Moses and Aaron Arrive in Egypt

Exodus 4:27-6:1

The Torah tells us now that it is not by chance Aaron was on his way to meet his younger brother; God had sent him! When they finally meet, they gather the elders of Israel and tell them of God’s plan to redeem the people. The elders believe the two brothers and bow in appreciation of God’s promise.

 

The two then appear before Pharaoh to deliver God’s message. Pharaoh refuses to acknowledge God and instead increases the Israelites’ workload.

 

As the Israel Bible points out, only a lack of recognition of God could lead to such willful abuse of humanity. Had Pharaoh recognized a benevolent God, he never would have been able to treat other human beings so poorly. Therefore, all the plagues that come later are designed to emphasize God’s presence in the world.

 

We are told that Pharaoh had appointed Israelite overseers above the Hebrew slaves, with Egyptian taskmasters over them. When Pharaoh commands that the slaves must continue producing the same quota of bricks without being provided straw, the overseers are beaten because the slaves are not able to comply.

 

The Hebrew overseers appeal to Pharaoh, but he calls them lazy and turns them away. They then turn on Moses and Aaron, telling them that instead of helping, they have made everything worse.

 

Devastated, Moses complains to God that he should never have been sent. God assures him He has a plan, and by the time He is done, Pharaoh will not only free the people, he will “drive them from the land” with a strong hand.

 

Virtual Classroom Discussion

  • What does Moses tell Pharaoh the Israelites want (see 5:1 and 5:3)? Does this reflect what happens in the rest of the Exodus story? Why do you think Moses says this to Pharaoh?

 

 

Comments ( 2 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™.

  • As far as you experience living with G-d is a festival, the answer is "yes". In this way HaShem had meant living with Him. But….(as we will see later) uncomprehended circumstances and wrong choices ruin the feast of worship often. Moshe had to say this to Pharo as this was the original idea, the origine of living with G-d. Life would become living in Gan Eden and strugle to reach that kind of life.

  • Michael

    Moses asks that the Hebrews be allowed to leave Egypt for 3 days to sacrifice/conduct a festival to Hashem. Rather than fully confront Pharo over permanently liberating the Hebrews, Moshe frames the issue around service to G-d and seems to leave open the possibility that the Hebrews would return after the 3 day festival. It appears that Moishe does not follow Hashem’s instructions that he tell Pharo that Israel is G-d’s first born and that the first born of Egypt will be smitten if Pharo does not comply. Rather than threaten Pharo Moishe appeals to him by saying that G-d will strike down the Hebrews if they are not allowed to go rather than the Eguptions. Moishe seems to fear angering pharo. At this time Moishe has failed to warn Pharo of the consequences of not letting the Hebrews go.

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