Exodus 14:12

Hebrew Bible

10 When Pharaoh got closer, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians marching after them, and they were terrified. The Israelites cried out to the Lord, 11 and they said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the desert? What in the world have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Isn’t this what we told you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone so that we can serve the Egyptians, because it is better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!’” 13 Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand firm and see the salvation of the Lord that he will provide for you today; for the Egyptians that you see today you will never, ever see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you can be still.”

Judith 7:27


25 For now we have no one to help us; God has sold us into their hands, to be strewn before them in thirst and exhaustion. 26 Now summon them and surrender the whole town as booty to the army of Holofernes and to all his forces. 27 For it would be better for us to be captured by them. We shall indeed become slaves, but our lives will be spared, and we shall not witness our little ones dying before our eyes, and our wives and children drawing their last breath. 28 We call to witness against you heaven and earth and our God, the Lord of our ancestors, who punishes us for our sins and the sins of our ancestors; do today the things that we have described!" 29 Then great and general lamentation arose throughout the assembly, and they cried out to the Lord God with a loud voice.

 Notes and References

"... Our passage echoes two of the biblical complaint stories (above, note on 7:23–32) fairly closely. At Exodus 14:12 the Israelites state that it would be better for them to return to Egypt as slaves, rather than die in the desert. At Numbers 14:2–3, the Israelites again use the phrase “it would be better” preferring to die in the desert or return to Egypt, rather than dying by the sword and having their wives and children seized as plunder in Canaan. See too Numbers 20:3–5 and Exodus 17:3 for similar reproaches, and contrast Judah’s words to his soldiers before Emmaus that it is better to die in battle than watch the ruin of their nation and temple (1 Maccabees 3:59) ..."

Gera, Deborah Levine Judith (p. 247) De Gruyter, 2014

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