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Dvarim 9:28 reads:

פֶּן יֹאמְרוּ הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתָנוּ מִשָּׁם מִבְּלִי יְכֹלֶת יְהֹוָה לַהֲבִיאָם אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר לָהֶם וּמִשִּׂנְאָתוֹ אוֹתָם הוֹצִיאָם לַהֲמִתָם בַּמִּדְבָּר:

The Torah doesn't waste words, or even letters for that matter.

If the Torah adds a seemingly extra letter (or omits one) - that's because the Torah wants to teach us something.

Why does the Torah use this round-about way when referring to Egypt here and not just say 'pen yomru mitzrayim'....similar to Bamidbar 14:13 :

וַיֹּאמֶר משֶׁה אֶל יְהֹוָה וְשָׁמְעוּ מִצְרַיִם כִּי הֶעֱלִיתָ בְכֹחֲךָ אֶת הָעָם הַזֶּה מִקִּרְבּוֹ:

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Can you cite a reference for your assertion that the Torah does not "waste words, or even letters for that matter"? –  Seth J Nov 5 '12 at 20:44
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For reference: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/18799/5 –  Seth J Nov 5 '12 at 20:46
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not to draw a parallel between הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתָנוּ מִשָּׁם and הוֹצִיאָם לַהֲמִתָם בַּמִּדְבָּר? –  Charles Koppelman Nov 5 '12 at 22:10
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Starting with, "Hey, this wording is funny, especially compared to that wording over there," does not obligate a person to make the leap to say, "the Torahdoes not waste words or even letters for that matter," But, again, I'm not saying its not true, I'm just saying you should cite a source. –  Seth J Nov 6 '12 at 0:11
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I might also be saying it's an unnecessary assertion for this question. –  Seth J Nov 6 '12 at 0:14

2 Answers 2

The Ramban explains that Moshe's concern was since the incident of the golden calf took place close to their going out of Egypt whilst they were still far from Eretz Yisrael, if Hashem destroyed Yisrael because of their sins the Egyptians would say that Hashem already hated them whilst they were still in Egypt, and only took them out so that He could kill them far away from the public's gaze.

According to this, saying "lest the land from which You brought us out will say" is emphasizing this point, and thus is not unnecessarily lengthy.

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The first point to note is that this is part of a prayer, while most of the rest of Deuteronomy is made up of speeches and laws. As such, this particular wording allows its reuse in other analogous circumstances to those finding themselves in the wilderness hoping to go to the Promised Land.

The historical view is that Deuteronomy, though largely written earlier, achieved roughly its modern form around the end of the Babylonian captivity. So a reasonable interpretation could be that the words here, though referring to Egypt in the context of the end of the Exodus, also apply at the later date to the prospect of the return from Babylon.

Even if you reject the historical view, and instead regard Deuteronomy as an accurate record of the words spoken by Moses, essentially the same interpretation is possible: this prayer, like the Deuteronomic Code, was designed to be used in future, and the highlighted words were chosen to make its use particularly meaningful in similar circumstances.

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An interesting suggestion. In fact we see similar ideas in the traditional understanding of parts of Isaiah and other prophecies of redemption being written for their context (exile after destruction of First Temple) and applied to further instances as well (current exile). –  Double AA Nov 8 '12 at 23:18

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