English Português Español
eteacherbiblical.com
eTeacherBiblical Official Newsletter
Issue #128 - 05/13
eteacherbiblical.com
...have never felt any success in previous efforts to learn a language - now I do!..
Menu

Eli Dahan

About the Author

Online Store

Learn Biblical Hebrew

Learn Modern Hebrew

Biblical Hebrew Webinar

 
Language Toolbox

Free Biblical Hebrew Lessons

Torah Portions

Bible Study Tools

Biblical Names

 
Community
Facebook Our Facebook Page
Youtube Our YouTube
Twitter Our Twitter
Blog Our Blog
Boletín More Newsletters

 

 
Biblical Hebrew Webinar

Biblical Hebrew Webinar by eTeacherBiblical.com

 
Resources

Hebrew Names

Hebrew Phrases

Bible Names

 
Our Toolbar

Download Our Toolbar

 
Visit Our websites

eTeacherHebrew

eTeacherEnglish

eTeacherChinese

eTeacherGroup

 
Our Store

Babylon 9 and the Hebrew Even Shushan Dic' (includes Back up CD + Extended license Service)

The most comprehensive
Hebrew Dictionary. Revised
and updated for the 21st century, 
the Even Shoshan Dictionary is
the ultimate dictionary for both
contemporary (modern) and
Biblical Hebrew.

Get it NOW!

 
From our partners

Biblical Hebrew Webinar by eTeacherBiblical.com

 
From our partners

Israel Stamps Yearbook

Like eTeacherChinese

Learn Biblical Hebrew and win an iPad mini!

Call us - USA & Canada: 1-800-316-3783
Worldwide: +1-646-200-5822

Two moral questions about Exodus 11

At the beginning of Exodus 11, God revealed His plan to Moses the day before He “passed over” the Children of Israel, killing the firstborn sons of the Egyptians. Since childhood I've always wondered why God needed to kill them in order to bring the People of Israel out of Egypt, or if this whole scene could have played out differently somehow. I’ve never entirely understood the rationale of why the final plague had to be carried out that way.

Let's take a look at the first two verses of this chapter to try and understand some of the difficulties we encounter when we read this story, as written:

"Now the Lord said to Moses, “One more plague I will bring on Pharaoh and on Egypt; after that he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will surely drive you out from here completely. Speak now in the hearing of the people that each man askfrom his neighbor and each woman from her neighbor for articles of silver and articles of gold.” (Ex. 11:1-2)

"וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה עוֹד נֶגַע אֶחָד אָבִיא עַל-פַּרְעֹה וְעַל-מִצְרַיִם אַחֲרֵי-כֵן יְשַׁלַּח אֶתְכֶם מִזֶּהכְּשַׁלְּחוֹ-כָּלָה גָּרֵשׁ יְגָרֵשׁ אֶתְכֶם מִזֶּהדַּבֶּר-נָא בְּאָזְנֵי הָעָם; וְיִשְׁאֲלוּאִישׁ מֵאֵת רֵעֵהוּ וְאִשָּׁה מֵאֵת רְעוּתָהּ, כְּלֵי-כֶסֶף, וּכְלֵי זָהָב."

Once you read these verses, in fact, this entire chapter, you can’t help but wonder not only about the question I posed above, but also a moral question about the hardening of Pharaoh's heart as well as the property that the Israelites were commanded by God to ask the Egyptians for - silver and golden vessels. Did God really asked His chosen people to steal property from the Egyptians? Were the Israelites thieves and liars at God’s command?

These questions, thankfully, are not questions that the commentaries avoid dealing with.  Such questions arose generations back about the father of the Israelites - let’s not forget the behavior of Jacob, who stole the birthright and the blessing from his brother.  

In order to answer this question - שְׁאֵלָה- we need to go on a journey through the Hebrew Bible looking at the same root of the Hebrew word for question - this is the root "shin-aleph-lamed".

The main question about this root is the meaning - when you ask someone for something, are you asking them in order for them to give it back, like a library book or a bank loan, or are you are asking it to be given as a gift – מַתָּנָה - matana?

When Gideon asked his people for gold in Judges 8:24 they gave him their gold as a gift. However, when you read Exodus 22:13, the conclusion is different -

"If a man borrows anything from his neighbor, and it is injured or dies while its owner is not with it, he shall make full restitution."

"וְכִי-יִשְׁאַל אִישׁ מֵעִם רֵעֵהוּ, וְנִשְׁבַּר אוֹ-מֵת; בְּעָלָיו אֵין-עִמּוֹ שַׁלֵּם יְשַׁלֵּם."

Here, if you borrow or ask for something, you must bring it back. In regard to this verse, many commentaries cite the verses from Exodus 3:21-22 that share God’s plan before the Exodus. Undoubtedly, a moral problem arises after reading these verses and the verses from Exodus 11.

Now for an answer that was shared with me by my supervisor of Bible Studies at the Hebrew University - Dr. Megidov. She wrote a beautiful didactic article about this issue, where she offered a solution to the exact moral question that we discussed today. She explained that the People of Israel were slaves in Egypt for many years. When a slave is freed, according to Deuteronomy, the master must liberate them with some sort of property in their possession, as written:

"וְכִי-תְשַׁלְּחֶנּוּ חָפְשִׁי מֵעִמָּךְ לֹא תְשַׁלְּחֶנּוּ רֵיקָם." 

"When you set him free, you shall not send him away empty-handed."(Deuteronomy 15:13)

The death of the firstborns

 

 

A slave cannot go out empty-handed. For that reason, the Israelites asked for the golden and silver vessels. After 400 years of being servants, they were freed with property in order to come back to the Promised Land, as God revealed to Abram in Genesis 15:13-14.

The hardening of Pharaoh’s heart will be a discussion in a newsletter to come. In the meantime, let’s dream of and work towards ensuring the end of slavery in our world!

Have a blessed week,

Eli

 
Main phrases of the post + transcription + translation

English

Transliteration

Hebrew

Free

chofšî

חָפְשִׁי

More

'ôd

עוֹד

His friend

Rē'ē'û

רֵעֵהוּ

He will ask

Yiš'al

יִשְׁאַל

Gold

zāhāv

זָהָב

Speak!

dabber

דַּבֶּר

Thief

gannāv

גַּנָּב

 
Our Online Store
The Safra Bible - The Complete "Torah" Narrated in Hebrew
The Safra Bible-
The Complete "Torah" Narrated in HEBREW 
The CD series consists of the first five books of the Bible narrated
in Hebrew by Omer Frenkel, one of Israel’s leading narrators.This series
is meant to serve and help people to connect, and discover the base
of their Heritage, by listening to the Bible in its original language.
 
 
 
Independent Personal Pronouns

Independent Personal Pronouns

 
Watch more FREE Biblical Hebrew lessons!
Join our Biblical Hebrew course today!
 
 
Simchat Torah

Simchat Torah

 

 
 
Lech Lecha (Genesis 12:1-17:27)

 Lech Lecha (Genesis 12:1-17:27)

Join our Biblical Hebrew course today!

 
 
eTeacherBiblical Newsletter - Readers' Feedback

 

" I have found that your newsletters intriguing me more and more to learn another alphabet, so that I can begin to understand the nuances of the ancient Hebrew language... keep up the good work, so that, as the LORD God provides, I may someday take the study course with you good folks."

Gregg Pellegrino ,USA.
 
"I would like to thank you for the news letters that are very clear and easy to understand.."
 
Miriam Duncan.
 
" I enjoy and value the Newsletters. Nice to read and learn new perspectives."
 
Ester Blomerus
 
"I appreciate your crystal clear exposition of the Bible through your newsletters. It gives me in-depth understanding of the word of God by the correlation you make of events in the Bible in each topic discussed. I make sure I create time out of my busy schedules to go through each newsletter recieved within 24 hrs. Keep it up and God in His infinite mercies will continue to bless you, grant your heart desires and crown your effort with joy unspeakable. Regards ".
 
Manase Auta 
 

"The the Newsletter does a lot for my faith as a Young Christian seeking to know the fullness of God and draw wisdom from his Word...."

Phelelani Dludla 
 

" Thank you for your Newsletter and your teaching. It is much appreciated."

Ann Stephens
 
Please give us your feedback, we may publish it in our next Newsletter.
 
 
eTeacher Customer Stories

 

 
In eTeacher we put an emphasis not only on learning the language, but also on the learning experience and the social connection between students and teachers.
 
Read the personal stories, as told by our teachers and students
To read some of our past students testimonials click here
 
eTeacherBiblical - I'm Reading & Speaking My Heart's Language! 
Angela James ,Houston, Texas
Scott Booth:
 
 After my last visit to Israel I decided I wanted to learn
my hearts language, I searched on the internet and found
eTeacher. I signed up for the next available class and have
never looked back!! After a mere 16 weeks of class time,
I am able to read and write in Hebrew. 
 
 
 
Contact Us

Learn Biblical Hebrew: Click here to speak with an advisor

Or call us: USA & Canada: 1-888-640-1319, Worldwide: +972-3-7554141

Share & Bookmark