1491 B.C.

Exodus 4)

1 And Moses answered and said, "But, behold, they will not believe me, nor listen to my voice: for they will say, 'the Lord has not appeared to you.' "

2 And the Lord said to him (cp. 3:7, and 6:10), "What is that in your hand?" And he said, "A rod."
3 And the Lord said (occ. 9 times in Ex. 4:3,7,14; 15:26; 24:1; 33:14,19,20; 34:10. #9 = judgment), "Cast it on the ground." And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it.
4 And the Lord said to Moses, "Put forth your hand, and take it by the tail." And he put forth his hand, and caught it (= stiffened it, same word as "hardened" Pharaoh's heart), and it became a rod in his hand:
5 "That they may believe that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you."
6 And the Lord said furthermore to him, "Put now your hand into your bosom." And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow. (First occ. of 9 [the number of judgment] so afflicted: Ex. 4:6. Num. 12:10. 2 Kings 5:1,27; 7:3; 15:5. 2 Chron. 26:20. Matt. 8:2; 26:6. Luke 17:2. 9th case 21 individuals, 21 = 3x7 = Divine perfection X spiritual completeness.)
7 And the Lord said, "Put your hand into your bosom again." And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh.
8 "And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe you, neither listen to the voice of the first sign (by which the sign is personified), that they will believe the voice of the latter sign.
9 And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also these two signs (see 7:17), neither listen to your voice, that you shall take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land: and the water which you take out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land."

10 And Moses said to the Lord, "O Lord, I am not eloquent (Heb. "not a man of words". Supposed to contradict Acts 7:22, but eloquence is no necessary part of "wisdom". With "all the wisdom of the Egyptians" he had not the wisdom needed for his work. The latter had to be learned at "the backside of the dessert"), neither heretofore, nor since You have spoken to Your servant: but I am slow (but "mighty, see Acts 7:22) of speech, and of a slow tongue."

11 And the Lord said to him, "Who has made mankind's mouth? or Who makes the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I, the Lord?

12 Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth, and teach you what you shall say."
13 And he said, "O Lord, send, I pray You, by the hand of Him Whom You will send."

14 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and He (Yahaveh) said, "Is not Aaron (negative affirmation) the Levite your brother? (Why this? Was not Moses a Levite? Is it not to indicate that He Whom He should send-v.13-would be of the tribe of Judah?) I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he comes forth to meet you: and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart.

15 And you shall speak to him, and put words in his mouth (this is a definition of Divine inspiration. Cp. Num. 23:5,16; 22:35. Deut. 18:18. John 17:8): and I will be (see 3:14,15) with your mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what you all shall do.
16 And he shall be your spokesman to the People (in :1 = "your prophet": hence God's prophet is God's spokesman, "the man of God"-Deut. 33:1. Ps. 90 Title, "God's man" who spoke for God. Qualified only by God's Spirit-Num. 11:29-and God's Word-2 Tim. 3:16-4:4, and by God's making known what is to be spoken-Num. 12:6): and he shall be, even he shall be to you instead of a mouth, and you shall be to him instead (i.e. in lieu of) of God.
17 And you shall take this rod in your hand, wherewith you shall do signs."

18-20. Moses' departure from Midian.

18 And Moses went and returned to Jethro his father in law, and said to him, "Let me go, I pray you, and return to my brethren which are in Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive." And Jethro said to Moses, "Go in peace."
19 And the Lord said to Moses in Midian, "Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought your life" (= soul). (Not merely Pharaoh, but all the court faction. The counter part to Matt.2:12,20.)
20 And Moses took his wife and his sons (Gershom and Eliezer), and set them upon an ass (still young, so Moses married after many years in Midian), and he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the rod of God in his hand. (His own rod is now thus personified.)

21-23. Yahaveh's commission to Moses.

21 And the Lord said to Moses, "When you go to return into Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in your hand: but I will harden his heart (by Heb. idiom active verbs of doing are used of suffering or permitting a thing to be done. Cp. Gen. 31:7 for example "God did not give him to do me evil". 3 words used for "harden": hazak = to brace or tighten up, opposite to relax. hashah = to make sharp, hard , severe, cruel. kabed = to become heavy. It was in each case God's clemency and forbearing goodness which produced the hardening. That goodness which "leads to repentance"-Rom. 2:4: just as the same sun which softens the wax hardens the clay), that he shall not let the people go.
22 And you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the Lord (occ. in Ex. 3 times, 4:22; 7:17; 9:1 Lit. "has said"; as elsewhere), Israel is My son (cp. Matt. 2:15), even My firstborn:
23 And I say to you, 'Let My son go, that he may serve Me:' and if you refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay your son, even your firstborn.' "

24-26. Moses at Horeb.

24 And it came to pass by the way in the inn (a further lesson, not learned in Egypt or at Horeb. A secret in Moses' life, known only to himself. Moses had neglected to circumcise Eliezer. To save the child's life, Zipporah now performs the rite herself), that the Lord met him met him, and sought to kill him (i.e. the son. Cp. Gen. 17:14.).
25 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone (or knife), and cut off the foreskin of her son (Eliezer), and cast it at his feet, and said, "Surely a bloody husband (= a husband of bloods. Genitive of relation, i.e. with rites of blood; alluding to circumcision, which she tried to evade and avoid) are you to me."
26 So He (Yehovah) let him (Eliezer) go: then she said, "A bloody husband you are, because of the circumcision."

27,28. Yahaveh's commission to Aaron.

27 And the Lord said to Aaron, "Go into the wilderness to meet Moses." (Aaron apparently brought up in Pharaoh's house. See 1 Sam. 2:27,28. Aaron = a teacher, or lofty) And he went, and met him (cp. the parting at mount Hor, Num. 20:22-29) in the mount of God, and kissed him.
28 And Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord Who had sent him, and all the signs which He had commanded him.

Exodus 4:29-8:32

4:29-6:1. Moses and Aaron in Egypt.

E5  G  4:29,30. Communication to the elders.
     H  4:31.  Result-belief and worship.
    G  5:1-3. Communication to Pharaoh.
     H  5:4-6:1. Result-unbelief and oppression.

29 And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the sons of Israel:
30 And Aaron spoke all the words which the Lord (Yahaveh) had spoken to Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the People.

31 And the People believed (cp. 4:1,8; 3:18): and when they heard that the Lord had visited the sons of Israel (see Gen.50:24,25 and Ex. 2:24,25. Cp. 6:6, "redeem", with Luke 1:68), and that He had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped.

Next page