Why did Pharoah claim in Exodus 10:28 that he would kill Moses if Moses ever stood before him again; and then in vs. 29, Moses confirms that "You have spoken correctly, I shall never see your face again!" NASB

Then, in the next chapter (11), Moses leaves Pharoah's presence after threatening him with the final plague of the death of the firstborn (Exodus 11:10).

Was it an emotional outburst on the part of both parties? I don't have the context of understanding Hebrew language enough to be sure of a definitive answer.


3 Answers 3


As with multitudes of so-called biblical 'contradictions' one only needs to google the wording of the 'contradiction' to find that it is not a contradiction at all.

Indeed, this would usually form the first step in researching such a study.

Verse 29. - And Moses said, etc. The reply of Moses, so far, is simple and dignified. Thou hast spoken well, he says - "thou hast made a right decision - further interviews between me and thee are useless, can lead to no result, only waste time. This shall be our last interview - I will see thy face no more." [Elliot's Commentary for English Readers.]

It is generally agreed however that Moses did not quit the presence with these words; but continued to address Pharaoh for some little time, making his parting speech in the terms which are recorded in vers. 4-8 of the next chapter. Having announced the Tenth Plague, the coming destruction of the first-born, he turned and "went out from Pharaoh in a great anger" (Exodus 11:8). [Pulpit Commentary.]

Biblehub Exodus 10:28-29


Moses did not leave the presence of Pharaoh between Exodus 10 and the meeting in Exodus 11:4-9. It was the same meeting. The beginning of chapter 11 is a flashback of a conversation that the Lord had with Moses and Moses' instructions to the people to prepare for the Passover. This was necessary, because the death of the firstborn would occur in the midst of the unbroken darkness at midnight. There would not be enough time to leave Pharaoh to instruct the people, spread the word all around Goshen, have them make preparations like the gathering and slaughtering of lamb, and do all this before midnight. Thus the prep for passover anticipated Pharaoh's final rejection.

So Moses spoke truly. That meeting with Pharaoh was his last.


Regarding the issue of an emotional outburst, the Interpreters Bible explains that "to see your face" probably means to seek the ruler's favor. (see Esth. 1:14) Pharaoh had just granted Moses' request so he was probably saying, in effect: "I've given you what you want. Leave my presence and don't return." But given what is said in 11:8 ("he left Pharaoh’s presence in hot anger."), there does seem to be an emotional charge involved, at least on Moses' part.

On the question of the apparent contradiction between chapters 10 and 11, scholars present various explanations, ranging from 11:1-3 being a "flashback" (see @Paul Chernoch's answer) to it being out of place due to an error by a copyist or early redactor. In the latter case, Moses' final prediction to Pharaoh actually belongs immediately after 10:29. Critical scholars tend to see 11:9-10 coming from a different source (P) than the rest of the story (J). Since it is by a different writer, its summary results in the supposed contradiction. But it is not meant to include the final "wonder," which has not yet taken place.

Conclusion: The conversation between Moses and Pharaoh may not have involved and emotional outburst, at least on Pharaoh's part. The apparent contradiction between chapters 10 and 11 is explained either by the insertion of an intentional flashback at the beginning of ch. 11 or by the supposed fact of at least two sources woven together by a later editor.

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