Exodus 5:21

21 and they said, “May the LORD look on you and judge you! You have made us obnoxious to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.”

Read Exodus 5:21 Using Other Translations

And they said unto them, The LORD look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us.
and they said to them, "The LORD look on you and judge, because you have made us stink in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants, and have put a sword in their hand to kill us."
The foremen said to them, “May the LORD judge and punish you for making us stink before Pharaoh and his officials. You have put a sword into their hands, an excuse to kill us!”

What does Exodus 5:21 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Exodus 5:21

And they said unto them, the Lord look upon you and judge,
&c.] Or, "will look upon you and judge" F17; and so it is either a prediction of what would be done to them, or an imprecation on them that God would take notice of their conduct, and punish them, or at least chastise them for acting the part they had, if not wickedly, yet imprudently:

because you have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh;
or to "stink" F18; they were become vile, abominable, and hateful to him, he could not bear the sight of them, and treated them as the filth and offscouring of all things; they had lost their good name, credit, and reputation with him; for leave being asked for them to go three days' journey into the wilderness, to offer sacrifice, and keep a feast, they were looked upon as a parcel of idle slothful fellows:

and in the eyes of his servants;
not the taskmasters only, but his nobles, counsellors, and courtiers:

to put a sword in their hands to slay us;
a proverbial expression, signifying that they by their conduct had exposed them to the utmost danger, and had given their enemies an occasion against them, and an opportunity of destroying their whole nation, under a pretence of disobedience and disloyalty.


FOOTNOTES:

F17 (jwpvyw-ary) "videbit" "et judicabit", Rivet.
F18 (Mtvabh) "fecisti foetere", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version, Drusius.
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