What does Exodus 3:8 mean?
ESV: and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.
NIV: So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey--the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.
NASB: So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite.
CSB: and I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and to bring them from that land to a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey--the territory of the Canaanites, Hethites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites.
NLT: So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey — the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live.
KJV: And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.
NKJV: So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites.
Verse Commentary:
Speaking to Moses from a bush burning with miraculous fire, God promises two actions in this verse. First, He has "come down" to deliver the nation of Israel from the Egyptians. The idea of "coming down" likely connects with the plagues He would later use against the Egyptians. This is a statement evoking the image of a powerful king coming off of His throne in order to wield His power. Second, God will "bring them up" from Egypt into a new land. The land God intends to bring Israel into was "up" in the sense of being at a generally higher elevation from sea level, but is also a significant improvement from their state in slavery.

This verse is the first to present a description repeated throughout the Torah. It is a good land, a "broad land"—meaning large—it is "flowing with milk and honey," and it was occupied by six other nations at that time. The phrase "milk and honey" refers to a land full of good things, including food for the Israelites. This was in contrast with the desert region of Egypt where milk and honey were difficult commodities to obtain. The six nations mentioned—sometimes listed as seven nations, such as in Deuteronomy 7:1—will frequently be repeated in the Torah. They are condemned for worshipping other gods and living immorally. God would remove these strong nations to provide a land for His people to live holy before Him.
Verse Context:
Exodus 3:1–8 describes the initial contact between Moses and God. This occurs in one of Scripture's most memorable scenes: the burning bush. Moses is tending sheep for his father-in-law in Midian, after fleeing from Egypt some forty years prior. He sees a bush which is covered in fire, but not being burnt up. Out of this flame, ''the angel of the LORD'' speaks, declaring God's intent to liberate Israel from their slavery in Egypt.
Chapter Summary:
Moses is tending sheep for his father-in-law when he sees a miraculous sight: a bush which is on fire, but not burnt up. From this fire, God speaks to Moses, appointing him as the leader of the nation of Israel, whom God intends to free from Egyptian slavery. God identifies Himself in this passage using the famous terminology ''I AM.'' Despite Moses' fears and doubts, God gives him a message to take to the elders of Israel, and eventually to Pharaoh himself.
Chapter Context:
Prior chapters in Exodus explained how the descendants of Abraham became a nation which was populous, but enslaved, in the land of Egypt. Exodus 3 describes the moment when God calls Moses to lead Israel out of slavery. This is accomplished through the miracle of the burning bush. The beginning of this dialogue between God and Moses includes messages for both Israel and Pharaoh, and will continue into chapter 4.
Book Summary:
The book of Exodus establishes God's covenant relationship with the full-fledged nation of Israel. The descendants of Abraham prosper after settling in Egypt, only to be enslaved by a fearful, hateful Egyptian Pharaoh. God appoints Moses to lead the people out of this bondage. Moses serves as God's spokesman, as the Lord brings plagues and judgments on Egypt, leading to the release of Israel.
Accessed 4/23/2024 7:11:14 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com