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Exodus 4:10 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And Moses said unto Jehovah, Oh, Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant; for I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— 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.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Then Moses said to the LORD, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And Moses said to the LORD, O my Lord, I [am] not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoke to thy servant: but I [am] slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And Moses said to Jehovah, Ah Lord! I am not eloquent, neither heretofore nor since thou hast spoken to thy servant, for I am slow of speech and of a slow tongue.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And Moses said unto Yahweh—Pardon, O My Lord! not a man of words, am I, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant,—for, heavy of mouth, and heavy of tongue, I am.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And Moses saith unto Jehovah, 'O, my Lord, I [am] not a man of words, either yesterday, or before, or since Thy speaking unto Thy servant, for I [am] slow of mouth, and slow of tongue.'
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Moses said: I beseech thee, Lord, I am not eloquent from yesterday and the day before; and since thou hast spoken to thy servant, I have more impediment and slowness of tongue.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And Moses saide vnto the LORD, O my lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken vnto thy seruant: but I am slow of speach, and of a slow tongue.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And Mosheh{gr.Moses} said to the Lord, I pray, Lord, I have not been sufficient in former times, neither from the time that thou hast begun to speak to thy servant: I am weak in speech, and slow-tongued.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And Mosheh said unto Yahweh, O Yahweh, 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.

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.
Yhw יָהוֶה, 3068
{3068} Prime
יְהֹוָה
Y@hovah
{yeh-ho-vaw'}
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
O 994
{0994} Prime
בִּי
biy
{bee}
Perhaps from H1158 (in the sense of asking); properly a request; used only adverbially (always with 'my Lord'); Oh that!; with leave, or if it please.
Yhw יָהוֶה, 136
{0136} Prime
אֲדֹנָי
'Adonay
{ad-o-noy'}
An emphatic form of H0113; the Lord (used as a proper name of God only).
I y376
[0376] Standard
אִישׁ
'iysh
{eesh}
Contracted for H0582 (or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning to be extant); a man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation.).
x595
(0595) Complement
אָנֹכִי
'anokiy
{aw-no-kee'}
A primitive pronoun; I.
[am] not x3808
(3808) Complement
לֹא
lo'
{lo}
lo; a primitive particle; not (the simple or abstract negation); by implication no; often used with other particles.
eloquent, 1697
{1697} Prime
דָּבָר
dabar
{daw-baw'}
From H1696; a word; by implication a matter (as spoken of) or thing; adverbially a cause.
x376
(0376) Complement
אִישׁ
'iysh
{eesh}
Contracted for H0582 (or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning to be extant); a man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation.).
neither x1571
(1571) Complement
גַּם
gam
{gam}
By contraction from an unused root meaning to gather; properly assemblage; used only adverbially also, even, yea, though; often repeated as correlation both... and.
heretofore, 8032
{8032} Prime
שִׁלְשׁוֹם
shilshowm
{shil-shome'}
From the same as H8028; trebly, that is, (in time) day before yesterday.
8543
{8543} Prime
תְּמוֹל
t@mowl
{tem-ole'}
Probably for H0865; properly ago, that is, a (short or long) time since; especially yesterday, or (with H8032) day before yesterday.
4480
{4480} Prime
מִן
min
{min}
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
x1571
(1571) Complement
גַּם
gam
{gam}
By contraction from an unused root meaning to gather; properly assemblage; used only adverbially also, even, yea, though; often repeated as correlation both... and.
nor x1571
(1571) Complement
גַּם
gam
{gam}
By contraction from an unused root meaning to gather; properly assemblage; used only adverbially also, even, yea, though; often repeated as correlation both... and.
since 227
{0227} Prime
אָז
'az
{awz}
A demonstrative adverb; at that time or place; also as a conjugation, therefore.
x4480
(4480) Complement
מִן
min
{min}
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
thou hast spoken 1696
{1696} Prime
דִּבֵּר
dabar
{daw-bar'}
A primitive root; perhaps properly to arrange; but used figuratively (of words) to speak; rarely (in a destructive sense) to subdue.
z8763
<8763> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 790
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.
thy servant: 5650
{5650} Prime
עֶבֶד
`ebed
{eh'-bed}
From H5647; a servant.
but 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 x595
(0595) Complement
אָנֹכִי
'anokiy
{aw-no-kee'}
A primitive pronoun; I.
[am] slow 3515
{3515} Prime
כָּבֵד
kabed
{kaw-bade'}
From H3513; heavy; figuratively in a good sense (numerous) or in a bad sense (severe, difficult, stupid).
of speech, 6310
{6310} Prime
פֶּה
peh
{peh}
From H6284; the mouth (as the means of blowing), whether literally or figuratively (particularly speech); specifically edge, portion or side; adverbially (with preposition) according to.
and of a slow 3515
{3515} Prime
כָּבֵד
kabed
{kaw-bade'}
From H3513; heavy; figuratively in a good sense (numerous) or in a bad sense (severe, difficult, stupid).
tongue. 3956
{3956} Prime
לָשׁוֹן
lashown
{law-shone'}
From H3960; the tongue (of man or animals), used literally (as the instrument of licking, eating, or speech), and figuratively (speech, an ingot, a fork of flame, a cove of water).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Exodus 4:10-13

_ _ I am not eloquent — It is supposed that Moses labored under a natural defect of utterance or had a difficulty in the free and fluent expression of his ideas in the Egyptian language, which he had long disused. This new objection was also overruled, but still Moses, who foresaw the manifold difficulties of the undertaking, was anxious to be freed from the responsibility.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Exodus 4:10-17

_ _ Moses still continues backward to the service for which God had designed him, even to a fault; for now we can no longer impute it to his humility and modesty, but must own that here was too much of cowardice, slothfulness, and unbelief in it. Observe here,

_ _ I. How Moses endeavours to excuse himself from the work.

_ _ 1. He pleads that he was no good spokesman: O my Lord! I am not eloquent, Exodus 4:10. He was a great philosopher, statesman, and divine, and yet no orator; a man of a clear head, great thought, and solid judgment, but had not a voluble tongue, or ready utterance, and therefore he thought himself unfit to speak before great men about great affairs, and in danger of being run down by the Egyptians. Observe, (1.) We must not judge of men by the readiness and fluency of their discourse. Moses was mighty in word (Acts 7:22), and yet not eloquent: what he said was strong and nervous, and to the purpose, and distilled as the dew (Deuteronomy 32:2), though he did not deliver himself with that readiness, ease, and elegance, that some do, who have not the tenth part of his sense. St. Paul's speech was contemptible, 2 Corinthians 10:10. A great deal of wisdom and true worth is concealed by a slow tongue. (2.) God is pleased sometimes to make choice of those as his messengers who have fewest of the advantages of art or nature, that his grace in them may appear the more glorious. Christ's disciples were no orators, till the Spirit made them such.

_ _ 2. When this plea was overruled, and all his excuses were answered, he begged that God would send somebody else on this errand and leave him to keep sheep in Midian (Exodus 4:13): “Send by any hand but mine; thou canst certainly find one much more fit.” Note, An unwilling mind will take up with a sorry excuse rather than none, and is willing to devolve those services upon others that have any thing of difficulty or danger in them.

_ _ II. How God condescends to answer all his excuses. Though the anger of the Lord was kindled against him (Exodus 4:14), yet he continued to reason with him, till he had overcome him. Note, Even self-diffidence, when it grows into an extreme — when it either hinders us from duty or clogs us in duty, or when it discourages our dependence upon the grace of God — is very displeasing to him. God justly resents our backwardness to serve him, and has reason to take it ill; for he is such a benefactor as is before-hand with us, and such a rewarder as will not be behind-hand with us. Note further, God is justly displeased with those whom yet he does not reject: he vouchsafes to reason the case even with his froward children, and overcomes them, as he did Moses here, with grace and kindness.

_ _ 1. To balance the weakness of Moses, he here reminds him of his own power, Exodus 4:11. (1.) His power in that concerning which Moses made the objection: Who has made man's mouth? Have not I the Lord? Moses knew that God made man, but he must be reminded now that God made man's mouth. An eye to God as Creator would help us over a great many of the difficulties which lie in the way of our duty, Psalms 124:8. God, as the author of nature, has given us the power and faculty of speaking; and from him, as the fountain of gifts and graces, comes the faculty of speaking well, the mouth and wisdom (Luke 21:15), the tongue of the learned (Isaiah 50:4); he pours grace into the lips, Psalms 45:2. (2.) His power in general over the other faculties. Who but God makes the dumb and the deaf, the seeing and the blind? [1.] The perfections of our faculties are his work, he makes the seeing; he formed the eye (Psalms 94:9); he opens the understanding, the eye of the mind, Luke 24:45. [2.] Their imperfections are from him too; he make the dumb, and deaf, and blind. Is there any evil of this kind, and the Lord has not done it? No doubt he has, and always in wisdom and righteousness, and for his own glory, John 9:3. Pharaoh and the Egyptians were made deaf and blind spiritually, as Isaiah 6:9, Isaiah 6:10. But God knew how to manage them, and get himself honour upon them.

_ _ 2. To encourage him in this great undertaking, he repeats the promise of his presence, not only in general, I will be with thee (Isaiah 3:12), but in particular, “I will be with thy mouth, so that the imperfection in thy speech shall be no prejudice to thy message.” It does not appear that God did immediately remove the infirmity, whatever it was; but he did that which was equivalent, he taught him what to say, and then let the matter recommend itself: if others spoke more gracefully, none spoke more powerfully. Note, Those whom God employs to speak for him ought to depend upon him for instructions, and it shall be given them what they shall speak, Matthew 10:19.

_ _ 3. He joins Aaron in commission with him. He promises that Aaron shall meet him opportunely, and that he will be glad to see him, they having not seen one another (it is likely) for many years, Exodus 4:14. He directs him to make use of Aaron as his spokesman, Exodus 4:16. God might have laid Moses wholly aside, for his backwardness to be employed; but he considered his frame, and ordered him an assistant. Observe, (1.) Two are better than one, Ecclesiastes 4:9. God will have his two witnesses (Revelation 11:3), that out of their mouths every word may be established. (2.) Aaron was the brother of Moses, divine wisdom so ordering it, that their natural affection one to another might strengthen their union in the joint execution of their commission. Christ sent his disciples two and two, and some of the couples were brothers. (3.) Aaron was the elder brother, and yet he was willing to be employed under Moses in this affair, because God would have it so. (4.) Aaron could speak well, and yet was far inferior to Moses in wisdom. God dispenses his gifts variously to the children of men, that we may see our need one of another, and each may contribute something to the good of the body, 1 Corinthians 12:21. The tongue of Aaron, with the head and heart of Moses, would make one completely fit for this embassy. (5.) God promises, I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth. Even Aaron, that could speak well, yet could not speak to purpose unless God was with his mouth; without the constant aids of divine grace the best gifts will fail.

_ _ 4. He bids him take the rod with him in his hand (Exodus 4:17), to intimate that he must bring about his undertaking rather by acting than by speaking; the signs he should work with this rod might abundantly supply the want of eloquence; one miracle would do him better service than all the rhetoric in the world. Take this rod, the rod he carried as a shepherd, that he might not be ashamed of that mean condition out of which God called him. This rod must be his staff of authority, and must be to him instead both of sword and sceptre.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Exodus 4:10

O my Lord, I am not eloquent — He was a great philosopher, statesman, and divine, and yet no orator; a man of a clear head, great thought and solid judgment, but had not a voluble tongue, nor ready utterance; and therefore he thought himself unfit to speak before great men, and about great affairs. Moses was mighty in word, Acts 7:22, and yet not eloquent: what he said was strong and nervous, and to the purpose, and distilled as the dew, Deuteronomy 32:2, though he did not deliver himself with that readiness, ease and fineness that some do.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

[[no comment]]

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
eloquent:
Heb. a man of words,
Exodus 4:1 And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee.
Job 12:2 No doubt but ye [are] the people, and wisdom shall die with you.
1 Corinthians 2:1-4 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. ... And my speech and my preaching [was] not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
2 Corinthians 10:10 For [his] letters, say they, [are] weighty and powerful; but [his] bodily presence [is] weak, and [his] speech contemptible.
2 Corinthians 11:6 But though [I be] rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things.

heretofore:
Heb. since yesterday, nor since the third day, slow of speech
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?
Jeremiah 1:6 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I [am] a child.
Acts 7:22 And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.
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Ex 4:1; 6:12. Jb 12:2. Jr 1:6. Ac 7:22. 1Co 2:1. 2Co 10:10; 11:6.

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