|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:16-22 Moses' success with the elders of Israel would be good. God, who, by his grace, inclines the heart, and opens the ear, could say beforehand, They shall hearken to thy voice; for he would make them willing in this day of power. As to Pharaoh, Moses is here told that petitions and persuasions, and humble complaints, would not prevail with him; nor a mighty hand stretched out in signs and wonders. But those will certainly be broken by the power of God's hand, who will not bow to the power of his word. Pharaoh's people should furnish Israel with riches at their departure. In Pharaoh's tyranny and Israel's oppression, we see the miserable, abject state of sinners. However galling the yoke, they drudge on till the Lord sends redemption. With the invitations of the gospel, God sends the teaching of his Spirit. Thus are men made willing to seek and to strive for deliverance. Satan loses his power to hold them, they come forth with all they have and are, and apply all to the glory of God and the service of his church.
Verse 20. - I will stretch out my hand. To encourage Moses and the people, to support them in what was, humanly speaking, a most unequal contest, this important promise is made. It is a confirmation, and to some extent, an explanation of the pledge, already, given, "Certainly I will be with thee" (ver. 12). It shows how God would be with him - he would smite Egypt with all his wonders - what those would be was left obscure. He would come to his people's aid, and openly assert himself, and afflict and strike terror into their enemies-until at last even Pharaoh's stubborn spirit would be broken, and he would consent to let them go.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And I will stretch out my hand,.... Or "therefore" (e) he would stretch out his mighty hand, exert his almighty power; and for this purpose was Pharaoh raised up, and his heart hardened, that God might show his power in him, and on him:
and smite Egypt with all my wonders, which I will do in the midst thereof: with those wondrous plagues, the amazing effects of his almighty power, which were wrought by him in the midst of Egypt, by which their land, their rivers, their persons, and their cattle, were smitten:
and after that he will let you go; this is said for their encouragement, that their faith and patience might hold out, who otherwise seeing him so obstinate and inflexible, might be ready to despair of ever succeeding.
(e) "ideo", "propterea", Noldius, p. 279.
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