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Exodus Chapter 6
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Deuteronomy

First Confrontation with Pharaoh
6:1 God said to Moses, 'Now you will begin to see what I will do to Pharaoh. He will be forced to let them go. [Not only that, but] he will be forced to drive them out of his land.'

Reassurance
6:2 God spoke to Moses and said to him, 'I am YHVH.
6:3 I revealed Myself to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as God Almighty (El Shaddai), and did not allow them to know Me by My name YHVH.
6:4 I also made My covenant with them, [promising] to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, where they lived as foreigners.
6:5 I have also heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are holding as slaves, and I have remembered My covenant.
6:6 'Therefore say to the Israelites [in My name], 'I am God. I will take you away from your forced labor in Egypt and free you from their slavery. I will liberate you with a demonstration of My power, and with great acts of judgment.
6:7 I will take you to Myself as a nation, and I will be to you as a God. You will know that I am God your Lord, the One who is bringing you out from under the Egyptian subjugation.
6:8 I will bring you to the land regarding which I raised My hand, [swearing] that I would give it to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I will give it to you as an inheritance. I am God.' '
6:9 Moses related this to the Israelites, but because of their disappointment and hard work, they would no longer listen to him.

Moses Demurs
6:10 God spoke to Moses, saying,
6:11 'Go, speak to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he will let the Israelites leave his land.'
6:12 Moses spoke, interrupting the revelation. 'Even the Israelites will not listen to me,' he said. 'How can I expect Pharaoh to listen to me? I have no self-confidence when I speak.'

Aaron is Included
6:13 God [then] spoke to [both] Moses and Aaron. He gave them instructions regarding the Israelites and Pharaoh, king of Egypt, so they would be able to get the Israelites out of Egypt.

Genealogy
6:14 These are the heads of their extended families:

The sons of Israel's first-born, Reuben: Enoch (Chanokh), Pallu, Chetzron and Carmi. These are the families of Reuben.

6:15 The sons of Simeon: Yemuel, Yamin, Ohad, Yakhin and Tzochar, as well as Saul, son of the Canaanite woman. These are the families of Simeon.
6:16 According to their family records, these are the names of Levi's sons: Gershon, Kehoth and Merari. Levi lived to be 137 years old.
6:17 The families descending from Gershon: Livni and Shimi.
6:18 The sons of Kehoth: Amram, Yitzhar, Hebron (Chevron), and Uzziel. Kehoth lived to be 133 years old.
6:19 The sons of Merari: Machli and Mushi.

According to their family records, the above are the families of Levi.

6:20 Amram married his aunt Yokhebed, and she bore him Aaron and Moses. Amram lived to be 137 years old.
6:21 The sons of Yitzhar: Korach, Nefeg and Zikhri.
6:22 The sons of Uzziel: Mishael, Eltzafan and Sithri.
6:23 Aaron married Nachshon's sister, Elisheva daughter of Aminadav. She bore him Nadav, Avihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.
6:24 The sons of Korach: Assir, Elkana and Aviasaf. These are the families of the Korachites.
6:25 Aaron's son, Eleazar, married one of the daughters of Putiel, and she bore him Pinchas.

The above are the heads of the Levite clans according to their families.

6:26 This then [is the lineage] of Moses and Aaron, to whom God said, 'Bring the Israelites out of Egypt en masse.'
6:27 They are the ones who spoke to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, in order to get the Israelites out of Egypt. It [involved both] Moses and Aaron.
6:28 Still, on that day in Egypt, God spoke [only] to Moses.

Second Demurral
6:29 God spoke to Moses and said, 'I am God. Relate to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, all that I am saying to you.'
6:30 Interrupting the revelation, Moses said, 'I do not have the self-confidence to speak. How will Pharaoh ever pay attention to me?'



Commentary:

he will be forced
  Literally, 'with a strong hand.' See Numbers 3:19.

I am YHVH
  To be pronounced 'Lord' or 'God.' See note on Exodus 3:15.

God Almighty
  See Genesis 17:1, 35:11, 48:3, 28:7.

did not allow them...
  Actually, God did use the Tetragrammaton (YHVH) in speaking to Abraham (Genesis 15:7) and Jacob (Genesis 28:13). The name was also used by angels (Genesis 16:11, 19:13,14, 18:14), by the Patriarchs themselves (Genesis 14:22, 15:2, 15:8, 16:2, 16:5, 22:14, 24:27, 24:31, 24:40, 24:44, 24:48, 26:22, 27:7, 27:27, 28:31, 29:32, 33:35, 30:24, 30:30, 32:10, 49:18), and even by gentiles (Genesis 24:3, 24:31, 26:28,29, 30:27, 31:49). It is true, however, that the Tetragrammaton was never used in speech before the time of the Patriarchs. Among the Patriarchs, the Tetragrammaton was known, but not its inner significance (Ramban; Ibn Ezra). This was because the Patriarchs received their prophecy from the level associated with the name El Shaddai, while only Moses received it from the level associated with the Tetragrammaton (Moreh Nevukhim 2:35; Ralbag; Milchamoth HaShem 6). Knowing God's name in the true sense is something great, as we see in Isaiah 52:6, Jeremiah 31:33, Psalms 83:19.

demonstration of My power
  Literally, 'outstretched arm.'

raised My hand
  An idiom for an oath; see Genesis 14:22.

disappointment
  Literally, 'short spirit.' Alternatively, 'impatience,' or 'broken spirit.' See Numbers 21:4, Micah 2:7, Proverbs 14:29.

God spoke...
  This is the first time that this expression is used. It is the expression used to introduce most of the commandments.

Go
  Literally, 'come.' Since God is omnipresent, He does not tell Moses to 'go.' Alternatively, this may be an idiomatic use of the word come.

interrupting the revelation
  Literally, 'Moses spoke before God.'

I have no self confidence...
  (Cf. Rashi; Ralbag)... Literally, 'I have uncircumcised lips.' The expression may also be interpreted, 'I can hardly speak,' or 'I have a speech defect.' See Exodus 4:10.

extended families
  Or, 'clans,' or 'paternal clanheads.' Literally, 'heads of the house of their fathers.' See Exodus 12:3.

sons of....Reuben
  See Genesis 46:9.

sons of Simeon
  Genesis 46:10.

family records
  (cf. Targum Yonathan).

Levi's sons
  Genesis 46:11, 1 Chronicles 5:27.

from Gershon
  See Numbers 3:18, 1 Chronicles 6:2.

Livni
  Numbers 26:58, 1 Chronicles 6:5, 6:14.

Shimi
  Not mentioned in Numbers 26. It appears that there was also a Shimi who was a great-grandson of Levi (1 Chronicles 6:27, see Malbim ibid. 6:5). Also see Zechariah 12:13, 1 Chronicles 23:9, 25:17.

sons of Kehoth
  See Numbers 3:19, 1 Chronicles 5:28, 6:3, 23:12.

Amram
  Moses' father; see Exodus 6:20, Numbers 26:59. See Numbers 3:27, 1 Chronicles 26:23.

Yitzhar
  See Exodus 6:21, 1 Chronicles 6:23. In 1 Chronicles 6:7, he is referred to as Aminadav (cf. Radak, Ralbag ad loc.).

Hebron
  Numbers 3:27, 26:58, 1 Chronicles 15:9, 23:19, 26:23,30,31. The name is the same as that of the city.

Uzziel
  See Exodus 6:22.

sons of Merari
  Numbers 3:20, 3:33, 1 Chronicles 6:4, 6:14, 23:21, 24:26.

Machli
  Cf. Numbers 3:33, 26:58, Ezra 8:18. Also see 1 Chronicles 6:32, 23:21. There was also a Machli who was the son of Mushi; 1 Chronicles 6:32, 23:23, 24:30.

Mushi
  Numbers 3:33, 26:58, 1 Chronicles 6:32, 23:23, 24:30.

his aunt
  See Exodus, 2:1. After the Torah was given, it was forbidden for a man to marry his aunt; Leviticus 18:12, 20:19 (see Yerushalmi, Yevamoth 11:2; Chizzkuni). Some ancient sources indicate that Yokhebed was not Amram's aunt, but his cousin (Septuagint; Syriac). According to this she would be a granddaughter rather than a daughter of Levi.

Yokhebed
  See Numbers 26:59. Josephus (2:9:4), gives her name as Yokhabel.

sons of Yitzhar
  See 1 Chronicles 6:23; 23:18.

Korach
  Exodus 6:24. He was the one who was to lead the rebellion against Moses, Numbers 16:1. See 1 Chronicles 6:22, 23.

sons of Uzziel
  Leviticus 10:4.

Mishael
  Leviticus 10:4.

Eltzafan
  Leviticus 10:4, Numbers 3:30.

Nachshon
  He was a prince of the tribe of Judah (Numbers 1:7, 2:3), and an ancestor of King David (Ruth 4:20, 1 Chronicles 2:10).

Elisheva
  In the Septuagint, her name is given as Elizabeth.

Aminadav
  A great-grandson of Judah's son Peretz (Genesis 38:29): Peretz, Chetzron (Genesis 46:12), Ram, Aminadav (Ruth 4:18-20, 1 Chronicles 2:9,10).

she bore him
  See Numbers 3:2, 26:60, 1 Chronicles 5:29, 24:1.

Nadav, Avihu
  They had been chosen as the next generation of leaders (Exodus 24:1, 24:9, 28:1), but they died because of improper sacrifice (Leviticus 10:1, Numbers 3:4, 26:61, 1 Chronicles 24:2).

Eleazar
  El'azar in Hebrew. See Exodus 6:25. Eleazar was groomed for the High Priesthood before Aaron's death (Numbers 3:32, 4:16, 17:2, 19:3). He then held this position (Numbers 20:26, 26:1, Deuteronomy 10:2). He led the Israelites along with Joshua (Numbers 32:28, 34:17, Joshua 14:1), and he outlived Joshua by several years (Joshua 24:33).

Ithamar
  He was later to keep the accounts of the Tabernacle (Exodus 38:21), and was in charge of transporting it (Numbers 4:28,33, 7:8). Cf. Ezra 8:2, 1 Chronicles 24:3-6.

sons of Korach
  See Exodus 6:21. His sons did not die when he rebelled (Numbers 26:11). They are credited with writing Psalms 42, 44-48, 84, 87.

Assir
  See 1 Chronicles 6:7. There was also an Assir who was a son of Aviasaf; 1 Chronicles 6:22.

Elkana
  1 Chronicles 6:8, 6:10.

Aviasaf
  1 Chronicles 6:8, 6:22, 9:19.

Putiel
  Talmudic tradition identifies him with Jethro (Bava Bathra 109b; Sotah 43a; Mekhilta, Rashi, on Exodus 18:1). Possibly from the Egyptian Poti, 'the one belonging to' (see notes on Genesis 37:36, 41:45), and the Hebrew El, 'God' hence, 'One devoted to God.' Indeed, there are traditions that Jethro was an advisor to Pharaoh for a while. Some say that Putiel was an Israelite (Ibn Ezra).

Pinchas
  Or Phinehas. The name Pinchas may be from the Egyptian Pi-neches, meaning 'the dark one,' 'the one who aroused himself,' 'the incantator,' or 'the covered one.' (Others derive it from a semitic root; cf. Sekhel Tov). See Ezra 7:5, 8:2, 1 Chronicles 5:30, 6:35. Pinchas stood up to stop assimilation in Moab (Numbers 25:7), and was given eternal priesthood (Numbers 25:11). He was the priest of war (Numbers 31:6, Joshua 22:13), and later an important leader (Joshua 22:30-32, Judges 20:28, 1 Chronicles 9:20).

en masse
  Literally, 'by their armies.' Or, 'in organized groups.'

only
  (Ramban; Cf. Sifra on Leviticus 1:1). Or, 'Still, by day.... God spoke [only] to Moses' (cf. Numbers 12:6; VaYikra Rabbah 1:13; K'li Yekar). Others connect it to the next verse, 'On that day in Egypt, when God spoke to Moses, (29) God spoke to Moses saying....' (Rashi; Ibn Ezra).

God spoke to Moses
  A second time (Bachya; HaKethav VeHaKabbalah). According to some, this is a repetition of Exodus 6:10-12; (Rashi, Rashbam).

Interrupting the revelation
  See Exodus 6:12.

I do not have the self-confidence
  See Exodus 6:12.





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