Tired of seeing ads while studying? Now you can enjoy an "Ads Free" version of the site for as little as 10¢ a day.

Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Exodus 6:5

Furthermore I have heard the groaning of the sons of Israel, because the Egyptians are holding them in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Nave's Topical Bible - Covenant;   God;   Moses;   Prayer;  
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Numbers, book of;   Yahweh;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Flood, the;   God;   God, Names of;   Hear, Hearing;   Kinsman-Redeemer;   Praise;   Proverbs, Theology of;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Covenant;   Exodus;   Exodus, Book of;   Jamin;   Promise;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Moses;  
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Exodus, the Book of;   God;   God, Names of;   Groan;   Law in the Old Testament;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Arm;  

Bridgeway Bible Commentary


Moses’ first meeting with Pharaoh (5:1-6:27)

In the eyes of the Israelites, Moses’ first meeting with Pharaoh was a disaster. Pharaoh had no fear of Yahweh and no concern for Yahweh’s people. In fact, when Moses asked to take his people into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to Yahweh, Pharaoh responded by accusing the Israelites of laziness and making their work harder (5:1-14). This not only increased the suffering of the Israelites but also caused them to turn against Moses. Their great deliverer had done nothing but add to their troubles (15-21)!
Moses was bitterly disappointed at what was happening. It seemed to him that God had failed to keep his promise. In desperation he turned to God and was reassured (22-6:1).

God told Moses that the full significance of his character as Yahweh, the Saviour and Redeemer of his covenant people, would now be revealed to these oppressed slaves in a way that the great men of former times had never seen. Those men, Israel’s ancestors, knew that God was the Almighty, the one who created and controls all things and who is fully able to fulfil all his promises; but they had never experienced his character as the covenant Redeemer, the one who would save them from slavery according to the promise given to Abraham (Genesis 15:13-14).

In the days of the ancestors, the nation Israel did not exist; it was but a promise of something future. As a result the significance of Yahweh as Saviour-Redeemer had gradually been forgotten. But now the full significance of that name would be dramatically revealed. The Israelites would learn not just the name of their God, but the character indicated by that name. Yahweh was a God of redemption (2-8).
When Moses tried to explain all this to the disheartened Israelites, they were not interested enough to listen. This in turn caused Moses to become disheartened, but God strengthened and encouraged him (9-13).
A selective genealogy shows how God had been working through Israel’s history to produce Moses and Aaron at this time. They were prepared and appointed by him to carry out his work of delivering Israel from Egypt. The two men belonged to the tribe of Levi (14-27).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Exodus 6:5". "Brideway Bible Commentary". 2005.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

"And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their sojournings, wherein they sojourned. And moreover I have heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant. Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am Jehovah, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm, and with great judgments."

"My covenant with them ..." This is exactly the covenant that Jehovah (in that name and identity) made with Abraham. Note the emphatic words:

I have established (Exodus 6:4).

I have heard (Exodus 6:5).

I have remembered (Exodus 6:5).

I AM JEHOVAH (Exodus 6:6).

I will bring (Exodus 6:6).

I will rid (Exodus 6:6).

I will redeem! (Exodus 6:6).

"And with great judgments ..." These had previously been hinted at (Exodus 3:20; 4:22), but had not previously been called judgments? The meaning of this is that the mighty plagues visited upon Egypt were not merely "wonders." They were judgments also, sent upon the nation by God Himself for the punishment of their sinful rebellion against His will. "They were punishments inflicted upon a proud and cruel nation by a Judge!"[29]

The glimpse of Calvary that appears here was mentioned by Unger:

Exodus as a book of redemption presents a type of all redemption. It is wholly from God (Exodus 3:7,8). It is through a Person (Exodus 2:2). It is by blood (Exodus 12:13,23,27). It is by power (Exodus 6:6).[30]

Copyright Statement
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 6:5". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

5. And I have also heard the groaning. He assigns the reason why He so long had delayed to fulfill His promise, viz., because He would have His people sorely troubled, that He might more openly succor them in their affliction; besides, He chose that they should be unjustly oppressed by the Egyptians, in order that He might more justly rescue them from their tyrannical masters, as He had said to Abraham that He would avenge them after they had been afflicted. (Genesis 15:13.) He therefore reminds them by this circumstance, that the due time for helping them had come; because, if they had been always treated humanely, and the laws of hospitality had been observed towards them, there would have been no cause for shaking off the yoke; but now, after that the Egyptians, regardless of all justice, had broken faith with them, it was just that the groaning and cries of His cruelly afflicted people should be heard by God. But He always expressly asserts that this depended on the covenant, both that the Jews might acknowledge him to be only bound to them by regard to His own free promise, and also that, being persuaded that He is true to His promises, they might more surely expect deliverance. The meaning of God’s “remembering” His promise I have elsewhere said to be, that he shews His remembrance of it by what He does. (73) What follows in the next verse, “Say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord,” is intended to remove their doubts. It was a thing as impossible to human apprehension, to tear away this weak and unwarlike people from their cruel tyrants, as to rescue sheep from the jaws of wolves, and to preserve them in safety after they had been mangled and wounded by their teeth. Therefore God begins by declaring his incomparable power, to shew that there is no difficulty with Him in performing anything whatever, although incredible. Therefore, he adds, that he would “redeem them with a stretched-out arm, and with great judgments,” as much as to say, I will give miraculous proofs of my mighty power, which shall surpass all human apprehension. By “ judgments, ” (74) He means the manner of His dealing, which would at the same time testify His justice. For with the Hebrews this word means any disposition, method, order, or custom, and sometimes also measure. We say in French, facons notables ou estranges, (notable or strange fashions.)

(73) Vide Note on chap. 2. 24, “demonstrationem effectus.” — Lat.

(74) שפטים, judicial inflictions What C. has said of the latitude of the meanings assignable to this word, is rather true of the kindred noun, סשפט. — W

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Exodus 6:5". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". 1840-57.

Chuck Smith Bible Commentary

Chapter five of the book of Exodus, we left Moses in great despair. He did what he thought God was calling him to do. He went to the Pharaoh and demanded the release of the children of Israel. But the Pharaoh, rather than releasing them, only increased the burdens and the severity of their slavery.

Until the children of Israel started really getting on Moses' case saying, "Why didn't you leave us alone? We were much better off before you ever came. Now since you've come, things are really hard on us. We wish you would've left us alone." So Moses in turn went to God and said, "God what were You asking me to do? Why did You ask me to do it Lord? Because You haven't delivered them, and things are just worse."

It is interesting how that many times when we launch out into what we feel is the will of God for our lives, that things don't work out exactly like we thought they were gonna work out. Sometimes things turn into total chaos, and we're prone to challenge again our calling. "God did You really call me to do this? And if You called me to do it, how come it's turned into such a mess?"

Now Moses didn't want to go in the first place. He had said, "Oh Lord, please call somebody else." The Lord became angry with Moses. Moses did what the Lord said, and just things seemed to be going just the opposite of what he had anticipated and expected.

I do believe that any time we enter into any kind of ministry for the Lord that Satan is going to challenge our commitment of faith. That Satan is going to do his best to discourage us right at the beginning of any ministry. He's going to make you question the call of God upon your life. He's gonna challenge the work of God within your life, especially if that ministry has to do with some of the gifts of the Spirit. How Satan loves to challenge any exercise of the gifts of the Spirit. For instance, the gift of prophecy. "He that prophesieth", Paul said, "let him prophesy according to his portion of faith"( Romans 12:6 ).

Many times when you by faith step out, and speak what you feel to be the Word of God, people will challenge it, and it'll cause you to question, "Was that really God that was speaking to me?" Moses came to this place of challenge. The people challenged him, and challenged his ministry, and he in turn challenged God. "Why did You send me? Things aren't any better, they're only getting worse."

So beginning with chapter six, we have God's response to His distraught prophet.

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 ( Exodus 6:1 ).

"Moses you haven't seen anything yet. Now you're going to see what I'm gonna do to Pharaoh because with a strong hand", he's not gonna just let them go, he's gonna drive them out. By the time they go, he's gonna be glad to see them gone.

And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD ( Exodus 6:2 ):

Now that is, it might look upon the service that just sort of, "Well, of course." But how many times we forget that. How many times we think we're in the driver's seat. How many times we think we ought to be controlling the situation. I'm sure that these people are falling after this "command God" bit, and are going around ordering God like He's some kind of a little puppet or robot.

That God is saying to them, "Hey, wait a minute. I am the Lord. Who's in control? Who's guiding these things? Who's governing over these things? Moses, I am the Lord." Many times we try to take that position away from Him, but He needs to remind us who He is. And we need to be reminded of who He is because there is a danger of forgetting who He is, as we are so prone to exalt ourselves or to exalt man, and forget that He is the Lord.

When we forget that He is the Lord, then we fall into that category that Paul was referring to in Romans chapter one. "Who when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God" ( Romans 1:21 ). They began to take things in their own hands. They began to live as though God was their servant, rather than they were God's servants. We need to be reminded that He is the Lord, and not only that He is the Lord, but of the greatness of His power and His wisdom and of His glory.

So many times we look at our problems and they seem so big, overwhelming. I look at that mountain in front of me and I think, "Oh, nothing can move that mountain." I get discouraged because that mountain looks so big, and I come to God with sort of timidity. You even hate to ask Him because you know it's such a huge mountain. You know it's impossible for you to move it, and you just wonder if God can really do it.

The disciples, when they came to the Lord with, they had a heavy problem, they said, "O Lord. Thou art God, Thou hast created the heavens and the earth, and every thing that is in them"( Acts 4:24 ). That's a good thing to remind yourself of before you pray. The heavens out there are the work of His fingers. He's created it all. So that mountain that is in front of you, though it may look like Everest to you, it is nothing in the eyes of God. "It is nothing for Thee to help Lord, many are with those that have no power."

Next time you think that that mountain that you have in front of you is maybe too big for God to move, get up at about four o'clock, three-thirty, and look out into the western sky and look at the constellation Orion. Take a careful look at the left shoulder of Orion, that's Betelgeuse. Betelgeuse is four hundred and fifteen million miles in diameter. If you would hollow out the center of Betelgeuse, leaving out the crust a hundred million miles thick, you could put the sun in the middle of Betelgeuse and let the earth rotate around it, and have a hundred million miles to spare.

Betelgeuse is a pretty big mountain. It happens to be traveling at about nineteen miles a second. Have you ever wondered what kind of a force or thrust it took to get Betelgeuse into orbit; something that huge moving that fast? You ever wondered what thrust, what force? I can tell you, "When I consider the heavens", David said, "the work of Thy fingers"( Psalms 102:25 ). Hey, all of my problems seem really small. That mountain doesn't look nearly so big.

God said to Moses, you know he had his feathers ruffled and he was all uptight, and God said, "Hey, wait a minute. I'm the Lord." So many times we get all upset, our feathers ruffled. He said, "Hey, wait a minute. I'm the Lord; I'm in control. I've got it." You know, and we need to remember that. What a comfort to know that He is the Lord and He is in control.

And I appeared unto Abraham, and unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, [El Shadai] but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them ( Exodus 6:3 ).

Now that is in the sense that the word means "the becoming one", actually Abraham used the term Jehovah-Jireh when his son said, "Dad where is the sacrifice?" Abraham said, "Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord will provide"( Genesis 22:8 ). But yet the Lord is saying, "By My name Jehovah was I not known." In other words, they knew Him in a less personal way than Moses was to know God. They knew Him as the Almighty God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth.

Some of you may know Him as the Almighty God, the Creator of the heaven and the earth. Whenever I hear a person beginning his prayer, "O thou mighty God, creator of the universe," I think, "Well, they really don't have a very close relationship with Him. When I hear someone come in and say, "Hey, Dad, I'm really in trouble." I feel, "My, they've got a real neat working relationship with the Father".

I was with some Italians once in a prayer meeting, and they started saying, "Oh Papa." I was shocked for a moment, and I thought, "My that's sacrilegious." Then I found out that "papa" was "father" in Italian. I thought, "Oh, that's beautiful." I like that. "Papa, your child's in trouble. I need help." It's glorious to have a close, intimate relationship with God, to know Him by that name Jehovah where He becomes to me all that I need.

Now they had not really appropriated that fullness of God that He wants to be to His people. They were sort of-God was sort of a far off, great, powerful almighty force, creative; yet, He was known in a personal sense, but yet, always in that vast distance that exists between the infinite and the finite. Now God is coming closer to man. And He said, "They've not known me by my name Jehovah, you're gonna know me in a closer, more intimate way." Even as God wants to relate to you in a closer, more intimate way, and for that purpose He sent His only begotten Son. Why? That you might relate to God in the closest kind of intimate relationship as a Father with His child; that you might boldly come into His presence, that you might receive mercy in your time of need.

It's funny sometimes when people come into the office to see me. They're so nervous that they forget really what they want to say. I feel sort of funny, because I'm nobody, and I know I'm nobody. And yet because of what God has done through my life, people respect that work that God has done through me, though it doesn't make me anything. It just glorifies God that He's able to take something like me and make something through me, of His grace and love. It just shows how great God is. But yet people sometimes have that sort of, "Oh Chuck", like, something, though it really isn't. You don't need to be that way, don't need to feel that way at all. I'll tell you my grandkids aren't that way. Man, they come storming into the office. They don't care what kind of a counseling session I'm in or anything else, you know. They interrupt whatever's going on. "Grandpa, I need an ice-cream cone." I'll tell you, they get first priority because of relationship.

God wants you to have a neat, beautiful relationship with Him. He wants you to feel a perfect freedom of just coming in anytime even with the most trivial things. He wants to have that kind of relationship. And thus God is expressing, "Look they knew Me as God Almighty, I revealed Myself to them. They knew Me as God Almighty, but they didn't really know that relationship of intimacy that I want you and the people to experience as I take, and begin to watch over you, and I begin to care for you, and I begin to put the food on your table."

And I have also established my covenant with them, [That is with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.] to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers. And I've also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant ( Exodus 6:4-5 ).

Now first of all God establishing Himself to Moses, "I've made My covenant with them. I know, I heard, and I have remembered My covenant."

Sometimes because of time delays, we feel that God has forgotten His promises. In the last days the Bible says, "Scoffers will come saying, Where is the promise of the coming of Jesus Christ?"( 2 Peter 3:4 ). Because of the time delay men will scoff. "God is not slack concerning His promises as some men count slackness, but is faithful"( 2 Peter 3:9 ).

"Wherefore [God said] say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you [First of all "I am", and then, "I will bring you] out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it to you for a heritage: for I am the Lord ( Exodus 6:6-8 ).

So He started out by saying, "I am", and then He threw in all these "I wills", and He comes back to, "I am".

Now a promise is usually just as good as the person making it. There are some people who have made many promises but I don't put much stock into it. When I was just a little guy there was a knock at the front door. My parents went, and this guy introduced himself as our cousin Pringle, some relative of my dad's. They came in. "Oh this is your family, Charles. Oh wonderful, wonderful." He kissed all of us kids. He looked at me very sternly and he said, "Now, son don't smoke. If you don't smoke until you're twenty-one, I'll give you a gold watch." I thought that was sort of a funny thing for him to say because he was smoking. I didn't smoke until I was twenty-one; in fact I've never smoked yet. But I've never seen him again. So I've got a gold watch promised to me that I've never seen, because I've never seen that cousin Pringle again. So there are some promises that you just can't put much stock in.

But I'll tell you when God begins to promise, and He begins it by saying, "Hey, look I am the Lord, and I will, and I will", and there are seven "I wills" there of God; what God will do for His people. And because the history of the children of Israel is typical history, and it typifies the child of God coming out of bondage through the Red Sea, baptism, into a new relationship of faith with God in the wilderness and on in through the death of the old life, and the old self into the land of promise, a life of richness and fullness; we can take these "I wills" of God to Israel and we can apply them to our own lives as God is promising.

I will deliver you from the heavy burdens, I will rid you from the bondage, [from the flesh, and of that old life] and I will redeem you. And take you for a people, and I will be to you a God: and I will bring you into the fullness of that which I have promised. So Moses spoke to the children of Israel: [these words of the Lord] but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for the cruel bondage ( Exodus 6:6-9 ).

They, at this point, were so discouraged because of these things the Egyptians were laying upon them. Even when Moses came with these glorious promises and declarations of God, the people just couldn't believe it.

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Go in, and speak unto Pharaoh the king of Egypt, that he let the children of Israel go out of his land. And Moses spake before the Lord, saying, Behold, the children of Israel haven't listened to me; how then will Pharaoh hear, who am of uncircumcised lips ( Exodus 6:10-12 )?

Moses said, "Hey, God now look. You told me to tell the children of Israel, they didn't listen to me, now You're telling me to tell Pharaoh. If they didn't listen to me, what do you think the Pharaoh's gonna do? He's not gonna listen to me." So Moses is still dragging his heels at the call of God, at the commission of God upon his life.

And the Lord spake to Moses and unto Aaron, and he gave them a charge unto the children of Israel, and unto Pharaoh the king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt ( Exodus 6:13 ).

Now at this point there is inserted a little genealogy of the first three sons of Jacob. With Reuben and Simeon his first two sons, it lists just the names of the sons of Reuben and Simeon as they are in Genesis. When it lists then the names of the sons of Levi, it goes on then to name the grandsons and the great grandsons in order that we might have a genealogy that will bring us down to Moses and Aaron.

So Amram [Verse twenty] took him Jochebed his father's sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses: and these are the years of the life of Amram he was a hundred and thirty seven years old ( Exodus 6:20 ).

Now verse twenty-seven. "These are they", well verse twenty-six,

Now these are that Aaron and Moses, to whom the Lord said, Bring out the children of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their armies. These are they which spake to Pharaoh the king of Egypt, to bring out the children of Israel from Egypt: these are that Moses and Aaron ( Exodus 6:26-27 ).

So you have a little genealogy to bring you to Moses and Aaron just sort of inserted here into chapter six, so you'll know where they came from.

And it came to pass on the day when the Lord spake unto Moses in the land of Egypt, That the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, I am the Lord: speak thou unto Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say unto thee. And Moses said before the Lord, Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips, how shall the Pharaoh hearken unto me ( Exodus 6:28-30 )?

So that's just sort of a little throwback to verses twelve and thirteen. He threw in the genealogy, and then he sort of recaps the story to bring you up to chapter seven. "

Copyright Statement
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Exodus 6:5". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". 2014.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

God explained to Moses that He would indeed deliver Israel out of Egypt in spite of the discouragement that Moses had encountered so far. God proceeded to remind Moses of His promises to the patriarchs and to reveal more of Himself by expounding one of His names.

"During the patriarchal period the characteristic name of God was ’God Almighty’ (Exodus 6:3; see, for example, Genesis 17:1), the usual translation of the Hebrew El Shaddai, which probably literally means ’God, the Mountain One.’ That phrase could refer to the mountains as God’s symbolic home (see Psalms 121:1), but it more likely stresses His invincible power and might. . . .

"But during the Mosaic period the characteristic name of God was to be ’the LORD,’ the meaning of which was first revealed to Moses himself (Exodus 3:13-15). Exodus 6:3 is not saying that the patriarchs were totally ignorant of the name Yahweh." [Note: Youngblood, p. 41.]

The occurrences of "El Shaddai" in Genesis are in Genesis 17:1; Genesis 28:3; Genesis 35:11; Genesis 43:14; Genesis 48:3; and partially in Genesis 49:3. The name occurs 30 times in Job. Shaddai may come from the Hebrew sd ("breast") or from the Ugaritic tdy ("mountain"). In the former case it would mean "God the Nourisher," and in the latter "God of the Mountain." [Note: See Kaiser, "Exodus," p. 340.]

"Thus though the name YHWH existed well before the time of Moses, the meaning of that name was not revealed until the time of Moses." [Note: Gianotti, p. 39. See Johnson, p. 56; and Robert Dick Wilson, "Yahweh (Jehovah) and Exodus 6:3," in Classical Evangelical Essays in Old Testament Interpretation, pp. 29-40.]

"Yahweh" reveals God as "the absolute Being working with unbounded freedom in the performance of His promises." [Note: Keil and Delitzsch, 1:467.] It emphasizes God’s power at work for His people, as He was about to demonstrate it.

"Whatever the situation or need (in particular, the redemption from Egypt, but also future needs), God will ’become’ the solution to that need." [Note: Gianotti, p. 46. See also the note on Exodus 6:3 in the NET Bible.]

In this revelation God promised to do three things for Israel.

1.    He would deliver the Israelites from their Egyptian bondage (Exodus 6:6). Moses communicated this in a threefold expression suggesting the completeness of the deliverance.

2.    He would adopt Israel as His nation (Exodus 6:7). This took place at Sinai (Exodus 19:5).

3.    He would bring Israel into the Promised Land (Exodus 6:8).

Note the repetition of the phrase "I will" seven times in these verses, emphasizing the fact that God would certainly do this for Israel. The whole revelation occurs within the statements "I am the LORD" (Exodus 6:2; Exodus 6:8) which formalize it and further stress the certainty of these promises.

"So this passage effectively paves the way for the transition from the simple covenant with Abraham to the complex new (Mosaic) covenant with the people as a whole." [Note: Jonathan Magonet, "The Rhetoric of God: Exodus 6:2-8," Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 27 (October 1983):66.]

"This small section of narrative also sketches out the argument of the whole Pentateuch. God made a covenant with the patriarchs to give them the land of Canaan (Exodus 6:4). He remembered his covenant when he heard the cry of the Israelites in Egyptian bondage (Exodus 6:5). He is now going to deliver Israel from their bondage and take them to himself as a people and be their God (Exodus 6:6). He will also bring them into the land which he swore to give to their fathers (Exodus 6:8). The die is cast for the remainder of the events narrated in the Pentateuch." [Note: Sailhamer, The Pentateuch . . ., p. 251.]

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Exodus 6:5". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". 2012.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel,.... For the Lord is not only the eternal and immutable Being in his purposes and promises, and a covenant keeping God; but he is compassionate and merciful, and sympathizes with his people in all their afflictions; he takes notice of their sighs and groans, as he now did those of his people in Egypt:

whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and which was the reason of their groaning; their bondage being so hard and rigorous, in which they were detained by Pharaoh, who refused to let them go, though Moses in the name of the Lord had required him to do it:

and I have remembered my covenant; concerning bringing them out of Egypt into the land of Canaan, which he would quickly do, and thereby make it appear he was mindful of his covenant, which is indeed never forgotten by him, though it may seem to be.

Copyright Statement
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 6:5". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". 1999.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

The Promise of Deliverance. B. C. 1491.

      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.   2 And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD:   3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.   4 And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers.   5 And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant.   6 Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments:   7 And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.   8 And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the LORD.   9 And Moses spake so unto the children of Israel: but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage.

      Here, I. God silences Moses's complaints with the assurance of success in this negotiation, repeating the promise made him in Exodus 3:20; Exodus 3:20, After that, he will let you go. When Moses was at his wit's end, wishing he had staid in Midian, rather than have come to Egypt to make bad worse--when he was quite at a loss what to do--Then the Lord said unto Moses, for the quieting of his mind, "Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh (Exodus 6:1; Exodus 6:1); now that the affair has come to a crisis, things are as bad as they can be, Pharaoh is in the height of pride and Israel in the depth of misery, now is my time to appear." See Psalms 12:5, Now will I arise. Note, Man's extremity is God's opportunity of helping and saving. Moses had been expecting what God would do; but now he shall see what he will do, shall see his day at length, Job 24:1. Moses had been trying what he could do, and could effect nothing. "Well," says God, "now thou shalt see what I will do; let me alone to deal with this proud man," Job 40:12; Job 40:13. Note, Then the deliverance of God's church will be accomplished, when God takes the work into his own hands. With a strong hand, that is, being forced to it by a strong hand, he shall let them go. Note, As some are brought to their duty by the strong hand of God's grace, who are made willing in the day of his power, so others by the strong hand of his justice, breaking those that would not bend.

      II. He gives him further instructions, that both he and the people of Israel might be encouraged to hope for a glorious issue of this affair. Take comfort,

      1. From God's name, Jehovah, Exodus 6:2; Exodus 6:3. He begins with this, I am Jehovah, the same with, I am that I am, the fountain of being, and blessedness, and infinite perfection. The patriarchs knew this name, but they did not know him in this matter by that which this name signifies. God would now be known by his name Jehovah, that is, (1.) A God performing what he had promised, and so inspiring confidence in his promises. (2.) A God perfecting what he had begun, and finishing his own work. In the history of the creation, God is never called Jehovah till the heavens and the earth were finished, Genesis 2:4. When the salvation of the saints is completed in eternal life, then he will be known by his name Jehovah (Revelation 22:13); in the mean time they shall find him, for their strength and support, El-shaddai, a God all-sufficient, a God that is enough and will be so, Micah 7:20.

      2. From his covenant: I have established my covenant,Exodus 6:4; Exodus 6:4. Note, The covenants God makes he establishes; they are made as firm as the power and truth of God can make them. We may venture our all upon this bottom.

      3. From his compassions (Exodus 6:5; Exodus 6:5): I have heard the groaning of the children of Israel; he means their groaning on occasion of the late hardships put upon them. Note, God take notice of the increase of his people's calamities, and observes how their enemies grow upon them.

      4. From his present resolutions, Exodus 6:6-8; Exodus 6:6-8. Here is line upon line, to assure them that they should be brought triumphantly out of Egypt (Exodus 6:6; Exodus 6:6), and should be put in possession of the land of Canaan (Exodus 6:8; Exodus 6:8): I will bring you out. I will rid you. I will redeem you. I will bring you into the land of Canaan, and I will give it to you. Let man take the shame of his unbelief, which needs such repetitions; and let God have the glory of his condescending grace, which gives us such repeated assurances for our satisfaction.

      5. From his gracious intentions in all these, which were great, and worthy of him, Exodus 6:7; Exodus 6:7. (1.) He intended their happiness: I will take you to me for a people, a peculiar people, and I will be to you a God; more than this we need not ask, we cannot have, to make us happy. (2.) He intended his own glory: You shall know that I am the Lord. God will attain his own ends, nor shall we come short of them if we make them our chief end too. Now, one would think, these good words, and comfortable words, should have revived the drooping Israelites, and cause them to forget their misery; but, on the contrary, their miseries made them regardless of God's promises (Exodus 6:9; Exodus 6:9): They harkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit. That is, [1.] They were so taken up with their troubles that they did not heed him. [2.] They were so cast down with their late disappointment that they did not believe him. [3.] They had such a dread of Pharaoh's power and wrath that they durst not themselves move in the least towards their deliverance. Note, First, Disconsolate spirits often put from them the comforts they are entitled to, and stand in their own light. See Isaiah 28:12. Secondly, Strong passions oppose strong consolations. By indulging ourselves in discontent and fretfulness, we deprive ourselves of the comfort we might have both from God's word and from his providence, and must thank ourselves if we go comfortless.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Exodus 6:5". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". 1706.