corner graphic   Hi,    
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to

Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
Exodus 4



Verse 1

behold. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6.

they will not = suppose they will not.

The LORD (Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.

Verse 2

the LORD said. See note on Exodus 3:7, and compare note on Exodus 6:10.

Verse 3

He [Jehovah] said, Occurs nine times in Exodus: Exodus 4:3, Exodus 4:7, Exodus 4:14; Exodus 15:26; Exodus 15:24.; Exodus 33:14, Exodus 33:19, Exodus 33:20; Exodus 34:10. Compare notes on Exodus 3:7 with Exodus 6:10,

Verse 4

caught it = stiffened it. Same word as "hardened" Pharaoh"s heart.

Verse 5

God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4.

Verse 6

leprous. First occurance. Nine so afflicted: Exodus 4:6. Numbers 12:10. 2 Kings 5:1, 2 Kings 5:27; 2 Kings 7:3; 2 Kings 15:5. (2 Chronicles 26:20). Matthew 8:2; Matthew 26:6. Luke 17:12. (Ninth case, 21 individuals. App-10.)

Verse 8

voice. Figure of speech Prosopopoeia (App-6), by which the "sign" is personified.

Verse 9

these two signs. See note on Exodus 7:17.

Verse 10

my LORD. Should be "Jehovah". One of the 134 places where "Jehovah" in the Primitive Text was altered to "Adonai". App-32.

not eloquent. Hebrew "not a man of words "(Hebrew. "ish. App-14.) Supposed to contradict Acts 7:22, but eloquence is no necessary part of "wisdom". With "all the wisdom of the Egyptians" he had not the wisdom needed for his work. The latter had to be learned at "the backside of the desert".

slow. But "mighty". Compare Acts 7:22.

Verse 11

Who hath made, &c. Figure of speech Erotesis. App-6.

man = Hebrew. "adam. App-14.

Verse 12

I will be. Hebrew. "ehyeh. See on Exodus 3:14, Exodus 3:15.

Verse 14

Is not Aaron, &c. Figure of speech Erotesis in Negative affirmation. App-6.

the Levite. Why this? Was not Moses a Levite? Is it not to indicate that He whom He would send (Exodus 4:13) would be of the tribe of Judah?

Verse 15

put words (Hebrew "the words ") in his mouth. Compare Numbers 23:5, Numbers 23:16; Numbers 22:35. Deuteronomy 18:18. John 17:8. This is a definition of Divine inspiration.

I will be. Hebrew. "ehyeh. See on Exodus 3:14, Exodus 3:15.

Verse 16

he shall be. Figure of speech Repetitio (App-6), for emphasis. thy spokesman. In Exodus 7:1 = " thy prophet": hence God"s prophet is God"s spokesman, "the man of God" (Deu 33. Psa 90, Title), "God"s man" who spoke for God. Qualified only by God"s Spirit (Numbers 11:29), and God"s Word (2 Timothy 3:16 - Exodus 4:4), and by God"s making known what is to be spoken (Numbers 12:6).

Verse 19

the LORD said. See note on Exodus 3:7, and compare note on Exodus 6:10.

all. Not merely Pharaoh, but all the court faction. are dead. The counterpart to Matthew 2:15; Matthew 2:20.

thy life = thy soul. Hebrew. nephesh. App-13.

Verse 20

sons = Gershom and Eliezer. See on Exodus 2:1.

upon an ass. Still young, So that Moses married after many years in Midian.

rod of God. His own rod is now thus dignified.

Verse 21

I will harden = I will embolden. By Hebrew idiom active verbs of doing are used of suffering or permitting a thing to be done. Compare Genesis 31:7, e.g. Hebrew "God did not give him to do me evil". Compare Authorized Version Exodus 5:22. Psalms 16:10 (give = suffer); Jeremiah 4:10 (deceived = suffered to be deceived). So Ezekiel 14:9; Ezekiel 20:25. Matthew 6:13; Matthew 11:25 (hid = not revealed); Exodus 13:1. Acts 13:29 (took him down = permitted). Romans 9:18 (hardeneth = suffereth to be). Used six times by Jehovah (Exodus 9:12; Exodus 10:1, Exodus 10:20, Exodus 10:27; Exodus 11:10; Exodus 14:8), but not till Pharaoh had done it seven times. Three words used for "harden":
hazak = to brace or tighten up (opposite to relax). Compare Exodus 4:21; Exodus 7:13, Exodus 7:22; Exodus 7:8.; Exodus 9:12, Exodus 9:35; Exodus 10:20, Exodus 10:27; Exodus 11:10; Exodus 14:4, Exodus 14:8, Exodus 14:17 (and once of the Egyptians, Exodus 12:33), thirteen times in all.
(2) kashah = to make sharp, hard, severe, cruel. Used twice, Exodus 7:3; Exodus 13:15 (compare Genesis 49:7).
(3) kdbed = to become heavy (Exodus 7:14; Exodus 8:15, Exodus 8:32; Exodus 9:7, Exodus 9:34; Exodus 9:10. Exodus 9:1), six times.
It was in each case God"s clemency and forbearing goodness which produced the hardening. That good ness which "leadeth to repentance "(
Romans 2:4): just as the same sun which softens the wax hardens the clay.

Verse 22

Thus saith the LORD [Jehovah]. Occurs in Ex. three times, Exodus 4:22; Exodus 7:17; Exodus 9:1. Literally "hath said"; as elsewhere.

My son. Compare Matthew 2:15.

Verse 24

by the way in the inn. A further lesson, not learnt in Egypt or at Horeb. A secret in Moses" life, known only to himself. Moses had neglected to circumcise Eliezer. To save the child"s life, Zipporah now performs the rite herself.

him = the son (Exodus 4:23). Compare Genesis 17:14.

Verse 25

stone, or knife.

son = Eliezer. Compare Exodus 4:20.

bloody husband. Hebrew "a husband of bloods" = Genitive of relation, i.e. with rites of blood; alluding to circumcision, which she had tried to evade and avoid.

Verse 26

He: i.e., Jehovah.

him = Moses" son Eliezer. Compare Exodus 4:24. Genesis 17:14.

Verse 27

Aaron, "Go, &c. Aaron apparently brought up in Pharaoh"s house. See 1 Samuel 2:27, 1 Samuel 2:28.

met him. Compare the parting at mount Hor, Numbers 20:22-29.

Verse 29

children = sons.

Verse 31

the People believed. Compare Exodus 4:1, Exodus 4:8; Exodus 3:18.

visited. See Genesis 50:24, Genesis 50:25 and Exodus 24:25. Compare Exodus 6:6, "redeem", with Luke 1:68.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Exodus 4:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, October 22nd, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology