Another interesting aspect of the way the sentenced is phrased (which I have not seen discussed elsewhere) is the fact that the phrase is said in the singular. G-d does not tell Aharon to come, yet Aharon does come along with Moshe to face Pharaoh. This, in and of itself, can be explained, as G-d had said that Moshe would be a "master/god" over Pharaoh, while Aharon would serve as Moshe's "prophet," his spokesperson. (Exodus 7:1)
However, there is an additional element that makes the use of the singular verb conjugation somewhat more perplexing: the very sentence that describes Moshe and Aharon coming to speak to Pharaoh is also in the singular!
|3. So Moses and Aaron came [sing.] to Pharaoh and said to him, "So said the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Let My people go, and they will worship Me.||ג. וַיָּבֹא משֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן אֶל פַּרְעֹה וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי הָעִבְרִים עַד מָתַי מֵאַנְתָּ לֵעָנֹת מִפָּנָי שַׁלַּח עַמִּי וְיַעַבְדֻנִי:|
The Hebrew word used is Vayavoh (he came) when it would appear that Vayavohu (they came) would have been the correct word choice. Also, immediately following the very moment that Hashem appointed Aharon as Moshe's prophet, there too, the words used are Vayavoh Moshe v'Aharon (Moshe and Aharaon came [sing.] to Pharaoh). (Exodus 7:10)
Prior to this, during the first time that Moshe and Aharon come before Pharaoh, the word used is in fact "Bahu," they came [plural]. (Exodus 5:1) Not only were they not successful on that occasion, but Pharaoh actually increased the burden of the Jewish people, which led Moshe to even complain to G-d and ask Him why He was doing this to His people.
The singular form had been used also at a previous occasion regarding Moshe and Aharon when they went to speak with the Jewish elders (Vayelech Moshe v'Aharon) (Exodus 4:29). At that time, they were successful in convincing the elders that the time for redemption had in fact come.
Vayavoh Moshe v'Aharon is used another time in the Torah, at the moment of the inauguration of the Tabernacle. (Leviticus 9:23) As Aharon is performing the inauguration sacrifices, Moshe and Aharon come to the Tent of Meeting and bless the people, and the Glory of Hashem appears to the entire people. Immediately after, the sons of Aharon, Nadab and Abihu, enter the Holy of Holies and improperly bring an incense offering. They are thereby both consumed. In direct contrast to Moshe and Aharon, when describing the actions of Nadab and Abihu, the Torah uses only plural verb conjugations.
We see a similar contrast of plural versus singular conjugations when it comes to the encampments of the Jewish people in the desert. The journeys and encampments are described in the plural, except for the encampment by Mount Sinai itself. There, Rashi explains, the Jews were like "one person with one heart." This great harmony among us was actually an essential requirement for acquiring the Torah itself.
When I imagine the Jewish people leaving Egypt, I always imagine them holding hands...