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    Coming & going – Bo

    The sidra begins with the word bo, which literally means “Come” (Ex. 10:1). It seems to have the same meaning as “Go”, which is how most translators understand it.

    The Baal HaTurim thinks it is an assurance by God that He will be with the Israelite leaders if they approach Pharaoh for leave for the Israelites to depart. He is telling the Israelites not to be too scared to approach Pharoah since He will be with them wherever they are.

    There is a midrashic suggestion that Moses and Aaron had special permission to enter the royal throne room whenever they desired, but this hardly fits in with the more likely impression the narrative gives that Pharaoh was a harsh ruler and not given to making friendly gestures.

    Nor does it fit in with the view of Rashi, who says the leaders’ purpose in appearing before Pharaoh was to warn him.

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