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The New Oxford Annotated Bible New Revised Standard Study Bible that provides essential scholarship and guidance for Bible readers.

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Commentary on Exodus

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Commentary spanning earlier chapters

5.1–6.1 : The first audience with Pharaoh fails.

5.1,3 :

The petition is for a leave of absence to make a pilgrimage to the sacred mountain ( 3.18 ). God has already predicted Pharaoh's refusal ( 3.19 ).

2 :

Pharaoh knows many gods, and in Egyptian religion he himself was deified, but he has never heard of or does not acknowledge the authority of the Lord (YHWH). The question of the knowledge, or acknowledgment, of Israel's God is one of the dominant themes of the book ( 6.7; 7.5; 9.14,29; 14.4; 16.12; 18.11; 29.46; 31.13; 33.13 ). Only a very public contest in which God shows a “mighty hand,” “signs and wonders,” and “great acts of judgment” ( 3.19–20; 6.1,6; 7.3–4 ) will bring Pharaoh, the Egyptians, and the Israelites to an acknowledgment of Israel's God.

3 :

God of the Hebrews, 3.18n.

4–9 :

1.8–14 .

20–23 :

As happened the first time Moses tried to help ( 2.11–15 ), this time Moses and Aaron together have only succeeded in angering both Pharaoh and Israel.

6.1 :

3.19–20 .

6.2–7.7 : God repeats the call of Moses and the appointment of Aaron

(cf. 2.23–4.17 ) after their first attempt has only made things worse.

6.2–13 :

After the divine self‐introduction (vv. 2–5 ), God sends Moses to the Israelites (vv. 6–8 ) and then to Pharaoh (vv. 10–11 ).

2–3 :

3.14–15n. The Lord (“YHWH”), the same God who led Israel's ancestors, was known to them by another name, “El Shaddai” (Gen 17.1n.; 35.11 ). This section is the Priestly introduction of the name YHWH.

4 :

God's covenant with Abraham (Gen 15.18–21; 17.7–8 ) promised possession of the land of Canaan (v. 8 ).

5 :

2.23–25 .

6–8 :

I am the Lord (“YHWH”), God's introductory statement in v. 2 , is repeated at the beginning, middle, and end of this promise. God's personal name is tied to the fulfillment of this solemn promise of freedom and land.

7 :

My people … your God, a succinct statement of the meaning of the covenant relationship (Hos 2.23; Jer 31.33 ). Know, or acknowledge; 5.2n.

12 :

Poor speaker (also v. 30 ), see textual note c; a variant of the expression in 4.10 (n.).

12 :

4.10–16 . After vv. 13–27 interrupt the flow of the story, Moses' question will be restated in v. 30 and answered in 7.1–2 .

14–27 :

The purpose of the genealogy of Aaron and Moses is to trace priestly lineage from Levi, Jacob's son, to Aaron and through Aaron's third son, Eleazar, to Phinehas (Num 3; 25.10–13 ).

14–16 :

Gen 46.8–11 .

20 :

Aaron is the older brother ( 7.7 ).

6.28–7.7 :

The story continues from 6.12 .

7.1–2 :

4.15–16n.

3–5 :

Harden, 4.21n. Signs and wonders, great acts of judgment, know, 5.2n.

4 :

Company by company, 12.37n.

6 :

Did just as … commanded, an overarching pattern of the book (for instance, vv. 10,20; 8.17; 12.28,35,50; 17.10; 18.24; 24.3,7; 34.4; 39.1,5,7,21,26,29,31,32,42; 40.16,32 ).

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