And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my
people which are in Egypt
Or, "in seeing I have seen", which not only denotes the certainty of it, as we express it; but the clear, distinct, and full sight he had of it, with sympathy towards them, an affectionate concern for them, and a fixed, settled, determination in his mind to deliver them; he had long took notice of, and had thoroughly observed their affliction, and was afflicted with them in it, and was bent upon their deliverance out of it: and have heard their cry, by reason of their taskmasters;
who were set over them to see that they did their work, and to lay heavy burdens on them, and afflict them by all manner of ways and methods they could devise; and who abused and beat them for not doing what was not to be done, which made them cry out because of their barbarous usage of them, and cry unto God for help and deliverance: for I know their sorrows;
the pains of body they were put unto, and the inward grief and trouble of their minds on account of them.