The Israelites "borrowed" from the Egyptians (Ex 12:35, R.V., "asked") in accordance with a divine command (Ex 3:22; 11:2). But the word (sha'al) so rendered here means simply and always to "request" or "demand." The Hebrew had another word which is properly translated "borrow" in De 28:12; Ps 37:21. It was well known that the parting was final. The Egyptians were so anxious to get the Israelites away out of their land that "they let them have what they asked" (Ex 12:36, R.V.), or literally "made them to ask," urged them to take whatever they desired and depart. (See Loan.)
In Ex 3:22; 12:35-36 not in the sense of taking on loan, which has given a handle for scoffers, as if the Israelites borrowed what they did not return, and so purloined from the Egyptians. Shaal means only to ask: the Israelites asked, and "the Egyptians MADE THEM ASK," i.e. urged them to ask, so eager were they to get them away, through fear of the plagues, which Ex 11:8 confirms, also Ps 105:37-38; they allowed them to ask (not "lent"), i.e. received favorably their asking jewels of silver, gold, and raiment, yea, even urged them to ask for more than the Israelites at first asked.
The Egyptians could not for a moment have expected the Israelites would return them; for Jehovah's demand, "Let My people go, that they may serve Me," enforced by the rapidly successive plagues, must have convinced the Egyptians that Israel had before them some far more momentous movement than a three days' march to a feast. The Egyptians' gifts, though outwardly seeming to flow from their goodwill, if viewed more deeply were the result of Jehovah's constraining power, which made them just and generous in spite of themselves.
As they had spoiled Israel by the bondservice unremunerated, so Israel, Jehovah's host (Ex 12:41) marched forth "with an high hand" (Ex 14:8)," by strength of Jehovah's hand" (Ex 13:16), having "spoiled" their spoilers, an earnest of the saints' and Israel's final victory over the world powers and the prince of this world (Zec 14:14). In 1Sa 1:28 the same Hebrew verb ought not to be translated "I lent him to the Lord ... he shall be lent to the Lord," but "I also (on my part in return for His favor) make him one asked of the Lord (and therefore returned to the Lord, see margin); ... he shall be as one asked of (and therefore returned to) the Lord."