This week’s Torah reading, Parashat Bo, comes from Exodus 10:1-13:6. Here is a brief commentary from Baruch:
The Bible is full of warnings, yet most people do not heed these warnings. When they begin to suffer the consequences of their disobedience, they are often times shocked and act as though they cannot understand why they are in a difficult situation. It is as though they never heard the counsel of Scripture. In this week’s Torah portion Pharaoh, as well as all of Egypt, is suffering from his unwillingness to obey HaShem’s command, through Moses, to send forth the Children of Israel from Egypt. Seven plagues have already taken place and now after Moses and Aaron announced what the punishment would be for Pharaoh’s continued rebelliousness, Pharaoh’s servants made a most interesting statement.
“Pharaoh’s servants said to him, ‘Unto when will this be for us a snare? Send forth the people and they have worshiped HaShem their G-d, before you shall know that Egypt has perished.” Exodus 10:7
Many things about this verse stand out. First is the fact the Pharaoh’s servants used the word snare for what was happening in Egypt. In other words, they knew that a trap had been set for them. The question is why would G-d have laid a trap for the Egyptians? The answer is that they are guilty of sin. The Children of Israel being in Egypt could either bless the Egyptians or bring upon them great destruction. It all depended how Pharaoh would respond. This is the same with Messiah Yeshua. How one responds to Him is going to greatly impact one’s life. Second is the construction of the sentence that they, the Children of Israel have worshiped HaShem their G-d. All English translations render this phrase in the future, “that they may worship” but the vav consecutive (a Hebrew grammatical device) changes the future construction to a past tense. The Hebrew text wants to emphasize to the reader that it is because of previous acts of worship that HaShem is responding to Israel’s situation. What were these previous acts of worship? The book of Exodus offers two explanations. The first is the faithful acts of the Hebrew midwives when they feared G-d more than Pharaoh (See Exodus 1:15-22). The second is because the Patriarchs had responded to HaShem’s call and entered into a covenant with Him (See 2:24).
What one needs to remember is that HaShem is faithful and He will remember all of one’s faithful acts of obedience. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews wrote,
“For G-d is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which you have shown to His Name…” Hebrews 6:10
This Biblical truth should be a great encouragement to us and it should motivate us to be faithful to G-d and then look with expectation for Him to move in our lives.
Finally, in verse seven the phrase which concludes the verse, “… before you shall know that Egypt has perished” is actually in the form of a question. It is virtually impossible to capture this idea in English, but the thought here is that Pharaoh’s servants are asking Pharaoh, do you really want to experience Egypt’s destruction before you are willing to respond to the command of the Hebrew G-d? In other words, what is it going to take for Pharaoh to stop being stubborn, and submit to the instruction of the one true G-d?
This is a good question for all of us. We all have areas in our lives which manifest disobedience to Yeshua. The Scripture warns us repeatedly to humble ourselves and bear the fruit worthy of true repentance, but so often we stubbornly maintain our way and are blind to the destruction that we are bringing upon ourselves and others.
We all have a little of Pharaoh in us. By faith, send him forth and be filled with the anointing of the Holy Spirit.