Exodus 3:18

18 “The elders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God.’

Exodus 3:18 in Other Translations

KJV
18 And they shall hearken to thy voice: and 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 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.
ESV
18 And they will listen to your voice, and you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him, 'The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; and now, please let us go a three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.'
NLT
18 “The elders of Israel will accept your message. Then you and the elders must go to the king of Egypt and tell him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. So please let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the LORD, our God.’
MSG
18 "Believe me, they will listen to you. Then you and the leaders of Israel will go to the king of Egypt and say to him: 'God, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness where we will worship God - our God.'
CSB
18 They will listen to what you say. Then you, along with the elders of Israel, must go to the king of Egypt and say to him: The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Now please let us go on a three-day trip into the wilderness so that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.

Exodus 3:18 Meaning and Commentary

Exodus 3:18

And they shall hearken to thy voice
The elders of Israel, who would give credit to his commission, attend to what he said, and obey his orders, and follow the directions that he should give them, and not slight and reject him, as some had done before: and thou shall come, thou, and the elders of Israel, unto the king of
Egypt:
the elders of Israel in a body, and Moses at the head of them; though we do not read of their approaching to Pharaoh, and addressing him in such a manner, only of Moses and Aaron applying to him: and you shall say unto him, the Lord God of the Hebrews hath met with
us;
with one of them, who had reported to the rest what he had said; the children of Israel are here called Hebrews, because that seems to be a name the Egyptians most commonly called them, and by which they were best known to them, see ( Genesis 39:14 Genesis 39:17 ) ( 43:32 ) ( Exodus 1:19 ) ( Exodus 2:6 Exodus 2:11 Exodus 2:13 ) and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days' journey into the
wilderness;
the wilderness of Sinai and Arabia, and to Mount Horeb in it; which from the borders of Egypt was three days' journey going the direct road, but the Israelites going somewhat about, and stopping by the way, did not get to it until the third month of their going out of Egypt, ( Exodus 19:1 ) : that we may sacrifice to the Lord God;
in the place where he had appeared to a principal man among them, and where they would be in no danger of being insulted and molested by the Egyptians. Some think the reason of this request they were directed to make, to sacrifice out of the land of Egypt, was, because what they sacrificed the Egyptians worshipped as gods, and therefore would be enraged at such sacrifices; but for this there is no sufficient foundation; (See Gill on Genesis 46:34), rather the design was under this pretence to get quite away from them, they being no subjects of the king of Egypt, nor had he a right to detain them; nor were they obliged to acquaint him with the whole of their intentions, and especially as they were directed of God himself to say this, and no more, and which being so reasonable, made Pharaoh's refusal the more inexcusable.

Exodus 3:18 In-Context

16 “Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt.
17 And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.’
18 “The elders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God.’
19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him.
20 So I will stretch out my hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders that I will perform among them. After that, he will let you go.

Cross References 5

  • 1. Ex 4:1,8,31; Exodus 6:12,30
  • 2. S Genesis 14:13
  • 3. Numbers 23:4,16
  • 4. S Genesis 30:36
  • 5. Exodus 4:23; Exodus 5:1,3; Exodus 6:11; Exodus 7:16; Exodus 8:20,27; Exodus 9:13; Exodus 10:9,26