Who is the LORD, that I should obey him and let Israel go?

I do not know the LORD, and moreover, I will not let Israel go. Exodus 5:2

Pharaoh’s First Refusal
After that, Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let My people go, so that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.’ ” But Pharaoh replied, “Who is the LORD that I should obey His voice and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and I will not let Israel go.” “The God of the Hebrews has met with us,” they answered. “Please let us go on a three-day journey into the wilderness to sacrifice to the LORD our God, or He may strike us with plagues or with the sword.”…

—The king means to say, that, whoever Jehovah is, He can have no authority over him, as He is not one of his gods. The Egyptians were accustomed to the idea of local gods, and quite expected every nation to have a deity or several deities of its own; but they regarded the power of each as circumscribed, certainly not extending beyond the race or nation to which the god belonged.

Benson Commentary
Exodus 5:2. Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice? — I am the sovereign lord of Egypt, and I own no superior here. The Hebrew name Jehovah ought to have been retained in this and the preceding verse, and not to have been translated Lord. Thus saith Jehovah — who is Jehovah — I know not Jehovah. The Egyptians, it must be observed, and other nations were at this time sunk in idolatry, and knowing nothing of the true God, the possessor of heaven and earth, each nation had a god or gods of its own. Pharaoh, therefore, did not speak as an atheist, or mean that he knew nothing of any god whom he ought to obey; but he knew nothing of the God of the Hebrews, whom they termed Jehovah, imagining him to be like one of the gods of Egypt, or of some other country, a mere local deity, whom therefore it neither concerned him to know nor to obey. Now the train of miracles which followed were intended to teach Pharaoh and his people, that Jehovah was not only the God of the Hebrews, but of all the world, having an uncontrolled and sovereign power over universal nature.

Published by milo2030

I am widowed 5 years now and have 2 adult sons at home

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