Exodus 6 Commentary

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Irving Jensen (Online) - Used by Permission
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Summary Chart of
The Book of Exodus
Redemption from Egypt
Ex 1:1-18:27
Revelation from God
Ex 19:1-40:38
Getting Israel Out of Egypt Getting Egypt Out of Israel!
Narration Legislation
Birth of
Ex 1-2
Call of
Ex 3-6
Conflict with Pharaoh
Ex 7-10
Ex 11-12
Ex 13-15
Ex 16-18
Ex 19-24
Ex 25-31
Ex 32-34
Ex 35-40
Subjection Redemption Instruction
Suffering and Liberation
of People of God
of God
of God
Moses and
Burdens of Israel
Pharaoh and
Plagues Upon Egypt
Red Sea
and Oppression
and Provision
Law Pattern
and Construction
Israel in Egypt
Ex 1:1-13:16
Israel to Sinai
Ex 13:17-18:27
Israel at Sinai
Ex 19:1-40:38
God's People
God's Grace
in Redemption
God's Glory
in Worship
430 Years

(15% of Exodus)
2 Months

(30% of Exodus)
Mt Sinai
10 Months

(55% of Exodus)

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human effort and failure divine power and triumph
word of promise work of fulfillment
a people chosen a people called
God’s electing mercy God’s electing manner
revelation of nationality realization of nationality

(from Believer's Study Bible)

Exodus 6:1 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for under compulsion he will let them go, and under compulsion he will drive them out of his land."

  • Now you shall see - Ex 14:13 Nu 23:23 De 32:39 2Ki 7:2,19 2Ch 20:17 Ps 12:5 
  • for under compulsion - Ex 3:19,20 De 4:34 Ps 89:13 136:12 Isa 63:12 Eze 20:33,34 
  • he will drive them out of his land - Ex 11:1 12:31,33,39 

Then expression of time - See then. Don't miss the context which is "hidden" by a chapter break! Remember that chapter breaks were not inspired. Moses has just accused God in Exodus 5:22-23+. Moses had asked God two "why" questions - why have You brought harm to this people? Why did You ever send me? (Ex 5:22+) Notice God never does directly answer Moses’ question. He never does tell him exactly why?  Notice also Moses' last words "You have not delivered Your people at all." God in His great mercy does not respond negatively to Moses' accusation, but in great kindness addresses his concerns. He does not do like we humans so often do and go silent and pout! He speaks up to Moses in spite of Moses' last words to Him. And He does not just pat Moses on the back, but speaks some of the most beautiful, precious words in the entire book of Exodus, maybe even in the entire Bible! Our God is an awesome God! In short, God informs Moses this was all part of His sovereign plan.

Bob Marcaurelle - God answered Moses' honest prayer. He did it by getting him to look away from Pharaoh, away from the Hebrews who didn't trust him, away from his problems—and look to HIM. Six times here, in righteousness, God says—I WILL! And four times He says—I AM. We are to look to and lean or who He is and what He can and will do.

Rod Mattoon - Difficult circumstances destroy us or develop a dependence upon the Lord. A dependence upon the Lord develops patience. Patience develops wisdom in us. This is what the Lord will do in the life of Moses. He has hit rock bottom. He has returned to Egypt and has been rejected again by Pharaoh and his own people. This is exactly what he dreaded. He is at the end of his rope and totally dependent upon the Lord like never before. We will now see how the Lord gives him certainty in uncertain times.

J Ligon Duncan - God continues this conversation with Moses. It has begun in verse 1, and he begins it with an important declaration, I am the Lord. This is the royal self designation. This is God’s identification of himself. I am the Lord. By the way, that is the same formula that Jesus uses multiple times in the Gospel of John. I am the good shepherd. I am the gate. I am the door. I am the way, the truth, and the life. I am the bread of heaven. I am the living water. God is announcing something to Moses about Himself. When God starts telling you who He is, listen carefully, something is up. And that is exactly what is happening here. God is telling Moses about Himself, because something very big is up.

David Thompson - What Moses needed to understand and what we need to understand is that God always knows what He is doing and we can rest in that and trust in that.When our world is completely falling apart and we don’t know what is happening or why it is happening we need to understand two things: 1) We can and should cry out to God for help; 2) We can trust God always knows what He is doing. God simply says Moses you are about to see what I am going to do to Pharaoh and by My strong hand I am going to break this Pharaoh down and he will be glad to let the Hebrews go. Even though Moses as this point was very depressed and very low, he was about to participate in some of the most amazing things that God would ever do. (Exodus 5:1-6:1 Sermon)

Here is one division of this section...

  1. The complaint of Moses (Ex 5:22–23),
  2. The promise of Yahweh (Ex 6:1–9),
  3. The instructions for Moses (Ex 6:10–13).

J Ligon Duncan connects this passage with the end of Exodus 5 - It is interesting, by the way, that throughout the Old Testament, God often calls upon prophets to undergo the same pains which he has visiting on His people as He calls them into ministry to His people. So that they are not, as it were, dry land sailors, so that they themselves, have to be forced with the challenge to trust God when it is difficult to believe him, when it doesn’t look possible, to endure for him in the midst of difficulty. So here is our situation. The foreman and presumably the people themselves are now blaming Moses for their increased hardship, and they are rejecting his leadership. Moses has accused God of unfaithfulness and of doing evil to his own people. We don’t need to underestimate what Moses is said in the forms of questions to the Lord. They are very strong words, indeed. But the Lord has patiently reasserted his purposes and indeed he has claimed that Moses is not only going to allow Israel to leave Egypt, but that he is going to order Israel to leave Egypt by the compulsion of God’s mighty hand....First of all, God identifies Himself, in a unique way. He reaffirms His absolute covenant commitment to Israel. And He reemphasizes his compassion to his people. That is the first thing that He does. Secondly, God makes and amazing seven part promise. He gives it to Moses to deliver to the people. And thirdly, and interestingly, Moses faithfully delivers the message, but the people stunningly don’t listen.

Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.

Matthew Henry -  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.....God silences Moses’s complaints with the assurance of success in this negotiation, repeating the promise made him in Ex 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 (Ex 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.”(ED: Have you not had this experience in your life? When all seemed lost, all seemed humanly impossible, the God of the possible, the God of hope, stepped in and worked powerfully.) 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, 13. Then the deliverance of God’s people 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.

Psalm 12:5  “Because of the devastation of the afflicted, because of the groaning of the needy, Now I will arise,” says the LORD; “I will set him in the safety for which he longs.” 

The LORD said to Moses, "Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh - Moses had been looking at what he could not do and here God reminds him of what He will do! God would do it and Moses would see it. Imagine the growth in Moses' faith as he witnesses the promises and power of the LORD coming to fruition. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. (Ro 10:17KJV). 

Rod Mattoon on the word Now - There is great encouragement found in this word. There are no longer any more delays. God had everything worked out. He has also been patient with a fearful Moses. The curtain was being raised on the stage of Divine revenge and the intervention of God was to begin. The long wait was over. "Now" Moses would see things happen. The hand of God would make things happen.

David Thompson - God’s people will see God do more for them when they seem to be helpless and hopeless....It was not until Israel lost all hope when God stepped in and freed His people. It was not until she was brought to the place where she was totally boxed in that God would set her free. (Sermon)

NET note - The expression “I will do to Pharaoh” always refers to the plagues. God would first show his sovereignty over Pharaoh before defeating him.

For - Term of explanation. Jehovah explains what Moses will witness in the coming days.

Under compulsion he will let them go, and under compulsion he will drive them out of his land - Compulsion more literally means "with a strong hand" and refers to an irresistible force, forcing, constraining or driving them to do something. In Ex 3:20+ God says "I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My miracles which I shall do in the midst of it; and after that he will let you go." And notice he won't just "let them go" but will actually will drive them out! (cf Ex 12:33) How did Pharaoh drive them out? He pursued Israel to Red Sea and in that sense Pharaoh drove them out. Of course behind the scenes controlling the scenes He is behind we see God as the causative force. 

Compulsion (02388)(chazaq)  conveys the basic meaning of to be or become strong, to make strong or strengthen, in the Hiphil to take hold of or seize ("retain His anger" - Mic 7:18+), in the Hithpael to strengthen oneself (to take courage 1 Sa 30:6). 

Hand (03027) (yad) is feminine noun meaning hand and figuratively meaning strength. 

Vine has a lengthy discussion of yad - "hand; side; border; alongside; hand-measure; portion; arm (rest); monument; manhood (male sex organ); power; rule." This word has cognates in most of the other Semitic languages. Biblical Hebrew attests it about 1,618 times and in every period.

Bob Marcaurelle -  Waiting on God. We love to see immediate results. We love to work our problems out quickly. People come to counselors with marriage problems created over twenty years and want them worked out in twenty minutes. One of the hardest lessons we learn in God's school is WAITING ON GOD to work our problems out. When God says, "You will see ...," we say, "How, God?" or "Now, God, I want to see it now!" Sometimes we need to take a problem to the Lord, lay it at His feet, back off and let Him work. That's when He says, "Now you will see what I will do ..." (6:1)

Rod Mattoon - The moment of God's power is revealed many times when the enemy seems to have his greatest power, when we are weaker than ever before, and when our problems seem overwhelming. The moment of God's power is frequently manifested when from our natural viewpoint, we appear least likely to overcome the enemy.

God often waits until things are at their worst before He steps in to intervene on our behalf. This gives the Lord the opportunity to show how great His power really is. The greater we behold His power, the greater our faith can be encouraged and the greater is His glory! The Lord is never late. He is always on time. He tells Moses, NOW it's time to show you, my people, and Pharaoh what I can do. I love this!

The power of God is awesome! It can cause the enemy to do the very thing the enemy adamantly opposes. It can cause Pharaoh to insist on action he had strongly opposed. The power of God caused Haman to give honor to Mordecai though he utterly despised Mordecai and sought his destruction. God's power can cause our most adverse circumstances, which threaten our destruction, to become circumstances that promote our well being. Moses was a living example of this truth as he was reared in the palace of the man that tried to kill him as a baby. God's power can make the wrath of man to praise Him.

Psalm 76:10-Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.

You may be facing an impossible situation right now. It may be the loss of a job, health problems, a wayward child, or a marriage on the verge of destruction. All I can say is, "Turn your problem over to the Lord and watch His power." I have seen Him work many, many, many times. Never underestimate His power and don't put Him on a stop watch. Let Him do what He wants to do in His own time. When you truly turn your situation over to Him, you can rest. Your peace will come from His care for you. This is what Peter tried to get across to us.

1 Peter 5:7-Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Strong faith in God does not come all at once. It is often gained through willing submission to His love and goodness in the midst of trials. In February 1862, President Lincoln's son, Willie, died and his son Tad became seriously ill. A Christian nurse attending the sick child recalled that the President watched by his bedside and often paced, saying, "This is the hardest trial of my life. Why is it? Why is it?" She told him that she was a widow and that her husband and two children were in Heaven. She saw the hand of God in it all and never loved Him so much as she did after her great trials. "How is that brought about?" inquired Lincoln. "Simply by trusting in God and knowing that He does all things well," she replied. "Did you submit fully under the first loss?" he asked. "No," she answered, "not fully, but as blow came upon blow, and all were taken, I could and did submit to the Lord." Lincoln replied, "I'm glad to hear you say that-I will try to go to God with my sorrows." After a few days, she asked him if he could trust God. He replied, "I think I can. I will try. I wish I had that childlike faith you speak of, and I trust he will give it to me." May this be our desire, too.

THE GOSPEL OF MOSES Exodus 6:1–8 - James Smith

The Lord said unto Moses, “Now shalt thou see what I will do.” The time of Israel’s deliverance was at hand. Moses is sent to his brethren with a sevenfold message from the Lord. He had a glorious Gospel to preach, a full-orbed sun of hope for the wretched, helpless, bond-slaves. A magnificent picture of the Gospel of Christ made infallably sure by the seven “I WILLS” of Jehovah. In these glad tidings of salvation proclaimed by Moses there was—
I. Rest from their Burdens. “I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians” (v. 6). Rest was much needed. Making bricks without straw was a hard and constant task. In the service of sin there is no rest. The Gospel of God, which comes to us through Jesus Christ, offers relief from the burden of sin and guilt, “Come unto Me, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). Rest in His forgiving love, rest in the calm of His gracious heart.

II. Deliverance from the Power of the Enemy. “I will rid you out of their bondage” (v. 6). There is no other escape from the thraldom of sin and Satan but through the intervention of almighty power and grace. “He hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son” (Col. 1:13). Delivered out of the hand of our enemies. The grace of God is not to give us patience and contentment in the house of bondage, the grace of God bringeth salvation.

III. Redemption with Great Judgments. “I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments” (v. 6). Judgment and redemption are closely linked together in the saving work of God. Ere Israel could go out of Egypt the judgments of God had to be poured out upon Egypt. Before the offering could be effectual death had to take place. Ere Christ could save from the curse of the law He had to become “a curse for us” (Gal. 3:13).

IV. God’s Claim on His Own. “I will take you to Me for a people” (v. 7). Possession is the end of redemption, “Ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price” (1 Cor. 6:20). We are “redeemed from the curse of the law that we might receive the promise of the Spirit” (Gal. 3:13, 14). He has through Christ taken us to Himself, that we might be kept by His power and used for His glory; taken to Him that we might abide with Him and in Him.

V. God’s Assurance to His Own. “I will be to you a God” (v. 7). The sweet thought here is that of mutual surrender. We yield ourselves up entirely to His claim to be all His own. He yields Himself, as God, into the lives of His believing people. The life-giving and life-sustaining sap of the vine is yielded up to the abiding and receptive branch. The willing and obedient members of the body will have the wisdom and controlling power of the head. Be wholly for God, and God will be wholly for you.

VI. The Promise of Continued Guidance. “I will bring you in unto the land” (v. 8). He not only saves, but is willing to guide the saved ones on to the end. He knows the way best suited for our education and growth in grace. “Commit thy way to the Lord” (Psa. 37:5). He will direct thy steps. In the “Pilgrim’s Progress” the soft, easy path led into darkness, and into the castle of Giant Despair.

VII. The Promise of a Great Possession. “I will give it you for a heritage” (v. 8). All God’s pilgrims have a grand inheritance before them. “In my Father’s house are many abiding places, I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2, 3). I will give it you.

      “O weary pilgrim, lift your head,
      For God in His own words hath said
         That joy cometh in the morning!”

Exodus 6:2  God spoke further to Moses and said to him, "I am the LORD;

  • he will drive them out of his land - or, Jehovah, Ex 6:6,8 14:18 17:1 20:2 Ge 15:7 Isa 42:8 43:11,15 44:6 Jer 9:24 Mal 3:6 Ac 17:24,25 


Matthew Henry - He gives Moses further instructions, that both he and the people of Israel might be  encouraged to hope for a glorious issue of this affair. Take comfort, from God’s Name, Jehovah, I am that I am, the fountain of being, and blessedness, and infinite perfection.

God spoke further to Moses and said to him, "I am the LORD - Moses and we all need to frequently be reminded of His great covenant keeping Name, Jehovah, YHWH ("I am that I am"), the great I Am, for this is His memorial Name to all generations (Ex 3:15+). Our problem is we tend to forget what we should always remember! 

I am the LORD - Occurs 4 times in Ex 6:2, 6, 7, 8. The Hebrew literally includes a pronoun before "I Am" so it reads "I, I Am." Of course the point of reminding Moses of this name is to remind him to realize who God actually is and the power He has.

David Thompson adds this note on "I, I Am" - "Now we may recall that this construction not only means God is the self-existing covenant God who is everything, in and of Himself, but it also means He is the Sovereign God who creates everything, controls everything and causes everything. God is sovereign over everything in existence.  By reminding Moses of that here, He is basically saying, “Moses, don’t forget who “I AM.” I am God and I can do anything I want to do and I can cause anything I want to have happen and I am going to take action and use My hand, and Pharaoh will let My people go. We need a good dose of this theology. The doctrine of the sovereignty of God becomes a very precious doctrine when our world seems to be falling apart. When things aren’t going the way we planned them, we need to step back and remember the sovereignty of God. There is something very comforting about accurately knowing the names of God. Jehovah, Elohim, Adonai, El Shaddai. But the most comforting name to us as individuals is “Jesus.” He is our Savior, He is our Redeemer, He is our friend and He lives within every believer. (Sermon)

Steven Cole - Serve the Lord faithfully in the face of opposition and setbacks because He is the Lord. In the Lord’s reply to Moses (Ex 6:2-8), “I am the Lord” (“Yahweh”) occurs four times (plus again in Ex 6:29). We need to know that He is the great “I AM,” only living and true God. He is the only self-existent One, who has neither beginning nor end. He is the covenant-keeping God, whom we can know personally. Sometimes it is through our failures and setbacks that we come to know Him more deeply. We come to realize that He is the only one who can really do something about impossible problems. We need to fix our eyes on who it is that we serve. We need to let skeptics know that they are defying the only living and true God.

NET Note -  the explanation of the name with this sentence indicates that Yahweh is the one who is always there, and that guarantees the future, for everything he does is consistent with his nature. He is eternal, never changing; he remains. Now, in Exodus 6, the meaning of the name “Yahweh” will be more fully unfolded

Review Outline

1. The man Moses (Ex 2:1–25)
2. The call of Moses (Ex 3:1–4:17)
3. The return to Egypt (Ex 4:18–31)
4. A preview of the contest with Pharaoh (Ex 5:1–6:1)
5. The call renewed (Ex 6:2–7:7)

Exodus 6:3  and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name, LORD, I did not make Myself known to them.

  • God Almighty -  EL Shaddai - God Almighty Ge 17:1 Ge 28:3 Ge 35:11 Ge 48:3 
  • LORD: Ex 3:14 Ge 12:7,8 13:18 22:14 Ps 68:4, JAH, Ps 83:18 Isa 42:8 44:6 52:5,6 Joh 8:58 Rev 1:4 

Related Passages:

Genesis 17:1 Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; Walk before Me, and be blameless. 

Genesis 28:3 “May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples.

Genesis 35:11  God also said to him, “I am God Almighty; Be fruitful and multiply; A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, And kings shall come forth from you. 

Genesis 48:3 Then Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me,


Philip Ryken says “This is the difference between Genesis and Exodus. Abraham knew God as a promise-maker; Moses came to know him as a promise-keeper.”

Note that since Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, did not know the name Jehovah, then Moses must have used it in Genesis by prolepsis (assignment of something, such as an event or name, to a time that precedes it,) or anticipation.

And I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty - EL Shaddai - God Almighty in Ge 17:1 Ge 28:3 Ge 35:11 Ge 48:3. 

But by My name, LORD, I did not make Myself known to them - Note that no one can really know God UNLESS he deems to make Himself known!  Even the creation is God's gracious, mercy filled willingness to make Himself known to sinners such as us (Ro 1:18-21+). Note also that the great patriarchs "knew" Him but they did not "know" Him. That sounds like double speak, but not when it comes to the knowledge of God! Our God is "multi-layered" (so to speak but still a poor analogy) and because He is infinite we will spend the rest of our lives on earth and throughout eternity growing in our knowledge of and relationship with Him. What an awesome thought! So much for heaven being "boring" as I sometimes hear skeptics say. What could be less boring and more exciting than the thought of knowing God more and more forever, like Paul in Philippians, having already had a close encounter of the God kind in Acts 9:3-6+, and yet still pleading "that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. " (Phil 3:10-11+)

THOUGHT - Father give us pleading hearts like Paul to want to know you more and more in Christ. Amen. Pause a moment, listen, ponder, sing to Him and pray to Him the words of Steve Green's beautiful "Lord, I Want to Know You More." One way to get to know God better is to pay attention to His names. A wonderful study to enable you to know Him more is to study the many Names of the LORD our Strong Tower

Known is the verb yada which speaks of intimate knowing. This same verb is used next in Exodus 6:7 where we read "Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know (yada) that I am the LORD your God, Who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians." So knowing God as LORD is related to His act of taking the entire nation out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. They would know His power and His promises to be His people and He would be their God. This is covenant terminology we see in other places in the OT - e.g. Jer 31:33. 

Matthew Henry - 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, Gen. 2:4. When the salvation of the saints is completed in eternal life, then he will be known by his name Jehovah (Rev. 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, Mic. 7:20.

David Thompson - It is clear from this passage that there is a covenantal continuity between Moses and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but it is also clear that there is a revelatory difference. The name that God made Himself known by to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, was the name “God Almighty,” which is El Shaddai and He didn’t really make that name known often....The point of it is that these patriarchs recognized that God was Almighty God. They knew of His great power. However, they did not know all of the ramifications of the fact that He was the “I AM.” He did not make Himself known to them by the name “I, I AM” or by what that name means. It is not that they had never heard the name, because they had. In fact, when God called Abram, the noun “I AM” is used (Ge 12:4, 7). In fact, Abraham built an altar to God and called upon the name of the LORD (Ge 12:8). Isaac also had heard this name and also prayed to the LORD (Ge 25:21). We also may observe that Jacob had also heard of this name of the LORD (Gen. 30:30).  So it wasn’t that they had never heard of the name. What God means (by My name, LORD, I did not make Myself known to them) is that He had never revealed the meaning of it to them. The full, true, complete importance was not known to them. He did not fully display the power and the national, covenant significance of this name to Abraham, Isaac or Jacob. They never had a staff become a snake or a hand become leprous or water to become blood. They certainly knew God was a powerful, almighty El Shaddai, but they never grasped the I AM significance concerning the sovereignty of God and the covenantal connection to Israel that God revealed to Moses. They had never seen a national redemption as Moses was about to see. So God is telling Moses, Moses, I have revealed and will reveal to you things about Myself I did not even reveal to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In other words, these negative circumstances would permit God’s people to see another side to God that had never been seen or experienced before. That is encouraging to us. When we go through terrible things, we may expect to see and experience things from God we never did before. We will get to know Him better and deeper. (Sermon)

Rod Mattoon - The Patriarchs were acquainted with the title of Jehovah, but the full revelation of God's name was not fully disclosed to them, not recognized, understood, or appreciated. This name "Jehovah" was known but it was not in common use. Jehovah was his covenant name. He was about to fulfill His covenant with Israel. Israel would witness the faithfulness, power, and deliverance that His covenant name implied. God was about to reveal Himself as the faithful performer of His Word and promises. These descendants would know the Lord in a way their fathers had not known Him. They would have greater knowledge of the gracious performance of His promises and fulfilling of His covenant.

ESV Study note - In light of this statement, some have suggested that the patriarchs did not actually know the name Yahweh. It is probably best, however, to understand this statement as explaining that the patriarchs did not fully understand and experience the essential character of God as represented by the name Yahweh (“the Lord”), as this was first understood more fully by Moses when the Lord appeared to him at the burning bush (see Ex. 3:1-22). Thus in Ex 3:12-15 God had revealed himself to Moses in a far deeper way, promising Moses, “I will be with you,” and revealing the significance of his covenant identity as Yahweh (“the Lord”). Here then (in Ex 6:6-8), God reaffirms his commitment to His people and His covenant identity in repeated affirmations, stating three times that He is the Lord—that is, He is the God of the covenant Who will act in a decisive way on behalf of His people: “I will bring you out” (Ex 6:6); “I will deliver you” (Ex 6:6); “I will redeem you” (Ex 6:6); “I will take you to be My people” (Ex 6:7); “I will be your God” (Ex 6:7); “I will bring you into the land” (Ex 6:8); and “I will give it to you for a possession” (Ex 6:8). (See context in ESV Study Bible or borrow the ESV Study Bible)

John MacArthur says "The same self-existent, eternal God, Yahweh, had been there in the past with the patriarchs; no change had occurred in Him, either in His covenant or promises. Since the name Yahweh was spoken before the Flood (Ge 4:26) and later by the patriarchs (Ge 9:26; 12:8; 22:14; 24:12), the special significance of Yahweh, unknown to them, but to be known by their descendants, must arise from what God would reveal of Himself in keeping the covenant and in redeeming Israel. See notes on 3:13, 14. (See context in The MacArthur Bible Commentary

Walter Kaiser says “The patriarchs had only the promises, not the things promised.”

Gianotti applies the truth about "I Am" writing that "“Whatever the situation or need (in particular, the redemption from Egypt, but also future needs), God will ‘become’ the solution to that need.”

Guzik explains it this way - the patriarchs knew God Almighty (El Shaddai), they did not know Him as extensively and intimately as He would reveal Himself to Moses and his generation. They knew the power of God, but didn’t have the same personal relationship and revelation Moses would come to know. For us, God wants to be more than God Almighty—He wants us also to know Him as a personal, promise making and promise keeping God, whom we can trust in everything. Believers should ask themselves if they really know God by such names. (Enduring Word Bible Commentary )

G C Morgan - The supreme need in every hour of difficulty and depression is a vision of God. To see Him is to see all else in proper proportion and perspective.

Exodus 6:4  "I also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they sojourned.

  • established - Ge 6:18 Ge 15:18 Ge 17:7,8,13 28:4 2Sa 23:5 Isa 55:3 
  • the land of their - Ge 15:13 Ge 17:8 Ge 23:4 Ge 26:3 Ps 105:12 Ac 7:5 


I also established My covenant (beriyth; Lxx - diatheke) with them Established is the Hebrew word (qum) which in the Hiphil means to stand, to set up, to confirm, in this context the covenant (this same verb qum is used in Ge 17:7, 17:19, 21, Lev 26:9) Qum is translated in the Septuagint with histemi meaning to set or to cause to be in a place. Notice the possessive pronoun My -- this is God's personal covenant which He makes! The covenant of course is the Abrahamic Covenant (Ge 15:18+, Ge 17:7). The covenant that God makes with the patriarchs, is the covenant He will establish and He will make to stand, firm, stable, secure and eternal. "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." (M Henry)

To give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they sojourned - This declaration is a reaffirmation of the promise to Abraham in Ge 13:15 (all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever) and Ge 17:8 (I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.).  The use of the word sojourned is a reminder that the patriarchs did not receive the promises and that they lived as foreigners, without owning property or having the rights of kinship with the surrounding population.. In Acts 7:5+ Stephen says "“But He (ABRAHAM) gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot of ground, and yet, even when he had no child, He promised that HE WOULD GIVE IT TO HIM AS A POSSESSION, AND TO HIS DESCENDANTS AFTER HIM."

Thompson - This land has very specific boundaries and the reason why Israel is guaranteed this land is not because of her faithfulness, it is because of God’s covenant. It is the same reason we are guaranteed heaven. It is not because of our faithfulness, it is because of God’s grace covenant. (Sermon)

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.

  • the groaning - Ex 2:24 Ex 3:7 Ps 106:44 Isa 63:9 
  • I have remembered - Ex 2:24 Ge 8:1 9:15 Ps 105:8 106:45 Lu 1:54,72 


His free compassion is grounded in His faithfulness to covenant. 

Furthermore I have heard the groaning of the sons of Israel - Yes He had heard the initial groaning (Ex 2:24+), but now He hears the new groaning from the worsening work conditions.

Psalm 106:44  Nevertheless He looked upon their distress When He heard their cry; 

Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the angel of His presence saved them; In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old. 

Groaning (05009)(neaqah from nāʾaq = to groan) means to be pained which produces groaning. Used only 4x (Exod. 2:24; Exod. 6:5; Jdg. 2:18; Ezek. 30:24) three of Israel groaning (all three in Septuagint = stenagmos)  because of political/physical oppression. In the oracle of Ezekiel (Ezek 30:24) against Egypt, Ethiopia, Put, Lut, Arabia and Libya,  Egypt was doomed by the hand of Babylon and Pharaoh would "groan before him with the groanings of a wounded man."  This word is used in Judges 2:18+ even after they had rebelled against Him, in his longsuffering and based on His covenant love for Israel we read "When the LORD raised up judges for them, the LORD was with the judge and delivered them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the LORD was moved to pity by their groaning (neaqah) because of those who oppressed and afflicted them.

Because the Egyptians are holding them in bondage - The Hebrews were enslaved. The Septuagint for holding in bondage is katadouloo which means the Egyptians were making the Hebrews their slaves and were placing them under their control. 

Matthew Henry - God take notice of the increase of his people’s calamities, and observes how their enemies grow upon them.

Holding...in bondage (enslaved) (05647)(abad Lxx in Ex 6:5 - katadouloo) means primarily to work (Ex 5:18, Ex 34:21), to worship (as they would do at Mt Sinai after deliverance - worship Jehovah - Ex 5:18) or to serve and here in the Hiphil means to make the Hebrews work (cf also used in Ex 1:13). All uses of abad in Exodus - Ex 1:13; Ex 1:14; Ex 3:12; Ex 4:23; Ex 5:18; Ex 6:5; Ex 7:16; Ex 8:1; Ex 8:20; Ex 9:1; Ex 9:13; Ex 10:3; Ex 10:7; Ex 10:8; Ex 10:11; Ex 10:24; Ex 10:26; Ex 12:31; Ex 13:5; Ex 14:5; Ex 14:12; Ex 20:5; Ex 20:9; Ex 21:2; Ex 21:6; Ex 23:24; Ex 23:25; Ex 23:33; Ex 34:21

And I have remembered My covenant - Of course He never forgot it but this phrase is in essence an anthropomorphism to describe God acting in a way that can be seen by man to be a fulfillment of the promises of his covenant. 

Cole - Henceforward, every ‘saving act’ of God will be seen as ‘remembering’ this initial binding relationship which he had freely established. ‘Remembered’ does not mean that God had previously forgotten. Anthropomorphisms are freely used in Hebrew to describe God. Also, words which we should think of as describing emotional states are often used to describe actions, not emotions (‘love’ and ‘hate’ are a good pair of examples). Thus ‘to remember the covenant’ is to act in a way which can be seen by man to be a fulfilment of the promises of that covenant. (TOTC-Ex)

My covenant - This refers to the Abrahamic Covenant. Our awesome God has a long fuse and a long memory for His promises and a short memory when we confess our sins! Since God had remembered His covenant, the implication was that Moses was to remember His God and the promises He made in that covenant which were a direct response to Moses' accusation in Ex 5:23+ "You have not delivered Your people at all.”

NET Note - As in Ex 2:24, this remembering has the significance of God’s beginning to act to fulfill the covenant promises.

Exodus 6:6  "Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.

BGT  Exodus 6:6 βάδιζε εἰπὸν τοῖς υἱοῖς Ισραηλ λέγων ἐγὼ κύριος καὶ ἐξάξω ὑμᾶς ἀπὸ τῆς δυναστείας τῶν Αἰγυπτίων καὶ ῥύσομαι ὑμᾶς ἐκ τῆς δουλείας καὶ λυτρώσομαι ὑμᾶς ἐν βραχίονι ὑψηλῷ καὶ κρίσει μεγάλῃ

NET  Exodus 6:6 Therefore, tell the Israelites, 'I am the LORD. I will bring you out from your enslavement to the Egyptians, I will rescue you from the hard labor they impose, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.

LXE  Exodus 6:6 Go, speak to the children of Israel, saying, I am the Lord; and I will lead you forth from the tyranny of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from bondage, and I will ransom you with a high arm, and great judgment.

NLT  Exodus 6:6 "Therefore, say to the people of Israel: 'I am the LORD. I will free you from your oppression and will rescue you from your slavery in Egypt. I will redeem you with a powerful arm and great acts of judgment.

KJV  Exodus 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:

ESV  Exodus 6:6 Say therefore to the people of Israel, 'I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment.

NIV  Exodus 6:6 "Therefore, say to the Israelites: 'I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.

ASV  Exodus 6:6 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:

CSB  Exodus 6:6 "Therefore tell the Israelites: I am Yahweh, and I will deliver you from the forced labor of the Egyptians and free you from slavery to them. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and great acts of judgment.

NKJ  Exodus 6:6 "Therefore say to the children of Israel:`I am the LORD; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.

NRS  Exodus 6:6 Say therefore to the Israelites, 'I am the LORD, and I will free you from the burdens of the Egyptians and deliver you from slavery to them. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.

YLT  Exodus 6:6 'Therefore say to the sons of Israel, I am Jehovah, and I have brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and have delivered you from their service, and have redeemed you by a stretched-out arm, and by great judgments,

  • I am the LORD - Ex 6:2,8,29 Eze 20:7-9 
  • I will bring - Ex 3:17 7:4 De 26:8 Ps 81:6 136:11,12 
  • redeem - Ex 15:13 De 4:23 7:8 15:15 2Ki 17:36 1Ch 17:21 Ne 1:10 Isa 9:12,17,21 


The idea is “I’m going to do it. You can count on me.” Moses is to remind Israel of what they had already been told.

I love Matthew Henry's description that "Here is line upon line (cf Isa 28:10, 13), to assure them that they should be brought triumphantly out of Egypt."

F. B. Meyer said when you analyze these “I will” statements, they present for God’s people “The possibility of the Impossible” (Studies in Exodus, p. 97). God does have the power and ability to do anything and to reverse any situation.

J. Vernon McGee called this the seven “I wills” of redemption. He said when you carefully study them, they paint a picture of the fact that we are saved to the uttermost. There is no doubt that we may make great application of these “I will” statements, but they are specifically for Israel. (See context Thru the Bible)

Mattoon on therefore - The word "Therefore" refers back to the previous verses emphasizing God's fulfillment of His covenant. The Lord's message was, "Because of my word, I will do these things. The impossible will be possible."


Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, 'I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians -  NLT = " will free you from your oppression" NIV = “from under the yoke of.” Note that the 7 I wills are bookended or bracketed by the phrase I am the LORD, which is like a divine exclamation mark denoting Jehovah Himself stands behind these promises. They could not be more certain!

Bring out is exago in the Septuagint also used in Ex 6:6; Ex 6:7; Ex 6:26; Ex 6:27. ‘Bring out’ (yatsa) is usually used of their release from Egypt (yatsa used in Ex 3:10, 11;12, Ex 6:13, Ex 6:26, 27, Ex 7:4, 5; et al) MacKay suggests that "Perhaps here ‘bringing out from under’ may picture the release of a pack animal which had been weighed down with a load that was too heavy for it—no doubt the Israelite slaves would have sympathised with that." (Exodus: A Mentor Commentary)

Burdens (siblah) is used only 6x in OT, all in Exodus - Ex 1:11; Ex 2:11; Ex. 5:4; Ex. 5:5; Ex 6:6; Ex 6:7. In Ex 6:6 the Septuagint uses the noun dunasteia (not found in NT and only here in Exodus but elsewhere in OT) which means power, lordship, sovereignty, domination, (exercise of) power.

The English translations miss something very significant in the 7 I Will statements - Each of the verbs (bring...deliver...redeem...take...be...bring...give) are in the Hiphil perfect tense. Walter Kaiser explains that “Each of these verbs are in the Hebrew past (i.e., perfect) tense instead of the future tense, for so certain was God of their accomplishment that they were viewed as having been completed.”

Guzik points out that "There is a strong contrast with the later five I will statements of Satan in Isaiah 14:13–15. The great difference is that Satan was powerless to make any of his “I wills” come to pass. God is more than able to fulfill each of His promises.

John Trapp applies this truth -  “A great deliverance; but nothing to that which Christ hath wrought for us from the tyranny of sin and terror of hell.”

John Mackay - By beginning with this authoritative self-identification formula (Ex 6:2), Moses would make it clear that his message is not his own. He is acting as God’s spokesman, and conveying a message grounded in the will of the LORD, who has committed himself to be to his people all that they could possibly expect of their God. As he had already promised them through Moses, he would act to free them.  (Exodus: A Mentor Commentary)

J Vernon McGee applies this truth bring you out - The corollary and parallel to our redemption in Christ is found in this statement. We carry a burden of sin today. The things of the world are an oppression to the heart. We are told not to love the world. God can deliver us from the burden of sin through faith in Jesus Christ. (See context Thru the Bible)


And I will deliver you from their bondage - NLT = "will rescue you from your slavery in Egypt." The Hebrew natsal is translated in Septuagint with rhuomai which means to draw or snatch to oneself and invariably from danger, evil or an enemy (Used of Moses delivering Jethro's daughters in Ex 2:19+). Rhuomai is the same verb used of the NT "rescue" of believers in Col 1:13-14+ "He rescued us from the domain (right and might - just like Pharaoh exercised over Israel) of darkness (Satan, foreshadowed by Pharaoh), and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." 

John MacKay on I will deliver - (The Hebrew) conveys the idea of snatching away from the grasp of another person or a situation of peril by exercising superior power. In this case the Israelites will be given relief from the bondage of the slavery that had been imposed on them by the Egyptians. (Exodus: A Mentor Commentary)

Bondage is the Hebrew word abodah used repeatedly in the previous chapters referring to the labor or work of the Hebrews in servitude to the Egyptians (Ex 1:14, Ex 2:23, Ex 5:9, Ex 5:11, also Ex 6:9 = cruel bondage) and is translated in this passage with douleia which describes the condition of slavery. Given that Pharaoh was a pawn of Satan, it is fascinating that douleia is used to describe the libertaing work of the ultimate Deliverer, Jesus Christ in Hebrews 2:14-15+ = "Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He (JESUS) Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death (THE CROSS) He might render powerless (MAKE INEFFECTIVE) him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery (douleia) all their lives."

J Vernon McGee applies this truth deliver you from...bondage - God will deliver you from the slavery of sin. I received a remarkable letter from a man that bears out the fact that God is able to deliver from the bondage of sin. This man is brilliant but he lived in sin. He has had at least six illegitimate children as the result of affairs with that many women. And the work by which he made a living was not altogether honest. This fellow had as checkered a career as anyone I have ever heard about. Then he began listening to our Thru The Bible radio broadcast day after day, and the Word of God reached into his life. As he drank in the truths of the Bible, the darkness began to roll away, and the light broke through into his heart and life. He realized he was not trusting the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior. God redeemed this man. Redemption is His business. The Israelites were in the land of Egypt living a life of bondage. God said, “I am going to take you out of this place. I am going to rid you of your bondage.” (See context Thru the Bible)

In Galatians 1:4+ Paul declared that Jesus "gave Himself for (substitution) our sins so that (term of purpose) He might rescue (ESV = deliver = exaireo - Used in Lxx of Ex 3:8 = "I have come down to deliver [exaireo] them from the power of the Egyptians") us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father." 

Deliver (05337)(natsal) means primarily to deliver, often by the power of one entity overcoming another. Deliverance from the hand or power (Ge 32:11, Hos 2:10). Idols and human might cannot deliver (1 Sa 12:21, Ps 33:16).  Of Moses acting as a deliverer (Ex 2:19), of Moses returning to Egypt to deliver Israel (Ex 3:8), of Yahweh's promise of deliverance (Ex 6:6), of the Lord sparing the Israelites at the Passover (Ex 12:27), of Moses relating his deliverance by Yahweh from the Egyptians (Ex 18:4, 8, 9, 10). All uses in Exodus - Ex 2:19; Ex 3:8; Ex 3:22; Ex 5:23; Ex 6:6; Ex 12:27; Ex 12:36; Ex 18:4; Ex 18:8; Ex 18:9; Ex 18:10; Ex 33:6;


I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments - I will redeem is more literally ‘I will act the redeemer-kinsman’ (the goel). (See chart of Kinsman-Redeemer  or Goel)  Cole adds that "Driver suggests ‘reclaim as a right’ or ‘vindicate’ as possible translations on these grounds. Unlike the verb pādâ, gāʾal suggests a close personal relationship between redeemer and redeemed: it is thus appropriate of the God of the covenant." (TOTC-Ex)

Redeem is goel/ga'al and is translated in the Septuagint with lutroo used only 3x in NT (Lk 24:21+ "redeem Israel" speaking of Messiah, Titus 2:14+, 1 Pe 1:18+) which means to release someone held captive (prisoner, slave) on receipt of a ransom payment and in the case of Israel it was the blood of a perfect Passover lamb (Ex 12:1-51). God's redemption foreshadowed the redemption price for believers today, the blood of the sinless Christ our Passover (1 Cor 5:7). As  Peter wrote "knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.- (1 Peter 1:18-19+). Indeed on the Cross Jesus the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world (Jn 1:29+) redeemed us with outstretched arms on the old rugged cross and with a great judgment that fell on Himself as He took on the punishment of God's righteous wrath that we deserved for our sins. Lutroo is used in Ex 6:6; Ex 13:13; Ex 13:15; Ex 15:13; Ex 34:20. 

Redeem (01350)(goel/ga'al) means to redeem or act as a kinsman-redeemer. The word means to act as a redeemer for a deceased kinsman (Ruth 3:13); to redeem or buy back from bondage (Lev. 25:48); to redeem or buy back a kinsman's possessions (Lev. 25:26); to avenge a kinsman's murder (Num. 35:19); to redeem an object through a payment (Lev. 27:13). Theologically, this word is used to convey God's redemption of individuals from spiritual death and His redemption of the nation of Israel from Egyptian bondage and also from exile (see Ex. 6:6).

John Mackay on redeem you - ‘Redeem’ adds to ‘rescue’ the idea of relationship. It implies ‘act as your kinsman-redeemer’, and is the practical outworking of the bond that the LORD has already recognised as existing between himself and the Israelites. “Israel is my firstborn son” (Ex 4:22). The kinsman-redeemer acted on behalf of close relatives who had fallen on bad times: he was required to buy back any inalienable property sold by them (Lev. 25:25), to buy back any kinsman who sold himself into slavery to a foreigner (Lev. 25:47–55), and to act in place of a deceased relative in receiving restitution (Num. 5:8). Boaz acted as kinsman-redeemer with respect to Ruth (Ruth 4). Here the LORD is committing himself to act to free the Israelites because of the relationship that the covenant has created between him and them. It will not be the case, however, that some monetary payment will be made for their release, but a display of divine strength overthrowing their oppressors. (Exodus: A Mentor Commentary)

Mackay on great judgments -  points to the correction of an unjust situation. The exploitation practised by the Egyptians would be condemned and punished by the LORD. (Exodus: A Mentor Commentary)

J Vernon McGee applies this truth redeem you with an outstretched arm - This is the mighty bared arm spoken of by Isaiah the prophet: “Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?” (Isa. 53:1+) Well, I don’t know to whom it is being revealed. God is doing a work of redemption in the hearts and lives of men and women today. Each of us needs a Savior from sin because we are corrupt in His sight. He loved us enough to die for us in order that we might be saved. If He was willing to do that, we must be willing to come as sinners to the Lord. If we place our faith in the work of Jesus Christ for us, we will be saved. God has a great plan of salvation but man must come to Him for it. He will redeem you with an outstretched arm. (See context in Thru the Bible

David Thompson - This is a new concept that God would redeem Israel by “great judgments.” This has a definite application to the judgment plagues that God would bring upon the Egyptians (Ex. 7:4). So to the people of God, the “great judgments” would be a wonderful thing, but to the Egyptians they would be horrific. This did happen. In the mind of the Hebrew, a redeemer needed to be a close family member called “Kinsman Redeemer.” A good illustration here is the book of Ruth. Ruth was a Moabitess who linked herself to Naomi, who was her mother-in-law. Now the closest relative on earth was not willing to make the purchase price to redeem Ruth, so Boaz ended up doing it (Ruth 4:1-11). This is a beautiful picture of what God will do for Israel. Israel has no earthly redeemer. There is no such thing as an earthly Messiah who will be able to give her the land. But there is a heavenly Messiah who has paid the full redemptive price for this nation and He will redeem her (cf Zech 12:10-14+ Lk 24:21+ Titus 2:14+, 1 Pe 1:18+). It is Jesus Christ. He will return and He will give her all of her land. In order to redeem the individual sinner, there is a great judgment that is wrought by God (2 Cor 5:21+, 1 Pe 2:24+). That judgment was wrought against Jesus Christ and when you believe on Him you are redeemed.

C. I. Scofield said when you track the concept of “redemption” through the book of Exodus there are four critical things that are taught: (Scofield Reference Bible)

  1. Redemption is wholly from God.
  2. Redemption is through a person.
  3. Redemption is by blood.
  4. Redemption is by power.

Exodus 6:7  'Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.

BGT  Exodus 6:7 καὶ λήμψομαι ἐμαυτῷ ὑμᾶς λαὸν ἐμοὶ καὶ ἔσομαι ὑμῶν θεός καὶ γνώσεσθε ὅτι ἐγὼ κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὑμῶν ὁ ἐξαγαγὼν ὑμᾶς ἐκ τῆς καταδυναστείας τῶν Αἰγυπτίων

NET  Exodus 6:7 I will take you to myself for a people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from your enslavement to the Egyptians.

LXE  Exodus 6:7 And I will take you to me a people for myself, and will be your God; and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from the tyranny of the Egyptians.

NLT  Exodus 6:7 I will claim you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God who has freed you from your oppression in Egypt.

KJV  Exodus 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.

ESV  Exodus 6:7 I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.

NIV  Exodus 6:7 I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.

ASV  Exodus 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 Jehovah your God, who bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.

CSB  Exodus 6:7 I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. You will know that I am Yahweh your God, who delivered you from the forced labor of the Egyptians.

NKJ  Exodus 6:7 `I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the LORD your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.

NRS  Exodus 6:7 I will take you as my people, and I will be your God. You shall know that I am the LORD your God, who has freed you from the burdens of the Egyptians.

YLT  Exodus 6:7 and have taken you to Me for a people, and I have been to you for God, and ye have known that I am Jehovah your God, who is bringing you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians;

  • I will take - Ex 19:5,6 Ge 17:7,8 De 4:20 7:6 14:2 26:18 2Sa 7:23,24 Jer 31:33 Ho 1:10 1Pe 2:10 
  • I will be - Ex 29:45,46 De 29:13 Zec 13:9 Mt 22:32 Ro 8:31 Heb 11:16 Rev 21:3,7 
  • from under the burdens of the Egyptians - Ex 5:4,5 Ps 81:6 


Kaiser - Two more first-person verbs detailed God’s promise to adopt Israel as His own people - will take you as my own people and  I will be your God. 

Cole points out that I will take you for My people, and I will be your God "is one of the clearest statements of the mutual relationships brought about by the covenant. For an amplification, see Exodus 19:5, 6, at the actual covenant-making between God and Israel." 

Then I will take you for My people - The idea of the verb to take (laqach) is to seize, grasp or take hold of. It is used later in this same chapter to describe marriage so Moses' father "Amram married (laqach - took) his father's sister Jochebed." (Ex 6:20) It is the same word used when God took Adam and put him in the Garden of Eden (Ge 2:15). God was going to hold His people close like a husband embraces his wife. He would snatch them from the hands of the Egyptians and place them in a promised land. NET = "I will take you to myself for a people" NLT = "I will claim you as my own people" God would make Israel His own nation.This has happened. Israel is God’s nation to this day.  This promise ultimately is fulfilled in those Jews who come into the New Covenant in His blood (Lk 22:20+), even as God had promised in Jeremiah declaring that "this is the covenant (see Jer 31:31-32+) which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people." (Jer 31:33+)

J Vernon McGee applies this truth I will take you for My people - Just think—God has lifted us out of the muck and mire of sin and made us His sons by faith in Christ Jesus! Now He tells us, “I will be to you a God.” God does not save us and then run off and leave us. He wants to be our God. If you are really saved, you will not go on living as if God does not exist. If you have trusted Jesus Christ as Savior, it will transform your life. He will become your God and you will bow down to Him and acknowledge who He is. God wants to redeem you. He wants you to know Christ as Savior and Lord. He wants you to know you are saved. He wants to be your God. He wants us for His people. (See context Thru the Bible)

Mattoon - In Christ, we belong to God as His peculiar people (1 Pe 2:8KJV+). We are accepted in the Beloved (Eph 1:6KJV+), even though we are unworthy. The Lord says and wants you to know that you belong to Him when you have put your faith in Christ. If you are saved, you are part of the bride of Christ. As Paul says "For if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s." (Ro 14:8+)

The phrase be My people - Lev. 26:12; Jer. 7:23; Jer. 11:4; Jer. 24:7; Jer. 30:22; Jer. 31:1; Jer. 31:33; Jer. 32:38; Ezek. 11:20; Ezek. 14:11; Ezek. 36:28; Ezek. 37:23; Ezek. 37:27; Zech. 8:8; 2 Co. 6:16; Heb. 8:10

The phrase be Your God - Exod. 6:7; Lev. 11:45; Lev. 22:33; Lev. 25:38; Lev. 26:12; Num. 15:41; Deut. 26:17; Deut. 29:13; Jer. 7:23; Jer. 11:4; Jer. 30:22; Ezek. 36:28


And I will be your God - See God's promise fulfilled aboe in Jer 31:33+. Who is "your"? This is Israel, the literal nation of Israel. God says He will be the nation of Israel's God. There are those today who say God is finished with Israel and has replaced Israel with the Church. Perhaps they need to read promises such as this promise to the literal nation of Israel in Egypt. The church was not in Egypt at this time and does thus it is poor hermeneutics to say this promise is not taken from the nation of Israel and given to the Church.

Related Resources:

NET says "These covenant promises are being reiterated here because they are about to be fulfilled (ED: YES, IN ONE SENSE THEY WILL BE FULFILLED BUT THERE IS ANOTHER SENSE IN WHICH THEY WILL BE FULLY FULFILLED IN THE LAST DAYS - THE TIME OF JACOB'S DISTRESS - Jer 30:7+). They are addressed to the nation, not individuals, as the plural suffixes show. Yahweh was their God already, because they had been praying to him and he is acting on their behalf.  When they enter into covenant with God at Sinai, then he will be the God of Israel in a new way (Ex 19:4–6; cf. Gen 17:7–8; 28:20–22; Lev 26:11–12; Jer 24:7; Ezek 11:17–20 = ED: EZEKIEL'S PROPHECY IS A DESCRIPTION OF THE NEW COVENANT TO BE FULFILLED WITH ISRAEL IN THE LAST DAYS)."

And you shall know that I am the LORD your God, Who brought you out from under the burdens (abodah - also in Ex 6:6) of the Egyptians - When the deliverance happens, then the sons of Israel will know it was Jehovah Who brought it about. And they will know that He is their God. 

Cole Who has brought you out. This is the beginning of the great credal statement of Israel’s faith, which can best be seen in the introduction to the ten commandments (Ex 20:2). As Israel grew in her experience of God, fresh ‘articles’ would be added to this creed, but this basic ‘article’ would remain the same throughout her history. (TOTC-Ex)

Mackay - The personal knowledge that the Israelites would attain through experiencing the redemptive action of God would lead them to confess the reality of his saving power. It would no longer be a theoretical possibility as announced to them by Moses, but an overwhelming reality indelibly impressed upon their inner awareness that would shape and reshape their future living. All doubts about the LORD being God will be banished by their experience of deliverance. His power will be abundantly manifested, and so will his willingness to act as their God. ‘Your God’ will be the key component in their heightened perception of divine reality. This contrasts with their current feelings that God is distant and unconcerned about their suffering. (MC-Ex)

J Vernon McGee applies this truth you shall know that I am the LORD - God chose believers in Christ before the foundation of the world which places it before all time—in eternity past. The reason for the choice was not found in the believers, but in the all-wise purpose of God. He does not struggle to love His own in spite of their failures. God loves His own because it is His nature to love. He wants to be our God. (See context Thru the Bible)

Exodus 6:8  'I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you for a possession; I am the LORD.'"

BGT  Exodus 6:8 καὶ εἰσάξω ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν γῆν εἰς ἣν ἐξέτεινα τὴν χεῖρά μου δοῦναι αὐτὴν τῷ Αβρααμ καὶ Ισαακ καὶ Ιακωβ καὶ δώσω ὑμῖν αὐτὴν ἐν κλήρῳ ἐγὼ κύριος

NET  Exodus 6:8 I will bring you to the land I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob– and I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD!'"

LXE  Exodus 6:8 And I will bring you into the land concerning which I stretched out my hand to give it to Abraam and Isaac and Jacob, and I will give it you for an inheritance: I am the Lord.

NLT  Exodus 6:8 I will bring you into the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I will give it to you as your very own possession. I am the LORD!'"

KJV  Exodus 6:8 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.

ESV  Exodus 6:8 I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the LORD.'"

NIV  Exodus 6:8 And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.' "

ASV  Exodus 6:8 And I will bring you in unto the land which I sware to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for a heritage: I am Jehovah.

CSB  Exodus 6:8 I will bring you to the land that I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you as a possession. I am Yahweh."

NKJ  Exodus 6:8 `And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage: I am the LORD.'"

NRS  Exodus 6:8 I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; I will give it to you for a possession. I am the LORD.'"

YLT  Exodus 6:8 and I have brought you in unto the land which I have lifted up My hand to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, and have given it to you -- a possession; I am Jehovah.'

  • swore - Ge 14:22 De 32:40 Eze 20:5,6,15,23,28,42 36:7 47:14 
  • give - Ex 32:13 Ge 15:18 22:16,17 26:3 28:13 35:12 
  • I am - Ex 6:2 Nu 23:19 1Sa 15:29 


I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob - God promised to bring Israel into a LAND and He promises to bring us into a LIFE (cf Col 3:4+)! The Holy Spirit gives us grace and power to live a godly life.  Which I swore is literally "I raised My hand," which depicts an oath taking ceremony and is a vivid reminder that God swore to give the land to the three patriarchs, representative of the nation of Israel. This depiction of taking an oath should have made the promise of God sure in the mind of the Hebrews.

Hebrews 6:13-14+ For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, “I WILL SURELY BLESS YOU AND I WILL SURELY MULTIPLY YOU.” (The Abrahamic Covenant)

J Vernon McGee applies this truth to the land - The land is Canaan. It was promised by God to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Canaan is not a picture of heaven. It is a picture of the Christian life as believers should be living it. Canaan typifies the heavenlies where we are blessed with all spiritual blessing—the believer has to walk worthy of his high calling (Eph 4:1+) for perfect enjoyment of spiritual blessing. This is done through the filling of the Spirit (Eph. 4:1–5:17, Eph 5:18+). There is also warfare and battles to win. Believers sometimes live as if they are bankrupt in the wilderness of the world and never enter into the riches of His grace and mercy. Are you living today in the life, light, and love of a living Savior? (See context Thru the Bible)


and I will give it to you for a possession; I am the LORD.'"- God began in Exodus 6:6 and ended the promises by reminding then of His covenant making and covenant-keeping name. In short, you can count on these promises as "money in the bank!" 

Cassuto on the ending I am the LORD - Finally, like one who signs an authorization or accepts responsibility for something, the Lord repeats the formula with which He opened His address: I am YHWH, and My name shall be your assurance that My promises will be fulfilled.

NET adds that "God swore the promise to the patriarchs, but he is about to give what he promised to this generation. This generation will know more about him as a result."

David Thompson - Now God says I am going to do these things by My outstretched arm that will include “great judgments” against the Egyptians. This is exactly how God will once again deliver Israel during the Great Tribulation. He is going to use a series of judgments to force the world to realize that Israel belongs to God and she has a specific land that will be hers.What He promises here is that He will give Israel all of the land as her possession. This has not happened yet

Matthew Henry commenting on the seven fold "I wills" - 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. 

Steven Cole comments that "In light of the unbelief of both Israel and Moses at this point, God’s promises in verses 6-8 show His sovereign grace. Our blessings in Christ do not depend on our performance, but on God’s gracious promises."

I would also add that Exodus 6:6-8 lerally brims with God's personal interaction because the pronoun "I" is found 18 times to supplement the 7 "I will!" Why do we doubt our God's heart for us? Why do we so often feel as if He is unconcerned for our plight, our affliction, our adversity?

THOUGHT - Beloved, mark it down in a stone of diamond (with a diamond stylus) in gold letters that our God is "I am" and He is present, concerned and involved intimately involved (recall - the 18 "I's" and 7 "I will's"!) the variegated circumstances of our lives. Our problem is we too often walk by sight (on the difficulties, etc) rather than by sight (eyes on Jehovah, I am that I am. (Ponder the power of Vertical Vision) Ask His Spirit to enable you to see through the "fog" today and fix your eyes on Jesus the Covenant Messenger and Coming King of kings. Amen. (read Heb 12:2-3+, Phil 3:20+, 2 Ti 4:8+, Titus 2:13+, 1 Pe 1:13+, Col 3:1-2+, Jude 1:21+)

Mattoon adds "What a blessing! We have absolute security as Christians because of the certainties God has given to us. We don't have to think so or hope so when it comes to our salvation and God's promises to us. We can "know so!" We have certainty in uncertain times."

Recall that  Moses raises "Seven distinct objections were raised by Moses as reasons why he should not undertake the arduous task to which he was called. They have been thus epitomised [sic]:

  1. Lack of fitness, ‘who am I, that I should go?’ (Ex 3:11);
  2. lack of words, ‘what shall I say?’ (Ex 3:13);
  3. lack of authority, ‘they will not believe me’ (Ex 4:1);
  4. lack of power of speech, ‘I am not eloquent’ (Ex 4:10);
  5. lack of special adaptation, ‘Send by whom Thou wilt send’ (Ex 4:13);
  6. lack of success at his first attempt, ‘neither hast Thou delivered Thy people at all’ (Ex 5:23);
  7. lack of acceptance, ‘the children of Israel have not hearkened unto me’ (Ex 6:12).” (F B Meyer)

J Vernon McGee on our possession - Paul, in the fifth chapter of Romans, makes it clear that we have been justified by faith and have peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. We have access to Him. We have joy in the midst of trouble. We have been given the Holy Spirit of God to indwell us, and the love of God has been made real to us. We have been delivered from the wrath to come and are saved from the Great Tribulation period. What kind of salvation do you have, friend, that you talk about but has not transformed your life or redeemed you from something? These verses tell of our heritage and picture our salvation. (See context Thru the Bible)

Peter writes (note especially the 3 words describing our inheritance! Rest in this great truth!) that in Christ we "obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." (1 Pe 1:4-5+)

Guzik summarizes the 7 I Wills -   The promises were glorious, and equally so in their spiritual application to believers today:

  1. I will bring you out
  2. I will rescue you from their bondage
  3. I will redeem you
  4. I will take you as My people
  5. I will be your God
  6. I will bring you into the land
  7. I will give it to you as a heritage

ILLUSTRATION - The full enjoyment of your inheritance is future. We already have the earnest or down payment of our inheritance in Christ. Columnist L.M. Boyd recently described the amazing good fortune of a man named Jack Wurm. In 1949, Mr. Wurm was broke and out of a job. One day he was walking along a San Francisco beach when he came across a bottle with a piece of paper in it. As he read the note, he discovered that it was the last will and testament of Daisy Singer Alexander, heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune. The note read, "To avoid confusion, I leave my entire estate to the lucky person who finds this bottle and to my attorney, Barry Cohen, share and share alike." According to Boyd, the courts accepted the theory that the heiress had written the note 12 years earlier, and had thrown the bottle into the Thames River in London, from where it had drifted across the oceans to the feet of a penniless and jobless Jack Wurm. His chance discovery netted him over 6 million dollars in cash and Singer stock. How would you like to have been making Mr. Wurm's footprints on that San Francisco beach? What a find, and yet, 6 million dollars doesn't even begin to compare with our spiritual inheritance in the Lord Jesus Christ. We have so much to look forward to. In Christ we now have the Holy Spirit to comfort us. He is our engagement ring or down payment. We have the joy and peace of the Lord, and a home in Heaven that we will enjoy when we leave this world behind.

Ephesians 1:13-14+ In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation–having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 Who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. 

Exodus 6:9  So Moses spoke thus to the sons of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses on account of their despondency and cruel bondage.

  • they did not listen- Ex 5:21 14:12 Job 21:4 Pr 14:19 
  • despondency and cruel bondage., Nu 21:4 


Despondency means dejection or depression of spirits from loss of hope, confidence, or courage. It means feeling downcast, disheartened and hopeless. It describes an utter lack of hope and a feeling of dismally low spirits.

So Moses spoke thus to the sons of Israel - Note that here it is not Aaron serving as Moses' mouthpiece, but it is Moses himself speaking to the sons of Israel. What did he speak to them? Apparently the incredible truths God had just declared in Ex 6:2-8! One would have thought these precious promises would have stirred faith in any downcast heart, but sadly that was not to be the case!  Have you ever spoken to someone, but they would not listen to you? This is primarily a rhetorical questions. And if you have children you know that clearly the answer is yes! 

But - This is a sad term of contrast! The sons of Israel even after the incredible divine affirmation refuse to receive these promises from the great I Am. We are beginning to see something about the heart of the sons of Israel aren't we. Sadly this will ferment and come out in manifold ways in the days and months to come.

Ryken quips that "In verse 9 we turn from the “I wills” of salvation to the “I won’t” of Israel." (PW-Exodus)

They did not listen to Moses  - What this says is that in effect they did not believe the promises God had made in the preceding passages!  They did not listen to Moses because of despondency but one can only imagine Moses' despondency at their rejection of his recitation of God's great promises in Exodus 6:3-8! In Ex 3:18+ God had told Moses "they will pay heed to what you say" and this was fulfilled in Ex 4:29-31+. At that time Israel heard Moses and believed the words he spoke about God's concern for them (even to the point of bowing down and worshipping!). Remember however that these words of Moses were accompanied by signs (staff > snake > staff; hand > leprosy > cured and Nile water > blood). There are no signs associated with the 7 I will statements of God (SEVEN I WILL'S SHOULD HAVE BEEN SUFFICIENT!!!) There is just the immutable Word of God. And they refused to accept just the Word of God. So here they do not pay heed to what Moses says. This phrase not listen is become a recurrent theme in the rest of Exodus. Here it is the sons of Israel and then it will the Pharaoh. Not listen = Ex 6:9; Ex. 7:4; Ex 7:13; Ex 7:22; Ex 8:15; Ex 8:19; Ex. 9:12; Ex 11:9; And then again the sons of Israel in Ex 16:20

Cole on did not listen - This is very true to life. Moses’ confidence was apparently restored by this recommissioning, but Israel (once bitten, twice shy) will no longer listen to him. (Ibid)

Rod Mattoon - Imagine how Moses must have felt when the people would not listen to him. He was excited, enthused, and encouraged because he heard from God. When he delivered God's wonderful message to the people, they responded like rocks... nothing. It did not move or encourage them at all. It did nothing for them.

THOUGHT - If you are a preacher, you may go through this same experience. God may bless your soul as you study throughout the week, but when you share with your people what you have learned, they may respond like bumps on a log. Does this mean God's Word is irrelevant for today? Does this mean you are a crummy preacher? The answer is "No." Many times the message is great, but the condition of the hearts of God's people has become cold and hard. They become unteachable and miss out on what God is trying to tell them. (cf Zech 7:12) What does a pastor do when God's people seem indifferent to the Word? Make sure you are not the problem. If you have been offensive, seek the forgiveness of the church. If that is not the problem, keep trying to do you best in your preaching. Pray and study, study, study the Book. It takes time and it's hard work, but will yield great rewards. Be faithful in preaching the wonderful truths of God's Word. Let me stress to you to carefully and accurately preach the Word, not your philosophy or a bunch of jokes. Many times people are not responding or growing because you are not feeding them anything. Preach the Word! It will have its impact on someone. That is God's promise to us in Isaiah 55:11. 


On account of their despondency and cruel bondage - The Septuagint translates despondency with oligopsuchia (little + soul) which means loss of heart or discouragement. The Hebrew phrase despondency means "because of the shortness of spirit." or "shortness of breath." As a doctor I used to ask patients if they had experienced an "shortness of breath" (abbreviated S.O.B. - not a curse word by the way!)? And if they said "Yes" then there was a good chance that they had a heart problem (especially congestive heart failure - CHF). Israel had "SOB" indicative of a serious heart problem, spiritually speaking of course! This explains why Israel did not listen to Moses. Of course they heard his words, but they failed/refused to take his words to heart. In short, they refused to believe his words which were in fact God's Words! Instead they focused on their feelings and their experience. They needed to focus on the truth I Am the LORD, for when one does it makes the problems look much smaller in comparison. This is a good principle of all of God's people when confronted with adversity. Focus of Jesus and His Word and the things of this world will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace! 

Walter Kaiser on despondency - The NIV weakly translates “their discouragement” (v.9); but it was the inward pressure caused by deep anguish that prevented proper breathing—like children sobbing and gasping for their breath. This made such an impact on Moses that he had another attack of self-distrust and despondency. How could he persuade Pharaoh when he failed so miserably to impress his own countrymen who presumably would have had a naturally deep interest in what he had to say, given their circumstances (Ex 6:11–12)(EBC)

J Ligon Duncan on despondency - These people were both physically beaten down, and frankly, they had lost heart. There is a lesson, I suspect even in the connection between the weariness of the body and the weariness of the soul. But whatever the case, their oppression was heavy, and it is described in amazing terms here. We are told that they did not listen on account of their shortness of breath. Maybe you know what that is like. Maybe you know what it is like to be so under his hand that you are out of breath, you can’t breath. Man, you just can’t catch your breath. And when you can’t catch your breath, it is pretty hard to listen to sermon. Have you ever been grasping for breath and you don’t think the next one is coming? It is hard to concentrate on anything else.

Ryken - In other words, the Israelites were enslaved by their slavery. Their very chains were what prevented them from hearing the cry of freedom. As they slaved away for Pharaoh, making bricks without straw, they lost any hope of emancipation. The Bible says that they were discouraged. More literally, their spirits were broken—so broken that they would not listen to the promise of deliverance. What kept them in bondage was their bondage itself. (Ibid)

Mattoon - Their despair was rooted in their unbelief and bitterness. Moses was looked upon as a deceiver. God was considered as a deserter. Their bondage was more devastating than before. Discouragement is an effective tool of Satan that is used to rob us of God's blessings and His best for us. Such was the case here with God's people....Their discouragement led them to reject the very message which would give them relief.

THOUGHT- In times of despair, it's best to ignore our feelings and simply do what God tells us to do, leaving the consequences with Him. (Wiersbe)

Cruel (07186)(qasheh) means hard, harsh, cruel, severe, strong, violent, fierce. This term's basic function is to describe something as hard. The root qāshî apparently arose from an agricultural milieu. It emphasizes, first, the subjective effect exerted by an overly heavy yoke, which is hard to bear, and secondarily, the rebellious resistance of oxen to the yoke. Thus we see hard labor (Ex 1:14, Ex 6:9, 1 Ki 12:4, 2 Chr 10:4, Isa 14:3), Joseph's hard words (Ge 42:7, 30), Nabal was harsh (1 Sa 25:3), Israel was often described as stubborn or obstinate (Ex 32:9, 33:3, 33:5, 34:9, Dt 9:6, 13, Dt 31:27, Jdg 2:19), obstinate (Is 48:4, Ezek 3:7), oppressed ("hard") in spirit (Hannah in 1 Sa 1:15), hard or difficult legal question (Ex. 18:26), severe battle (2 Sa 2:17), wind (Isa. 27:8), vision (Isa. 21:2); difficult times (Job 30:25), a relentless sword (Isa. 27:1) and fierce jealousy (Song 8:6). 

The Septuagint translates qasheh here in Exodus 6:9 with skleros meaning literally hard, dry, rough; figuratively in the NT; (a) of words harsh, unpleasant, hard to take, intolerable

Qasheh - 36x in 36v - cruel(2), difficult(2), fierce(2), hard(5), hardship(1), harsh(4), harshly(5), heavier(1), obstinate(1), obstinate*(5), oppressed(1), severe(2), stubborn(1), stubborn*(3), stubbornness*(1). Gen. 42:7; Gen. 42:30; Exod. 1:14; Exod. 6:9; Exod. 18:26; Exod. 32:9; Exod. 33:3; Exod. 33:5; Exod. 34:9; Deut. 9:6; Deut. 9:13; Deut. 26:6; Deut. 31:27; Jdg. 2:19; Jdg. 4:24; 1 Sam. 1:15; 1 Sam. 20:10; 1 Sam. 25:3; 2 Sam. 2:17; 2 Sam. 3:39; 1 Ki. 12:4; 1 Ki. 12:13; 1 Ki. 14:6; 2 Chr. 10:4; 2 Chr. 10:13; Job 30:25; Ps. 60:3; Cant. 8:6; Isa. 14:3; Isa. 19:4; Isa. 21:2; Isa. 27:1; Isa. 27:8; Isa. 48:4; Ezek. 2:4; Ezek. 3:7

David Guzik - Many Christians find themselves in the same place (AS UNBELIEVING ISRAEL). They find it hard to trust God and believe that He is for them. This is why Paul says we must not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:1–2). The children of Israel needed their minds renewed, and we do also.

Guzik suggests that Israel's heart was cold to God's hot promises because not only were they despondent, they were also worshiping idols. Ezekiel describes their syncretism...

Now in the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth of the month, certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the LORD, and sat before me. 2 And the word of the LORD came to me saying, 3 “Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Do you come to inquire of Me? As I live,” declares the Lord GOD, “I will not be inquired of by you.”’ 4 “Will you judge them, will you judge them, son of man? Make them know the abominations (toebah = detestable, loathsome) of their fathers (GOD IS GOING TO GO ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE BEHAVIOR OF THEIR FATHERS IN EGYPT); 5 and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “On the day when I chose Israel and swore to the descendants of the house of Jacob and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt (COMPARE Ex 6:3), when I swore to them, saying, I am the LORD your God (Ex 6:2, 6, 7, 8), 6 on that day I swore to them, to bring them out from the land of Egypt into a land that I had selected for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands (READ THE 7 "I WILL'S" IN Ex 6:4-8). 7 “I said to them, ‘Cast away, each of you, the detestable things of his eyes, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.’ 8 “But they rebelled against Me and were not willing to listen to Me; they did not cast away the detestable things of their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I resolved to pour out My wrath on them, to accomplish My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. 9 “But I acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made Myself known to them by bringing them out of the land of Egypt. (Ezekiel 20:1-9)


 1. When we are depressed, we need to get alone with God and talk with God.

 2. We may expect to see God working more and doing more when we are at our lowest.

 3. God has a very specific program with Israel that includes specific land.

 4. No one can stop the sovereign will of God and God does use circumstances to even cause His enemies to do His will pertaining to His people.

5. When we have believed on Jesus Christ, we are redeemed forever.

Exodus 6:10  Now the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,


Now the LORD spoke to Moses, saying - God's timing is always perfect. The now corresponds to Israel refusing to hear/heed his words and Moses undoubtedly falling into a "blue funk." Moses was in need of a Word of encouragement from the LORD! 

David Thompson - So once again Moses’ faith was right back where it started; it was shattered. Moses didn’t want this job and he wanted out of this job. But once again God comes to Moses and what he tells him is–your job is to accurately communicate My Word to Pharaoh because when you do I am going to show Pharaoh and the world that I am God and I accomplish My will. WHEN WE ARE BEING DOMINATED BY AN ARROGANT GODLESS POWER AND WHEN WE ARE TOTALLY DEPRESSED, OUR RESPONSIBILITY IS TO KNOW THE WORD OF GOD, OBEY THE WORD OF GOD AND COMMUNICATE THE WORD OF GOD AND WATCH GOD SOVEREIGNLY WORK.

Exodus 6:11  "Go, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let  the sons of Israel go out of his land."

  • Ex 6:29 Ex 3:10 Ex 5:1,23 7:1 


Go, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the sons of Israel go out of his land - It is interesting that God does not even address Israel's failure to hear or believe Moses' words, but Pharaoh's failure to receive Moses' (God's) words. And so God bypasses the people's unbelief and moves on to the next major act His grand drama of redemption. And in a sense He "re-commissions" Moses. It did not work the first time with Pharaoh but go and tell again! He is still God's man for the task. Failure of Israel to listen did not mean failure of God's promises. God's first two words were commandments - go, tell. We repeatedly see in Scripture that God's commandments come pre-packaged with His enablements!

Thompson - The language here is not a nice suggestion like that of 5:1; this is, as one commentator said, “blunt, full exodus language.” This language indicates that this is to be a direct confrontation and demand. There is warning in the language. God is through fooling around with Pharaoh.

McGee - Moses was not accepted by the children of Israel; he was not accepted by Pharaoh. God told him to speak to Pharaoh again and Moses is reluctant to go. His eyes are on the circumstances rather than on God. (See context Thru the Bible)

Mattoon - It is no longer a three-day journey that the Lord is commanding. It is a permanent exit from the land. This message would be even more difficult to give to Pharaoh because the demands are greater. Who said that delivering God's Word was easy? The principle here is "If God lays a light burden upon us and we refuse, we may expect Him to exchange our light burden for a heavier one." The Lord has a way of increasing pressure until we obey. We better accept the first cross that He offers to us. When we do this, that is success in God's eyes. When we resist His commands, the pressure is increased to submit. When we look in the book of Judges, we find that God gradually increased His punishment upon a disobedient Israel. Israel failed because they would not listen or obey the Lord. When we examine the ten plagues of Egypt, we find that the pressure on Pharaoh was gradually increased in the severity of the plagues. Even though the pressure increased, God was still giving the king the opportunity to change his mind. God could have brought down judgment upon Pharaoh for his scornful rebellion and rejection of the first request given to him by Moses, but the Lord did not do that at all. God gave Pharaoh ample opportunity to yield to His demands. Pharaoh would not be punished until he had repeatedly rejected the requests to let Israel go. Before Pharaoh will be punished with the signs and wonders, God will graciously give him precepts by which he could escape the punishment. Matthew Henry describes this act of God's grace well when he says, "God repeats his precepts before he begins his punishments."

Exodus 6:12  But Moses spoke before the LORD, saying, "Behold, the sons of Israel have not listened to me; how then will Pharaoh listen to me, for I am unskilled in speech?"

BGT  Exodus 6:12 ἐλάλησεν δὲ Μωυσῆς ἔναντι κυρίου λέγων ἰδοὺ οἱ υἱοὶ Ισραηλ οὐκ εἰσήκουσάν μου καὶ πῶς εἰσακούσεταί μου Φαραω ἐγὼ δὲ ἄλογός εἰμι

NET  Exodus 6:12 But Moses replied to the LORD, "If the Israelites did not listen to me, then how will Pharaoh listen to me, since I speak with difficulty?"

LXE  Exodus 6:12 And Moses spoke before the Lord, saying, Behold, the children of Israel hearkened not to me, and how shall Pharao hearken to me? and I am not eloquent.

NLT  Exodus 6:12 "But LORD!" Moses objected. "My own people won't listen to me anymore. How can I expect Pharaoh to listen? I'm such a clumsy speaker! "

KJV  Exodus 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?

ESV  Exodus 6:12 But Moses said to the LORD, "Behold, the people of Israel have not listened to me. How then shall Pharaoh listen to me, for I am of uncircumcised lips?"

NIV  Exodus 6:12 But Moses said to the LORD, "If the Israelites will not listen to me, why would Pharaoh listen to me, since I speak with faltering lips?"

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

CSB  Exodus 6:12 But Moses said in the LORD's presence: "If the Israelites will not listen to me, then how will Pharaoh listen to me, since I am such a poor speaker?"

NKJ  Exodus 6:12 And Moses spoke before the LORD, saying, "The children of Israel have not heeded me. How then shall Pharaoh heed me, for I am of uncircumcised lips?"

NRS  Exodus 6:12 But Moses spoke to the LORD, "The Israelites have not listened to me; how then shall Pharaoh listen to me, poor speaker that I am?"

YLT  Exodus 6:12 and Moses speaketh before Jehovah, saying, 'Lo, the sons of Israel have not hearkened unto me, and how doth Pharaoh hear me, and I of uncircumcised lips?'

  • sons - Ex 6:9 3:13 4:29-31 5:19-21 
  • am -  Ex 6:30 4:10 Lev 26:41 De 30:6 Isa 6:5 Jer 1:6 6:10 9:26 Ac 7:51 


But Moses spoke before the LORD - Before the LORD is literally before the face of the LORD. We know that after the construction of the Tabernacle "the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend." (Ex 33:11) This is when a true pastor ought to shine. To give hurting people hope is our highest calling, but Moses didn't shine, he whined.

NET Note points out that Moses  now use a qal wahomer - This analogy is an example of a qal wahomer comparison. It is an argument by inference from the light (qal) to the heavy (homer), from the simple to the more difficult. If the Israelites, who are Yahwists, would not listen to him, it is highly unlikely Pharaoh would.

Once again Moses is basically saying "I'm not cut out for this job as deliverer because I can't even speak!" Or stated another way, he does not want this job and he gives God two reasons. 

Behold, the sons of Israel have not listened to me; how then will Pharaoh listen to me, for I am unskilled in speech?" - Moses' logic is not completely wrong. But his response still reflects a degree of faith failure. God has made it very clear what would happen, but once again Moses makes an excuse. And again it is about his speech. 

D. L. Moody wittily said that Moses spent
forty years in Pharaoh’s court thinking he was somebody;
forty years in the desert learning he was nobody; and
forty years showing what God can do with somebody who found out he was nobody."
-- Bernard Ramm

Courson points out that "This is the seventh time Moses protests. Like Moses, we have a tendency to argue. But, again, God didn’t give up on Moses. And He won’t give up on you."

David Thompson has an interesting comment - There is some validity to (Moses' first) argument. If you can’t get God’s own people to listen to His Word, why would you think the lost world would listen to it? It would be like us saying if you cannot convince God’s people in God’s churches that our treatment of Israel is critical to our survival as a nation, why would you think you could convince lost political leaders in Washington?

For I am unskilled in speech - KJV = "of uncircumcised lips" NIV = "since I speak with faltering lips?" Literally this is “I am of uncircumcised lips.” or "My lips are uncircumcised." This is quite a metaphorical picture Moses presents to God of uncircumcised lips (here and Ex. 6:30) which means his lips are, as it were, covered with a foreskin, lips that speak incoherently because they are sealed wholly or in part so that one could not easily bring out his words. Earlier he claimed to be  “slow (heavy) of tongue” (Ex 4:10). Uncircumcised is used metaphorically several times in Scripture - uncircumcised ears (Acts 7:51+, Jer 6:10KJV) their ears being in effect closed with a foreskin the net effect being that they are closed to God's saving Word of Truth (the Gospel) by their impure hearts which are uncircumcised. God's call to all with such Gospel resistant hearts to to circumcise their heart (only possible by the Spirit Who alone can pierce the heart Acts 2:37+ and the Word which is sharper than a double edged sword! - Heb 4:12+) All unbelievers have impure, "uncircumcised" hearts and are in grave need of spiritual circumcision. Read Lev 26:41+, Dt 10:16; Dt 30:6+; Jer 4:4; Jer 9:26; Ezekiel 44:7,9 The NT commentary is given by Paul in Ro 2:28,29+ and in Col 2:11,12+ describing Christ's spiritual circumcision. Have you been spiritually circumcised? See Excursus on Circumcision

Unskilled (Uncircumcised(06189)(arel from orlah = foreskin) is an adjective which means one with foreskin intact or "having foreskin." The majority of passages which use this term refer to the literal state of being uncircumcised (e.g., Gen. 17:14; Josh. 5:7; Jdg. 14:3; 15:18; 1 Sa 14:6; 17:26, 36; 31:4; 1 Chr. 10:4). Note the use of arel in this literal sense in Ex. 12:48 "no uncircumcised person may eat of" the Passover.

Arel was a word of contempt, particularly of Philistines who did not practice circumcision (Jdg 14:3; 15:18; 1Sa 14:6; 17:26, 36; 31:4 thru 1Chr 10:4; 2Sa 1:20). The Israelites looked upon the Philistines with contempt, due to their lack of conformity to the practice of circumcision, thus illustrating the Philistines' opposition to Israel's God (2 Sam. 1:20). Foreign nations who remained uncircumcised were considered pagan and unclean. It was a serious covenant violation to bring uncircumcised individuals into the Temple, because it desecrated the holiness and purity of the Lord's sanctuary (Ezek. 44:7, 9). Moses described himself as having "uncircumcised lips," an indication of his speech impediment and difficulty in making people listen to him (Ex 6:12, 30).

This term was associated with moral and spiritual uncleanness (Isa 52:1) as well as with organs that did not function properly (Ex 6:12, "uncircumcised lips" do not speak well; Jer 6:10, "uncircumcised ears" cannot listen).

And so in Ex 6:12, 30 arel is used in a figurative sense to describe one unskilled in speech.

Walter Kaiser on unskilled in speech - This (DESPONDENCY OF ISRAEL) made such an impact on Moses that he had another attack of self-distrust and despondency. How could he persuade Pharaoh when he failed so miserably to impress his own countrymen who presumably would have had a naturally deep interest in what he had to say, given their circumstances (Ex 6:11–12a)

"The “lips” represent his speech (metonymy of cause). The term “uncircumcised” makes a comparison between his speech and that which Israel perceived as unacceptable, unprepared, foreign, and of no use to God. The heart is described this way when it is impervious to good impressions (Lev 26:41; Jer 9:26) and the ear when it hears imperfectly (Jer 6:10). Moses has here returned to his earlier claim—he does not speak well enough to be doing this." (NET)

John Gill "of uncircumcised lips" - had an impediment in his speech, could not speak freely and readily, but with difficulty; perhaps stammered, and so uttered superfluous syllables, repeated them before he could fully pronounce what he aimed at; or in other words, he was not eloquent, which was his old objection, and had been fully answered before: and by this it appears that there was no alteration in the speech of Moses since God spoke with him at Mount Horeb.

George Wood - The term "uncircumcised lips" means he had a deficiency which interferes with this efficiency. In Jeremiah, Jeremiah describes the uncircumcised ear—an ear which cannot harken. And in Leviticus, Moses describes an uncircumcised heart—a heart that cannot understand. Moses described himself as having uncircumcised lips; he is again recalling to God that he has a speech deficiency. The Lord nevertheless insists that Moses go in with Aaron and charge Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, to bring the people of Israel out of the land. 

Joseph Exell - It is unnecessary that men should inform God of their natural impediments to religious service. He knows them. He is acquainted with those whom He sends on His errands, with their weakness and strength. If He calls, it is yours to obey.

THOUGHT - Maybe we have been wrong all these years to see Moses as a towering, Charlton Heston type of dynamic leader. Maybe he was a soft spoken, timid old man who felt and acted like God had given him a job too big to handle. Just maybe pulpit committees ought to take note of this. Just maybe churches are in the trouble they are in because committees use worldly standards, seeking positive, handsome, CEO types, instead of looking at the heart. (Bob Marcaurelle)

Ryken - Are you ever tempted to give up? Sometimes serving the Lord is so discouraging that it is tempting to stop doing something we know God has called us to do. A few problems emerge, and then all of the old fears and doubts return. We start to come up with some of the same old excuses: “I can’t do it.” “I’m not good at this.” “I don’t have time.” God is not interested in our excuses, as we shall see in his answer to Moses at the beginning of chapter 7. But the truth is that we already know the answer: “I am the LORD.” This is always the answer. It was the answer when the Israelites were in slavery and had to make bricks without straw. It was the answer when Moses seemed to be failing and wasn’t sure he could keep on serving God. And it is the answer for us whenever we face problems and are tempted to stop doing what God has called us to do. God says to us, “I am the LORD.” If he is our Lord, then we must trust him and obey him....What is God calling you to do or to keep on doing? You may be having some problems. You may be discouraged. You may have your doubts about whether you can do it. But remember that you serve the Lord, who has promised to do everything to save you, from beginning to end. (Ibid)

David Guzik points out that "Moses wanted to quit after the first setback. God had much to do in his heart before Moses would be ready to deal with all the discouragement ahead as he led Israel to the Promised Land.. God was building endurance in Moses, the ability to stick with God’s plan and will even when it didn’t seem to work. This is faith; this is patient endurance in the LORD." 

Rod Mattoon - His claim, "I am a failure because I have uncircumcised lips which means "I am unable to talk eloquently." Moses has a great fear of failure. It is one of the pains of life that we just cannot bear. No one wants to fail. Unfortunately, we are bad judges of identifying failure.

Our service to the Lord Jesus Christ must not be conditioned on how folks respond to our message. We are to do what God says whether people believe God's message or do not believe it. God sent Moses back to Pharaoh again and again even though Pharaoh never believed. Our calling is simply not dependent on whether people believe or not. It is dependent upon God's commands. What Moses considered a defeat, was actually in essence, a delay. His so called "failure" was not one at all.

Let me ask at this point a question, "Has Moses done what God has told him to do so far?" The answer is "Yes, even though he was fearful." Thus, Moses is not a failure. It is the doing of our duty God's way and our obedience to God's Word that we are held accountable for, not the failure or success of the response of others which may accompany the work. I know that goes contrary to what preachers are being taught in some Bible colleges today. You are considered a success if your church is big, but you are ordinary or a nobody if your church is not big. How tragic that many have swallowed that philosophy only to quit the ministry because their church was not big. Many times people feel like failures because of a false notion of what success is and because of an incorrect understanding of the will of God.

If you are a godly man or woman that has endeavored to obey God's Word and do God's will for your life, you are a success in the eyes of the Lord and that is what really matters. You do not have to be honored or recognized by men to be considered a success. Your value or importance to God is not based upon the recognition of men. Beloved, just do your best for God and don't worry about honor, recognition, popularity, prestige, and praise. You will enjoy these things at the Judgment Seat of Christ if you have been faithful to the Lord.

Moses was experiencing a delay with Pharaoh and Israel. Delays in God's service are not necessarily defeats. Take Adoniram Judson for example. Was Judson a failure? By men's standards, he might have been considered one. He preached in Burma for six years before he baptized his first convert to Christ. The first six years were a delay, but not a defeat. Thirty years after his death, there were 63 churches in Burma, 163 missionaries, and 7000 baptized converts. Just think what would not have happened if he quit in the first six years.

By current standards of success, Jesus might be considered a failure. Let's look at how Jesus measured up to these standards: Was He popular? No. He was not well-liked. In fact, after one of His sermons, all of His followers deserted Him, except for the Twelve Apostles. Did He have political power? No. He was a political failure. All levels of government first rejected Him. Then they conspired to kill Him. Did He have lots of friends? No. His friends often hurt Him, eventually abandoned Him, and one of them betrayed Him to death. Did He have money and possessions? No. He had no house, no "wheels", no world headquarters, no Christian amusement park. Was the Lord respected by His peers? No. His professional peers (Pharisees) rejected His work. Despite His apparent failure by these standards, Jesus Christ has changed the lives of millions of men and women across the centuries. How could He, in light of His failures? He did His Father's will.

Beloved, the Lord wants us to be faithful and obedient to His will. We are to labor onward, believing in due season, we shall reap, if we faint not. We are not to take the plough and look back. We are to focus on God's ability when we are neck-deep in impossibility and it looks like failure is imminent. 

Some men are failures because they believe in their head that they are a success, when in reality, they are not. One man put it this way, "I climbed the ladder of success only to find my ladder was leaning against the wrong wall." If a person sacrifices his marriage, family, testimony for Christ, or his faith to be a success in the eyes of the world, he is not a success at all according to God's standard.

Moses needed an attitude adjustment about failure and success. He gave God his excuses again and God told him to get back to Pharaoh and Israel. He was to tell them it was time to go. Many Christians today have the same fears as Moses. Some Christians are so afraid of failure that they become reserved, overly cautious, and uninvolved in life. They follow a policy of guarded living, holding back time, talents, and treasure from God's service. Their motto is: To keep from failing-don't try!

On the other hand, those who are willing to make mistakes and risk failure are the ones who ultimately achieve great things. Instead of being filled with fear, they go forward in faith. Problems are challenges. While they may not all be solved, these courageous people would rather live with that reality than have a clean record of no failures and no accomplishments. Benjamin Franklin said one time, "The man who does things makes many mistakes, but he never makes the biggest mistake of all-doing nothing."

Men who have accomplished great things in secular and spiritual matters have done so many times by overcoming their failures. Men like Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth were successful failures in the world of baseball. Ty Cobb was thrown out more times trying to steal than any other man in baseball history. Babe Ruth struck out more times than any man in baseball history. Hank Aaron, who broke Babe Ruth's record, has struck out more times than 99% of the players who make it to the major leagues. Nobody-but nobody-considers them failures and few people even remember their failures. Virtually everyone remembers their successes.

Enrico Caruso's voice failed to carry the high notes so many times his voice teacher advised him to quit. He kept singing and was recognized as the greatest tenor in the world. Thomas Edison's teacher called him a dunce and he later failed over 14,000 times in his efforts to perfect the incandescent light. Abraham Lincoln was well known for his failures but nobody considers him a failure. Albert Einstein and Werner von Braun both flunked courses in math. Henry Ford was broke at age 40. Yet, it was Henry Ford who said, "Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently." Spiritual success is a result of not quitting, but faithful obedience to God's Word and will.

Moses’ Seven Objections
    1.      WHO AM I? Ex. 3:11
    2.      WHAT WILL I SAY? Ex. 3:13
    3.      WILL NOT BELIEVE ME Ex. 4:1
    4.      I AM NOT ELOQUENT Ex. 4:10
    5.      SEND AARON Ex. 4:13
    6.      ISRAEL HAVE NOT HEARKENED Ex. 6:12
    7.      I AM OF UNCIRCUMCISED LIPS Ex. 6:30

John Butler -  A Common Complaint Exodus 6:12                

From this complaint of Moses to God we learn some important truths about serving the Lord. We often complain as Moses did, but our folly is great when we complain.


"Moses spoke before the Lord." While Moses was complaining to God about the results of his service, he did demonstrate faith in God by the fact that he prayed. You may be struggling in your service and feel as Moses did in your frustration, but if you have faith in God, which will be manifested by prayer to God (man lacking faith do not pray), you will come out all right.


"Behold the children of Israel have not hearkened unto; how then shall Pharaoh hear me." It is true from human reasoning that if Israel, God's people, will not listen to Moses, then Pharaoh who represents the ungodly world will certainly not listen. But we must not base our service on results. We serve, preach, witness etc. not because the results are promising but because God commands us to serve. It is not how many you have in Sunday School that keeps you going, but whether or not God has commanded you to keep going. Results are not the criteria by which we judge right and wrong and faithfulness to His precepts. Results have their place but they are not the supreme justification of service. Potential results may be predictably bad, but you are not to serve on that basis but on whether or not God has told you to serve. Many quit because of results being bad. They have not learned that serving or doing anything as a Christian is based on God's Word not on results. The Apostle Paul ended up in prison and was beheaded for preaching Christ. Does that mean we should silence our preaching because it could lead to death? Noah was not successful in convincing others to get in the boat. Does that mean he was wasting his time? No, he did what God told him to do, and so must we, results or not.


"Me, who am of uncircumcised lips." Moses reverts back to his former excuse for not serving the Lord. He says his speech is not good enough. Rhetoric, just like results is not the key to serving God. (ED: SOME PEOPLE SAID D L MOODY BUTCHERED HIS ENGLISH! BUT O WHAT A "BUTCHER" HE WAS FOR THE KING!) Divine commands determine our service and our walk. Our excuses are a vain attempt to justify the lack of results. We may be short of talent, but that has nothing to do with results. If the Spirit of God does not work in the hearts of people, the greatest talent of all will not compensate. How often we think if some famous person gives their testimony in church, others will believe. Believing on Jesus Christ is different than selling things. Believing requires the work of God. God likes to use means that we consider defective to honor Him.

Exodus 6:13  Then the LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron, and gave them a charge to the sons of Israel and to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt.

NLT  Exodus 6:13 But the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron and gave them orders for the Israelites and for Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. The LORD commanded Moses and Aaron to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt. (Exo 6:13 NLT)

  • Nu 27:19,23 De 31:14 Ps 91:11 Mt 4:6 1Ti 1:18 5:21 6:13,17 2Ti 2:4 4:1 


Then the LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron - The conjunction THEN normally marks sequence or progression, so presumably after God had spoke to Moses in the preceding passage. Now He speaks to both Moses and Aaron. Notice that God essentially disregards Moses' 2 reasons for not wanting to carry out this commission.

Some think this is commissioning is just a duplication of Moses' early call but there are significant differences - "God first called Moses at Mount Horeb, but this time he spoke to him in Egypt. Furthermore, on this occasion God did not appear to Moses in a burning bush. Nor did he give him any miraculous signs or say anything about Aaron. The response is different too. The first time Moses spoke to the Israelites they believed him, but this time they didn’t even want to hear what he had to say. Given these significant differences, it is clear that Exodus 6 is not simply a rerun but a whole new episode." (Ryken)

And gave them a charge to the sons of Israel and to Pharaoh king of Egypt to bring the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt - A charge is not a suggestion and not a take it or leave it thought - this was God's will for the nation of Israel and it would be accomplished one way or another. 

Morris - This same commission had previously been given to Moses while he was still in Midian (Exodus 3:10). Now, evidently because of the discouragement he had received so far, God again spoke to him in Egypt and renewed the commission.

Exodus 6:14  These are the heads of their fathers' households. The sons of Reuben, Israel's firstborn: Hanoch and Pallu, Hezron and Carmi; these are the families of Reuben.

  • the heads - Ex 6:25 Jos 14:1 19:51 1Ch 5:24 7:2,7 8:6 
  • The sons - Ge 46:9 49:3,4 Nu 26:5,6 1Ch 5:3 
  • these - Nu 26:7 Jos 13:15,23 

From Thomas Constable

These are the heads of their fathers' households. The sons of Reuben, Israel's firstborn: Hanoch and Pallu, Hezron and Carmi; these are the families of Reuben - These names are not depicted in the Genealogical Chart above.

From the chart above you can see 4 generations - Levi > Kohath > Amran > Aaron and Moses which corresponds to the 4 generations of Genesis 15:16 = "“Then in the fourth generation they will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.”  There are other generations after Aaron and Moses, but those would be the generation through which God would bring about deliverance from Egypt. It was through Moses and Aaron, the members of the fourth generation, that God brought Israel out of Egypt just as He had predicted He would do. 

F B Meyer - Tread gently here! This is a private burying-ground, the last resting place of the founders of a family to which the world is deeply indebted for priceless service.” 

Ryken - Historically they are important because they help confirm the accuracy of the Biblical record. I once heard the story of a native tribe that was converted by a genealogy. A western missionary had worked with them for many years and had often shared the good news about Jesus Christ, but with little result. Finally, he translated one of the Biblical genealogies that went all the way back to Adam. “Now we know that what you say is true,” the natives said. “We recite the names of our ancestors, but we had forgotten the beginning. Now we know that your Bible is true.” The natives repented of their sins and received Jesus Christ as the Son of David, the son of Adam, and the Son of God. The genealogy in Exodus 6 may not convert anyone, but it is historically significant because the ages given for Levi and his sons help confirm that Israel was in Egypt for more than 400 years. (Ibid)

Thompson - Reuben is Jacob’s firstborn son who is listed first to show his importance. However, his listing only goes to his immediate children because Moses and Aaron were not specifically descendants of his family line.

Believer's Study Bible - Appropriately this genealogy of Moses and Aaron (vv. 14-27) occurs as Moses receives his final commission to go to Pharaoh, and just as he is shown to be ready for the great conflict about to begin. It serves to emphasize where Moses and Aaron fit into the working out of God's plan.

Ryrie Study Bible - The genealogy is inserted in order to identify the lineage of Moses and Aaron and to position them as the ones freshly appointed to the present task of deliverance (cf. Ex 6:29). 

Wiersbe - The genealogy (Ex 6:14-27) isn't there by accident, for it's the Lord's way of reminding us, the readers, that God had prepared Moses and Aaron for their ministry in Egypt. Their arrival in Jacob's family was part of His providential working. God's calling means God's enabling, and what He begins He always completes (Eph. 2:10; Phil. 1:6). (Ibid)

Exodus 6:15  The sons of Simeon: Jemuel and Jamin and Ohad and Jachin and Zohar and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman; these are the families of Simeon.

  • sons - Ge 46:10 Nu 26:12,13 1Ch 4:24, Nemuel, Jarib, Zerah

The sons of Simeon: Jemuel and Jamin and Ohad and Jachin and Zohar and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman; these are the families of Simeon - These names are not depicted in the Genealogical Chart above.

As Ryken says "The Biblical genealogies show the importance of named individuality. God not only has a plan for the salvation of a people, but he has an intimate, personal relationship with every individual in his family. As far as God is concerned, there are no “little people” (Francis Schaeffer)."

Thompson - The mention of“a Canaanite woman” as the mother of Shaul does two things: First, it contrasts the line of Levi, which is the pure priestly line; Second, it shows that there have always been key women in Israel’s history who were not pure bloods. 

Exodus 6:16  These are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations: Gershon and Kohath and Merari; and the length of Levi's life was one hundred and thirty-seven years.

  • sons - Ge 46:11 Nu 3:17 1Ch 6:1,16 
  • Kohath - Nu 26:57 1Ch 23:6 
  • hundred - Ex 6:18,20 Ge 35:28 47:28 50:26 

From Thomas Constable


These are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations: Gershon and Kohath and Merari; and the length of Levi's life was one hundred and thirty-seven years - The descendants of Levi receive most of the attention from here on down. 

Believer's Study Bible on Ex 6:16-19 -  It is not unusual for Israelite genealogies to be incomplete. There is a parallel genealogy of 10 generations covering this same time period for Joshua (1 Chr. 7:22-27).

Cole - At this point the narrator breaks off, in order to identify and particularize Moses and Aaron more precisely. The Hebrew method of identification was to give a genealogy, in this case the genealogy of the founding fathers, beginning with Reuben, the senior tribe. It is repeated from the beginning up to the mention of Levi, the required tribe. No further tribes are then mentioned. (TOTC-Ex)

Exodus 6:17  The sons of Gershon: Libni and Shimei, according to their families.

  • Ge 46:11 Nu 3:18, Shimei, 1Ch 6:17 23:7, Laadan, Shimei

The sons of Gershon: Libni and Shimei, according to their families

Henry Morris on sons of Gershon -  In Exodus 6:16-19 the genealogy from Levi to Moses through Kohath and Amram is abbreviated to just four generations although the stay in Egypt is said to be 430 years (Exodus 12:40-41). However, this same approximate time period from Ephraim (a son of Joseph) to Joshua also involved ten generations (1 Chronicles 7:22-27). It is thus obvious that the Levi-to-Moses genealogy gave only the four "major" ancestors of Moses, corresponding roughly to the 430-year stay of Israel in Egypt. See also the notes on Genesis 15:16.

Exodus 6:18  The sons of Kohath: Amram and Izhar and Hebron and Uzziel; and the length of Kohath's life was one hundred and thirty-three years.

  • sons of Kohath  - Nu 3:19, Izehar, Nu 26:57 1Ch 6:2,18 
  • and the length of Kohath's life - Ex 6:16 

The sons of Kohath: Amram and Izhar and Hebron and Uzziel; and the length of Kohath's life was one hundred and thirty-three years.

Exodus 6:19  The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites according to their generations.

  • Nu 3:20 1Ch 6:19 23:21 


The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites according to their generations

Exodus 6:20  Amram married his father's sister Jochebed, and she bore him Aaron and Moses; and the length of Amram's life was one hundred and thirty-seven years.

BGT (Lxx)  Exodus 6:20 καὶ ἔλαβεν Αμβραμ τὴν Ιωχαβεδ θυγατέρα τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ ἑαυτῷ εἰς γυναῖκα καὶ ἐγέννησεν αὐτῷ τόν τε Ααρων καὶ Μωυσῆν καὶ Μαριαμ τὴν ἀδελφὴν αὐτῶν τὰ δὲ ἔτη τῆς ζωῆς Αμβραμ ἑκατὸν τριάκοντα δύο ἔτη

  • Amram - Ex 2:1,2 Nu 26:59 
  • and the length of Amram's life: The Samaritan, LXX (see above)., Syriac, and one Hebrew Manuscripts add, "And Miriam their sister;" which some of the best critics suppose to have been originally in the text. Ex 6:16,18 


Amram married his father's sister Jochebed, and she bore him Aaron and Moses; and the length of Amram's life was one hundred and thirty-seven years - Moses is now 80 so it would seem very possible that Moses' father and mother might still be alive. Let's say (total conjecture) Moses' parents were 30 when he was born, so his father would be about 110 years old, and it would have been quite a reunion. Of course, I am only speculating!

Guzik - This portion is important because the priesthood that will eventually come from the family of Aaron will be passed down to his descendants. Therefore it was important to know exactly who his descendants were.

Believer's Study Bible -Though some scholars have suggested that this "Amram" may not be the same as Amram the son of Kohath (v. 18), 1 Chr. 6:1-3 indicates that they are the same. Thus the genealogy is an abbreviated form, understood to be in harmony with a 430-year stay in Egypt (cf. 12:40, 41). From Levi to Moses there were four "major" generations (cf. Gen. 15:16).

Thompson -  Amram, who is the father of Moses and Aaron, is now mentioned in Exodus 6:20. It is specifically stated that he married his aunt, whose name was Jochebed, who was his father’s sister. This has presented a problem since Lev. 18:6, 12 teaches that a sexual relationship with one’s aunt is an abomination to God.   Now most explain this by observing the fact that the Law had not yet been given and therefore violations of the Law were not imputed by God This point is clearly established by Paul in Romans 5:13. However, in that very Romans text, Paul’s point is that people still died because they had sinned against God. In fact, it is stated in Exodus 6:20 that Amram died at age 137.  A theological point here is that no one kept the Law of God perfectly, including the family of Moses (ED: AND NOTE WHAT HEBREWS 11:23+ SAYS ABOUT AMRAM AND JOCHEBED - "BY FAITH" - THEY WERE CALLED FAITHFUL, NOT PERFECT!). In other words, the very family lineage line of Moses proves even the best of families have fallen short of the glory of God. God can and does call people and use people who have come out of backgrounds that have been bizarre. Moses is one such example

Exodus 6:21  The sons of Izhar: Korah and Nepheg and Zichri.

  • Korah - Ex 6:24 Nu 16:1,32 26:10,11 1Ch 6:37,38 

The sons of Izhar: Korah and Nepheg and ZichriThompson - The list introduces us to many of the Israelites who will be delivered, who later will turn out to be losers - (i.e. Korah, Ex 6:21, 24 -- Numbers 16:1-49; Nadab and Abihu, Ex 6:23 -- Numbers 3:2-3).

Exodus 6:22  The sons of Uzziel: Mishael and Elzaphan and Sithri.

  • Lev 10:4 Ne 3:20 

The sons of Uzziel: Mishael and Elzaphan and Sithri - About whom we know almost nothing except that they removed the dead bodies of disobedient Nadab and Abihu after they were struck by God (see Lev 10:4).

Exodus 6:23  Aaron married Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab, the sister of Nahshon, and she bore him Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.

  • Elisheba - Lu 1:5 
  • Amminadab - Nu 1:7 2:3 Ru 4:19,20 1Ch 2:10 Mt 1:4 
  • Nadab - Ex 24:1,9 Lev 10:1,2 Nu 3:2-4 20:25 26:60,61 1Ch 6:3 24:1,2 

Aaron married Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab, the sister of Nahshon, and she bore him Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.

Exodus 6:24  The sons of Korah: Assir and Elkanah and Abiasaph; these are the families of the Korahites.

  • Korah - Ex 6:21 Nu 16:1,32 26:9-11 1Ch 6:22,33,37,38 Ps 84:1-12 Ps 85:1 *titles
  • Elkanah - 1Sa 1:1 1Ch 6:23,27,28 

The sons of Korah: Assir and Elkanah and Abiasaph; these are the families of the Korahites

Thompson -   This Korahite family would become a powerful family clan, whom God would totally destroy (Numbers 16:32-33). 

Exodus 6:25  Aaron's son Eleazar married one of the daughters of Putiel, and she bore him Phinehas. These are the heads of the fathers' households of the Levites according to their families.

  • Phinehas - Nu 25:7-13 31:6 Jos 22:13,31,32 24:33 Jud 20:28 Ps 106:30,31 
  • the heads - Ex 6:14 

Aaron's son Eleazar married one of the daughters of Putiel, and she bore him Phinehas. These are the heads of the fathers' households of the Levites according to their families.

Thompson -  Most of the names of this genealogy never show up again in Scripture . So God had sovereignly preserved the right lineage prior to Him establishing His priesthood. Aaron’s son, Eleazar, married one of the daughters of Putiel, and they had a son named Phinehas (Exodus 6:25). Now one of the questions is why doesn’t Moses mention Aaron’s other sons–Nadab, Abihu and Ithamar? When Moses wrote this, Nadab and Abihu were dead because God killed them because they offered a strange fire to Him (Num. 3:2-4). Both Eleazar and Ithamar would end up serving as priests during the lifetime of Aaron (Num. 3:4). As far as Ithamar is concerned, he was an honored Priest and did produce a large number of priests (Num. 4:28, 33; 7:8; I Chron. 24:1-6; Ezra 8:2). The reason why Phinehas is mentioned is because he would be the one who would put an end to the cult prostitution scandal at Baal-Peor in Numbers 25.

Exodus 6:26  It was the same Aaron and Moses to whom the LORD said, "Bring out the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their hosts."

  • That Aaron - Ex 6:13,20 Jos 24:5 1Sa 12:6,8 1Ch 6:3 Ps 77:20 99:6 Mic 6:4 
  • Bring - Ex 6:7 3:10,11 20:2 32:1,7,11 Ac 7:35,36 
  • their hosts- Ex 7:4 12:17,51 13:18 Ge 2:1 Nu 33:1 

It was the same Aaron and Moses to whom the LORD said, "Bring out the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their hosts."

Believer's Study Bible - Some have suggested that the wording here is evidence that Exodus was written many years after Moses lived. The reference to Moses and Aaron, however, comes at the end of a genealogy beginning in v. 14. This verse names Aaron first, as the elder, and closes the genealogy. Verse 27 returns to the historical narrative and appropriately names the more important man first.

Exodus 6:27  They were the ones who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt about bringing out the sons of Israel from Egypt; it was the same Moses and Aaron.

  • who spoke to Pharaoh king - Ex 5:1-3 7:10 
  • about bringing out the sons of Israel from Egypt - Ex 6:13,26 32:7 33:1 Ps 77:20 Mic 6:4 

They were the ones who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt about bringing out the sons of Israel from Egypt; it was the same Moses and Aaron.

Exodus 6:28  Now it came about on the day when the LORD spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt,


Ryken comments that "Since this genealogy was something of a digression, the story now resumes with a brief recap: “Now when the LORD spoke to Moses in Egypt …” (Ex 6:28) and so on." (Ibid)

Now it came about on the day when the LORD spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt - So this is clearly a different conversation then God had with Moses on Mt Horeb speaking from the burning bush when He initially "commissioned" Moses to be the deliverer of Israel. 

Believer's Study Bible on Exodus 6:28-7:5 - Seemingly repetitious portions of the text (cf. Ex 4:10-17, 21) are not signs of different documents or different authors. The Bible was written to be read aloud to the people. Repetition clarified and maintained the unity of thought, and is typical of Semitic narratives.

Exodus 6:29  that the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "I am the LORD; speak to Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I speak to you."

  • I am the LORD- Ex 6:2,6,8 
  • speak to Pharaoh king of Egypt - Ex 6:11 7:2 Jer 1:7,8,17-19 23:28 26:2 Eze 2:6,7 3:11,17 Mt 28:20 Ac 20:27 

That the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "I am the LORD" - This is the fifth time we see this repeated but key self-disclosure from God that "I am the LORD," which theoretically should have calmed and soothed all of Moses' (and our) fear and hesitation. But it did not as the next passage shows. Moses (and we) either do not really believe what God says about Himself and/or we have not really come to know Him as Jehovah, the great I Am Who is able to do anything He pleases or determines to do.

As an aside the declaration I am the Lord is frequently used in Exodus (by far most uses of this phrase are found in Leviticus and Ezekiel) - Ex 6:2; Ex 6:6; Ex 6:7; Ex 6:8; Ex 6:29; Exod. 7:5; Exod. 7:17; Exod. 10:2; Exod. 12:12; Exod. 14:4; Exod. 14:18; Exod. 16:12; Exod. 20:2; Exod. 29:46; Exod. 31:13; 

Cole - Once again, God’s remarks are prefaced by the statement ‘I am YHWH’, which is not only used as authentication and guarantee of command or promise, but is also an explanation of its reason and nature (e.g. Lev. 19:18, ‘You must love your neighbour as yourself: I am YHWH’). (Ibid)

Speak to Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I speak to you - "Tell Pharaoh everything I tell you." Simp ly stated Moses is to speak God's Words to Pharaoh. Jehovah was not calling Moses to volunteer or giving a suggestion. This was an order and it was time to obey these marching orders! If God has been speaking to you in His Word repeatedly giving you an order, perhaps today is the day that you march out in obedience in the power of His Spirit! 

David Thompson on Pharaoh king of Egypt - Pharaoh is called “king of Egypt” 44 times and “Pharaoh” 197 times, but “Pharaoh king of Egypt” is rare. Why does God use it here? To show Moses He is the one who is totally and completely in charge of the most powerful man on earth. God is not asking Moses to be a great philosophical orator or communicator, he says you go give this big political leader My Word and I will take care of the rest. Now the emphasis of what God wants Moses to do here is not that he go back to the sons of Israel and try to convince the Hebrews and persuade them that He is going to lead them out of Egypt, both Moses and Aaron were to go directly to Pharaoh and speak to him.

Exodus 6:30  But Moses said before the LORD, "Behold, I am unskilled in speech; how then will Pharaoh listen to me?"

  • unskilled in speech: Ex 6:12 Ex 4:10 1Co 9:16,17 


But - Again Moses is trying to convince God that he is the wrong man for this job of deliverance! And he reverts back to his previous objections and excuses. We might be critical of Moses at this point but isn't that a tactic we all employ, coming up with excuses for not doing what God tells us or wants us to do?  As Ryken says "It takes some Christians years to get past their tired old excuses for not giving, not going, not witnessing, or not serving. We need to discover what Moses discovered: God’s call is always accompanied by God’s gift." (Ibid)

Moses said before the LORD, "Behold, I am unskilled in speech; how then will Pharaoh listen to me?" - Moses uses the same phrase “my lips are not circumcised” (See preceding discussion of this vivid metaphorical description) which means he does not think he is a polished speaker. In Ex 6:12 his excuse was since the Hebrews have not listened to me, why would Pharaoh listen to me? Here he reverts back his speech as the reason Pharaoh won't listen to him. This passage ends in Exodus 6 but it is a poor chapter break because God's answer to Moses' repeat excuse about his speech is addressed by God in the next chapter. For God's answer to Moses' objection see Exodus 7:1+ and Exodus 7:4+.


In what ways was Moses like Jesus? This article is from an excellent resource - Gotquestions.org (Suggestion: Bookmark it)

Answer: In one of Moses’ final speeches, he gave this messianic prophecy: “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him” (Deuteronomy 18:15). The prophet whom Mosesforetells bears these qualities: He will be raised up by God, He will come from among the Israelites, He will be like Moses, and He will be worthy of being heard and obeyed. The prophet who fulfills these words is Jesus Christ, the prophet like Moses.

On the banks of the Jordan River, the Jews questioned John the Baptist about who he was and why he was baptizing. Their question “Are you the Prophet?” (John 1:21) shows that they were looking for the fulfillment of Moses’ prophecy. John plainly informed them that he was not the Prophet but pointed them to the One who was: “Among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie” (verses 26–27). John’s description of the Messiah as one “among you” recalls Moses’ prediction that God would raise up the Prophet “from among you” in Deuteronomy 18:15. The very next day, John specifically identifies Jesus as the One they were waiting for (John 1:29–31).

In his sermon at the temple, Peter affirms that Jesus is the prophet like Moses (Acts 3:22, quoting Deuteronomy 18:15). Stephen, addressing the Sanhedrin in Acts 7:37, also quotes Moses and applies the prophecy to Jesus Christ.

Jesus is like Moses in several ways. Moses was both a prophet and a lawgiver, and Jesus is, too. Jesus was widely recognized as a prophet who spoke the Word of God (Matthew 21:46), and He gave commandments for His followers to obey (John 13:34; 15:12, 17; Galatians 6:2). Both Moses and Jesus mediated a covenant between God and men—Moses the Old Covenant (Exodus 34:27; Acts 7:44), and Jesus the New (Luke 22:20; Hebrews 9:15). Both Moses and Jesus were born during perilous times, and both narrowly escaped a king bent on murdering babies (Exodus 1:22 and Matthew 2:16–18). Both Moses and Jesus had a connection to Egypt (Exodus 2:1–4 and Matthew 2:13–14).Moses was the (adopted) son of a king (Exodus 2:10), and Jesus is the Son of the Most High (Luke 1:32). Moses spent forty years as a shepherd (Exodus 3:1), and Jesus is the Good Shepherd (John 10:11, 14). Both Moses and Jesus were known for their meekness (Numbers 12:3 and Matthew 11:29).

Moses and Jesus were alike in that they both led God’s people out of captivity. With great power, Moses led the Israelites out of physical bondage and slavery in Egypt, and Jesus, with even greater power, led God’s elect out of spiritual bondage and slavery to sin. Moses stood before Pharaoh and said, “'Let my people go” (Exodus 5:1). Jesus came “to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and . . . to set the oppressed free” (Luke 4:18). “In Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2).

Moses was also like Jesus in that he performed miracles—not all prophets did. Several of the miracles of Moses bear a resemblance to Jesus’ miracles, most notably the provision of bread in the wilderness (Exodus 16:35), which is comparable to Jesus’ feeding of the 5,000 (John 6:1–13). In fact, after Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes, the people’s thoughts ran immediately to Moses’ prophecy: “After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, ‘Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world’” (John 6:14).

Another way that Moses was like Jesus is that he held intimate conversations with God: “The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend” (Exodus 33:11). Jesus also had a special relationship to God: “No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son” (Matthew 11:27); “The Father knows me and I know the Father” (John 10:15). When Moses stood in God’s presence, his face shone with a heavenly glory and had to be covered with a veil (Exodus 34:29–35), and this reminds us of Jesus’ transfiguration, when “His face shone like the sun” (Matthew 17:2).

Another important way that Moses was like Jesus is that he constantly interceded for his people. When the Israelites sinned, Moses was always standing by, ready to petition God on their behalf and plead for their forgiveness. After the blatant idolatry at the foot of Mt. Sinai involving the golden calf, Moses interceded twice for the people (Exodus 32:11–13, 30–32), and his intercession was needed at other times, too (e.g., Numbers 11:2; 12:13; 21:7). Moses’ intercession was temporary, but our Lord’s is everlasting. “If anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One” (1 John 2:1). Jesus is right now “at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” (Romans 8:34). Jesus “always lives to intercede” for us (Hebrews 7:25).

Not only was Moses an intercessor for God’s people but, like Jesus, he was willing to die for them. In Exodus 32:32, Moses offers his life in exchange for sinners. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends,” Jesus said (John 15:13), and Jesus proved His love when He “laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16; cf. John 10:15). (In what ways was Moses like Jesus?)