Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God here in the land.” But Moses said, “That would not be right. The sacrifices we offer the Lord our God would be detestable to the Egyptians. And if we offer sacrifices that are detestable in their eyes, will they not stone us?-Exodus 8:25-26
During the plague of flies, Pharaoh summons Moses and Aaron and tells them he will let the Hebrews hold a festival to their god but they must stay in the land.
However, Moses insists on the conditions of his original request, that the Hebrews be allowed to leave Egypt for 3-days.
Desperate Pharaoh finally agrees but adds “just don’t go too far”.
We can see that Pharaoh is still unwilling to contemplate the permanent loss of this population of slave workers.
Also depending on which Bible translation you’re reading, Pharaoh tells Moses that he will allow the Israelites to sacrifice to “God“, “Lord“, or “Adonai“.
But again, the original Hebrew is “YHVH”.
Pharaoh is actually acknowledging the Hebrew God by His personal name.
So we see that finally, there seems to be some growing respect here for this powerful God of Israel.
Oh how I so wish we had never lost the proper pronunciation of our God’s name!
Now why did Moses say “the sacrifices we would offer to YHVH would be detestable to the Egyptians”?
The reason is because the Hebrews would sacrifice cattle and other beasts considered taboo by the Egyptians and so infuriate them.
Oxen and cattle were divine to the Egyptians.
A bull was actually considered to be one the most divine gods.
If the Hebrews had sacrificed a bull in front of the Egyptians, there’s no telling how the Egyptian people would have reacted.
And they were already extremely on edge due to the plague of flies to which they were being subjected.
However, the 3-day journey was not to happen.
After Moses prayed for Pharaoh and the plague of flies stopped, Pharaoh took his promise back and wouldn’t let the Israelites go.
Human nature is so fickle, isn’t it?
NEXT TIME WE BEGIN EXODUS CHAPTER NINE