PDF  MSWord
And he said to his people, “Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more numerous and stronger than we are. Bible

“more numerous and stronger than we are.” Scholars assert that Israel could not have outnumbered the people of Egypt, so this is almost certainly an exaggeration that comes from fear and a desire to control (Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament; also, Lange’s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures). Some scholars believe Pharaoh was making an excuse to enslave Israel. George Bush (Commentary on Exodus) suggests that perhaps Pharaoh had a specific area in mind in which Israel was more numerous than the Egyptians. In any case, there were not more Israelites than Egyptians in Egypt, and Pharaoh did apparently want to enslave them or he would have just asked them to leave Egypt, and when they did want to leave he would not let them go. It is also possible that the Hebrew text should be understood as, “too many and too might for us” (ESV; JPS; RSV; cp. CJB; NIV, Rotherham, The interpreter’s Bible), which would be a statement made from fear, but not as clearly an exaggeration.


Commentary for: Exodus 1:9