New International Version
Then they said, "The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Now let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God, or he may strike us with plagues or with the sword."
King James Bible
And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the LORD our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword.
Darby Bible Translation
And they said, The God of the Hebrews has met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to Jehovah our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence or with sword.
World English Bible
They said, "The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please let us go three days' journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to Yahweh, our God, lest he fall on us with pestilence, or with the sword."
Young's Literal Translation
And they say, 'The God of the Hebrews hath met with us, let us go, we pray thee, a journey of three days into the wilderness, and we sacrifice to Jehovah our God, lest He meet us with pestilence or with sword.'
Exodus 5:3 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Three days' journey - The distance from Goshen to Sinai; see Exodus 3:18.
And sacrifice unto the Lord - Great stress is laid on this circumstance. God required sacrifice; no religious acts which they performed could be acceptable to him without this. He had now showed them that it was their indispensable duty thus to worship him, and that if they did not they might expect him to send the pestilence - some plague or death proceeding immediately from himself, or the sword - extermination by the hands of an enemy. The original word דבר deber, from בדר dabar, to drive off, draw under, etc., which we translate pestilence from the Latin pestis, the plague, signifies any kind of disease by which an extraordinary mortality is occasioned, and which appears from the circumstances of the case to come immediately from God. The Israelites could not sacrifice in the land of Egypt, because the animals they were to offer to God were held sacred by the Egyptians; and they could not omit this duty, because it was essential to religion even before the giving of the law. Thus we find that Divine justice required the life of the animal for the life of the transgressor, and the people were conscious, if this were not done, that God would consume them with the pestilence or the sword. From the foundation of the world the true religion required sacrifice. Before, under, and after the law, this was deemed essential to salvation. Under the Christian dispensation Jesus is the lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world; and being still the Lamb newly slain before the throne, no man cometh unto the Father but by him.
"In this first application to Pharaoh, we observe," says Dr. Dodd, "that proper respectful submission which is due from subjects to their sovereign. They represent to him the danger they should be in by disobeying their God, but do not so much as hint at any punishment that would follow to Pharaoh."
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[Illustration: (drop cap G) The Great Pyramid] God always chooses the right kind of people to do His work. Not only so, He always gives to those whom He chooses just the sort of life which will best prepare them for the work He will one day call them to do. That is why God put it into the heart of Pharaoh's daughter to bring up Moses as her own son in the Egyptian palace. The most important part of Moses' training was that his heart should be right with God, and therefore he was allowed to remain …
Mildred Duff—The Bible in its Making
"The elders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, 'The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God.'
Then say to him, 'The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the wilderness. But until now you have not listened.
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh and say to him, 'This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me.
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Get up early in the morning and confront Pharaoh as he goes to the river and say to him, 'This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me.
We must take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God, as he commands us."
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