Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Said, in answer to his prayer. — Cast out, so eager he will be to have you dismissed, after he has repeatedly felt my hand, chap. iii. 19. (Haydock)
Ver. 3. My name Adonai. The name which is in the Hebrew text, is that most proper name of God, which signifieth his eternal self-existing being, (Exodus iii. 14,) which the Jews, out of reverence, never pronounce; but instead of it, whenever it occurs in the Bible, they read Adonai, which signifies the Lord; and therefore they put the points or vowels, which belong to the name Adonai, to the four letters of that other ineffable name, Jod, He, Vau, He. Hence some moderns have framed the name Jehovah: unknown to all the ancients, whether Jews or Christians: for the true pronunciation of the name, which is in the Hebrew texts, by long disuse, is now quite lost. (Challoner) — This name was first clearly revealed to Moses, that he might have confidence in his special protection and love. (Menochius) — To know one by his name is to treat him with familiarity and distinction, Exodus xxxiii. 17. The pronunciation of the name of God might be known to Abraham, &c., but it was not so fully explained, nor the power and excellence of it declared in such a stupendous manner, as it was to Moses. (Du Hamel) — Or perhaps Moses made use of this name in the history of the patriarchs, because he wrote his account of them after this revelation. (Calmet) — The Septuagint always put Kurios, “the Lord,” instead of the ineffable name; and our Saviour and his apostles, citing text where it occurs, follow their example. (Matthew iv. 7, 10; Romans xv. 11.) (Worthington) — Philo informs us, that it was death to pronounce it out of the temple; and since that was destroyed, it has never been heard. (Calmet) — Galatinus, who wrote in 1518, is supposed to have invented the word Jehovah, (see Amama Antib. p. 319,) the year after the pretended reformation began. (Haydock) — St. Jerome (ep. 136 ad Marc.) explains the ten names of God, but never reads Jehovah. (Tirinus)
Ver. 7. God, Elohim, who will pass sentence in your favour, as a just judge. (Menochius)
Ver. 8. Hand; swearing. (Chap. xiv. 22; 2 Esdras. ix. 15.)
Ver. 9. Anguish: Septuagint, “pusillanimity.” They would not even hope for a change. (Menochius) — The Samaritan copy records the speech which they made to Moses. (Kennicott, p. 313.)
Ver. 12. Uncircumcised lips. So he calls the defect he had in his words, or utterance. (Challoner) — The Hebrews call the heart, &c., uncircumcised, when it has any natural or moral defect, Acts vii. 15. (Tirinus) — “I do not speak the language in its purity.” Sym.[Symmachus?], “I express my sentiments with difficulty,” chap. iv. 10. (Onkelos.)
Ver. 14. These. From this place to ver. 26, is written in a kind of parenthesis: the remainder of the chapter is a recapitulation of what had been said. (Calmet) — Moses intends to give his own genealogy, and the state of affairs when he began to afflict Egypt. (Haydock) — He mentions three tribes, which Jacob had rebuked, lest any one might think they had forfeited their title to some distinctive tribes. (Menochius)
Ver. 16. Levi died the last of his brethren, and Joseph the first. (Worthington)
Ver. 20. Aunt: Hebrew Doda is applied to various degrees of kindred. The Chaldee says, Jochabed was daughter of Amram’s sister, the Septuagint assert of his brother, and consequently his own cousin. But she might be his aunt, chap. ii. 1. (Calmet)
Ver. 23. Nahason, prince of the tribe of Juda, Numbers i. 7. Observe the modesty of Moses, who passes over his own family almost in silence. (Menochius)
Ver. 26. Aaron is sometimes placed first, as the elder; sometimes last, as inferior in dignity, ver. 27. — Companies, or bands, in order of battle, chap. xiii. 18. (Calmet)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
God reneweth his promise. The genealogies of Ruben, Simeon and Levi, down to Moses and Aaron.
1 And the Lord said to Moses: *Now thou shalt see what I will do to Pharao: for by a mighty hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he cast them out of his land.
2 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: I am the Lord
3 That appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, by the name of God Almighty: and my name Adonai I did not shew them.
4 And I made a covenant with them, to give them the land of Chanaan, the land of their pilgrimage wherein they were strangers.
5 I have heard the groaning of the children of Israel, wherewith the Egyptians have oppressed them: and I have remembered my covenant.
6 Therefore say to the children of Israel: I am the Lord who will bring you out from the work-prison of the Egyptians, and will deliver you from bondage: and redeem you with a high arm, and great judgments.
7 And I will take you to myself for my people, I will be your God: and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from the work-prison of the Egyptians:
8 And brought you into the land, concerning which I lifted up my hand to give it to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: and I will give it you to possess, I am the Lord.
9 And Moses told all this to the children of Israel: but they did not hearken to him, for anguish of spirit, and most painful work.
10 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:
11 Go in, and speak to Pharao king of Egypt, that he let the children of Israel go out of his land.
12 Moses answered before the Lord: Behold the children of Israel do not hearken to me: and how will Pharao hear me, especially as I am of uncircumcised lips?
13 And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, and he gave them a charge unto the children of Israel, and unto Pharao the king of Egypt, that they should bring forth the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.
14 *These are the heads of their houses by their families. The sons of Ruben the first-born of Israel: Henoch and Phallu, Hesron and Charmi.
15 These are the kindreds of Ruben.* The sons of Simeon, Jamuel and Jamin, and Ahod, and Jachin, and Soar, and Saul the son of a Chanaanitess: these are the families of Simeon.
16 And these are the names of the sons of Levi by their kindreds: Gerson, and Caath, and Merari. And the years of the life of Levi were a hundred and thirty-seven.
17 *The sons of Gerson: Lobni and Semei, by their kindreds.
18 *The sons of Caath: Amram, and Isaar, and Hebron and Oziel. And the years of Caath’s life, were a hundred and thirty-three.
19 The sons of Merari: Moholi and Musi. These are the kindreds of Levi by their families.
20 And Amram took to wife Jochabed his aunt by the father’s side: and she bore him Aaron and Moses. And the years of Amram’s life, were a hundred and thirty-seven.
21 The sons also of Isaar: Core, and Nepheg, and Zechri.
22 The sons also of Oziel: Mizael, and Elizaphan, and Sethri.
23 And Aaron took to wife Elizabeth the daughter of Aminadab, sister of Nahason, who bore him Nadab, and Abiu, and Eleazar, and Ithamar.
24 The sons also of Core: Aser, and Elcana, and Abiasaph. These are the kindreds of the Corites.
25 But Eleazar the son of Aaron took a wife of the daughters of Phutiel: and she bore him Phinees. These are the heads of the Levitical families by their kindreds.
26 These are Aaron and Moses, whom the Lord commanded to bring forth the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their companies.
27 These are they that speak to Pharao, king of Egypt, in order to bring out the children of Israel from Egypt: these are that Moses and Aaron,
28 In the day when the Lord spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt.
29 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: I am the Lord; speak thou to Pharao, king of Egypt, all that I say to thee.
30 And Moses said before the Lord: Lo I am of uncircumcised lips, how will Pharao hear me?
1: Year of the World 2513.
14: Genesis xlvi. 9.; Numbers xxvi. 5.; 1 Paralipomenon v. 1.
15: 1 Paralipomenon iv. 24.
17: 1 Paralipomenon vi. 1. and xxiii. 6.
18: Numbers iii. 19. and xxvi. 57. 58.; 1 Paralipomenon vi. 2. and xxiii. 12.