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Bible Commentaries

Gaebelein's Annotated Bible

Exodus 6

Verses 1-27

CHAPTER 6:1-27 Jehovah’s Answers and the Genealogy

1. Jehovah answers Moses (Exodus 6:1-13 )

2. The Genealogy (Exodus 6:14-27 )

Moses’ “wherefore” and “why,” his outburst of impatience, is graciously met by Jehovah. In His answer He speaks more fully of Himself as Jehovah, and what He will do in behalf of His afflicted and oppressed people. “I am Jehovah,” is His solemn declaration. Note the continued utterances of what He is and what He will do. “I appeared unto Abraham; I have heard; I have remembered; I will bring you out; I will rid you out of their bondage; I will redeem you; I will take you to be for Me a people; I will be to you a God; I will bring you into the land; I will give it to you for a heritage; I am Jehovah.” In Ezekiel, chapter 36, the reader will find Jehovah’s “I will” concerning the future restoration of His people Israel .

No condition is mentioned; for their salvation as well as ours, is “not of works” but of grace alone. The source of all is His love (Deuteronomy 7:7-8 ). Salvation is Jehovah’s work and not ours. Thus while the patriarchs knew the name of God as Jehovah, the full revelation of Jehovah, working in the gracious performance of His promises, they knew not. Exodus 6:3 means that they did not understand the name Jehovah, though they knew that name. Then follows the record of “the heads of their fathers’ houses.” He knows them by name. He comes down where the slaves are, and calls them by name, thus identifying Himself with them. And then He knew, as He does now, every groan, every burden, every spot upon which the whip of the cruel taskmaster had fallen. This is the precious lesson of this register of names. No other genealogy is found in Exodus. What a great redeemer is Jehovah, our Lord Jesus Christ! All praise and glory be to His holy Name.

Verses 28-30

CHAPTERS 6:28-7:13 The Renewed Commission and Before Pharaoh Again

1. Renewed commission and renewed hesitation (Exodus 6:28-30 )

2. Jehovah’s instructions (Exodus 7:1-9 )

3. Before Pharaoh and the sign of the rod (Exodus 7:10-13 )

Once more Moses received his commission, and again he hesitated on account of his poor speech. After all the gracious words Jehovah had spoken he pleads again his weakness. It shows what the unbelieving heart is. Twice Jehovah said that Moses should be a god. A god to Aaron (4:16) and a god to Pharaoh (7:1). He received divine authority and power over Pharaoh, while he was to his spokesman Aaron a god, because the word he uttered to him to communicate to Pharaoh was the word of the Lord. “And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart.” This was stated before in chapter 4:21. Eighteen times we read of the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart. However, different words are used in the Hebrew to show an important distinction. One means to “make firm” or “strong.” The other, “to make stubborn.” These two words show Pharaoh’s hardening of his own heart and God’s hardening after he continued in his wicked way. After it is five times declared that Pharaoh hardened his heart, then God began His hardening and made Pharaoh’s heart stubborn. Pharaoh hardened himself, then God hardened him. Pharaoh had his opportunities and as he refused and continued in unbelief, God made him stubborn. God hardens as a judicial act because man refuses His Word. God never hardens first nor compels a man to be an unbeliever. A solemn warning is contained in this. Thousands harden their hearts now, and ere long apostate Christendom will be hardened by God without remedy (2 Thessalonians 2:0 ).

Moses’ age was 80 years and Aaron’s 83 when they spoke to Pharaoh. They are before the monarch to show a miracle. Moses did not use his rod as before the elders of Israel , but it was Aaron’s rod which was cast down and became a serpent. There is likewise another word used for serpent. In chapter 4:3, it is _nachash, the same word as in Genesis 3:0 . But the word used in chapter 7 is _thanin, which the Septuagint translates dragon. This does not show that there were two different records, but that the two events have a different significance. Aaron’s rod, which later blossomed, is the type of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, the mighty victor over Satan, sin and death. Aaron’s rod swallowing the rods of the magicians of Egypt seems to indicate the complete triumph of Jehovah over him who has the power of death.

The question is, was the action of the magicians a real miracle or produced by juggling? Snake charming was carried on in ancient Egypt . However, these magicians were the instruments of Satan, who manifested his power through them. What they did were “lying wonders.” The names of two of these endued with demoniacal powers are given in 2 Timothy 3:8 , Jannes and Jambres. Such manifestation of demon power is found today in spiritualism and will be fully revealed during the days of Antichrist at the end of this age (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 ). Pharaoh’s heart was hardened (literal translation) because he wilfully rejected the sign given.

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Bibliographical Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Exodus 6". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gab/exodus-6.html. 1913-1922.