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Exodus 4:10

    Exodus 4:10 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    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.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And Moses said to the LORD, O my LORD, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since you have spoken to your servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    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.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And Moses said to the Lord, O Lord, I am not a man of words; I have never been so, and am not now, even after what you have said to your servant: for talking is hard for me, and I am slow of tongue.

    Webster's Revision

    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.

    World English Bible

    Moses said to Yahweh, "O Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before now, nor since you have spoken to your servant; for I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue."

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And Moses said unto the LORD, 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.

    Definitions for Exodus 4:10

    Heretofore - Previously.

    Clarke's Commentary on Exodus 4:10

    I am not eloquent - לא איש דברים lo ish debarim, I am not a man of words; a periphrasis common in the Scriptures. So Job 11:2, איש שפתים ish sephathayim, a man of lips, signifies one that is talkative. Psalm 140:11, איש לשון ish lashon, a man of tongue, signifies a prattler. But how could it be said that Moses was not eloquent, when St. Stephen asserts, Acts 7:22, that he was mighty in words as well as in deeds? There are three ways of solving this difficulty:

    1. Moses might have had some natural infirmity, of a late standing, which at that time rendered it impossible for him to speak readily, and which he afterwards overcame; so that though he was not then a man of words, yet he might afterwards have been mighty in words as well as deeds.

    2. It is possible he was not intimately acquainted with the Hebrew tongue, so as to speak clearly and distinctly in it. The first forty years of his life he had spent in Egypt, chiefly at court; and though it is very probable there was an affinity between the two languages, yet they certainly were not the same. The last forty he had spent in Midian, and it is not likely that the pure Hebrew tongue prevailed there, though it is probable that a dialect of it was there spoken. On these accounts Moses might find it difficult to express himself with that readiness and persuasive flow of language, which he might deem essentially necessary on such a momentous occasion; as he would frequently be obliged to consult his memory for proper expressions, which would necessarily produce frequent hesitation, and general slowness of utterance, which he might think would ill suit an ambassador of God.

    3. Though Moses was slow of speech, yet when acting as the messenger of God his word was with power, for at his command the plagues came and the plagues were stayed; thus was he mighty in words as well as in deeds: and this is probably the meaning of St. Stephen.

    By the expression, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant, he might possibly mean that the natural inaptitude to speak readily, which he had felt, he continued to feel, even since God had begun to discover himself; for though he had wrought several miracles for him, yet he had not healed this infirmity. See Clarke on Exodus 6:12 (note).

    Barnes' Notes on Exodus 4:10

    Eloquent - See the margin. The double expression "slow of speech (Ezekiel 3:5 margin) and of a slow tongue" seems to imply a difficulty both in finding words and in giving them utterance, a very natural result of so long a period of a shepherd's life, passed in a foreign land.

    Since thou hast spoken - This expression seems to imply that some short time had intervened between this address and the first communication of the divine purpose to Moses.

    Wesley's Notes on Exodus 4:10

    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, Deu 32:2, though he did not deliver himself with that readiness, ease and fineness that some do.