This marks the beginning of Sefer Shemos (Exodus), the second book of the Torah (Pentateuch) , in this years cycle of reading. It is a long Parsha, or seems so. Much happens.
WORK IN PROGRESS
More to the point, dear readers, this is unfortunately still a work in progress, for which I apologize. But it is presently nearly twelve at night, and I'm going somewhat batty ( a lot batty ).
So I will correct spell errors tomorrow before sunset, and continue it as much as possible. But it is likely that the finished version will not be ready till sometime Sunday.
Shemos = Names
First parsha of sefer Shemos (Exodus).
Psook 1:1 " veele shemot benei Yisrael habaim Mitzraima et Yaakov ish uveito bau "
NOW THESE are the names of the sons of Israel that came into Egypt with Jacob; every man came with his household
Being a brief recap of the list in the last portion of Bereishis.
Psook 1:2 "Reuven, Shimon, Levi, viHuda "
Reuben, Simeon, Levi, , and Judah;
Psook 1:3 "Yisshochar Zebulun uVinyamin "
Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin;
Psook 1:4 "Dan VeNaftali Gad veAsher "
Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher.
Psook 1:5 "vayouhi kol nefesh yotzei yourech Yaakov shivim nafesh veYosef haya veMitzrayim "
And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls; and Joseph already was in Egypt
Psook 1:6 "vayamat Yosef vechol echav vechol hador hahu "
And Joseph died, and all his brothers, and all that generation.
Psook 1:7 "uVenei Yisrael paru vayishretzu vayirbu vayaatzmu bimod meod vatimale haaretz otam "
And the children of Israel were fruitful, and swarmed, and multiplied, and grew very mighty; and the land was filled with them.
Note how this describes excruciatingly how numerous the Hebrews had become in Egypt since the death of Yosef.
Psook 1:8 "vayakam melech chadash al Mitzrayim asher lo yada et Yosef "
Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph.
A new king - Probably a new Pharaonic dynasty succeeding to the throne, replacing the royal house under which the Hebrews had established themselves in Goshen, and by whose authority they had been a privileged group. But now the situation has changed, and not having a place within the new structure, unlike native groups, the Hebrews will be disadvantaged. Which will profit those who in those years may have grown to resent them, forgetting what Yosef had done for Egypt.
Psook 1:9 "vayomer el amo hine am benei Yisrael rav veatzum mimenu "
And he said to his people 'Behold, the people of the children of Israel are too many and too mighty for us.
And he said to his people - by which is meant his ministers and his officials, because this is a description of the king's council.
Too many and too mighty - more numerous and stronger. Polemic and hyperbolic, for were it really so, it would have been the Egyptians who would have become the minority. But by persecution, the number of Hebrews will be reduced - those who are connected to them, or who self-identify with them, will precipitate out, those who had been part of the Hebraicised structure in Goshen shall become scarce.
Included in the above are the other Canaanite or Semitic groupings of the border zone (and note the term 'erev rav', which we shall meet anon).
Psook 1:10 "hava nitchakma lo pen yirbe vehaya ki tikrena milchama venosaf gam hu al soneinu venilcham banu veala min haaretz "
come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it should happen that, when we have war, they also join themselves to our enemies, and fight against us, and get them up out of the land.'
They join themselves to our enemies - because it may be presumed that whatever loyalty they had to Egypt was to the previous royal house, and under the previous accomodation.
By which we see the hyperbole of the previous statement illustrated, for were they really more numerous than the Egyptians they would scarce need to join with their enemies in times of war, and would be as much likely to suffer if invaded as the Egyptians.
And get them up out of the land - and so unsettle themselves and depart; which means in this context not up to the eretz kadosh, but rather says that by their leaving they would no longer be of advantage to the Egyptian treasury. It is the economic impact that disturbs Pharaoh, not any return to the land promised to Avraham, of which he does not know (as we see when he turns down Moshe's request to "let my people go".
Psook 1:11 "vayasimu alav sarei misim lemaan anoto besivlotam vayiven arei miskenot lefaro et pitom veet raamses "
So they set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh store cities, Pithom and Raamses.
Pithom and Raamses - which are in the northwest of Egypt, frontier garrison cities under this new regime, for the sphere of Egyptian influence in the region is lessened, and the frontier requires a more aggressive posture than before. The new dynasty is consolidating their hold, and looking towards eventual conflict with other empires, such as the Hittites. Were it otherwise, the prestige of Egypt would be sufficient to prevent adventurism from other nations, the loyalty of the population in the border region would be reliable, and the military infrastructure still intact. But evidently the military and political situation has changed much since the days of Yosef.
Taskmasters - because, being herders, they paid taxes in kine or corvee.
Psook 1:12 "vechaasher youanu oto ken yirbe vechen yifrotz vayakutzu mipnei benei Yisrael "
But the more they burdened them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And they were disgusted because of the children of Israel.
Disgusted - a fear of their numbers, and because Israel showed that Pharaoh's efforts to press them were not as effective as should have been expected, though these were extreme, and by this the children of Israel showed themselves a likely threat.
Psook 1:13 "vayaavidu Mitzrayim et benei Yisrael befarech "
And the Egyptians made the children of Israel work rigorously
Psook 1:14 "vayoumararu et chayouihem baavoda kasha bechomer uvilvenim uvechol avoda basade et kol avodatam asher avdu vahem befarech "
And they made their lives bitter with hard labour, in mortar and in brick, and every labour in the field; in all their services in which they made them work rigorously.
And with every labour in the field - this is a new one: heretofore the Hebrews had not been agriculturalists but pastoralists. Like the Europeans did to the gypsies, the Egyptians try to break the accustomed way of life and settle them.
More rigorously - thus burdening them more than other subject were ever burdened. But herein a boundary is set, a dividing line established. Those who continue a Hebrew identity are made to suffer, those who let their tribal loyalties lapse are bettered. The chaff is separated out by the hardness upon the adherents of the Abrahamic belief system. It can be assumed that those who remained were more determined to hold fast - this is the beginning of an infamous stiffneckedness.
Psook 1:15 "vayomer melech Mitzrayim lamyaldot haivriyot asher shem haachat Shifra veshem hashenit Pua "
And the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of one was Shiphrah, and the name of the second was Puah;
The names of the midwives show them to be Semitic, though not necessarily Hebrew, And it is unlikely that they were indeed Hebrew, because he trusted that he could order them to murder their own. And had they done what Pharaoh ordered, they would soon no longer have been midwives, neither to the Hebrews nor to anybody else. Murder is not good for business, even if the business is primarily one of superstition and preventative rituals. In psook 1:19 twhat they are quoted as saying substantiates this - they speak of the Hebrew women, not of their own kind, and point out qualities that set the Hebrew women apart.
Rashi here informs us that Shifra and Puah are actually Yochebed and Miriam. Rashi will also tell us that Yochebed is one hundred and thirty years old when she gives birth to Moses - the question is whether we dare believe him. But it does add a note of the miraculous, and makes an impression on small minds.
Psook 1:16 "vayomer beyaledchen et haivriyot ureiten al haavnayim im ben hu vahamiten oto veim bat hiv vachaya "
and he said 'When you are midwife to the Hebrew women, you shall look on the birthstool if it be a son, you shall kill him; but if it be a daughter, she shall live.'
Psook 1:17 "vatirena hameyaldot et haElohim velo asu kaasher diber aleihen melech Mitzrayim vatechayouina et hayouladim "
But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the males alive.
But the midwives feared God - why is this said? If they were Hebrews, it would not have required any remark, though had they not feared God precisely that would have been remarkable. But here they are contrasted with Pharaoh and those who had advised him, who thought themselves the representatives of the divine on earth and lacked a sense of righteousness.
Psook 1:18 "vayikra melech Mitzrayim lamyaldot vayomer lahen madua asiten hadavar haze vatechayouina et hayouladim "
And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said to them 'Why have you done this thing, and have saved the males alive?'
Psook 1:19 "vatomarna hameyaldot el Paro ki lo chanashim hamitzriyot haivriyot ki chayot hena beterem tavo alehen hameyaledet veyaladu "
And the midwives said to Pharaoh 'Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; they are lively, and delivered before the midwife comes to them.'
Psook 1:21 "vayouhi ki yaru hameyaldot et haElohim vayaas lahem batim "
And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that He made them houses.
Houses - establishments or lineages. But it is not said what precisely is meant hereby, as it is of no importance to the remainder of the narrative of the Benei Israel, from which we know that these are not Hebrew women, but more likely Egyptians.
Psook 1:22 "vayoutzav Paro lechol amo lemor kol haben hayilod hayouora tashlichuhu vechol habat techayun "
And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying 'Every son that is born cast into the river, and every daughter save alive.'
Every... And every... - if tribal affiliation is by the paternal line, this would be disastrous to the Benei Israel.
Per Rashi, however, this is ordered over all in Egypt, as Pharaoh's soothsayers had foretold that at this time a boy would be born who would become the saviour of the enslaved Hebrews. Considering that the previous time that the Egyptian necromancers had been mentioned they were not able to see the seven year of pleanty and the seven years of famine, one may doubt this explanation. Rather, one must read it as Pharaoh ordering his officers (his people - the people of his government, who carry out his orders and act by his authority) to do what the midwives had failed to do.
Psook 2:1 "vayoulech ish mibeit Levi, vayikach et bat Levi, "
And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took a daughter of Levi, to wife.
Here Rashi actually makes sense, averring that what is meant is that upon the order having been given to kill sons, couples had separated rather than risk a pregnancy resulting in a boy. So also Yochebed and Amram. Were it not extraordinairy that a couple would get together it would not be worth mentioning. That it is mentioned highlights both the risk involved, and that these two are of the same tribe.
On the other hand, the explanation that Yochebed is one hundred and thirty years old defies belief. Having here born when the family moves from Canaan to Goshen is a convenient foreshortening that serves little actual purpose, and a pregnancy at an older age than Sarah Immaeinu detracts from that tale while only adding absurdity here.
Psook 2:2 "vatahar haisha vateled ben vatere oto ki tov hu vatitzpenehu shelosha yourachim "
And the woman conceived, and bore a son; and when she saw that he was good, she hid him three months.
A mother's affection for her children is necessarily subversive.
Psook 2:3 "velo yachla od hatzefino vatikach lo tevat gome vatachmera vachemar uvazafet vatasem ba et hayouled vatasem basuf al sefat hayouor "
When she could not longer hide him, she made for him an ark of rushes, and caulked it with clay and tar; and she put the child therein, and placed it in the reeds by the river bank
When she could no longer hide him - why is this said?
Because unless they lived in isolation, neither pregancy nor the enventual birth could remain secret, and the community would conceive itself endangered by a continuing act of rebellion. So rather than hoping to delay the inevitable, and make a betrayer out of a fellow Hebrew, she moves forward with s treategem.
Why both clay and tar?
Because the clay stiffens and makes strong the basketry, and the tar waterproofs it.
Placed it among the reeds - in a chosen place where the current would not pull it loose. She knew who was accustomed to come down to the river.
Psook 2:4 "vatetatzav achoto merachok ledea ma youase lo "
And his sister stood a short distance away, to know what would be done to him.
Leaving very little to chance.
Psook 2:5 "vatered bat Paro lirchotz al hayouor venaaroteiha holchot al yad hayouor vatere et hateva betoch hasuf vatishlach et amata vatikacheha "
And the daughter of Pharaoh went down to bathe in the river; and her handmaids walked along by the riverbank, and she saw the ark among the reeds, and sent her handmaid to fetch it.
It is unlikely that Pharaoh's daughter haphazardly bathed in different spots. It is probable that this was a secure area, where there were neither dangerous wild animals (crocodiles, adders, cobras, etcetera) nor spots suitable for an ambush.
Her handmaids - naarot, by which is meant girls prior to adulthood. And so more malleable to Pharaoh's daughter's defiance than elderly retainers would likely be, and more given to an emotional investment in the infant.
Maidens would also be easier for the sister of the infant to talk to.
Psook 2:6 "vatiftach vatirehu et hayouled vehine naar boche vatachmol alav vatomer miyaldei haivrim ze "
And she opened it, and saw it, a child; and behold, a boy that wept. And she had compassion on him, and said 'This is one of the Hebrews' children.'
One of the Hebrews' children - even if the infant had been swaddled, both curiosity and the circumstance of his finding would have soon betrayed his ethnicity. The security of the area precludes a likelyhood of an accidental losing of a child precisely at that location. An infant boy, among the riverbank reeds... What else can it be? And further discovery would have uncovered a circumcision. While circumcision was not limited to the Hebrews, other ehtnicities are known to have performed circumcision as an entry into adulthood, much like modernday Arabs and Mustarabs, who perform it at some point during adolescence.
Psook 2:7 "vatomer achoto el bat Paro haelech vekarati lach isha meineket min haivriyot veteinik lach et hayaled "
Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter 'Shall I go and get you a nurse of the Hebrew women, to nurse the child for you?'
Would Pharaoh's daughter not have wondered at the fortuitous circumstance presented here? But more likely she recognized the situation, and saw plausible deniability. The ark showed the care and concern of the child's relatives, the presence of the girl betrayed forethought. She drafted providence in service to her compassion, as we see in the next verse. And, indeed, the infant had been cast into the river - the law had been obeyed in that respect.
Psook 2:8 "vatomer la bat Paro lechi vatelech haalma vatikra et em hayaled "
And Pharaoh's daughter said to her 'Go.' And the girl went and called the child's mother.
Psook 2:9 "vatomer la bat Paro heilichi et hayouled haze veheinikihu li vaani eten et secharech vatikach haisha hayouled vatenikehu "
And Pharaoh's daughter said to her 'Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give you payment' And the woman took the child, and nursed it.
Psook 2:10 "vayigdal hayouled vateviehu levat Paro vayouhi la leven vatikra shemo Moshe vatomer ki min hamayim meshitihu "
And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses, saying 'Because I drew him out of the water.'
But 'mose' means 'son of' in Egyptian, and he became her son (meaning like a son to her). Had she meant indeed that she drew him out of the water, the name should have been 'yeor-mose'.
It is as likely that she made use of the Hebrew implication of the name as a happy coincidence - she knew he was Hebrew, her handmaidens knew that he was Hebrew, and therefore her household would also have known this. Rashi disputes this by slaughtering the handmaidens in his explanation, and miraculously stretching forth the daughter of Pharaoh's arm to seize the ark among the reeds.
Psook 2:11 "vayouhi bayamim hahem vayigdal Moshe vayoutze el echav vayar besivlotam vayar ish mitzri make ish ivri meechav "
And it happened in those days, when Moses was grown up, that he went out to his brothers, and looked on their burdens; and he saw an Egyptian hitting a Hebrew, one of his brothers.
Went out to his brothers - because he would have known from his adoptive mother of the circumstance of his coming into her household, as her compassion would not have hidden this from him when she adopted him despite his origin, and the evidence of his ethnicity was marked upon him from infancy (so, even if circumcision had been not uncommon among certain Egyptians at that time, the fact that he was circumcised as an infant rather than as an adolescent as previously explained would have told him of his ancestry).
Psook 2:12 "vayifen ko vacho vayar ki ein ish vayach et hamitzri vayitmenehu bachol "
And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he struck the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.
Psook 2:13 "vayoutze bayom hasheni vehine shenei anashim ivrim nitzim vayomer larasha lama take reecha "
And he went out the next day, and, behold, two men of the Hebrews werefighting together; and he said to the one that fought 'why do you strike your comrade?'
Psook 2:14 "vayomer mi samcha leish sar veshofet aleinu halehargeni ata omer kaasher haragta et hamitzri vayira Moshe vayomar achen noda hadavar "
And he responded 'Who made you a man, a ruler, and a judge over us? Do you plan to kill me like you killed that Egyptian??' And Moses was afraid, and said 'indeed the thing is known.'
A man, a ruler, and a judge - three different aspects are here recognized in Moses.
Psook 2:15 "vayishma Paro et hadavar haze vayouvakesh laharog et Moshe vayivrach Moshe mipnei faro vayoushev beeretz midyan vayoushev al habeer "
When Pharaoh heard of this matter, he wished to have Moses killed. But Moses fled from the presence of Pharaoh, and ended up in the land of Midian; and he sat down by a well.
Heard of this matter - and it is implied that Moses' version of events was not heard, because otherwise we would be told of it. Not that it would have made much difference.
Psook 2:16 "ulechohen midyan sheva banot vatavona vatidlena vatemalena et harhatim lehashkot tzon avihen "
Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters; and they came and drew water, filling the troughs to water their father's flock.
Seven daughters - like six days of the week, and a sabbath. A perfect set.
Psook 2:17 "vayavou haroim vayougarashum vayakam Moshe vayoshian vayashke et tzonam "
And shepherds came and drove them away; but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.
Midian became a paradigm of lawlessness and amorality.
Psook 2:18 "vatavona el Reuel avihen vayomer madua miharten bo hayom "
And when they returned to Reuel their father, he said 'How is it that you have returned so soon to day?'
Psook 2:19 "vatomarna ish mitzri hitzilanu miyad haroim vegam dalo dala lanu vayashke et hatzon "
And they said 'An Egyptian delivered us from the hand of the shepherds, and also he drew water for us, and watered the flock.'
An Egyptian man - a man with the appearance and manners of an Egyptian, as Moses had been raised in that environment, and could not act otherwise, nor speak other than as an Egyptian, which would make him perfect as one who should speak to Egyptians.
Psook 2:20 "vayomer el benotav veayo lama ze azavten et haish kiren lo veyochal lachem "
And he said to his daughters 'And where is he? Why is it that you left the man there? Call him, so that he may eat bread.'
Psook 2:21 "vayoel Moshe lashevet et haish vayiten et Tzipora vito leMoshe "
And Moses was content to dwell with the man, who also gave Moses Zipporah his daughter.
Psook 2:22 "vateled ben vayikra et shemo Gershom ki amar ger hayiti beeretz nachriya "
And she gave birth to a son, and he called his name Gershom; for he said 'I have been a stranger in a strange land.'
Psook 2:23 "vayouhi vayamim harabim hahem vayamat melech Mitzrayim vayouanchu Venei Yisrael min haavoda vayizaku vataal shavatam el haElohim min haavoda "
And in due course the king of Egypt died; and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they wept, and their cry came up to God by reason of that bondage.
At this time the possible hope that their bondage would end with Paharaoh's death is dashed, the oppression has become institutionalized, and no end of their suffering is in sight.
Psook 2:24 "vayishma Elohim et naakatam vayizkor Elohim et berito et Avraham et Yitzchak veet Yaakov "
And God heard their lamenting, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
And God remembered - meaning rather that the time had come to set in motion the realese of the Hebrews, and bring them up from Egypt.
Psook 2:25 "vayar Elohim et benei Yisrael vayouda Elohim "
And God saw the children of Israel, and God took cognizance of them.
The birth of Moses' son, the death of Pharaoh, and the lamentation of the Israelites are of a pattern - God heard, God remembered, God saw, and God took cognizance.
Moses's son is not yet circumcised at this point, which will be a crucial detail shortly, especially in connection with the covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob, because circumcision is the mark of a Hebrew.
Psook 3:1 "uMoshe haya roe et tzon Yitro chotno kohen midyan vayinhag et hatzon achar hamidbar vayavo el har haElohim Choreva "
Now Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to in the wilds, and came to the mountain of God, to Horeb.
Horeb - which is the same as Sinai.
Psook 3:2 "vayoura malach Yahwe elav belabat esh mitoch hasene vayar vehine hasene boer baesh vehasne einenu ukal "
And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he stared, and, behold, the bush burned with fire and was not consumed.
The angel of the Lord - because God manifests himself by a device, like amessenger, in the cognizance of humans, who otherwise could not grasp the divine, as God cannot be neither defined nor described.
Psook 3:3 "vayomer Moshe asura na veere et hamare haGadol haze madua lo yivar hasene "
And Moses said 'Let me turn aside now, and see this great sight, and why the bush is not consumed.'
And Moses said - meaning that Moses though this.
The bush is not consumed - by which we know that awareness of the divine is a cognative occurrence rather than observation of physical data.
Psook 3:4 "vayar Yahwe ki sar lirot vayikra elav Elohim mitoch hasene vayomer Moshe Moshe vayomer hineni "
And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him from the bush, and said 'Moses, Moses.' And he said 'Here am I.'
The Lord saw - a turn of phrase meaning that it was taken cognizance of. Observed, noted.
Psook 3:5 "vayomer al tikrav halom shal nealeicha meal ragleicha ki hamakom asher ata omed alav admat kodesh hu "
And He said 'do not appraoch any closer;remove the shoes from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.'
Holy ground - by virtue of the manifestation of the divine, and being the locus of a commandment.
Psook 3:6 "vayomer anochi Elohei avicha Elohei Avraham Elohei Yitzchak vElohei Yaakov vayaster Moshe panav ki yare mehabit el haElohim "
Then He said 'I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' And Moses hid his face, for he was scared to look on God.
Moses hid his face - as a mark of self-abasement, as for a king, like Yosef's brothers did during their audience with the viceroy of Egypt.
Psook 3:7 "vayomer Yahwe rao raiti et oni ami asher beMitzrayim veet tzaakatam shamati mipnei nogsav ki yadati et machovav "
And the Lord said 'I have indeed seen the suffering of My people that are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their pains;
Seen... Heard... - Cognizant of.
Psook 3:8 "vaered lehatzilo miyad Mitzrayim ulehaaloto min haaretz hahiv el eretz tova urechava el eretz zavat chalav udevash el mekom haKenaani vehaChiti vehaEmori vehaPrizi vehaChivi vehaYevusi "
and I will come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a land both good and large, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Amorite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite.
Milk and honey - good fields and pasturage, and a place of abundance. A marked contrast with the circumstance of their coming down to Egypt, which was at a time of scarcity and famine.
Six nations are mentioned in the land flowing with milk and honey, and the Hebrews will be the seventh. Like Ziporah, like the Sabbath. A fitting indication of a holy people.
Psook 3:9 "veata hine tzaakat benei Yisrael baa elai vegam raiti et halachatz asher Mitzrayim lochatzim otam "
And now, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me; and I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians torment them.
And it is that the evil done by the Egyptians is here noted, rather than the suffering of the Hebrews, because it is on account of this evil that the Egyptians shall merit the plagues.
Psook 3:10 "veata lecha veeshlachacha el Paro vehotze et ami Venei Yisrael miMitzrayim "
Come then, and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you shall tak My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.'
Both a command and a statement of what will happen.
Psook 3:11 "vayomer Moshe el haElohim mi anochi ki elech el Paro vechi otzi et benei Yisrael miMitzrayim "
And Moses said to God 'Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?'
Who am I - having lost all status I Egypt, and not having gained any among the Benei Israel.
Psook 3:12 "vayomer ki ehyou imach veze lecha haot ki anochi shelachticha behotziacha et haam miMitzrayim taavdun et haElohim al hahar haze "
And He said 'Certainly I will be with you; and this shall be the token to you, that I have sent you when you have brought forth the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.'
It is a commission, with a token thereto.
Psook 3:13 "vayomer Moshe el haElohim hine anochi va el benei Yisrael veamarti lahem Elohei avoteichem shelachani aleichem veamru li ma shemo ma omar alehem "
And Moses said to God 'Behold, when I come to the children of Israel, and shall say to them The God of your fathers has sent me to you; and they shall say to me What is His name? what shall I say to them?'
Psook 3:14 "vayomer Elohim el Moshe ehyou asher ehyou vayomer ko tomar livnei Yisrael ehyou shelachani aleichem "
And God said to Moses 'I AM THAT I AM'; and He said 'so shall you say to the children of Israel I AM has sent me to you.'
And this is also a sign.
Psook 3:15 "vayomer od Elohim el Moshe ko tomar el benei Yisrael Yahwe Elohei avoteichem Elohei Avraham Elohei Yitzchak vElohei Yaakov shelachani aleichem ze shemi leolam veze zichri ledor dor "
And God said also to Moses 'so shall you say to the children of Israel The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you; this is My name for ever, and this is My memorial to all generations.
All generations - Permanent, without termination.
Psook 3:16 "lech veasafta et ziknei Yisrael veamarta alehem Yahwe Elohei avoteichem nira elai Elohei Avraham Yitzchak veYaakov lemor pakod pakadti etchem veet heasui lachem beMitzrayim "
Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying I have indeed remembered you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt.
Psook 3:17 "vaomar aale etchem meoni Mitzrayim el eretz haKenaani vehaChiti vehaEmori vehaPrizi vehaChivi vehaYevusi el eretz zavat chalav udevash "
And I have said I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Amorite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite, to a land flowing with milk and honey.
Psook 3:18 "veshamu lekolecha uvata ata veziknei Yisrael el melech Mitzrayim vaamartem elav Yahwe Elohei haivriyim nikra aleinu veata nelcha na derech sheloshet yamim bamidbar venizbecha laYahwe Eloheinu "
And they shall listen to your voice. And you shall come, you and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt, and you shall say to him The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. And now let us go, we pray you, three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.
Psook 3:19 "vaani yadati ki lo yiten etchem melech Mitzrayim lahaloch velo beyad chazaka "
And I know that the king of Egypt will not give you leave to go, except by a mighty hand.
Moses is forewarned of events, and the might hand is a reference to the plagues.
Psook 3:20 "veshalachti et yadi vehikeiti et Mitzrayim bechol nifleotai asher ese bekirbo veacharei chen youshalach etchem "
And I will put forth My hand, and smite Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in the midst thereof. And after that he will let you go.
Psook 3:21 "venatati et chen haam haze beeinei Mitzrayim vehaya ki telechun lo telchu reikam "
And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians. And it will happen, that, when you go, you shall not go empty;
Psook 3:22 "veshaala isha mishchenta umigarat beita kelei chesef uchelei zahav usemalot vesamtem al beneichem veal benoteichem venitzaltem et Mitzrayim "
but every woman shall ask of her neighbour, and of her that lodges in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and clothing; and you shall put them on your sons, and on your daughters; and you shall spoil the Egyptians.'
By this the women of Egypt shall commission the Hebrews to journey, absolving themselves, it being remembered that those who enable other to perform mitzvos gain merit thereby themselves.
Psook 4:1 "vayaan Moshe vayomer vehen lo yaaminu li velo yishmeu bekoli ki yomru lo nira eleicha Yahwe "
And Moses answered and said 'But, behold, they will not believe me, nor listen to my voice; for they will say The Lord has not appeared to you.'
This comes across like the voice of disillusionment, and betokens a lack of true prophetic ability. Moses is not so much a prophet as an agent charged with a task, the completion of which he cannot foresee. As we will note at the end of the forty years, when indeed he does not see the resolution - which is in part because of his lack of faith, denying the possibility. Those who deny the afterlife, for them there is no afterlife. Those who deny the entry into the promised land.....
Psook 4:2 "vayomer elav Yahwe maze ma ze veyadecha vayomer mate "
And the Lord said to him 'What is that in your hand?' And he said 'A rod.'
Psook 4:3 "vayomer hashelichehu artza vayashlichehu artza vayouhi lenachash vayanas Moshe mipanav "
And He said 'Cast it on the ground.' And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it.
Psook 4:4 "vayomer Yahwe el Moshe shelach yadcha veechoz biznavo vayishlach yado vayachazek bo vayouhi lemate bechapo "
And the Lord said to Moses 'Put forth your hand, and take it by the tail, and he put forth his hand, and laid hold of it, and it became a rod in his hand
Psook 4:5 "lemaan yaaminu ki nira eleicha Yahwe Elohei avotam Elohei Avraham Elohei Yitzchak vElohei Yaakov "
that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.'
Psook 4:6 "vayomer Yahwe lo od have na yadcha becheikecha vayave yado becheiko vayotzia vehine yado metzoraat kashaleg "
And the Lord said also to him 'Put now your hand into your bosom.' And he put his hand into his bosom; and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, as white as snow.
Psook 4:7 "vayomer hashev yadcha el cheikecha vayashev yado el cheiko vayotzia mecheiko vehine shava kivsaro "
And He said 'Put your hand back into your bosom. And he put his hand back into his bosom; and when he took it out of his bosom, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh.
Psook 4:8 "vehaya im lo yaaminu lach velo yishmeu lekol haot harishon veheeminu lekol haot haacharon "
And it will happen, if they will not believe you, neither listen to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign.
It is by miraculous signs that prophets are recognized, according to Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon.
Psook 4:9 "vehaya im lo yaaminu gam lishnei haotot haele velo yishmeun lekolecha velakachta mimeimei hayouor veshafachta hayabasha vehayu hamayim asher tikach min hayouor vehayu ledam bayabashet "
And it will happen, if they will not believe even these two signs, neither listen to your voice, that you shall take of the water of the river, and pour it on the dry land; and the water which you take out of the river shall become blood on the dry land.'
Psook 4:10 "vayomer Moshe el Yahwe bi adonai lo ish devarim anochi gam mitmol gam mishilshom gam meaz dabercha el avdecha ki chevad pe uchevad lashon anochi "
And Moses said to the Lord 'Oh Lord, I am not a man of words, neither heretofore, nor since you have spoken to your servant; for I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.'
An uninspiring speaker in his own estimation, which recalls his not having presented his case to Pharaoh regarding the incident of the man in the sand. But perhaps a regret that he had not argued against the treatment of the Hebrews, and a realization that even in the matter of the shepherds at the well it was not his speech that rectified the situation.
Psook 4:11 "vayomer Yahwe elav mi sam pe laadam o mi yasum ilem o cheresh o fikeach o iver halo anochi Yahwe "
And the Lord said to him 'Who has made man's mouth? or who makes a man dumb, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? is it not I the Lord?
Psook 4:12 "veata lech veanochi ehyou im picha vehoreiticha asher tedaber "
Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth, and teach you what you shall speak.'
Thus also given voice, not dumb, not deaf, not blind. His senses will be by the agency of the divine.
Psook 4:14 "vayichar af Yahwe beMoshe vayomer halo Aharon achicha haLevi, yadati ki daber youdaber hu vegam hine hu yotze likratecha veraacha vesamach belibo "
And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and He said 'Is there not Aaron your brother the Levite? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he comes forth to meet you; and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart.
He will be glad in his heart - meaning that he will understand, because in Hebrew the heart is the seat of the intellect.
Psook 4:15 "vedibarta elav vesamta et hadevarim befiv veanochi ehyou im picha veim pihu vehoreiti etchem et asher taasun "
And you shall speak to him, and put the words in his mouth; and I will be with your mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what you shall do.
And the speaking will be speakingly spoken. An excess of speech metaphor. Moses will by Hashem's deising speak, and will say to Aaron what he shall say, and what both Aaron and moses will do.
Psook 4:16 "vediber hu lecha el haam vehaya hu yihyou lecha lefe veata tihyou lo lElohim "
And he shall be your spokesman to the people; and it will happen, that he shall be to you a mouth, and you shall be to him in God's stead.
Aaron shall be between the people and Moses, and Moses is to be between Aaron and God. Agency delimited.
Psook 4:18 "vayoulech Moshe vayashav el youter chotno vayomer lo elcha na veashuva el achai asher beMitzrayim veere haodam chayim vayomer Yitro leMoshe lech leshalom "
And Moses went and returned to Jethro his father in law, and said to him 'Let me go, I pray you, and to my brothers that are in Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive.' And Jethro said to Moses 'Go in peace.'
Which is the same as happened when Yosef attended to his kin and Pharaoh permitted him.
Psook 4:19 "vayomer Yahwe el Moshe bemidyan lech shuv Mitzrayim ki metu kol haanashim hamevakshim et nafshecha "
And the Lord said to Moses in Midian 'Go, return into Egypt; for all the men are dead that sought your life.'
Psook 4:20 "vayikach Moshe et ishto veet banav vayarkivem al hachamor vayashav artza Mitzrayim vayikach Moshe et mate haElohim beyado "
And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them on an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt; and Moses took the rod of God in his hand.
Psook 4:21 "vayomer Yahwe el Moshe belechtecha lashuv Mitzraima ree kol hamoftim ashero samti veyadecha vaasitam lifnei faro vaani achazek et libo velo youshalach et haam "
And the Lord said to Moses 'When you go back into Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your hand; but I will harden his heart, and he will not let the people go.
Psook 4:22 "veamarta el Paro ko amar Yahwe beni vechori Yisrael "
And you shall say to Pharaoh so says the Lord Israel is My son, My first born.
Psook 4:23 "vaomar eleicha shalach et beni veyaavdeni vatemaen leshalcho hine anochi horeg et bincha bechorecha "
And I have said to you Let My son go, that he may serve Me; and you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will slay your son, your first born.'
The guilt of Egypt in the matter of the sons will be confirmed, by contrast with wich the Hebrews merit release.
Psook 4:24 "vayouhi vaderech bamalon vayifgeshehu Yahwe vayouvakesh hamito "
And it came to pass on the way at the lodging place, that the Lord met him, and sought to kill him.
Psook 4:25 "vatikach Tzipora tzor vatichrot et arlat bena vataga leraglav vatomer ki chatan damim ata li "
Then Zipporah took a flint, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet; and she said 'indeed a bridegroom of blood are you to me.'
This because the commandment confirming the status of being commanded was lacking. If Moses entering Egypt is in order to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt, it is not proper that such a commitment as circumcising his son should be lacking. If Gershom is not circumcised, he will not be a Hebrew. Tziporah recognizes the obligation, and by performing it cuts herself off from her own people, leaving Midian and becoming a Hebrew in Egypt, severing the bonds as if by marriage, and here truly becoming by the loss of those ties the wife of Moses, and herself committed to the task with which he had been entrusted.
Psook 4:26 "vayiref mimenu az amra chatan damim lamulot "
So He let him alone. Then she said 'A bridegroom of blood in regard of the circumcision.'
It being because of the lack of that circumcision that a sudden bloody act needed doing.
Psook 4:27 "vayomer Yahwe el Aharon lech likrat Moshe hamidbara vayoulech vayifgeshehu behar haElohim vayishak lo "
And the Lord said to Aaron 'Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.' And he went, and met him in the mountain of God, and kissed him.
And the Lord said - inspired Aaron to go there.
Psook 4:28 "vayaged Moshe leAharon et kol divrei Yahwe asher shelacho veet kol haotot asher tzivahu "
And Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord wherewith He had sent him, and all the signs wherewith He had charged him.
Psook 4:29 "vayoulech Moshe veAharon vayaasfu et kol ziknei benei Yisrael "
And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel.
Psook 4:30 "vayoudaber Aharon et kol hadevarim asher diber Yahwe el Moshe vayaas haotot leeinei haam "
And Aaron spoke all the words which the Lord had spoken to Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people.
Psook 4:31 "vayaamen haam vayishmeu ki fakad Yahwe et benei Yisrael vechi raa et anyam vayikdu vayishtachavu "
And the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had remembered the children of Israel, and that He had seen their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.
Psook 5:1 "veachar bau Moshe veAharon vayomru el Paro ko amar Yahwe Elohei Yisrael shalach et ami veyachogu li bamidbar "
And afterward Moses and Aaron came, and said to Pharaoh 'so says the Lord, the God of Israel Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.'
Psook 5:2 "vayomer Paro mi Yahwe asher eshma bekolo leshalach et Yisrael lo yadati et Yahwe vegam et Yisrael lo ashaleach "
And Pharaoh said 'Who is the Lord, that I should listen to His voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, and also I will not let Israel go.'
Till thus far tonight. Further tomorrow.