Shemos 3:16:

לֵךְ וְאָֽסַפְתָּ אֶת־זִקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם ה' אֱלֹקי אֲבֹֽתֵיכֶם נִרְאָה אֵלַי אֱלֹקי אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיַעֲקֹב לֵאמֹר פָּקֹד פָּקַדְתִּי אֶתְכֶם וְאֶת־הֶעָשׂוּי לָכֶם בְּמִצְרָֽיִם׃

“Go and assemble the elders of Israel and say to them: the LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has appeared to me and said, ‘I have taken note of you and of what is being done to you in Egypt,


And then Hashem tells Moshe (Shemos 3:18):

וְשָׁמְעוּ לְקֹלֶךָ וּבָאתָ אַתָּה וְזִקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל־מֶלֶךְ מִצְרַיִם...

They will listen to you; then you shall go with the elders of Israel to the king of Egypt ...

After which Moshe says that The Bnei Yisrael will not believe him, and Hashem gives him the signs. Then Moshe still refuses to go to Pharoh, and Hashem tells him to Take Aharon with him.

Then Moshe goes back to Midyan to his wife and children to Mitzraim.

After which Hashem tells Moshe (Shemos 4:21):

וַיֹּאמֶר ה' אֶל־מֹשֶׁה בְּלֶכְתְּךָ לָשׁוּב מִצְרַיְמָה רְאֵה כָּל־הַמֹּֽפְתִים אֲשֶׁר־שַׂמְתִּי בְיָדֶךָ וַעֲשִׂיתָם לִפְנֵי פַרְעֹה ...

And the LORD said to Moses, “When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the marvels that I have put within your power...


Originally Hashem told Moshe to go to to Bnei Yisrael, and then to Pharoh, yet when he is finally ready to go, Hashem only mentions going to Pharoh and does not repeat the part about going first to Bnei Yisrael. WHY?

  • 2
    I'm confused. The last verse that you cited only says to show the signs to Pharaoh. The wonders had already been performed before B'nai Yisrael. The verse mentions nothing about not having B'nai Yisrae'l (or the elders) join him in the meeting while Moshe is there.
    – DanF
    May 10, 2018 at 2:02
  • @DanF No, the wonders were not yet performed before BN.Y When Hashem told Moshe for the 2nd time to go to Pharaoh. That took place in verse 4:30. The last verse I quoted is verse 4:21. I'll repeat the sequence: Before Moshe goes back to Midyan - 3:16 Moshe is told to go to [the elders of] BNY. In 3:18 Moshe is told to go to Pharaoh. After Moshe goes to Midyan to bring back his family Hashem tells Moshe again, in 4:21 to go to Pharaoh. Hashem does NOT tell him again to go to BNY. [Q.Why not?]. In 4:30 Moshe does the wonders in front of BNY. And in 5:1 in front of Pharaoh. May 10, 2018 at 23:01
  • Thanks for the clarification. See my (or, rather, Rash"i's) explanation, below.
    – DanF
    May 11, 2018 at 2:43

1 Answer 1


Rash"i on Shemot 4:21 explains that the wonders G-d refers to show to Pharoah are not the same ones that Moshe showed Bnai Yisra'el. Rather, these are the signs mentioned later on in Shemot 7:9.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .