Exodus 3:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Exodus 3:9, NIV: "And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them."

Exodus 3:9, ESV: "And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them."

Exodus 3:9, KJV: "Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them."

Exodus 3:9, NASB: "And now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them."

Exodus 3:9, NLT: "Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them."

Exodus 3:9, CSB: "So because the Israelites' cry for help has come to me, and I have also seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them,"

What does Exodus 3:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The sight of a bush which is covered in flames, but not burnt, attracts Moses' attention. From that flame, the angel of the Lord speaks to Moses, declaring His intent to free Israel from their slavery. Here, God begins to describe how Moses will lead the Hebrews out of oppression and into a prosperous Promised Land.

The use of, "And now, behold," uses Hebrew words designed to draw attention to whatever words follow. This is similar to saying, "Look at this," in English. God notes two concerns, using a poetically human perspective of "hearing" and "seeing." First, God is aware of "the cry" of the Israelites. This cry represents the pain of slavery endured by the Jewish people. Second, God Himself has "seen" the oppression of the Egyptians. The words "Egypt" or "Egyptians" are used six times in verses 7 through 12, each as a reference to the nation itself, which is strongly labelled as the enemy of God's people.

The idea of oppression is also repeated in this verse. The phrase translated as "oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them" emphasizes the severity of Egyptian treatment of the Jews. Both the noun and verb form of the Hebrew word are used. This word—lachats—can refer to subjugation, suffering, or mistreatment of any kind. The combined use of the noun with the verbal form strengthens the emphasis.