And Moses and Aaron were brought again to Pharaoh: and he said to them, Go, serve the LORD your God: but who are they that shall go?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Moses and Aaron were brought again unto Pharaoh.—Moses and Aaron had uttered their threat, and had straightway left his presence. The courtiers “brought them again to Pharaoh.” The courtiers, no doubt, supposed that the king would yield; and the king was prepared to yield to a certain extent. But he had conceived of a compromise in his own mind, and this he hoped to impose upon Moses; hence his insidious question—
Who are they that shall go?—Pharaoh had not hitherto raised this question. He had known well enough that the demand extended to all the people (Exodus 8:8); but now he pretends that there had been an ambiguity, and requires that it shall be cleared up. Moses gives him an answer (Exodus 10:9) which takes away all further pretence of doubt.Exodus 10:8. Who are they that shall go? — I am not willing you should all go: it will degrade me in the sight of my subjects that I should be obliged to submit to him who thus makes himself the very friend of my slaves. When he is compelled to yield, yet it is with extreme reluctance, and as little as possible.
Let the men go - i. e. the men only, not all the people. See Exodus 10:8.
and he said, go, serve the Lord your God; as you have often desired:
but who are they that shall go? or, "who and who" (f)? for Pharaoh was unwilling that they should all go, but would have some retained as pledges of their return; for he was jealous of a design to get out of his country, and never return again, which he could not bear the thoughts of, even of losing such a large number of men he had under his power, and from whom he received so much profit and advantage by their labour.And Moses and Aaron were brought again unto Pharaoh: and he said unto them, Go, serve the LORD your God: but who are they that shall go?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)8. again] back, a frequent sense of ‘again’ in Old English.Verse 8. - Moses and Aaron were brought again unto Pharaoh. Pharaoh did not condescend so far as to send for them, but he allowed his courtiers to bring them to him. And he so far took the advice of his courtiers, that he began by a general permission to the Israelites to take their departure. This concession, however, he almost immediately retracted by a question, which implied that all were not to depart. Who are they that shall go? It seems somewhat strange that the king had not yet clearly understood what the demand made of him was. But perhaps he had not cared to know, since he had had no intention of granting it. Exodus 10:1-6. As Pharaoh's pride still refused to bend to the will of God, Moses was directed to announce another, and in some respects a more fearful, plague. At the same time God strengthened Moses' faith, by telling him that the hardening of Pharaoh and his servants was decreed by Him, that these signs might be done among them, and that Israel might perceive by this to all generations that He was Jehovah (cf. Exodus 7:3-5). We may learn from Psalm 78 and 105 in what manner the Israelites narrated these signs to their children and children's children. אתת שׁית, to set or prepare signs (Exodus 10:1), is interchanged with שׂוּם (Exodus 10:2) in the same sense (vid., Exodus 8:12). The suffix in בּקרבּו (Exodus 10:1) refers to Egypt as a country; and that in בּם (Exodus 10:2) to the Egyptians. In the expression, "thou mayest tell," Moses is addressed as the representative of the nation. התעלּל: to have to do with a person, generally in a bad sense, to do him harm (1 Samuel 31:4). "How I have put forth My might" (De Wette).
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