7.1. Jews are ready to recognize Moses as their redeemer (4: 27-31)

 (27) The Lord said to Aaron, “Go to meet Moses in the wilderness.” He went and met him at the mountain of God, and he kissed him.

(28) Moses told Aaron about all the things that the Lord had committed to him and all the signs about which He had instructed him.

(29) Then Moses and Aaron went and assembled all the elders of the Israelites.

(30) Aaron repeated all the words that the Lord had spoken to Moses, and he performed the signs in the sight of the people,

(31) and the people were convinced. When they heard that the Lord had taken note of the Israelites and that He had seen their plight, they bowed low in homage.

(27) The Lord said to Aaron, “Go to meet Moses in the wilderness.” He went: We see that Aaron is not himself enslaved, and can freely leave Egypt.

And met him at the mountain of God: The meeting takes place on Mount Horeb (Sinai), indicating not only that the giving of the Torah is of central importance in the Exodus process, but that Aaron will share in the mission entrusted to Moses by God at the Burning Bush.

And he kissed him: The prediction that Aaron would rejoice to know that his younger brother had been chosen to lead the Exodus is now confirmed.

(28) Moses told Aaron about all the things that the Lord had committed to him and all the signs about which He had instructed him: We see here once again that Moses has no actual problem expressing himself in words. When Moses describes himself as “slow of speech and slow of tongue” (4:10), he means something entirely different.

(29) Then Moses and Aaron went and assembled all the elders of the Israelites: Moses could not have gathered the elders himself. For this he needs to have Aaron with him, whose authority the elders acknowledge.

(30) Aaron repeated all the words that the Lord had spoken to Moses, and he performed the signs in the sight of the people: Moses no longer speaks. He only performs the signs, and Aaron speaks for him.

(30-31) He performed the signs in the sight of the people, and the people were convinced: There is a sudden transition from the elders to the people. It seems that the elders would not accept Moses’ message, and Aaron and Moses were forced to address the people directly.

And the people were convinced: (literally, “The people believed”). The Jews recognize Moses as the agent of their long-awaited deliverance, which means that Moses now has the status of a national leader.

We noted earlier (4:1) that Moses’ fears that the Jews would not believe him were unfounded. The people believed (but as concerns the signs that God gave Moses and Moses demonstrated to the people, the Torah does not tell us whether the people would have believed even without those signs).

(31) When they heard that the Lord had taken note of the Israelites and that He had seen their plight, they bowed low in homage: The Jews heard and took note, first of all, of the words about deliverance from suffering. Slavery is so difficult to endure that the Israelites were simply not able to focus on anything else. And therefore, as we shall note later, the first stage of the liberation, six months before the Exodus, was the cessation of slave labor and the hardships associated with it, which occurred on Rosh Hashanah – Jewish New Year.

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Bible Dynamics, VOL. 2. EXODUS Copyright © by Orot Yerushalaim / P. Polonsky / English translation of the Torah by the Jewish Publication Society, New JPS Translation, 1985. With sincere gratitude for the permission to use. All Rights Reserved.

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