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Exodus 4-6

Supplemental notes for the Daily Bible Study Bible Reading Plan

by Wayne Blank

Exodus Chapter 4

Moses' encounter with the burning bush (Exodus 3:1-2) is one of the most well-known events of Bible History. It also occurred at one of the most well-known Bible Places, Mount Horeb in Sinai, also known as Mount Sinai - the mountain where The Lord would later formally deliver The Ten Commandments (see The Ten Commandments Before Sinai?) to the Israelites, through Moses, after the Exodus.

Sinai Moses, the former adopted son in the house of Pharaoh, now a lowly Sinai shepherd (see The Education Of Moses), was given the responsibility to lead The Lord's people out of slavery, a job that very humble Moses felt unqualified for.

"But Moses said to The Lord, "Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either heretofore or since thou hast spoken to thy servant; but I am slow of speech and of tongue."

Then The Lord said to him, "Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him dumb, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, The Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak." (Exodus 4:10-12 RSV)

When Moses persisted in his lack of self-confidence, The Lord answered by providing Moses with an assistant, a spokesman for Moses, just as Moses would be a spokesman for The Lord.

"But he said, "Oh, my Lord, send, I pray, some other person."

Then the anger of The Lord was kindled against Moses and he said, "Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? [see Levites] I know that he can speak well; and behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you he will be glad in his heart. And you shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth; and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and will teach you what you shall do. He shall speak for you to the people; and he shall be a mouth for you, and you shall be to him as God. And you shall take in your hand this rod, with which you shall do the signs." (Exodus 4:13-17 RSV)

Moses then returned to Egypt with Aaron, after The Lord had sent Aaron to Sinai to meet Moses.

"The Lord said to Aaron, "Go into the wilderness to meet Moses." So he went, and met him at the mountain of God and kissed him. And Moses told Aaron all the words of The Lord with which he had sent him, and all the signs which he had charged him to do.

Then Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the people of Israel. And Aaron spoke all the words which The Lord had spoken to Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. And the people believed; and when they heard that The Lord had visited the people of Israel and that he had seen their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshiped." (Genesis 4:27-31 RSV)

Exodus Chapter 5

As stated above, the people of Israel chose to believe Moses. Moses then discovered however that the Pharaoh did not.

Moses and Pharaoh

"Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, "Thus says The Lord, the God of Israel, 'Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.'"

But Pharaoh said, "Who is The Lord, that I should heed his voice and let Israel go? I do not know The Lord, and moreover I will not let Israel go."

Then they said, "The God of the Hebrews [see Hebrew] has met with us; let us go, we pray, a three days' journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to The Lord our God, lest he fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword."

But the king of Egypt [see Egypt's Royal House] said to them, "Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people away from their work? Get to your burdens." (Exodus 5:1-4 RSV)

The Pharaoh not only refused to set the Israelites free; he then increased their work load by forcing them to find the brick straw that was, before then, supplied to them.

"The same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their foremen, "You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as heretofore; let them go and gather straw for themselves. But the number of bricks which they made heretofore you shall lay upon them, you shall by no means lessen it; for they are idle; therefore they cry, 'Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.' Let heavier work be laid upon the men that they may labor at it and pay no regard to lying words." (Exodus 5:6-9 RSV)

A very discouraged Moses, thinking that he had failed miserably, returned to Sinai.

"Then Moses turned again to The Lord and said, "O Lord, why hast Thou done evil to this people? Why didst Thou ever send me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Thy Name, he has done evil to this people, and Thou hast not delivered Thy people at all." (Exodus 5:22-23 RSV)

Exodus Chapter 6

From that point on, Moses learned to have more faith, in himself, but much more importantly, in The Lord. The Lord also at that time made Himself known to Moses in a way that was unknown to Abraham (see On His Own Two Feet), Isaac (see Isaac's Faith And Obedience) and Jacob (see Jacob and Laban).

Goshen

"But The Lord said to Moses, "Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand he will send them out, yea, with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land."

And God said to Moses, "I am The Lord [see YHVH, Adonai, Jehovah, LORD]. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty [see Names Of God], but by My Name The Lord I did not make Myself known to them. I also established My covenant with them, to give them The Land Of Canaan, the land in which they dwelt as sojourners." (Exodus 6:1-4 RSV)

Moses then returned to Egypt where he discovered that not only did the Pharaoh refuse to believe him, but that because of the previous effort that only resulted in a heavier work load for them, the Israelites themselves now didn't believe him. That however, would soon change; by His great power and wrath, The Lord was going to make believers out of all of Egypt.

"Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel; but they did not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and their cruel bondage." (Exodus 6:9 RSV)

Fact Finder: Did The Lord prophesy the Isralite Exodus from Egypt to Abraham, centuries before it happened?
Genesis 15:13-14; see also Genesis 13-15


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