken to the voice of the first sign”)? Every true sign talks. It normally doesn’t use words, but it communicates! A bee doesn’t talk with words, but its stinger can communicate that it isn’t happy with someone! Thus, every true sign from Yehovah has a voice.
3. Which sign is the first sign? It is the rod/serpent sign.
4. Which sign is the after sign (verse 8)? It is the scourge sign.
5. What is the third sign? It consists of taking from the waters of the river of Egypt—the Nile, and pouring some of that water on dry land. Those waters will become blood as they come into contact with the dry land.
XIX. Moshe’s Speech Impediment (verses 10-12)
Moshe now had another problem that had to be solved. He started by asking Yehovah, “Via me, my Lords?”—that is, “by means of me, my Lords?” Moshe continued, “I am not a man of speeches─also from yesterday, also from three days ago, also from then—Thy speaking unto thy slave!”
What was Moshe’s problem? “For I am heavy of mouth and heavy of tongue!”
Yehovah had a response for him: “Who put a mouth to Adam? Or who will put a dumb or a deaf or an open or a blind? Isn’t [it] I, Yehovah? And now, walk! And I, I Will Be with thy mouth! And I will teach thee what thou shalt speak!”
1. Moshe now had a different issue to discuss with Yehovah. He said, “Via me, my Lords?” What did Moshe mean by this? Moshe was questioning Yehovah whether he (Moshe) was the right person for this assignment. When he said “via me,” he was saying, “using me?”
2. What did Moshe mean by, “I am not a man of speeches”? This meant that Moshe was not good at giving speeches in front of others. Therefore, since this assignment demanded that he had to explain things to others, he was not competent (able and the right choice) to do this assignment.
3. Moshe said, “I am not a man of speeches─also from yesterday, also from three days ago, also from then—Thy speaking unto thy slave.” Explain why he said, “also from yesterday”: This means that he wasn’t good at speeches yesterday before seeing Yehovah. In other words, he hadn’t just become shy and not good with speeches right now; he wasn’t good yesterday.
4. Moshe said, “I am not a man of speeches─also from yesterday, also from three days ago, also from then—Thy speaking unto thy slave.” Explain why he said, “also from three days ago”: His being unable to give speeches didn’t just occur in the last few days; that is the way he was even three days ago.
5. Moshe said, “I am not a man of speeches─also from yesterday, also from three days ago, also from then—Thy speaking unto thy slave.” Explain why he said, “also from then—Thy speaking unto thy slave”: Even from the time that Yehovah first communicated with Moshe, he was never good at speechmaking.
6. What does “For I am heavy of mouth and heavy of tongue” mean? It means that Moshe’s speech difficulty has to do with his mouth and tongue being too heavy to speak quickly and clearly. (I propose that he had spent so much time with the sheep and without human interactions, that he had developed a slow speech.)
7. Yehovah started His answer with this: “Who put a mouth to Adam?” What does that mean? Yehovah was the One Who gave Adam a mouth in the first place. If He gave Adam a mouth, He certainly can give Moshe a mouth—an ability to speak.
8. What did Yehovah mean by, “Or who will put a dumb or a deaf or an open or a blind? Isn’t [it] I, Yehovah?” If a person is born dumb—that is, the person is unable to speak (this never has anything to do with intelligence), Yehovah intentionally did that. If a person becomes dumb (unable to speak), no human being the cause, Yehovah intentionally did that! The same is true of a person born deaf or who becomes deaf, and of a person born blind or who becomes blind.
The word open is different. A person who is open has very clear sight (even if the person is totally blind), and understands some things with an ability that is far beyond normal. If a person is like this, Yehovah also made the person that way!
Thus, Yehovah takes full responsibility for the seeing and the blind, for the deaf and the hearing, for the dumb and those who can speak (as long as man hasn’t been the cause, like by blinding someone).
9. Why did Yehovah say, “And now, walk”? He desired Moshe to get going!
10. What is hidden in plain sight in, “And I, I Will Be with thy mouth”? Yehovah’s Name, “I Will Be,” is right there! Thus, His Name doesn’t only mean that He will continue to exist, but it also means that He will be present with Moshe’s mouth, and with anyone whom He assigns to do something!
11. What did Yehovah mean by, “And I will teach thee what thou shalt speak”? When Moshe needs to say something, Yehovah will give Moshe the very words to say at the time that he needs those words. The same thing will happen to groups far into the future:
Matthew 10:19 “But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak. For it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak!”
XX. Yehovah Becomes Angry (verses 13-17)
Moshe repeated, “Via me, my Lords?” He then said, “Send, na, via the hand Thou shalt send.” This response angered Yehovah. He replied, “Isn’t Aharon thy brother the Levite? I knew that speaking, he will speak—he!”
Yehovah then gave this information: “And also, behold, he exits to meet thee. And he will see thee; and he will rejoice in his heart!”
Yehovah then gave this plan: “And thou shalt speak unto him. And thou shalt put the speeches via his mouth. And I, I Will Be with thy mouth and with his mouth! And I will teach you what ye shall do! And he, he shall speak unto the people to [for] thee.”
Yehovah told of one more detail that would make this work: “And he shall be. He—he shall be to thee to a mouth. And thou—thou shalt be to him to Gods!”
Yehovah reminded Moshe, “And thou shalt take this staff, via whom thou shalt do the signs, via thy hand.”
1. Why did Moshe repeat, “Via me, my Lords?” Moshe wasn’t willing to hearken to Yehovah on the issue of Yehovah’s sending Moshe. Moshe was certain that he was the wrong person for this task.
2. Hadn’t Moshe been convinced that Yehovah was going to use him to do something for the People of Israel? Yes, he had, years ago. A very distant text tells us this:
Acts 7:22 And Moshe was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. And he was mighty in words and in deeds. 23And when a period of forty years was fulfilled to him, it came into his heart to look upon his brethren the sons of Israel. 24And seeing a certain one being wronged, he defended and avenged him being oppressed, having smitten the Egyptian. 25For he thought his brethren would understand that God is giving them salvation via his hand. But they didn’t understand.
Moshe now felt that he was no longer able to do what was required; he figured that his calling in this regard was past.
3. Moshe next said, “Send, na, via the Hand Thou shalt send.” Yehovah became very angry at this reply. Why? What was Moshe saying that so angered Yehovah? Moshe meant that Yehovah should send via someone else’s hand; I propose that Moshe was telling Yehovah to send via the Messiah—the Hand Whom Yehovah promised (Exodus 3:20). Moshe told Yehovah to do the deliverance via the Messiah! Yehovah was angry because Moshe’s excuse was his inability to speak!
4. What does “And the nose of Yehovah heated via Moshe” mean? That means that Yehovah became very angry. When adults become angry, little children see their nostrils flair, and the air coming out becomes very hot—like when a bull becomes angry. Yehovah became very angry at Moshe.
5. Why did Yehovah ask, “Isn’t Aharon thy brother the Levite?” Part of the question is, “Isn’t Aharon thy brother?” Yehovah reminded Moshe that He both knew Moshe and his brother, and He knew that his brother will cooperate. (I don’t know when Moshe and Aharon last saw each other.) Another part of the question is, “Isn’t Aharon the Levite?” I do not know why Yehovah worded this part of the question. I propose that Yehovah was looking ahead to the time when the Levites will boldly speak the speeches of Yehovah and will therefore proclaim Truth without being shy or bashful.
6. Yehovah also stated, “I knew that speaking, he will speak—he!” What did He mean? First, Yehovah knew that Aharon will speak. That is important, since Yehovah needs someone who will speak what He desires the person to speak. Secondly Yehovah said he after saying, “he will speak.” He emphasized that Aharon certainly will speak (even if Moshe claims that Moshe can’t speak).
7. Yehovah then said, “And also, behold, he exits to meet thee.” Why was Aharon exiting Egypt to meet Moshe at this time? The only reason I can give at this point is that Yehovah caused Aharon to desire to come and see his brother at this very time.
8. What did Yehovah imply by saying, “And he will see thee; and he will rejoice in his heart”? Yehovah was angry at Moshe. Aharon will be pleased with Moshe—pleased to see him!
9. Why did Yehovah say, “And thou shalt speak unto him”? Since Moshe was so unwilling to speak to the king and to the elders, at least Moshe can speak to his own brother!
10. What does “And thou shalt put the speeches via his mouth” mean? This means that Moshe will communicate to the king and to the elders through his brother, Aharon. Aharon will be very willing to speak.
11. Yehovah then stated, “And I, I Will Be with thy mouth and with his mouth!” What did Yehovah mean? First, Yehovah will give power to both men to boldly speak. Secondly, they will speak what is exactly True from Yehovah’s perspective (and therefore, what is exactly True!). Thirdly, Yehovah used His Name again: “I Will Be.” He taught Moshe (and readers) that His Name, I Will Be, doesn’t only mean that He will exist, but that He will do things—in this case, He Will Be with Moshe’s and Aharon’s mouths so that they will speak infallibly (perfectly without any errors, and exactly what will not and cannot fail to occur as they speak it).
12. How will Moshe and Aharon know what to do? Yehovah explained, “And I will teach you what ye shall do!” He will teach them just when they need to know.
13. What will be Aharon’s role (according to verse 16)? “And he, he shall speak unto the people to thee.” This means that Aharon will be the spokesperson—the communicator, and he will do it to Moshe (we would say, for Moshe). Moshe will own Aharon as his spokesman (since to shows ownership or usage of a person or an item).
14. “And he shall be.” Who or what shall be? The event shall be; it will happen exactly as Yehovah described it.
15. Why did Yehovah again say, “He—he shall be to thee to a mouth”? Yehovah does not desire Moshe to argue with Him about this. Moshe’s mouth isn’t the issue if Aharon will be Moshe’s mouth! Thus, Aharon will be Moshe’s prophet!
16. What does “And thou—thou shalt be to him to Gods” mean? Aharon will own Moshe in two ways: as a brother, and as Gods. Thus, Aharon will view Moshe as Gods Himself! Yehovah will cause this to occur. Thus, whatever Moshe tells Aharon to do, Aharon will do it! (This isn’t idolatry since Yehovah is the cause.)
17. Why did Yehovah mention, “And thou shalt take this staff, via whom thou shalt do the signs, via thy hand”? That staff will be the very tool that Moshe will use to do the miracles. That will be Moshe’s tool. It will appear to be a magic staff to some, but it will teach that Yehovah can and does use tools to show His own power. That way, He doesn’t have to appear to demonstrate that power.
Moshe will have two tools to use: Aharon the mouth, and the staff by which the signs will be accomplished. He has a third tool: his own hand, which will take that staff with him! Yehovah also uses His own hand—the Messiah—to do His signs.