||You must say to Pharaoh, 'This is what God says: Israel is My son, My firstborn.
Ve'amarta el-Par'oh koh amar Adonay beni vechori Yisra'el.
||I have told you to let My son go and serve Me. If you refuse to let him leave, I will [ultimately] kill your own first-born son.' '
Va'omar eleycha shalach et-beni veya'avdeni vatema'en leshalcho hineh anochi horeg et-bincha bechorecha.
||When they were in the place where they spent the night along the way, God confronted Moses and wanted to kill him.
Vayehi vaderech bamalon vayifgeshehu Adonay vayevakesh hamito.
||Tzipporah took a stone knife and cut off her son's foreskin, throwing it down at [Moses'] feet. 'As far as I am concerned, you're married to blood, she said [to the child].
Vatikach Tsiporah tsor vatichrot et-orlat benah vataga leraglav vatomer ki chatan-damim atah-li.
|wanted to kill him|
Moses, for not circumcising his son. According to others, it was for delaying (see Exodus 4:27; Rashbam cf. Nedarim 34a). Some say that God wanted to kill the uncircumcised infant (Nedarim 32a).
Some say that it was her newborn son Eliezer (Sh'moth Rabbah, Rashi; Ibn Ezra). According to others, it was the older son, Gershom, who was not yet circumcised (Targum Yonathan; Sefer HaYashar).
|throwing it down|
(Rashi). Literally, 'touching;' see note, this verse 'Moses' feet.'
(Rashi; Rashbam; Ibn Ezra). In the Talmud, one opinion is that it was at Moses' feet, another that it was at the child's feet, and a third, that it was at the feet of the angel who wanted to kill him (Yerushalmi, Nedarim 3:9). Others have, 'the blood ran down [the child's] feet' (Ralbag); or, 'She peeled back [the foreskin] toward his legs' (Malbim).
Literally, 'a bridegroom of blood.' Some interpret the Hebrew word chathan here to denote a newly circumcised child (Ibn Ezra), because the child is being initiated into new joy (Radak, Sherashim).
Or, 'you are like a murderer to me' (Ibn Ezra; Radak; Sherashim; Tur); 'you are the murderer of my husband' (Rashi); or 'You are bleeding so much' (Ralbag). According to the opinion that she was addressing Moses (see note, this verse, 'to the child'), she said, 'Through this bloody child you will remain mine [and live]' (Rashbam; Targum Yonathan); or, 'Your marriage to me requires this blood' (Sforno; Chizzkuni; Tur; cf. Targum). Or, 'the circumcision blood of [my son] is staunched' (Septuagint).
|to the child|
In the Talmud there is a debate as to whether she was addressing Moses or the child (Yerushalmi, Nedarim 3:9).