The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Wednesday January 31, 2024 (NIV)

Exodus 12:14-13:16

14 ‘This day will become[a] a memorial[b] for you, and you will celebrate it as a festival[c] to the Lord—you will celebrate it perpetually as a lasting ordinance.[d] 15 For seven days[e] you must eat[f] bread made without yeast.[g] Surely[h] on the first day you must put away yeast from your houses because anyone who eats bread made with yeast[i] from the first day to the seventh day will be cut off[j] from Israel.

16 ‘On the first day there will be a holy convocation,[k] and on the seventh day there will be a holy convocation for you. You must do no work of any kind[l] on them, only what every person will eat—that alone may be prepared for you. 17 So you will keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because on this very[m] day I brought your regiments[n] out from the land of Egypt, and so you must keep this day perpetually as a lasting ordinance.[o] 18 In the first month,[p] from the fourteenth day of the month, in the evening, you will eat bread made without yeast until the twenty-first day of the month in the evening. 19 For seven days[q] yeast must not be found in your houses, for whoever eats what is made with yeast—that person[r] will be cut off from the community of Israel, whether a resident foreigner[s] or one born in the land. 20 You will not eat anything made with yeast; in all the places where you live you must eat bread made without yeast.’”

21 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel, and told them, “Go and select[t] for yourselves a lamb or young goat[u] for your families, and kill the Passover animals.[v] 22 Take a branch of hyssop,[w] dip it in the blood that is in the basin,[x] and apply to the top of the doorframe and the two side posts some of the blood that is in the basin. Not one of you is to go out[y] the door of his house until morning. 23 For the Lord will pass through to strike Egypt, and when he sees[z] the blood on the top of the doorframe and the two side posts, then the Lord will pass over the door, and he will not permit the destroyer[aa] to enter your houses to strike you.[ab] 24 You must observe this event as an ordinance for you and for your children forever. 25 When you enter the land that the Lord will give to you, just as he said, you must observe[ac] this ceremony. 26 When your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’[ad] 27 then you will say, ‘It is the sacrifice[ae] of the Lord’s Passover, when he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt, when he struck[af] Egypt and delivered our households.’” The people bowed down low to the ground,[ag] 28 and the Israelites went away and did exactly as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron.[ah]

The Deliverance from Egypt

29 [ai] It happened[aj] at midnight—the Lord attacked all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the prison, and all the firstborn of the cattle. 30 Pharaoh got up[ak] in the night,[al] along with all his servants and all Egypt, and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was no house[am] in which there was not someone dead. 31 Pharaoh[an] summoned Moses and Aaron in the night and said, “Get up, get out[ao] from among my people, both you and the Israelites! Go, serve the Lord as you have requested![ap] 32 Also, take your flocks and your herds, just as you have requested, and leave. But bless me also.”[aq]

33 The Egyptians were urging[ar] the people on, in order to send them out of the land quickly,[as] for they were saying, “We are all dead!” 34 So the people took their dough before the yeast was added,[at] with their kneading troughs bound up in their clothing on their shoulders. 35 Now the Israelites had done[au] as Moses told them—they had requested from the Egyptians[av] silver and gold items and clothing. 36 The Lord[aw] gave the people favor[ax] in the sight of the Egyptians, and they gave them whatever they wanted,[ay] and so they plundered Egypt.[az]

37 The Israelites journeyed[ba] from Rameses[bb] to Sukkoth. There were about 600,000 men[bc] on foot, plus their dependents.[bd] 38 A mixed multitude[be] also went up with them, and flocks and herds—a very large number of cattle.[bf] 39 They baked cakes of bread without yeast using the dough they had brought from Egypt, for it was made without yeast. Because they were thrust out[bg] of Egypt and were not able to delay, they[bh] could not prepare[bi] food for themselves either.

40 Now the length of time the Israelites lived in Egypt was 430 years.[bj] 41 At the end of the 430 years, on the very day, all the regiments[bk] of the Lord went out of the land of Egypt. 42 It was a night of vigil for the Lord to bring them out from the land of Egypt,[bl] and so[bm] on this night all Israel is to keep the vigil[bn] to the Lord for generations to come.

Participation in the Passover

43 [bo] The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover. No foreigner may[bp] share in eating it.[bq] 44 But everyone’s servant who is bought for money, after you have circumcised him, may eat it. 45 A foreigner and a hired worker must not eat it. 46 It must be eaten in one house; you must not bring any of the meat outside the house, and you must not break a bone of it. 47 The whole community of Israel must observe it.

48 “When a resident foreigner[br] lives with you and wants to observe the Passover to the Lord, all his males must be circumcised,[bs] and then he may approach and observe it, and he will be like one who is born in the land[bt]—but no uncircumcised person may eat of it. 49 The same law will apply[bu] to the person who is native-born and to the resident foreigner[bv] who lives among you.”

50 So all the Israelites did exactly as the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron.[bw] 51 And on this very day the Lord brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt by their regiments.

The Law of the Firstborn

13 [bx] The Lord spoke[by] to Moses, “Set apart[bz] to me every firstborn male—the first offspring of every womb[ca] among the Israelites, whether human or animal; it is mine.”[cb]

Moses said to the people, “Remember[cc] this day on which you came out from Egypt, from the place where you were enslaved,[cd] for the Lord brought you out of there[ce] with a mighty hand—and no bread made with yeast may be eaten.[cf] On this day,[cg] in the month of Abib,[ch] you are going out.[ci]

“When[cj] the Lord brings you to the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites, and Jebusites, which he swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey,[ck] then you will keep[cl] this ceremony[cm] in this month. For seven days[cn] you must eat[co] bread made without yeast, and on the seventh day there is to be[cp] a festival to the Lord. Bread made without yeast must be eaten[cq] for seven days;[cr] no bread made with yeast shall be seen[cs] among you, and you must have no yeast among you within any of your borders.

“You are to tell your son[ct] on that day,[cu] ‘It is[cv] because of what[cw] the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ [cx] It[cy] will be a sign[cz] for you on your hand and a memorial[da] on your forehead,[db] so that the law of the Lord may be[dc] in your mouth,[dd] for[de] with a mighty hand the Lord brought you out of Egypt. 10 So you must keep[df] this ordinance at its appointed time from year to year.[dg]

11 “When the Lord brings you[dh] into the land of the Canaanites,[di] as he swore to you and to your fathers, and gives it[dj] to you, 12 then you must give over[dk] to the Lord the first offspring of every womb.[dl] Every firstling[dm] of a beast that you have[dn]—the males will be the Lord’s.[do] 13 Every firstling[dp] of a donkey you must redeem[dq] with a lamb, and if you do not redeem it, then you must break its neck.[dr] Every firstborn of[ds] your sons you must redeem.

14 [dt] “In the future,[du] when your son asks you[dv] ‘What is this?’[dw] you are to tell him, ‘With a mighty hand[dx] the Lord brought us out from Egypt, from the land of slavery.[dy] 15 When Pharaoh stubbornly refused[dz] to release us, the Lord killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of people to the firstborn of animals.[ea] That is why I am sacrificing[eb] to the Lord the first male offspring of every womb, but all my firstborn sons I redeem.’ 16 It will be for a sign on your hand and for frontlets[ec] on your forehead, for with a mighty hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt.”[ed]


  1. Exodus 12:14 tn Heb “and this day will be.”
  2. Exodus 12:14 tn The expression “will be for a memorial” means “will become a memorial.”sn The instruction for the unleavened bread (vv. 14-20) begins with the introduction of the memorial (זִכָּרוֹן [zikkaron] from זָכַר [zakhar]). The reference is to the fifteenth day of the month, the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. B. Jacob (Exodus, 315) notes that it refers to the death blow on Egypt, but as a remembrance had to be held on the next day, not during the night. He also notes that this was the origin of “the Day of the Lord” (“the Day of Yahweh”), which the prophets predicted as the day of the divine battle. On it the enemy would be wiped out. For further information, see B. S. Childs, Memory and Tradition in Israel (SBT). The point of the word “remember” in Hebrew is not simply a recollection of an event, but a reliving of it, a reactivating of its significance. In covenant rituals “remembrance” or “memorial” is designed to prompt God and worshiper alike to act in accordance with the covenant. Jesus brought the motif forward to the new covenant with “this do in remembrance of me.”
  3. Exodus 12:14 tn The verb וְחַגֹּתֶם (vekhaggotem), a perfect tense with the vav (ו) consecutive to continue the instruction, is followed by the cognate accusative חַג (khag), for emphasis. As the wording implies and the later legislation required, this would involve a pilgrimage to the sanctuary of Yahweh.
  4. Exodus 12:14 tn Two expressions show that this celebration was to be kept perpetually: the line has “for your generations, [as] a statute forever.” “Generations” means successive generations (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 94). עוֹלָם (ʿolam) means “ever, forever, perpetual”—no end in sight.
  5. Exodus 12:15 tn This expression is an adverbial accusative of time. The feast was to last from the 15th to the 21st of the month.
  6. Exodus 12:15 tn Or “you will eat.” The statement stresses their obligation—they must eat unleavened bread and avoid all leaven.
  7. Exodus 12:15 tn The etymology of מַצּוֹת (matsot, “unleavened bread,” i.e., “bread made without yeast”) is uncertain. Suggested connections to known verbs include “to squeeze, press,” “to depart, go out,” “to ransom,” or to an Egyptian word “food, cake, evening meal.” For a more detailed study of “unleavened bread” and related matters such as “yeast” or “leaven,” see A. P. Ross, NIDOTTE 4:448-53.
  8. Exodus 12:15 tn The particle serves to emphasize, not restrict here (B. S. Childs, Exodus [OTL], 183, n. 15).
  9. Exodus 12:15 tn Heb “every eater of leavened bread.” The participial phrase stands at the beginning of the clause as a casus pendens, that is, it stands grammatically separate from the sentence. It names a condition, the contingent occurrences of which involve a further consequence (GKC 361 §116.w).
  10. Exodus 12:15 tn The verb וְנִכְרְתָה (venikhretah) is the Niphal perfect with the vav (ו) consecutive; it is a common formula in the Law for divine punishment. Here, in sequence to the idea that someone might eat bread made with yeast, the result would be that “that soul [the verb is feminine] will be cut off.” The verb is the equivalent of the imperfect tense due to the consecutive; a translation with a nuance of the imperfect of possibility (“may be cut off”) fits better perhaps than a specific future. There is the real danger of being cut off, for while the punishment might include excommunication from the community, the greater danger was in the possibility of divine intervention to root out the evildoer (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 94). Gesenius lists this as the use of a perfect with a vav consecutive after a participle (a casus pendens) to introduce the apodosis (GKC 337 § In Lev 20:3, 5-6, God speaks of himself as cutting off a person from among the Israelites. The rabbis mentioned premature death and childlessness as possible judgments in such cases, and N. M. Sarna comments that “one who deliberately excludes himself from the religious community of Israel cannot be a beneficiary of the covenantal blessings” (Exodus [JPSTC], 58).
  11. Exodus 12:16 sn This refers to an assembly of the people at the sanctuary for religious purposes. The word “convocation” implies that the people were called together, and Num 10:2 indicates they were called together by trumpets.
  12. Exodus 12:16 tn Heb “all/every work will not be done.” The word refers primarily to the work of one’s occupation. B. Jacob (Exodus, 322) explains that since this comes prior to the fuller description of laws for Sabbaths and festivals, the passage simply restricts all work except for the preparation of food. Once the laws are added, this qualification is no longer needed. Gesenius translates this as “no manner of work shall be done” (GKC 478-79 §152.b).
  13. Exodus 12:17 tn Heb “on the bone of this day.” The expression means “the substance of the day,” the day itself, the very day (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 95).
  14. Exodus 12:17 tn The word is “armies” or “divisions” (see Exod 6:26 and the note there; cf. also 7:4). The narrative will continue to portray Israel as a mighty army, marching forth in its divisions.
  15. Exodus 12:17 tn See Exod 12:14.
  16. Exodus 12:18 tn “month” has been supplied.
  17. Exodus 12:19 tn “Seven days” is an adverbial accusative of time (see R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 12, §56).
  18. Exodus 12:19 tn The term is נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh), often translated “soul.” It refers to the whole person, the soul within the body. The noun is feminine, agreeing with the feminine verb “be cut off.”
  19. Exodus 12:19 tn Or “alien”; or “stranger.” The term גֵּר (ger) refers to a foreign resident, but with different social implications in different settings. The Patriarchs were foreign, temporary residents in parts of Canaan who abided by the claims of local authorities (see Gen 20, 23, 26). Under Mosaic law a גֵּר normally refers to a naturalized citizen who is part of the worshiping congregation of Israel and has entered into the covenant with the Lord (Deut 29:10-13). Mosaic law treats the גֵּר as a naturalized citizen with almost identical rights and obligations, both civil and religious, as natural born Israelites. This is one of two verses of Mosaic Law in which the LXX does not call the גֵּר a proselyte (προσήλυτος, prosēlutos), or “convert” (cf. Deut 14:21), though in this context (and probably in Deut 14:21) the גֵּר must be a convert.
  20. Exodus 12:21 tn Heb “draw out and take.” The verb has in view the need “to draw out” a lamb or goat selected from among the rest of the flock.
  21. Exodus 12:21 tn The Hebrew noun is singular and can refer to either a lamb or a goat. Since English has no common word for both, the phrase “a lamb or young goat” is used in the translation.
  22. Exodus 12:21 tn The word “animals” is added to avoid giving the impression in English that the Passover festival itself is the object of “kill.”
  23. Exodus 12:22 sn The hyssop is a small bush that grows throughout the Sinai, probably the aromatic herb Origanum Maru L., or Origanum Aegyptiacum. The plant also grew out of the walls in Jerusalem (1 Kgs 4:33). See L. Baldensperger and G. M. Crowfoot, “Hyssop,” PEQ 63 (1931): 89-98. A piece of hyssop was also useful to the priests because it worked well for sprinkling.
  24. Exodus 12:22 tn The Greek and the Vulgate translate סַף (saf, “basin”) as “threshold.” W. C. Kaiser reports how early traditions grew up about the killing of the lamb on the threshold (“Exodus,” EBC 2:376).
  25. Exodus 12:22 tn Heb “and you, you shall not go out, a man from the door of his house.” This construction puts stress on prohibiting absolutely everyone from going out.
  26. Exodus 12:23 tn The first of the two clauses begun with perfects and vav consecutives may be subordinated to form a temporal clause: “and he will see…and he will pass over,” becomes “when he sees…he will pass over.”
  27. Exodus 12:23 tn Here the form is the Hiphil participle with the definite article. Gesenius says this is now to be explained as “the destroyer” although some take it to mean “destruction” (GKC 406 §126.m, n. 1).
  28. Exodus 12:23 tn “you” has been supplied.
  29. Exodus 12:25 tn The verb used here and at the beginning of v. 24 is שָׁמַר (shamar); it can be translated “watch, keep, protect,” but in this context the point is to “observe” the religious customs and practices set forth in these instructions.
  30. Exodus 12:26 tn Heb “what is this service to you?”
  31. Exodus 12:27 sn This expression “the sacrifice of Yahweh’s Passover” occurs only here. The word זֶבַח (zevakh) means “slaughtering” and so a blood sacrifice. The fact that this word is used in Lev 3 for the peace offering has linked the Passover as a kind of peace offering, and both the Passover and the peace offerings were eaten as communal meals.
  32. Exodus 12:27 tn The verb means “to strike, smite, plague”; it is the same verb that has been used throughout this section (נָגַף, nagaf). Here the construction is the infinitive construct in a temporal clause.
  33. Exodus 12:27 tn The two verbs form a verbal hendiadys: “and the people bowed down and they worshiped.” The words are synonymous, and so one is taken as the adverb for the other.
  34. Exodus 12:28 tn Heb “went away and did as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.” The final phrase “so they did,” which is somewhat redundant in English, has been represented in the translation by the adverb “exactly.”
  35. Exodus 12:29 sn The next section records the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, and so becomes the turning point of the book. Verses 28 and 29 could be included in the exposition of the previous section as the culmination of that part. The message might highlight God’s requirement for deliverance from bondage through the application of the blood of the sacrifice, God’s instruction for the memorial of deliverance through the purging of corruption, and the compliance of those who believed the message. But these verses also form the beginning of this next section (and so could be used transitionally). This unit includes the judgment on Egypt (29-30), the exodus from Egypt (31-39) and the historical summation and report (40-42).
  36. Exodus 12:29 tn The verse begins with the temporal indicator וַיְהִי (vayehi), often translated “and it came to pass.” Here it could be left untranslated: “In the middle of the night Yahweh attacked.” The word order of the next and main clause furthers the emphasis by means of the vav disjunctive on the divine name preceding the verb. The combination of these initial and disjunctive elements helps to convey the suddenness of the attack, while its thoroughness is stressed by the repetition of “firstborn” in the rest of the verse, the merism (“from the firstborn of Pharaoh…to the firstborn of the captive”), and the mention of cattle.
  37. Exodus 12:30 tn Heb “arose,” the verb קוּם (qum) in this context certainly must describe a less ceremonial act. The entire country woke up in terror because of the deaths.
  38. Exodus 12:30 tn The noun is an adverbial accusative of time—“in the night” or “at night.”
  39. Exodus 12:30 sn Or so it seemed. One need not push this description to complete literalness. The reference would be limited to houses that actually had firstborn people or animals. In a society in which households might include more than one generation of humans and animals, however, the presence of a firstborn human or animal would be the rule rather than the exception.
  40. Exodus 12:31 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Pharaoh) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  41. Exodus 12:31 tn The urgency in Pharaoh’s words is caught by the abrupt use of the imperatives—“get up, go” (קוּמוּ צְּאוּ, qumu tseʾu), and “go, serve” (וּלְכוּ עִבְדוּ, ulekhu ʿivedu) and “take” and “leave/go” (וָלֵכוּקְחוּ, qekhu…valekhu).
  42. Exodus 12:31 tn Heb “as you have said.” The same phrase also occurs in the following It appears from this clause that Pharaoh has given up attempting to impose restrictions as he had earlier. With the severe judgment on him for his previous refusals he should now know that these people are no longer his subjects, and he is no longer sovereign. As Moses had insisted, all the Israelites would leave, and with all their possessions, to worship Yahweh.
  43. Exodus 12:32 tn The form is the Piel perfect with a vav (ו) consecutive (וּבֵרַכְתֶּם, uverakhtem); coming in the sequence of imperatives this perfect tense would be volitional—probably a request rather than a Pharaoh probably meant that they should bless him also when they were sacrificing to Yahweh in their religious festival—after all, he might reason, he did let them go (after divine judgment). To bless him would mean to invoke good gifts from God for him.
  44. Exodus 12:33 tn The verb used here (חָזַק, khazaq) is the same verb used for Pharaoh’s heart being hardened. It conveys the idea of their being resolved or insistent in this—they were not going to change.
  45. Exodus 12:33 tn The phrase uses two construct infinitives in a hendiadys, the first infinitive becoming the modifier.
  46. Exodus 12:34 tn The imperfect tense after the adverb טֶרֶם (terem) is to be treated as a preterite: “before it was leavened,” or “before the yeast was added.” See GKC 314-15 §107.c.
  47. Exodus 12:35 tn The verbs “had done” and then “had asked” were accomplished prior to the present narrative (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 99). The verse begins with disjunctive word order to introduce the reminder of earlier background information.
  48. Exodus 12:35 tn Heb “from Egypt.” Here the Hebrew text uses the name of the country to represent the inhabitants (a figure known as metonymy).
  49. Exodus 12:36 tn The holy name (“Yahweh,” represented as “the Lord” in the translation) has the vav disjunctive with it. It may have the force: “Now it was Yahweh who gave the people favor….”
  50. Exodus 12:36 sn God was destroying the tyrant and his nobles and the land’s economy because of their stubborn refusal. But God established friendly, peaceful relations between his people and the Egyptians. The phrase is used outside Exod only in Gen 39:21, referring to Joseph.
  51. Exodus 12:36 tn The verb וַיַּשְׁאִלוּם (vayyashʾilum) is a Hiphil form that has the root שָׁאַל (shaʾal), used earlier in Qal with the meaning “requested” (12:35). The verb here is frequently translated “and they lent them,” but lending does not fit the point. What they gave the Israelites were farewell gifts sought by demanding or asking for them. This may exemplify a “permissive” use of the Hiphil stem, in which “the Hiphil designates an action that is agreeable to the object and allowed by the subject” (B. T. Arnold and J. H. Choi, A Guide to Biblical Hebrew Syntax, 52).
  52. Exodus 12:36 sn See B. Jacob, “The Gifts of the Egyptians; A Critical Commentary,” Journal of Reformed Judaism 27 (1980): 59-69.
  53. Exodus 12:37 tn Heb “and the sons of Israel journeyed.”
  54. Exodus 12:37 sn The wilderness itinerary begins here. W. C. Kaiser records the identification of these two places as follows: The name Rameses probably refers to Qantir rather than Tanis, which is more remote, because Qantir was by the water; Sukkoth is identified as Tel el Maskhuta in the Wadi Tumilat near modern Ismailia—or the region around the city (“Exodus,” EBC 2:379). Of the extensive bibliography, see G. W. Coats, “The Wilderness Itinerary,” CBQ 34 (1972): 135-52; G. I. Davies, “The Wilderness Itineraries: A Comparative Study,” TynBul 25 (1974): 46-81; and J. T. Walsh, “From Egypt to Moab. A Source Critical Analysis of the Wilderness Itinerary,” CBQ 39 (1977): 20-33.
  55. Exodus 12:37 tn The word for “men” (הַגְּבָרִים, haggevarim) stresses their hardiness and capability—strong men, potential soldiers—in contrast with the word that follows and designates There have been many attempts to calculate the population of the exodus group, but nothing in the text gives the exact number other than the 600,000 people on foot who were men. Estimates of two million people are very large, especially since the Bible says there were seven nations in the land of Canaan mightier than Israel. It is probably not two million people (note, the Bible never said it was—this is calculated by scholars). But attempts to reduce the number by redefining the word “thousand” to mean clan or tribe or family unit have not been convincing, primarily because of all the tabulations of the tribes in the different books of the Bible that have to be likewise reduced. B. Jacob (Exodus, 347) rejects the many arguments and calculations as the work of eighteenth century deists and rationalists, arguing that the numbers were taken seriously in the text. Some writers interpret the numbers as inflated due to a rhetorical use of numbers, arriving at a number of 60,000 or so for the men here listed (reducing it by a factor of ten), and insisting this is a literal interpretation of the text as opposed to a spiritual or allegorical approach (see R. Allen, “Numbers,” EBC 2:686-96; see also G. Mendenhall, “The Census Lists of Numbers 1 and 26, ” JBL 77 [1958]: 52-66). This proposal removes the “embarrassingly” large number for the exodus, but like other suggestions, lacks completely compelling evidence. For a more extensive discussion of the large numbers used to describe the Israelites in their wilderness experience, see the note on “46,500” in Num 1:21.
  56. Exodus 12:37 tn For more on this word see 10:10 and 24.
  57. Exodus 12:38 tn The “mixed multitude” (עֵרֶב רַב, ʿerev rav) refers to a great “swarm” (see a possible cognate in 8:21 [17]) of folk who joined the Israelites, people who were impressed by the defeat of Egypt, who came to faith, or who just wanted to escape Egypt (maybe slaves or descendants of the Hyksos). The expression prepares for later references to riffraff who came along.
  58. Exodus 12:38 tn Heb “and very much cattle.”
  59. Exodus 12:39 sn For the use of this word in developing the motif, see Exod 2:17, 22; 6:1; and 11:1.
  60. Exodus 12:39 tn Heb “and also.”
  61. Exodus 12:39 tn The verb is עָשׂוּ (ʿasu, “they made”); here, with a potential nuance, it is rendered “they could [not] prepare.”
  62. Exodus 12:40 sn Here as well some scholars work with the number 430 to try to reduce the stay in Egypt for the bondage. Some argue that if the number included the time in Canaan, that would reduce the bondage by half. S. R. Driver (Exodus, 102) notes that P thought Moses was the fourth generation from Jacob (6:16-27), if those genealogies are not selective. Exodus 6 has Levi—Kohath—Amram—Moses. This would require a period of about 100 years, and that is unusual. There is evidence, however, that the list is selective. In 1 Chr 2:3-20 the text has Bezalel (see Exod 31:2-5) a contemporary of Moses and yet the seventh from Judah. Elishama, a leader of the Ephraimites (Num 10:22), was in the ninth generation from Jacob (1 Chr 7:22-26). Joshua, Moses’ assistant, was the eleventh from Jacob (1 Chr 7:27). So the “four generations” leading up to Moses are not necessarily complete. With regard to Exod 6, K. A. Kitchen has argued that the four names do not indicate successive generations, but tribe (Levi), clan (Kohath), family (Amram), and individual (Moses; K. A. Kitchen, Ancient Orient and Old Testament, 54-55). For a detailed discussion of the length of the sojourn, see E. H. Merrill, A Kingdom of Priests, 75-79.
  63. Exodus 12:41 sn This military term is used elsewhere in Exodus (e.g., 6:26; 7:4; 12:17, 51), but here the Israelites are called “the regiments of the Lord.”
  64. Exodus 12:42 tn There is some ambiguity in לֵיל שִׁמֻּרִים הוּא לַיהוָה (lel shimmurim huʾ laʾadonay [layhvah]). It is likely that this first clause means that Yahweh was on watch for Israel to bring them out, as the next clause says. He was protecting his people (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 102). Then, the night of vigil will be transferred to Israel, who now must keep it “to” him.
  65. Exodus 12:42 tn “and so” has been supplied.
  66. Exodus 12:42 tn Heb “this night is for Yahweh a vigil for all Israelites for their generations.”
  67. Exodus 12:43 sn The section that concludes the chapter contains regulations pertaining to the Passover. The section begins at v. 43, but vv. 40-42 form a good setting for it. In this unit vv. 43-45 belong together because they stress that a stranger and foreigner cannot eat. Verse 46 stands by itself, ruling that the meal must be eaten at home. Verse 47 instructs that the whole nation was to eat it. Verses 48-49 make provision for foreigners who may wish to participate. And vv. 50-51 record the obedience of Israel.
  68. Exodus 12:43 tn This is taken in the modal nuance of permission, reading that no foreigner is permitted to share in it (apart from being a member of the household as a circumcised slave [v. 44] or obeying v. 48, if a free individual).
  69. Exodus 12:43 tn This is the partitive use of the ב (bet) preposition, expressing that the action extends to something and includes the idea of participation in it (GKC 380 §119.m).
  70. Exodus 12:48 tn The noun “foreigner” (גֵּר; ger) is based on the same verbal root as “lives” (גּוּר; gur), which means “to sojourn, to dwell as an alien.” This reference is to a foreigner who settles in the land. The choice to participate in the covenant sign of circumcision and in the Passover are indicators that these foreigners are converts to worshiping the Lord. This LXX renders גֵּר as “proselyte” in Mosaic Law. (See also Deut 29:10-13). As what is essentially a naturalized citizen, the גֵּר comes under the full protection of the Law. If the “resident foreigner” is circumcised, he may participate in the Passover (cf. S. R. Driver, Exodus, 104).
  71. Exodus 12:48 tn The infinitive absolute functions as the finite verb here, and “every male” could be either the object or the subject (see GKC 347 § and 387 §121.a).
  72. Exodus 12:48 tn אֶזְרָח (ʾezrakh) refers to the native-born individual, the native Israelite as opposed to the “stranger, alien” (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 104); see also W. F. Albright, Archaeology and the Religion of Israel, 127, 210.
  73. Exodus 12:49 tn Heb “one law will be to.”
  74. Exodus 12:49 sn The foreign resident, גֵּר (ger), in Mosaic Law was essentially a naturalized citizen and convert to worshiping the God of Israel (see notes at 12:19 and 48). The theme of having the same laws for native and foreign born Israelites appears in Exod 12:49; Lev 24:22; Num 9:14; 15:15, 16, 29. This equality is significant against the background of the ancient near east. The Code of Hammurapi, for example, distinguished different applications of law depending on social status.
  75. Exodus 12:50 tn Heb “did as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.” The final phrase “so they did,” which is somewhat redundant in English, has been represented in the translation by the adverb “exactly.”
  76. Exodus 13:1 sn This next section seems a little confusing at first glance: vv. 1 and 2 call for the dedication of the firstborn, then vv. 3-10 instruct concerning the ritual of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and then vv. 11-16 return to the firstborn. B. Jacob (Exodus, 360) explains that vv. 3-16 contain a sermon, in which Moses “began his speech by reminding the people of the events which had just occurred and how they would be recalled by them in the future,” and then he explained the rulings that went along with it. So the first two verses state the core of the sermon, a new command calling for the redeemed (firstborn) to be sanctified. The second portion stresses that God requires the redeemed to remember their redemption by purifying themselves (3-10). The third section (11-16) develops the theme of dedication to Yahweh. The point is that in view of God’s mighty redemption, the redeemed (represented by the firstborn) must be set apart for Yahweh’s service.
  77. Exodus 13:1 tn Heb “and Yahweh spoke.”
  78. Exodus 13:2 tn The verb “sanctify” is the Piel imperative of קָדַשׁ (qadash). In the Qal stem it means “be holy, be set apart, be distinct,” and in this stem “sanctify, set apart.” sn Here is the central principle of the chapter—the firstborn were sacred to God and must be “set apart” (the meaning of the verb “sanctify”) for his use.
  79. Exodus 13:2 tn The word פֶּטֶּר (petter) means “that which opens”; this construction literally says, “that which opens every womb,” which means “the first offspring of every womb.” Verses 12 and 15 further indicate male offspring.
  80. Exodus 13:2 tn Heb “to me it.” The preposition here expresses possession; the construction is simply “it [is, belongs] to me.”
  81. Exodus 13:3 tn The form is the infinitive absolute of זָכַר (zakhar, “remember”). The use of this form in place of the imperative (also found in the Decalogue with the Sabbath instruction) stresses the basic meaning of the root word, everything involved with remembering (emphatic imperative, according to GKC 346 § The verb usually implies that there will be proper action based on what was There is a pattern in the arrangement of vv. 3-10 and 11-16. Both sections contain commands based on the mighty deliverance as reminders of the deliverance. “With a mighty hand” occurs in vv. 3, 9, 14, 16. An explanation to the son is found in vv. 8 and 14. The emphases “sign on your hand” and “between your eyes” are part of the conclusions to both halves (vv. 9, 16).
  82. Exodus 13:3 tn Heb “from a house of slaves.” “House” is obviously not meant to be literal; it indicates a location characterized by slavery, a land of slaves, as if they were in a slave house. Egypt is also called an “iron-smelting furnace” (Deut 4:20).
  83. Exodus 13:3 tn Heb “from this” [place].
  84. Exodus 13:3 tn The verb is a Niphal imperfect; it could be rendered “must not be eaten” in the nuance of the instruction or injunction category, but permission fits this sermonic presentation very well—nothing with yeast may be eaten.
  85. Exodus 13:4 tn The word הַיּוֹם (hayyom) means literally “the day, today, this day.” In this sentence it functions as an adverbial accusative explaining when the event took place.
  86. Exodus 13:4 sn Abib appears to be an old name for the month, meaning something like “[month of] fresh young ears” (Lev 2:14 [Heb]) (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 106). B. Jacob (Exodus, 364) explains that these names were not precise designations, but general seasons based on the lunar year in the agricultural setting.
  87. Exodus 13:4 tn The form is the active participle, functioning verbally.
  88. Exodus 13:5 tn Heb “and it will be when.”
  89. Exodus 13:5 tn See notes on Exod 3:8.
  90. Exodus 13:5 tn The verb is וְעָבַדְתָּ (veʿavadta), the Qal perfect with a vav (ו) consecutive. It is the equivalent of the imperfect tense of instruction or injunction; it forms the main point after the temporal clause—“when Yahweh brings you out…then you will serve.”
  91. Exodus 13:5 tn The object is a cognate accusative for emphasis on the meaning of the service—“you will serve this service.” W. C. Kaiser notes how this noun was translated “slavery” and “work” in the book, but “service” or “ceremony” for Yahweh. Israel was saved from slavery to Egypt into service for God as remembered by this ceremony (“Exodus,” EBC 2:383).
  92. Exodus 13:6 tn Heb “Seven days.”
  93. Exodus 13:6 tn The imperfect tense functions with the nuance of instruction or injunction. It could also be given an obligatory nuance: “you must eat” or “you are to eat.” Some versions have simply made it an imperative.
  94. Exodus 13:6 tn The phrase “there is to be” has been supplied.
  95. Exodus 13:7 tn The imperfect has the nuance of instruction or injunction again, but it could also be given an obligatory nuance.
  96. Exodus 13:7 tn The construction is an adverbial accusative of time, answering how long the routine should be followed (see GKC 374 §118.k).
  97. Exodus 13:7 tn Or “visible to you” (B. Jacob, Exodus, 366).
  98. Exodus 13:8 tn The form is the Hiphil perfect with the vav (ו) consecutive, carrying the sequence forward: “and you will declare to your son.”sn A very important part of the teaching here is the manner in which the memory of the deliverance will be retained in Israel—they were to teach their children the reasons for the feast, as a binding law forever. This will remind the nation of its duties to Yahweh in gratitude for the great deliverance.
  99. Exodus 13:8 tn Heb “day, saying.” “Tell…saying” is redundant, so “saying” has not been included in the translation here.
  100. Exodus 13:8 tn “it is” has been supplied.
  101. Exodus 13:8 tn The text uses זֶה (zeh), which Gesenius classifies as the use of the pronoun to introduce a relative clause after the preposition (GKC 447 §138.h)—but he thinks the form is corrupt. B. S. Childs, however, sees no reason to posit a corruption in this form (Exodus [OTL], 184).
  102. Exodus 13:9 sn This passage has, of course, been taken literally by many devout Jews, and portions of the text have been encased in phylacteries and bound on the arm and forehead. B. Jacob (Exodus, 368), weighing the pros and cons of the literal or the figurative meaning, says that those who took it literally should not be looked down on for their symbolic work. In many cases, he continues, it is the spirit that kills and the letter makes alive—because people who argue against a literal usage do so to excuse lack of action. This is a rather interesting twist in the discussion. The point of the teaching was obviously meant to keep the Law of Yahweh in the minds of the people, to remind them of their duties.
  103. Exodus 13:9 tn That is, this ceremony.
  104. Exodus 13:9 tn Heb “for a sign.”
  105. Exodus 13:9 tn Heb “for a memorial.”
  106. Exodus 13:9 tn Heb “between your eyes” (KJV and ASV both similar); the same expression occurs in v. That these festivals and consecrations were to be signs and memorials is akin to the expressions used in the book of Proverbs (Prov 3:3, “bind them around your neck…write them on your heart”). The people were to use the festivals as outward and visible tokens to remind them to obey what the Law required.
  107. Exodus 13:9 tn The purpose of using this ceremony as a sign and a memorial is that the Law might be in their mouth. The imperfect tense, then, receives the classification of final imperfect in the purpose clause.
  108. Exodus 13:9 sn “Mouth” is a metonymy of cause; the point is that they should be ever talking about the Law as their guide as they go about their duties (see Deut 6:7; 11:19; Josh 1:8).
  109. Exodus 13:9 tn This causal clause gives the reason for what has just been instructed. Because Yahweh delivered them from bondage, he has the strongest claims on their life.
  110. Exodus 13:10 tn The form is a perfect tense with the vav (ו) consecutive, functioning as the equivalent of an imperfect of instruction or injunction.
  111. Exodus 13:10 tn Or “every year,” or “year after year.”
  112. Exodus 13:11 tn Heb “and it will be when Yahweh brings (will bring) you.”
  113. Exodus 13:11 sn The name “the Canaanite” (and so collective for “Canaanites”) is occasionally used to summarize all the list of Canaanitish tribes that lived in the land.
  114. Exodus 13:11 tn The verb וּנְתָנָהּ (unetanah) is the Qal perfect with the vav (ו) consecutive; this is in sequence to the preceding verb, and forms part of the protasis, the temporal clause. The main clause is the instruction in the next verse.
  115. Exodus 13:12 tn The unusual choice of words in this passage reflects the connection with the deliverance of the firstborn in the exodus when the Lord passed over the Israelites (12:12, 23). Here the Law said, “you will cause to pass over (וְהַעֲבַרְתָּ, vehaʿavarta) to Yahweh.” The Hiphil perfect with the vav (ו) provides the main clause after the temporal clauses. Yahweh here claimed the firstborn as his own. The remarkable thing about this is that Yahweh did not keep the firstborn that was dedicated to him, but allowed the child to be redeemed by his father. It was an acknowledgment that the life of the child belonged to God as the one redeemed from death, and that the child represented the family. Thus, the observance referred to the dedication of all the redeemed to It was once assumed by some scholars that child sacrifice lay behind this text in the earlier days, but that the priests and prophets removed those themes. Apart from the fact that there is absolutely no evidence for anything like that, the Law forbade child sacrifice, and always used child sacrifice as the sample of what not to do in conformity with the pagans (e.g., Deut 12:31). Besides, how absurd would it be for Yahweh to redeem the firstborn from death and then ask Israel to kill them. See further B. Jacob, Exodus, 371.
  116. Exodus 13:12 tn Heb “every opener of a womb,” that is, the firstborn from every womb.
  117. Exodus 13:12 tn The descriptive noun שֶׁגֶר (sheger) is related to the verb “drop, cast”; it refers to a newly born animal that is dropped or cast from the womb. The expression then reads, “and all that first open [the womb], the casting of a beast.”
  118. Exodus 13:12 tn Heb “that is to you.” The preposition expresses possession.
  119. Exodus 13:12 tn The Hebrew text simply has “the males to Yahweh.” It indicates that the Lord must have them, or they belong to the Lord.
  120. Exodus 13:13 tn Heb “and every opener [of a womb].”
  121. Exodus 13:13 tn The verb תִּפְדֶּה (tifdeh), the instructional imperfect, refers to the idea of redemption by paying a cost. This word is used regularly of redeeming a person, or an animal, from death or servitude (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 109).
  122. Exodus 13:13 tn The conditional clause uses an imperfect tense; this is followed by a perfect tense with the vav consecutive providing the obligation or instruction. The owner might not redeem the donkey, but if he did not, he could not keep it, he had to kill it by breaking its neck (so either a lamb for it, or the donkey itself). The donkey could not be killed by shedding blood because that would make it a sacrifice, and that was not possible with this kind of animal. See G. Brin, “The Firstling of Unclean Animals,” JQR 68 (1977): 1-15.
  123. Exodus 13:13 tn Heb “and every firstborn of man among your sons.” The addition of “man” is clearly meant to distinguish firstborn humans from One was to sacrifice the firstborn animals to Yahweh, but the children were to be redeemed by their fathers. The redemption price was five shekels (Num 18:15-16).
  124. Exodus 13:14 sn As with v. 8, the Law now requires that the children be instructed on the meaning of this observance. It is a memorial of the deliverance from bondage and the killing of the firstborn in Egypt.
  125. Exodus 13:14 tn Heb “tomorrow.”
  126. Exodus 13:14 tn Heb “and it will be when your son will ask you.”
  127. Exodus 13:14 tn The question is cryptic; it simply says, “What is this?” but certainly refers to the custom just mentioned. It asks, “What does this mean?” or “Why do we do this?”
  128. Exodus 13:14 tn The expression is “with strength of hand,” making “hand” the genitive of specification. In translation “strength” becomes the modifier, because “hand” specifies where the strength was. But of course the whole expression is anthropomorphic for the power of God.
  129. Exodus 13:14 tn Heb “house of slaves.”
  130. Exodus 13:15 tn Heb “dealt hardly in letting us go” or “made it hard to let us go” (see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 110). The verb is the simple Hiphil perfect הִקְשָׁה (hiqshah, “he made hard”); the infinitive construct לְשַׁלְּחֵנוּ (leshallekhenu, “to release us”) could be taken epexegetically, meaning “he made releasing us hard.” But the infinitive more likely gives the purpose or the result after the verb “hardened himself.” The verb is figurative for “be stubborn” or “stubbornly refuse.”
  131. Exodus 13:15 tn The text uses “man” and “beast.”
  132. Exodus 13:15 tn The form is the active participle.
  133. Exodus 13:16 tn The word is טוֹטָפֹת (totafot, “frontlets”). The etymology is uncertain, but the word denotes a sign or an object placed on the forehead (see m. Shabbat 6:1). The Gemara interprets it as a band that goes from ear to ear. In the Targum to 2 Sam 1:10 it is an armlet worn by Saul (see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 110). These bands may have resembled the Egyptian practice of wearing as amulets “forms of words written on folds of papyrus tightly rolled up and sewn in linen” (W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:384).
  134. Exodus 13:16 sn The pattern of the passage now emerges more clearly; it concerns the grateful debt of the redeemed. In the first part eating the unleavened bread recalls the night of deliverance in Egypt, and it calls for purity. In the second part the dedication of the firstborn was an acknowledgment of the deliverance of the firstborn from bondage. They were to remember the deliverance and choose purity; they were to remember the deliverance and choose dedication. The NT will also say, “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price, therefore, glorify God” (1 Cor 6:20). Here too the truths of God’s great redemption must be learned well and retained well from generation to generation.
New English Translation (NET)

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Matthew 20:29-21:22

Two Blind Men Healed

29 As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed them. 30 Two[a] blind men were sitting by the road. When they heard that Jesus was passing by, they shouted,[b] “Have mercy[c] on us, Lord, Son of David!”[d] 31 The[e] crowd scolded[f] them to get them to be quiet. But they shouted even more loudly, “Lord, have mercy on us,[g] Son of David!” 32 Jesus stopped, called them, and said, “What do you want me to do for you?” 33 They said to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.” 34 Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.

The Triumphal Entry

21 Now[h] when they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage,[i] at the Mount of Olives,[j] Jesus sent two disciples, telling them, “Go to the village ahead of you.[k] Right away you will find a donkey tied there, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you are to say, ‘The Lord needs them,’[l] and he will send them at once.” This[m] took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet:[n]

Tell the people of Zion,[o]
Look, your king is coming to you,
unassuming and seated on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”[p]

So[q] the disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks[r] on them, and he sat on them. A[s] very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road. Others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those following kept shouting,[t]Hosanna[u] to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord![v] Hosanna in the highest!” 10 As he entered Jerusalem the whole city was thrown into an uproar,[w] saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Cleansing the Temple

12 Then[x] Jesus entered the temple area[y] and drove out all those who were selling and buying in the temple courts,[z] and turned over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. 13 And he said to them, “It is written, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,[aa] but you are turning it into a den[ab] of robbers!”[ac]

14 The blind and lame came to him in the temple courts, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the experts in the law[ad] saw the wonderful things he did and heard the children crying out in the temple courts,[ae] “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became indignant 16 and said to him, “Do you hear what they are saying?” Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouths of children and nursing infants you have prepared praise for yourself’?”[af] 17 And leaving them, he went out of the city to Bethany and spent the night there.

The Withered Fig Tree

18 Now early in the morning, as he returned to the city, he was hungry. 19 After noticing a fig tree[ag] by the road he went to it, but found nothing on it except leaves. He said to it, “Never again will there be fruit from you!” And the fig tree withered at once. 20 When the disciples saw it they were amazed, saying, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” 21 Jesus[ah] answered them, “I tell you the truth,[ai] if you have faith and do not doubt, not only will you do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. 22 And whatever you ask in prayer, if you believe,[aj] you will receive.”


  1. Matthew 20:30 tn Grk “And behold.” The Greek word ἰδού (idou) has not been translated because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1).
  2. Matthew 20:30 tn Grk “shouted, saying.” The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is redundant here in contemporary English and has not been translated.
  3. Matthew 20:30 sn Have mercy on us is a request for healing. It is not owed to the men. They simply ask for God’s kind grace.
  4. Matthew 20:30 sn There was a tradition in Judaism that the Son of David (Solomon) had great powers of healing (Josephus, Ant. 8.2.5 [8.42-49]).
  5. Matthew 20:31 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
  6. Matthew 20:31 tn Or “rebuked.” The crowd’s view was that surely Jesus would not be bothered with someone as unimportant as a blind beggar.
  7. Matthew 20:31 tc ‡ The majority of mss (C N W Γ Δ ƒ1 33 565 1241 1424 M and several versional witnesses) read κύριε (kurie, “Lord”) after ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς (eleēson hēmas, “have mercy on us”). But since this is the order of words in v. 30 (though that wording is also disputed), and since the κύριε-first reading enjoys widespread and early support (א B D L Z Θ 085 0281 ƒ13 892 lat syp samss bo; SBL), the latter was considered to be the earliest reading. However, the decision was by no means easy. NA28 has κύριε after ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς here; a majority of that committee felt that since the placement of κύριε in last place was the nonliturgical order it “would have been likely to be altered in transcription to the more familiar sequence” (TCGNT 44).
  8. Matthew 21:1 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.
  9. Matthew 21:1 sn The exact location of the village of Bethphage is not known. Most put it on the southeast side of the Mount of Olives and northwest of Bethany, about 1.5 miles (3 km) east of Jerusalem.
  10. Matthew 21:1 sn “Mountain” in English generally denotes a higher elevation than it often does in reference to places in Palestine. The Mount of Olives is really a ridge running north to south about 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) long, east of Jerusalem across the Kidron Valley. Its central elevation is about 30 meters (100 ft) higher than Jerusalem. It was named for the large number of olive trees which grew on it.
  11. Matthew 21:2 tn Grk “the village lying before you” (BDAG 530 s.v. κατέναντι 2.b).
  12. Matthew 21:3 sn The custom called angaria allowed the impressment of animals for service to a significant figure.
  13. Matthew 21:4 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
  14. Matthew 21:4 tn Grk “what was spoken by the prophet, saying.” The present participle λέγοντος (legontos) is redundant and has not been translated.
  15. Matthew 21:5 tn Grk “Tell the daughter of Zion” (the phrase “daughter of Zion” is an idiom for the inhabitants of Jerusalem: “people of Zion”). The idiom “daughter of Zion” has been translated as “people of Zion” because the original idiom, while firmly embedded in the Christian tradition, is not understandable to most modern English readers.
  16. Matthew 21:5 tn Grk “the foal of an animal under the yoke,” i.e., a hard-working animal. This is a quotation from Zech 9:9.
  17. Matthew 21:6 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of Jesus’ instructions in vv. 2-3.
  18. Matthew 21:7 tn Grk “garments”; but this refers in context to their outer cloaks. The action is like 2 Kgs 9:13.
  19. Matthew 21:8 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
  20. Matthew 21:9 tn Grk “were shouting, saying.” The participle λέγοντας (legontas) is redundant here in contemporary English and has not been translated.
  21. Matthew 21:9 tn The expression ῾Ωσαννά (hōsanna, literally in Hebrew, “O Lord, save”) in the quotation from Ps 118:25-26 was probably by this time a familiar liturgical expression of praise, on the order of “Hail to the king,” although both the underlying Aramaic and Hebrew expressions meant “O Lord, save us.” In words familiar to every Jew, the author is indicating that at this point every messianic expectation is now at the point of realization. It is clear from the words of the psalm shouted by the crowd that Jesus is being proclaimed as messianic king. See E. Lohse, TDNT Hosanna is an Aramaic expression that literally means, “help, I pray,” or “save, I pray.” By Jesus’ time it had become a strictly liturgical formula of praise, however, and was used as an exclamation of praise to God.
  22. Matthew 21:9 sn A quotation from Ps 118:25-26.
  23. Matthew 21:10 tn Grk “was shaken.” The translation “thrown into an uproar” is given by L&N 25.233.
  24. Matthew 21:12 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
  25. Matthew 21:12 tn Grk “the temple.”sn The merchants (those who were selling) would have been located in the Court of the Gentiles.
  26. Matthew 21:12 tn Grk “the temple.”sn Matthew (here, 21:12-27), Mark (11:15-19) and Luke (19:45-46) record this incident of the temple cleansing at the end of Jesus’ ministry. John (2:13-16) records a cleansing of the temple at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. See the note on the word temple courts in John 2:14 for a discussion of the relationship of these accounts to one another.
  27. Matthew 21:13 sn A quotation from Isa 56:7.
  28. Matthew 21:13 tn Or “a hideout” (see L&N 1.57).
  29. Matthew 21:13 sn A quotation from Jer 7:11. The meaning of Jesus’ statement about making the temple courts a den of robbers probably operates here at two levels. Not only were the religious leaders robbing the people financially, but because of this they had also robbed them spiritually by stealing from them the opportunity to come to know God genuinely. It is possible that these merchants had recently been moved to this location for convenience.
  30. Matthew 21:15 tn Or “and the scribes.” See the note on the phrase “experts in the law” in 2:4.
  31. Matthew 21:15 tn Grk “crying out in the temple [courts] and saying.” The participle λέγοντας (legontas) is somewhat redundant here in contemporary English and has not been translated.
  32. Matthew 21:16 sn A quotation from Ps 8:2.
  33. Matthew 21:19 tn Grk “one fig tree.”sn The fig tree is a variation on the picture of a vine as representing the nation; see Isa 5:1-7.
  34. Matthew 21:21 tn Grk “And answering, Jesus said.” This is somewhat redundant and has been simplified in the translation.
  35. Matthew 21:21 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amēn), I say to you.”
  36. Matthew 21:22 tn Grk “believing”; the participle here is conditional.
New English Translation (NET)

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Psalm 25:16-22

16 Turn toward me and have mercy on me,
for I am alone[a] and oppressed.
17 Deliver me from my distress;[b]
rescue me from my suffering.[c]
18 See my pain and suffering.
Forgive all my sins.[d]
19 Watch my enemies, for they outnumber me;
they hate me and want to harm me.[e]
20 Protect me[f] and deliver me!
Please do not let me be humiliated,
for I have taken shelter in you.
21 May integrity and godliness protect me,
for I rely on you.
22 O God, rescue[g] Israel
from all their distress![h]


  1. Psalm 25:16 tn That is, helpless and vulnerable.
  2. Psalm 25:17 tc Heb “the distresses of my heart, they make wide.” The text makes little if any sense as it stands, unless this is an otherwise unattested intransitive use of the Hiphil of רָחַב (rakhav, “be wide”). It is preferable to emend the form הִרְחִיבוּ (hirkhivu; Hiphil perfect third plural “they make wide”) to הַרְחֵיב (harkhev; Hiphil imperative masculine singular “make wide”). (The final vav [ו] can be joined to the following word and taken as a conjunction.) In this case one can translate, “[in/from] the distresses of my heart, make wide [a place for me],” that is, “deliver me from the distress I am experiencing.” For the expression “make wide [a place for me],” see Ps 4:1.
  3. Psalm 25:17 tn Heb “from my distresses lead me out.”
  4. Psalm 25:18 tn Heb “lift up all my sins.”
  5. Psalm 25:19 tn Heb “see my enemies for they are numerous, and [with] violent hatred they hate me.”
  6. Psalm 25:20 tn Or “my life.”
  7. Psalm 25:22 tn Or “redeem.”
  8. Psalm 25:22 tn Heb “his distresses.”sn O God, rescue Israel from all their distress. It is possible that the psalmist speaks on behalf of the nation throughout this entire psalm. Another option is that v. 22 is a later addition to the psalm which applies an original individual lament to the covenant community. If so, it may reflect an exilic setting.
New English Translation (NET)

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Proverbs 6:12-15

12 A worthless and wicked person[a]
walks around saying perverse things;[b] [c]
13 he winks with his eyes,
signals with his feet,
and points with his fingers;[d]
14 he plots evil with perverse thoughts[e] in his heart,
he spreads contention[f] at all times.
15 Therefore, his disaster will come suddenly;
in an instant[g] he will be broken, and there will be no remedy.


  1. Proverbs 6:12 sn The terms describe one who is both worthless and wicked. Some suggest that בְּלִיַּעַל (beliyyaʿal) is a compound of the negative בְּלִי (beli) and a noun יַעַל (yaʿal, “profit; worth”). Others suggest that the root is from בַּעַל (baʿal, “lord [of goats]”) or a derivative of בָּלַע (balaʿ) with reduplication (“confusion” or “engulfing ruin”), or a proper name from Babylonian Bililu. See B. Otzen, TDOT 2:131-36; and D. W. Thomas, “בְּלִיַּעַל in the Old Testament,” Biblical and Patristic Studies in Memory of Robert Pierce Casey, 11-19. Whatever the etymology, usage shows that the word describes people who violate the law (Deut 15:9; Judg 19:22; 1 Kgs 21:10, 13; Prov 16:27; et al.) or act in a contemptuous and foolish manner against cultic observance or social institutions (1 Sam 10:27; 25:17; 30:22); cf. NRSV “a scoundrel and a villain” (NAB and NIV similar). The present instruction will focus on the devious practice of such wicked and worthless folk.
  2. Proverbs 6:12 tn Heb “crooked” or “twisted.” This term can refer to something that is physically twisted or crooked, or something morally perverse. Cf. NAB “crooked talk”; NRSV “crooked speech.”
  3. Proverbs 6:12 tn Heb “walks around with a perverse mouth.” The term “mouth” is a metonymy of cause, an organ of speech put for what is said. This is an individual who says perverted or twisted things.
  4. Proverbs 6:13 sn The sinister sign language and gestures of the perverse individual seem to indicate any kind of look or gesture that is put on and therefore a form of deception if not a way of making insinuations. W. McKane suggests from the presence of חֹרֵשׁ (khoresh) in v. 14 that there may be some use of magic here (Proverbs [OTL], 325).
  5. Proverbs 6:14 tn The noun is an adverbial accusative of manner, explaining the circumstances that inform his evil plans.
  6. Proverbs 6:14 tn The word “contention” is from the root דִּין (din); the noun means “strife, contention, quarrel.” The normal plural form is represented by the Qere, and the contracted form by the Kethib.
  7. Proverbs 6:15 tn This word is a substantive that is used here as an adverbial accusative—with suddenness, at an instant.
New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Tuesday January 30, 2024 (NIV)

Exodus 10:1-12:13

Plague Eight: Locusts

10 [a] The Lord said[b] to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, in order to display[c] these signs of mine before him,[d] and in order that in the hearing of your son and your grandson you may tell[e] how I made fools[f] of the Egyptians[g] and about[h] my signs that I displayed[i] among them, so that you may know[j] that I am the Lord.”

So Moses and Aaron came to Pharaoh and told him, “This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has said: ‘How long do you refuse[k] to humble yourself before me?[l] Release my people so that they may serve me! But if you refuse to release my people, I am going to bring[m] locusts[n] into your territory[o] tomorrow. They will cover[p] the surface[q] of the earth, so that you[r] will be unable to see the ground. They will eat the remainder of what escaped[s]—what is left over[t] for you—from the hail, and they will eat every tree that grows for you from the field. They will fill your houses, the houses of your servants, and all the houses of Egypt, such as[u] neither[v] your fathers nor your grandfathers have seen since they have been[w] in the land until this day!’” Then Moses[x] turned and went out from Pharaoh.

Pharaoh’s servants said to him, “How long[y] will this man be a menace[z] to us? Release the people so that they may serve the Lord their God. Do you not know[aa] that Egypt is destroyed?”

So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh, and he said to them, “Go, serve the Lord your God. Exactly who is going with you?”[ab] Moses said, “We will go with our young and our old, with our sons and our daughters, and with our sheep and our cattle we will go, because we are to hold[ac] a pilgrim feast for the Lord.”

10 He said to them, “The Lord will need to be with you[ad] if I release you and your dependents![ae] Watch out![af] Trouble is right in front of you.[ag] 11 No![ah] Go, you men[ai] only, and serve the Lord, for that[aj] is what you want.”[ak] Then Moses and Aaron[al] were driven[am] out of Pharaoh’s presence.

12 The Lord said to Moses, “Extend your hand over the land of Egypt for[an] the locusts, that they may come up over the land of Egypt and eat everything that grows[ao] in the ground, everything that the hail has left.” 13 So Moses extended his staff over the land of Egypt, and then the Lord[ap] brought[aq] an east wind on the land all that day and all night.[ar] The morning came,[as] and the east wind had brought up[at] the locusts! 14 The locusts went up over all the land of Egypt and settled down in all the territory[au] of Egypt. It was very severe;[av] there had been no locusts like them before, nor will there be such ever again.[aw] 15 They covered[ax] the surface[ay] of all the ground so that the ground became dark with them,[az] and they ate all the vegetation of the ground and all the fruit of the trees that the hail had left. Nothing green remained on the trees or on anything that grew in the fields throughout the whole land of Egypt.

16 [ba] Then Pharaoh quickly[bb] summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned[bc] against the Lord your God and against you! 17 So now, forgive my sin this time only, and pray to the Lord your God that he would only[bd] take this death[be] away from me.” 18 Moses[bf] went out[bg] from Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord, 19 and the Lord turned a very strong west wind,[bh] and it picked up the locusts and blew them into the Red Sea.[bi] Not one locust remained in all the territory of Egypt. 20 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not release the Israelites.

Plague Nine: Darkness

21 [bj] The Lord said to Moses, “Extend your hand toward heaven[bk] so that there may be[bl] darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness so thick it can be felt.”[bm]

22 So Moses extended his hand toward heaven, and there was absolute darkness[bn] throughout the land of Egypt for three days.[bo] 23 No one[bp] could see[bq] another person, and no one could rise from his place for three days. But the Israelites had light in the places where they lived.

24 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and said, “Go, serve the Lord—only your flocks and herds will be detained. Even your families[br] may go with you.”

25 But Moses said, “Will you also[bs] provide us[bt] with sacrifices and burnt offerings that we may present them[bu] to the Lord our God? 26 Our livestock must[bv] also go with us! Not a hoof is to be left behind! For we must take[bw] these animals[bx] to serve the Lord our God. Until we arrive there, we do not know what we must use to serve the Lord.”[by]

27 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was not willing to release them. 28 Pharaoh said to him, “Go from me![bz] Watch out for yourself! Do not appear before me again,[ca] for when[cb] you see my face you will die!” 29 Moses said, “As you wish![cc] I will not see your face again.”[cd]

Plague Ten: Death

11 [ce] The Lord said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt; after that he will release you from this place. When he releases you,[cf] he will drive you out completely[cg] from this place. Instruct[ch] the people that each man and each woman is to request[ci] from his or her neighbor[cj] items of silver and gold.”[ck]

(Now the Lord granted the people favor with[cl] the Egyptians. Moreover, the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, respected by Pharaoh’s servants and by the Egyptian people.)[cm]

Moses said, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt,[cn] and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh[co] who sits on his throne, to the firstborn son of the slave girl who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle. There will be a great cry throughout the whole land of Egypt, such as there has never been,[cp] nor ever will be again.[cq] But against any of the Israelites not even a dog will bark[cr] against either people or animals,[cs] so that you may know that the Lord distinguishes[ct] between Egypt and Israel.’ All these your servants will come down to me and bow down[cu] to me, saying, ‘Go, you and all the people who follow[cv] you,’ and after that I will go out.” Then Moses[cw] went out from Pharaoh in great anger.

The Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, so that my wonders[cx] may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.”

10 So Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh, but the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not release the Israelites from his land.

The Institution of the Passover

12 [cy] The Lord said[cz] to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt,[da] “This month is to be your beginning of months; it will be your first month of the year.[db] Tell the whole community of Israel, ‘On the tenth day of this month they each[dc] must take a lamb[dd] for themselves according to their families[de]—a lamb for each household.[df] If any household is too small[dg] for a lamb,[dh] the man[di] and his next-door neighbor[dj] are to take[dk] a lamb according to the number of people—you will make your count for the lamb according to how much each one can eat.[dl] Your lamb must be[dm] perfect,[dn] a male, one year old;[do] you may take[dp] it from the sheep or from the goats. You must care for it[dq] until the fourteenth day of this month, and then the whole community[dr] of Israel will kill it around sundown.[ds] They will take some of the blood and put it on the two side posts and top of the doorframe of the houses where they will eat it. They will eat the meat the same night;[dt] they will eat it roasted over the fire with bread made without yeast[du] and with bitter herbs. Do not eat it raw[dv] or boiled in water, but roast it over the fire with its head, its legs, and its entrails. 10 You must leave nothing until morning, but you must burn with fire whatever remains of it until morning. 11 This is how you are to eat it—dressed to travel,[dw] your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. You are to eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover.[dx]

12 ‘I will pass through[dy] the land of Egypt in the same[dz] night, and I will attack[ea] all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both of humans and of animals,[eb] and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment.[ec] I am the Lord. 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, so that when I see[ed] the blood I will pass over you,[ee] and this plague[ef] will not fall on you to destroy you[eg] when I attack[eh] the land of Egypt.[ei]


  1. Exodus 10:1 sn The Egyptians dreaded locusts like every other ancient civilization. They had particular gods to whom they looked for help in such catastrophes. The locust-scaring deities of Greece and Asia were probably looked to in Egypt as well (especially in view of the origins in Egypt of so many of those religious ideas). The announcement of the plague falls into the now-familiar pattern. God tells Moses to go and speak to Pharaoh but reminds Moses that he has hardened his heart. Yahweh explains that he has done this so that he might show his power, so that in turn they might declare his name from generation to generation. This point is stressed so often that it must not be minimized. God was laying the foundation of the faith for Israel—the sovereignty of Yahweh.
  2. Exodus 10:1 tn Heb “and Yahweh said.”
  3. Exodus 10:1 tn The verb is שִׁתִי (shiti, “I have put”); it is used here as a synonym for the verb שִׂים (sim). Yahweh placed the signs in his midst, where they will be obvious.
  4. Exodus 10:1 tn Heb “in his midst.”
  5. Exodus 10:2 tn The expression is unusual: תְּסַפֵּר בְּאָזְנֵי (tesapper beʾozne, “[that] you may declare in the ears of”). The clause explains an additional reason for God’s hardening the heart of Pharaoh, namely, so that the Israelites can tell their children of God’s great wonders. The expression is highly poetic and intense—like Ps 44:1, which says, “we have heard with our ears.” The emphasis would be on the clear teaching, orally, from one generation to another.
  6. Exodus 10:2 tn The verb הִתְעַלַּלְתִּי (hitʿallalti) is a bold anthropomorphism. The word means to occupy oneself at another’s expense, to toy with someone, which may be paraphrased with “mock.” The whole point is that God is shaming and disgracing Egypt, making them look foolish in their arrogance and stubbornness (W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:366-67). Some prefer to translate it as “I have dealt ruthlessly” with Egypt (see U. Cassuto, Exodus, 123).
  7. Exodus 10:2 tn Heb “of Egypt.” The place is put by metonymy for the inhabitants.
  8. Exodus 10:2 tn The word “about” is supplied to clarify this as another object of the verb “declare.”
  9. Exodus 10:2 tn Heb “put” or “placed.”
  10. Exodus 10:2 tn The form is the perfect tense with vav consecutive, וִידַעְתֶּם (vidaʿtem, “and that you might know”). This provides another purpose for God’s dealings with Egypt in the way that he was doing. The form is equal to the imperfect tense with vav (ו) prefixed; it thus parallels the imperfect that began v. 2—“that you might tell.”
  11. Exodus 10:3 tn The verb is מֵאַנְתָּ (meʾanta), a Piel perfect. After “how long,” the form may be classified as present perfect (“how long have you refused), for it describes actions begun previously but with the effects continuing. (See GKC 311 §106.g-h). The use of a verb describing a state or condition may also call for a present translation (“how long do you refuse”) that includes past, present, and potentially future, in keeping with the question “how long.”
  12. Exodus 10:3 tn The clause is built on the use of the infinitive construct to express the direct object of the verb—it answers the question of what Pharaoh was refusing to do. The Niphal infinitive construct (note the elision of the ה [he] prefix after the preposition [see GKC 139 §51.l]) is from the verb עָנָה (ʿanah). The verb in this stem would mean “humble oneself.” The question is somewhat rhetorical, since God was not yet through humbling Pharaoh, who would not humble himself. The issue between Yahweh and Pharaoh is deeper than simply whether or not Pharaoh will let the Israelites leave Egypt.
  13. Exodus 10:4 tn הִנְנִי (hineni) before the active participle מֵבִיא (meviʾ) is the imminent future construction: “I am about to bring” or “I am going to bring”—precisely, “here I am bringing.”
  14. Exodus 10:4 tn One of the words for “locusts” in the Bible is אַרְבֶּה (ʾarbeh), which comes from רָבָה (ravah, “to be much, many”). It was used for locusts because of their immense numbers.
  15. Exodus 10:4 tn Heb “within your border.”
  16. Exodus 10:5 tn The verbs describing the locusts are singular because it is a swarm or plague of locusts. This verb (וְכִסָּה, vekhissah, “cover”) is a Piel perfect with a vav consecutive; it carries the same future nuance as the participle before it.
  17. Exodus 10:5 tn Heb “eye,” an unusual expression (see v. 15; Num 22:5, 11).
  18. Exodus 10:5 tn The text has וְלֹא יוּכַל לִרְאֹת (veloʾ yukhal lirʾot, “and he will not be able to see”). The verb has no expressed subjects. The clause might, therefore, be given a passive translation: “so that [it] cannot be seen.” The whole clause is the result of the previous statement.
  19. Exodus 10:5 sn As the next phrase explains “what escaped” refers to what the previous plague did not destroy. The locusts will devour everything, because there will not be much left from the other plagues for them to eat.
  20. Exodus 10:5 tn הַנִּשְׁאֶרֶת (hannishʾeret) parallels (by apposition) and adds further emphasis to the preceding two words; it is the Niphal participle, meaning “that which is left over.”
  21. Exodus 10:6 tn The relative pronoun אֲשֶׁר (ʾasher) is occasionally used as a comparative conjunction (see GKC 499 §161.b).
  22. Exodus 10:6 tn Heb “which your fathers have not seen, nor your fathers’ fathers.”
  23. Exodus 10:6 tn The Hebrew construction מִיּוֹם הֱיוֹתָם (miyyom heyotam, “from the day of their being”). The statement essentially says that no one, even the elderly, could remember seeing a plague of locusts like this. In addition, see B. Childs, “A Study of the Formula, ‘Until This Day,’” JBL 82 (1963).
  24. Exodus 10:6 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Moses) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  25. Exodus 10:7 sn The question of Pharaoh’s servants echoes the question of Moses—“How long?” Now the servants of Pharaoh are demanding what Moses demanded—“Release the people.” They know that the land is destroyed, and they speak of it as Moses’ doing. That way they avoid acknowledging Yahweh or blaming Pharaoh.
  26. Exodus 10:7 tn Heb “snare” (מוֹקֵשׁ, moqesh), a word used for a trap for catching birds. Here it is a figure for the cause of Egypt’s destruction.
  27. Exodus 10:7 tn With the adverb טֶרֶם (terem), the imperfect tense receives a present sense: “Do you not know?” (See GKC 481 §152.r).
  28. Exodus 10:8 tn The question is literally “who and who are the ones going?” (מִי וָמִי הַהֹלְכִים, mi vami haholekhim). Pharaoh’s answer to Moses includes this rude question, which was intended to say that Pharaoh would control who went. The participle in this clause, then, refers to the future journey.
  29. Exodus 10:9 tn Heb “we have a pilgrim feast (חַג, khag) to Yahweh.”
  30. Exodus 10:10 sn Pharaoh is by no means offering a blessing on them in the name of Yahweh. The meaning of his “wish” is connected to the next clause—as he is releasing them, may God help them. S. R. Driver says that in Pharaoh’s scornful challenge Yahweh is as likely to protect them as Pharaoh is likely to let them go—not at all (Exodus, 80). He is planning to keep the women and children as hostages to force the men to return. U. Cassuto (Exodus, 125) paraphrases it this way: “May the help of your God be as far from you as I am from giving you permission to go forth with your little ones.” The real irony, Cassuto observes, is that in the final analysis he will let them go, and Yahweh will be with them.
  31. Exodus 10:10 tn The context of Moses’ list of young and old, sons and daughters, and the contrast with the word for strong “men” in v. 11 indicates that טַפְּכֶם (tappekhem), often translated “little ones” or “children,” refers to dependent people, noncombatants in general.
  32. Exodus 10:10 tn Heb “see.”
  33. Exodus 10:10 tn Heb “before your face.”sn The “trouble” or “evil” that is before them could refer to the evil that they are devising—the attempt to escape from Egypt. But that does not make much sense in the sentence—why would he tell them to take heed or look out about that? U. Cassuto (Exodus, 126) makes a better suggestion. He argues that Pharaoh is saying, “Don’t push me too far.” The evil, then, would be what Pharaoh was going to do if these men kept making demands on him. This fits the fact that he had them driven out of his court immediately. There could also be here an allusion to Pharaoh’s god Re’, the sun-deity and head of the pantheon; he would be saying that the power of his god would confront them.
  34. Exodus 10:11 tn Heb “not thus.”
  35. Exodus 10:11 tn The word is הַגְּבָרִים (haggevarim, “the strong men”), a word different from the more general one that Pharaoh’s servants used (v. 7). Pharaoh appears to be conceding, but he is holding hostages. The word “only” has been supplied in the translation to indicate this.
  36. Exodus 10:11 tn The suffix on the sign of the accusative refers in a general sense to the idea contained in the preceding clause (see GKC 440-41 §135.p).
  37. Exodus 10:11 tn Heb “you are seeking.”
  38. Exodus 10:11 tn Heb “they”; the referent (Moses and Aaron) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  39. Exodus 10:11 tn The verb is the Piel preterite, third person masculine singular, meaning “and he drove them out.” But “Pharaoh” cannot be the subject of the sentence, for “Pharaoh” is the object of the preposition. The subject is not specified, and so the verb can be treated as passive.
  40. Exodus 10:12 tn The preposition ב (bet) is unexpected here. BDB 91 s.v. (the note at the end of the entry) says that in this case it can only be read as “with the locusts,” meaning that the locusts were thought to be implicit in Moses’ lifting up of his hand. However, BDB prefers to change the preposition to ל (lamed).
  41. Exodus 10:12 tn The noun עֵשֶּׂב (ʿesev) normally would indicate cultivated grains, but in this context seems to indicate plants in general.
  42. Exodus 10:13 tn The clause begins וַיהוָה (vaʾdonay [vayhvah], “Now Yahweh….”). In contrast to a normal sequence, this beginning focuses attention on Yahweh as the subject of the verb.
  43. Exodus 10:13 tn The verb נָהַג (nahag) means “drive, conduct.” It is elsewhere used for driving sheep, leading armies, or leading in processions.
  44. Exodus 10:13 tn Heb “and all the night.”
  45. Exodus 10:13 tn The text does not here use ordinary circumstantial clause constructions; rather, Heb “the morning was, and the east wind carried the locusts.” It clearly means “when it was morning,” but the style chosen gives a more abrupt beginning to the plague, as if the reader is in the experience—and at morning, the locusts are there!
  46. Exodus 10:13 tn The verb here is a past perfect, indicting that the locusts had arrived before the day came.
  47. Exodus 10:14 tn Heb “border.”
  48. Exodus 10:14 tn This is an interpretive translation. The clause simply has כָּבֵד מְאֹד (kaved meʾod), the stative verb with the adverb—“it was very heavy.” The description prepares for the following statement about the uniqueness of this locust infestation.
  49. Exodus 10:14 tn Heb “after them.”
  50. Exodus 10:15 tn Heb “and they covered.”
  51. Exodus 10:15 tn Heb “eye,” an unusual expression (see v. 5; Num 22:5, 11).
  52. Exodus 10:15 tn The verb is וַתֶּחְשַׁךְ (vattekhshakh, “and it became dark”). The idea is that the ground had the color of the swarms of locusts that covered it.
  53. Exodus 10:16 sn The third part of the passage now begins, the confrontation that resulted from the onslaught of the plague. Pharaoh goes a step further here—he confesses he has sinned and adds a request for forgiveness. But his acknowledgment does not go far enough, for this is not genuine confession. Since his heart was not yet submissive, his confession was vain.
  54. Exodus 10:16 tn The Piel preterite וַיְמַהֵר (vayemaher) could be translated “and he hastened,” but here it is joined with the following infinitive construct to form the hendiadys. “He hurried to summon” means “He summoned quickly.”
  55. Exodus 10:16 sn The severity of the plague prompted Pharaoh to confess his sin against Yahweh and them, now in much stronger terms than before. He also wants forgiveness—but in all probability what he wants is relief from the consequences of his sin. He pretended to convey to Moses that this was it, that he was through sinning, so he asked for forgiveness “only this time.”
  56. Exodus 10:17 sn Pharaoh’s double emphasis on “only” uses two different words and was meant to deceive. He was trying to give Moses the impression that he had finally come to his senses, and that he would let the people go. But he had no intention of letting them out.
  57. Exodus 10:17 sn “Death” is a metonymy that names the effect for the cause. If the locusts are left in the land it will be death to everything that grows.
  58. Exodus 10:18 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Moses) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  59. Exodus 10:18 tn Heb “and he went out.”
  60. Exodus 10:19 tn Or perhaps “sea wind,” i.e., a wind off the Mediterranean.
  61. Exodus 10:19 tn The Hebrew name here is יַם־סוּף (Yam Suf), sometimes rendered “Reed Sea” or “Sea of Reeds.” The word סוּף is a collective noun that may have derived from an Egyptian name for papyrus reeds. Many English versions have used “Red Sea,” which translates the name that ancient Greeks used: ἑρυθρά θαλασσά (eruthra thalassa). sn The name Red Sea is currently applied to the sea west of the Arabian Peninsula. The northern fingers of this body of water extend along the west and east sides of the Sinai Peninsula and are presently called the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba or the Gulf of Eilat. In ancient times the name applied to a much larger body of water, including the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf (C. Houtman, Exodus, 1:109-10). See also Num 14:25; 21:4; Deut 1:40; 2:1; Judg 11:16; 1 Kgs 9:26; Jer 49:21. The sea was deep enough to drown the entire Egyptian army later (and thus no shallow swamp land). God drives the locusts to their death in the water. He will have the same power over Egyptian soldiers, for he raised up this powerful empire for a purpose and soon will drown them in the sea. The message for the Israelites is that God will humble all who refuse to submit.
  62. Exodus 10:21 sn The ninth plague is that darkness fell on all the land—except on Israel. This plague is comparable to the silence in heaven, just prior to the last and terrible plague (Rev 8:1). Here Yahweh is attacking a core Egyptian religious belief as well as portraying what lay before the Egyptians. Throughout the Bible darkness is the symbol of evil, chaos, and judgment. Blindness is one of its manifestations (see Deut 28:27-29). But the plague here is not blindness, or even spiritual blindness, but an awesome darkness from outside (see Joel 2:2; Zeph 1:15). It is particularly significant in that Egypt’s high god was the Sun God. Lord Sun was now being shut down by Lord Yahweh. If Egypt would not let Israel go to worship their God, then Egypt’s god would be darkness. The structure is familiar: the plague, now unannounced (21-23), and then the confrontation with Pharaoh (24-27).
  63. Exodus 10:21 tn Or “the sky” (also in the following verse). The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heavens” or “sky” depending on the context.
  64. Exodus 10:21 sn The verb form is the jussive with the sequential vavוִיהִי חֹשֶׁךְ (vihi khoshekh). B. Jacob (Exodus, 286) notes this as the only instance where Scripture says, “Let there be darkness” (although it is subordinated as a purpose clause; cf. Gen 1:3). Isa 45:7 alluded to this by saying, “who created light and darkness.”
  65. Exodus 10:21 tn The Hebrew term מוּשׁ (mush) means “to feel.” The literal rendering would be “so that one may feel darkness.” The image portrays an oppressive darkness; it was sufficiently thick to possess the appearance of substance, although it was just air (B. Jacob, Exodus, 286).
  66. Exodus 10:22 tn The construction is a variation of the superlative genitive: a substantive in the construct state is connected to a noun with the same meaning (see GKC 431 §133.i).
  67. Exodus 10:22 sn S. R. Driver says, “The darkness was no doubt occasioned really by a sand-storm, produced by the hot electrical wind…which blows in intermittently…” (Exodus, 82, 83). This is another application of the antisupernatural approach to these texts. The text, however, is probably describing something that was not a seasonal wind, or Pharaoh would not have been intimidated. If it coincided with that season, then what is described here is so different and so powerful that the Egyptians would have known the difference easily. Pharaoh here would have had to have been impressed that this was something very abnormal, and that his god was powerless. Besides, there was light in all the dwellings of the Israelites.
  68. Exodus 10:23 tn Heb “a man…his brother.”
  69. Exodus 10:23 tn The perfect tense in this context requires the somewhat rare classification of a potential perfect.
  70. Exodus 10:24 tn Or “dependents.” The term is often translated “your little ones,” but as mentioned before (10:10), this expression in these passages takes in women and children and other dependents. Pharaoh will now let all the people go, but he intends to detain the cattle to secure their return.
  71. Exodus 10:25 tn B. Jacob (Exodus, 287) shows that the intent of Moses in using גַּם (gam) is to make an emphatic rhetorical question. He cites other samples of the usage in Num 22:33; 1 Sam 17:36; 2 Sam 12:14, and others. The point is that if Pharaoh told them to go and serve Yahweh, they had to have animals to sacrifice. If Pharaoh was holding the animals back, he would have to make some provision.
  72. Exodus 10:25 tn Heb “give into our hand.”
  73. Exodus 10:25 tn The form here is וְעָשִּׂינוּ (veʿasinu), the Qal perfect with a vav (ו) consecutive—“and we will do.” But the verb means “do” in the sacrificial sense—prepare them, offer them. The verb form is to be subordinated here to form a purpose or result clause.
  74. Exodus 10:26 tn This is the obligatory imperfect nuance. They were obliged to take the animals if they were going to sacrifice, but more than that, since they were not coming back, they had to take everything.
  75. Exodus 10:26 tn The same modal nuance applies to this verb.
  76. Exodus 10:26 tn Heb “from it,” referring collectively to the livestock.
  77. Exodus 10:26 sn Moses gives an angry but firm reply to Pharaoh’s attempt to control Israel; he makes it clear that he has no intention of leaving any pledge with Pharaoh. When they leave, they will take everything that belongs to them.
  78. Exodus 10:28 tn The expression is לֵךְ מֵעָלָי (lekh meʿalay, “go from on me”) with the adversative use of the preposition, meaning from being a trouble or a burden to me (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 84; R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 51, §288).
  79. Exodus 10:28 tn Heb “add to see my face.” The construction uses a verbal hendiadys: “do not add to see” (אַל־תֹּסֶף רְאוֹת, ʾal toseph reʾot), meaning “do not see again.” The phrase “see my face” means “come before me” or “appear before me.”
  80. Exodus 10:28 tn The construction is בְּיוֹם רְאֹתְךָ (beyom reʾotekha), an adverbial clause of time made up of the prepositional phrase, the infinitive construct, and the suffixed subjective genitive. “In the day of your seeing” is “when you see.”
  81. Exodus 10:29 tn Heb “Thus you have spoken.”
  82. Exodus 10:29 tn This is a verbal hendiadys construction: “I will not add again [to] see.”
  83. Exodus 11:1 sn The last plague is the most severe; it is that for which all the others were preliminary warnings. Up to this point Yahweh had been showing his power to destroy Pharaoh, and now he would begin to do so by bringing death to the Egyptians, a death that would fulfill the warning of talionic judgment—“let my son go, or I will kill your son.” The passage records the announcement of the judgment first to Moses and then through Moses to Pharaoh. The first two verses record the word of God to Moses. This is followed by a parenthetical note about how God had elevated Moses and Israel in the eyes of Egypt (v. 3). Then there is the announcement to Pharaoh (vv. 4-8). This is followed by a parenthetical note on how God had hardened Pharaoh so that Yahweh would be elevated over him. It is somewhat problematic here that Moses is told not to see Pharaoh’s face again. On the one hand, given the nature of Pharaoh to blow hot and cold and to change his mind, it is not impossible for another meeting to have occurred. But Moses said he would not do it (v. 29). One solution some take is to say that the warning in 10:28 originally stood after chapter 11. A change like that is unwarranted, and without support. It may be that vv. 1-3 are parenthetical, so that the announcement in v. 4 follows closely after 10:29 in the chronology. The instruction to Moses in 11:1 might then have been given before he left Pharaoh or even before the interview in 10:24-29 took place. Another possibility, supported by usage in Akkadian, is that the expression “see my face” (and in v. 29 “see your face”) has to do with seeking to have an official royal audience (W. H. C. Propp, Exodus 1-18 [AB], 342). Pharaoh thinks that he is finished with Moses, but as 11:8 describes, Moses expects that in fact Moses will soon be the one in a position like that of royalty granting an audience to Egyptians.
  84. Exodus 11:1 tn The expression כְּשַּׂלְּחוֹ כָּלָה (kesallekho kalah) is difficult. It seems to say, “as/when he releases [you] altogether.” The LXX has “and when he sends you forth with everything.” Tg. Onq. and modern translators make kala adverbial, “completely” or “altogether.” B. S. Childs follows an emendation to read, “as one sends away a bride” (Exodus [OTL], 130). W. C. Kaiser prefers the view of Yaron that would render it “in the manner of one’s sending away a kallah [a slave purchased to be one’s daughter-in-law]” (“Exodus,” EBC 2:370). The last two readings call for revising the vocalization and introducing a rare word into the narrative. The simplest approach is to follow a meaning “when he releases [you] altogether,” i.e., with all your people and your livestock.
  85. Exodus 11:1 tn The words are emphatic: גָּרֵשׁ יְגָרֵשׁ (garesh yegaresh). The Piel verb means “to drive out, expel.” With the infinitive absolute it says that Pharaoh “will drive you out vigorously.” He will be glad to be rid of you—it will be a total expulsion.
  86. Exodus 11:2 tn Heb “Speak now in the ears of the people.” The expression is emphatic; it seeks to ensure that the Israelites hear the instruction.
  87. Exodus 11:2 tn The verb translated “request” is וְיִשְׁאֲלוּ (veyishʾalu), the Qal jussive: “let them ask.” This is the point introduced in Exod 3:22. The meaning of the verb might be stronger than simply “ask”; it might have something of the idea of “implore” (see also its use in the naming of Samuel, who was “asked” from Yahweh [1 Sam 1:20]).
  88. Exodus 11:2 tn “each man is to request from his neighbor and each woman from her neighbor.”sn Here neighbor refers to Egyptian neighbors, who are glad to see them go (12:33) and so willingly give their jewelry and vessels.
  89. Exodus 11:2 sn See D. Skinner, “Some Major Themes of Exodus,” Mid-America Theological Journal 1 (1977): 31-42.
  90. Exodus 11:3 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”
  91. Exodus 11:3 tn Heb “in the eyes of the servants of Pharaoh and in the eyes of the people.” In the translation the word “Egyptian” has been supplied to clarify that the Egyptians and not the Israelites are meant The presence of this clause about Moses, which is parenthetical in nature, further indicates why the Egyptians gave rather willingly to the Israelites. They were impressed by Moses’ miracles and his power with Pharaoh. Moses was great in stature—powerful and influential.
  92. Exodus 11:4 tn Heb “I will go out in the midst of Egypt.”
  93. Exodus 11:5 sn The firstborn in Egyptian and Israelite cultures was significant, but the firstborn of Pharaoh was most important. Pharaoh was considered a god, the son of Re, the sun god, for the specific purpose of ruling over Re’s chief concern, the land of Egypt. For the purpose of re-creation, the supreme god assumed the form of the living king and gave seed which was to become the next king and the next “son of Re.” Moreover, the Pharaoh was the incarnation of the god Horus, a falcon god whose province was the heavens. Horus represented the living king who succeeded the dead king Osiris. Every living king was Horus, every dead king Osiris (see J. A. Wilson, “Egypt,” Before Philosophy, 83-84). To strike any firstborn was to destroy the heir, who embodied the hopes and aspirations of the Egyptians, but to strike the firstborn son of Pharaoh was to destroy this cardinal doctrine of the divine kingship of Egypt. Such a blow would be enough for Pharaoh, for then he would drive the Israelites out.
  94. Exodus 11:6 tn Heb “which like it there has never been.”
  95. Exodus 11:6 tn Heb “and like it it will not add.”
  96. Exodus 11:7 tn Or perhaps “growl”; Heb “not a dog will sharpen his tongue.” The expression is unusual, but it must indicate that not only would no harm come to the Israelites, but that no unfriendly threat would come against them either—not even so much as a dog barking. It is possible this is to be related to the watchdog (see F. C. Fensham, “Remarks on Keret 114b—136a,” JNSL 11 [1983]: 75).
  97. Exodus 11:7 tn Heb “against man or beast.”
  98. Exodus 11:7 tn The verb פָּלָה (palah) in Hiphil means “to set apart, make separate, make distinct.” See also Exod 8:22 (18 HT); 9:4; 33:16.
  99. Exodus 11:8 sn Moses’ anger is expressed forcefully. “He had appeared before Pharaoh a dozen times either as God’s emissary or when summoned by Pharaoh, but he would not come again; now they would have to search him out if they needed help” (B. Jacob, Exodus, 289-90).
  100. Exodus 11:8 tn Heb “that are at your feet.”
  101. Exodus 11:8 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Moses) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  102. Exodus 11:9 sn The thought is essentially the same as in Exod 7:3-4, but the wonders, or portents, here refer to what is yet to be done in Egypt.
  103. Exodus 12:1 sn Chapter 12 details the culmination of the ten plagues on Egypt and the beginning of the actual deliverance from bondage. Moreover, the celebration of this festival of Passover was to become a central part of the holy calendar of Israel. The contents of this chapter have significance for NT studies as well, since the Passover was a type of the death of Jesus. The structure of this section before the crossing of the sea is as follows: the institution of the Passover (12:1-28), the night of farewell and departure (12:29-42), slaves and strangers (12:43-51), and the laws of the firstborn (13:1-16). In this immediate section there is the institution of the Passover itself (12:1-13), then the Unleavened Bread (12:14-20), and then the report of the response of the people (12:21-28).
  104. Exodus 12:1 tn Heb “and Yahweh said.”
  105. Exodus 12:1 tn Heb “saying.”
  106. Exodus 12:2 sn B. Jacob (Exodus, 294-95) shows that the intent of the passage was not to make this month in the spring the New Year—that was in the autumn. Rather, when counting months this was supposed to be remembered first, for it was the great festival of freedom from Egypt. He observes how some scholars have unnecessarily tried to date one New Year earlier than the other.
  107. Exodus 12:3 tn Heb “and they will take for them a man a lamb.” This is clearly a distributive, or individualizing, use of “man.”
  108. Exodus 12:3 tn The שֶּׂה (seh) is a single head from the flock, or smaller cattle, which would include both sheep and goats.
  109. Exodus 12:3 tn Heb “according to the house of their fathers.” The expression “house of the father” is a common expression for a family. sn The Passover was to be a domestic institution. Each lamb was to be shared by family members.
  110. Exodus 12:3 tn Heb “house” (also at the beginning of the following verse).
  111. Exodus 12:4 sn Later Judaism ruled that “too small” meant fewer than ten (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 88).
  112. Exodus 12:4 tn The clause uses the comparative min (מִן) construction: יִמְעַט הַבַּיִת מִהְיֹת מִשֶּׁה (yimʿat habbayit miheyot misseh, “the house is small from being from a lamb,” or “too small for a lamb”). It clearly means that if there were not enough people in the household to have a lamb by themselves, they should join with another family. For the use of the comparative, see GKC 430 §133.c.
  113. Exodus 12:4 tn Heb “he and his neighbor”; the referent (the man) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  114. Exodus 12:4 tn Heb “who is near to his house.”
  115. Exodus 12:4 tn The construction uses a perfect tense with a vav (ו) consecutive after a conditional clause: “if the household is too small…then he and his neighbor will take.”
  116. Exodus 12:4 tn Heb “[every] man according to his eating.”sn The reference is normally taken to mean whatever each person could eat. B. Jacob (Exodus, 299) suggests, however, that the reference may not be to each individual person’s appetite, but to each family. Each man who is the head of a household was to determine how much his family could eat, and this in turn would determine how many families shared the lamb.
  117. Exodus 12:5 tn The construction has: “[The] lamb…will be to you.” This may be interpreted as a possessive use of the ל (lamed), meaning, “[the] lamb…you have” (your lamb) for the Passover. In the context instructing the people to take an animal for this festival, the idea is that the one they select, their animal, must meet these qualifications.
  118. Exodus 12:5 tn The Hebrew word תָּמִים (tamim) means “perfect” or “whole” or “complete” in the sense of not having blemishes and diseases—no physical defects. The rules for sacrificial animals applied here (see Lev 22:19-21; Deut 17:1).
  119. Exodus 12:5 tn The idiom says “a son of a year” (בֶּן־שָׁנָה, ben shanah), meaning a “yearling” or “one year old” (see GKC 418 §128.v).
  120. Exodus 12:5 tn Because a choice is being given in this last clause, the imperfect tense nuance of permission should be used. They must have a perfect animal, but it may be a sheep or a goat. The verb’s object “it” is supplied from the context.
  121. Exodus 12:6 tn The text has וְהָיָה לָכֶם לְמִשְׁמֶרֶת (vehaya lakem lemishmeret, “and it will be for you for a keeping”). This noun stresses the activity of watching over or caring for something, probably to keep it in its proper condition for its designated use (see 16:23, 32-34).
  122. Exodus 12:6 tn Heb “all the assembly of the community.” This expression is a pleonasm. The verse means that everyone will kill the lamb, i.e., each family unit among the Israelites will kill its animal.
  123. Exodus 12:6 tn Heb “between the two evenings” or “between the two settings” (בֵּין הָעַרְבָּיִם, ben haʿarbayim). This expression has had a good deal of discussion. (1) Tg. Onq. says “between the two suns,” which the Talmud explains as the time between the sunset and the time the stars become visible. More technically, the first “evening” would be the time between sunset and the appearance of the crescent moon, and the second “evening” the next hour, or from the appearance of the crescent moon to full darkness (see Deut 16:6 “at the going down of the sun”). (2) Saadia, Rashi, and Kimchi say the first evening is when the sun begins to decline in the west and cast its shadows, and the second evening is the beginning of night. (3) The view adopted by the Pharisees and the Talmudists (b. Pesahim 61a) is that the first evening is when the heat of the sun begins to decrease, and the second evening begins at sunset, or, roughly from 3-5 p.m. The Mishnah (m. Pesahim 5:1) indicates the lamb was killed about 2:30 p.m.—anything before noon was not valid. S. R. Driver concludes from this survey that the first view is probably the best, although the last view was the traditionally accepted one (Exodus, 89-90). Late afternoon or early evening seems to be intended, the time of twilight perhaps.
  124. Exodus 12:8 tn Heb “this night.”
  125. Exodus 12:8 sn Bread made without yeast could be baked quickly, not requiring time for the use of a leavening ingredient to make the dough rise. In Deut 16:3 the unleavened cakes are called “the bread of affliction,” which alludes to the alarm and haste of the Israelites. In later Judaism and in the writings of Paul, leaven came to be a symbol of evil or corruption, and so “unleavened bread”—bread made without yeast—was interpreted to be a picture of purity or freedom from corruption or defilement (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 90-91).
  126. Exodus 12:9 sn This ruling was to prevent their eating it just softened by the fire or partially roasted as differing customs might prescribe or allow.
  127. Exodus 12:11 tn Heb “your loins girded.”
  128. Exodus 12:11 tn The meaning of פֶּסַח (pesakh) is debated. (1) Some have tried to connect it to the Hebrew verb with the same radicals that means “to halt, leap, limp, stumble.” See 1 Kgs 18:26 where the word describes the priests of Baal hopping around the altar; also the crippled child in 2 Sam 4:4. (2) Others connect it to the Akkadian passahu, which means “to appease, make soft, placate”; or (3) an Egyptian word to commemorate the harvest (see J. B. Segal, The Hebrew Passover, 95-100). The verb occurs in Isa 31:5 with the connotation of “to protect”; B. S. Childs suggests that this was already influenced by the exodus tradition (Exodus [OTL], 183, n. 11). Whatever links there may or may not have been that show an etymology, in Exod 12 it is describing Yahweh’s passing over or through.
  129. Exodus 12:12 tn The verb וְעָבַרְתִּי (veʿavarti) is a Qal perfect with vav (ו) consecutive, announcing the future action of God in bringing judgment on the land. The word means “pass over, across, through.” This verb provides a contextual motive for the name “Passover.”
  130. Exodus 12:12 tn Heb “this night.”
  131. Exodus 12:12 tn The verb נָכָה (nakhah) means “to strike, smite, attack”; it does not always mean “to kill,” but that is obviously its outcome in this context. This is also its use in 2:12, describing how Moses killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand.
  132. Exodus 12:12 tn Heb “from man and to beast.”
  133. Exodus 12:12 tn The phrase אֶעֱשֶׂה שְׁפָטִים (ʾeʿeseh shefatim) is “I will do judgments.” The statement clearly includes what had begun in Exod 6:1. But the statement that God would judge the gods of Egypt is appropriately introduced here (see also Num 33:4) because with the judgment on Pharaoh and the deliverance from bondage, Yahweh would truly show himself to be the one true God. Thus, “I am Yahweh” is fitting here (see B. Jacob, Exodus, 312).
  134. Exodus 12:13 tn Both of the verbs for seeing and passing over are perfect tenses with vav (ו) consecutives: וּפָסַחְתִּיוְרָאִיתִי (veraʾiti…ufasakhti); the first of these parallel verb forms is subordinated to the second as a temporal clause. See Gesenius’s description of perfect consecutives in the protasis and apodosis (GKC 494 §159.g).
  135. Exodus 12:13 tn The meaning of the verb is supplied in part from the near context of seeing the sign and omitting to destroy, as well as the verb at the start of verse 12 “pass through, by, over.” Isa 31:5 says, “Just as birds hover over a nest, so the Lord who commands armies will protect Jerusalem. He will protect and deliver it; as he passes over he will rescue it.” The word does not occur enough times to enable one to delineate a clear meaning. It is probably not the same word as “to limp” found in 1 Kgs 18:21, 26, unless there is a highly developed category of meaning there.
  136. Exodus 12:13 tn The word “plague” (נֶגֶף, negef) is literally “a blow” or “a striking.” It usually describes a calamity or affliction given to those who have aroused God’s anger, as in Exod 30:12; Num 8:19; 16:46, 47; Josh 22:17 (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 92-93).
  137. Exodus 12:13 tn Heb “for destruction.” The form מַשְׁחִית (mashkhit) is the Hiphil participle of שָׁחַת (shakhat). The word itself is a harsh term; it was used to describe Yahweh’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 13:10).
  138. Exodus 12:13 tn בְּהַכֹּתִי (behakkoti) is the Hiphil infinitive construct from נָכָה (nakhah), with a preposition prefixed and a pronominal suffix added to serve as the subjective genitive—the subject of this temporal clause. It is also used in 12:12.
  139. Exodus 12:13 sn For additional discussions, see W. H. Elder, “The Passover,” RevExp 74 (1977): 511-22; E. Nutz, “The Passover,” BV 12 (1978): 23-28; H. M. Kamsler, “The Blood Covenant in the Bible,” Dor le Dor 6 (1977): 94-98; A. Rodriguez, Substitution in the Hebrew Cultus; B. Ramm, “The Theology of the Book of Exodus: A Reflection on Exodus 12:12, ” SwJT 20 (1977): 59-68; and M. Gilula, “The Smiting of the First-Born: An Egyptian Myth?” TA 4 (1977): 94-85.
New English Translation (NET)

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Matthew 20:1-28

Workers in the Vineyard

20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner[a] who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. And after agreeing with the workers for the standard wage,[b] he sent them into his vineyard. When it was about nine o’clock in the morning,[c] he went out again and saw others standing around in the marketplace[d] without work. He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and I will give you whatever is right.’ So they went. When[e] he went out again about noon and three o’clock that afternoon,[f] he did the same thing. And about five o’clock that afternoon[g] he went out and found others standing around, and said to them, ‘Why are you standing here all day without work?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go and work in the vineyard too.’ When[h] it was evening[i] the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages[j] starting with the last hired until the first.’ When those hired about five o’clock came, each received a full day’s pay.[k] 10 And when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more. But each one also received the standard wage. 11 When[l] they received it, they began to complain[m] against the landowner, 12 saying, ‘These last fellows worked one hour, and you have made them equal to us who bore the hardship and burning heat of the day.’ 13 And the landowner[n] replied to one of them,[o] ‘Friend, I am not treating you unfairly. Didn’t you agree with me to work for the standard wage?[p] 14 Take what is yours and go. I[q] want to give to this last man[r] the same as I gave to you. 15 Am I not[s] permitted to do what I want with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’[t] 16 So the last will be first, and the first last.”

Third Prediction of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection

17 As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve[u] aside privately and said to them on the way, 18 “Look, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the experts in the law.[v] They will condemn him to death, 19 and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged severely[w] and crucified.[x] Yet[y] on the third day, he will be raised.”

A Request for James and John

20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, and kneeling down she asked him for a favor.[z] 21 He said to her, “What do you want?” She replied,[aa] “Permit[ab] these two sons of mine to sit, one at your[ac] right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” 22 Jesus[ad] answered, “You don’t know what you are asking![ae] Are you able to drink the cup I am about to drink?”[af] They said to him, “We are able.”[ag] 23 He told them, “You will drink my cup,[ah] but to sit at my right and at my left is not mine to give. Rather, it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”

24 Now[ai] when the other ten[aj] heard this,[ak] they were angry with the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions use their authority over them. 26 It must not be this way among you! Instead whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave[al] 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom[am] for many.”


  1. Matthew 20:1 sn The term landowner here refers to the owner and manager of a household.
  2. Matthew 20:2 tn Grk “agreeing with the workers for a denarius a day.”sn The standard wage was a denarius a day. The denarius was a silver coin worth about a day’s wage for a laborer in Palestine in the 1st century.
  3. Matthew 20:3 tn Grk “about the third hour.”
  4. Matthew 20:3 sn See the note on marketplaces in Matt 11:16.
  5. Matthew 20:5 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
  6. Matthew 20:5 tn Grk “he went out again about the sixth and ninth hour.”
  7. Matthew 20:6 tn Grk “about the eleventh hour.”
  8. Matthew 20:8 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
  9. Matthew 20:8 sn That is, six o’clock in the evening, the hour to pay day laborers. See Lev 19:13b.
  10. Matthew 20:8 tc ‡ Most witnesses, including several key mss (B D N W Γ Δ Θ ƒ1, 13 33vid 565 579 700 1241 1424 M latt sy) have αὐτοῖς (autois, “to them”) after ἀπόδος (apodos, “give the pay”), but this may be a motivated reading, clarifying the indirect object. The support for the omission, however, is not nearly as strong (א C L Z 085 Or). Nevertheless, NA28 includes the pronoun on the basis of the greater external attestation. A decision is difficult, but regardless of what is original, English style is better served with an explicit indirect object.
  11. Matthew 20:9 tn Grk “each received a denarius.” See the note on the phrase “standard wage” in v. 2.
  12. Matthew 20:11 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
  13. Matthew 20:11 tn The imperfect verb ἐγόγγυζον (egonguzon) has been translated ingressively.
  14. Matthew 20:13 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the landowner) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  15. Matthew 20:13 tn Grk “And answering, he said to one of them.” This construction is somewhat redundant in contemporary English and has been simplified in the translation.
  16. Matthew 20:13 tn Grk “for a denarius a day.”
  17. Matthew 20:14 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
  18. Matthew 20:14 tn Grk “this last one,” translated as “this last man” because field laborers in 1st century Palestine were men.
  19. Matthew 20:15 tc ‡ Before οὐκ (ouk, “[am I] not”) a number of significant witnesses read (ē, “or”; e.g., א C N W Γ Δ 085 ƒ1, 13 33 565 579 1241 1424 M lat co). Although in later Greek the οι in σοι (oi in soi)—the last word of v. 14—would have been pronounced like , since is lacking in early mss (B D; among later witnesses, note L Z Θ 700; SBL) and since mss were probably copied predominantly by sight rather than by sound, even into the later centuries, the omission of cannot be accounted for as easily. Thus the shorter reading most likely belongs to the Ausgangstext. NA28 includes the word in brackets, indicating doubts as to its authenticity.
  20. Matthew 20:15 tn Grk “Is your eye evil because I am good?”
  21. Matthew 20:17 tc ‡ Several key witnesses along with the majority of mss (e.g., B C N W Δ 085 33 565 579 700 1241 M lat syh samss) have μαθητάς (mathētas, “disciples”) after τοὺς δώδεκα (tous dōdeka, “the twelve”); still other authorities have μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ (mathētas autou, “his disciples”; Γ 13 892c 1424 it syp samss) after δώδεκα. The personal pronoun is a clarifying addition, but all these mss also throw their weight toward the μαθητάς reading. Other significant witnesses lack the word (e.g. א D L Θ ƒ1, 13 892* sys,c bo Or). Up until this point in the Gospel, Matthew speaks of “the twelve” always with qualification (“twelve disciples,” “twelve apostles,” “these twelve”; cf. Matt 10:1, 2, 5; 11:1), but afterward just as “the twelve” (Matt 26:14, 20, 47). Thus, in spite of the strong external evidence, both longer variants look to be scribal clarifications, and hence are considered secondary. NA28 puts μαθητὰς in brackets to show doubts about its authenticity.
  22. Matthew 20:18 tn Or “and the scribes.” See the note on the phrase “experts in the law” in 2:4.
  23. Matthew 20:19 tn Traditionally, “scourged” (the term means to beat severely with a whip, L&N 19.9). BDAG 620 s.v. μαστιγόω 1.a states, “The ‘verberatio’ is denoted in the passion predictions and explicitly as action by non-Israelites Mt 20:19; Mk 10:34; Lk 18:33”; the verberatio was the beating given to those condemned to death in the Roman judicial system. Here the term μαστιγόω (mastigoō) has been translated “flog…severely” to distinguish it from the term φραγελλόω (phragelloō) used in Matt 27:26; Mark 15:15.
  24. Matthew 20:19 sn Crucifixion was the cruelest form of punishment practiced by the Romans. Roman citizens could not normally undergo it. It was reserved for the worst crimes, like treason and evasion of due process in a capital case. The Roman historian Cicero called it “a cruel and disgusting penalty” (Against Verres 2.5.63-66 §§163-70); Josephus (J. W. 7.6.4 [7.203]) called it the worst of deaths.
  25. Matthew 20:19 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “yet” to indicate the contrast present in this context.
  26. Matthew 20:20 tn Grk “asked something from him.”
  27. Matthew 20:21 tn Grk “said to him.”
  28. Matthew 20:21 tn Grk “Say that.”
  29. Matthew 20:21 tc A majority of witnesses read σου (sou, “your”) here, perhaps as a clarifying addition. At the same time, it is possible that the pronoun dropped out through haplography or was excised because of perceived redundancy (there are two other such pronouns in the verse) by א B. All things considered, σου is most likely authentic.
  30. Matthew 20:22 tn Grk “And answering, Jesus said.” This is somewhat redundant in English and has been simplified in the translation. Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
  31. Matthew 20:22 tn The verbs in Greek are plural here, indicating that Jesus is not answering the mother but has turned his attention directly to the two disciples.
  32. Matthew 20:22 tc Most mss (C N W Γ Δ 33 565 579 700 1241 1424 M al, as well as some versional and patristic authorities) add “or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” But this is surely due to a recollection of the fuller version of this dominical saying found in Mark 10:38. The same mss also have the Lord’s response, “and you will be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized” in v. 23, again due to the parallel in Mark 10:39. The shorter reading, in both v. 22 and v. 23, is to be preferred both because it better explains the rise of the other reading and is found in superior witnesses (א B D L Z Θ 085 ƒ1, 13 lat sa, as well as other versional and patristic authorities).
  33. Matthew 20:22 sn No more naïve words have ever been spoken as those found here coming from James and John, “We are able.” They said it with such confidence and ease, yet they had little clue as to what they were affirming. In the next sentence Jesus confirms that they will indeed suffer for his name.
  34. Matthew 20:23 tc See the tc note on “about to drink” in v. 22.
  35. Matthew 20:24 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.
  36. Matthew 20:24 tn Grk “the ten.”
  37. Matthew 20:24 tn The word “this” is not in the Greek text, but is supplied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.
  38. Matthew 20:27 tn See the note on the word “slave” in 8:9.
  39. Matthew 20:28 sn The Greek word for ransom (λύτρον, lutron) is found here and in Mark 10:45 and refers to the payment of a price in order to purchase the freedom of a slave. The idea of Jesus as the “ransom” is that he paid the price with his own life by standing in our place as a substitute, enduring the judgment that we deserved for sin.
New English Translation (NET)

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Psalm 25:1-15

Psalm 25[a]

By David.

25 O Lord, I come before you in prayer.[b]
My God, I trust in you.
Please do not let me be humiliated;
do not let my enemies triumphantly rejoice over me.
Certainly none who rely on you will be humiliated.
Those who deal in treachery will be thwarted[c] and humiliated.
Make me understand your ways, O Lord.
Teach me your paths.[d]
Guide me into your truth[e] and teach me.
For you are the God who delivers me;
on you I rely all day long.
Remember[f] your compassionate and faithful deeds, O Lord,
for you have always acted in this manner.[g]
Do not hold against me[h] the sins of my youth[i] or my rebellious acts.
Because you are faithful to me, extend to me your favor, O Lord.[j]
The Lord is both kind and fair;[k]
that is why he teaches sinners the right way to live.[l]
May he show[m] the humble what is right.[n]
May he teach[o] the humble his way.
10 The Lord always proves faithful and reliable[p]
to those who follow the demands of his covenant.[q]
11 For the sake of your reputation,[r] O Lord,
forgive my sin, because it is great.[s]
12 The Lord shows his faithful followers
the way they should live.[t]
13 They experience his favor;[u]
their descendants[v] inherit the land.[w]
14 The Lord’s loyal followers receive his guidance,[x]
and he reveals his covenantal demands to them.[y]
15 I continually look to the Lord for help,[z]
for he will free my feet from the enemy’s net.[aa]


  1. Psalm 25:1 sn Psalm 25. The psalmist asks for divine protection, guidance and forgiveness as he affirms his loyalty to and trust in the Lord. This psalm is an acrostic; every verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet, except for v. 18, which, like v. 19, begins with ר (resh) instead of the expected ק (qof). The final verse, which begins with פ (pe), stands outside the acrostic scheme.
  2. Psalm 25:1 tn Heb “to you, O Lord, my life I lift up.” To “lift up” one’s “life” to the Lord means to express one’s trust in him through prayer. See Pss 86:4; 143:8.
  3. Psalm 25:3 tn Heb “those who deal in treachery in vain.” The adverb רֵיקָם (reqam, “in vain”) probably refers to the failure (or futility) of their efforts. Another option is to understand it as meaning “without cause” (cf. NIV “without excuse”; NRSV “wantonly treacherous”).
  4. Psalm 25:4 sn Teach me your paths. In this context the Lord’s “ways” and “paths” refer to the moral principles which the Lord prescribes for his followers. See vv. 8-10.
  5. Psalm 25:5 sn The Lord’s commandments are referred to as truth here because they are a trustworthy and accurate expression of the divine will.
  6. Psalm 25:6 tn That is, “remember” with the intention of repeating.
  7. Psalm 25:6 tn Heb “for from antiquity [are] they.”
  8. Psalm 25:7 tn Heb “do not remember,” with the intention of punishing.
  9. Psalm 25:7 sn That is, the sins characteristic of youths, who lack moral discretion and wisdom.
  10. Psalm 25:7 tn Heb “according to your faithfulness, remember me, you, for the sake of your goodness, O Lord.”
  11. Psalm 25:8 tn Heb “good and just.”
  12. Psalm 25:8 tn Heb “teaches sinners in the way.”
  13. Psalm 25:9 tn The prefixed verbal form is jussive; the psalmist expresses his prayer.
  14. Psalm 25:9 tn Heb “may he guide the humble into justice.” The Hebrew term עֲנָוִים (ʿanavim, “humble”) usually refers to the oppressed, but in this context, where the psalmist confesses his sin and asks for moral guidance, it apparently refers to sinners who humble themselves before God and seek deliverance from their sinful condition.
  15. Psalm 25:9 tn The prefixed verbal form is interpreted as a jussive (it stands parallel to the jussive form, “may he guide”).
  16. Psalm 25:10 tn Heb “all the paths of the Lord are faithful and trustworthy.” The Lord’s “paths” refer here to his characteristic actions.
  17. Psalm 25:10 tn Heb “to the ones who keep his covenant and his testimonies.”
  18. Psalm 25:11 tn Heb “name.” By forgiving the sinful psalmist, the Lord’s reputation as a merciful God will be enhanced.
  19. Psalm 25:11 sn Forgive my sin, because it is great. The psalmist readily admits his desperate need for forgiveness.
  20. Psalm 25:12 tn Heb “Who is this man, the one who fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way he should choose.” The singular (note “man”) is representative here (see v. 14, where the plural is used), and has thus been translated as a plural (“followers…they”).
  21. Psalm 25:13 tn Heb “his life in goodness dwells.” The singular is representative (see v. 14).
  22. Psalm 25:13 tn Or “offspring”; Heb “seed.”
  23. Psalm 25:13 tn Or “earth.”
  24. Psalm 25:14 tn Heb “the advice of the Lord belongs to those who fear him.”
  25. Psalm 25:14 tn Heb “and his covenant, to make them know.”
  26. Psalm 25:15 tn Heb “my eyes continually [are] toward the Lord.”
  27. Psalm 25:15 tn Heb “for he will bring out from a net my feet.” The hostility of the psalmist’s enemies is probably in view (see v. 19).
New English Translation (NET)

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Proverbs 6:6-11

Go to the ant, you sluggard;[a]
observe her[b] ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
overseer, or[c] ruler,
yet it would prepare[d] its food in the summer;
it gathered at the harvest what it will eat.[e]
How long, you sluggard, will you lie there?
When will you rise from your sleep?[f]
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to relax,[g]
11 and your poverty will come like a robber,[h]
and your need like an armed man.[i]


  1. Proverbs 6:6 sn The sluggard (עָצֵל, ʿatsel) is the lazy or sluggish person (cf. NCV “lazy person,” and NRSV and NLT “lazybones”).
  2. Proverbs 6:6 sn A fact seemingly unknown until recent centuries is that although worker ants are sterile, they are female. The gender of the word “ant” in Hebrew is feminine.
  3. Proverbs 6:7 tn The conjunction vav (ו) here has the classification of alternative, “or” (R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 71, §433).
  4. Proverbs 6:8 tn The Hebrew imperfect verb occurs here in the sense of past habitual action.
  5. Proverbs 6:8 tc The LXX adds a lengthy section at the end of the verse on the lesson from the bee: “Or, go to the bee and learn how diligent she is and how seriously she does her work—her products kings and private persons use for health—she is desired and respected by all—though feeble in body, by honoring wisdom she obtains distinction.” The Greek translator thought the other insect should be mentioned (see C. H. Toy, Proverbs [ICC], 124).tn Heb “its food.”
  6. Proverbs 6:9 sn The use of the two rhetorical questions is designed to rebuke the lazy person in a forceful manner. The sluggard is spending too much time sleeping.
  7. Proverbs 6:10 sn The writer might in this verse be imitating the words of the sluggard who just wants to take “a little nap.” The use is ironic, for by indulging in this little rest the lazy one comes to ruin.
  8. Proverbs 6:11 tn Heb “like a wayfarer” or “like a traveler” (cf. KJV). The LXX has “swiftness like a traveler.” It has also been interpreted as a “highwayman” (cf. NAB) or a “dangerous assailant.” W. McKane suggests “vagrant” (Proverbs [OTL], 324); cf. NASB “vagabond.” Someone traveling swiftly would likely be a robber.
  9. Proverbs 6:11 tn The Hebrew word for “armed” is probably connected to the word for “shield” and “deliver” (s.v. גָּנַן). G. R. Driver connects it to the Arabic word for “bold; insolent,” interpreting its use here as referring to a beggar or an insolent man (“Studies in the Vocabulary of the Old Testament, IV,” JTS 33 [1933]: 38-47).
New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Monday January 29, 2024 (NIV)

Exodus 8-9

(7:26)[a] Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘This is what the Lord has said: “Release my people in order that they may serve me! But if you refuse to release them, then I am going to plague[b] all your territory with frogs.[c] The Nile will swarm[d] with frogs, and they will come up and go into your house, in your bedroom, and on your bed, and into the houses of your servants and your people, and into your ovens and your kneading troughs.[e] Frogs[f] will come up against you, your people, and all your servants.”’”[g]

The Lord spoke to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Extend your hand with your staff[h] over the rivers, over the canals, and over the ponds, and bring the frogs up over the land of Egypt.’” So Aaron extended his hand over the waters of Egypt, and frogs[i] came up and covered the land of Egypt.

The magicians did the same[j] with their secret arts and brought up frogs on the land of Egypt too.[k]

Then Pharaoh summoned[l] Moses and Aaron and said, “Pray[m] to the Lord that he may take the frogs away[n] from me and my people, and I will release[o] the people that they may sacrifice[p] to the Lord.” Moses said to Pharaoh, “You may have the honor over me[q]—when shall I pray for you, your servants, and your people, for the frogs to be removed[r] from you and your houses, so that[s] they will be left[t] only in the Nile?” 10 He said, “Tomorrow.” And Moses said,[u] “It will be[v] as you say,[w] so that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God. 11 The frogs will depart from you, your houses, your servants, and your people; they will be left only in the Nile.”

12 Then Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh, and Moses cried[x] to the Lord because of[y] the frogs that he had brought on[z] Pharaoh. 13 The Lord did as Moses asked[aa]—the frogs died[ab] in the houses, the villages, and the fields. 14 The Egyptians[ac] piled them in countless heaps,[ad] and the land stank. 15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief,[ae] he hardened[af] his heart and did not listen to them, just as the Lord had predicted.[ag]

Plague Three: Gnats

16 [ah] The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Extend your staff and strike the dust of the ground, and it will become[ai] gnats[aj] throughout all the land of Egypt.’” 17 They did so; Aaron extended his hand with his staff, he struck the dust of the ground, and it became gnats on people[ak] and on animals. All the dust of the ground became gnats throughout all the land of Egypt. 18 When[al] the magicians attempted[am] to bring forth gnats by their secret arts, they could not. So there were gnats on people and on animals. 19 The magicians said[an] to Pharaoh, “It is the finger[ao] of God!” But Pharaoh’s heart remained hard,[ap] and he did not listen to them, just as the Lord had predicted.

Plague Four: Flies

20 [aq] The Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and position yourself before Pharaoh as he goes out to the water, and tell him, ‘This is what the Lord has said, “Release my people that they may serve me! 21 If you do not release[ar] my people, then I am going to send[as] swarms of flies[at] on you and on your servants and on your people and in your houses. The houses of the Egyptians will be full of flies, and even the ground they stand on.[au] 22 But on that day I will mark off[av] the land of Goshen, where my people are staying,[aw] so that no swarms of flies will be there, that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of this land.[ax] 23 I will put a division[ay] between my people and your people. This sign will take place[az] tomorrow.”’” 24 The Lord did so; a[ba] thick[bb] swarm of flies came into[bc] Pharaoh’s house and into the houses[bd] of his servants, and throughout the whole land of Egypt the land was ruined[be] because of the swarms of flies.

25 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God within the land.”[bf] 26 But Moses said, “That would not be the right thing to do,[bg] for the sacrifices we make[bh] to the Lord our God would be an abomination[bi] to the Egyptians.[bj] If we make sacrifices that are an abomination to the Egyptians right before their eyes,[bk] will they not stone us?[bl] 27 We must go[bm] on a three-day journey[bn] into the wilderness and sacrifice[bo] to the Lord our God, just as he is telling us.”[bp]

28 Pharaoh said, “I will release you[bq] so that you may sacrifice[br] to the Lord your God in the wilderness. Only you must not go very far.[bs] Do[bt] pray for me.”

29 Moses said, “I am going to go out[bu] from you and pray to the Lord, and the swarms of flies will go away from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people tomorrow. Only do not let Pharaoh deal falsely again[bv] by not releasing[bw] the people to sacrifice to the Lord.” 30 So Moses went out from Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord, 31 and the Lord did as Moses asked[bx]—he removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people. Not one remained! 32 But Pharaoh hardened[by] his heart this time also and did not release the people.

Plague Five: Disease

[bz] Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has said, “Release my people that they may serve me! For if you refuse to release them[ca] and continue holding them,[cb] then the hand of the Lord will surely bring[cc] a very terrible plague[cd] on your livestock in the field, on the horses, the donkeys, the camels,[ce] the herds, and the flocks. But the Lord will distinguish[cf] between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, and nothing[cg] will die of all that the Israelites have.”’”[ch]

The Lord set[ci] an appointed time, saying, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this[cj] in the land.” And the Lord did this[ck] on the next day;[cl] all[cm] the livestock of the Egyptians[cn] died, but of the Israelites’ livestock not one died. Pharaoh sent representatives to investigate,[co] and indeed, not even one of the livestock of Israel had died. But Pharaoh’s heart remained hard,[cp] and he did not release the people.

Plague Six: Boils

[cq] Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Take handfuls of soot[cr] from a furnace, and have Moses throw it[cs] into the air while Pharaoh is watching.[ct] It will become fine dust over the whole land of Egypt and will cause boils to break out and fester[cu] on both people and animals in all the land of Egypt.” 10 So they took soot from a furnace and stood before Pharaoh, Moses threw it into the air, and it caused festering boils to break out on both people and animals.

11 The magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for boils were on the magicians and on all the Egyptians. 12 But the Lord hardened[cv] Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not listen to them, just as the Lord had predicted to Moses.

Plague Seven: Hail

13 [cw] The Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning, stand[cx] before Pharaoh, and tell him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has said: “Release my people so that they may serve me! 14 For this time I will send all my plagues[cy] on your very self[cz] and on your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth. 15 For by now I could have stretched out[da] my hand and struck you and your people with plague, and you would have been destroyed[db] from the earth. 16 But[dc] for this purpose I have caused you to stand:[dd] to show you[de] my strength, and so that my name may be declared[df] in all the earth. 17 You are still exalting[dg] yourself against my people by[dh] not releasing them. 18 I am going to cause very severe hail to rain down[di] about this time tomorrow, such hail as has never occurred[dj] in Egypt from the day it was founded[dk] until now. 19 So now, send instructions[dl] to gather[dm] your livestock and all your possessions in the fields to a safe place. Every person[dn] or animal caught[do] in the field and not brought into the house—the hail will come down on them, and they will die!”’”

20 Those[dp] of Pharaoh’s servants who feared the Lord’s message hurried to bring their servants and livestock into the houses, 21 but those[dq] who did not take[dr] the Lord’s message seriously left their servants and their cattle in the field.

22 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Extend your hand toward the sky[ds] that there may be[dt] hail in all the land of Egypt, on people and on animals,[du] and on everything that grows[dv] in the field in the land of Egypt.” 23 When Moses extended[dw] his staff toward the sky, the Lord[dx] sent thunder[dy] and hail, and fire fell to the earth;[dz] so the Lord caused hail to rain down on the land of Egypt. 24 Hail fell[ea] and fire mingled[eb] with the hail; the hail was so severe[ec] that there had not been any like it[ed] in all the land of Egypt since it had become a nation. 25 The hail struck everything in the open fields, both[ee] people and animals, throughout all the land of Egypt. The hail struck everything that grows[ef] in the field, and it broke all the trees of the field to pieces. 26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the Israelites lived, was there no hail.

27 So Pharaoh sent and summoned Moses and Aaron and said to them, “I have sinned this time![eg] The Lord is righteous, and I and my people are guilty.[eh] 28 Pray to the Lord, for the mighty[ei] thunderings and hail are too much![ej] I will release you and you will stay no longer.”[ek]

29 Moses said to him, “When I leave the city[el] I will spread my hands to the Lord, the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, so that you may know that the earth belongs to the Lord.[em] 30 But as for you[en] and your servants, I know that you do not yet fear[eo] the Lord God.”

31 (Now the[ep] flax and the barley were struck[eq] by the hail,[er] for the barley had ripened[es] and the flax[et] was in bud. 32 But the wheat and the spelt[eu] were not struck, for they are later crops.)[ev]

33 So Moses left Pharaoh, went out of the city, and spread out his hands to the Lord, and the thunder and the hail ceased, and the rain stopped pouring on the earth. 34 When Pharaoh saw[ew] that the rain and hail and thunder ceased, he sinned again:[ex] both he and his servants hardened[ey] their hearts. 35 So Pharaoh’s heart remained hard,[ez] and he did not release the Israelites, as the Lord had predicted through Moses.


  1. Exodus 8:1 sn Beginning with 8:1, the verse numbers through 8:32 in English Bibles differ from the verse numbers in the Hebrew text (BHS), with 8:1 ET = 7:26 HT, 8:2 ET = 7:27 HT, 8:3 ET = 7:28 HT, 8:4 ET = 7:29 HT, 8:5 ET = 8:1 HT, etc., through 8:32 ET = 8:28 HT. Thus in English Bibles chapter 8 has 32 verses, while in the Hebrew Bible it has 28 verses, with the four extra verses attached to chapter 7.
  2. Exodus 8:2 tn The construction here uses the deictic particle and the participle to convey the imminent future: “I am going to plague/about to plague.” The verb נָגַף (nagaf) means “to strike, to smite,” and its related noun means “a blow, a plague, pestilence” or the like. For Yahweh to say “I am about to plague you” could just as easily mean “I am about to strike you.” That is why these “plagues” can be described as “blows” received from God.
  3. Exodus 8:2 tn Heb “plague all your border with frogs.” The expression “all your border” is figurative for all the territory of Egypt and the people and things that are within the borders (also used in Exod 10:4, 14, 19; 13:7).sn This word for frogs is mentioned in the OT only in conjunction with this plague (here and Pss 78:45; 105:30). R. A. Cole (Exodus [TOTC], 91) suggests that this word “frogs” (צְפַרְדְּעִים, tsefardeʿim) may be an onomatopoeic word, something like “croakers”; it is of Egyptian origin and could be a Hebrew attempt to write the Arabic dofda.
  4. Exodus 8:3 sn The choice of this verb שָׁרַץ (sharats) recalls its use in the creation account (Gen 1:20). The water would be swarming with frogs in abundance. There is a hint here of this being a creative work of God as well.
  5. Exodus 8:3 sn This verse lists places the frogs will go. The first three are for Pharaoh personally—they are going to touch his private life. Then the text mentions the servants and the people. Mention of the ovens and kneading bowls (or troughs) of the people indicates that food would be contaminated and that it would be impossible even to eat a meal in peace.
  6. Exodus 8:4 tn Here again is the generic use of the article, designating the class—frogs.
  7. Exodus 8:4 sn The word order of the Hebrew text is important because it shows how the plague was pointedly directed at Pharaoh: “and against you, and against your people, and against all your servants frogs will go up.”
  8. Exodus 8:5 sn After the instructions for Pharaoh (7:25-8:4), the plague now is brought on by the staff in Aaron’s hand (8:5-7). This will lead to the confrontation (vv. 8-11) and the hardening (vv. 12-15).
  9. Exodus 8:6 tn The noun is singular, a collective. B. Jacob notes that this would be the more natural way to refer to the frogs (Exodus, 260).
  10. Exodus 8:7 tn Heb “thus, so.”
  11. Exodus 8:7 sn In these first two plagues the fact that the Egyptians could and did duplicate them is ironic. By duplicating the experience, they added to the misery of Egypt. One wonders why they did not use their skills to rid the land of the pests instead, and the implication of course is that they could not.
  12. Exodus 8:8 tn The verb קָרָא (qaraʾ) followed by the lamed (ל) preposition has the meaning “to summon.”
  13. Exodus 8:8 tn The verb הַעְתִּירוּ (haʿtiru) is the Hiphil imperative of the verb עָתַר (ʿatar). It means “to pray, supplicate,” or “make supplication”—always addressed to God. It is often translated “entreat” to reflect that it is a more urgent praying.
  14. Exodus 8:8 tn This form is the jussive with a sequential vav that provides the purpose of the prayer: pray…that he may turn away the This is the first time in the conflict that Pharaoh even acknowledged that Yahweh existed. Now he is asking for prayer to remove the frogs and is promising to release Israel. This result of the plague must have been an encouragement to Moses.
  15. Exodus 8:8 tn The form is the Piel cohortative וַאֲשַׁלְּחָה (vaʾashallekhah) with the vav (ו) continuing the sequence from the request and its purpose. The cohortative here stresses the resolve of the king: “and (then) I will release.”
  16. Exodus 8:8 tn Here also the imperfect tense with the vav (ו) shows the purpose of the release: “that they may sacrifice.”
  17. Exodus 8:9 tn The expression הִתְפָּאֵר עָלַי (hitpaʾer ʿalay) is problematic. The verb would be simply translated “honor yourself” or “deck yourself with honor.” It can be used in the bad sense of self-exaltation. But here it seems to mean “have the honor or advantage over me” in choosing when to remove the frogs. The LXX has “appoint for me.” Moses is doing more than extending a courtesy to Pharaoh; he is giving him the upper hand in choosing the time. But it is also a test, for if Pharaoh picked the time it would appear less likely that Moses was manipulating things. As U. Cassuto puts it, Moses is saying “my trust in God is so strong you may have the honor of choosing the time” (Exodus, 103).
  18. Exodus 8:9 tn Or “destroyed”; Heb “to cut off the frogs.”
  19. Exodus 8:9 tn The phrase “so that” is implied.
  20. Exodus 8:9 tn Or “survive, remain.”
  21. Exodus 8:10 tn Heb “And he said”; the referent (Moses) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  22. Exodus 8:10 tn “It will be” has been supplied.
  23. Exodus 8:10 tn Heb “according to your word” (so NASB).
  24. Exodus 8:12 tn The verb צָעַק (tsaʿaq) is used for prayers in which people cry out of trouble or from danger. U. Cassuto observes that Moses would have been in real danger if God had not answered this prayer (Exodus, 103).
  25. Exodus 8:12 tn Heb “over the matter of.”
  26. Exodus 8:12 tn The verb is an unusual choice if it were just to mean “brought on.” It is the verb שִׂים (sim, “place, put”). S. R. Driver thinks the thought is “appointed for Pharaoh” as a sign (Exodus, 64). The idea of the sign might be too much, but certainly the frogs were positioned for the instruction of the stubborn king.
  27. Exodus 8:13 tn Heb “according to the word of Moses” (so KJV, NASB). Just as Moses had told Pharaoh “according to your word” (v. 10), now the Lord does “according to the word” of Moses.
  28. Exodus 8:13 tn Heb “and the frogs died.”
  29. Exodus 8:14 tn Heb “and they piled them.” For clarity the translation supplies the referent “the Egyptians” as the ones who were piling the frogs.
  30. Exodus 8:14 tn The word “heaps” is repeated: חֳמָרִם הֳמָרִם (khomarim khomarim). The repetition serves to intensify the idea to the highest degree—“countless heaps” (see GKC 396 §123.e).
  31. Exodus 8:15 tn The word רְוָחָה (revakhah) means “respite, relief.” BDB 926 relates it to the verb רָוַח (ravakh, “to be wide, spacious”). There would be relief when there was freedom to move about.
  32. Exodus 8:15 tn וְהַכְבֵּד (vehakhbed) is a Hiphil infinitive absolute, functioning as a finite verb. The meaning of the word is “to make heavy,” and so stubborn, sluggish, indifferent. It summarizes his attitude and the outcome, that he refused to keep his promises.
  33. Exodus 8:15 sn The end of the plague revealed clearly God’s absolute control over Egypt’s life and deities—all at the power of the man who prayed to God. Yahweh had made life unpleasant for the people by sending the plague, but he was also the one who could remove it. The only recourse anyone has in such trouble is to pray to the sovereign Lord God. Everyone should know that there is no one like Yahweh.
  34. Exodus 8:16 sn The third plague is brief and unannounced. Moses and Aaron were simply to strike the dust so that it would become gnats. Not only was this plague unannounced, but also it was not duplicated by the Egyptians.
  35. Exodus 8:16 tn The verb is the perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive, meaning “and it will be.” When הָיָה (hayah) is followed by the lamed (ל) proposition, it means “become.”
  36. Exodus 8:16 tn The noun is כִּנִּים (kinnim). The insect has been variously identified as lice, gnats, ticks, flies, fleas, or mosquitoes. “Lice” follows the reading in the Peshitta and Targum (and so Josephus, Ant. 2.14.3 [2.300]). Greek and Latin had “gnats.” By “gnats” many commentators mean “mosquitoes,” which in and around the water of Egypt were abundant (and the translators of the Greek text were familiar with Egypt). Whatever they were they came from the dust and were troublesome to people and animals.
  37. Exodus 8:17 tn Heb “man,” but in the generic sense of “humans” or “people” (also in v. 18).
  38. Exodus 8:18 tn The preterite with vav (ו) consecutive is here subordinated to the main clause as a temporal clause.
  39. Exodus 8:18 tn Heb “and the magicians did so.”sn The report of what the magicians did (or as it turns out, tried to do) begins with the same words as the report about the actions of Moses and Aaron—“and they did so” (vv. 17 and 18). The magicians copy the actions of Moses and Aaron, leading readers to think momentarily that the magicians are again successful, but at the end of the verse comes the news that “they could not.” Compared with the first two plagues, this third plague has an important new feature, the failure of the magicians and their recognition of the source of the plague.
  40. Exodus 8:19 tn Heb “and the magicians said.”
  41. Exodus 8:19 tn The word “finger” is a bold anthropomorphism (a figure of speech in which God is described using human characteristics). sn The point of the magicians’ words is clear enough. They knew they were beaten and by whom. The reason for their choice of the word “finger” has occasioned many theories, none of which is entirely satisfying. At the least their statement highlights that the plague was accomplished by God with majestic ease and effortlessness. Perhaps the reason that they could not do this was that it involved producing life—from the dust of the ground, as in Genesis 2:7. The creative power of God confounded the magic of the Egyptians and brought on them a loathsome plague.
  42. Exodus 8:19 tn Heb “and the heart of Pharaoh became hard.” This phrase translates the Hebrew word חָזַק (khazaq; see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 53). In context this represents the continuation of a prior condition.
  43. Exodus 8:20 sn The announcement of the fourth plague parallels that of the first plague. Now there will be flies, likely dogflies. Egypt has always suffered from flies, more so in the summer than in the winter. But the flies the plague describes involve something greater than any normal season for flies. The main point that can be stressed in this plague comes by tracing the development of the plagues in their sequence. Now, with the flies, it becomes clear that God can inflict suffering on some people and preserve others—a preview of the coming judgment that will punish Egypt but set Israel free. God is fully able to keep the dog-fly in the land of the Egyptians and save his people from these judgments.
  44. Exodus 8:21 tn The construction uses the predicator of nonexistence—אֵין (ʾen, “there is not”)—with a pronominal suffix prior to the Piel participle. The suffix becomes the subject of the clause. Heb “but if there is not you releasing.”
  45. Exodus 8:21 tn Here again is the futur instans use of the participle, now Qal with the meaning “send”: הִנְנִי מַשְׁלִיחַ (hineni mashliakh, “here I am sending”).
  46. Exodus 8:21 tn The word עָרֹב (ʿarov) means “a mix” or “swarm.” It seems that some irritating kind of flying insect is involved. Ps 78:45 says that the Egyptians were eaten or devoured by them. Various suggestions have been made over the years: (1) it could refer to beasts or reptiles; (2) the Greek took it as the dog-fly, a vicious blood-sucking gadfly, more common in the spring than in the fall; (3) the ordinary house fly, which is a symbol of Egypt in Isa 7:18 (Hebrew זְבוּב, zevuv); and (4) the beetle, which gnaws and bites plants, animals, and materials. The fly probably fits the details of this passage best; the plague would have greatly intensified a problem with flies that already existed.
  47. Exodus 8:21 tn Or perhaps “the land where they are” (cf. NRSV “the land where they live”).
  48. Exodus 8:22 tn Or “distinguish.” וְהִפְלֵיתִי (vehifleti) is the Hiphil perfect of פָּלָה (palah). The verb in Hiphil means “to set apart, make separate, make distinct.” God was going to keep the flies away from Goshen—he was setting that apart. The Greek text assumed that the word was from פָּלֵא (paleʾ), and translated it something like “I will marvelously glorify.”
  49. Exodus 8:22 tn The relative clause modifies the land of Goshen as the place “in which my people are dwelling.” But the normal word for “dwelling” is not used here. Instead, עֹמֵד (ʿomed) is used, which literally means “standing.” The land on which Israel stood was spared the flies and the hail.
  50. Exodus 8:22 tn Or “of the earth” (KJV, ASV, NAB).
  51. Exodus 8:23 tn The word in the text is פְדֻת (fedut, “redemption”). This would give the sense of making a distinction by redeeming Israel. The editors wish to read פְלֻת (felut) instead—“a separation, distinction” to match the verb in the preceding verse. For another view, see G. I. Davies, “The Hebrew Text of Exodus VIII 19 [English 23]: An Emendation,” VT 24 (1974): 489-92.
  52. Exodus 8:23 tn Heb “this sign will be tomorrow.”
  53. Exodus 8:24 tn Heb “and there came a….”
  54. Exodus 8:24 tn Heb “heavy,” or “severe.”
  55. Exodus 8:24 tn Here, and in the next phrase, the word “house” has to be taken as an adverbial accusative of termination.
  56. Exodus 8:24 tn The Hebrew text has the singular here.
  57. Exodus 8:24 tc Concerning the connection of “the land was ruined” with the preceding, S. R. Driver (Exodus, 68) suggests reading with the LXX, Smr, and Peshitta; this would call for adding a conjunction before the last clause to make it read, “into the house of Pharaoh, and into his servants’ houses, and into all the land of Egypt; and the land was….”tn The Hebrew word תִּשָּׁחֵת (tishakhet) is a strong word; it is the Niphal imperfect of שָׁחַת (shakhat) and is translated “ruined.” If the classification as imperfect stands, then it would have to be something like a progressive imperfect (the land was being ruined); otherwise, it may simply be a preterite without the vav (ו) consecutive. The verb describes utter devastation. This is the verb that is used in Gen 13:10 to describe how Yahweh destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Swarms of flies would disrupt life, contaminate everything, and bring disease.
  58. Exodus 8:25 sn After the plague is inflicted on the land, then Pharaoh makes an appeal. So there is the familiar confrontation (vv. 25-29). Pharaoh’s words to Moses are an advancement on his previous words. Now he uses imperatives: “Go, sacrifice to your God.” But he restricts it to “in the [this] land.” This is a subtle attempt to keep them as a subjugated people and prevent their absolute allegiance to their God. This offered compromise would destroy the point of the exodus—to leave Egypt and find a new allegiance under the Lord.
  59. Exodus 8:26 tn The clause is a little unusual in its formation. The form נָכוֹן (nakhon) is the Niphal participle from כּוּן (kun), which usually means “firm, fixed, steadfast,” but here it has a rare meaning of “right, fitting, appropriate.” It functions in the sentence as the predicate adjective, because the infinitive לַעֲשׂוֹת (laʿasot) is the subject—“to do so is not right.”
  60. Exodus 8:26 tn This translation has been smoothed out to capture the sense. The text literally says, “for the abomination of Egypt we will sacrifice to Yahweh our God.” In other words, the animals that Israel would sacrifice were sacred to Egypt, and sacrificing them would have been abhorrent to the Egyptians.
  61. Exodus 8:26 tn An “abomination” is something that is off-limits, something that is taboo. It could be translated “detestable” or “loathsome.”
  62. Exodus 8:26 sn U. Cassuto (Exodus, 109) says there are two ways to understand “the abomination of the Egyptians.” One is that the sacrifice of the sacred animals would appear an abominable thing in the eyes of the Egyptians, and the other is that the word “abomination” could be a derogatory term for idols—we sacrifice what is an Egyptian idol. So that is why he says if they did this the Egyptians would stone them.
  63. Exodus 8:26 tn Heb “if we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians [or “of Egypt”] before their eyes.”
  64. Exodus 8:26 tn The interrogative clause has no particle to indicate it is a question, but it is connected with the conjunction to the preceding clause, and the meaning of these clauses indicates it is a question (GKC 473 §150.a).
  65. Exodus 8:27 tn The verb נֵלֵךְ (nelekh) is a Qal imperfect of the verb הָלַךְ (halakh). Here it should be given the modal nuance of obligation: “we must go.”
  66. Exodus 8:27 tn This clause is placed first in the sentence to stress the distance required. דֶּרֶךְ (derekh) is an adverbial accusative specifying how far they must go. It is in construct, so “three days” modifies it. It is a “journey of three days,” or, “a three day journey.”
  67. Exodus 8:27 tn The form is the perfect tense with a vav (ו) consecutive; it follows in the sequence: we must go…and then [must] sacrifice.”
  68. Exodus 8:27 tn The form is the imperfect tense. It could be future: “as he will tell us,” but it also could be the progressive imperfect if this is now what God is telling them to do: “as he is telling us.”
  69. Exodus 8:28 sn By changing from “the people” to “you” (plural) the speech of Pharaoh was becoming more personal.
  70. Exodus 8:28 tn This form, a perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive, is equivalent to the imperfect tense that precedes it. However, it must be subordinate to the preceding verb to express the purpose. He is not saying “I will release…and you will sacrifice,” but rather “I will release…that you may sacrifice” or even “to sacrifice.”
  71. Exodus 8:28 tn The construction is very emphatic. First, it uses a verbal hendiadys with a Hiphil imperfect and the Qal infinitive construct: לֹא־תַרְחִיקוּ לָלֶכֶת (loʾ tarkhiqu lalekhet, “you will not make far to go”), meaning “you will not go far.” But this prohibition is then emphasized with the additional infinitive absolute הַרְחֵק (harkheq)—“you will not in any way go too far.” The point is very strong to safeguard the concession.
  72. Exodus 8:28 tn “Do” has been supplied here to convey that this somewhat unexpected command is tacked onto Pharaoh’s instructions as his ultimate concern, which Moses seems to understand as such, since he speaks about it immediately (v. 29).
  73. Exodus 8:29 tn The deictic particle with the participle usually indicates the futur instans nuance: “I am about to…,” or “I am going to….” The clause could also be subordinated as a temporal clause.
  74. Exodus 8:29 tn The verb תָּלַל (talal) means “to mock, deceive, trifle with.” The construction in this verse forms a verbal hendiadys. The Hiphil jussive אַל־יֹסֵף (ʾal yosef, “let not [Pharaoh] add”) is joined with the Hiphil infinitive הָתֵל (hatel, “to deceive”). It means: “Let not Pharaoh deceive again.” Changing to the third person in this warning to Pharaoh is more decisive, more powerful.
  75. Exodus 8:29 tn The Piel infinitive construct after lamed (ל) and the negative functions epexegetically, explaining how Pharaoh would deal falsely—“by not releasing.”
  76. Exodus 8:31 tn Heb “according to the word of Moses” (so KJV, ASV).
  77. Exodus 8:32 tn This phrase translates the Hebrew word כָּבֵד (kaved); see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 53.
  78. Exodus 9:1 sn This plague demonstrates that Yahweh has power over the livestock of Egypt. He is able to strike the animals with disease and death, thus delivering a blow to the economic as well as the religious life of the land. By the former plagues many of the Egyptian religious ceremonies would have been interrupted and objects of veneration defiled or destroyed. Now some of the important deities will be attacked. In Goshen, where the cattle are merely cattle, no disease hits, but in the rest of Egypt it is a different matter. Osiris, the savior, cannot even save the brute in which his own soul is supposed to reside. Apis and Mnevis, the ram of Ammon, the sheep of Sais, and the goat of Mendes, perish together. Hence, Moses reminds Israel afterward, “On their gods also Yahweh executed judgments” (Num 33:4). When Jethro heard of all these events, he said, “Now I know that Yahweh is greater than all the gods” (Exod 18:11).
  79. Exodus 9:2 tn The object “them” is implied in the context.
  80. Exodus 9:2 tn עוֹד (ʿod), an adverb meaning “yet, still,” can be inflected with suffixes and used as a predicator of existence, with the nuance “to still be, yet be” (T. O. Lambdin, Introduction to Biblical Hebrew, 171-72, §137). Then, it is joined here with the Hiphil participle מַחֲזִיק (makhaziq) to form the sentence “you are still holding them.”
  81. Exodus 9:3 tn The form used here is הוֹיָה (hoyah), the Qal active participle, feminine singular, from the verb “to be.” This is the only place in the OT that this form occurs. Ogden shows that this form is appropriate with the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) to stress impending divine action, and that it conforms to the pattern in these narratives where five times the participle is used in the threat to Pharaoh (7:17; 8:2; 9:3, 14; 10:4). See G. S. Ogden, “Notes on the Use of הויה in Exodus IX. 3, ” VT 17 (1967): 483-84.
  82. Exodus 9:3 tn The word דֶּבֶר (dever) is usually translated “pestilence” when it applies to diseases for humans. It is used only here and in Ps 78:50 for animals.
  83. Exodus 9:3 sn The older view that camels were not domesticated at this time (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 70; W. F. Albright, Archaeology and the Religion of Israel, 96; et. al.) has been corrected by more recently uncovered information (see K. A. Kitchen, NBD3 160-61).
  84. Exodus 9:4 tn The verb פָּלָה (palah) in Hiphil means “to set apart, make separate, make distinct.” See also Exod 8:22 (18 HT); 11:7; 33:16.
  85. Exodus 9:4 tn There is a wordplay in this section. A pestilence—דֶּבֶר (dever)—will fall on Egypt’s cattle, but no thing—דָּבָר (davar)—belonging to Israel would die. It was perhaps for this reason that the verb was changed in v. 1 from “say” to “speak” (דִּבֶּר, dibber). See U. Cassuto, Exodus, 111.
  86. Exodus 9:4 tn The ל (lamed) preposition indicates possession: “all that was to the Israelites” means “all that the Israelites had.”
  87. Exodus 9:5 tn Heb “and Yahweh set.”
  88. Exodus 9:5 tn Heb “this thing.”
  89. Exodus 9:6 tn Heb “this thing.”
  90. Exodus 9:6 tn Heb “on the morrow.”
  91. Exodus 9:6 tn The word “all” clearly does not mean “all” in the exclusive sense, because subsequent plagues involve cattle. The word must denote such a large number that whatever was left was insignificant for the economy. It could also be taken to mean “all [kinds of] livestock died.”
  92. Exodus 9:6 tn Heb “of Egypt.” The place is put by metonymy for the inhabitants.
  93. Exodus 9:7 tn Heb “Pharaoh sent.” The phrase “representatives to investigate” is implied in the context.
  94. Exodus 9:7 tn Heb “and the heart of Pharaoh was hardened.” This phrase translates the Hebrew word כָּבֵד (kaved; see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 53). In context this represents the continuation of a prior condition.
  95. Exodus 9:8 sn This sixth plague, like the third, is unannounced. God instructs his servants to take handfuls of ashes from the Egyptians’ furnaces and sprinkle them heavenward in the sight of Pharaoh. These ashes would become little particles of dust that would cause boils on the Egyptians and their animals. Greta Hort, “The Plagues of Egypt,” ZAW 69 [1957]: 101-3, suggests it is skin anthrax (see W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:359). The lesson of this plague is that Yahweh has absolute control over the physical health of the people. Physical suffering consequent to sin comes to all regardless of their position and status. The Egyptians are helpless in the face of this, as now God begins to touch human life; greater judgments on human wickedness lie ahead.
  96. Exodus 9:8 tn This word פִּיחַ (piakh) is a hapax legomenon, meaning “soot”; it seems to be derived from the verb פּוּחַ (puakh, “to breathe, blow”). The “furnace” (כִּבְשָׁן, kivshan) was a special kiln for making pottery or bricks.
  97. Exodus 9:8 tn The verb זָרַק (zaraq) means “to throw vigorously, to toss.” If Moses tosses the soot into the air, it will symbolize that the disease is falling from heaven.
  98. Exodus 9:8 tn Heb “before the eyes of Pharaoh.”
  99. Exodus 9:9 tn The word שְׁחִין (shekhin) means “boils.” It may be connected to an Arabic cognate that means “to be hot.” The illness is associated with Job (Job 2:7-8) and Hezekiah (Isa 38:21); it has also been connected with other skin diseases described especially in the Law. The word connected with it is אֲבַעְבֻּעֹת (ʾavaʿbuʿot); this means “blisters, pustules” and is sometimes translated as “festering.” The etymology is debated, whether from a word meaning “to swell up” or “to overflow” (W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:359).
  100. Exodus 9:12 tn This phrase translates the Hebrew word חָזַק (khazaq); see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 53.
  101. Exodus 9:13 sn With the seventh plague there is more explanation of what God is doing to Pharaoh. This plague begins with an extended lesson (vv. 13-21). Rain was almost unknown in Egypt, and hail and lightning were harmless. The Egyptians were fascinated by all these, though, and looked on them as portentous. Herodotus describes how they studied such things and wrote them down (1.2.c.38). If ordinary rainstorms were ominous, what must fire and hail have been? The Egyptians had denominated fire Hephaistos, considering it to be a mighty deity (cf. Diodorus, 1.1.c.1). Porphry says that at the opening of the temple of Serapis the Egyptians worshiped with water and fire. If these connections were clearly understood, then these elements in the plague were thought to be deities that came down on their own people with death and destruction.
  102. Exodus 9:13 tn Or “take your stand.”
  103. Exodus 9:14 tn The expression “all my plagues” points to the rest of the plagues and anticipates the proper outcome. Another view is to take the expression to mean the full brunt of the attack on the Egyptian people.
  104. Exodus 9:14 tn Heb “to your heart.” The expression is unusual, but it may be an allusion to the hard heartedness of Pharaoh—his stubbornness and blindness (B. Jacob, Exodus, 274).
  105. Exodus 9:15 tn The verb is the Qal perfect שָׁלַחְתִּי (shalakhti), but a past tense, or completed action translation does not fit the context at all. Gesenius lists this reference as an example of the use of the perfect to express actions and facts, whose accomplishment is to be represented not as actual but only as possible. He offers this for Exod 9:15: “I had almost put forth” (GKC 313 §106.p). Also possible is “I should have stretched out my hand.” Others read the potential nuance instead, and render it as “I could have…” as in the present translation.
  106. Exodus 9:15 tn The verb כָּחַד (kakhad) means “to hide, efface,” and in the Niphal it has the idea of “be effaced, ruined, destroyed.” Here it will carry the nuance of the result of the preceding verbs: “I could have stretched out my hand…and struck you…and (as a result) you would have been destroyed.”
  107. Exodus 9:16 tn The first word is a very strong adversative, which, in general, can be translated “but, howbeit”; BDB 19 s.v. אוּלָם suggests for this passage “but in very deed.”
  108. Exodus 9:16 tn The form הֶעֱמַדְתִּיךָ (heʿemadtikha) is the Hiphil perfect of עָמַד (ʿamad). It would normally mean “I caused you to stand.” But that seems to have one or two different connotations. S. R. Driver (Exodus, 73) says that it means “maintain you alive.” The causative of this verb means “continue,” according to him. The LXX has the same basic sense—“you were preserved.” But Paul bypasses the Greek and writes “he raised you up” to show God’s absolute sovereignty over Pharaoh. Both renderings show God’s sovereign control over Pharaoh.
  109. Exodus 9:16 tn The Hiphil infinitive construct הַרְאֹתְךָ (harʾotekha) is the purpose of God’s making Pharaoh come to power in the first place. To make Pharaoh see is to cause him to understand, to experience God’s power.
  110. Exodus 9:16 tn Heb “in order to declare my name.” Since there is no expressed subject, this may be given a passive translation.
  111. Exodus 9:17 tn מִסְתּוֹלֵל (mistolel) is a Hitpael participle, from a root that means “raise up, obstruct.” So in the Hitpael it means to “raise oneself up,” “elevate oneself,” or “be an obstructionist.” See W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:363; U. Cassuto, Exodus, 116.
  112. Exodus 9:17 tn The infinitive construct with lamed here is epexegetical; it explains how Pharaoh has exalted himself—“by not releasing the people.”
  113. Exodus 9:18 tn הִנְנִי מַמְטִיר (hineni mamtir) is the futur instans construction, giving an imminent future translation: “Here—I am about to cause it to rain.”
  114. Exodus 9:18 tn Heb “which not was like it in Egypt.” The pronoun suffix serves as the resumptive pronoun for the relative particle: “which…like it” becomes “the like of which has not been.” The word “hail” is added in the translation to make clear the referent of the relative particle.
  115. Exodus 9:18 tn The form הִוָּסְדָה (hivvasedah) is perhaps a rare Niphal perfect and not an infinitive (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 117).
  116. Exodus 9:19 tn The object “instructions” is implied in the context.
  117. Exodus 9:19 tn הָעֵז (haʿez) is the Hiphil imperative from עוּז (ʿuz, “to bring into safety” or “to secure”). Although there is no vav (ו) linking the two imperatives, the second could be subordinated by virtue of the meanings. “Send to bring to safety.”
  118. Exodus 9:19 tn Heb “man, human.”
  119. Exodus 9:19 tn Heb “[who] may be found.” The verb can be the imperfect of possibility.
  120. Exodus 9:20 tn Heb “the one fearing.” The singular expression here and throughout vv. 20-21 refers to all who fit the description.
  121. Exodus 9:21 tn The Hebrew text again has the singular.
  122. Exodus 9:21 tn Heb “set his mind on” or “put his heart to.”
  123. Exodus 9:22 tn Or “the heavens” (also in the following verse). The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heavens” or “sky” depending on the context.
  124. Exodus 9:22 tn The jussive with the conjunction (וִיהִי, vihi) coming after the imperative provides the purpose or result.
  125. Exodus 9:22 tn Heb “on man and on beast.”
  126. Exodus 9:22 tn The noun refers primarily to cultivated grains. But here it seems to be the general heading for anything that grows from the ground, all vegetation and plant life, as opposed to what grows on trees.
  127. Exodus 9:23 tn The preterite with the vav (ו) consecutive is here subordinated to the next clause in view of the emphasis put on the subject, Yahweh, by the disjunctive word order of that clause.
  128. Exodus 9:23 tn By starting the clause with the subject (an example of disjunctive word order) the text is certainly stressing that Yahweh alone did this.
  129. Exodus 9:23 tn The expression נָתַן קֹלֹת (natan qolot) literally means “gave voices” (also “voice”). This is a poetic expression for sending the thunder. Ps 29:3 talks about the “voice of Yahweh”—the God of glory thunders!
  130. Exodus 9:23 sn This clause has been variously interpreted. Lightning would ordinarily accompany thunder; in this case the mention of fire could indicate that the lightning was beyond normal and that it was striking in such a way as to start fires on the ground. It could also mean that fire went along the ground from the pounding hail.
  131. Exodus 9:24 tn The verb is the common preterite וַיְהִי (vayehi), which is normally translated “and there was” if it is translated at all. The verb הָיָה (hayah), however, can mean “be, become, befall, fall, fall out, happen.” Here it could be simply translated “there was hail,” but the active “hail fell” fits the point of the sequence better.
  132. Exodus 9:24 tn The form מִתְלַקַּחַת (mitlaqqakhat) is a Hitpael participle; the clause reads, “and fire taking hold of itself in the midst of the hail.” This probably refers to lightning flashing back and forth. See also Ezek 1:4. God created a great storm with flashing fire connected to it.
  133. Exodus 9:24 tn Heb “very heavy” or “very severe.” The subject “the hail” is implied.
  134. Exodus 9:24 tn A literal reading of the clause would be “which there was not like it in all the land of Egypt.” The relative pronoun must be joined to the resumptive pronoun: “which like it (like which) there had not been.”
  135. Exodus 9:25 tn The exact expression is “from man even to beast.” R. J. Williams lists this as an example of the inclusive use of the preposition מִן (min) to be rendered “both…and” (Hebrew Syntax, 57, §327).
  136. Exodus 9:25 tn Heb “all the cultivated grain of.”
  137. Exodus 9:27 sn Pharaoh now is struck by the judgment and acknowledges that he is at fault. But the context shows that this penitence was short-lived. What exactly he meant by this confession is uncertain. On the surface his words seem to represent a recognition that he was in the wrong and Yahweh right.
  138. Exodus 9:27 tn The word רָשָׁע (rashaʿ) can mean “ungodly, wicked, guilty, criminal.” Pharaoh here is saying that Yahweh is right, and the Egyptians are not—so they are at fault, guilty. S. R. Driver says the words are used in their forensic sense (in the right or wrong standing legally) and not in the ethical sense of morally right and wrong (Exodus, 75).
  139. Exodus 9:28 sn The text has Heb “the voices of God.” The divine epithet can be used to express the superlative (cf. Jonah 3:3).
  140. Exodus 9:28 tn The expression וְרַב מִהְיֹת (verav miheyot, “[the mighty thunder and hail] is much from being”) means essentially “more than enough.” This indicates that the storm was too much, or, as one might say, “It is enough.”
  141. Exodus 9:28 tn The last clause uses a verbal hendiadys: “you will not add to stand,” meaning “you will no longer stay.”
  142. Exodus 9:29 tn כְּצֵאתִי (ketseʾti) is the Qal infinitive construct of יָצָא (yatsaʾ); it functions here as the temporal clause before the statement about There has been a good deal of speculation about why Moses would leave the city before praying. Rashi said he did not want to pray where there were so many idols. It may also be as the midrash in Exodus Rabbah 12:5 says that most of the devastation of this plague had been outside in the fields, and that was where Moses wished to go.
  143. Exodus 9:29 sn This clause provides the purpose/result of Moses’ intention: he will pray to Yahweh and the storms will cease “that you might know….” It was not enough to pray and have the plague stop. Pharaoh must “know” that Yahweh is the sovereign Lord over the earth. Here was that purpose of knowing through experience. This clause provides the key for the exposition of this plague: God demonstrated his power over the forces of nature to show his sovereignty—the earth is Yahweh’s. He can destroy it. He can preserve it. If people sin by ignoring his word and not fearing him, he can bring judgment on them. If any fear Yahweh and obey his instructions, they will be spared. A positive way to express the expositional point of the chapter is to say that those who fear Yahweh and obey his word will escape the powerful destruction he has prepared for those who sinfully disregard his word.
  144. Exodus 9:30 tn The verse begins with the disjunctive vav to mark a strong contrastive clause to what was said before this.
  145. Exodus 9:30 tn The adverb טֶרֶם (terem, “before, not yet”) occurs with the imperfect tense to give the sense of the English present tense to the verb negated by it (GKC 314-15 §107.c). Moses is saying that he knew that Pharaoh did not really stand in awe of God, so as to grant Israel’s release, i.e., fear not in the religious sense but “be afraid of” God—fear “before” him (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 76).
  146. Exodus 9:31 tn A disjunctive vav introduces the two verses that provide parenthetical information to the reader. Gesenius notes that the boldness of such clauses is often indicated by the repetition of nouns at the beginning (see GKC 452 §141.d). Some have concluded that because they have been put here rather than back after v. 25 or 26, they form part of Moses’ speech to Pharaoh, explaining that the crops that were necessary for humans were spared, but those for other things were destroyed. This would also mean that Moses was saying there is more that God can destroy (see B. Jacob, Exodus, 279).
  147. Exodus 9:31 tn The unusual forms נֻכָּתָה (nukkatah) in v. 31 and נֻכּוּ (nukku) in v. 32 are probably to be taken as old Qal passives. There are no attested Piel uses of the root.
  148. Exodus 9:31 tn The words “by the hail” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied from context.
  149. Exodus 9:31 tn Heb “was in the ear” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NRSV); NIV “had headed.”
  150. Exodus 9:31 sn Flax was used for making linen, and the area around Tanis was ideal for producing flax. Barley was used for bread for the poor people, as well as beer and animal feed.
  151. Exodus 9:32 tn The word כֻּסֶּמֶת (kussemet) is translated “spelt”; the word occurs only here and in Isa 28:25 and Ezek 4:9. Spelt is a grain closely allied to wheat. Other suggestions have been brought forward from the study of Egyptian crops (see a brief summary in W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:363-64).
  152. Exodus 9:32 tn Heb “for they are late.”
  153. Exodus 9:34 tn The clause beginning with the preterite and vav (ו) consecutive is here subordinated to the next, and main clause—that he hardened his heart again.
  154. Exodus 9:34 tn The construction is another verbal hendiadys: וַיֹּסֶף לַחֲטֹא (vayyosef lakhatoʾ), literally rendered “and he added to sin.” The infinitive construct becomes the main verb, and the Hiphil preterite becomes adverbial. The text is clearly interpreting as sin the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart and his refusal to release Israel. At the least this means that the plagues are his fault, but the expression probably means more than this—he was disobeying Yahweh God.
  155. Exodus 9:34 tn This phrase translates the Hebrew word כָּבֵד (kaved); see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 53.
  156. Exodus 9:35 tn The verb about Pharaoh’s heart in v. 35 is וַיֶּחֱזַק (vayyekhezaq), a Qal preterite: “and it was hardened” or “strengthened to resist.” This forms the summary statement of this stage in the drama. The verb used in v. 34 to report Pharaoh’s response was וַיַּכְבֵּד (vayyakhbed), a Hiphil preterite: “and he hardened [his heart]” or made it stubborn. The use of two descriptions of Pharaoh’s heart in close succession, along with mention of his servants’ heart condition, underscores the growing extent of the problem.
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Matthew 19:13-30

Jesus and Little Children

13 Then little children were brought to him for him to lay his hands on them and pray.[a] But the disciples scolded those who brought them.[b] 14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not try to stop them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”[c] 15 And he placed his hands on them and went on his way.[d]

The Rich Young Man

16 Now[e] someone came up to him and said, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to gain eternal life?”[f] 17 He said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 “Which ones?” he asked. Jesus replied, “Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,[g] and love your neighbor as yourself.”[h] 20 The young man said to him, “I have wholeheartedly obeyed[i] all these laws.[j] What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go sell your possessions and give the money[k] to the poor, and you will have treasure[l] in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 But when the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he was very rich.[m]

23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth,[n] it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven! 24 Again I say,[o] it is easier for a camel[p] to go through the eye of a needle[q] than for a rich person to enter into the kingdom of God.” 25 The[r] disciples were greatly astonished when they heard this and said, “Then who can be saved?”[s] 26 Jesus[t] looked at them and replied, “This is impossible for mere humans,[u] but for God all things are possible.” 27 Then Peter said[v] to him, “Look,[w] we have left everything to follow you![x] What then will there be for us?” 28 Jesus[y] said to them, “I tell you the truth:[z] In the age when all things are renewed,[aa] when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging[ab] the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And whoever has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much[ac] and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.


  1. Matthew 19:13 tn Grk “so that he would lay his hands on them and pray.”
  2. Matthew 19:13 tn Grk “the disciples scolded them.” In the translation the referent has been specified as “those who brought them,” since otherwise the statement could be understood to mean that the disciples scolded the children rather than their parents who brought them.
  3. Matthew 19:14 sn The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. Children are a picture of those whose simple trust illustrates what faith is all about. The remark illustrates how everyone is important to God, even those whom others regard as insignificant.
  4. Matthew 19:15 tn Grk “went from there.”
  5. Matthew 19:16 tn Grk “And behold one came.” The Greek word ἰδού (idou) has not been translated because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1). Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.
  6. Matthew 19:16 sn Here the questioner asks how to gain eternal life. In several places Matthew uses “life” or “eternal life” in proximity with “the kingdom of heaven” or merely “the kingdom,” suggesting a close relationship between the two concepts (compare Matt 25:34 with v. 46; Matt 19:16, 17, 29 with vv. 23, 24). Matthew consistently portrays “eternal life” as something a person enters in the world to come, whereas the Gospel of John sees “eternal life” as beginning in the present and continuing into the future (cf. John 5:24).
  7. Matthew 19:19 sn A quotation from Exod 20:12-16; Deut 5:16-20.
  8. Matthew 19:19 sn A quotation from Lev 19:18.
  9. Matthew 19:20 tn Grk “kept.” The implication of this verb is that the man has obeyed the commandments without fail, so the adverb “wholeheartedly” has been added to the translation to bring out this nuance.
  10. Matthew 19:20 tn Grk “these things.” The referent of the pronoun (the laws mentioned by Jesus) has been specified in the translation for While the rich man was probably being sincere when he insisted I have wholeheartedly obeyed all these laws, he had confined his righteousness to external obedience. The rich man’s response to Jesus’ command—to give away all he had—revealed that internally he loved money more than God.
  11. Matthew 19:21 tn The words “the money” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.
  12. Matthew 19:21 sn The call for sacrifice comes with a promise of eternal reward: You will have treasure in heaven. Jesus’ call is a test to see how responsive the man is to God’s direction through him. Will he walk the path God’s agent calls him to walk? For a rich person who got it right, see Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10.
  13. Matthew 19:22 tn Grk “he had many possessions.” This term (κτῆμα, ktēma) is often used for land as a possession.
  14. Matthew 19:23 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amēn), I say to you.”
  15. Matthew 19:24 tn Grk “I say to you.”
  16. Matthew 19:24 tc A few, mostly late, witnesses (579 1424 al arm Cyr) read κάμιλον (kamilon, “rope”) for κάμηλον (kamēlon, “camel”), either through accidental misreading of the text or intentionally so as to soften Jesus’ words.
  17. Matthew 19:24 sn The eye of a needle refers to a sewing needle. (Although the story of a small gate in Jerusalem known as “The Needle’s Eye” has been widely circulated and may go back as far as the middle ages, there is no evidence that such a gate ever existed.) Jesus was saying rhetorically that it is impossible for a rich person to enter God’s kingdom, unless God (v. 26) intervenes.
  18. Matthew 19:25 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
  19. Matthew 19:25 sn The assumption is that the rich are blessed, so if they risk exclusion, who is left to be saved?
  20. Matthew 19:26 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
  21. Matthew 19:26 tn The plural Greek term ἄνθρωποις (anthrōpois) is used here in a generic sense, referring to both men and women (cf. NASB 1995 update, “people”). Because of the contrast here between mere mortals and God (“impossible for men, but for God all things are possible”) the phrase “mere humans” has been used in the translation. There may also be a slight wordplay with “the Son of Man” in v. 28.
  22. Matthew 19:27 tn Grk “Then answering, Peter said.” This construction is somewhat redundant in contemporary English and has been simplified in the translation.
  23. Matthew 19:27 sn Peter wants reassurance that the disciples’ response and sacrifice have been noticed.
  24. Matthew 19:27 tn Grk “We have left everything and followed you.” Koine Greek often used paratactic structure when hypotactic was implied.
  25. Matthew 19:28 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
  26. Matthew 19:28 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amēn), I say to you.”
  27. Matthew 19:28 sn The Greek term translated the age when all things are renewed (παλιγγενεσία, palingenesia) is understood as a reference to the Messianic age, the time when all things are renewed and restored (cf. Rev 21:5).
  28. Matthew 19:28 sn The statement you…will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel looks at the future authority the Twelve will have when Jesus returns. They will share in Israel’s judgment.
  29. Matthew 19:29 sn Jesus reassures his disciples with a promise that (1) much benefit in this life (a hundred times as much) and (2) eternal life will be given.
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Psalm 24

Psalm 24[a]

A psalm of David.

24 The Lord owns the earth and all it contains,
the world and all who live in it.
For he set its foundation upon the seas,
and established[b] it upon the ocean currents.[c]
Who is allowed to ascend[d] the mountain of the Lord?[e]
Who may go up to his holy dwelling place?
The one whose deeds are blameless
and whose motives are pure,[f]
who does not lie,[g]
or make promises with no intention of keeping them.[h]
Such godly people are rewarded by the Lord,[i]
and vindicated by the God who delivers them.[j]
Such purity characterizes the people who seek his favor,
Jacob’s descendants, who pray to him.[k] (Selah)
Look up,[l] you gates.
Rise up,[m] you eternal doors.
Then the majestic king[n] will enter.[o]
Who is this majestic king?[p]
The Lord who is strong and mighty.
The Lord who is mighty in battle.
Look up, you gates.
Rise up, you eternal doors.
Then the majestic king will enter.
10 Who is this majestic king?
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies.[q]
He is the majestic king. (Selah)


  1. Psalm 24:1 sn Psalm 24. The psalmist affirms the universal kingship of the sovereign creator, reminds his people that only the morally pure are qualified to worship him, and celebrates his splendor as a mighty warrior king.
  2. Psalm 24:2 tn The prefixed verbal form is understood as a preterite, referring to the creation of the world.
  3. Psalm 24:2 sn He…established it upon the ocean currents. The description reflects ancient Israelite prescientific cosmology, which is based on outward appearances. The language also suggests that God’s creative work involved the subjugation of chaos, symbolized by the sea.
  4. Psalm 24:3 tn The imperfects in v. 3 are modal, expressing potential or permission.
  5. Psalm 24:3 sn In this context the Lord’s mountain probably refers to Zion/Jerusalem (see Isa 2:2-3).
  6. Psalm 24:4 tn Heb “the innocent of hands and the pure of heart.” The “hands” allude to one’s actions, the “heart” to one’s thought life and motives.
  7. Psalm 24:4 tn Heb “who does not lift up for emptiness my life.” The first person pronoun on נַפְשִׁי (nafshi, “my life”) makes little sense here; many medieval Hebrew mss support the ancient versions in reading a third person pronoun “his.” The idiom “lift the life” here means to “long for” or “desire strongly.” In this context (note the reference to an oath in the following line) “emptiness” probably refers to speech (see Ps 12:2).
  8. Psalm 24:4 tn Heb “and does not swear an oath deceitfully.”
  9. Psalm 24:5 tn Heb “he (the righteous individual described in v. 4) lifts up a blessing from the Lord.” The singular subject is representative here, as v. 6 makes clear. The referent (godly people like the individual in v. 4) has been specified in the translation for clarity. The imperfect verbal form is generalizing; such people are typically rewarded for their deeds.
  10. Psalm 24:5 tn “and vindication from the God of his deliverance.”
  11. Psalm 24:6 tn Heb “this [is the] generation of the ones seeking him, the ones seeking your face, Jacob.” To “seek the Lord’s face” means to seek his favor through prayer (see 2 Sam 21:1; Pss 27:8; 105:4).sn This verse presents a somewhat idealized view of Jacobs descendants as devoted worshipers of the Lord.
  12. Psalm 24:7 tn Heb “lift up your heads.” The gates of the Lord’s dwelling place are here personified. The idiom “lift up the head” often means “be confident, bold” (see Judg 8:28; Job 10:15; Ps 83:2; Zech 1:21).
  13. Psalm 24:7 tn Heb “lift yourselves up.”
  14. Psalm 24:7 tn Or “king of glory.”
  15. Psalm 24:7 tn Following the imperatives of the preceding lines, the prefixed verbal form with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose or result.
  16. Psalm 24:8 sn Who is this majestic king? Perhaps the personified gates/doors ask this question, in response to the command given in v. 7.
  17. Psalm 24:10 tn Traditionally, “the Lord of hosts,” a title which here pictures the Lord as a mighty warrior-king who leads armies into battle.
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Proverbs 6:1-5

Admonitions and Warnings against Dangerous and Destructive Acts[a]

My child,[b] if you have made a pledge[c] for your neighbor,[d]
if[e] you have become a guarantor[f] for a stranger,[g]
if[h] you have been ensnared[i] by the words you have uttered,[j]
and have been caught by the words you have spoken,
then, my child, do this in order to deliver yourself,[k]
because you have fallen into your neighbor’s power:[l]
Go, humble yourself,[m]
and appeal firmly to[n] your neighbor.
Permit no sleep to your eyes[o]
or slumber to your eyelids.
Deliver yourself like a gazelle from a snare,[p]
and like a bird from the trap[q] of the fowler.


  1. Proverbs 6:1 sn The chapter advises release from foolish indebtedness (1-5), admonishes avoiding laziness (6-11), warns of the danger of poverty (9-11) and deviousness (12-15), lists conduct that the Lord hates (16-19), and warns about immorality (20-35).
  2. Proverbs 6:1 tn Heb “my son” (likewise in vv. 3, 20).
  3. Proverbs 6:1 sn It was fairly common for people to put up some kind of financial security for someone else, that is, to underwrite another’s debts. But the pledge in view here was foolish because the debtor was someone who was not well known (זָר, zar). The one who pledged security for this one was simply gullible.
  4. Proverbs 6:1 tn A neighbor (רֵעַ, reaʿ) does not mean a person who lives next door or on your block, but someone whom you are brought into contact with, or live or work with, because of life’s circumstances. Since this person is also called a stranger (זָר, zar) at the end of the verse, “neighbor” should be understood in the broadest sense of a social contact.
  5. Proverbs 6:1 tn The conjunction “if” does not appear in the Hebrew text. It applies from the previous line and is supplied in the translation for the sake of smoothness.
  6. Proverbs 6:1 tn Heb “struck your hands”; NIV “have struck hands in pledge”; NASB “have given a pledge.” The guarantee of a pledge was signaled by a handshake (e.g., 11:15; 17:18; 22:26).
  7. Proverbs 6:1 tn Heb “stranger.” The term זָר (zar, “stranger”) can refer to a stranger who is outside the family, a non-Israelite foreigner, or an unauthorized or prohibited person (like the strange/prohibited woman in Prov 2:16 and 5:3). The person is either not well known or off-limits and represents a high financial risk and/or an undesirable association.
  8. Proverbs 6:2 tn The term “if” does not appear in this line but is implied by the parallelism. It is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.
  9. Proverbs 6:2 tn The verb יָקַשׁ (yaqash) means “to lay a bait; to lure; to lay snares.” In the Niphal it means “to be caught by bait; to be ensnared”—here in a business entanglement.
  10. Proverbs 6:2 tn Heb “by the words of your mouth.” The same expression occurs at the end of the following line (cf. KJV, ASV, NASB). Many English versions vary the wording slightly, presumably for stylistic reasons, to avoid redundancy (e.g., NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).
  11. Proverbs 6:3 tn The syntactical construction of imperative followed by an imperative with vav consecutive denotes purpose: “in order to be delivered.” The verb means “to deliver oneself, be delivered” in the Niphal. The image is one of being snatched or plucked quickly out of some danger or trouble, in the sense of a rescue, as in a “brand snatched [Hophal stem] from the fire” (Zech 3:2).
  12. Proverbs 6:3 tn Heb “have come into the hand of your neighbor” (so NASB; cf. KJV, ASV). The idiom using the “hand” means that the individual has come under the control or the power of someone else. This particular word for hand is used to play ironically on its first occurrence in v. 1.
  13. Proverbs 6:3 tn In the Hitpael the verb רָפַס (rafas) means “to stamp oneself down” or “to humble oneself” (cf. KJV, NASB, NIV). BDB 952 s.v. Hithp suggests “become a suppliant.” G. R. Driver related it to the Akkadian cognate rapasu, “trample,” and interpreted as trampling oneself, swallowing pride, being unremitting in effort (“Some Hebrew Verbs, Nouns, and Pronouns,” JTS 30 [1929]: 374).
  14. Proverbs 6:3 tn Heb “be bold.” The verb רָהַב (rahav) means “to act stormily; to act boisterously; to act arrogantly.” The idea here is a strong one: storm against (beset, importune) your neighbor. The meaning is that he should be bold and not take no for an answer. Cf. NIV “press your plea”; TEV “beg him to release you.”
  15. Proverbs 6:4 tn Heb “do not give sleep to your eyes.” The point is to go to the neighbor and seek release from the agreement immediately (cf. NLT “Don’t rest until you do”).
  16. Proverbs 6:5 tn Heb “from the hand.” Most translations supply “of the hunter.” The word “hand” can signify power, control; so the meaning is that of a gazelle freeing itself from a snare or a trap that a hunter set.
  17. Proverbs 6:5 tc Heb “hand” (so KJV, NAB, NRSV). Some mss and versions have it as “trap,” which may very well represent an interpretation too.
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The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Sunday January 28, 2024 (NIV)

Exodus 5:22-7:25

The Assurance of Deliverance

22 [a] Moses returned[b] to the Lord, and said, “Lord,[c] why have you caused trouble for this people?[d] Why did you ever[e] send me? 23 From the time I went to speak to Pharaoh in your name, he has caused trouble[f] for this people, and you have certainly not rescued[g] them!”[h]

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh,[i] for compelled by my strong hand[j] he will release them, and by my strong hand he will drive them out of his land.”[k]

God spoke[l] to Moses and said to him, “I am the Lord.[m] I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as[n] God Almighty,[o] but by my name ‘the Lord[p] I was not known to them.[q] I also established my covenant with them[r] to give them the land of Canaan, where they were living as resident foreigners.[s] I[t] have also heard[u] the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving,[v] and I have remembered my covenant.[w] Therefore, tell the Israelites, ‘I am the Lord. I will bring you out[x] from your enslavement to[y] the Egyptians, I will rescue you from the hard labor they impose,[z] and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. I will take you to myself for a people, and I will be your God.[aa] Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from your enslavement to[ab] the Egyptians. I will bring you to the land I swore to give[ac] to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob—and I will give it to you[ad] as a possession. I am the Lord.’”

[ae] Moses told this[af] to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him[ag] because of their discouragement[ah] and hard labor. 10 Then the Lord said to Moses, 11 “Go, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt that he must release[ai] the Israelites from his land.” 12 But Moses replied to[aj] the Lord, “If the Israelites did not listen to me, then[ak] how will Pharaoh listen to me, since[al] I speak with difficulty?”[am]

13 The Lord spoke[an] to Moses and Aaron and gave them a charge[ao] for the Israelites and Pharaoh king of Egypt to bring the Israelites out of the land of Egypt.

The Ancestry of Moses and Aaron

14 [ap] These were the heads of their fathers’ households:[aq]

The sons[ar] of Reuben, the firstborn son of Israel, were Hanoch and Pallu, Hezron and Carmi. These were the clans[as] of Reuben.

15 The sons of Simeon were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman. These were the clans of Simeon.

16 Now these were the names of the sons of Levi, according to their records:[at] Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. (The length of Levi’s life was 137 years.)

17 The sons of Gershon, by their families, were Libni and Shimei.

18 The sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. (The length of Kohath’s life was 133 years.)

19 The sons of Merari were Mahli and Mushi. These were the clans of Levi, according to their records.

20 Amram married[au] his father’s sister Jochebed, and she bore him Aaron and Moses. (The length of Amram’s life was 137 years.)

21 The sons of Izhar were Korah, Nepheg, and Zikri.

22 The sons of Uzziel were Mishael, Elzaphan, and Sithri.

23 Aaron married Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab and sister of Nahshon, and she bore him Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.

24 The sons of Korah were Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph. These were the Korahite clans.

25 Now Eleazar son of Aaron married one of the daughters of Putiel and she bore him Phinehas.

These were the heads of the fathers’ households[av] of Levi according to their clans.

26 It was the same Aaron and Moses to whom the Lord said, “Bring the Israelites out of the land of Egypt by their regiments.”[aw] 27 They were the men who were speaking to Pharaoh king of Egypt, in order to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. It was the same Moses and Aaron.

The Authentication of the Word

28 [ax] When[ay] the Lord spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, 29 he said to him,[az] “I am the Lord. Tell[ba] Pharaoh king of Egypt all that[bb] I am telling[bc] you.” 30 But Moses said before the Lord, “Since I speak with difficulty,[bd] why should Pharaoh listen to me?”

So the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God[be] to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet.[bf] You are to speak[bg] everything I command you,[bh] and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh that he must release[bi] the Israelites from his land. But I will harden[bj] Pharaoh’s heart, and although I will multiply[bk] my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt, Pharaoh will not listen to you.[bl] I will reach into[bm] Egypt and bring out my regiments,[bn] my people the Israelites, from the land of Egypt with great acts of judgment. Then[bo] the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I extend my hand[bp] over Egypt and bring the Israelites out from among them.”

And Moses and Aaron did so; they did just as the Lord commanded them. Now Moses was eighty years old and Aaron was eighty-three years old when they spoke to Pharaoh.

The Lord said[bq] to Moses and Aaron,[br] “When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Do[bs] a miracle,’ and you say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down[bt] before Pharaoh,’ it will become[bu] a snake.” 10 When[bv] Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh, they did so, just as the Lord had commanded them—Aaron threw down[bw] his staff before Pharaoh and his servants and it became a snake.[bx] 11 Then Pharaoh also summoned wise men and sorcerers,[by] and the magicians[bz] of Egypt by their secret arts[ca] did the same thing. 12 Each man[cb] threw down his staff, and the staffs became snakes. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. 13 Yet Pharaoh’s heart became hard,[cc] and he did not listen to them, just as the Lord had predicted.

Plague One: Water to Blood

14 [cd] The Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is hard;[ce] he refuses to release[cf] the people. 15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning when[cg] he goes out to the water. Position yourself[ch] to meet him by the edge of the Nile,[ci] and take[cj] in your hand the staff[ck] that was turned into a snake. 16 Tell him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to you to say,[cl] “Release my people, that they may serve me[cm] in the wilderness!” But until now[cn] you have not listened.[co] 17 This is what the Lord has said: “By this you will know that I am the Lord: I am going to strike[cp] the water of the Nile with the staff that is in my hand, and it will be turned into blood.[cq] 18 Fish[cr] in the Nile will die, the Nile will stink, and the Egyptians will be unable[cs] to drink water from the Nile.”’” 19 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over Egypt’s waters—over their rivers, over their canals,[ct] over their ponds, and over all their reservoirs[cu]—so that it becomes[cv] blood.’ There will be blood everywhere in[cw] the land of Egypt, even in wooden and stone containers.” 20 Moses and Aaron did so,[cx] just as the Lord had commanded. He raised[cy] the staff[cz] and struck the water that was in the Nile right before the eyes[da] of Pharaoh and his servants,[db] and all the water that was in the Nile was turned to blood.[dc] 21 When the fish[dd] that were in the Nile died, the Nile began[de] to stink, so that the Egyptians could not drink water from the Nile. There was blood[df] everywhere in the land of Egypt! 22 But the magicians of Egypt did the same[dg] by their secret arts, and so[dh] Pharaoh’s heart remained hard,[di] and he refused to listen to Moses and Aaron[dj]—just as the Lord had predicted. 23 And Pharaoh turned and went into his house. He did not pay any attention to this.[dk] 24 All the Egyptians dug around the Nile for water to drink,[dl] because they could not drink the water of the Nile.

Plague Two: Frogs

25 [dm] Seven full days passed[dn] after the Lord struck[do] the Nile.


  1. Exodus 5:22 sn In view of the apparent failure of the mission, Moses seeks Yahweh for assurance. The answer from Yahweh not only assures him that all is well, but that there will be a great deliverance. The passage can be divided into three parts: the complaint of Moses (5:22-23), the promise of Yahweh (6:1-9), and the instructions for Moses (6:10-13). Moses complains because God has not delivered his people as he had said he would, and God answers that he will because he is the sovereign covenant God who keeps his word. Therefore, Moses must keep his commission to speak God’s word. See further, E. A. Martens, “Tackling Old Testament Theology,” JETS 20 (1977): 123-32. The message is very similar to that found in the NT, “Where is the promise of his coming?” (2 Pet 3:4). The complaint of Moses (5:22-23) can be worded with Peter’s “Where is the promise of his coming?” theme; the assurance from Yahweh (6:1-9) can be worded with Peter’s “The Lord is not slack in keeping his promises” (2 Pet 3:9); and the third part, the instructions for Moses (6:10-13) can be worded with Peter’s “Prepare for the day of God and speed its coming” (2 Pet 3:12). The people who speak for God must do so in the sure confidence of the coming deliverance—Moses with the deliverance from the bondage of Egypt, and Christians with the deliverance from this sinful world.
  2. Exodus 5:22 tn Heb “and Moses returned.”
  3. Exodus 5:22 tn The designation in Moses’ address is “Lord” (אֲדֹנָי, ʾadonay)—the term for “lord” or “master” but pointed as it would be when it represents the tetragrammaton.
  4. Exodus 5:22 tn The verb is הֲרֵעֹתָה (hareʿotah), the Hiphil perfect of רָעַע (raʿaʿ). The word itself means “to do evil,” and in this stem “to cause evil”—but evil in the sense of pain, calamity, trouble, or affliction, and not always in the sense of sin. Certainly not here. That God had allowed Pharaoh to oppose them had brought greater pain to the Moses’ question is rhetorical; the point is more of a complaint or accusation to God, although there is in it the desire to know why. B. Jacob (Exodus, 139) comments that such frank words were a sign of the man’s closeness to God. God never has objected to such bold complaints by the devout. He then notes how God was angered by his defenders in the book of Job rather than by Job’s heated accusations.
  5. Exodus 5:22 tn The demonstrative pronoun serves for emphasis in the question (see R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 24, §118). This second question continues Moses’ bold approach to God, more chiding than praying. He is implying that if this was the result of the call, then God had no purpose calling him (compare Jeremiah’s similar complaint in Jer 20).
  6. Exodus 5:23 sn Now the verb (הֵרַע, heraʿ) has a different subject—Pharaoh. The ultimate cause of the trouble was God, but the immediate cause was Pharaoh and the way he increased the work. Meanwhile, the Israelite foremen have pinned most of the blame on Moses and Aaron. Moses knows all about the sovereignty of God, and as he speaks in God’s name, he sees the effect it has on pagans like Pharaoh. So the rhetorical questions are designed to prod God to act differently.
  7. Exodus 5:23 tn The Hebrew construction is emphatic: וְהַצֵּל לֹא־הִצַּלְתָּ (vehatsel loʾ hitsalta). The verb נָצַל (natsal) means “to deliver, rescue” in the sense of plucking out, even plundering. The infinitive absolute strengthens both the idea of the verb and the negative. God had not delivered this people at all.
  8. Exodus 5:23 tn Heb “your people.” The pronoun (“them”) has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons here, to avoid redundancy.
  9. Exodus 6:1 sn The expression “I will do to Pharaoh” always refers to the plagues. God would first show his sovereignty over Pharaoh before defeating him.
  10. Exodus 6:1 tn The expression “with a strong hand” (וּבְיָד חֲזָקָה, uveyad khazaqah) could refer (1) to God’s powerful intervention (“compelled by my strong hand”) or (2) to Pharaoh’s forceful pursuit (“he will forcefully drive them out”). In Exod 3:20 God has summarized what his hand would do in Egypt, and that is probably what is intended here, as he promises that Moses will see what God will do. All Egypt ultimately desired that Israel be released (12:33), and when they were released Pharaoh pursued them to the sea, and so in a sense drove them out—whether that was his intention or not. But ultimately it was God’s power that was the real force behind it all. U. Cassuto (Exodus, 74) considers that it is unlikely that the phrase would be used in the same verse twice with the same meaning. So he thinks that the first “strong hand” is God’s, and the second “strong hand” is Pharaoh’s. It is true that if Pharaoh acted forcefully in any way that contributed to Israel leaving Egypt it was because God was acting forcefully in his life. So in an understated way, God is saying that when forced by God’s strong hand, Pharaoh will indeed release God’s people.”
  11. Exodus 6:1 tn Or “and he will forcefully drive them out of his land,” if the second occurrence of “strong hand” refers to Pharaoh’s rather than God’s (see the previous note).sn In Exod 12:33 the Egyptians were eager to send (release) Israel away in haste, because they all thought they were going to die.
  12. Exodus 6:2 tn Heb “And God spoke.”
  13. Exodus 6:2 sn The announcement “I am the Lord” (Heb “Yahweh”) draws in the preceding revelation in Exod 3:15. In that place God called Moses to this task and explained the significance of the name “Yahweh” by the enigmatic expression “I am that I am.” “I am” (אֶהְיֶה, ʾehyeh) is not a name; “Yahweh” is. But the explanation of the name with this sentence indicates that Yahweh is the one who is always there, and that guarantees the future, for everything he does is consistent with his nature. He is eternal, never changing; he remains. Now, in Exodus 6, the meaning of the name “Yahweh” will be more fully unfolded.
  14. Exodus 6:3 tn The preposition bet (ב) in this construction should be classified as a bet essentiae, a bet of essence (see also GKC 379 §119.i).
  15. Exodus 6:3 tn The traditional rendering of the title as “Almighty” is reflected in LXX and Jerome. But there is still little agreement on the etymology and exact meaning of אֵל־שַׁדַּי (ʾel shadday). Suggestions have included the idea of “mountain God,” meaning the high God, as well as “the God with breasts.” But there is very little evidence supporting such conclusions and not much reason to question the ancient versions.
  16. Exodus 6:3 tn Heb “Yahweh,” traditionally rendered in English as “the Lord.” The phrase has been placed in quotation marks in the translation to indicate it represents the tetragrammaton.
  17. Exodus 6:3 tn The verb is the Niphal form נוֹדַעְתִּי (nodaʿti). If the text had wanted to say, “I did not make myself known,” then a Hiphil form would have been more likely. It is saying, “but by my name Yahweh I was not known to them.”sn There are a number of important issues that need clarification in the interpretation of this section. First, it is important to note that “I am Yahweh” is not a new revelation of a previously unknown name. It would be introduced differently if it were. This is the identification of the covenant God as the one calling Moses—that would be proof for the people that their God had called him. Second, the title “El Shadday” is not a name, but a title. It is true that in the patriarchal accounts “El Shadday” is used six times; in Job it is used thirty times. Many conclude that it does reflect the idea of might or power. In some of those passages that reveal God as “El Shadday,” the name “Yahweh” was also used. But Wellhausen and other proponents of the earlier source critical analysis used Exod 6:3 to say that P, the so-called priestly source, was aware that the name “Yahweh” was not known by them, even though J, the supposed Yahwistic source, wrote using the name as part of his theology. Third, the texts of Genesis show that Yahweh had appeared to the patriarchs (Gen 12:1; 17:1; 18:1; 26:2; 26:24; 26:12; 35:1; 48:3), and that he spoke to each one of them (Gen 12:7; 15:1; 26:2; 28:13; 31:3). The name “Yahweh” occurs 162 times in Genesis, 34 of those times on the lips of speakers in Genesis (W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:340-41). They also made proclamation of Yahweh by name (4:26; 12:8), and they named places with the name (22:14). These passages should not be ignored or passed off as later interpretation. Fourth, “Yahweh” is revealed as the God of power, the sovereign God, who was true to his word and could be believed. He would do as he said (Num 23:19; 14:35; Exod 12:25; 22:24; 24:14; 36:36; 37:14). Fifth, there is a difference between promise and fulfillment in the way revelation is apprehended. The patriarchs were individuals who received the promises but without the fulfillment. The fulfillment could only come after the Israelites became a nation. Now, in Egypt, they are ready to become that promised nation. The two periods were not distinguished by not having and by having the name, but by two ways God revealed the significance of his name. “I am Yahweh” to the patriarchs indicated that he was the absolute, almighty, eternal God. The patriarchs were individuals sojourning in the land. God appeared to them in the significance of El Shadday. That was not his name. So Gen 17:1 says that “Yahweh appeared…and said, ‘I am El Shadday.’” See also Gen 35:11; 48:2; 28:3. Sixth, the verb “to know” is never used to introduce a name which had never been known or experienced. The Niphal and Hiphil of the verb are used only to describe the recognition of the overtones or significance of the name (see Jer 16:21, Isa 52:6; Ps 83:17ff; 1 Kgs 8:41ff. [people will know his name when prayers are answered]). For someone to say that he knew Yahweh meant that Yahweh had been experienced or recognized (see Exod 33:6; 1 Kgs 18:36; Jer 28:9; Ps 76:2). Seventh, “Yahweh” is not one of God’s names—it is his only name. Other titles, like “El Shadday,” are not strictly names but means of revealing Yahweh. All the revelations to the patriarchs could not compare to this one, because God was now dealing with the nation. He would make his name known to them through his deeds (see Ezek 20:5). So now they will “know” the “name.” The verb יָדַע (yadaʿ) means more than “aware of, be knowledgeable about”; it means “to experience” the reality of the revelation by that name. This harmonizes with the usage of שֵׁם (shem), “name,” which encompasses all the attributes and actions of God. It is not simply a reference to a title, but to the way that God revealed himself—God gave meaning to his name through his acts. God is not saying that he had not revealed a name to the patriarchs (that would have used the Hiphil of the verb). Rather, he is saying that the patriarchs did not experience what the name Yahweh actually meant, and they could not without seeing it fulfilled. When Moses came to the elders, he identified his call as from Yahweh, the God of the fathers—and they accepted him. They knew the name. But, when they were delivered from bondage, then they fully knew by experience what that name meant, for his promises were fulfilled. U. Cassuto (Exodus, 79) paraphrases it this way: “I revealed Myself to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in My aspect that finds expression in the name Shaddai…I was not known to them, that is, it was not given to them to recognize Me as One that fulfils his promises.” This generation was about to “know” the name that their ancestors knew and used, but never experienced with the fulfillment of the promises. This section of Exodus confirms this interpretation, because in it God promised to bring them out of Egypt and give them the promised land—then they would know that he is Yahweh (6:7). This meaning should have been evident from its repetition to the Egyptians throughout the plagues—that they might know Yahweh (e.g., 7:5). See further R. D. Wilson, “Yahweh [Jehovah] and Exodus 6:3, ” Classical Evangelical Essays in Old Testament Interpretation, 29-40; L. A. Herrboth, “Exodus 6:3b: Was God Known to the Patriarchs as Jehovah?” CTM 4 (1931): 345-49; F. C. Smith, “Observation on the Use of the Names and Titles of God in Genesis,” EvQ 40 (1968): 103-9.
  18. Exodus 6:4 tn The statement refers to the making of the covenant with Abraham (Gen 15 and following) and confirming it with the other patriarchs. The verb הֲקִמֹתִי (haqimoti) means “set up, establish, give effect to, conclude” a covenant agreement. The covenant promised the patriarchs a great nation, a land—Canaan, and divine blessing. They lived with those promises, but now their descendants were in bondage in Egypt. God’s reference to the covenant here is meant to show the new revelation through redemption will start to fulfill the promises and show what the reality of the name Yahweh is to them.
  19. Exodus 6:4 tn Heb “the land of their sojournings.” The noun מְגֻרִים (megurim) is a reminder that the patriarchs did not receive the promises. It is also an indication that those living in the age of promise did not experience the full meaning of the name of the covenant God. The “land of their sojournings” is the land of Canaan where the family lived (גָּרוּ, garu) as foreigners, without owning property or having the rights of kinship with the surrounding population.
  20. Exodus 6:5 tn The addition of the independent pronoun אֲנִי (ʾani, “I”) emphasizes the fact that it was Yahweh himself who heard the cry.
  21. Exodus 6:5 tn Heb “And also I have heard.”
  22. Exodus 6:5 tn The form is the Hiphil participle מַעֲבִדִים (maʿavidim, “causing to serve”). The participle occurs in a relative clause that modifies “the Israelites.” The clause ends with the accusative “them,” which must be combined with the relative pronoun for a smooth English translation. So “who the Egyptians are enslaving them,” results in the translation “whom the Egyptians are enslaving.”
  23. Exodus 6:5 sn As in Exod 2:24, this remembering has the significance of God’s beginning to act to fulfill the covenant promises.
  24. Exodus 6:6 tn The verb וְהוֹצֵאתִי (vehotseʾti) is a perfect tense with the vav (ו) consecutive, and so it receives a future translation—part of God’s promises. The word will be used later to begin the Decalogue and other covenant passages—“I am Yahweh who brought you out….”
  25. Exodus 6:6 tn Heb “from under the burdens of” (so KJV, NASB); NIV “from under the yoke of.”
  26. Exodus 6:6 tn Heb “from labor of them.” The antecedent of the pronoun is the Egyptians who have imposed slave labor on the Hebrews.
  27. Exodus 6:7 sn These covenant promises are being reiterated here because they are about to be fulfilled. They are addressed to the nation, not individuals, as the plural suffixes show. Yahweh was their God already, because they had been praying to him and he is acting on their behalf. When they enter into covenant with God at Sinai, then he will be the God of Israel in a new way (19:4-6; cf. Gen 17:7-8; 28:20-22; Lev 26:11-12; Jer 24:7; Ezek 11:17-20).
  28. Exodus 6:7 tn Heb “from under the burdens of” (so KJV, NASB); NIV “from under the yoke of.”
  29. Exodus 6:8 tn Heb “which I raised my hand to give it.” The relative clause specifies which land is their goal. The bold anthropomorphism mentions part of an oath-taking ceremony to refer to the whole event and reminds the reader that God swore that he would give the land to them. The reference to taking an oath would have made the promise of God sure in the mind of the Israelite.
  30. Exodus 6:8 sn Here is the twofold aspect again clearly depicted: God swore the promise to the patriarchs, but he is about to give what he promised to this generation. This generation will know more about him as a result.
  31. Exodus 6:9 sn The final part of this section focuses on instructions for Moses. The commission from God is the same—he is to speak to Pharaoh and he is to lead Israel out. It should have been clear to him that God would do this, for he had just been reminded how God was going to lead out, deliver, redeem, take the people as his people, and give them land. It was God’s work of love from beginning to end. Moses simply had his task to perform.
  32. Exodus 6:9 tn Heb “and Moses spoke thus.”
  33. Exodus 6:9 tn Heb “to Moses.” The proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“him”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  34. Exodus 6:9 tn The Hebrew מִקֹּצֶּר רוּחַ (miqqotser ruakh) means “because of the shortness of spirit.” This means that they were discouraged, dispirited, and weary—although some have also suggested it might mean impatient. The Israelites were now just not in the frame of mind to listen to Moses.
  35. Exodus 6:11 tn The form וִישַׁלַּח (vishallakh) is the Piel imperfect or jussive with a sequential vav; following an imperative it gives the imperative’s purpose and intended result. They are to speak to Pharaoh, and (so that as a result) he will release Israel. After the command to speak, however, the second clause also indirectly states the content of the speech (cf. Exod 11:2; 14:2, 15; 25:2; Lev 16:2; 22:2). As the next verse shows, Moses doubts that what he says will have the intended effect.
  36. Exodus 6:12 tn Heb “And Moses spoke before.”
  37. Exodus 6:12 sn This analogy is an example of a qal wahomer comparison. It is an argument by inference from the light (qal) to the heavy (homer), from the simple to the more difficult. If the Israelites, who are Yahwists, would not listen to him, it is highly unlikely Pharaoh would.
  38. Exodus 6:12 tn The final clause begins with a disjunctive vav (ו), a vav on a nonverb form—here a pronoun. It introduces a circumstantial causal clause.
  39. Exodus 6:12 tn Heb “and [since] I am of uncircumcised lips.” The “lips” represent his speech (metonymy of cause). The term “uncircumcised” makes a comparison between his speech and that which Israel perceived as unacceptable, unprepared, foreign, and of no use to God. The heart is described this way when it is impervious to good impressions (Lev 26:41; Jer 9:26) and the ear when it hears imperfectly (Jer 6:10). Moses has here returned to his earlier claim—he does not speak well enough to be doing this.
  40. Exodus 6:13 tn Heb “And Yahweh spoke.”
  41. Exodus 6:13 tn The term וַיְצַוֵּם (vayetsavvem) is a Piel preterite with a pronominal suffix on it. The verb צָוָה (tsavah) means “to command” but can also have a much wider range of meanings. In this short summary statement, the idea of giving Moses and Aaron a commission to Israel and to Pharaoh indicates that come what may they have their duty to perform.
  42. Exodus 6:14 sn This list of names shows that Moses and Aaron are in the line of Levi that came to the priesthood. It helps to identify them and authenticate them as spokesmen for God within the larger history of Israel. As N. M. Sarna observes, “Because a genealogy inherently symbolizes vigor and continuity, its presence here also injects a reassuring note into the otherwise despondent mood” (Exodus [JPSTC], 33).
  43. Exodus 6:14 tn The expression is literally “the house of their fathers.” This expression means that the household or family descended from a single ancestor. It usually indicates a subdivision of a tribe, that is, a clan, or the subdivision of a clan, that is, a family. Here it refers to a clan (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 46).
  44. Exodus 6:14 tn Or “descendants.”
  45. Exodus 6:14 tn Or “families,” and so throughout the genealogy.
  46. Exodus 6:16 tn Or “generations.”
  47. Exodus 6:20 tn Heb “took for a wife” (also in vv. 23, 25).
  48. Exodus 6:25 tn Heb “heads of the fathers” is taken as an abbreviation for the description of “households” in v. 14.
  49. Exodus 6:26 tn Or “by their hosts” or “by their armies.” Often translated “hosts” (ASV, NASB) or “armies” (KJV), צְבָאוֹת (tsevaʾot) is a military term that portrays the people of God in battle array. In contemporary English, “regiment” is perhaps more easily understood as a force for battle than “company” (cf. NAB, NRSV) or “division” (NIV, NCV, NLT), both of which can have commercial associations. The term also implies an orderly departure.
  50. Exodus 6:28 sn From here on the confrontation between Yahweh and Pharaoh will intensify until Pharaoh is destroyed. The emphasis at this point, though, is on Yahweh’s instructions for Moses to speak to Pharaoh. The first section (6:28-7:7) ends (v. 6) with the notice that Moses and Aaron did just as (כַּאֲשֶׁר, kaʾasher) Yahweh had commanded them; the second section (7:8-13) ends with the note that Pharaoh refused to listen, just as (כַּאֲשֶׁר) Yahweh had said would be the case.
  51. Exodus 6:28 tn The beginning of this temporal clause does not follow the normal pattern of using the preterite of the main verb after the temporal indicator and prepositional phrase, but instead uses a perfect tense following the noun in construct: וַיְהִי בְּיוֹם דִּבֶּר (vayehi beyom dibber). See GKC 422 §130.d. This verse introduces a summary (vv. 28-30) of the conversation that was interrupted when the genealogy began.
  52. Exodus 6:29 tn Heb “and Yahweh spoke to Moses saying.” This has been simplified in the translation as “he said to him” for stylistic reasons.
  53. Exodus 6:29 tn The verb is דַּבֵּר (dabber), the Piel imperative. It would normally be translated “speak,” but in English that verb does not sound as natural with a direct object as “tell.”
  54. Exodus 6:29 tn The clause begins with אֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר (ʾet kol ʾasher) indicating that this is a noun clause functioning as the direct object of the imperative and providing the content of the commanded speech.
  55. Exodus 6:29 tn דֹּבֵר (dover) is the Qal active participle; it functions here as the predicate in the noun clause: “that I [am] telling you.” This one could be rendered, “that I am speaking to you.”
  56. Exodus 6:30 tn See note on Exod 6:12.
  57. Exodus 7:1 tn The word “like” is added for clarity, making explicit the implied comparison in the statement “I have made you God to Pharaoh.” The word אֱלֹהִים (ʾelohim) is used a few times in the Bible for humans (e.g., Pss 45:6; 82:1), and always clearly in the sense of a subordinate to GOD—they are his representatives on earth. The explanation here goes back to 4:16. If Moses is like God in that Aaron is his prophet, then Moses is certainly like God to Pharaoh. Only Moses, then, is able to speak to Pharaoh with such authority, giving him commands.
  58. Exodus 7:1 tn The word נְבִיאֶךָ (neviʾekha, “your prophet”) recalls 4:16. Moses was to be like God to Aaron, and Aaron was to speak for him. This indicates that the idea of a “prophet” was of one who spoke for God, an idea with which Moses and Aaron and the readers of Exodus are assumed to be familiar.
  59. Exodus 7:2 tn The imperfect tense here should have the nuance of instruction or injunction: “you are to speak.” The subject is singular (Moses) and made emphatic by the presence of the personal pronoun “you.”
  60. Exodus 7:2 tn The phrase translated “everything I command you” is a noun clause serving as the direct object of the verb “speak.” The verb in the clause (אֲצַוֶּךָ, ʾatsavvekha) is the Piel imperfect. It could be classified as a future: “everything that I will command you.” A nuance of progressive imperfect also fits well: “everything that I am commanding you.”sn The distinct emphasis is important. Aaron will speak to the people and Pharaoh what Moses tells him, and Moses will speak to Aaron what God commands him. The use of “command” keeps everything in perspective for Moses’ position.
  61. Exodus 7:2 tn The form is וְשִׁלַּח (veshillakh), a Piel perfect with vav (ו) consecutive. Following the imperfects of injunction or instruction, this verb continues the sequence. It could be taken as equal to an imperfect expressing future (“and he will release”) or subordinate to express purpose (“to release” = “in order that he may release”).
  62. Exodus 7:3 tn The clause begins with the emphatic use of the pronoun and a disjunctive vav (ו) expressing the contrast “But as for me, I will harden.” They will speak, but God will The imperfect tense of the verb קָשָׁה (qashah) is found only here in these “hardening passages.” The verb (here the Hiphil for “I will harden”) summarizes Pharaoh’s resistance to what God would be doing through Moses—he would stubbornly resist and refuse to submit; he would be resolved in his opposition. See R. R. Wilson, “The Hardening of Pharaoh’s Heart,” CBQ 41 (1979): 18-36.
  63. Exodus 7:3 tn The form beginning the second half of the verse is the perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive, הִרְבֵּיתִי (hirbeti). It could be translated as a simple future in sequence after the imperfect preceding it, but the logical connection is not obvious. Since it carries the force of an imperfect due to the sequence, it may be subordinated as a temporal clause to the next clause that begins in v. 4. That maintains the flow of the argument.
  64. Exodus 7:4 tn Heb “and Pharaoh will not listen.”
  65. Exodus 7:4 tn Heb “put my hand into.” The expression is a strong anthropomorphism to depict God’s severest judgment on Egypt. The point is that neither the speeches of Moses and Aaron nor the signs that God would do will be effective. Consequently, God would deliver the blow that would destroy.
  66. Exodus 7:4 tn See the note on this term in 6:26.
  67. Exodus 7:5 tn The emphasis on sequence is clear because the form is the perfect tense with the vav The use of the verb “to know” (יָדַע, yadaʿ) underscores what was said with regard to 6:3. By the time the actual exodus took place, the Egyptians would have “known” the name Yahweh, probably hearing it more than they wished. But they will know—experience the truth of it—when Yahweh defeats them.
  68. Exodus 7:5 sn This is another anthropomorphism, parallel to the preceding. If God were to “put” (נָתַן, natan), “extend” (נָטָה, natah), or “reach out” (שָׁלַח, shalakh) his hand against them, they would be destroyed. Contrast Exod 24:11.
  69. Exodus 7:8 tn Heb “And Yahweh said.”
  70. Exodus 7:8 tn Heb “said to Moses and Aaron, saying.”
  71. Exodus 7:9 tn The verb is תְּנוּ (tenu), literally “give.” The imperative is followed by an ethical dative that strengthens the subject of the imperative: “you give a miracle.”
  72. Exodus 7:9 tn Heb “and throw it.” The direct object, “it,” is implied.
  73. Exodus 7:9 tn The form is the jussive יְהִי (yehi). Gesenius notes that frequently in a conditional clause, a sentence with a protasis and apodosis, the jussive will be used. Here it is in the apodosis (GKC 323 §109.h).
  74. Exodus 7:10 tn The clause begins with the preterite and the vav (ו) consecutive; it is here subordinated to the next clause as a temporal clause.
  75. Exodus 7:10 tn Heb “and Aaron threw.”
  76. Exodus 7:10 tn The noun used here is תַּנִּין (tannin), and not the word for “serpent” or “snake” used in chap. 4. This noun refers to a large reptile, in some texts large river or sea creatures (Gen 1:21; Ps 74:13) or land creatures (Deut 32:33). This wonder paralleled Moses’ miracle in 4:3 when he cast his staff down. But this is Aaron’s staff, and a different miracle. The noun could still be rendered “snake” here since the term could be broad enough to include it.
  77. Exodus 7:11 sn For information on this Egyptian material, see D. B. Redford, A Study of the Biblical Story of Joseph (VTSup), 203-4.
  78. Exodus 7:11 tn The חַרְטֻמִּים (khartummim) seem to have been the keepers of Egypt’s religious and magical texts, the sacred scribes.
  79. Exodus 7:11 tn The term בְּלַהֲטֵיהֶם (belahatehem) means “by their secret arts”; it is from לוּט (lut, “to enwrap”). The Greek renders the word “by their magic”; Tg. Onq. uses “murmurings” and “whispers,” and other Jewish sources “dazzling display” or “demons” (see further B. Jacob, Exodus, 253-54). They may have done this by clever tricks, manipulation of the animals, or demonic power. Many have suggested that Aaron and the magicians were familiar with an old trick in which they could temporarily paralyze a serpent and then revive it. But here Aaron’s snake swallows up their snakes.
  80. Exodus 7:12 tn The verb is plural, but the subject is singular, “a man—his staff.” This noun can be given a distributive sense: “each man threw down his staff.”
  81. Exodus 7:13 tn This phrase translates the Hebrew word חָזַק (khazaq); see S. R. Driver, Exodus, For more on this subject, see B. Jacob, Exodus, 241-49. S. R. Driver (Exodus, 53) notes that when this word (חָזַק) is used it indicates a will or attitude that is unyielding and firm, but when כָּבֵד (kaved) is used, it stresses the will as being slow to move, unimpressionable, slow to be affected.
  82. Exodus 7:14 sn With the first plague, or blow on Pharaoh, a new section of the book unfolds. Until now the dominant focus has been on preparing the deliverer for the exodus. From here the account will focus on preparing Pharaoh for it. The theological emphasis for exposition of the entire series of plagues may be: The sovereign Lord is fully able to deliver his people from the oppression of the world so that they may worship and serve him alone. The distinct idea of each plague then will contribute to this main idea. It is clear from the outset that God could have delivered his people simply and suddenly. But he chose to draw out the process with the series of plagues. There appear to be several reasons: First, the plagues are designed to judge Egypt. It is justice for slavery. Second, the plagues are designed to inform Israel and Egypt of the ability of Yahweh. Everyone must know that it is Yahweh doing all these things. The Egyptians must know this before they are destroyed. Third, the plagues are designed to deliver Israel. The first plague is the plague of blood: God has absolute power over the sources of life. Here Yahweh strikes the heart of Egyptian life with death and corruption. The lesson is that God can turn the source of life into the prospect of death. Moreover, the Nile was venerated; so by turning it into death Moses was showing the superiority of Yahweh.
  83. Exodus 7:14 tn Or “unresponsive” (so HALOT 456 s.v. I כָּבֵד).
  84. Exodus 7:14 tn The Piel infinitive construct לְשַׁלַּח (leshallakh) serves as the direct object of מֵאֵן (meʾen), telling what Pharaoh refuses (characteristic perfect) to do. The whole clause is an explanation (like a metonymy of effect) of the first clause that states that Pharaoh’s heart is hard.
  85. Exodus 7:15 tn The clause begins with הִנֵּה (hinneh); here it provides the circumstances for the instruction for Moses—he is going out to the water so go meet him. A temporal clause translation captures the connection between the clauses.
  86. Exodus 7:15 tn The instruction to Moses continues with this perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive following the imperative. The verb means “to take a stand, station oneself.” It seems that Pharaoh’s going out to the water was a regular feature of his day and that Moses could be there waiting to meet him.
  87. Exodus 7:15 sn The Nile, the source of fertility for the country, was deified by the Egyptians. There were religious festivals held to the god of the Nile, especially when the Nile was flooding. The Talmud suggests that Pharaoh in this passage went out to the Nile to make observations as a magician about its level. Others suggest he went out simply to bathe or to check the water level—but that would not change the view of the Nile that was prevalent in the land.
  88. Exodus 7:15 tn The verb תִּקַּח (tiqqakh), the Qal imperfect of לָקַח (laqakh), functions here as the imperfect of instruction, or injunction perhaps, given the word order of the clause.
  89. Exodus 7:15 tn The final clause begins with the noun and vav disjunctive, which singles this instruction out for special attention—“now the staff…you are to take.”
  90. Exodus 7:16 tn The form לֵאמֹר (leʾmor) is the Qal infinitive construct with the lamed (ל) preposition. It is used so often epexegetically that it has achieved idiomatic status—“saying” (if translated at all). But here it would make better sense to take it as a purpose infinitive. God sent him to say these words.
  91. Exodus 7:16 tn The imperfect tense with the vav (וְיַעַבְדֻנִי, veyaʿaveduni) following the imperative is a volitive sequence showing the purpose—“that they may serve me.” The word “serve” (עָבַד, ʿavad) is a general term that includes religious observance and obedience.
  92. Exodus 7:16 tn The final עַד־כֹּה (ʿad koh, “until now”) narrows the use of the perfect tense to the present perfect: “you have not listened.” That verb, however, involves more than than mere audition. It has the idea of responding to, hearkening, and in some places obeying; here “you have not complied” might catch the point of what Moses is saying, while “listen” helps to maintain the connection with other uses of the verb.
  93. Exodus 7:16 tn Or “complied” (שָׁמַעְתָּ, shamaʿta).
  94. Exodus 7:17 tn The combination of הִנֵּה (hinneh) plus the participle expresses imminent future, that he is about to do something.
  95. Exodus 7:17 sn W. C. Kaiser summarizes a view that has been adopted by many scholars, including a good number of conservatives, that the plagues overlap with natural phenomena in Egypt. Accordingly, the “blood” would not be literal blood, but a reddish contamination in the water. If there was an unusually high inundation of the Nile, the water flowed sluggishly through swamps and was joined with the water from the mountains that washed out the reddish soil. If the flood were high, the water would have a deeper red color. In addition to this discoloration, there is said to be a type of algae which produce a stench and a deadly fluctuation of the oxygen level of the river that is fatal to fish (see W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:350; he cites Greta Hort, “The Plagues of Egypt,” ZAW 69 [1957]: 84-103; same title, ZAW 70 [1958]: 48-59). While most scholars would agree that the water did not actually become blood (any more than the moon will be turned to literal blood [Joel 2:31]), many are not satisfied with this kind of explanation. If the event was a fairly common feature of the Nile, it would not have been any kind of sign to Pharaoh—and it should still be observable. The features that would have to be safeguarded are that it was understood to be done by the staff of God, that it was unexpected and not a mere coincidence, and that the magnitude of the contamination, color, stench, and death, was unparalleled. God does use natural features in miracles, but to be miraculous signs they cannot simply coincide with natural phenomena.
  96. Exodus 7:18 tn The definite article here has the generic use, indicating the class—“fish” (R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 19, §92).
  97. Exodus 7:18 tn The verb לָאָה (laʾah), here in the Niphal perfect with a vav consecutive, means “be weary, impatient.” The Niphal meaning is “make oneself weary” in doing something, or “weary (strenuously exert) oneself.” It seems always to indicate exhausted patience (see BDB 521 s.v.). The term seems to imply that the Egyptians were not able to drink the red, contaminated water, and so would expend all their energy looking for water to drink—in frustration of course.
  98. Exodus 7:19 tn Or “irrigation rivers” of the Nile.
  99. Exodus 7:19 sn The Hebrew term means “gathering,” i.e., wherever they gathered or collected waters, notably cisterns and reservoirs. This would naturally lead to the inclusion of both wooden and stone vessels—down to the smallest gatherings.
  100. Exodus 7:19 tn The imperfect tense with vav (ו) after the imperative indicates the purpose or result: “in order that they [the waters] be[come] blood.”
  101. Exodus 7:19 tn Or “in all.”
  102. Exodus 7:20 sn Both Moses and Aaron had tasks to perform. Moses, being the “god” to Pharaoh, dealt directly with him and the Nile. He would strike the Nile. But Aaron, “his prophet,” would stretch out the staff over the rest of the waters of Egypt.
  103. Exodus 7:20 tn Heb This probably refers to Aaron who is instructed to do so in v. 19. Durham suggests that the subject may be the Lord (J. Durham, Exodus [WBC], 94).
  104. Exodus 7:20 tn Gesenius calls the preposition on “staff” the ב (bet) instrumenti, used to introduce the object (GKC 380-81 §119.q). This construction provides a greater emphasis than an accusative.
  105. Exodus 7:20 tn The text could be rendered “in the sight of,” or simply “before,” but the literal idea of “before the eyes of” may stress how obvious the event was and how personally they were witnesses of it.
  106. Exodus 7:20 sn U. Cassuto (Exodus, 98) notes that the striking of the water was not a magical act. It signified two things: (1) the beginning of the sign, which was in accordance with God’s will, as Moses had previously announced, and (2) to symbolize actual “striking,” wherewith the Lord strikes Egypt and its gods (see v. 25).
  107. Exodus 7:20 sn There have been various attempts to explain the details of this plague or blow. One possible suggestion is that the plague turned the Nile into “blood,” but that it gradually turned back to its normal color and substance. However, the effects of the “blood” polluted the water so that dead fish and other contamination left it undrinkable. This would explain how the magicians could also do it—they would not have tried if all water was already turned to blood. It also explains why Pharaoh did not ask for the water to be turned back. This view was put forward by B. Schor; it is summarized by B. Jacob (Exodus, 258), who prefers the view of Rashi that the blow affected only water in use.
  108. Exodus 7:21 tn The first clause in this verse begins with a vav disjunctive, introducing a circumstantial clause to the statement that the water stank. The vav (ו) consecutive on the next verb shows that the smell was the result of the dead fish in the contaminated water. The result is then expressed with the vav beginning the clause that states that they could not drink it.
  109. Exodus 7:21 tn The preterite could be given a simple definite past translation, but an ingressive past would be more likely, as the smell would get worse and worse with the dead fish.
  110. Exodus 7:21 tn Heb “and there was blood.”
  111. Exodus 7:22 tn Heb “thus, so.”
  112. Exodus 7:22 tn The vav consecutive on the preterite introduces the outcome or result of the matter—Pharaoh was hardened.
  113. Exodus 7:22 tn Heb “and the heart of Pharaoh became hard.” This phrase translates the Hebrew word חָזַק (khazaq; see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 53). In context this represents the continuation of a prior condition.
  114. Exodus 7:22 tn Heb “to them”; the referents (Moses and Aaron) have been specified in the translation for clarity.
  115. Exodus 7:23 tn The text has וְלֹא־שָׁת לִבּוֹ גַּם־לָזֹאת (veloʾ shat libbo gam lazoʾt), which literally says, “and he did not set his heart also to this.” To “set the heart” to something would mean “to consider it.” This Hebrew idiom means that he did not pay attention to it, or take it to heart (cf. 2 Sam 13:20; Pss 48:13; 62:10; Prov 22:17; 24:32). Since Pharaoh had not been affected by this, he did not consider it or its implications further.
  116. Exodus 7:24 sn The text stresses that the water in the Nile, and Nile water that had been diverted or collected for use, was polluted and undrinkable. Water underground also was from the Nile, but it had not been contaminated, certainly not with dead fish, and so would be drinkable.
  117. Exodus 7:25 sn An attempt to connect this plague with the natural phenomena of Egypt proposes that because of the polluted water due to the high Nile, the frogs abandoned their normal watery homes (seven days after the first plague) and sought cover from the sun in homes wherever there was moisture. Since they had already been exposed to the poisonous water, they died very suddenly. The miracle was in the announcement and the timing, i.e., that Moses would predict this blow, and in the magnitude of it all, which was not natural (Greta Hort, “The Plagues of Egypt,” ZAW 69 [1957]: 95-98). It is also important to note that in parts of Egypt there was a fear of these creatures as embodying spirits capable of great evil. People developed the mentality of bowing to incredibly horrible idols to drive away the bad spirits. Evil spirits are represented in the book of Revelation in the forms of frogs (Rev 16:13). The frogs that the magicians produced could very well have been in the realm of evil spirits. Exactly how the Egyptians thought about this plague is hard to determine, but there is enough evidence to say that the plague would have made them spiritually as well as physically uncomfortable, and that the death of the frogs would have been a “sign” from God about their superstitions and related beliefs. The frog is associated with the god Hapi, and a frog-headed goddess named Heqet was supposed to assist women at childbirth. The plague would have been evidence that Yahweh was controlling their environment and upsetting their beliefs for his own purpose.
  118. Exodus 7:25 tn The text literally has “and seven days were filled.” Seven days gave Pharaoh enough time to repent and release Israel. When the week passed, God’s second blow came.
  119. Exodus 7:25 tn This is a temporal clause made up of the preposition, the Hiphil infinitive construct of נָכָה (nakhah), הַכּוֹת (hakkot), followed by the subjective genitive YHWH. Here the verb is applied to the true meaning of the plague: Moses struck the water, but the plague was a blow struck by God.
New English Translation (NET)

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Matthew 18:21-19:12

21 Then Peter came to him and said, “Lord, how many times must I forgive my brother[a] who sins against me? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, I tell you, but seventy-seven times![b]

The Parable of the Unforgiving Slave

23 “For this reason, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his slaves.[c] 24 As[d] he began settling his accounts, a man who owed 10,000 talents[e] was brought to him. 25 Because[f] he was not able to repay it,[g] the lord ordered him to be sold, along with[h] his wife, children, and whatever he possessed, and repayment to be made. 26 Then the slave threw himself to the ground[i] before him, saying,[j] ‘Be patient with me, and I will repay you everything.’ 27 The lord had compassion on that slave and released him, and forgave him the debt. 28 After[k] he went out, that same slave found one of his fellow slaves who owed him 100 silver coins.[l] So[m] he grabbed him by the throat and started to choke him,[n] saying, ‘Pay back what you owe me!’[o] 29 Then his fellow slave threw himself down and begged him,[p] ‘Be patient with me, and I will repay you.’ 30 But he refused. Instead, he went out and threw him in prison until he repaid the debt. 31 When[q] his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were very upset and went and told their lord everything that had taken place. 32 Then his lord called the first slave[r] and said to him, ‘Evil slave! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me! 33 Should you not have shown mercy to your fellow slave, just as I showed it to you?’ 34 And in anger his lord turned him over to the prison guards to torture him[s] until he repaid all he owed. 35 So also my heavenly Father will do to you, if each of you does not forgive your[t] brother[u] from your heart.”

Questions About Divorce

19 Now when[v] Jesus finished these sayings, he left Galilee and went to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan River.[w] Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

Then some Pharisees[x] came to him in order to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful[y] to divorce a wife for any cause?”[z] He answered, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator made them male and female,[aa] and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and will be united with his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?[ab] So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command us to give a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her?”[ac] Jesus[ad] said to them, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because of your hard hearts,[ae] but from the beginning it was not this way. Now I say to you that whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another commits adultery.” 10 The[af] disciples said to him, “If this is the case of a husband with a wife, it is better not to marry!” 11 He[ag] said to them, “Not everyone can accept this statement, except those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are some eunuchs who were that way from birth,[ah] and some who were made eunuchs[ai] by others,[aj] and some who became eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who is able to accept this should accept it.”


  1. Matthew 18:21 tn Here the term “brother” means “fellow believer” or “fellow Christian” (cf. BDAG 18 s.v. ἀδελφός 2.a), whether male or female. Concerning the familial connotations, see also the note on the first occurrence of this term in v. 15.
  2. Matthew 18:22 tn Or “seventy times seven,” i.e., an unlimited number of times. See L&N 60.74 and 60.77 for the two possible translations of the phrase.
  3. Matthew 18:23 tn See the note on the word “slave” in 8:9.
  4. Matthew 18:24 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
  5. Matthew 18:24 sn A talent was a huge sum of money, equal to 6,000 denarii. One denarius was the usual day’s wage for a worker. L&N 6.82 states, “a Greek monetary unit (also a unit of weight) with a value which fluctuated, depending upon the particular monetary system which prevailed at a particular period of time (a silver talent was worth approximately 6,000 denarii with gold talents worth at least thirty times that much).”
  6. Matthew 18:25 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
  7. Matthew 18:25 tn The word “it” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.
  8. Matthew 18:25 tn Grk “and his wife.”
  9. Matthew 18:26 tn Grk “falling therefore the slave bowed down to the ground.” The redundancy of this expression signals the desperation of the slave in begging for mercy.
  10. Matthew 18:26 tc The majority of mss (א L W Γ Δ 058 0281 ƒ1, 13 33 565 579 1241 1424 M it syp,h co) begin the slave’s plea with “Lord” (κύριε, kurie), though a few key witnesses lack this vocative (B D Θ 700 lat sys,c Or Chr). Understanding the parable to refer to the Lord, scribes would be naturally prone to add the vocative here, especially as the slave’s plea is a plea for mercy. Thus, the shorter reading is more likely to be authentic.
  11. Matthew 18:28 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
  12. Matthew 18:28 tn Grk “one hundred denarii.” The denarius was a silver coin worth about a day’s wage for a laborer; this would be about three month’s pay.
  13. Matthew 18:28 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so.” A new sentence was started at this point in the translation in keeping with the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences.
  14. Matthew 18:28 tn Grk “and he grabbed him and started choking him.”
  15. Matthew 18:28 tn The word “me” is not in the Greek text, but is implied.
  16. Matthew 18:29 tn Grk “begged him, saying.” The participle λέγων (legōn) is redundant here in contemporary English and has not been translated.
  17. Matthew 18:31 tn Grk “Therefore when.” Here οὖν (oun) has not been translated.
  18. Matthew 18:32 tn Grk “him”; the referent (the first slave mentioned in v. 24) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  19. Matthew 18:34 tn Grk “handed him over to the torturers,” referring specifically to guards whose job was to torture prisoners who were being questioned. According to L&N 37.126, it is difficult to know for certain in this instance whether the term actually envisions torture as a part of the punishment or is simply a hyperbole. However, in light of the following verse and Jesus’ other warning statements in Matthew about “fiery hell,” “the outer darkness,” etc., it is best not to dismiss this as mere imagery.
  20. Matthew 18:35 tn Grk “his.” The pronoun has been translated to follow English idiom (the last pronoun of the verse [“from your heart”] is second person plural in the original).
  21. Matthew 18:35 tn Here the term “brother” means “fellow believer” or “fellow Christian” (cf. BDAG 18 s.v. ἀδελφός 2.a), whether male or female. Concerning the familial connotations, see also the note on the first occurrence of this term in v. 15.
  22. Matthew 19:1 tn Grk “it happened when.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.
  23. Matthew 19:1 tn “River” is not in the Greek text but is supplied for clarity. The region referred to here is sometimes known as Transjordan (i.e., “across the Jordan”).
  24. Matthew 19:3 tn Grk “And Pharisees.”sn See the note on Pharisees in 3:7.
  25. Matthew 19:3 tc ‡ Most mss have either ἀνθρώπῳ (anthrōpō, “for a man” [so א3 C D W Δ Θ 087 ƒ1, 13 33 1241 M latt]) τινί (tini, “for someone” 700), ἀνθρώπῳ τινί (anthrōpō tini, “for a man” [565]) or ἀνδρί (andri, “for a husband” [1424c]) before the infinitive ἀπολῦσαι (apolusai, “to divorce”). “For a husband” is an assimilation to the parallel in Mark; the other readings may have been motivated by the clarification needed (especially to give the following αὐτοῦ [autou, “his”] an antecedent). But a few significant mss (א* B L Γ 579 1424*) have neither noun or the pronoun. In light of the variety of additions that clarify the subject of the infinitive, and especially since the shorter reading is the more difficult, it is likely that none of these additions was present in the autograph. As the harder reading, the shorter reading seems to best explain the rise of the others. NA28, however, reads ἀνθρώπῳ here.
  26. Matthew 19:3 sn The question of the Pharisees was anything but sincere; they were asking it to test him. Jesus was now in the jurisdiction of Herod Antipas (i.e., Judea and beyond the Jordan) and it is likely that the Pharisees were hoping he might answer the question of divorce in a way similar to John the Baptist and so suffer the same fate as John, i.e., death at the hands of Herod (cf. 14:1-12). Jesus answered the question not on the basis of rabbinic custom and the debate over Deut 24:1, but rather from the account of creation and God’s original design.
  27. Matthew 19:4 sn A quotation from Gen 1:27; 5:2.
  28. Matthew 19:5 sn A quotation from Gen 2:24.
  29. Matthew 19:7 tc ‡ Although the majority of witnesses (B C N W Γ Δ 078 087 ƒ13 33 565 1241 1424 M syp,h) have αὐτήν (autēn, “her”) after the infinitive ἀπολῦσαι (apolusai, “to divorce”), several authorities lack the αὐτήν. This shorter reading may be due to assimilation to the Markan parallel, but since it is attested in early and diverse witnesses (א D L Z Θ ƒ1 579 700 lat) and since the parallel verse (Mark 10:4) already departs at many points, the shorter reading seems more likely to be initial text’s wording here. The pronoun has been included in the translation, however, for clarity. NA28 includes the word in brackets, indicating reservations about its A quotation from Deut 24:1. The Pharisees were all in agreement that the OT permitted a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce his wife (not vice-versa) and that remarriage was therefore sanctioned. But the two rabbinic schools of Shammai and Hillel differed on the grounds for divorce. Shammai was much stricter than Hillel and permitted divorce only in the case of sexual immorality. Hillel permitted divorce for almost any reason (cf. the Mishnah, m. Gittin 9.10).
  30. Matthew 19:8 tc A few significant witnesses (א Φ a b c mae) have the name “Jesus” here, but it is almost certainly not original. Nevertheless, for clarity’s sake, “Jesus” is added in the Grk “He”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  31. Matthew 19:8 tn Grk “heart” (a collective singular).
  32. Matthew 19:10 tc ‡ Some significant witnesses, along with the majority of later mss (P25 C D L N W Z Γ Δ 078 ƒ1, 13 33 565 579 700 1241 1424 M lat sy samss bo), read αὐτοῦ (autou, “his”) after μαθηταί (mathētai, “disciples”), but this looks to be a clarifying reading. Other early and significant witnesses lack the pronoun (P71vid א B Θ e ff1 g1 sams mae; SBL), the reading adopted here. NA28 includes the pronoun in brackets, indicating some doubts as to its authenticity.
  33. Matthew 19:11 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
  34. Matthew 19:12 tn Grk “from the womb of the mother” (an idiom).
  35. Matthew 19:12 tn The verb εὐνουχίζω occurs twice in this verse, translated the first time as “made eunuchs” and the second time as “became eunuchs.” The term literally refers to castration. The second occurrence of the word in this verse is most likely figurative, though, referring to those who willingly maintain a life of celibacy for the furtherance of the kingdom (see W. D. Davies and D. C. Allison, Matthew [ICC], 3:23).
  36. Matthew 19:12 tn Grk “people.”
New English Translation (NET)

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Psalm 23

Psalm 23[a]

A psalm of David.

23 The Lord is my shepherd,[b]
I lack nothing.[c]
He takes me to lush pastures,[d]
he leads me to refreshing water.[e]
He restores my strength.[f]
He leads me down[g] the right paths[h]
for the sake of his reputation.[i]
Even when I must walk through the darkest valley,[j]
I fear[k] no danger,[l]
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff reassure me.[m]
You prepare a feast before me[n]
in plain sight of my enemies.
You refresh[o] my head with oil;
my cup is completely full.[p]
Surely your goodness and faithfulness[q] will pursue[r] me all my days,[s]
and I will live in[t] the Lord’s house[u] for the rest of my life.[v]


  1. Psalm 23:1 sn Psalm 23. In vv. 1-4 the psalmist pictures the Lord as a shepherd who provides for his needs and protects him from danger. The psalmist declares, “The Lord is my shepherd,” and then extends and develops that metaphor, speaking as if he were a sheep. In vv. 5-6 the metaphor changes as the psalmist depicts a great royal banquet hosted by the Lord. The psalmist is a guest of honor and recipient of divine favor, who enjoys unlimited access to the divine palace and the divine presence.
  2. Psalm 23:1 sn The Lord is my shepherd. The opening metaphor suggests the psalmist is assuming the role of a sheep. In vv. 1b-4 the psalmist extends the metaphor and explains exactly how the Lord is like a shepherd to him. At the surface level the language can be understood in terms of a shepherd’s relationship to his sheep. The translation of vv. 1-4 reflects this level. But, of course, each statement also points to an underlying reality.
  3. Psalm 23:1 tn The imperfect verbal form is best understood as generalizing; the psalmist highlights his typical or ongoing experience as a result of having the Lord as his shepherd (habitual present use). The next verse explains more specifically what he means by this statement.
  4. Psalm 23:2 tn Heb “he makes me lie down in lush pastures.” The Hiphil verb יַרְבִּיצֵנִי (yarbitseni) has a causative-modal nuance here (see IBHS 445-46 §27.5 on this use of the Hiphil), meaning “allows me to lie down” (see also Jer 33:12). The point is that the shepherd takes the sheep to lush pastures and lets them eat and rest there. Both imperfect verbal forms in v. 2 are generalizing and highlight the psalmist’s typical experience.
  5. Psalm 23:2 tn Both genitives in v. 2 indicate an attribute of the noun they modify: דֶּשֶׁא (desheʾ) characterizes the pastures as “lush” (i.e., rich with vegetation), while מְנֻחוֹת (menukhot) probably characterizes the water as refreshing. In this case the plural indicates an abstract quality. Some take מְנֻחוֹת in the sense of “still, calm” (i.e., as describing calm pools in contrast to dangerous torrents), but it is unlikely that such a pastoral scene is in view. Shepherds usually watered their sheep at wells (see Gen 29:2-3; Exod 2:16-19). Another option is to take מְנֻחוֹת as “resting places” and to translate, “water of/at the resting places” (i.e., a genitive of location; see IBHS 147-48 §9.5.2e).sn Within the framework of the metaphor, the psalmist/sheep is declaring in v. 2 that his shepherd provides the essentials for physical life. At a deeper level the psalmist may be referring to more than just physical provision, though that would certainly be included.
  6. Psalm 23:3 tn The appearance of the Hebrew term נַפְשִׁי (nafshi), traditionally translated “my soul,” might suggest a spiritualized interpretation for the first line of v. 3. However, at the surface level of the shepherd/sheep metaphor, this is unlikely. When it occurs with a pronominal suffix נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) is often equivalent to a pronoun, especially in poetry (see BDB 660 s.v.נֶפֶשׁ 4.a). In this context, where the statement most naturally refers to the physical provision just described, the form is best translated simply “me.” The accompanying verb (a Polel form [factitive use] of שׁוּב [shuv]), if referring to the physical provision just described, carries the nuance “refresh, restore strength.”
  7. Psalm 23:3 tn The imperfect verbal forms in v. 3 (יְשׁוֹבֵב [yeshovev] and יַנְחֵנִי [yankheni]), like those in vv. 1-2, highlight what is typical of the shepherd/sheep relationship.
  8. Psalm 23:3 tn The attributive genitive צֶדֶק (tsedeq) is traditionally translated “righteousness” here, as if designating a moral or ethical quality. But this seems unlikely, for it modifies מַעְגְּלֵי (maʿgele, “paths”). Within the shepherd/sheep metaphor, the phrase likely refers to “right” or “correct” paths, i.e., ones that lead to pastures, wells, or the fold. While צֶדֶק usually does carry a moral or ethical nuance, it can occasionally refer to less abstract things, such as weights and offerings. In this context, which emphasizes divine provision and protection, the underlying reality is probably God’s providential guidance. The psalmist is confident that God takes him down paths that will ultimately lead to something beneficial, not destructive.
  9. Psalm 23:3 tn The Hebrew term שֵׁם (shem, “name”) refers here to the shepherd’s reputation. (The English term “name” is often used the same way.) The statement לְמַעַן שְׁמוֹ (lemaʿan shemo, “for the sake of his name”) makes excellent sense within the framework of the shepherd/sheep metaphor. Shepherds, who sometimes hired out their services, were undoubtedly concerned about their vocational reputation. To maintain their reputation as competent shepherds, they had to know the “lay of the land” and make sure they led the sheep down the right paths to the proper destinations. The underlying reality is a profound theological truth: God must look out for the best interests of the one he has promised to protect, because if he fails to do so, his faithfulness could legitimately be called into question and his reputation damaged.
  10. Psalm 23:4 tn The Hebrew term צַלְמָוֶת (tsalmavet) has traditionally been understood as a compound noun meaning “shadow of death” (צֵל [tsel] + מָוֶת [mavet]; see BDB 853 s.v. צַלְמָוֶת). Other scholars prefer to vocalize the form צָלְמוּת (tsalmut) and understand it as an abstract noun (from the root צָלַם, tsalam) meaning “darkness.” An examination of the word’s usage favors the latter derivation. It is frequently associated with darkness/night and contrasted with light/morning (see Job 3:5; 10:21-22; 12:22; 24:17; 28:3; 34:22; Ps 107:10, 14; Isa 9:1; Jer 13:16; Amos 5:8). In some cases the darkness described is associated with the realm of death (Job 10:21-22; 38:17), but this is a metaphorical application of the word and does not reflect its inherent meaning. If the word does indeed mean “darkness,” it modifies גַיְא (gayʾ, “valley, ravine”) quite naturally. At the metaphorical level, v. 4 pictures the shepherd taking his sheep through a dark ravine where predators might lurk. The life-threatening situations faced by the psalmist are the underlying reality behind the imagery.
  11. Psalm 23:4 tn The imperfect verbal forms in v. 4, as in vv. 1-3, highlight what is typical in the psalmist’s experience.
  12. Psalm 23:4 tn The Hebrew term רָע (raʿ) is traditionally translated “evil” here, perhaps suggesting a moral or ethical nuance. But at the level of the metaphor, the word means “danger, injury, harm,” as a sheep might experience from a predator. The life-threatening dangers faced by the psalmist, especially the enemies mentioned in v. 5, are the underlying reality.
  13. Psalm 23:4 tn The Piel of נָחַם (nakham), when used with a human object, means “comfort, console.” But here, within the metaphorical framework, it refers to the way in which a shepherd uses his implements to assure the sheep of his presence and calm their nerves. The underlying reality is the emotional stability God provides the psalmist during life threatening situations.
  14. Psalm 23:5 sn In v. 5 the metaphor switches. (It would be very odd for a sheep to have its head anointed and be served wine.) The background for the imagery is probably the royal banquet. Ancient Near Eastern texts describe such banquets in similar terms to those employed by the psalmist. (See M. L. Barre and J. S. Kselman, “New Exodus, Covenant, and Restoration in Psalm 23, ” The Word of the Lord Shall Go Forth, 97-127.) The reality behind the imagery is the Lord’s favor. Through his blessings and protection he demonstrates to everyone, including dangerous enemies, that the psalmist has a special relationship with him.
  15. Psalm 23:5 tn The imperfect verbal form in v. 5a carries on the generalizing mood of vv. 1-4. However, in v. 5b the psalmist switches to a perfect (דִּשַּׁנְתָּ, dishanta), which may have a generalizing force as well. But then again the perfect is conspicuous here and may be present perfect in sense, indicating that the divine host typically pours oil on his head prior to seating him at the banquet table. The verb דָשַׁן (dashan; the Piel is factitive) is often translated “anoint,” but this is misleading, for it might suggest a symbolic act of initiation into royal status. One would expect the verb מָשָׁח (mashan) in this case; דָשַׁן here describes an act of hospitality extended to guests and carries the nuance “refresh.” In Prov 15:30 it stands parallel to “make happy” and refers to the effect that good news has on the inner being of its recipient.
  16. Psalm 23:5 tn The rare noun רְוָיָה (revayah) is derived from the well-attested verb רָוָה (ravah, “be saturated, drink one’s fill”). In this context, where it describes a cup, it must mean “filled up,” but not necessarily to overflowing.
  17. Psalm 23:6 tn The noun חֶסֶד (khesed; v. 6) has been the subject of several monographs. G. R. Clark concludes that חֶסֶד “is not merely an attitude or an emotion; it is an emotion that leads to an activity beneficial to the recipient.” He explains that an act of חֶסֶד is “a beneficent action performed, in the context of a deep and enduring commitment between two persons or parties, by one who is able to render assistance to the needy party who in the circumstances is unable to help him- or herself.” (See G. R. Clark, The Word Hesed in the Hebrew Bible [JSOTSup], 267.) HALOT 336-37 s.v. defines the word as “loyalty,” or “faithfulness.” Other appropriate meanings might be “commitment” and “devotion.”
  18. Psalm 23:6 tn The use of רָדַף (radaf, “pursue, chase”) with טוֹב וָחֶסֶד (tov vakhesed, “goodness and faithfulness”) as subject is ironic. This is the only place in the entire OT where either of these nouns appears as the subject of this verb רָדַף (radaf, “pursue”). This verb is often used to describe the hostile actions of enemies. One might expect the psalmist’s enemies (see v. 5) to chase him, but ironically God’s “goodness and faithfulness” (which are personified and stand by metonymy for God himself) pursue him instead. The word “pursue” is used outside of its normal context in an ironic manner and creates a unique, but pleasant word picture of God’s favor (or a kind God) “chasing down” the one whom he loves.
  19. Psalm 23:6 tn Heb “all the days of my life.”
  20. Psalm 23:6 tn The verb form וְשַׁבְתִּי (veshavti) is a Qal perfect (with vav [ו] consecutive), first common singular, from שׁוּב (shuv, “return”) and should be translated, “and I will return.” But this makes no sense when construed with the following phrase, “in the house of the Lord.” The term שׁוּב (shuv) appears only here with the following phrase בְּבֵית (bevet). The form should be emended to וְשִׁבְתִּי (veshivti; an infinitive construct from יָשַׁב [yashav, “live”] with pronominal suffix) or to וְיָשַׁבְתִּי (veyashavti; a Qal perfect with vav [ו] consecutive, first common singular, from ישׁב [see BHS, note c]). In either case one could then translate, “and I will live [in the house of the Lord].” The phrase “in the house” frequently follows the verb יָשַׁב in the OT.
  21. Psalm 23:6 tn Heb “the house of the Lord.” The phrase may be purely metaphorical here, referring to the royal palace where the royal host of v. 5 holds his banquet and lives. If one takes the phrase more literally, it would refer to the earthly tabernacle (if one accepts Davidic authorship) or the later temple (see Judg 19:18; 1 Sam 1:7, 24; 2 Sam 12:20; 1 Kgs 7:12, 40, 45, 51).
  22. Psalm 23:6 tn The phrase אֹרֶךְ יָמִים (ʾorekh yamim, “length of days”) is traditionally translated “forever.” However, this phrase, when used elsewhere of people, usually refers to a lengthy period of time, such as one’s lifetime, and does not mean “forever” in the sense of eternity. (Cf. Deut 30:20; Job 12:12; Ps 91:16; Prov 3:2, 16; Lam 5:20.) Furthermore, the parallel phrase “all the days of my life” suggests this more limited meaning. Psalm 21:4, where the phrase is followed by “forever and ever,” may be an exception, though the juxtaposition of the phrases may be an example of intensification, where the second phrase goes beyond the limits of the first, rather than synonymity. Even if one takes both expressions as referring to eternal life, the language is part of the king’s hyperbolic description of the Lord’s blessings and should not be taken literally.
New English Translation (NET)

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Proverbs 5:22-23

22 The wicked[a] will be captured by his[b] own iniquities,[c]
and he will be held[d] by the cords of his own sin.[e]
23 He will die because[f] there was no discipline;
because of the greatness of his folly[g] he will reel.[h]


  1. Proverbs 5:22 tn The suffix on the verb is the direct object suffix; “the wicked” is a second object by apposition: They capture him, the wicked. Since “the wicked” is not found in the LXX, it could be an old scribal error; or the Greek translator may have simply smoothed out the sentence. C. H. Toy suggests turning the sentence into a passive idea: “The wicked will be caught in his iniquities” (Proverbs [ICC], 117).
  2. Proverbs 5:22 tn The word is the subject of the clause, but the pronominal suffix has no clear referent. The suffix is proleptic, referring to the wicked.
  3. Proverbs 5:22 tn Heb “his own iniquities will capture the wicked.” The translation shifts the syntax for the sake of smoothness and readability.
  4. Proverbs 5:22 sn The lack of discipline and control in the area of sexual gratification is destructive. The one who plays with this kind of sin will become ensnared by it and led to ruin.
  5. Proverbs 5:22 tn The Hebrew is structured chiastically: “his own iniquities will capture the wicked, by the cords of his own sin will he be held.”
  6. Proverbs 5:23 tn The preposition ב (bet) is used in a causal sense: “because” (cf. NCV, TEV, CEV).
  7. Proverbs 5:23 sn The word אִוַּלְתּוֹ (ʾivvalto, “his folly”) is from the root אול and is related to the noun אֶוִיל (ʾevil, “foolish; fool”). The noun אִוֶּלֶת (ʾivvelet, “folly”) describes foolish and destructive activity. It lacks understanding, destroys what wisdom builds, and leads to destruction if it is not corrected.
  8. Proverbs 5:23 sn The verb שָׁגָה (shagah, “to swerve; to reel”) is repeated in a negative sense. If the young man is not captivated by his wife but is captivated with a stranger in sinful acts, then his own iniquities will captivate him and he will be led to ruin.
New English Translation (NET)

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The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Saturday January 27, 2024 (NIV)

Exodus 4:1-5:21

Signs of power

Then Moses replied, “But what if they don’t believe me or pay attention to me? They might say to me, ‘The Lord didn’t appear to you!’”

The Lord said to him, “What’s that in your hand?”

Moses replied, “A shepherd’s rod.”

The Lord said, “Throw it down on the ground.” So Moses threw it on the ground, and it turned into a snake. Moses jumped back from it. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Reach out and grab the snake by the tail.” So Moses reached out and grabbed it, and it turned back into a rod in his hand. “Do this so that they will believe that the Lord, the God of their ancestors, Abraham’s God, Isaac’s God, and Jacob’s God has in fact appeared to you.”

Again, the Lord said to Moses, “Put your hand inside your coat.” So Moses put his hand inside his coat. When he took his hand out, his hand had a skin disease flaky like snow. Then God said, “Put your hand back inside your coat.” So Moses put his hand back inside his coat. When he took it back out again, the skin of his hand had returned to normal. “If they won’t believe you or pay attention to the first sign, they may believe the second sign. If they won’t believe even these two signs or pay attention to you, then take some water from the Nile River and pour it out on dry ground. The water that you take from the Nile will turn into blood on the dry ground.”

10 But Moses said to the Lord, “My Lord, I’ve never been able to speak well, not yesterday, not the day before, and certainly not now since you’ve been talking to your servant. I have a slow mouth and a thick tongue.”

11 Then the Lord said to him, “Who gives people the ability to speak? Who’s responsible for making them unable to speak or hard of hearing, sighted or blind? Isn’t it I, the Lord? 12 Now go! I’ll help you speak, and I’ll teach you what you should say.”

13 But Moses said, “Please, my Lord, just send someone else.”

14 Then the Lord got angry at Moses and said, “What about your brother Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak very well. He’s on his way out to meet you now, and he’s looking forward to seeing you. 15 Speak to him and tell him what he’s supposed to say. I’ll help both of you speak, and I’ll teach both of you what to do. 16 Aaron will speak for you to the people. He’ll be a spokesperson for you, and you will be like God for him. 17 Take this shepherd’s rod with you too so that you can do the signs.”

Moses goes back to Egypt

18 Moses went back to his father-in-law Jethro and said to him, “Please let me go back to my family in Egypt and see whether or not they are still living.”

Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.”

19 The Lord said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt because everyone there who wanted to kill you has died.” 20 So Moses took his wife and his children, put them on a donkey, and went back to the land of Egypt. Moses also carried the shepherd’s rod from God in his hand.

21 The Lord said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, make sure that you appear before Pharaoh and do all the amazing acts that I’ve given you the power to do. But I’ll make him stubborn so that he won’t let the people go. 22 Then say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what the Lord says: Israel is my oldest son. 23 I said to you, “Let my son go so he could worship me.” But you refused to let him go. As a result, now I’m going to kill your oldest son.’”

24 During their journey, as they camped overnight, the Lord met Moses[a] and tried to kill him. 25 But Zipporah took a sharp-edged flint stone and cut off her son’s foreskin. Then she touched Moses’ genitals[b] with it, and she said, “You are my bridegroom because of bloodshed.” 26 So the Lord let him alone. At that time, she announced, “A bridegroom because of bloodshed by circumcision.”

27 The Lord said to Aaron, “Go into the desert to meet Moses.” So he went, and Aaron met him at God’s mountain and greeted him with a kiss. 28 Moses told Aaron what the Lord had said about his mission and all the signs that the Lord had told him to do. 29 Then Moses and Aaron called together all the Israelite elders. 30 Aaron told them everything that the Lord had told to Moses, and he performed the signs in front of the people. 31 The people believed. When they heard that the Lord had paid attention to the Israelites and had seen their oppression, they bowed down and worshipped.

First meeting with Pharaoh

Afterward, Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the Lord, Israel’s God, says: ‘Let my people go so that they can hold a festival for me in the desert.’”

But Pharaoh said, “Who is this Lord whom I’m supposed to obey by letting Israel go? I don’t know this Lord, and I certainly won’t let Israel go.”

Then they said, “The Hebrews’ God has appeared to us. Let us go on a three-day journey into the desert so we can offer sacrifices to the Lord our God. Otherwise, the Lord will give us a deadly disease or violence.”

The king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why are you making the people slack off from their work? Do the hard work yourselves!” Pharaoh continued, “The land’s people are now numerous. Yet you want them to stop their hard work?”

On the very same day Pharaoh commanded the people’s slave masters and supervisors, “Don’t supply the people with the straw they need to make bricks like you did before. Let them go out and gather the straw for themselves. But still make sure that they produce the same number of bricks as they made before. Don’t reduce the number! They are weak and lazy, and that’s why they cry, ‘Let’s go and offer sacrifices to our God.’ Make the men’s work so hard that it’s all they can do, and they can’t focus on these empty lies.”

10 So the people’s slave masters and supervisors came out and spoke to the people, “This is what Pharaoh says, ‘I’m not giving you straw anymore. 11 Go and get the straw on your own, wherever you can find it. But your work won’t be reduced at all.’” 12 So the people spread out all through the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw. 13 The slave masters drove them hard and said, “Make sure you make the same daily quota as when you had the straw.” 14 The Israelite supervisors, whom Pharaoh’s slave masters had set over them, were also beaten and asked, “Why didn’t you produce the same number of bricks yesterday and today as you did before?”

15 Then the Israelite supervisors came and pleaded to Pharaoh, “Why do you treat your servants like this? 16 No straw is supplied to your servants, yet they say to us, ‘Make bricks!’ Look at how your servants are being beaten! Your own people are to blame!”

17 Pharaoh replied, “You are lazy bums, nothing but lazy bums. That’s why you say, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifices to the Lord.’ 18 Go and get back to work! No straw will be given to you, but you still need to make the same number of bricks.”

19 The Israelite supervisors saw how impossible their situation was when they were commanded, “Don’t reduce your daily quota of bricks.” 20 When they left Pharaoh, they met Moses and Aaron, who were waiting for them. 21 The supervisors said to them, “Let the Lord see and judge what you’ve done! You’ve made us stink in the opinion of Pharaoh and his servants. You’ve given them a reason to kill us.”


  1. Exodus 4:24 Or him
  2. Exodus 4:25 Or his feet
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Matthew 18:1-20

Greatest in the kingdom

18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

Then he called a little child over to sit among the disciples, and said, “I assure you that if you don’t turn your lives around and become like this little child, you will definitely not enter the kingdom of heaven. Those who humble themselves like this little child will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

Falling into sin

“As for whoever causes these little ones who believe in me to trip and fall into sin, it would be better for them to have a huge stone hung around their necks and be drowned in the bottom of the lake. How terrible it is for the world because of the things that cause people to trip and fall into sin! Such things have to happen, but how terrible it is for the person who causes those things to happen! If your hand or your foot causes you to fall into sin, chop it off and throw it away. It’s better to enter into life crippled or lame than to be thrown into the eternal fire with two hands or two feet. If your eye causes you to fall into sin, tear it out and throw it away. It’s better to enter into life with one eye than to be cast into a burning hell with two eyes.

Parable of the lost sheep

10 “Be careful that you don’t look down on one of these little ones. I say to you that their angels in heaven are always looking into the face of my Father who is in heaven.[a] 12 What do you think? If someone had one hundred sheep and one of them wandered off, wouldn’t he leave the ninety-nine on the hillsides and go in search for the one that wandered off? 13 If he finds it, I assure you that he is happier about having that one sheep than about the ninety-nine who didn’t wander off. 14 In the same way, my Father who is in heaven doesn’t want to lose one of these little ones.

Sinning brother or sister

15 “If your brother or sister sins against you, go and correct them when you are alone together. If they listen to you, then you’ve won over your brother or sister. 16 But if they won’t listen, take with you one or two others so that every word may be established by the mouth of two or three witnesses.[b] 17 But if they still won’t pay attention, report it to the church. If they won’t pay attention even to the church, treat them as you would a Gentile and tax collector. 18 I assure you that whatever you fasten on earth will be fastened in heaven. And whatever you loosen on earth will be loosened in heaven. 19 Again I assure you that if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, then my Father who is in heaven will do it for you. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, I’m there with them.”


  1. Matthew 18:10 18:11 is omitted in most critical editions of the Gk New Testament For the Human One has come to save the lost.
  2. Matthew 18:16 Deut 19:15
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Psalm 22:19-31

19 But you, Lord! Don’t be far away!
You are my strength!
Come quick and help me!
20 Deliver me[a] from the sword.
Deliver my life from the power of the dog.
21 Save me from the mouth of the lion.
From the horns of the wild oxen
you have answered me!

22 I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters;
I will praise you in the very center of the congregation!
23 All of you who revere the Lord—praise him!
All of you who are Jacob’s descendants—honor him!
All of you who are all Israel’s offspring—
stand in awe of him!
24 Because he didn’t despise or detest
the suffering of the one who suffered—
he didn’t hide his face from me.
No, he listened when I cried out to him for help.

25 I offer praise in the great congregation
because of you;
I will fulfill my promises
in the presence of those who honor God.
26 Let all those who are suffering eat and be full!
Let all who seek the Lord praise him!
I pray your hearts live forever!
27 Every part of the earth
will remember and come back to the Lord;
every family among all the nations will worship you.
28 Because the right to rule belongs to the Lord,
he rules all nations.
29 Indeed, all the earth’s powerful
will worship him;[b]
all who are descending to the dust
will kneel before him;
my being also lives for him.[c]
30 Future descendants will serve him;
generations to come will be told about my Lord.
31 They will proclaim God’s righteousness
to those not yet born,
telling them what God has done.


  1. Psalm 22:20 Or my soul; also in 22:29
  2. Psalm 22:29 Correction; MT All the earth’s powerful have eaten and will worship.
  3. Psalm 22:29 Correction with LXX; Heb uncertain
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Proverbs 5:15-21

15 Drink water from your own cistern,
gushing water from your own well.
16 Should your fountains flood outside,
streams of water in the public squares?
17 They are yours alone,
not for you as well as strangers.
18 May your spring be blessed.
Rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19 She is a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts intoxicate you all the time;
always be drunk on her love.

20 Why, my son, should you lose your senses with a mysterious woman
and embrace the breasts of a foreign female?

21 The Lord’s eyes watch over every person’s path,
observing all their ways.

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The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Friday January 26, 2024 (NIV)

Exodus 2:11-3:22

Moses runs away to Midian

11 One day after Moses had become an adult, he went out among his people and he saw their forced labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12 He looked around to make sure no one else was there. Then he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.

13 When Moses went out the next day, he saw two Hebrew men fighting with each other. Moses said to the one who had started the fight, “Why are you abusing your fellow Hebrew?”

14 He replied, “Who made you a boss or judge over us? Are you planning to kill me like you killed the Egyptian?”

Then Moses was afraid when he realized: They obviously know what I did. 15 When Pharaoh heard about it, he tried to kill Moses.

But Moses ran away from Pharaoh and settled down in the land of Midian. One day Moses was sitting by a well. 16 Now there was a Midianite priest who had seven daughters. The daughters came to draw water and fill the troughs so that their father’s flock could drink. 17 But some shepherds came along and rudely chased them away. Moses got up, rescued the women, and gave their flock water to drink.

18 When they went back home to their father Reuel,[a] he asked, “How were you able to come back home so soon today?”

19 They replied, “An Egyptian man rescued us from a bunch of shepherds. Afterward, he even helped us draw water to let the flock drink.”

20 Reuel said to his daughters, “So where is he? Why did you leave this man? Invite him to eat a meal with us.”

21 Moses agreed to come and live with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses as his wife. 22 She gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, “because,” he said, “I’ve been an immigrant[b] living in a foreign land.”

23 A long time passed, and the Egyptian king died. The Israelites were still groaning because of their hard work. They cried out, and their cry to be rescued from the hard work rose up to God. 24 God heard their cry of grief, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 25 God looked at the Israelites, and God understood.

Moses at the burning bush

Moses was taking care of the flock for his father-in-law Jethro,[c] Midian’s priest. He led his flock out to the edge of the desert, and he came to God’s mountain called Horeb. The Lord’s messenger appeared to him in a flame of fire in the middle of a bush. Moses saw that the bush was in flames, but it didn’t burn up. Then Moses said to himself, Let me check out this amazing sight and find out why the bush isn’t burning up.

When the Lord saw that he was coming to look, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!”

Moses said, “I’m here.”

Then the Lord said, “Don’t come any closer! Take off your sandals, because you are standing on holy ground.” He continued, “I am the God of your father, Abraham’s God, Isaac’s God, and Jacob’s God.” Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God.

Then the Lord said, “I’ve clearly seen my people oppressed in Egypt. I’ve heard their cry of injustice because of their slave masters. I know about their pain. I’ve come down to rescue them from the Egyptians in order to take them out of that land and bring them to a good and broad land, a land that’s full of milk and honey, a place where the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites all live. Now the Israelites’ cries of injustice have reached me. I’ve seen just how much the Egyptians have oppressed them. 10 So get going. I’m sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.”

11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I to go to Pharaoh and to bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

12 God said, “I’ll be with you. And this will show you that I’m the one who sent you. After you bring the people out of Egypt, you will come back here and worship God on this mountain.”

God’s special name

13 But Moses said to God, “If I now come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they are going to ask me, ‘What’s this God’s name?’ What am I supposed to say to them?”

14 God said to Moses, “I Am Who I Am.[d] So say to the Israelites, ‘I Am has sent me to you.’” 15 God continued, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your ancestors, Abraham’s God, Isaac’s God, and Jacob’s God, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever; this is how all generations will remember me.

16 “Go and get Israel’s elders together and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me. The Lord said, “I’ve been paying close attention to you and to what has been done to you in Egypt. 17 I’ve decided to take you away from the harassment in Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land full of milk and honey.”’ 18 They will accept what you say to them. Then you and Israel’s elders will go to Egypt’s king and say to him, ‘The Lord, the Hebrews’ God, has met with us. So now let us go on a three-day journey into the desert so that we can offer sacrifices to the Lord our God.’ 19 However, I know that Egypt’s king won’t let you go unless he’s forced to do it. 20 So I’ll use my strength and hit Egypt with dramatic displays of my power. After that, he’ll let you go.

21 “I’ll make it so that when you leave Egypt, the Egyptians will be kind to you and you won’t go away empty-handed. 22 Every woman will ask her neighbor along with the immigrant in her household for their silver and their gold jewelry as well as their clothing. Then you will put it on your sons and daughters, and you will rob the Egyptians.”


  1. Exodus 2:18 Also called Jethro
  2. Exodus 2:22 Heb ger sounds like Gershom.
  3. Exodus 3:1 Also called Reuel
  4. Exodus 3:14 Or I Will Be Who I Will Be.
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Matthew 17:10-27

10 The disciples asked, “Then why do the legal experts say that Elijah must first come?”

11 Jesus responded, “Elijah does come first and will restore all things. 12 In fact, I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they didn’t know him. But they did to him whatever they wanted. In the same way the Human One[a] is also going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples realized he was telling them about John the Baptist.

Healing of a boy who was demon-possessed

14 When they came to the crowd, a man met Jesus. He knelt before him, 15 saying, “Lord, show mercy to my son. He is epileptic and suffers terribly, for he often falls into the fire or the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.”

17 Jesus answered, “You faithless and crooked generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Then Jesus spoke harshly to the demon. And it came out of the child, who was healed from that time on.

19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and said, “Why couldn’t we throw the demon out?”

20 “Because you have little faith,” he said. “I assure you that if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Go from here to there,’ and it will go. There will be nothing that you can’t do.”[b]

Second prediction of Jesus’ death and resurrection

22 When the disciples came together in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Human One[c] is about to be delivered over into human hands. 23 They will kill him. But he will be raised on the third day.” And they were heartbroken.

Paying the temple tax

24 When they came to Capernaum, the people who collected the half-shekel temple tax came to Peter and said, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”

25 “Yes,” he said.

But when they came into the house, Jesus spoke to Peter first.“What do you think, Simon? From whom do earthly kings collect taxes, from their children or from strangers?”

26 “From strangers,” he said.

Jesus said to him, “Then the children don’t have to pay. 27 But just so we don’t offend them, go to the lake, throw out a fishing line and hook, and take the first fish you catch. When you open its mouth, you will find a shekel coin. Take it and pay the tax for both of us.”


  1. Matthew 17:12 Or Son of Man
  2. Matthew 17:20 17:21 is omitted in most critical editions of the Gk New Testament This kind doesn’t come out except through prayer and fasting.
  3. Matthew 17:22 Or Son of Man
Common English Bible (CEB)

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Psalm 22:1-18

Psalm 22

For the music leader. According to the “Doe of Dawn.” A psalm of David.

22 My God! My God,
why have you left me all alone?
Why are you so far from saving me—
so far from my anguished groans?
My God, I cry out during the day,
but you don’t answer;
even at nighttime I don’t stop.
You are the holy one, enthroned.
You are Israel’s praise.
Our ancestors trusted you—
they trusted you and you rescued them;
they cried out to you and they were saved;
they trusted you and they weren’t ashamed.

But I’m just a worm, less than human;
insulted by one person, despised by another.
All who see me make fun of me—
they gape, shaking their heads:
“He committed himself to the Lord,
so let God rescue him;
let God deliver him
because God likes him so much.”
But you are the one who pulled me from the womb,
placing me safely at my mother’s breasts.
10 I was thrown on you from birth;
you’ve been my God
since I was in my mother’s womb.
11 Please don’t be far from me,
because trouble is near
and there’s no one to help.

12 Many bulls surround me;
mighty bulls from Bashan encircle me.
13 They open their mouths at me
like a lion ripping and roaring!
14 I’m poured out like water.
All my bones have fallen apart.
My heart is like wax;
it melts inside me.
15 My strength is dried up
like a piece of broken pottery.
My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
you’ve set me down in the dirt of death.
16 Dogs surround me;
a pack of evil people circle me like a lion—
oh, my poor hands and feet!
17 I can count all my bones!
Meanwhile, they just stare at me, watching me.
18 They divvy up my garments among themselves;
they cast lots for my clothes.

Common English Bible (CEB)

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Proverbs 5:7-14

Now sons, listen to me,
and don’t deviate from the words of my mouth.
Stay on a path that is far from her;
don’t approach the entrance to her house.
Otherwise, you will give your strength to others,
your years to a cruel person.
10 Otherwise, strangers will sap your strength,
and your hard work will end up in a foreigner’s house.
11 You will groan at the end
when your body and flesh are exhausted,
12 and you say, “How I hated instruction!
How my heart despised correction!
13 I didn’t listen to the voice of my instructor.
I didn’t obey my teacher.
14 I’m on the brink of utter ruin
in the assembled community.”

Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Thursday January 25, 2024 (NIV)

Genesis 50:1 - Exodus 2:10

50 Joseph fell across his father’s body, wept over him, and kissed him. Joseph then ordered the physicians in his service to embalm his father, and the physicians embalmed Israel. They mourned for him forty days because that is the period required for embalming. Then the Egyptians mourned him for seventy days. After the period of mourning had passed, Joseph spoke to Pharaoh’s household: “If you approve my request, give Pharaoh this message: My father made me promise, telling me, ‘I’m about to die. You must bury me in the tomb I dug for myself in the land of Canaan.’ Now, let me leave and let me bury my father, and then I will return.”

Pharaoh replied, “Go, bury your father as you promised.”

So Joseph left to bury his father. All of Pharaoh’s servants went with him, together with the elder statesmen in his household and all of the elder statesmen in the land of Egypt, Joseph’s entire household, his brothers, and his father’s household. Only the children, flocks, and cattle remained in the land of Goshen. Even chariots and horsemen went with him; it was a huge collection of people. 10 When they arrived at the threshing floor of Atad on the other side of the Jordan River, they observed a solemn, deeply sorrowful period of mourning. He grieved seven days for his father.

11 When the Canaanites who lived in the land saw the observance of grief on Atad’s threshing floor, they said, “This is a solemn observance of grief by the Egyptians.” Therefore, its name is Abel-mizraim.[a] It is on the other side of the Jordan River. 12 Israel’s sons did for him just as he had ordered. 13 His sons carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave in the field of Machpelah near Mamre, which Abraham had purchased as burial property from Ephron the Hittite. 14 Then[b] Joseph returned to Egypt, he, his brothers, and everyone who left with him to bury his father.

Joseph and his brothers in Egypt

15 When Joseph’s brothers realized that their father was now dead, they said, “What if Joseph bears a grudge against us, and wants to pay us back seriously for all of the terrible things we did to him?” 16 So they approached[c] Joseph and said, “Your father gave orders before he died, telling us, 17 ‘This is what you should say to Joseph. “Please, forgive your brothers’ sins and misdeeds, for they did terrible things to you. Now, please forgive the sins of the servants of your father’s God.”’” Joseph wept when they spoke to him.

18 His brothers wept[d] too, fell down in front of him, and said, “We’re here as your slaves.”

19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I God? 20 You planned something bad for me, but God produced something good from it, in order to save the lives of many people, just as he’s doing today. 21 Now, don’t be afraid. I will take care of you and your children.” So he put them at ease and spoke reassuringly to them.

22 Thus Joseph lived in Egypt, he and his father’s household. Joseph lived 110 years 23 and saw Ephraim’s grandchildren. The children of Machir, Manasseh’s son, were also born on Joseph’s knees. 24 Joseph said to his brothers, “I’m about to die. God will certainly take care of you and bring you out of this land to the land he promised to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” 25 Joseph made Israel’s sons promise, “When God takes care of you, you must bring up my bones out of here.” 26 Joseph died when he was 110 years old. They embalmed him and placed him in a coffin in Egypt.

These are the names of the Israelites who came to Egypt with Jacob along with their households: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. The total number in Jacob’s family was seventy. Joseph was already in Egypt. Eventually, Joseph, his brothers, and everyone in his generation died. But the Israelites were fertile and became populous. They multiplied and grew dramatically, filling the whole land.

Israel is oppressed

Now a new king came to power in Egypt who didn’t know Joseph. He said to his people, “The Israelite people are now larger in number and stronger than we are. 10 Come on, let’s be smart and deal with them. Otherwise, they will only grow in number. And if war breaks out, they will join our enemies, fight against us, and then escape from the land.” 11 As a result, the Egyptians put foremen of forced work gangs over the Israelites to harass them with hard work. They had to build storage cities named Pithom and Rameses for Pharaoh. 12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they grew and spread, so much so that the Egyptians started to look at the Israelites with disgust and dread. 13 So the Egyptians enslaved the Israelites. 14 They made their lives miserable with hard labor, making mortar and bricks, doing field work, and by forcing them to do all kinds of other cruel work.

15 The king of Egypt spoke to two Hebrew midwives named Shiphrah and Puah: 16 “When you are helping the Hebrew women give birth and you see the baby being born, if it’s a boy, kill him. But if it’s a girl, you can let her live.” 17 Now the two midwives respected God so they didn’t obey the Egyptian king’s order. Instead, they let the baby boys live.

18 So the king of Egypt called the two midwives and said to them, “Why are you doing this? Why are you letting the baby boys live?”

19 The two midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because Hebrew women aren’t like Egyptian women. They’re much stronger and give birth before any midwives can get to them.” 20 So God treated the midwives well, and the people kept on multiplying and became very strong. 21 And because the midwives respected God, God gave them households of their own.

22 Then Pharaoh gave an order to all his people: “Throw every baby boy born to the Hebrews into the Nile River, but you can let all the girls live.”

Moses’ birth

Now a man from Levi’s household married a Levite woman. The woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She saw that the baby was healthy and beautiful, so she hid him for three months. When she couldn’t hide him any longer, she took a reed basket and sealed it up with black tar. She put the child in the basket and set the basket among the reeds at the riverbank. The baby’s older sister stood watch nearby to see what would happen to him.

Pharaoh’s daughter came down to bathe in the river, while her women servants walked along beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds, and she sent one of her servants to bring it to her. When she opened it, she saw the child. The boy was crying, and she felt sorry for him. She said, “This must be one of the Hebrews’ children.”

Then the baby’s sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Would you like me to go and find one of the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?”

Pharaoh’s daughter agreed, “Yes, do that.” So the girl went and called the child’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child and nurse it for me, and I’ll pay you for your work.” So the woman took the child and nursed it. 10 After the child had grown up, she brought him back to Pharaoh’s daughter, who adopted him as her son. She named him Moses, “because,” she said, “I pulled him out[e] of the water.”


  1. Genesis 50:11 Or the Egyptians’ observance of grief
  2. Genesis 50:14 LXX; MT includes after he buried his father.
  3. Genesis 50:16 LXX, Syr; MT they commanded
  4. Genesis 50:18 Or came
  5. Exodus 2:10 Heb mashah sounds like Moses (moshe).
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Matthew 16:13-17:9

Peter’s declaration about Jesus

13 Now when Jesus came to the area of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Human One[a] is?”

14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”

15 He said, “And what about you? Who do you say that I am?”

16 Simon Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

17 Then Jesus replied, “Happy are you, Simon son of Jonah, because no human has shown this to you. Rather my Father who is in heaven has shown you. 18 I tell you that you are Peter.[b] And I’ll build my church on this rock. The gates of the underworld won’t be able to stand against it. 19 I’ll give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Anything you fasten on earth will be fastened in heaven. Anything you loosen on earth will be loosened in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered the disciples not to tell anybody that he was the Christ.

First prediction of Jesus’ death and resurrection

21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he had to go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and legal experts, and that he had to be killed and raised on the third day. 22 Then Peter took hold of Jesus and, scolding him, began to correct him: “God forbid, Lord! This won’t happen to you.” 23 But he turned to Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan. You are a stone that could make me stumble, for you are not thinking God’s thoughts but human thoughts.”

Saving and losing life

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross, and follow me. 25 All who want to save their lives will lose them. But all who lose their lives because of me will find them. 26 Why would people gain the whole world but lose their lives? What will people give in exchange for their lives? 27 For the Human One[c] is about to come with the majesty of his Father with his angels. And then he will repay each one for what that person has done. 28 I assure you that some standing here won’t die before they see the Human One[d] coming in his kingdom.”

Jesus’ transformation

17 Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and brought them to the top of a very high mountain. He was transformed in front of them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light.

Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Jesus. Peter reacted to all of this by saying to Jesus, “Lord, it’s good that we’re here. If you want, I’ll make three shrines: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

While he was still speaking, look, a bright cloud overshadowed them. A voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son whom I dearly love. I am very pleased with him. Listen to him!” Hearing this, the disciples fell on their faces, filled with awe.

But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Don’t tell anybody about the vision until the Human One[e] is raised from the dead.”


  1. Matthew 16:13 Or Son of Man
  2. Matthew 16:18 Peter means rock.
  3. Matthew 16:27 Or Son of Man
  4. Matthew 16:28 Or Son of Man
  5. Matthew 17:9 Or Son of Man
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Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Psalm 21

Psalm 21

For the music leader. A psalm of David.

21 The king celebrates your strength, Lord;
look how happy he is about your saving help!
You’ve given him what his heart desires;
you haven’t denied what his lips requested. Selah
You bring rich blessings right to him;
you put a crown of pure gold on his head.
He asked you for life,
and you gave it to him, all right—
long days, forever and always!
The king’s reputation is great
because of your saving help;
you’ve conferred on him glory and grandeur.
You grant him blessings forever;
you make him happy
with the joy of your presence.
Because the king trusts the Lord,
and because of the Most High’s faithful love,
he will not stumble.

Your hand will catch all your enemies;
your strong hand will catch all who hate you.
When you appear, Lord,
you will light them up like an oven on fire.
God will eat them whole in his anger;
fire will devour them.
10 You will destroy their offspring from the land;
destroy their descendants from the human race.
11 Because they sought to do you harm,
they devised a wicked plan—but they will fail!
12 Because you will make them turn and run
when you aim your bow straight at their faces!

13 Be exalted, Lord, in your strength!
We will sing and praise your power!

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Proverbs 5:1-6

Avoid the mysterious woman

My son, pay attention to my wisdom.
Bend your ear to what I know,
so you might remain discreet,
and your lips might guard knowledge.
The lips of a mysterious woman drip honey,
and her tongue is smoother than oil,
but in the end she is bitter as gall,
sharp as a double-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death;
her steps lead to the grave.[a]
She doesn’t stay on the way of life.
Her paths wander, but she doesn’t know it.


  1. Proverbs 5:5 Heb Sheol
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The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Wednesday January 24, 2024 (NIV)

Genesis 48-49

48 After this happened, Joseph was told,[a] “Your father is getting weaker,” so he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim with him. When Jacob was informed,[b] “Your son Joseph is here now,” he[c] pulled himself together and sat up in bed. Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty[d] appeared to me in Luz in the land of Canaan. He blessed me and said to me, ‘I am about to give you many children, to increase your numbers, and to make you a large group of peoples. I will give this land to your descendants following you as an enduring possession.’ Now, your two sons born to you in the land of Egypt before I arrived in Egypt are my own. Ephraim and Manasseh are just like Reuben and Simeon to me. Your family who is born to you after them are yours, but their inheritance will be determined under their brothers’ names. When I came back from Paddan-aram,[e] Rachel died, to my sorrow, on the road in the land of Canaan, with some distance yet to go to Ephrathah, so I buried her there near the road to Ephrathah,[f] which is Bethlehem.”

When Israel saw Joseph’s sons, he said, “Who are these?”

Joseph told his father, “They’re my sons, whom God gave me here.”

Israel said, “Bring them to me and I will bless them.” 10 Because Israel’s eyesight had failed from old age and he wasn’t able to see, Joseph brought them close to him, and he kissed and embraced them.

11 Israel said to Joseph, “I didn’t expect I’d see your face, but now God has shown me your children too.” 12 Then Joseph took them from Israel’s knees, and he bowed low with his face to the ground. 13 Joseph took both of them, Ephraim in his right hand at Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand at Israel’s right hand, and brought them close to him. 14 But Israel put out his right hand and placed it on the head of Ephraim, the younger one, and his left hand on Manasseh’s head, crossing his hands because Manasseh was the oldest son. 15 He blessed them[g] and said,

“May the God before whom my fathers
Abraham and Isaac walked,
may the God who was my shepherd
from the beginning until this day,
16 may the divine messenger who protected me from all harm,
bless the young men.
Through them may my name be kept alive
and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac.
May they grow into a great multitude
throughout the land.”

17 When Joseph saw that his father had placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head, he was upset and grasped his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18 Joseph said to his father, “No, my father! This is the oldest son. Put your right hand on his head.”

19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He’ll become a people too, and he’ll also be great. But his younger brother will be greater than he will, and his descendants will become many nations.” 20 Israel blessed them that day, saying,

“Through you, Israel will pronounce blessings, saying,
‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’”

So Israel put Ephraim before Manasseh. 21 Then Israel said to Joseph, “I’m about to die. God will be with you and return you to the land of your fathers. 22 I’m giving you one portion more than to your brothers,[h] a portion that I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow.”

Jacob reveals his sons’ destinies

49 Jacob summoned his sons and said, “Gather around so that I can tell you what will happen to you in the coming days.

Assemble yourselves and listen, sons of Jacob;
listen to Israel your father.
Reuben, you are my oldest son,
my strength and my first contender,[i]
superior in status and superior in might.
As wild as the waters, you won’t endure,
for you went up to your father’s bed,
you went up[j] and violated my couch.
Simeon and Levi are brothers,
weapons of violence their stock in trade.
May I myself never enter their council.
May my honor never be linked to their group;
for when they were angry, they killed men,
and whenever they wished, they maimed oxen.
Cursed be their anger; it is violent,
their rage; it is relentless.
I’ll divide them up within Jacob
and disperse them within Israel.
Judah, you are the one your brothers will honor;
your hand will be on the neck of your enemies;
your father’s sons will bow down to you.
Judah is a lion’s cub;
from the prey, my son, you rise up.
He lies down and crouches like a lion;
like a lioness—who dares disturb him?
10 The scepter won’t depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from among his banners.[k]
Gifts will be brought to him;
people will obey him.
11 He ties his male donkey to the vine,
the colt of his female donkey to the vine’s branches.
He washes his clothes in wine,
his garments in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes are darker than wine,
and his teeth whiter than milk.
13 Zebulun will live at the seashore;
he’ll live at the harbor of ships,
his border will be at Sidon.
14 Issachar is a sturdy donkey,
bedding down beside the village hearths.[l]
15 He saw that a resting place was good
and that the land was pleasant.
He lowered his shoulder to haul loads
and joined the work gangs.
16 Dan[m] will settle disputes for his people,
as one of Israel’s tribes.
17 Dan will be a snake on the road,
a serpent on the path,
biting a horse’s heels,
so its rider falls backward.
18 I long for your victory, Lord.
19 Gad[n] will be attacked by attackers,
but he’ll attack their back.
20 Asher[o] grows fine foods,
and he will supply the king’s delicacies.
21 Naphtali is a wild doe
that gives birth to beautiful fawns.[p]
22 Joseph is a young bull,[q]
a young bull by a spring,
who strides with oxen.[r]
23 They attacked him fiercely and fired arrows;
the archers attacked him furiously.
24 But his bow stayed strong,
and his forearms were nimble,[s]
by the hands of the strong one of Jacob,
by the name of the shepherd, the rock of Israel,
25 by God, your father, who supports you,
by the Almighty[t] who blesses you
with blessings from the skies above
and blessings from the deep sea below,
blessings from breasts and womb.
26 The blessings of your father exceed
the blessings of the eternal mountains,[u]
the wealth of the everlasting hills.
May they all rest on Joseph’s head,
on the forehead of the one set apart from his brothers.
27 Benjamin is a wolf who hunts:
in the morning he devours the prey;
in the evening he divides the plunder.”

28 These are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them. He blessed them by giving each man his own particular blessing.

Jacob’s death and burial

29 Jacob ordered them, “I am soon to join my people. Bury me with my ancestors in the cave that’s in the field of Ephron the Hittite; 30 in the cave that’s in the field of Machpelah near Mamre in the land of Canaan that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a burial property. 31 That is where Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried, and where Isaac and his wife Rebekah are buried, and where I buried Leah. 32 It is the field and the cave in it that belonged to the Hittites.” 33 After he finished giving orders to his sons, he put his feet up on the bed, took his last breath, and joined his people.


  1. Genesis 48:1 LXX, Syr, Tg, Vulg; MT he told
  2. Genesis 48:2 LXX; MT he informed
  3. Genesis 48:2 Heb Israel
  4. Genesis 48:3 Heb El Shaddai or God of the Mountain
  5. Genesis 48:7 Sam, LXX, Syr; MT lacks aram.
  6. Genesis 48:7 Sam; MT Ephrath
  7. Genesis 48:15 LXX; MT Joseph
  8. Genesis 48:22 Heb uncertain
  9. Genesis 49:3 Or first of my power
  10. Genesis 49:4 LXX; MT he went up
  11. Genesis 49:10 Sam; MT his feet
  12. Genesis 49:14 Or stubbornly lying beneath its saddlebags
  13. Genesis 49:16 Or he judges, or settles disputes
  14. Genesis 49:19 Or he attacks or good fortune
  15. Genesis 49:20 LXX, Syr, Vulg; MT from Asher
  16. Genesis 49:21 Or who gives beautiful words
  17. Genesis 49:22 Heb uncertain
  18. Genesis 49:22 Heb uncertain
  19. Genesis 49:24 Heb uncertain; or flexible
  20. Genesis 49:25 Heb Shaddai or the Mountain One
  21. Genesis 49:26 LXX; Heb uncertain
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Matthew 15:29-16:12

Healing of many people

29 Jesus moved on from there along the shore of the Galilee Sea. He went up a mountain and sat down. 30 Large crowds came to him, including those who were paralyzed, blind, injured, and unable to speak, and many others. They laid them at his feet, and he healed them. 31 So the crowd was amazed when they saw those who had been unable to speak talking, and the paralyzed cured, and the injured walking, and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.

Feeding the four thousand

32 Now Jesus called his disciples and said, “I feel sorry for the crowd because they have been with me for three days and have nothing to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry for fear they won’t have enough strength to travel.”

33 His disciples replied, “Where are we going to get enough food in this wilderness to satisfy such a big crowd?”

34 Jesus said, “How much bread do you have?”

They responded, “Seven loaves and a few fish.”

35 He told the crowd to sit on the ground. 36 He took the seven loaves of bread and the fish. After he gave thanks, he broke them into pieces and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 37 Everyone ate until they were full. The disciples collected seven baskets full of leftovers. 38 Four thousand men ate, plus women and children. 39 After dismissing the crowds, Jesus got into the boat and came to the region of Magadan.

Demand for a sign

16 The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus. In order to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven.

But he replied, “At evening you say, ‘It will be nice weather because the sky is bright red.’ And in the morning you say, ‘There will be bad weather today because the sky is cloudy.’ You know how to make sense of the sky’s appearance. But you are unable to recognize the signs that point to what the time is. An evil and unfaithful generation searches for a sign. But it won’t receive any sign except Jonah’s sign.” Then he left them and went away.

Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees

When the disciples arrived on the other side of the lake, they had forgotten to bring bread. Jesus said to them, “Watch out and be on your guard for the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

They discussed this among themselves and said, “We didn’t bring any bread.”

Jesus knew what they were discussing and said, “You people of weak faith! Why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you don’t have any bread? Don’t you understand yet? Don’t you remember the five loaves that fed the five thousand and how many baskets of leftovers you gathered? 10 And the seven loaves that fed the four thousand and how many large baskets of leftovers you gathered? 11 Don’t you know that I wasn’t talking about bread? But be on your guard for the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that he wasn’t telling them to be on their guard for yeast used in making bread. No, he was telling them to watch out for the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

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Psalm 20

Psalm 20

For the music leader. A psalm of David.

20 I pray that the Lord answers you
whenever you are in trouble.
Let the name of Jacob’s God protect you.
Let God send help to you from the sanctuary
and support you from Zion.
Let God recall your many grain offerings;
let him savor your entirely burned offerings. Selah
Let God grant what is in your heart
and fulfill all your plans.
Then we will rejoice that you’ve been helped.
We will fly our flags in the name of our God.
Let the Lord fulfill all your requests!

Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed one;
God answers his anointed one
from his heavenly sanctuary,
answering with mighty acts of salvation
achieved by his strong hand.
Some people trust in chariots, others in horses;
but we praise the Lord’s name.
They will collapse and fall,
but we will stand up straight and strong.

Lord, save the king!
Let him answer us when we cry out!

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Proverbs 4:20-27

Be careful about what you say

20 My son, pay attention to my words.
Bend your ear to my speech.
21 Don’t let them slip from your sight.
Guard them in your mind.
22 They are life to those who find them,
and healing for their entire body.
23 More than anything you guard, protect your mind, for life flows from it.
24 Have nothing to do with a corrupt mouth;
keep devious lips far from you.
25 Focus your eyes straight ahead;
keep your gaze on what is in front of you.
26 Watch your feet on the way,
and all your paths will be secure.
27 Don’t deviate a bit to the right or the left;
turn your feet away from evil.

Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Tuesday January 23, 2024 (NIV)

Genesis 46-47

Jacob’s household moves to Egypt

46 Israel packed up everything he owned and traveled to Beer-sheba. There he offered sacrifices to his father Isaac’s God. God said to Israel in a vision at night, “Jacob! Jacob!” and he said, “I’m here.” He said, “I am El,[a] your father’s God. Don’t be afraid to go down to Egypt because I will make a great nation of you there. I will go down to Egypt with you, and I promise to bring you out again. Joseph will close your eyes when you die.” Then Jacob left Beer-sheba. Israel’s sons put their father Jacob, their children, and their wives on the wagons Pharaoh had sent to carry him. They took their livestock and their possessions that they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and arrived in Egypt, Jacob and all of his children with him. His sons and grandsons, his daughters and his granddaughters—all of his descendants he brought with him to Egypt.

These are the names of the Israelites who went to Egypt, including Jacob and his sons. Jacob’s oldest son was Reuben. Reuben’s sons were Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. 10 Simeon’s sons were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, whose mother was a Canaanite. 11 Levi’s sons were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 12 Judah’s sons were Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah. Er and Onan both died in the land of Canaan. Perez’s sons were Hezron and Hamul. 13 Issachar’s sons were Tola, Puvah, Iob, and Shimron. 14 Zebulun’s sons were Sered, Elon, and Jahleel. 15 These are the sons Leah bore to Jacob in Paddan-aram. Her daughter was Dinah. All of these persons, including his sons and daughters, totaled 33.

16 Gad’s sons were Ziphion, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli. 17 Asher’s sons were Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, Beriah, and their sister Serah. Beriah’s sons were Heber and Malchiel. 18 These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Leah. She bore these to Jacob, a total of 16 persons.

19 The sons of Jacob’s wife Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin. 20 To Joseph, in the land of Egypt, were born Manasseh and Ephraim. Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of Heliopolis,[b] bore them to him. 21 Benjamin’s sons were Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard. 22 These are Rachel’s sons who were born to Jacob, a total of 14 persons.

23 Dan’s son[c] was Hushim. 24 Naphtali’s sons were Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem. 25 These are the sons of Bilhah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Rachel. She bore these to Jacob, a total of 7 persons. 26 All of the persons going to Egypt with Jacob—his own children, excluding Jacob’s sons’ wives—totaled 66 persons. 27 Joseph’s sons born to him in Egypt were 2 persons. Thus, all of the persons in Jacob’s household going to Egypt totaled 70.

28 Israel had sent Judah ahead to Joseph so that Joseph could explain the way to Goshen. Then they arrived in the land of Goshen. 29 Joseph hitched up his chariot and went to meet his father Israel in Goshen. When he arrived, he threw his arms around his neck and wept, embracing him for a long time. 30 Israel said to Joseph, “I can die now after seeing your face. You are really still alive!”

Jacob’s household settles in Egypt

31 Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “Let me go up and inform Pharaoh and tell him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household who were in the land of Canaan have arrived. 32 The men are shepherds, because they own livestock. They’ve brought with them their flocks and herds and everything they own.’ 33 When Pharaoh summons you and says, ‘What do you do?’ 34 say, ‘Your servants have owned livestock since we were young, both we and our ancestors,’ so that you will be able to settle in the land of Goshen, since Egyptians think all shepherds are beneath their dignity.”

47 Joseph went to inform Pharaoh and said, “My father and brothers with their flocks, herds, and everything they own have come from the land of Canaan and are now in the land of Goshen.” From all of his brothers, he selected five men and presented them before Pharaoh.

Pharaoh said to Joseph’s brothers, “What do you do?”

They said to Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, both we and our ancestors.” They continued, “We’ve come to the land as immigrants because the famine is so severe in the land of Canaan that there are no more pastures for your servants’ flocks. Please allow your servants to settle in the land of Goshen.”

Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since your father and brothers have arrived, the land of Egypt is available to you. Settle your father and brothers in the land’s best location. Let them live in the land of Goshen. And if you know capable men among them, put them in charge of my own livestock.”

Joseph brought his father Jacob and gave him an audience with Pharaoh. Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How old are you?”

Jacob said to Pharaoh, “I’ve been a traveler for 130 years. My years have been few and difficult. They don’t come close to the years my ancestors lived during their travels.” 10 Jacob blessed Pharaoh and left Pharaoh’s presence. 11 Joseph settled his father and brothers and gave them property in the land of Egypt, in the best location in the land of Rameses, just as Pharaoh had ordered. 12 Joseph provided food for his father, his brothers, and his father’s entire household, in proportion to the number of children.

Joseph centralizes power in Egypt

13 There was no food in the land because the famine was so severe. The land of Egypt and the land of Canaan dried up from the famine. 14 Joseph collected all of the silver to be found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan for the grain, which people came to buy, and he deposited it in Pharaoh’s treasury. 15 The silver from the land of Egypt and from the land of Canaan had been spent, and all of the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, “Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes, just because the silver is gone?”

16 Joseph said, “Give me your livestock, and I will give you food for your livestock if the silver is gone.” 17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and Joseph gave them food for the horses, flocks, cattle, and donkeys. He got them through that year with food in exchange for all of their livestock.

18 When that year was over, they came to him the next year and said to him, “We can’t hide from my master that the silver is spent and that we’ve given the livestock to my master. All that’s left for my master is our corpses and our farmland. 19 Why should we die before your eyes, we and our farmland too? Buy us and our farms for food, and we and our farms will be under Pharaoh’s control. Give us seed so that we can stay alive and not die, and so that our farmland won’t become unproductive.” 20 So Joseph bought all of Egypt’s farmland for Pharaoh because every Egyptian sold his field when the famine worsened. So the land became Pharaoh’s. 21 He moved the people to the cities[d] from one end of Egypt to the other. 22 However, he didn’t buy the farmland of the priests because Pharaoh allowed the priests a subsidy, and they were able to eat from the subsidy Pharaoh gave them. Therefore, they didn’t have to sell their farmland.

23 Joseph said to the people, “Since I’ve now purchased you and your farmland for Pharaoh, here’s seed for you. Plant the seed on the land. 24 When the crop comes in, you must give one-fifth to Pharaoh. You may keep four-fifths for yourselves, for planting fields, and for feeding yourselves, those in your households, and your children.”

25 The people said, “You’ve saved our lives. If you wish, we will be Pharaoh’s slaves.” 26 So Joseph made a law that still exists today: Pharaoh receives one-fifth from Egypt’s farmland. Only the priests’ farmland didn’t become Pharaoh’s.

Jacob blesses Ephraim and Manasseh

27 Israel lived in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen. They settled in it, had many children, and became numerous. 28 After Jacob had lived in the land of Egypt for seventeen years, and after he had lived a total of 147 years, 29 Israel’s death approached. He summoned his son Joseph and said to him, “If you would be so kind, lay your hand under my thigh, and be loyal and true to me. Don’t bury me in Egypt. 30 When I lie down with my fathers, carry me from Egypt and bury me in their grave.”

Joseph said, “I will do just as you say.”

31 Israel said, “Give me your word!” and Joseph gave his word. Then Israel slumped down at the head of the bed.


  1. Genesis 46:3 Or God
  2. Genesis 46:20 Heb On
  3. Genesis 46:23 Or sons
  4. Genesis 47:21 Sam, LXX he made the people slaves
Common English Bible (CEB)

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Matthew 15:1-28

Rules from the elders

15 Then Pharisees and legal experts came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why are your disciples breaking the elders’ rules handed down to us? They don’t ritually purify their hands by washing before they eat.”

Jesus replied, “Why do you break the command of God by keeping the rules handed down to you? For God said, Honor your father and your mother,[a] and The person who speaks against father or mother will certainly be put to death.[b] But you say, ‘If you tell your father or mother, “Everything I’m expected to contribute to you I’m giving to God as a gift,”then you don’t have to honor your father.’ So you do away with God’s Law for the sake of the rules that have been handed down to you. Hypocrites! Isaiah really knew what he was talking about when he prophesied about you, This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from me. Their worship of me is empty since they teach instructions that are human rules.”[c]

10 Jesus called the crowd near and said to them, “Listen and understand. 11 It’s not what goes into the mouth that contaminates a person in God’s sight. It’s what comes out of the mouth that contaminates the person.”

12 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended by what you just said?”

13 Jesus replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father didn’t plant will be pulled up. 14 Leave the Pharisees alone. They are blind people who are guides to blind people. But if a blind person leads another blind person, they will both fall into a ditch.”

15 Then Peter spoke up, “Explain this riddle to us.”

16 Jesus said, “Don’t you understand yet? 17 Don’t you know that everything that goes into the mouth enters the stomach and goes out into the sewer? 18 But what goes out of the mouth comes from the heart. And that’s what contaminates a person in God’s sight. 19 Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adultery, sexual sins, thefts, false testimonies, and insults. 20 These contaminate a person in God’s sight. But eating without washing hands doesn’t contaminate in God’s sight.”

Canaanite woman

21 From there, Jesus went to the regions of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from those territories came out and shouted, “Show me mercy, Son of David. My daughter is suffering terribly from demon possession.” 23 But he didn’t respond to her at all.

His disciples came and urged him, “Send her away; she keeps shouting out after us.”

24 Jesus replied, “I’ve been sent only to the lost sheep, the people of Israel.”

25 But she knelt before him and said, “Lord, help me.”

26 He replied, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and toss it to dogs.”

27 She said, “Yes, Lord. But even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall off their masters’ table.”

28 Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith. It will be just as you wish.” And right then her daughter was healed.

Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Psalm 19

Psalm 19

For the music leader. A psalm of David.

19 Heaven is declaring God’s glory;
the sky is proclaiming his handiwork.
One day gushes the news to the next,
and one night informs another what needs to be known.
Of course, there’s no speech, no words—
their voices can’t be heard—
but their sound[a] extends throughout the world;
their words reach the ends of the earth.

God has made a tent in heaven for the sun.
The sun is like a groom
coming out of his honeymoon suite;
like a warrior, it thrills at running its course.
It rises in one end of the sky;
its circuit is complete at the other.
Nothing escapes its heat.

The Lord’s Instruction is perfect,
reviving one’s very being.[b]
The Lord’s laws are faithful,
making naive people wise.
The Lord’s regulations are right,
gladdening the heart.
The Lord’s commands are pure,
giving light to the eyes.
Honoring the Lord is correct,
lasting forever.
The Lord’s judgments are true.
All of these are righteous!
10 They are more desirable than gold—
than tons of pure gold!
They are sweeter than honey—
even dripping off the honeycomb!
11 No doubt about it:
your servant is enlightened by them;
there is great reward in keeping them.
12 But can anyone know
what they’ve accidentally done wrong?
Clear me of any unknown sin
13 and save your servant from willful sins.
Don’t let them rule me.
Then I’ll be completely blameless;
I’ll be innocent of great wrongdoing.

14 Let the words of my mouth
and the meditations of my heart
be pleasing to you,
Lord, my rock and my redeemer.


  1. Psalm 19:4 LXX, Vulg, Sym; MT line or string
  2. Psalm 19:7 Or soul
Common English Bible (CEB)

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Proverbs 4:14-19

14 Don’t go on the way of the wicked;
don’t walk on the path of evil people.
15 Avoid it! Don’t turn onto it;
stay off of it and keep going!
16 They don’t sleep unless they do evil;
they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble.
17 They eat the bread of evil,
and they drink the wine of violence.
18 The way of the righteous is like morning light
that gets brighter and brighter till it is full day.
19 The path of the wicked is like deep darkness;
they don’t know where they will stumble.

Common English Bible (CEB)

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The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Monday January 22, 2024 (NIV)

Genesis 44-45

Joseph tests his brothers

44 Joseph gave commands to his household manager: “Fill the men’s sacks with as much food as they’ll hold, and put each man’s silver at the top of his sack. Put my cup, the silver cup, on top of the youngest brother’s sack, together with the silver for his grain.” So he did just as Joseph told him to do.

At dawn, the men and their donkeys were sent off. They had left the city but hadn’t gone far when Joseph said to his household manager, “Get ready, go after the men and catch up with them! Ask them, ‘Why have you repaid hospitality with ingratitude?[a] Isn’t this the cup[b] my master drinks from and uses to discover God’s plans?[c] What you’ve done is despicable.’”

When he caught up to them, he repeated these words. They replied, “Why does my master talk to us like this? Your servants would never do such a thing. The silver that we found at the top of our sacks, we’ve just brought back to you from the land of Canaan. We didn’t steal silver or gold from your master’s house. Whoever of your servants is found with it will be put to death, and we’ll be my master’s slaves.”

10 He said, “Fine. We’ll do just as you’ve said. Whoever is found with it will be my slave, and the rest of you will go free.” 11 Everyone quickly lowered their sacks down to the ground and each opened his sack. 12 He searched the oldest first and the youngest last, and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13 At this, they tore their clothing. Then everyone loaded their donkeys, and they returned to the city.

14 When Judah and his brothers arrived at Joseph’s house, he was still there, and they fell to the ground in front of him. 15 Joseph said to them, “What’s this you’ve done? Didn’t you know someone like me can discover God’s plans?”[d]

16 Judah replied, “What can we say to my master? What words can we use? How can we prove we are innocent? God has found your servants guilty. We are now your slaves, all of us, including the one found with the cup.”

17 Joseph said, “I’d never do such a thing. Only the man found with the cup will be my slave. As for the rest of you, you are free to go back to your father.”

Judah appeals for Benjamin

18 Judah approached him and said, “Please, my master, allow your servant to say something to my master without getting angry with your servant since you are like Pharaoh himself. 19 My master asked his servants, ‘Do you have a father or brother?’ 20 And we said to my master, ‘Yes, we have an elderly father and a young brother, born when he was old. His brother is dead and he’s his mother’s only child. But his father loves him.’ 21 You told your servants, ‘Bring him down to me so I can see him.’ 22 And we said to my master, ‘The young man can’t leave his father. If he leaves, his father will die.’ 23 You said to your servants, ‘If your youngest brother doesn’t come down with you, you’ll never see my face again.’

24 “When we went back to my father your servant, we told him what you said. 25 Our father told us, ‘Go back and buy for us a little food.’ 26 But we said, ‘We can’t go down. We will go down only if our youngest brother is with us. We won’t be able to gain an audience with the man without our youngest brother with us.’ 27 Your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife gave birth to two sons for me. 28 One disappeared and I said, “He must have been torn up by a wild animal,” and I haven’t seen him since. 29 And if you take this one from me too, something terrible will happen to him, and you will send me—old as I am—to my grave in despair.’ 30 When I now go back to your servant my father without the young man—whose life is so bound up with his— 31 and when he sees that the young man isn’t with us,[e] he will die, and your servants will have sent our father your servant—old as he is—to his grave in grief. 32 I, your servant, guaranteed the young man’s safety to my father, telling him, ‘If I don’t bring him back to you, it will be my fault forever.’ 33 Now, please let your servant stay as your slave instead of the young man so that he can go back with his brothers. 34 How can I go back to my father without the young man? I couldn’t bear to see how badly my father would be hurt.”

Joseph reveals his identity

45 Joseph could no longer control himself in front of all his attendants, so he declared, “Everyone, leave now!” So no one stayed with him when he revealed his identity to his brothers. He wept so loudly that the Egyptians and Pharaoh’s household heard him. Joseph said to his brothers, “I’m Joseph! Is my father really still alive?” His brothers couldn’t respond because they were terrified before him.

Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me,” and they moved closer. He said, “I’m your brother Joseph! The one you sold to Egypt. Now, don’t be upset and don’t be angry with yourselves that you sold me here. Actually, God sent me before you to save lives. We’ve already had two years of famine in the land, and there are five years left without planting or harvesting. God sent me before you to make sure you’d survive[f] and to rescue your lives in this amazing way. You didn’t send me here; it was God who made me a father to Pharaoh, master of his entire household, and ruler of the whole land of Egypt.

“Hurry! Go back to your father. Tell him this is what your son Joseph says: ‘God has made me master of all of Egypt. Come down to me. Don’t delay. 10 You may live in the land of Goshen, so you will be near me, your children, your grandchildren, your flocks, your herds, and everyone with you. 11 I will support you there, so you, your household, and everyone with you won’t starve, since the famine will still last five years.’ 12 You and my brother Benjamin have seen with your own eyes that I’m speaking to you. 13 Tell my father about my power in Egypt and about everything you’ve seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.” 14 He threw his arms around his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his shoulder. 15 He kissed all of his brothers and wept, embracing them. After that, his brothers were finally able to talk to him.

Joseph’s brothers return for Jacob

16 When Pharaoh’s household heard the message “Joseph’s brothers have arrived,” both Pharaoh and his servants were pleased. 17 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Give your brothers these instructions: Load your pack animals and go back to the land of Canaan. 18 Get your father and your households and come back to me. Let me provide you with good things from the land of Egypt so that you may eat the land’s best food. 19 Give them these instructions too: Take wagons from the land of Egypt for your children and wives, and pick up your father and come back. 20 Don’t worry about your possessions because you will have good things from the entire land of Egypt.”

21 So Israel’s sons did that. Joseph gave them wagons as Pharaoh instructed, and he gave them provisions for the road. 22 To all of them he gave a change of clothing, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five change