VOTD Exodus 3:19

Exo 3:19 But I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not even by a mighty hand.

If you would like to guest post commentary on this verse, please send to christopher.c.fisher@gmail.com .


  1. 3. 19 Let… go, not the same Hebrew verb as in v. 20 and in the recurrent liberation formula usually rendered let go (e. g., 4. 23; 5. 1; 7. 16). The latter are from the root “to send.” Compelled, added for clarity. Mighty hand. The difficult, textually uncertain Hebrew leaves open whether God will force Pharaoh’s hand (cf. 13. 9) or whether Pharaoh will force Israel out (cf. 6. 1). (HarperCollinsSB)
    In this interesting comment on this verse (from HarperCollins study bible), the textual ambiguity of the Hebrew seems to provide for at least two different outcomes to God’s dealings with the Egyptians. Even God’s revelation to Moses provides for openness. How it plays out depends on Pharaoh.

    1. I think the most interesting thing about the verse is that God is saying “I am sure pharaoh will do xyz”, that suggests general indefinite knowledge of the future. It would be like a teen saying “I’m sure mom will not let us borrow the car.”

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