The Meaning of Exodus 5:1 Explained

Exodus 5:1

KJV: And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.

YLT: And afterwards have Moses and Aaron entered, and they say unto Pharaoh, 'Thus said Jehovah, God of Israel, Send My people away, and they keep a feast to Me in the wilderness;'

Darby: And afterwards Moses and Aaron went in, and said to Pharaoh, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, Let my people go that they may celebrate a feast to me in the wilderness.

ASV: And afterward Moses and Aaron came, and said unto Pharaoh, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.

What does Exodus 5:1 Mean?

Study Notes

Let my people
Cf. Exodus 4:22 ; Exodus 4:23 . Possibly Moses and Aaron shrank from delivering the message concerning the firstborn.

Context Summary

Exodus 5:1-14 - The Request To Worship Jehovah Answered By Oppression
The bondage of Israel in Egypt is an apt type of our bondage to sin. See John 8:34-36; Romans 7:23-25. The weary tyranny of our besetting sins; the imperious demands of Satan; the absence of all reward to our hopeless toils-these are striking points of analogy. Though we weep and struggle, there is no help for us but in God. No straw! No lessening of the tale of bricks! The charge of idleness! Cruel beatings! Deliverance apparently more distant than ever! But the darkest hour precedes dawn.
The hue and cry is always raised when a prisoner is escaping. The tyrant, who has so long held his prey, is not minded to surrender it without a struggle. The devil convulsed the child, as he was about to depart. Moreover, Israel must be taught to look beyond Moses or Aaron to the Eternal Jehovah. [source]

Chapter Summary: Exodus 5

1  Pharaoh chides Moses and Aaron for their message
6  He increases the Israelites' task
16  He ignores their complaints
19  They cry out to Moses and Aaron
22  Moses complains to God

What do the individual words in Exodus 5:1 mean?

And afterward went in Moses and Aaron and said unto Pharaoh thus says Yahweh God of Israel let go - My people that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness
וְאַחַ֗ר בָּ֚אוּ מֹשֶׁ֣ה וְאַהֲרֹ֔ן וַיֹּאמְר֖וּ אֶל־ פַּרְעֹ֑ה כֹּֽה־ אָמַ֤ר יְהוָה֙ אֱלֹהֵ֣י : יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל שַׁלַּח֙ אֶת־ עַמִּ֔י וְיָחֹ֥גּוּ לִ֖י בַּמִּדְבָּֽר

וְאַחַ֗ר  And  afterward 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Adverb
Root: אַחַר 
Sense: after the following part, behind (of place), hinder, afterwards (of time).
בָּ֚אוּ  went  in 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, third person common plural
Root: בֹּוא 
Sense: to go in, enter, come, go, come in.
מֹשֶׁ֣ה  Moses 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: מֹשֶׁה  
Sense: the prophet and lawgiver, leader of the exodus.
וְאַהֲרֹ֔ן  and  Aaron 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: אַהֲרֹון  
Sense: brother of Moses, a Levite and the first high priest.
וַיֹּאמְר֖וּ  and  said 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine plural
Root: אָמַר 
Sense: to say, speak, utter.
אֶל־  unto 
Parse: Preposition
Root: אֶל  
Sense: to, toward, unto (of motion).
פַּרְעֹ֑ה  Pharaoh 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: פַּרְעֹה  
Sense: the common title of the king of Egypt.
כֹּֽה־  thus 
Parse: Adverb
Root: כֹּה  
Sense: thus, here, in this manner.
אָמַ֤ר  says 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, third person masculine singular
Root: אָמַר 
Sense: to say, speak, utter.
יְהוָה֙  Yahweh 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יהוה 
Sense: the proper name of the one true God.
אֱלֹהֵ֣י  God 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural construct
Root: אֱלֹהִים  
Sense: (plural).
: יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל  of  Israel 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יִשְׂרָאֵל  
Sense: the second name for Jacob given to him by God after his wrestling with the angel at Peniel.
שַׁלַּח֙  let  go 
Parse: Verb, Piel, Imperative, masculine singular
Root: שָׁלַח  
Sense: to send, send away, let go, stretch out.
אֶת־  - 
Parse: Direct object marker
Root: אֹות 
Sense: sign of the definite direct object, not translated in English but generally preceding and indicating the accusative.
עַמִּ֔י  My  people 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct, first person common singular
Root: עַם 
Sense: nation, people.
וְיָחֹ֥גּוּ  that  they  may  hold  a  feast 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Conjunctive imperfect, third person masculine plural
Root: חָגַג  
Sense: to hold a feast, hold a festival, make pilgrimage, keep a pilgrim-feast, celebrate, dance, stagger.
לִ֖י  to  Me 
Parse: Preposition, first person common singular
בַּמִּדְבָּֽר  in  the  wilderness 
Parse: Preposition-b, Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: מִדְבָּר 
Sense: wilderness.