Exodus 7:4

On this subject, see above, and on Exodus 4:21. The present seems an appropriate place for a somewhat fuller treatment.

I. HARDENING AS PROCEEDING FROM GOD. "I will harden Pharaoh's heart." This, assuredly, is more than simple permission. God hardens the heart -

1. Through the operation of the laws of our moral constitution, These laws, of which God is the author, and through which he operates in the soul, ordain hardening as the penalty of evil conduct, of resistance to truth, and of all misimprovement and abuse of privilege.

2. Through his providence - as when God, in the execution of his judgments, places a wicked man in situations which he knows can only have a hardening effect upon him. He does this in righteousness. "God, having permitted evil to exist, must thereafter of necessity permit it also to run its whole course in the way of showing itself to be what it really is, as that which aims at the defeat of the Divine purpose, and the consequent dissolution of the universe." This involves hardening.

3. Through a direct judgment in the soul of the individual, God smiting him with a spirit of blindness and infatuation in punishment of obstinate resistance to the truth. This is the most difficult of all aspects of hardening, but it only cuts the knot, does not untie it, to put superficial meanings upon the scriptures which allege the reality of the judgment (e.g. Deuteronomy 28:28; 2 Thessalonians 2:11). It is to be viewed as connected with what may be called the internal providence of God in the workings of the human mind; his government of the mind in the wide and obscure regions of its involuntary activities. The direction taken by these activities, seeing that they do not spring from man's own will, must be as truly under the regulation of Providence, and be determined in quite as special a manner, as are the outward circumstances of our lot, or those so-called fortuities concerning which we are assured: "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father." (Matthew 10:29). It is a significant fact that, as sin advances, the sinner becomes less and less a free agent, falls increasingly under the dominion of necessity. The involuntary activities of the soul gain ground upon the voluntary. The hardening may be conceived of, partly as the result of a withdrawal of light and restraining grace; partly as a giving of the sou] up to the delusions of the adversary, "the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2), whose will gradually occupies the region in the moral life vacated by the human will, and asserts there a correspondingly greater power of control; and partly as the result of a direct Divine ordering of the course of thought, feeling, and imagination. Hengstenberg acutely remarks: "It appears to proceed from design, that the hardening at the beginning of the plagues is attributed, in a preponderating degree, to Pharaoh, and towards the end to God. The higher the plagues rise, so much the more does Pharaoh's hardening assume a supernatural character, so much the more obvious is it to refer it to its supernatural causality."

II. HARDENING IN ITSELF CONSIDERED. The heart is the centre of personality, the source of moral life, the seat of the will, the conscience, and the affections (Proverbs 4:23; Matthew 15:18). The hardening of the heart may be viewed under two aspects:

1. More generally as the result of growth in sin, with consequent loss of moral and religious susceptibility; and

2. As hardening against God, the author of its moral life. We have but to put these two things together - the heart, the seat of moral life, hardening itself against the Author of its moral life - to see that such hardening is of necessity fatal, an act of moral suicide. It may elucidate the subject to remark that in every process of hardening there is something which the heart parts with, something which it resists, and something which it becomes. There is, in other words

(1) That which the heart hardens itself in, viz. some evil quality, say injustice, cruelty, lust, hate, secret enmity to God, which quality gradually becomes a fixed element in character;

(2) that which the heart hardens itself against, viz. the influences of truth, love, and righteousness, in whatever ways these are brought to bear upon it, whether in the promptings of conscience, the movements of natural sensibility, the remonstrances of parents and friends, the Word of God, the internal strivings of the Spirit; and

(3) that which the heart parts with in hardening, viz. with its original susceptibility to truth, with its sensitiveness to moral influences, with its religious feeling, with its natural generosity, etc. The result is blindness, callousness, lostness to the feeling of right, to the sense of shame, to the authority of God, to the voice of truth, even to true self-interest. All hardening is thus double-sided; hardening in hate, e.g., being at the same time hardening against love, with a loss of the capacity of love; hardening in injustice being a hardening against justice, with a loss of the capacity for moral discernment; hardening in cruelty being a hardening against kindliness, with a corresponding destruction of the benevolent sensibilities; hardening against God being at the same time hardening in self-hood, in egoism, with a loss of the capacity of faith. We hence conclude:

1. All evil hardens, and all hardening in moral evil is in principle hardening against God. The hardening may begin at the circumference of the moral nature, and involve the centre, or it may begin at the centre, and work out to the circumference. Men may be enemies to God in their mind by wicked works (Colossians 1:21), they may have "the understanding darkened," and be "alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness (marg. hardness) of their hearts," and being "past feeling" may give "themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness" (Ephesians 4:17-19), and yet be strangers to God's revealed truth. All sin, all resistance to light, all disobedience to conscience, has this hardening effect (cf. Romans 1:19-32). But it is a will which has broken from God which is thus in various ways hardening itself, and enmity to God is latent in the process. The moment the truth of God is brought to bear on such a nature, this latent enmity is made manifest, and, as in the case of Pharaoh, further hardening is the result. Conversely,

2. Hardening against God is hardening in moral evil. The hardening may begin at the centre, in resistance to God's known will, and to the strivings of his Spirit, and thence spread through the whole moral nature. This is the deepest and fundamental hardening, and of itself gives a character to the being. A heart hardened in its interior against its Maker would be entitled to be called hard, no matter what superficial qualities of a pleasant kind remained to it, and no matter how correct the moral conduct.

3. Hardening results in a very special degree from resistance to the Word of God, to Divine revelation. This is the type of hardening which is chiefly spoken of in Scripture, and which gives rise to what it specially calls "the hard and impenitent heart" (Romans 2:5). All revelation of God, especially his revelation in Christ, has a testing power, and if resisted produces a hardness which speedily becomes obduracy. God may be resisted in his Word, his Spirit, his servants, his chastisements, and in the testimony to his existence and authority written on the soul itself. But the highest form of resistance - the worst and deadliest - is resistance to the Spirit drawing to Christ.

III. THE HARDENING OF PHARAOH COMPARED WITH HARDENING UNDER THE GOSPEL. Pharaoh stands out in Scripture as the typical instance of hardening of the heart.

1. He and Jehovah stood in direct opposition to each other.

2. God's will was made known to him in a way he could not mistake. He pretended at first to doubt, but doubt soon became impossible.

3. He resisted to the last. And the longer he resisted, his heart grew harder.

4. His resistance was his ruin. In considering the case of this monarch, however, and comparing it with our own, we have to remember -

1. That Pharaoh was a heathen king. He was naturally prejudiced in favour of the gods of Egypt. He had at first no knowledge of Jehovah. But we have had from infancy the advantage of a knowledge of the true God, of his existence, his attributes, and his demands.

2. Pharaoh had a heathen upbringing. His moral training was vastly inferior to that which most have enjoyed who hear the Gospel.

3. The influences he resisted were outward influences - strokes of judgment. The hardening produced by resistance to the inward influences of Christianity, strivings of the Spirit, etc., is necessarily of a deeper kind.

4. What was demanded of Pharaoh was the liberation of a nation of slaves - in our case it is required that we part with sins, and yield up heart and will to the Creator and Redeemer. Outward compliance would have sufficed in his case; in ours, the Compliance must be inward and spiritual. Here, again, inasmuch as the demand goes deeper, the hardening produced by resistance is of necessity deeper also. There is now possible to man the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost (Matthew 12:32; Hebrews 6:4 6).

5. The motives in the two eases are not comparable. In the one case, God revealed in judgments; in the other, in transcendent love and mercy. Conclusion: - "To-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts" (Hebrews 3:7, 8, 13, 15, 4:7). Beware, in Connection with this hardening, of "the deceitfulness of sin," The heart has many ways of disguising from itself the fact that it is resisting God, and hardening itself in opposition to him. One form is procrastination. Not yet - a more convenient season. A second is compromise. We shall find attempts at this with Pharaoh. By Conceding part of what is asked-giving up some sin to which the heart is less attached - we hide from ourselves the fact that we are resisting the chief demand. Herod observed John the Baptist, and "when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly' (Mark 6:20). The forms of godliness, as in the Pharisees, may Conceal from the heart its denial of the power thereof. Conscience is quieted by church-membership, by a religious profession. There is disguised resistance in all insincere repentance. This is seen in Pharaoh's relentings. Even when the resistance becomes more avowed, there are ways of partially disguising the fact that it is indeed God we are resisting. Possibly the heart tries to wriggle out of the duty of submission by cavilling at the evidence of revelation. Or, objection is perhaps taken to something in the manner or form in which the truth has been presented; some alleged defect of taste, or infelicity of illustration, or rashness of statement, or blunder in science, or possibly a slip in grammar. Any straw will serve which admits of being clutched at. So conviction is pushed off, decision is delayed, resistance is kept up, and all the while the heart is getting harder - less sensible of the truth, more ensnared in error. It is well also to remember that even failure to profit by the word, without active resistance to it (if such a thing is possible) - simple want of care in the cherishing of good impressions, and too rash an exposure to the influences which tend to dissipate and destroy them - will result in their disappearance, and in a consequent hardening of the heart. The impressions will not readily return with the same vividness. To-day, then, and now, hear and obey the voice of God. - J.O.

I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply My signs and My wonders.
The text brings before us the two great results which God forewarned Moses would rise from the struggle between His will and Pharaoh's. On the one hand, the tyranny was to be gradually overthrown by the sublime manifestations of the power of the Lord; on the other, the heart of Pharaoh himself was to be gradually hardened in the conflict with the Lord.

I. WHY WAS THE OVERTHROW OF PHARAOH'S TYRANNY THROUGH THE MIRACLES OF MOSES SO GRADUAL? Why did not God, by one overwhelming miracle, crush for ever the power of the king?

1. It was not God's purpose to terrify Pharaoh into submission. He treats men as voluntary creatures, and endeavours, by appealing to all that is highest in their natures, to lead them into submission.

2. In his determination to keep Israel in slavery, Pharaoh had two supports — his confidence in his own power, and the flatteries of the magicians. Through both these sources the miracles appealed to the very heart of the man.

3. The miracles appealed to Pharaoh through the noblest thing he had left — his own sense of religion. When the sacred river became blood, and the light turned to darkness, and the lightning gleamed before him, he must have felt that the hidden God of nature was speaking to him. Not until he had been warned and appealed to in the most powerful manner did the final judgment come.

II. WE ARE TOLD THAT THE HEART OF PHARAOH WAS HARDENED BY THE MIRACLES WHICH OVERTHREW HIS PURPOSE. What does this mean? One of the most terrible facts in the world is the battle between God's will and man's. In Pharaoh we see an iron will manifesting itself in tremendous resistance, the results of which were the hardening and the overthrow. There are three possible explanations of the hardening of Pharaoh's heart.

1. It may be attributed entirely to the Divine sovereignty. But this explanation is opposed to the letter of Scripture. We read that Pharaoh hardened his heart.

2. We may attribute it wholly to Pharaoh himself. But the Bible says distinctly, "The Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart."

3. We may combine the two statements, and thus we shall get at the truth. It is true that the Lord hardened Pharaoh, and true also that Pharaoh hardened himself.

(E. L. Hull, B. A.)

It is a very terrible thing to let conscience begin to grow hard, for it soon chills into northern iron and steel. It is like the freezing of a pond. The first film of ice is scarcely perceptible; keep the water stirring and you will prevent the frost from hardening it; but once let it film over and remain quiet, the glaze thickens over the surface, and it. thickens still, and at last it is so firm that a waggon might be drawn over the solid ice. So with conscience, it films over gradually, until at last it becomes hard and unfeeling, and is not crushed even with ponderous loads of iniquity.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

I.IGNORANT (Exodus 5:2).

II.DISOBEDIENT (Exodus 5:2).


IV.FOOLISH (Exodus 8:10).

V.HARDENED (Exodus 8:15).

VI.PRIVILEGED (Exodus 9:1).

VII.LOST (Exodus 14:26-28). (C. Inglis.)

I. I shall give some GENERAL OBSERVATIONS from the story; for in the story of Pharaoh we have the exact platform of a hard heart.

1. Between the hard heart and God there is an actual contest who shall have the better. The parties contesting are God and Pharaoh.

2. The sin that hardened Pharaoh, and put him upon this contest, was covetousness and interest of State.

3. This contest on Pharaoh's part is managed with slightings and contempt of God; on God's part, with mercy and condescension.

4. The first plague on Pharaoh's heart is delusion. Moses worketh miracles, turneth Aaron's rod into a serpent, rivers into blood, bringeth frogs, and the magicians still do the same; God permitteth these magical impostures, to leave Pharaoh in his wilful error.

5. God was not wanting to give Pharaoh sufficient means of conviction. The magicians turned their rods into serpents, but "Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods" (ver. 12); which showeth God's super-eminent power.

6. Observe, in one of the plagues Israel might have stolen away, whether Pharaoh would or no (Exodus 10:22, 23): but God had more miracles to be done. When He hath to do with a hard heart, He will not steal out of the field, but go away with honour and triumph. This was to be a public instance, and for intimation to the world (1 Samuel 6:6). The Philistines took warning by it, and it will be our condemnation if we do not.

7. In all these plagues I observe that Pharaoh now and then had his devout pangs. In a hard heart there may be some relentings, but no true repentance.

8. In process of time his hardness turns into rage and downright malice (Exodus 10:28). Men first slight the truth, and then are hardened against it, and then come to persecute it. A river, when it hath been long kept up, swelleth and beareth down the bank and rampire; so do wicked men rage when their consciences cannot withstand the light, and their hearts will not yield to it.

9. At length Pharaoh is willing to let them go. After much ado God may get something from a hard heart; but it is no sooner given but retracted; like fire struck out of a flint, it is hardly got, and quickly gone (Hosea 6:4).

10. The last news that we hear of hardening Pharaoh's heart was a little before his destruction (Exodus 14:8). Hardness of heart will not leave us till it hath wrought our full and final destruction. Never any were hardened but to their own ruin.


1. Negatively.(1) God infuseth no hardness and sin as he infuseth grace. All influences from heaven are sweet and good, not sour. Evil cannot come from the Father of lights. God enforceth no man to do evil.(2) God doth not excite the inward propension to sin; that is Satan's work.

2. Affirmatively.(1) By desertion, taking away the restraints of grace, whereby He lets them loose to their own hearts (Psalm 81:12). Man, in regard to his inclinations to sin, is like a greyhound held by a slip or collar; when the hare is in sight, take away the slip, and the greyhound runneth violently after the hare, according to his inbred disposition. Men are held in by the restraints of grace, which, when removed, they are left to their own swing, and run into all excess of riot.(2) By tradition. He delivereth them up to the power of Satan, who worketh upon the corrupt nature of man, and hardeneth it; he stirreth him up as the executioner of God's curse; as the evil spirit had leave to seduce Ahab (1 Kings 22:21, 22).(3) There is an active providence which deposeth and propoundeth such objects as, meeting with a wicked heart, maketh it more hard. God maketh the best things the wicked enjoy to turn to the fall and destruction of those that have them. In what a sad case are wicked men left by God! Mercies corrupt them, and corrections enrage them; as unsavoury herbs, the more they are pounded, the more they stink. As all things work together for good to them that love God, so all things work for the worst to the wicked and impenitent. Providences and ordinances; we read of them that wrest the scriptures to their own destruction (2 Peter 3:16). Some are condemned to worldly happiness; by ease and abundance of prosperity they are entangled: "The prosperity of fools shall destroy them" (Proverbs 1:32); as brute creatures, when in good plight, grow fierce and man-keen. If we will find the sin, God will find the occasion.

( T. Manton, D. D..)

God hardened Pharaoh's heart by submitting to him those truths, arguments, and evidences which he ought to have accepted, but the rejection of which recoiled upon himself, and hardened the heart they did not convince. Everybody knows, in the present day, that if you listen, Sunday after Sunday, to great truths, and, Sunday after Sunday, reject them, you grow in your capacity of repulsion and ability to reject them, and the more hardened you become; and thus, the preaching of the gospel that was meant to melt, will be the occasion of hardening your heart — not because God hates you, but because you reject the gospel. The sun itself melts some substances, whilst, from the nature of the substances, it hardens others. You must not think that God stands in the way of your salvation. There is nothing between the greatest sinner and instant salvation, but his own unwillingness to lean on the Saviour, and be saved.

(J. Cumming, D. D.)

The gospel is "the savour of life unto life, and of death unto death," as one and the same savour is to some creatures refreshing, to others poisonous. But that the gospel is unto death, is not a part of its original intention, but a consequence of perverse unbelief; but when this takes place, that it is unto death comes as a punishment from God. Thus the expression "hardening" presupposes an earlier condition, when the heart was susceptible, but which ceased in consequence of the misuse, of Divine revelations and gifts. As Pharaoh hardens himself, so God hardens him at the same time.

(Otto Von Gerlach, D. D.)

1. Both the expressions employed and the facts themselves lead to the conclusion, that hardening can only take place where there is a conflict between human freedom and Divine grace.

2. Again, it follows from the notion of hardening, that it can only result from a conscious and obstinate resistance to the will of God. It cannot take place where there is either ignorance or error. So long as a man has not been fully convinced that he is resisting the power and will of God, there remains a possibility that as soon as the conviction of this is brought home to his mind, his heart may be changed, and so long as there is still a possibility of his conversion, he cannot be said to be really hardened. The commencement of hardening is really hardening itself, for it contains the whole process of hardening potentially within itself. This furnishes us with two new criteria of hardening;(1) before it commences, there is already in existence a certain moral condition, which only needs to be called into activity to become positive hardness; and(2) as soon as it has actually entered upon the very first stage, the completion of the hardening may be regarded as certain. In what relation, then, does God stand to the hardening of the heart? Certainly His part is not limited to mere permission. Hengstenberg has proved that this is utterly inadmissible on doctrinal grounds; and an impartial examination of the Scriptural record will show that it is exegeti-cally inadmissible here. No. God desires the hardening, and, therefore, self-hardening is always at the same time hardening through God. The moral condition, which we have pointed out as the pre-requisite of hardening the soil from which it springs, is a man's own fault, the result of the free determination of his own will. But it is not without the co-operation of God that this moral condition becomes actual hardness. Up to a certain point the will of God operates on a man in the form of mercy drawing to himself, He desires his salvation; but henceforth the mercy is changed into judicial wrath, and desires his condemnation. The will of God (as the will of the Creator), when contrasted with the will of man (as the will of the creature), is from the outset irresistible and overpowering. But yet the wilt of man is able to resist the will of God, since God has created him for freedom, self-control, and responsibility; and thus when the human will has taken an ungodly direction and persists in it, the Divine will necessarily gives way. Hence, the human will is at the same time dependent on the Divine will, and independent of it. The solution of this contradiction is to be found in the fact, that the will of God is not an inflexibly rigid thing, but something living, and that it maintains a different bearing towards a man's obedience, from that which it assumes towards his stubborn resistance. In itself it never changes, whatever the circumstances may be; but in relation to a creature, endowed with freedom, the manifestation of this will differs according to the different attitudes assumed by the freedom of the creature. In itself it is exactly the same will which blesses the obedient and condemns the impenitent — there has been no change in its nature, but only in its operations — just as the heat of the sun which causes one tree to bloom is precisely the same as that by which another is withered. As there are two states of the human will — obedience and disobedience — so are there two corresponding states of the Divine will, mercy and wrath, and the twofold effects of these are a blessing and a curse.

(J. H. Kurtz, D. D.)

1. First and foremost, we learn the insufficiency of even the most astounding miracles to subdue the rebellious will, to change the heart, or to subject a man unto God. Our blessed Lord Himself has said of a somewhat analogous case, that men would not believe even though one rose from the dead. And His statement has been only too amply verified in the history of the world since His own resurrection. Religion is matter of the heart, and no intellectual conviction, without the agency of the Holy Spirit, affects the inmost springs of our lives.

2. A more terrible exhibition of the daring of human pride, the confidence of worldly power, and the deceitfulness of sin, than that presented by the history of this Pharaoh can scarcely be conceived. And yet the lesson seems to have been overlooked by too many! Not only sacred history, but possibly our own experience, may furnish instances of similar tendencies; and in the depths of his own soul each believer must have felt his danger in this respect, for "the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked."

3. Lastly, resistance to God must assuredly end in fearful judgment. Each conviction suppressed, each admonition stifled, each loving offer rejected, tends towards increasing spiritual insensibility, and that in which it ends. It is wisdom and safety to watch for the blessed influences of God's Spirit, and to throw open our hearts to the sunlight of His grace.

(A. Edersheim, D. D.)

S. S. Times.
In accordance with a vow a Hindu once bandaged up his eyes so tightly that not a single ray of light could enter them. So he continued for years. At last, when his vow was completed, he threw off his bandage, but only to find that through disuse he had completely lost his sight. In one sense, he had deprived himself of sight; in another, God had deprived him of it. So it was with Pharaoh's spiritual sight. Then comes the warning of consequences. It is very pleasant to go floating down the river toward the rapids. The current is so gentle that one can easily regain the bank. But remain in that current, in spite of all warnings, just one moment too long, and you and your boat will go over the falls.

(S. S. Times.)

Aaron, Egyptians, Israelites, Moses, Pharaoh
Egypt, Nile River
Acts, Armies, Bring, Divisions, Ear, Egypt, Forth, Hearken, Hosts, Israelites, Judgment, Judgments, Lay, Listen, Mighty, Pharaoh, Punishments, Sons
1. Moses and Aaron are encouraged to go again to Pharaoh
8. Aaron's rod is turned into a serpent
11. The sorcerers do the like; but their rods are swallowed up by Aaron's
13. Pharaoh's heart is hardened
14. God's message to Pharaoh
19. The river is turned into blood; and the consequent distress of the Egyptians

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Exodus 7:4

     7372   hands, laying on

Exodus 7:1-7

     5102   Moses, life of

Exodus 7:3-4

     1416   miracles, nature of

Exodus 7:4-5

     9210   judgment, God's

The History of the Prophetic Sermons, Epistles, and Apocalypses
[Sidenote: Real character and aims of the prophets] To understand and rightly interpret the prophetic writings of the Old Testament it is necessary to cast aside a false impression as to the character of the prophets which is widely prevalent. They were not foretellers, but forth-tellers. Instead of being vague dreamers, in imagination living far in the distant future, they were most emphatically men of their own times, enlightened and devoted patriots, social and ethical reformers, and spiritual
Charles Foster Kent—The Origin & Permanent Value of the Old Testament

Letter Lxxxv. To Paulinus.
Paulinus had asked Jerome two questions, (1) how can certain passages of scripture (Exod. vii. 13; Rom. ix. 16) be reconciled with Free Will? and (2) Why are the children of believers said to be holy (1 Cor. vii. 14) apart from baptismal grace? For the first of these questions Jerome refers Paulinus to his version (newly made) of Origen's treatise, On First Principles. For the second he quotes the explanation of Tertullian. Written in 400 a.d. 1. Your words urge me to write to you but your eloquence
St. Jerome—The Principal Works of St. Jerome

The Hardening in the Sacred Scripture.
"He hath hardened their heart."-- John xii. 40. The Scripture teaches positively that the hardening and "darkening of their foolish heart" is a divine, intentional act. This is plainly evident from God's charge to Moses concerning the king of Egypt: "Thou shalt speak all that I command thee; and I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply My signs and wonders in the land of Egypt. But Pharaoh shall not harken unto you, and I will lay My hand upon Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity Paul's Care and Prayer for the Church.
Text: Ephesians 3, 13-21. 13. Wherefore I ask that ye may not faint at my tribulations for you, which are your glory. 14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 and that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that ye may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man; 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be strong
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

Exposition of Chap. Iii. (ii. 28-32. )
Ver. 1. "And it shall come to pass, afterwards, I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy; your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions." The communication of the Spirit of God was the constant prerogative of the Covenant-people. Indeed, the very idea of such a people necessarily requires it. For the Spirit of God is the only inward bond betwixt Him and that which is created; a Covenant-people, therefore, without such an inward
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

The book of Exodus--so named in the Greek version from the march of Israel out of Egypt--opens upon a scene of oppression very different from the prosperity and triumph in which Genesis had closed. Israel is being cruelly crushed by the new dynasty which has arisen in Egypt (i.) and the story of the book is the story of her redemption. Ultimately it is Israel's God that is her redeemer, but He operates largely by human means; and the first step is the preparation of a deliverer, Moses, whose parentage,
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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