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.