Messianic Education Trust
(Ex 6:2 - 9:35)

Shemot/Exodus 6:29   "I am Adonai! Speak to Pharaoh, king of Egypt ..."

This verse is nearly a repeat of the text earlier in the chapter: "HaShem spoke to Moshe to say, 'Come, speak to Pharaoh, king of Egypt ...'" (v10-11) and the commentators say that it is repeated to rejoin the narrative after the interlude of presenting the genealogy of Moshe and Aharon. Nevertheless, there is one important difference, namely the substitution of the phrase for the word . The latter is the imperative form of the verb , to come or enter, and could be taken as an exhortation: "Come along now and speak to Pharaoh ..." The former, on the other hand, might at first glance be thought of as being disconnected from the rest of the sentence - a 1st common singular pronoun and a name or proper noun are often used in this way to present a claim of identity: I am Adonai - perhaps identifying who is speaking or a little fanfare to emphasise what The Name ...

HaShem: literally, Hebrew for 'The Name' - an allusion used to avoid pronouncing the Tetragrammaton, the so-called 'ineffable' name of G–d
HaShem said. On closer examination, however, we can see that those two words perform an important function.

Firstly, we know that Moshe is a hesitant and reluctant speaker. Here he is being called to speak for a second time to Pharaoh, the man in whose house he was brought up, over whose household - at least according to Jewish tradition - he had considerable authority, yet who has reacted very badly to Moshe's first visit to request the release of the Israelites. So Moshe could well be feeling considerable inner reluctance to put his head, so to speak , back in the lion's mouth. So here, Adonai is reminding Moshe that it is He that is giving the orders and because it is Adonai speaking, this is not negotiable on Moshe's part. He will go and speak to Pharaoh because Adonai says so.

Secondly, Who Is ...

Rashi: Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki (1040-1105 CE), French rabbi who wrote commentaries on the Torah, the Prophets and the Talmud, lived in Troyes where he founded a yeshiva in 1067; focuses on the plain meaning (p'shat) of the text, although sometimes quite cryptic in his brevity
Rashi comments bluntly: "I am Adonai; I have the wherewithal to send you and to fulfill the words of My mission." Moshe is not simply a man speaking to Pharaoh, however well Pharaoh may know him; he is an accredited ambassador of the L-rd - whether Pharaoh accepts the accreditation or not is irrelevant: Moshe is speaking on behalf of heaven and with the full weight and authority of heaven behind him. Moshe is here being commissioned to go and speak in the name of G-d Himself and, as we know, G-d is going to back up what Moshe says and force Egypt to let the people of Israel go.

In the ancient world, great importance was placed when anybody spoke or performed some action, on whose name, reputation or authority stood behind the words or action. It was as if the immediate person delivering the message was simply a messenger and that value was only attached to whomever had commissioned or sent him. This is why we find Yeshua being asked: "By what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this authority?" (Matthew 21:23, NASB) Hence the words of the chorus: "Go in My name and because you believe, others will know that I live!"

Further Study: Matthew 10:40-42; Zechariah 14:9

Application: Where are you being challenged to speak for the L-rd? Make no mistake, G-d has both called and equipped you to speak for Him somewhere, just as He did with Moshe. Ask Him where that place is and what you are to say today.

© Jonathan Allen, 2006

Messianic Trust Home Page Join Weekly Email More Weekly Drashot
Last Week Support the work of producing this weekly commentary
Next Week
Last Year - 5765 Scripture Index Next Year - 5767