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Confusion about the Exodus

Confusion about the Exodus

Postby TK » Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:52 am

“I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt, 17 and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey.”’ 18 And they will listen to your voice, and ***you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; and now, please let us go a three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.’***
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Afterward Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, ***that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.’”***
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Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. ***Please let us go a three days' journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God,***
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8 ***I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession.*** I am the Lord.’”
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16 And you shall say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you, saying, ***“Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness.”***
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Then Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God within the land.” 26 But Moses said, “It would not be right to do so, for the offerings we shall sacrifice to the Lord our God are an abomination to the Egyptians. If we sacrifice offerings abominable to the Egyptians before their eyes, will they not stone us? 27 ***We must go three days' journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the Lord our God as he tells us.”*** 28 So Pharaoh said, “I will let you go to sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; ***only you must not go very far away. Plead for me.” 29 Then Moses said, “Behold, I am going out from you and I will plead with the Lord that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, tomorrow.***
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So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. And he said to them, “Go, serve the Lord your God. But which ones are to go?” 9 Moses said, “We will go with our young and our old. We will go with our sons and daughters and with our flocks and herds, for we must hold a feast to the Lord.”
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**Then Pharaoh called Moses and said, “Go, serve the Lord; your little ones also may go with you; only let your flocks and your herds remain behind.”*** 25 But Moses said, “You must also let us have sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God. 26 Our livestock also must go with us; not a hoof shall be left behind, for we must take of them to serve the Lord our God, and we do not know with what we must serve the Lord until we arrive there.”
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Then he summoned Moses and Aaron by night and said, **“Up, go out from among my people, both you and the people of Israel; and go, serve the Lord, as you have said.*** 32 Take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone, and bless me also!”
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The above verses are a progression of passages from Ex 3 to Ex 12. I have highlighted the relevant portions with ***.

A reasonable reading of the passages is that God was commanding the Israelites to go 3 days out of Egypt to sacrifice; but there is also indication he was giving them the land of the Canaanites, etc.

It also seems that Moses was telling Pharaoh to let the Israelites go 3 days into the wilderness to serve the Lord. It is apparent from the conversations that this was also Pharaoh's understanding.

So my question: if the Lord's intention was for the Israelites to permanently leave Egypt, why did He tell Moses to tell Pharaoh that they were just going out a three days journey to worship and sacrifice? There is no sense of permanency in Moses's demand to Pharaoh. At what point in the narrative does it switch from a short pilgrimage to worship to a permanent departure?
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Re: Confusion about the Exodus

Postby robbyyoung » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:52 am

TK wrote:So my question: if the Lord's intention was for the Israelites to permanently leave Egypt, why did He tell Moses to tell Pharaoh that they were just going out a three days journey to worship and sacrifice? There is no sense of permanency in Moses's demand to Pharaoh. At what point in the narrative does it switch from a short pilgrimage to worship to a permanent departure?


Hi TK,

I think God's omniscience is relevant to your question. As you know, none of this came by chance. God actually orchestrated this whole ordeal. God told or prophesied to Abraham what He was going to do (Genesis 15:13-14). Egypt was going to be judged, and the Hebrews were going to occupy the promised land. I think it's important to note that God chose to give Pharaoh the narrative suited for judgement not deliverance. It reminds me of the NT passage, "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." (Thessalonians 2:11-12). In other words, judgement is for sure by the hand of God, especially on His terms.

Blessings.
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Re: Confusion about the Exodus

Postby TK » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:31 pm

Robby- do you think pharaoh understood a temporary exodus or a permanent one based on the way Moses spoke to him?
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Re: Confusion about the Exodus

Postby robbyyoung » Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:24 pm

TK wrote:Robby- do you think pharaoh understood a temporary exodus or a permanent one based on the way Moses spoke to him?


Hi TK,

Temporary. But, Pharaoh was under God's judgement. God hardened his heart so that he would not entertain even a temporary exodus (Ex. 7:3). Thus, as a vessel of dishonor, he was going to be far removed from the truth of his demise, not deliverance. Remember, Egypt was going to pay for their sins against God's people, and there was no escaping their promised judgement.

Blessings.
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Re: Confusion about the Exodus

Postby TK » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:25 am

Thanks Robby-- your explanation is about exactly what my wife said and it makes sense. Guess I should listen to her more often!
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Re: Confusion about the Exodus

Postby robbyyoung » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:37 am

LOL! No worries my friend, and I can definitely relate to yielding to my wife's wisdom and judgement :)

Blessings!
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