Exodus 6:1
Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
VI.

GOD’S RENEWAL AND ENLARGEMENT OF HIS PROMISES.

(1) Now shalt thou see.—Moses’ complaint was that God delayed, and “was slack as concerning His promise.” Hitherto He had not “delivered His people at all.” The answer,”Now shalt thou see,” is an assurance that there will be no more delay; the work is just about to begin, and Moses will behold it. He will then cease to doubt.

With a strong hand shall he let them go.—Rather, through a strong hand: i.e., through the compulsion which my strong hand will exert on him,

Drive them.—Comp. Exodus 12:31-33.

Exodus 6:1. Now shalt thou see what I will do — Here we have a striking proof of God’s long-suffering. Instead of severely reproving Moses for his impatience, as manifested at the close of the preceding chapter, and his injurious complaints, he condescends to give him fresh assurances of his power and his determination to deliver the Israelites. With a strong hand — That is, being forced to it with a strong hand, or by those terrible judgments which I shall inflict upon him by my power, he shall let them go.

6:1-9 We are most likely to prosper in attempts to glorify God, and to be useful to men, when we learn by experience that we can do nothing of ourselves; when our whole dependence is placed on him, and our only expectation is from him. Moses had been expecting what God would do; but now he shall see what he will do. God would now be known by his name Jehovah, that is, a God performing what he had promised, and finishing his own work. God intended their happiness: I will take you to me for a people, a peculiar people, and I will be to you a God. More than this we need not ask, we cannot have, to make us happy. He intended his own glory: Ye shall know that I am the Lord. These good words, and comfortable words, should have revived the drooping Israelites, and have made them forget their misery; but they were so taken up with their troubles, that they did not heed God's promises. By indulging discontent and fretfulness, we deprive ourselves of the comfort we might have, both from God's word and from his providence, and go comfortless.The earnestness of this remonstrance, and even its approach to irreverence, are quite in keeping with other notices of Moses' naturally impetuous character. See Exodus 3:13. CHAPTER 6

Ex 6:1-13. Renewal of the Promise.

1. the Lord said unto Moses—The Lord, who is long-suffering and indulgent to the errors and infirmities of His people, made allowance for the mortification of Moses as the result of this first interview and cheered him with the assurance of a speedy and successful termination to his embassy.God encourageth Moses,

Exodus 6:1; reneweth his covenant, confirms it by his name Jehovah, Exodus 6:3-8. Their unbelief, Exodus 6:9. God commands Moses to speak to Pharaoh to let Israel go, Exodus 6:10-13. The genealogy of Reuben, Exodus 6:14; of Simeon, Exodus 6:15; of Levi, Exodus 6:16; of Aaron, Exodus 6:23. Moses and Aaron spake to Pharaoh to let the children of Israel go, Exodus 6:27 With a strong hand; being compelled to do so by my powerful and terrible works.

Then the Lord said unto Moses,.... In answer to the questions put to him, and the expostulations made with him:

now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: in inflicting punishments on him: for with a strong hand shall he let them go; being forced to it by the mighty hand of God upon him; and it is by some rendered, "because of a strong hand" (s); so Jarchi; for this is not to be understood of the hand of Pharaoh, but of the hand of God:

and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land: not only be willing that they should go, but be urgent upon them to be gone, Exodus 12:33.

(s) "propter manum validam"; so some in Drusius.

Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Exodus 6:1. Jehovah’s reply. He calms Moses with the assurance that he will now shortly see what will happen to the Pharaoh: he will soon not merely be willing to let the Israelites go, but will be eager to drive or thrust them (Exodus 11:1, Exodus 12:39) from his land.

by a strong hand] compelled by the strong hand of Jehovah; cf. Exodus 3:19.

Verse 1. - Now shalt thou see. There was encouragement in the very word "now." Moses' complaint was, that God delayed his coming, would not show himself, was "slack concerning his promise." In reply he is told that there is to be no longer any delay - the work is just about to commence. "Now shalt thou see." With a strong hand shall he let them go. The "strong hand" is not Pharaoh's, but God's. "By means of my strong hand" (or "overpowering might") "laid upon him shall he be induced to let them go," and similarly with the other clause. Drive them out. This phrase well expresses the final anxiety of Pharaoh to be rid of the Israelites. (See Exodus 12:31, 22.) Exodus 6:1Equipment of Moses and Aaron as Messengers of Jehovah. - Exodus 6:1. In reply to the complaining inquiry of Moses, Jehovah promised him the deliverance of Israel by a strong hand (cf. Exodus 3:19), by which Pharaoh would be compelled to let Israel go, and even to drive them out of his land. Moses did not receive any direct answer to the question, "Why hast Thou so evil-entreated this people?" He was to gather this first of all from his own experience as the leader of Israel. For the words were strictly applicable here: "What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter" (John 13:7). If, even after the miraculous deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt and their glorious march through the desert, in which they had received so many proofs of the omnipotence and mercy of their God, they repeatedly rebelled against the guidance of God, and were not content with the manna provided by the Lord, but lusted after the fishes, leeks, and onions of Egypt (Numbers 11); it is certain that in such a state of mind as this, they would never have been willing to leave Egypt and enter into a covenant with Jehovah, without a very great increase in the oppression they endured in Egypt. - The brief but comprehensive promise was still further explained by the Lord (Exodus 6:2-9), and Moses was instructed and authorized to carry out the divine purposes in concert with Aaron (Exodus 6:10-13, Exodus 6:28-30; Exodus 7:1-6). The genealogy of the two messengers is then introduced into the midst of these instructions (Exodus 6:14-27); and the age of Moses is given at the close (Exodus 7:7). This section does not contain a different account of the calling of Moses, taken from some other source than the previous one; it rather presupposes Exodus 3-5, and completes the account commenced in Exodus 3 of the equipment of Moses and Aaron as the executors of the divine will with regard to Pharaoh and Israel. For the fact that the first visit paid by Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh was simply intended to bring out the attitude of Pharaoh towards the purposes of Jehovah, and to show the necessity for the great judgments of God, is distinctly expressed in the words, "Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh." But before these judgments commenced, Jehovah announced to Moses (Exodus 6:2), and through him to the people, that henceforth He would manifest Himself to them in a much more glorious manner than to the patriarchs, namely, as Jehovah; whereas to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, He had only appeared as El Shaddai. The words, "By My name Jehovah was I now known to them," do not mean, however, that the patriarchs were altogether ignorant of the name Jehovah. This is obvious from the significant use of that name, which was not an unmeaning sound, but a real expression of the divine nature, and still more from the unmistakeable connection between the explanation given by God here and Genesis 17:1. When the establishment of the covenant commenced, as described in Genesis 15, with the institution of the covenant sign of circumcision and the promise of the birth of Isaac, Jehovah said to Abram, "I am El Shaddai, God Almighty," and from that time forward manifested Himself to Abram and his wife as the Almighty, in the birth of Isaac, which took place apart altogether from the powers of nature, and also in the preservation, guidance, and multiplication of his seed. It was in His attribute as El Shaddai that God had revealed His nature to the patriarchs; but now He was about to reveal Himself to Israel as Jehovah, as the absolute Being working with unbounded freedom in the performance of His promises. For not only had He established His covenant with the fathers (Exodus 6:4), but He had also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, and remembered His covenant (Exodus 6:5; וגם - וגם, not only - but also). The divine promise not only commences in Exodus 6:2, but concludes at Exodus 6:8, with the emphatic expression, "I Jehovah," to show that the work of Israel's redemption resided in the power of the name Jehovah. In Exodus 6:4 the covenant promises of Genesis 17:7-8; Genesis 26:3; Genesis 35:11-12, are all brought together; and in Exodus 6:5 we have a repetition of Exodus 2:24, with the emphatically repeated אני (I). On the ground of the erection of His covenant on the one hand, and, what was irreconcilable with that covenant, the bondage of Israel on the other, Jehovah was not about to redeem Israel from its sufferings and make it His own nation. This assurance, which God would carry out by the manifestation of His nature as expressed in the name Jehovah, contained three distinct elements: (a) the deliverance of Israel from the bondage of Egypt, which, because so utterly different from all outward appearances, is described in three parallel clauses: bringing them out from under the burdens of the Egyptians; saving them from their bondage; and redeeming them with a stretched-out arm and with great judgments; - (b) the adoption of Israel as the nation of God; - (c) the guidance of Israel into the land promised to the fathers (Exodus 6:6-8). נטוּיה זרוע, a stretched-out arm, is most appropriately connected with גּדלים שׁפטים, great judgments; for God raises, stretches out His arm, when He proceeds in judgment to smite the rebellious. These expressions repeat with greater emphasis the "strong hand" of Exodus 6:1, and are frequently connected with it in the rhetorical language of Deuteronomy (e.g., Deuteronomy 4:34; Deuteronomy 5:15; Deuteronomy 7:19). The "great judgments" were the plagues, the judgments of God, by which Pharaoh was to be compelled to let Israel go.
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