1:10 Come, let’s deal wisely20 with them. Otherwise21 they will continue to multiply,22 and if23 a war breaks out, they will ally themselves with24 our enemies and fight against us and leave25 the country.”
tn The verb is the Hitpael cohortative of חָכַם (khakam, “to be wise”). This verb has the idea of acting shrewdly, dealing wisely. The basic idea in the word group is that of skill. So a skillful decision is required to prevent the Israelites from multiplying any more.
sn Pharaoh’s speech invites evaluation. How wise did his plans prove to be?
tn The word פֶּן (pen) expresses fear or precaution and can also be translated “lest” or “else” (R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 75–76, §461).
tn Heb “and [lest] he [Israel] also be joined to.”
tn Heb “and go up from.” All the verbs coming after the particle פֶּן (pen, “otherwise, lest” in v. 10) have the same force and are therefore parallel. These are the fears of the Egyptians. This explains why a shrewd policy of population control was required. They wanted to keep Israel enslaved; they did not want them to become too numerous and escape.