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Daily Wisdom, 3 Shevat 5783

By Rabbi Michael Skobac

Exodus 10:1

"Then G-d said to Moses: "Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart..."

This is almost universally the way this verse is translated. However, the actual Hebrew is "Bo el Par'oh" which literally means 'Let's go together to Pharaoh and not 'go' to Pharaoh.

The translators probably felt that if G-d is sending Moses to Pharaoh, the verse would have to be saying "go" rather than "let's go". So, in order to provide a 'smoother' reading, they 'clean up' the translation by finessing the difficulty of the text. The problem is that by "solving" this difficulty, they rob it of its richness.

While the expression "let's go to Pharaoh" sounds awkward, it implies that G-d is saying to Moses: I'm not just sending you to Pharaoh. I'm going to go with you.

By Rabbi Michael Skobac

Republished by Angelique Sijbolts with permission for the Noahide Academy.


Rabbi Michael Skobac had been involved with Jews for Judaism (Canada) since 1989 and currently serves as its Director of Education and Counselling. He is a leading authority on missionaries, cults and issues relating to Jewish continuity and Jewish spirituality.

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