Exodus 3:16-22: Message of Hope, Promise of Deliverance

Verse 16:[1] Go, and (Ex. 4:29) gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, (Gen. 50:24; Ex. 2:25; 4:31; Luke 1:68) I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt…

[The elders of Israel] That is, with respect to office (Junius and Piscator). Their teachers and governors (Ainsworth). The elders of the tribes, and the heads of families. It appears from this passage that some order peculiar to themselves continued among them (Rivet).

The elders; either by age, or rather by office and authority. For though they were all slaves to the Egyptians, yet among themselves they retained some order and government, and had doubtless some whom they owned as their teachers and rulers, as heads of tribes and families, etc.

[I have visited, פָּקַדְתִּי] That is, I am aware of their state (Piscator). I keep an account of you (Junius and Tremellius). Others: I have remembered (thus Vatablus, Chaldean, Hebrews in Munster).

Verse 17:[2] And I have said, (Gen. 15:14, 16; Ex. 3:8) I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey.

[And I said, וָאֹמַר] Therefore I said, understand, within myself; that is, I decreed (Vatablus).

Verse 18:[3] And (Ex. 4:31) they shall hearken to thy voice: and (Ex. 5:1, 3) thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath (Num. 23:3, 4, 15, 16) met with us: and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.

[He hath called us (thus the Septuagint), נִקְרָ֣ה עָלֵ֔ינוּ[4]] He hath met, or, He arose to meet, us (Munster, Pagnine, Junius and Tremellius, Tigurinus, Oleaster, Ainsworth, Vatablus), or, upon us (Montanus, Malvenda); He appeared to us (Fagius, Vatablus, Syriac); He came to us (Arabic). He hath come against, angry that we do not worship Him (Oleaster). Others: He was invoked upon us (Chaldean, Samaritan Text) [as if they had read נקרא[5]:] That is to say, He is our God; therefore, let us sacrifice to him (Oleaster).

Hath met with us; hath appeared to us, expr