Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Exodus 6:1

Then the Lord said to Moses, "Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for under compulsion he will let them go, and under compulsion he will drive them out of his land."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - God Continued...;   Moses;   Revelation;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Canaan;   Moses;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Praise;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Exodus, Book of;   Generation;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Exodus;   Moses;   Prayer;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Moses;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Genesis;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Solomon;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

With a strong hand - חזקה יד yad chazakah, the same verb which we translate to harden; see Clarke on Exodus 4:21; (note). The strong hand here means sovereign power, suddenly and forcibly applied. God purposed to manifest his sovereign power in the sight of Pharaoh and the Egyptians; in consequence of which Pharaoh would manifest his power and authority as sovereign of Egypt, in dismissing and thrusting out the people. See Exodus 12:31-33.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Exodus 6:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/exodus-6.html. 1832.

The Biblical Illustrator

Exodus 6:1

Now shalt thou see what I will do.

God’s reply to the prayer of a disappointed worker

I. This reply to the prayer of Moses intimated that God would bring the true result of his mission more thoroughly within the cognizance of his senses. “And the Lord said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh.”

1. The mission had hitherto been a great tax upon the faith of Moses. The first repulse made him cry out for the visible and the tangible.

2. Now the mission is lowered to the sensuous vision of Moses.

II. This reply to the prayer of Moses vindicated his conduct against the recent insinuations and reproach of the Israelites. Men often take a wrong view of our conduct. God always takes the right view. He knows when His servants are doing what He tells them. He sends them messages of approval for so doing. This vindication--

1. Would reassure Moses in his work.

2. Would clear his conscience from all condemnation.

3. Would enable him to interpret his apparent failure.

III. This reply to the prayer of Moses indicated how thoroughly the work announced by God should be accomplished. “For with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.”

1. This shows how wicked men are, under the providence of God, brought to do that which they had once resolutely refused. The sinner knoweth not the future, or he would act with greater wisdom in the present.

2. God makes these revelations in response to prayer, that He may reanimate the dispirited worker.

IV. In reply to the prayer of Moses, God vouchsafes a new and sublime revelation of his character.

1. A sublime revelation of His name.

2. A comforting reference to His covenant.

3. A pathetic reference to the sorrow of Israel.

Lessons:

1. That God speaks to disappointed souls in prayer.

2. That the Divine communings with a disappointed soul have an uplifting tendency.

3. That God deals compassionately with the weakness of Christian workers. (J. S. Exell, M. A.)

God’s long restrained wrath

When the ice on the great American rivers is broken up, it is sometimes obstructed in its course towards the sea by a log of wood, or something else, that arrests it. But then, as block after block of ice accumulates, the waters above increase in volume and weight, till their force, with mighty crash, sweeps away all the mass. And so the wrath of God, though long restrained by His love and mercy, sweeps away the incorrigible sinner to perdition. (H. R. Burton.)

Conditions of successful work for God

1. Faith in God, and honest conviction that God will do as He says He will.

2. Courage to,do what faith declares. God doesn’t use cowards or faint-hearted men to do much for Him. He told Joshua to be of good courage.

3. Perseverance. Keep right on in the place God gives you to work for Him. Many men fail right on the eve of battle. The best silver mine in England was worked for a long time by a man who became discouraged just before it yielded the richest ingots of choicest silver, and he sold out for a song and lost a princely fortune. Keep at it. Get others to help, and work and plod and win success.

4. Enthusiasm is a valuable element, and one that most men need. Too many are afraid of enthusiasm, but all of us need to put more fire and feeling in what we do for the Lord. (D. L. Moody.)

The judgments of God upon wicked men

I. That God sends severe judgements on men who reject His commands. “Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh.”

1. Notwithstanding his kingship.

2. Notwithstanding his obstinacy.

3. Notwithstanding his despotism.

II. That these judgments are often witnessed by Christian people. “Now shalt thou see.”

1. They are seen clearly.

2. Retributively.

3. Solemnly. (J. S. Exell, M. A.)

God’s everlasting “shalls”

It is a great thing to get hold of one of God’s everlasting “shalls.” For when God says a thing shall be done, who shall hinder? When God says “shall,” you may be sure that He is stirring up His strength and making bare His mighty arm, to do mighty and terrible things in righteousness. Just read through this chapter, and note how Jehovah asserts Himself--“I am the Lord”; “I have remembered My covenant”; “I will bring you out from under the burdens of Egypt”; “I will rid you of their bondage”; “I will redeem you with a stretched out arm”; “I will take you to Me for a people”; “I will bring you into the land concerning which I did swear to give it to Abraham, and I will give it to you”; “I am the Lord.” All this is very refreshing and encouraging to me. It must have been so to Moses, as he stood there and listened to these strong and blessed words. And so I learn from such words this lesson: when I am discouraged or cast down either about my own salvation, or about the work of the Lord--to turn to the blessed Scriptures and search through the pages, and read over and over again the strong, sure words of God. They sound like bugle-blasts to me, calling me to faith and service. So may the strong words of God reassure any fainting heart! Be sure that He will not be untrue to even the least of the promises He has made to you; but will fulfil them all most gloriously. These promises are like the cakes baked for Elijah, in the strength of which he went for forty days. Only we may eat them fresh every day if we are so disposed. (G. F. Pentecost, D. D.)

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Exodus 6:1". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/exodus-6.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

"And Jehovah said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for by a strong hand shall he let them go, and by a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land."

God's reassurance to Moses not only affirmed that Pharaoh would indeed let the people go, but that Pharaoh himself would thrust them out of the land.

"By a strong hand ..." "The strong hand here is that of Jehovah, not of Pharaoh."[7]

"Now shalt thou see ..." The situation was now dramatically altered toward the ultimate achievement of God's purpose. Israel had been unified by the shameful and pitiless manner in which Pharaoh had beaten the Hebrew petty officers. The willingness of Israel to leave the comfortable conditions of a slavery where they were having plenty to eat and had learned to enjoy the leeks and garlic had been accomplished. Their increased hardships had intensified their hatred of their servile condition and had made them willing to endure genuine hardship in order to escape from it. Also, that first confrontation had been designed merely to bring out the true attitude of Pharaoh and to show his real hatred of God's purpose. That hatred being made clear enough, "The necessity for the great judgments of God against Egypt was demonstrated, and is here distinctly expressed in the words, `Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh.'"[8]

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Exodus 6:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/exodus-6.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Then the Lord said unto Moses,.... In answer to the questions put to him, and the expostulations made with him:

now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: in inflicting punishments on him: for with a strong hand shall he let them go; being forced to it by the mighty hand of God upon him; and it is by some rendered, "because of a strong hand"F19ביד חזקה "propter manum validam"; so some in Drusius. ; so Jarchi; for this is not to be understood of the hand of Pharaoh, but of the hand of God:

and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land: not only be willing that they should go, but be urgent upon them to be gone, Exodus 12:33.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Exodus 6:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/exodus-6.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Exodus 6:1-13. Renewal of the Promise.

the Lord said unto Moses — The Lord, who is long-suffering and indulgent to the errors and infirmities of His people, made allowance for the mortification of Moses as the result of this first interview and cheered him with the assurance of a speedy and successful termination to his embassy.

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Exodus 6:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/exodus-6.html. 1871-8.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

CONTENTS

This becomes an interesting Chapter, in that a gracious God, in answer to the complaints of Moses and the people, takes occasion therefrom to assure them of the reality of his delivering them from the oppressions of Egypt, by proclaiming his glorious incommunicable name of Jehovah, the promise-making, and promise-performing God. Moses is again commanded to repair to the court of Pharaoh: and by the way to assure the people that the Lord their God had heard their cries, and that he would deliver them. Moses expresseth his reluctance and desires to be excused going again before Pharaoh; but the Lord's commands are absolute. The Holy Ghost hath thought proper in this place to introduce the ancestry of Moses and Aaron in the tribe of Levi, together with that of the tribes of Simeon and Reuben.

Exodus 6:1

In answer to the complaints of Moses, and the cries of the children of Israel, the Lord gives assurance that such shall be the event, that Pharaoh shall at length not only let the people go but earnestly desire their departure. See Exodus 12:31-33.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Exodus 6:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/exodus-6.html. 1828.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.

With a strong hand — That is, being forced to it by a strong hand, he shall let them go.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Exodus 6:1". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/exodus-6.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Exodus 6:1 Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.

Ver. 1. Then the Lord said unto Moses.] Pardoning the faults of his prayer, God grants him a gracious answer. So he dealt with David, "For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heartiest the voice of nay supplication when I cried unto thee." [Psalms 31:22]

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Exodus 6:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/exodus-6.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Exodus 6:1. Then the Lord said unto Moses The improper division of this, and of many other subsequent chapters, is evident to readers of the least attention. Some have supposed, that the language of Moses, at the close of the former chapter, was querulous and unbecoming: but the answer which God here condescends to make him, sufficiently shews, that it was not indecent or blameable; but only an humble and fervent expostulation with him, for the ill success of his first message.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Exodus 6:1". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/exodus-6.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

EXODUS CHAPTER 6

God encourageth Moses,

Exodus 6:1; reneweth his covenant, confirms it by his name Jehovah, Exodus 6:3-8. Their unbelief, Exodus 6:9. God commands Moses to speak to Pharaoh to let Israel go, Exodus 6:10-13. The genealogy of Reuben, Exodus 6:14; of Simeon, Exodus 6:15; of Levi, Exodus 6:16; of Aaron, Exodus 6:23. Moses and Aaron spake to Pharaoh to let the children of Israel go, Exodus 6:27

With a strong hand; being compelled to do so by my powerful and terrible works.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Exodus 6:1". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/exodus-6.html. 1685.

F.B. Meyer's 'Through the Bible' Commentary

MOSES APPEALS FROM PHARAOH TO GOD

Exodus 5:15-23; Exodus 6:1

God’s way is to bring men to an end of themselves before He arises to their help. Our efforts to deliver ourselves only end in increasing our perplexities. The tale of bricks is doubled; the burdens augment; the strength of our purpose is broken; we are brought to the edge of despair. Probably this was the darkest hour in the life of the great leader. But from all the obloquy that was heaped on him, he took refuge in God. There is no other refuge for a limited man than “to return unto the Lord,” Exodus 5:22. Return unto the Lord with your story of failure! Return unto Him for fresh instructions! Return unto Him with your appeal for his interposition! Be perfectly natural with your Heavenly Father! Humble yourself under His mighty hand! Even dare to reason with Him, saying: “Why!” Then the Lord will say to you, as to Moses: “Now thou shalt see what I will do.”

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Meyer, Frederick Brotherton. "Commentary on Exodus 6:1". "F. B. Meyer's 'Through the Bible' Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fbm/exodus-6.html. 1914.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

THE TEN JUDGMENT STROKES,Exodus 6:1 to Exodus 12:30.

1.Now — In this crisis of Israel’s fortunes, when all peaceful means have failed; a word of emphasis and transition. Of course, these interviews are only sketched; all that was said to Pharaoh is not detailed. These negotiations may have been some time in progress.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Exodus 6:1". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/exodus-6.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Exodus 6:1. Now shalt thou see what I will do — Here we have a striking proof of God’s long-suffering. Instead of severely reproving Moses for his impatience, as manifested at the close of the preceding chapter, and his injurious complaints, he condescends to give him fresh assurances of his power and his determination to deliver the Israelites. With a strong hand — That is, being forced to it with a strong hand, or by those terrible judgments which I shall inflict upon him by my power, he shall let them go.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Exodus 6:1". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/exodus-6.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Said, in answer to his prayer. --- Cast out, so eager he will be to have you dismissed, after he has repeatedly felt my hand, chap. iii. 19. (Haydock)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Exodus 6:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/exodus-6.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

the LORD (Hebrew. Jehovah) said. See note on Exodus 3:7, and compare note on Exodus 6:10, and see App-4.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Exodus 6:1". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/exodus-6.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.

Lord said unto Moses. The Lord, who is long-suffering and indulgent to the errors and, infirmities of His people, made allowance for the mortification of Moses as the result of this first interview, and cheered him with the assurance of a speedy and successful termination to his embassy.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Exodus 6:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/exodus-6.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

VI.

GOD’S RENEWAL AND ENLARGEMENT OF HIS PROMISES.

(1) Now shalt thou see.—Moses’ complaint was that God delayed, and “was slack as concerning His promise.” Hitherto He had not “delivered His people at all.” The answer,”Now shalt thou see,” is an assurance that there will be no more delay; the work is just about to begin, and Moses will behold it. He will then cease to doubt.

With a strong hand shall he let them go.—Rather, through a strong hand: i.e., through the compulsion which my strong hand will exert on him,

Drive them.—Comp. Exodus 12:31-33.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Exodus 6:1". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/exodus-6.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.
Now shalt
14:13; Numbers 23:23; Deuteronomy 32:39; 2 Kings 7:2,19; 2 Chronicles 20:17; Psalms 12:5
with a strong
3:19,20; Deuteronomy 4:34; Psalms 89:13; 136:12; Isaiah 63:12; Ezekiel 20:33,34
drive them
11:1; 12:31,33,39
Reciprocal: Exodus 13:3 - strength;  Exodus 13:9 - strong hand;  Exodus 14:8 - with an high hand;  Nehemiah 1:10 - thy strong;  Jeremiah 32:21 - with a strong;  Jeremiah 46:15 - the Lord;  Daniel 9:15 - that hast;  Acts 13:17 - and with

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Exodus 6:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/exodus-6.html.

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Exodus 5:1 to Exodus 6:1 (Exodus 5:1 f. and Exodus 5:4 E, the rest J). Pharaoh's first refusal to let Israel go, and his increase of their burdens.—The bulk of the story is taken from J, but part of the opening shows that E told it too. One spoke of "the God of Israel," the other of "the God of the Hebrews": both related the demand for leave of absence in order to worship. Observe in J the primitive dread of an approach of the Divine Being unless an acceptable offering be at hand (Exodus 5:3, cf. Numbers 23:3, "met him," as here; and Judges 13:15 f.).

Exodus 5:1-5. In Exodus 5:1, "hold a feast" (Heb. hag) is, more exactly, "make a pilgrimage" to a sanctuary, as pious Mohammedans make the haj to Mecca (cf. Exodus 23:14 ff. and p. 103). The Pharaoh, who by the custom of the time was often approached by suitors with private grievances, professes blank ignorance of Yahweh, and treats the request as a mere pretext for a holiday.

Exodus 5:6-19. Increase of Burdens.—The brickmaking was organised by Egyptian "taskmasters" working under Pharaoh, very much as a "clerk of the works" superintends a building in progress to watch the interests of the owner and to see the instructions of the architect fulfilled. These in turn chose Hebrew "officers" or foremen who were responsible for the work of their gangs. At Pithom (Exodus 1:11) some of the bricks that have been dug up contained chopped straw and some did not. But elsewhere such use of straw is unusual. Perhaps it was needed, Petrie suggests, to separate the soft bricks. In any case the refusal to provide a necessary imposed more work. Driver (CB, p. 39) reproduces illustrations from the monuments of the processes of brickmaking and building by Asiatic captives under supervision, and quotes an inscription (p. 31), "The taskmaster says to his labourers, ‘The stick is in my hand, be not idle.'" The Nile mud had to be dug, carried in baskets, kneaded with water, moulded, dried, carried to the site, and built into the walls. Numbers 11:5 warns us that, for slaves, "the Hebrews were on the whole well treated" (M‘Neile).

Exodus 5:8. tale: i.e. set amount. To "tell" used to mean to "count" (Genesis 15:5*).

Exodus 5:9. Read (with LXX, Sam., Pesh.) "that they may attend to it (their work), and not attend to lying words."

Exodus 5:14. task: in this verse should be "prescribed portion."

Exodus 5:16. Read (with LXX, Pesh.) "and thou shalt sin against thy people." The Heb. is corrupt, and the EV is false to the facts.

Exodus 5:20 to Exodus 6:1. Moses, reproached for the failure of the appeal to Pharaoh, casts himself on God, and wins promise of effectual aid. Dawn follows the darkest hour.

Exodus 5:21. "Ye have brought us into ill odour with Pharaoh" would be a more modern rendering.

Exodus 5:22. evil entreated: i.e. ill-treated.

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Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Exodus 6:1". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/exodus-6.html. 1919.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

1.Then the Lord said unto Moses. Moses was indeed unworthy of receiving so kind and gentle a reply from God; but the Father of all goodness of His infinite mercy pardoned both the sins of Moses and of the people, that He might effect the deliverance which he had determined. Yet He adduces nothing new, but repeats and confirms His former declaration, that Pharaoh would not obey until forcibly compelled to do so. The expression, “thou shalt see,” is a tacit reproof of his immoderate impatience, in not waiting for the result of the promise. The reason is then added why God is unwilling that His people should be spontaneously dismissed by the tyrant, viz., because He wished the work of their liberation to be conspicuous. We must remark the strength of the words “drive them out;” as if He had said, that when Pharaoh had been subdued, and routed in the contest, he would not only consent, but would consider it a great blessing, for the people to depart as quickly as possible. The sum is, that he, who today refuses to let you depart, will not only set you free, but will even expel you from his kingdom.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Exodus 6:1". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/exodus-6.html. 1840-57.