Exodus 10:8-11 (KJV) And Moses and Aaron were brought again unto Pharaoh: and he said unto them, Go, serve the LORD your God: but who are they that shall go? And Moses said, We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast unto the LORD. And he said unto them, Let the LORD be so with you, as I will let you go, and your little ones: look to it; for evil is before you. Not so: go now ye that are men, and serve the LORD; for that ye did desire. And they were driven out from Pharaoh’s presence.
Pharaoh Tutmose III is speaking harshly to his adopted older brother, Moses.
Notice the threat in there. “You and your little ones, look to it – Evil is before you.” Tutmose is threatening the young ones, the yaldim, of B’nei Yisrael, the children of Israel.
Moses repeats the demand he has consistently made. Let my people go, that we may worship the Lord our God.
I don’t know if Moses and the children of Israel would have returned if Pharaoh had let them go. I’m inclined to think – yes, they would. The Bible says they would have returned. So Moses wasn’t just saying this so they could leave and not return. You know, like everyone that’s ever borrowed something from me. “I’ll give it back!” And they didn’t.
God would not tell Moses to lie. If Tutmose had relented at the first – um, kinda tough – but go ahead and take a week, go sacrifice to your God – then they all would have returned. And Egypt would have remained the dominant military and political power in the Middle East and Africa. And possibly even increased, for God was in his midst. We even sing in the Passover song Dayeynu that if God had just given us the Sabbath or the Torah, it would have been enough.
Tutmose IV, youngest brother of Hatshepsut, first born female of the Tutmose family, finally has what never should have been his – the unified throne of Egypt. It should have gone to Moses, just like as depicted in the Ten Commandments movie.
So, after Egypt is devastated by one sign of God after another, Pharaoh Tutmose makes this answer. “You and all the men will go and make your sacrifice.”
Bad move. The threat against the children is noticed by God.
Matthew 18:10 (KJV) Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
Matthew 18:6 (KJV) But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
That’s a sincere warning. Tutmose should have listened.
God has demanded all the children of Israel to be let free so they can worship the Lord. Not just the men. Not the priests. All Israel.
The violence is coming. Moses and Aaron are driven from Pharaoh’s presence.
Soon, Pharaoh will meet Moses again.