Exodus 13

Exodus 13


The LordI saidII to Moses:III ConsecrateIV to me allV the firstborn;VI

Notes on verses 1-2a

I “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
II “said” = dabar. This is generally to speak, answer, declare, or command. It might mean to arrange and so to speak in a figurative sense as arranging words.
III “Moses” = Mosheh. From mashah (to pull out in a literal or figurative sense, to draw out) OR from Egyptian mes or mesu (child, son i.e. child of…). This is Moses – the one drawn out from the water, which is to say, rescued. If derived from the Egyptian, his name would share a root with Rameses and Thutmose.
IV “consecrate” = qadash. From qodesh (set apart and so sacred; God is different from us and so God is holy/set apart; things we dedicate to God’s service are set apart for God and so they, too, are holy). This is set apart, consecrated, hallowed, sanctified. This is something or someone that is set apart for a holy purpose or use – ceremonially or morally clean.
V “all” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
VI “firstborn” = bekor. From bakar (to bear fruit, be firstborn, firstling, that which opens the womb, give the birthright to). This is firstborn or chief.

whateverVII is the first to openVIII the wombIX among the Israelites,X of human beingsXI and animals,XII is mine.

Notes on verse 2b

VII “whatever” = kol. Same as “all” in v2. See note V above.
VIII “first to open” = peter. 12x in OT. From patar (to separate, free, open, shoot out, emit, remove; this is to open up in a literal or figurative way). This is a firstling, firstborn, or opening. It is the thing that is the first to open.
IX “womb” = rechem. Related to racham (compassion, tender love, womb, compassion; the womb as that which cherishes the fetus). This is a womb.
X “Israelites” = ben + Yisrael. Literally, “children of Israel.” Ben is from banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense. Yisrael is from sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (God or god). This is Israel, meaning God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.
XI “human beings” = adam. Perhaps from adam (to be red, make ruddy); related to adamah (ground, dirt, earth). This is man, humankind, also Adam’s name. It refers to a human individual or humanity.
XII “animals” = behemah. This is animal or cattle. It is often used of large quadrupeds.

3 Moses said to the people,XIII “RememberXIV this dayXV on which you came outXVI of Egypt,XVII

Notes on verse 3a

XIII “people” = am. From amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together). This is people or nation. It can be used specifically for a tribe, collectively of troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals.
XIV “remember” = zakar. This is to remember, to mark something so that it can be recalled, to be mindful of, to mention.
XV “day” = yom. Root may mean being hot. This is the day in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean birth, age, daylight, continually or other references to time.
XVI “came out” = yatsa. This is to go or come out, bring forth, appear. It is to go out in a literal or figurative sense.
XVII “Egypt” = Mitsrayim. Perhaps from matsor (besieged or fortified place, bulwark, entrenchment; something hemmed in; a siege or distress or fastness); from tsur (to confine, besiege, to cramp). This is Egypt.

out of the houseXVIII of slavery,XIX because the Lord brought you outXX from there by strengthXXI of hand;XXII no leavened breadXXIII shall be eaten.XXIV 

Notes on verse 3b

XVIII “house” = bayit. Related to “Israelites” in v1. Probably from banah (see note X above). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
XIX “slavery” = ebed. From abad (to work, serve, compel; any kind of work; used causatively, can mean to enslave or keep in bondage). This is a servant, slave, or bondservant.
XX “brought…out” = yatsa. Same as “came out” in v3. See note XVI above.
XXI “strength” = chozeq. 5x in OT. From chazaq (to strengthen, seize, be courageous, repair, bind, heal, conquer, harden). This is strength or power.
XXII “hand” = yad. This is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.
XXIII “leavened bread” = chamets. 13x in OT. From chamets (be or taste sour, fermented, harsh; dyed or of a dazzling color; cruelty). This is leaven or something leavened. It can refer to bread or extortion.
XXIV “eaten” = akal. This is to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume. It can be eating in a literal or figurative sense.

4 Today,XXV in the monthXXVI of Abib,XXVII you are going out.XXVIII 5 XXIXWhen the Lord bringsXXX you into the landXXXI of the Canaanites,XXXII

Notes on verses 4-5a

XXV “today” = yom. Same as “day” in v3. See note XV above.
XXVI “month” = chodesh. From chadash (to renew, repair). This refers to a new moon. It can also mean monthly.
XXVII “Abib” = Abib. 8x in OT. This is a young ear or green head of grain. It is also the name of a month – Abib.
XXVIII “going out” = yatsa. Same as “came out” in v3. See note XVI above.
XXIX {untranslated} = hayah. Related to “Lord” in v1. See note I above.
XXX “brings” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
XXXI “land” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
XXXII “Canaanites” = Knaaniy. From Kanaan (Canaan, his descendants, and the land where they settled; perhaps meaning lowlands, describing their land or subjugated in reference to being conquered by Egypt); from kana (to be humble, subdue; properly, bend the knee). This is Canaanite, which in some instances would imply a peddler or sometimes used in place of Ishmaelite. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canaan

the Hittites,XXXIII the Amorites,XXXIV the Hivites,XXXV and the Jebusites,XXXVI which he sworeXXXVII to your ancestorsXXXVIII to giveXXXIX you,

Notes on verse 5b

XXXIII “Hittites” = Chitti. From cheth (Heth or Cheth; one of Canaan’s sons from whom perhaps the Hittites descend) OR from hatat (terror, lacking strength or courage); perhaps from hata (to seize; often used of coals from a fire). This is Hittite – perhaps meaning terrors or terrible. See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Hittite.html#.XyMgpp5KhPY
XXXIV “Amorites” = Emori. From amar (to speak, say, answer, command, promise, report). This is Amorite or Emori, perhaps meaning talkers.
XXXV “Hivites” = Chivvi. Probably from the same as chavyah (life-giving, which implies the place where one lives like a village or place where one camps); probably from the same as Chavvah (Eve, life-giver); from chavah (show, tell, live, declare). This is Hivite, perhaps meaning villagers or tent villagers.
XXXVI “Jebusites” = Yebusi. From yebus (threshing place; one of the former names of Jerusalem); from bus (to trample down, tread in a literal or figurative sense; to loathe, pollute, squirm). This is Jebusite, meaning treaders or threshers.
XXXVII “swore” = shaba. Perhaps from sheba (seven – the number of perfection/sacred fullness). This is to swear, curse, vow, make a covenant. Properly, it can mean to be complete. This is to seven oneself – as in affirming something so strongly it is as though it were said seven times.
XXXVIII “ancestors” = ab. This is father, chief, or ancestor. It is father in a literal or figurative sense.
XXXIX “give” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.

a land flowingXL with milkXLI and honey,XLII you shall keepXLIII this observanceXLIV in this month. 

Notes on verse 5c

XL “flowing” = zub. This is to flow or gush. It is to flow like water or overflow. It can also be discharge, pine, waste away, or have a sexual flow.
XLI “milk” = chalab. Perhaps from the same as cheleb (fat, finest, marrow; fat in a literal or figurative sense; the richest or best part). This is milk or cheese or suckling.
XLII “honey” = debash. Root may mean being gummy. This is honey or honeycomb because it is so sticky. It can also refer to syrup.
XLIII “keep” = abad. Related to “slavery” in v3. See note XIX above.
XLIV “observance” = abodah. Related to “slavery” in v3 & “keep” in v5. From abad (see note XIX above). This is labor, service, bondage, job, servitude, worker. It can refer to any kind of work.

6 SevenXLV days you shall eat unleavened bread,XLVI and on the seventhXLVII day there shall be a festivalXLVIII to the Lord. 

Notes on verse 6

XLV “seven” = sheba. Related to “swore” in v5. See note XXXVII above.
XLVI “unleavened bread” = matstsah. From matsats (to drain out). This is unleavened bread – bread that is sweet rather than becoming sour with the flavor of yeast. Can also be used to refer to the festival of Passover, the staple food of which is commonly transliterate matzoh from this word.
XLVII “seventh” = shebii. Related to “swore” in v5 & “seven” in v6. From sheba (see note XLV above). This is seventh.
XLVIII “festival” = chag. From chagag (feast, celebrating a festival, making a pilgrimage; properly, going in a circle or marching in sacred procession; implies giddiness and dancing; reeling to and fro). This is a feast, a sacrifice as part of a festival, or the gathering of the festival.

Unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days; no leavened bread shall be seenXLIX in your possession, and no leavenL shall be seen among you in all your territory.LI You shall tellLII your childLIII on that day, ‘It is becauseLIV of what the Lord didLV for me when I came out of Egypt.’ 

Notes on verses 7-8

XLIX “seen” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.
L “leaven” = seor. 5x in OT. Perhaps from sha’ar (properly, swelling up i.e. being left over; a remnant, remaining, being redundant). This is leaven or barm.
LI “territory” = gebul. Perhaps from gabal (to border, twist like rope). This is boundary, limit, coast, space. Properly, it is a line that is twisted, which implies a boundary and, by extension, the boundaries of a territory or other enclosed space.
LII “tell” = nagad. This is to declare, make conspicuous, stand in front, manifest, predict, explain.
LIII “child” = ben. Same as “Israelites” in v2. See note X above.
LIV “because” = abur. From abar (to pass over, pass through, or pass by; cross over or to alienate; used for transitions). This is for, so that, on account of. Properly, it means crossed.
LV “did” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.

9 It shall serveLVI for you as a signLVII on your hand and as a reminderLVIII on your forehead,LIX

Notes on verse 9a

LVI “serve” = hayah. Same as {untranslated} in v5. See note XXIX above.
LVII “sign” = oth. From avah (to mark, sign, point out); OR from uth (to agree). This is a sign in a literal or figurative sense. It could be a flag or monument. It could be evidence or a mark. It could also be an omen or a miracle. 
LVIII “reminder” = zikkaron. Related to “remember” in v3. From zakar (see note XIV above). This is a memorial, remembrance, or record. It can be an object, a time, or a document.
LIX “forehead” = bayin + ayin. Literally, “between your eyes.” Bayin is from bin (to discern, consider, attend to; distinguishing things in one’s mind or, more generally, to understand). This is among, between, interval. Ayin is eye in a literal or figurative sense so eye, appearance, favor, or a fountain (the eye of the landscape).

so that the teachingLX of the Lord may beLXI on your lips;LXII for with a strongLXIII hand the Lord brought you out of Egypt. 

Notes on verse 9b

LX “teaching” = torah. From yarah (to throw, shoot, be stunned; to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach). This is law, instruction, teaching, or statute. It can also refer to the first five books of the Bible – the Torah.
LXI “be” = hayah. Same as {untranslated} in v5. See note XXIX above.
LXII “lips” = peh. This is mouth in a literal or figurative sense. So, more literally, it can be beak or jaws. More figuratively, it refers to speech, commands, or promises.
LXIII “strong” = chazaq. Related to “strength” in v3. From chazaq (see note XXI above). This is strong, hard, powerful, loud, bold, violent, impudent. It is usually strong in a negative sense.

10 You shall keepLXIV this ordinanceLXV at its proper timeLXVI from yearLXVII to year.

Notes on verse 10

LXIV “keep” = shamar. This is to keep, watch, or preserve. It means to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something.
LXV “ordinance” = chuqqah. From choq (statute, boundary, condition, custom, limit, ordinance; something that is prescribed or something that is owed); from chaqaq (to inscribe, carve, or decree; a lawmaker; literally, this is engraving, but it implies enacting a law because laws were carved into stone or metal). This is something prescribed such as a statue, custom, or ordinance.
LXVI “proper time” = moed. From yaad (to appoint, assemble or gather selves, agree). This is a meeting, assembly, fixed time. It can be used for a festival or feast. It can also refer to a meeting place.
LXVII “year” = yom. Same as “day” in v3. See note XV above.

11 LXVIIIWhen the Lord has broughtLXIX you into the land of the Canaanites, as he swore to you and your ancestors, and has given it to you, 12 you shall set apartLXX to the Lord all that first opens the womb. All the firstbornLXXI of your livestockLXXII that are malesLXXIII shall be the Lord’s. 

Notes on verses 11-12

LXVIII {untranslated} = hayah. Same as {untranslated} in v5. See note XXIX above.
LXIX “brought” = bo. Same as “brings” in v5. See note XXX above.
LXX “set apart” = abar. Related to “because” in v8. See note LIV above.
LXXI “firstborn” = peter + sheger. Peter is the same as “open” in v2. See note VIII above. Sheger is 5x in OT. This is increase, offspring. It may come from a word meaning eject.
LXXII “livestock” = behemah. Same as “animals” in v2. See note XII above.
LXXIII “males” = zakar. Related to “remember” in v3 & “reminder” in v9. From zakar (see note XIV above).

13 But everyLXXIV firstbornLXXV donkeyLXXVI you shall redeemLXXVII with a sheep;LXXVIII if you do not redeem it, you must break its neck.LXXIX Every firstbornLXXX maleLXXXI among your children you shall redeem.

Notes on verse 13

LXXIV “every” = kol. Same as “all” in v2. See note V above.
LXXV “firstborn” = peter. Same as “open” in v2. See note VIII above.
LXXVI “donkey” = chamor. From chamar (to be red, blush). This is a male donkey.
LXXVII “redeem” = padah. This is to sever, which is to say to ransom. To secure someone’s release (by paying their debt to free them from slavery) and thus redeem, rescue, deliver, preserve. Can also be the redemption price.
LXXVIII “sheep” = seh. Perhaps from sha’ah (to make a loud noise or crash, devastate, rush). This is a lamb, sheep, or goat – a part of a flock.
LXXIX “break its neck” = araph. 6x in OT. From oreph (back of the neck – also used for stiff-necked; the back more generally in a literal or figurative sense). This is to bend down, break, cut off, destroy, behead.
LXXX “firstborn” = bekor. Same as “firstborn” in v13. See note VI above.
LXXXI “male” = adam. Same as “human beings” in v13. See note XI above.

14 LXXXIIWhen in the futureLXXXIII your child asksLXXXIV you, ‘What does this mean?’ you shall answer, ‘By strength of hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery. 15 LXXXVWhen PharaohLXXXVI stubbornlyLXXXVII refused to let us go,LXXXVIII

Notes on verses 14-15a

LXXXII {untranslated} = hayah. Same as {untranslated} in v5. See note XXIX above.
LXXXIII “future” = machar. Perhaps from achar (to be behind, delay, be late, procrastinate, continue). This is tomorrow or later. It is some kind of deferred time, so it could also mean indefinitely or refer to the time to come.
LXXXIV “asks” = shaal. This is to ask, inquire, beg, borrow, desire, request. It can also mean to demand.
LXXXV {untranslated} = hayah. Same as {untranslated} in v5. See note XXIX above.
LXXXVI “Pharaoh” = Paroh. From Egyptian pr (palace, pharaoh; literally house + great). This is Pharaoh, a title for Egyptian kings. See https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/pharaoh
LXXXVII “stubbornly” = qashah. This is to be fierce, cruel, dense, tough, severe.
LXXXVIII “let…go” = shalach. This is to send out, away, send for, forsake. It can also mean to divorce or set a slave free.

the Lord killedLXXXIX all the firstbornXC in the land of Egypt, from humanXCI firstbornXCII to the firstbornXCIII of animals. ThereforeXCIV I sacrificeXCV to the Lord every male that first opens the womb,

Notes on verse 15b

LXXXIX “killed” = harag. This is to strike with deadly intent so it can be kill, destroy, murder, or put to death.
XC “firstborn” = bekor. Same as “firstborn” in v13. See note VI above.
XCI “human” = adam. Same as “human beings” in v13. See note XI above.
XCII “firstborn” = bekor. Same as “firstborn” in v13. See note VI above.
XCIII “firstborn” = bekor. Same as “firstborn” in v13. See note VI above.
XCIV “therefore” = ken. Perhaps from kun (properly, in a perpendicular position; literally, to establish, fix, fasten, prepare; figuratively, it is certainty, to be firm, faithfulness, render sure or prosperous). This is to set upright. Generally used figuratively to mean thus, so, afterwards, rightly so.
XCV “sacrifice” = zabach. This is slaughtering an animal, generally for the purpose of sacrifice. It can mean kill or offer.

but every firstbornXCVI of my sonsXCVII I redeem.’ 16 It shall serve as a sign on your hand and as an emblemXCVIII on your forehead that by strength of hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt.”17 XCIXWhen Pharaoh let the people go, GodC did not leadCI them by wayCII

Notes on verses 15c-17a

XCVI “firstborn” = bekor. Same as “firstborn” in v13. See note VI above.
XCVII “sons” = ben. Same as “Israelites” in v2. See note X above.
XCVIII “emblem” = totaphoth. 3x in OT. Root may mean to bind. This is a band or phylactery.
XCIX {untranslated} = hayah. Same as {untranslated} in v5. See note XXIX above.
C “God” = Elohim. Related to “Israelites” in v2. See note X above.
CI “lead” = nachah. This is lead, guide, or bring. It can be used for transporting into exile or coming in as colonists. This is the word used in Psalm 23 “he leads me in the paths of righteousness.”
CII “way” = derek. From darak (to tread, march, to walk. Can also mean affixing a string to a box since one needs to step on it to bend it in the process; so also an archer). This is a road as a thing that is walked on. Can be used figuratively for the path that one’s life takes or how one chooses to live one’s life.

of the land of the Philistines,CIII although that was nearer;CIV for God thought, “IfCV the people faceCVI war,CVII they may change their mindsCVIII and returnCIX to Egypt.” 

Notes on verse 17b

CIII “Philistines” = Pelishti. From Pelesheth (Philistia); from palash (to mourn, wallow, maybe roll in). This is Philistines. Their name may mean “griever” or “burrower” or “weakener.” See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Philistine.html.
CIV “nearer” = qarob. From qarab (to come near, offer, make ready). This is near whether nearby, related, near in time, or allied.
CV “if” = pen. Perhaps from panah (to turn, face, appear). This is lest, if, or.
CVI “face” = raah. Same as “seen” in v7. See note XLIX above.
CVII “war” = milchamah. From lacham (to eat or feed on; figuratively, to battle as a kind of consumption/destruction). This is battle, war, fighting, or one who fights (i.e. a warrior).
CVIII “change…minds” = nacham. Properly, this is a strong breath or a sigh. This can be to be sorry, to pity, console. Comfort, or repent. But, one can also comfort oneself with less righteous thoughts, so this can also mean to avenge oneself.
CIX “return” = shub. To turn back, return, turn away – literally or figuratively. Doesn’t necessarily imply going back to where you started from. This is also the root verb for the Hebrew word for repentance “teshubah.”

18 So God led the people by the roundaboutCX way of the wildernessCXI toward the RedCXII Sea.CXIII The Israelites went upCXIV out of the land of Egypt prepared for battle.CXV 

Notes on verse 18

CX “led…roundabout” = sabab. This is turning around, going around; to surround, cast, walk, fetch. It is to revolve or border in a literal or figurative sense.
CXI “wilderness” = midbar. Related to “said” in v1. From dabar (see note II above). This is mouth or speech. It can also be desert or wilderness. Additionally, it can be used for a pasture to which one drives cattle.
CXII “Red” = suph. Perhaps from Egyptian twfi (reeds). This is reeds or rushes. It can be used particularly to refer to papyrus, or a flag. See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Dictionary/sa/sa-p-pfin.html#.XzHCuChKhPY
CXIII “Sea” = yam. Root may mean to roar. This is the sea, often referring to the Mediterranean. It comes from the root in the sense of the roar of crashing surf. This word is sometimes used for rivers or other sources of water. It can mean to the west or to the south.
CXIV “went up” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.
CXV “prepared for battle” = chamushim. 4x in OT. Perhaps from the same as chomesh (root may mean being stout; belly). This is able-bodied, which refers to soldiers armed and read for battle.

19 And Moses tookCXVI with him the bonesCXVII of JosephCXVIII who had required a solemn oathCXIX of the Israelites, saying, “God will surely take noticeCXX of you, and then you must carryCXXI my bones with you from here.” 

Notes on verse 19

CXVI “took” = laqach. This is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage.
CXVII “bones” = etsem. From atsam (vast, numerous, strong; to close one’s eyes, to make powerful; to break bones). This is self, life, strength, bone, or substance.
CXVIII “Joseph” = Yoseph. From yasaph (to add, increase, continue, exceed). This is Joseph, meaning “he increases” or “let him add.”
CXIX “required a solemn oath” = shaba + shaba. Same as “swore” in v5. See note XXXVII above. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
CXX “surely take notice” = paqad + paqad. This is to attend to or visit – can be used for a friendly or violent encounter. So, it can be to oversee, care for, avenge, or charge. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
CXXI “carry” = alah. Same as “went up” in v18. See note CXIV above.

20 They set outCXXII from Succoth,CXXIII and campedCXXIV at Etham,CXXV on the edgeCXXVI of the wilderness. 

Notes on verse 20

CXXII “set out” = nasa. This is properly pulling up as when one pulls up tent pegs or stakes. This would imply striking tents in order to start a journey. So this could be bring, pullout, set out, journey, or cause to go away.
CXXIII “Succoth” = Sukkoth. 18x in OT. From sukkah (booth, canopy, shelter, tent, or tabernacle); from sok (lair, thicket, den, or hiding place; a den or pavilion as made of intertwined boughs); from sakak (to interweave, knit). This is Succoth, perhaps meaning “booths” or “weavings.” It is related to the Jewish holiday “Sukkoth,” the Festival of Booths. See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Succoth.html
CXXIV “camped” = chanah. This is decline, bending down, or living in tents. It can be camping to create a home or camping as a part of battle.
CXXV “Etham” = Etham. 4x in OT. This is Etham, which may mean “solid” or “enduring.” It could also be an alternate place name for Khetam, which means “fortress.” See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etham
CXXVI “edge” = qatseh. From qatsah (to cut off, cut short; figuratively, to destroy). This is end, brink, border, edge, frontier. It can refer to that which is within set boundaries.

21 The Lord wentCXXVII in front ofCXXVIII them in a pillarCXXIX of cloudCXXX by day,CXXXI

Notes on verse 21a

CXXVII “went” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
CXXVIII “in front of” = paneh. Related to “if” in v17. From panah (see note CV above). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
CXXIX “pillar” = ammud. From amad (to stand up in a literal or figurative sense; to establish, continue, endure, take a stand, act, be a servant, stand still, remain, stand against an enemy). This is a pillar, stand, or platform.
CXXX “cloud” = anan. May be from anan (cover, cloud over; figuratively, acting in a secret way, practicing magic or soothsaying). This is a cloud as something that covers the sky.
CXXXI “by day” = yomam. Related to “day” in v3. From yom (see note XV above). Root may mean to be hot. So, this is day as the hours that are hot. This can be daytime in a literal or figurative sense.

to lead them along the way, and in a pillar of fireCXXXII by night,CXXXIII to give them light,CXXXIV so that they might travelCXXXV by day and by night. 22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its placeCXXXVI in front of the people.

Notes on verses 21b-22

CXXXII “fire” = esh. This is fire, burning, flaming, hot. It is fire in a literal or figurative sense.
CXXXIII “night” = layil. Properly, this refers to light twisting away. It is used for night or midnight. Figuratively, this can mean adversity.
CXXXIV “give…light” = or. This is to light, shine, set on fire – to be luminous in a literal or figurative sense.
CXXXV “travel” = halak. Same as “went” in v21. See note CXXVII above.
CXXXVI “left its place” = mush. Perhaps from the same as muwsh (to touch, handle). This is to depart, take away, stop. It is to withdraw in a literal or figurative sense.

Image credit: “Guidance Day and Night” by Mike Moyers, 2011.

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