What does Exodus 3:22 mean?After instructing Moses and the elders of Israel on how to approach Pharaoh, God has begun promising Israel a successful escape from Egyptian slavery. This verse concludes chapter 3 with further information regarding how the Jews would leave Egypt.
First, each woman will ask her neighbor for jewelry and clothing. Second, this would include "any woman who lives in her house." The contrast appears between the local resident and the foreigner or visitor to the area. Both the Egyptians and anyone else in the area would give the Israelites whatever they wanted and send them away. Both references in this verse are feminine, indicating this was activity that took place among the Jewish women and the female Egyptians and immigrants or visitors there.
These Jewish women would take the jewelry and clothing and put them on their own sons and daughters. The women who were unable to adequately clothe their children under slavery would dress their children in the finest clothing on the day they received their freedom. In this way, they would "plunder" and defeat their Egyptians oppressors.
This odd reaction is, in part, explained by the "wonders" which God plans to do (Exodus 3:20). These plagues, while terrible, will be necessary in order to convince the Egyptian king to release Israel from slavery (Exodus 3:19). By then, the entire nation of Egypt will recognize that keeping the Hebrews enslaved means suffering the wrath of God—so they will give anything to get Israel to leave as soon as possible.