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Poole on Exodus 2:23-25: The Cry of Oppression

Verse 23:[1] And it came to pass (Ex. 7:7; Acts 7:30) in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel (Num. 20:16; Deut. 26:7; Ps. 12:5) sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and (Gen. 18:20; Ex. 3:9; 22:23, 27; Deut. 24:15; Jam. 5:4) their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage.

[After much time, בַיָּמִ֙ים הָֽרַבִּ֜ים הָהֵ֗ם] After those many days, a Hebraism, that is, after many years (Vatablus). Hebrew: in,[2] in the place of after, as in Numbers 28:26.[3] Thus in Mark 13:24, in those days,[4] for after those days, Matthew 24:29;[5] and Daniel 2:44, in the days of the kings, etc.,[6] that is, after them (Ainsworth). Now it was in those days, which were many (Junius and Tremellius), namely, forty years, Exodus 7:7 and Acts 7:30 (Junius, Piscator, Ainsworth).

In process of time; Hebrew, in those many days, that is, in which he lived or abode there, that is, after them. In is put for after here, as it is Numbers 28:26; Isaiah 20:1;[7] Mark 13:24, compared with Matthew 24:29; Luke 9:36.[8] After forty years, as appears by comparing Exodus 7:7, with Acts 7:30.

[The king died] Under whom Moses was born and sought for murder. Likewise two others of the same character (Menochius).

The king of Egypt died; and after him one or two more of his sons or successors, and the rest who sought for Moses’ life, Exodus 4:19.

[They cried] After the death of the tyrant, hoping for some relief (Menochius). Affliction stirs their sense of sin, especially of their idolatry (Junius). [See what things are written on Exodus 1:10.]

The children of Israel sighed, because though their great oppressor was dead, yet they found no relief, as they hoped to do.

[Unto God] Upon whom most began at that time to call, Numbers 20:16, with their idols abandoned, Ezekiel 20:8 (Grotius).

Verse 24:[9] And God (Ex. 6:5) heard their groaning, and God (Ex. 6:5; Ps. 105:8, 42; 106:45) remembered his (Gen. 15:14; 46:4) covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.

Verse 25:[10] And God (Ex. 4:31; 1 Sam. 1:11; 2 Sam. 16:12; Luke 1:25) looked upon the children of Israel, and God (Ex. 3:7) had respect (Heb. knew[11]) unto them.

[And the Lord considered] Both their afflictions, and the intentions of the Egyptians concerning their ruin (Vatablus).

[And He knew them, וַיֵּ֖דַע אֱלֹהִֽים׃] And God knew (Montanus, Junius and Tremellius, etc.), namely, their sufferings, Exodus 3:7, or, them in their sufferings. This knowledge is joined with mercy: thus Psalm 1:6; 31:7; Proverbs 12:10 (Ainsworth). And He pitied them (Arabic); He said in His Word that He would liberate them (Chaldean); He became known to them (Septuagint), that is, He revealed that He knew (Bonfrerius). And God directed His attention (Munster).

God had respect unto them: Hebrew, Knew them, so as to pity and help them; as words of knowledge are oft used, as Psalm 1:6; 31:7. He who seemed to have rejected them, now owned them for his people, and came for their rescue.

[1] Hebrew: וַיְהִי֩ בַיָּמִ֙ים הָֽרַבִּ֜ים הָהֵ֗ם וַיָּ֙מָת֙ מֶ֣לֶךְ מִצְרַ֔יִם וַיֵּאָנְח֧וּ בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל מִן־הָעֲבֹדָ֖ה וַיִּזְעָ֑קוּ וַתַּ֧עַל שַׁוְעָתָ֛ם אֶל־הָאֱלֹהִ֖ים מִן־הָעֲבֹדָֽה׃

[2] Note the ב/in affixed to יָמִים/days.

[3] Numbers 28:26a: “Also in the day of the firstfruits, when ye bring a new meat offering unto the Lord, after your weeks (בְּשָׁבֻעֹתֵיכֶם, in your weeks), ye shall have an holy convocation…”

[4] Greek: ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις.

[5] Greek: μετὰ τὴν θλίψιν τῶν ἡμερῶν ἐκείνων.

[6] Daniel 2:44a: “And in the days (וּבְיוֹמֵיהוֹן) of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom…”

[7] Isaiah 20:1: “In the year that (בִּשְׁנַת, or, after the year) Tartan came unto Ashdod, (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it.”

[8] Luke 9:36: “And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And they kept it close, and told no man in those days (ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις, or, after those days) any of those things which they had seen.”

[9] Hebrew: וַיִּשְׁמַ֥ע אֱלֹהִ֖ים אֶת־נַאֲקָתָ֑ם וַיִּזְכֹּ֤ר אֱלֹהִים֙ אֶת־בְּרִית֔וֹ אֶת־אַבְרָהָ֖ם אֶת־יִצְחָ֥ק וְאֶֽת־יַעֲקֹֽב׃

[10] Hebrew: וַיַּ֥רְא אֱלֹהִ֖ים אֶת־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וַיֵּ֖דַע אֱלֹהִֽים׃

[11] Hebrew: וַיֵּדַע.

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