For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4



 A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 2005 James Melough

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.”


Other translations eliminate the ambiguity of the KJ version relative to the “strong hand,” which is God’s, not Pharaoh’s, e.g., The New American Bible, “Forced by my mighty hand, he will send them away”; The Bible: An American Translation, “compelled by a mighty power he will ... let them go.”


The darkest hour precedes the dawn.  Just when it seemed that the Hebrews’ case was hopeless, the omnipotent Jehovah was about to deal with Pharaoh, so that he would not just permit the people to go: he would be anxious to have them leave, see Ephesians 3:20, God “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think....”


6:2.  “And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD:”


That declaration alone should have banished Moses’ fears, for it is synonymous with omnipotence.  Nothing can resist the power of God, see e.g., Romans 8:31, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” and again, Matthew 19:26, “... with God all things are possible.”


6:3.  “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.”


Jehovah, meaning the self-Existent or Eternal, was a name by which He had not revealed Himself to the Patriarchs, but the deliverance of their descendants, now become a nation, required the assuring disclosure that He Who promised was able also to fulfill His word.


6:4.  “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.”


This covenant is recorded in Genesis 15:18, “In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.”


Abram’s being given the land in which he and his descendants had had to dwell as pilgrims and strangers, foreshadows what will yet be our experience, for this world in which we also sojourn as pilgrims and strangers, see 1 Peter 2:11, “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul,” is the world over which we will yet reign with Christ, see 2 Timothy 2:12, “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him,” and Revelation 5:10, “... we shall reign on the earth.”


“... the river of Egypt,” incidentally, is not the Nile, but the small stream that marks the boundary between Canaan and Egypt.  In a day now imminent Israel will occupy and rule over all that vast expanse of land lying between the River of Egypt and the Euphrates.


6:5.  “And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant.”


In the midst of their suffering at the hand of the Egyptians, the Israelites may have felt that God neither knew nor cared, but He did, and He was about to deliver them.  There is much in the world today to discourage believers, and to prompt the thought that God is indifferent; but as He took note of the plight of His ancient people Israel languishing under Egyptian tyranny, so is He aware of every adverse circumstance in our lives, and He would have us remember that He either orders or permits them for the strengthening of our faith, and for our eternal blessing, His assurance being that, “all things work together for good to those who love God,” Romans 8:28.


The covenant was the one He had made with Abraham as recorded in Genesis 12:1-3.


6:6.  “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:”


That Egypt in which the Israelites toiled and suffered under the tyrannous rule of Pharaoh, is a type of the world in which believers toil and suffer today, a world, which by God’s permission, is ruled by Satan, of whom the Egyptian Pharaoh is but a type.  And as the oppressed Hebrews were delivered from that bondage so will we, most being emancipated by way of physical death, but the last generation - and we could well be that generation - experiencing deliverance by rapture to heaven just before the beginning of the seven year Tribulation era. 


Many competent Bible scholars point out that the judgments which devastated Egypt, and compelled Pharaoh to liberate the Hebrews, are but types of the Tribulation judgments that will ravage this present world, leaving it a virtual ruin, just prior to Christ’s return to inaugurate His glorious millennial kingdom.


6:7.  “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.”


This was fulfilled exactly as God had declared, and only spiritually blind eyes will fail to see in it the foreshadowing of what will follow the Great Tribulation: the inauguration of Christ’s millennial kingdom, in which Israel will be promoted to supremacy over all the nations of the world.  We however, will be occupying an even higher and more glorious position: we will be reigning with Christ over the whole millennial earth.


6:8.  “And I will bring you into 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.”


This has been only partially fulfilled in the past due to the disobedience of the generations that followed the conquest of Canaan under Joshua.  Complete fulfillment awaits the Millennium.


6:9.  “And Moses spake so unto the children of Israel: but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondge.”


Such was their misery under the even more intolerable conditions imposed by their taskmasters following Moses’ interview with Pharaoh, that they refused to listen to him any longer.  Honest introspection must surely impel the confession of a similar rebellious spirit when we too, chaffing under divine chastening, have refused to listen to God’s word.


6:10.  “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,”


6:11.  “Go in, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, that he let the children of Israel go out of his land.”


6:12.  “And Moses spake before the Lord, saying, Behold, the children of Israel have not hearkened unto me; how then shall Pharaoh hear me, who am of uncircumcised lips?”


The Lord’s repeated command that Moses speak again to Pharaoh concerning the release of the Hebrews evoked the further protest that since Israel had refused to listen to him, what likelihood was there that Pharaoh would heed his renewed request?  The fact that the sequel reveals the soundness of his reasoning prompts the obvious question that since God foreknew Pharaoh’s negative response, why did He insist on having Moses make the second request?


The answer is that it was in complete accord with God’s nature.  He “is longsuffering ... not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance,” 2 Peter 3:9.  God gave Pharaoh every opportunity to repent and save himself, but the wicked king’s self-hardened heart was impervious to every divine appeal, so that he plunged on to his own eternal ruin.


“... uncircumcised lips” was Moses’ description of his own ineloquence.


6:13.  “And the Lord spoke unto Moses and unto Aaron, and gave them a charge unto the children of Israel, and unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.”


This reiteration of God’s command to Moses and Aaron, and through them to Israel and to Pharaoh, declares the immutability of the dictum.  God would permit nothing to frustrate His purpose to liberate and bless Israel; nor is there any power that will prevent his bringing us safely to heaven and the enjoyment of eternal blessing.


6:14.  These be the heads of their fathers’ houses: The sons of Reuben, the firstborn of Israel; Hanoch, and Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi: these be the families of Reuben.”


6:15.  “And the sons of Simeon; Jemuel, and Jamin, and Ohad, and Jachin, and Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman: these are the families of Simeon.”


6:16.  “And these are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations; Gerhson, and Kohath, and Merari: and the years of the life of Levi were an hundred and thirty seven years.”


6:17.  “The sons of Gershon; Libni, and Shimi, according to their families.”


6:18.  “And the sons of Kohath; Amram, and Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel: and the years of the life of Kohath were an hundred thirty and three years.”


6:19.  “And the sons of Merari; Mahali and Mushi: these are the families of Levi according to their generations.”


6:20.  “And Amram took him Jochebed his father’s sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses: and the years of the life of Amram wee an hundred and thirty and seven years.”


6:21.  “And the sons of Izhar; Korah, and Nepheg, and Zichri.”


6:22.  “And the sons of Uzziel; Mishael, and Elzaphan, and Zithri.”


6:23.  “And Aaron took him Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab, sister of Nahshon, to wife; and she bare him Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.”


6:24.  “And the sons of Korah; Assir, and Elkanah, and Abiasaph: these are the families of the Korhites.”


6:25.  “And Eleazar Aaron’ss son took him one of the daughters of Putiel to wife; and she bare him Phinehas: these are the heads of the fathers of the Levites according to their families.”


6:26.  “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.”


Relative to the significance of these names see the comments on 1:1-4.


6:27.  “These are they which spake to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring out the children of Israel from Egypt: these are that Moses and Aaron.”


6:28.  “And it came to pass on that day when the Lord spake unto Moses in the land of Egypt,”


6:29.  “That the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, I am the Lord: speak thou unto Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say unto thee.”


“I am the Lord” was the all-sufficient Authority on whose behalf Moses was to address the Egyptian king; and it is as the agents of that same Lord that we are to present the Gospel to men and women today.


6:30.  “And Moses said before the Lord, Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh hearken unto me?”


“... uncircumcised lips” is more accurately translated of impeded speech: stammerer: stutterer: slow, halting of speech.  Moses was forgetting that the power of the message he was to deliver wasn’t dependent on his oratorical ability, but on the omnipotence of the One he was privileged to represent.  We too should keep that fact in mind when presenting the Gospel to others.

[Exodus 7]


     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
© 2000-2005 James Melough