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Exodus 3:11 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And Moses said unto God, Who [am] I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?”
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And Moses said to God, Who [am] I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And Moses said to God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And Moses said unto God, Who am, I, that I should go unto Pharaoh,—and that I should bring forth the sons of Israel, out of Egypt?
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And Moses saith unto God, 'Who [am] I, that I go unto Pharaoh, and that I bring out the sons of Israel from Egypt?'
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And Moses said to God: Who am I that I should go to Pharao, and should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And Moses saide vnto God, Who am I, that I should goe vnto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And Mosheh{gr.Moses} said to God, Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh{gr.Pharao} king of Mizraim{gr.Egypt}, and that I should bring out the children of Israel from the land of Mizraim{gr.Egypt}?
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And Mosheh said unto Elohim, Who [am] I, that I should go unto Paroh, and that I should bring forth the children of Yisrael out of Mitzrayim?

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And M מֹשֶׁה 4872
{4872} Prime
מֹשֶׁה
Mosheh
{mo-sheh'}
From H4871; drawing out (of the water), that is, rescued; Mosheh, the Israelitish lawgiver.
said 559
{0559} Prime
אָמַר
'amar
{aw-mar'}
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
unto x413
(0413) Complement
אֵל
'el
{ale}
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
lhm אֱלֹהִים, 430
{0430} Prime
אֱלֹהִים
'elohiym
{el-o-heem'}
Plural of H0433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative.
Who x4310
(4310) Complement
מִי
miy
{me}
An interrogitive pronoun of persons, as H4100 is of things, who? (occasionally, by a peculiar idiom, of things); also (indefinitely) whoever; often used in oblique construction with prefix or suffix.
[am] I, x595
(0595) Complement
אָנֹכִי
'anokiy
{aw-no-kee'}
A primitive pronoun; I.
that x3588
(3588) Complement
כִּי
kiy
{kee}
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
I should go y3212
[3212] Standard
יָלַך
yalak
{yaw-lak'}
A primitive root (compare H1980); to walk (literally or figuratively); causatively to carry (in various senses).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
x1980
(1980) Complement
הָלַךְ
halak
{haw-lak'}
Akin to H3212; a primitive root; to walk (in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively).
unto x413
(0413) Complement
אֵל
'el
{ale}
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
Par` פַּרעֹה, 6547
{6547} Prime
פַּרְעֹה
Par`oh
{par-o'}
Of Egyptian derivation; Paroh, a generic title of Egyptian kings.
and that x3588
(3588) Complement
כִּי
kiy
{kee}
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
I should bring forth 3318
{3318} Prime
יָצָא
yatsa'
{yaw-tsaw'}
A primitive root; to go (causatively bring) out, in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively, direct and proximate.
z8686
<8686> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 4046
x853
(0853) Complement
אֵת
'eth
{ayth}
Apparently contracted from H0226 in the demonstrative sense of entity; properly self (but generally used to point out more definitely the object of a verb or preposition, even or namely).
the children 1121
{1121} Prime
בֵּן
ben
{bane}
From H1129; a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc., (like H0001, H0251, etc.).
of Yi$rl יִשׂרָאֵל 3478
{3478} Prime
יִשְׂרָאֵל
Yisra'el
{yis-raw-ale'}
From H8280 and H0410; he will rule as God; Jisrael, a symbolical name of Jacob; also (typically) of his posterity.
out of Mixrayim מִצרַיִם? 4714
{4714} Prime
מִצְרַיִם
Mitsrayim
{mits-rah'-yim}
Dual of H4693; Mitsrajim, that is, Upper and Lower Egypt.
x4480
(4480) Complement
מִן
min
{min}
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

See commentary on Exodus 3:10-22.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Exodus 3:11-15

_ _ God, having spoken to Moses, allows him also a liberty of speech, which he here improves; and,

_ _ I. He objects his own insufficiency for the service he was called to (Exodus 3:11): Who am I? He thinks himself unworthy of the honour, and not par negotioequal to the task. He thinks he wants courage, and therefore cannot go to Pharaoh, to make a demand which might cost the demandant his head: he thinks he wants skill, and therefore cannot bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt; they are unarmed, undisciplined, quite dispirited, utterly unable to help themselves; it is morally impossible to bring them out. 1. Moses was incomparably the fittest of any man living for this work, eminent for learning, wisdom, experience, valour, faith, holiness; and yet he says, Who am I? Note, The more fit any person is for service commonly the less opinion he has of himself: see Judges 9:8, etc. 2. The difficulties of the work were indeed very great, enough to startle the courage and stagger the faith of Moses himself. Note, Even wise and faithful instruments may be much discouraged at the difficulties that lie in the way of the church's salvation. 3. Moses had formerly been very courageous when he slew the Egyptian, but now his heart failed him; for good men are not always alike bold and zealous. 4. Yet Moses is the man that does it at last; for God gives grace to the lowly. Modest beginnings are very good presages.

_ _ II. God answers this objection, Exodus 3:12. 1. He promises him his presence: Certainly I will be with thee, and that is enough. Note, Those that are weak in themselves may yet do wonders, being strong in the Lord and in the power of his might; and those that are most diffident of themselves may be most confident in God. God's presence puts an honour upon the worthless, wisdom and strength into the weak and foolish, makes the greatest difficulties dwindle to nothing, and is enough to answer all objections. 2. He assures him of success, and that the Israelites should serve God upon this mountain. Note, (1.) Those deliverances are most valuable which open to us a door of liberty to serve God. (2.) If God gives us opportunity and a heart to serve him, it is a happy and encouraging earnest of further favours designed us.

_ _ III. He begs instructions for the executing of his commission, and has them, thoroughly to furnish him. He desires to know by what name God would at this time make himself known, Exodus 3:13.

_ _ 1. He supposes the children of Israel would ask him, What is his name? This they would ask either, (1.) To perplex Moses: he foresaw difficulty, not only in dealing with Pharaoh, to make him willing to part with them, but in dealing with them, to make them willing to remove. They would be scrupulous and apt to cavil, would bid him produce his commission, and probably this would be the trial: “Does he know the name of God? Has he the watch-word?” Once he was asked, Who made thee a judge? Then he had not his answer ready, and he would not be nonplussed so again, but would be able to tell in whose name he came. Or, (2.) For their own information. It is to be feared that they had grown very ignorant in Egypt, by reason of their hard bondage, want of teachers, and loss of the sabbath, so that they needed to be told the first principles of the oracles of God. Or this question, What is his name? amounted to an enquiry into the nature of the dispensation they were now to expect: “How will God in it be known to us, and what may we depend upon from him?”

_ _ 2. He desires instructions what answer to give them: “What shall I say to them? What name shall I vouch to them for the proof of my authority? I must have something great and extraordinary to say to them; what must it be? If I must go, let me have full instructions, that I may not run in vain.” Note, (1.) It highly concerns those who speak to people in the name of God to be well prepared beforehand. (2.) Those who would know what to say must go to God, to the word of his grace and to the throne of his grace, for instructions, Ezekiel 2:7; Ezekiel 3:4, Ezekiel 3:10, Ezekiel 3:17. (3.) Whenever we have any thing to do with God, it is desirable to know, and our duty to consider, what is his name.

_ _ IV. God readily gives him full instructions in this matter. Two names God would now be known by: —

_ _ 1. A name that denotes what he is in himself (Exodus 3:14): I am that I am. This explains his name Jehovah, and signifies, (1.) That he is self-existent; he has his being of himself, and has no dependence upon any other: the greatest and best man in the world must say, By the grace of God I am what I am; but God says absolutely — and it is more than any creature, man or angel, can say — I am that I am. Being self-existent, he cannot but be self-sufficient, and therefore all-sufficient, and the inexhaustible fountain of being and bliss. (2.) That he is eternal and unchangeable, and always the same, yesterday, today, and for ever; he will be what he will be and what he is; see Revelation 1:8. (3.) That we cannot by searching find him out. This is such a name as checks all bold and curious enquiries concerning God, and in effect says, Ask not after my name, seeing it is secret, Judges 13:18; Proverbs 30:4. Do we ask what is God? Let it suffice us to know that he is what he is, what he ever was, and ever will be. How little a portion is heard of him! Job 26:14. (4.) That he is faithful and true to all his promises, unchangeable in his word as well as in his nature, and not a man that he should lie. Let Israel know this, I AM hath sent me unto you.

_ _ 2. A name that denotes what he is to his people. Lest that name I AM should amuse and puzzle them, he is further directed to make use of another name of God more familiar and intelligible: The Lord God of your fathers hath sent me unto you (Exodus 3:15): Thus God had made himself know to him (Exodus 3:6), and thus he must make him known to them, (1.) That he might revive among them the religion of their fathers, which, it is to be feared, was much decayed and almost lost. This was necessary to prepare them for deliverance, Psalms 80:19. (2.) That he might raise their expectations of the speedy performance of the promises made unto their fathers. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, are particularly named, because with Abraham the covenant was first made, and with Isaac and Jacob often expressly renewed; and these three were distinguished from their brethren, and chosen to be the trustees of the covenant, when their brethren were rejected. God will have this to be his name for ever, and it has been, is, and will be, his name, by which his worshippers know him, and distinguish him from all false gods; see 1 Kings 18:36. Note, God's covenant-relation to his people is what he will be ever mindful of, what he glories in, and what he will have us never forget, but give him the glory of: if he will have this to be his memorial unto all generations, we have all the reason in the world to make it so with us, for it is a precious memorial.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Exodus 3:11

Who am I? — He thinks himself unworthy of the honour and unable for the work. He thinks he wants courage, and therefore cannot go to Pharaoh: he thinks he wants conduct, and therefore cannot bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt; they are unarmed, undisciplined, quite dispirited, utterly unable to help themselves, Moses was incomparably the fittest of any man living for this work, eminent for learning, wisdom, experience, valour, faith, holiness, and yet Who am I? The more fit any person is for service, commonly the less opinion he has of himself.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Exodus 3:11

And Moses said unto God, Who [am] (l) I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?

(l) He does not fully disobey God, but acknowledges his own weakness.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

Exodus 4:10-13 And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I [am] not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I [am] slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. ... And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand [of him whom] thou wilt send.
Exodus 6:12 And Moses spake before the LORD, saying, Behold, the children of Israel have not hearkened unto me; how then shall Pharaoh hear me, who [am] of uncircumcised lips?
1 Samuel 18:18 And David said unto Saul, Who [am] I? and what [is] my life, [or] my father's family in Israel, that I should be son in law to the king?
2 Samuel 7:18 Then went king David in, and sat before the LORD, and he said, Who [am] I, O Lord GOD? and what [is] my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?
1 Kings 3:7 And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I [am but] a little child: I know not [how] to go out or come in.
1 Kings 3:9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?
Isaiah 6:5-8 Then said I, Woe [is] me! for I am undone; because I [am] a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. ... Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here [am] I; send me.
Jeremiah 1:6 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I [am] a child.
Acts 7:23-25 And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. ... For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not.
2 Corinthians 2:16 To the one [we are] the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who [is] sufficient for these things?
2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency [is] of God;
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Ex 4:10; 6:12. 1S 18:18. 2S 7:18. 1K 3:7, 9. Is 6:5. Jr 1:6. Ac 7:23. 2Co 2:16; 3:5.

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