Exodus 7:1
And the LORD said to Moses, See, I have made you a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron your brother shall be your prophet.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
VII.

(1) See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh . . . —This is God’s answer to the objection of Moses that his lips were uncircumcised (Exodus 6:12), and probably followed it immediately. The force of it would seem to be: “Thou art not called on to speak, but to act. In action thou wilt be to Pharaoh as a god—powerful, wonder-working, irresistible; it is Aaron who will have to speak to him, and he is eloquent” (Exodus 4:14).

Thy prophet.—Or spokesman—the declarer of thy mind, which is the primary sense of “prophet.”

Exodus 7:1. A god to Pharaoh — That is, my representative in this affair, as magistrates are called gods, because they are God’s vicegerents. He was authorized to speak and act in God’s name, and endued with a divine power, to do that which is above the ordinary course of nature. And Aaron shall be thy prophet — That is, he shall speak from thee to Pharaoh, as prophets do from God to the children of men. Thou shalt as a god inflict and remove the plagues, and Aaron as a prophet shall denounce them.7:1-7 God glorifies himself. He makes people know that he is Jehovah. Israel is made to know it by the performance of his promises to them, and the Egyptians by the pouring out of his wrath upon them. Moses, as the ambassador of Jehovah, speaking in his name, laid commands upon Pharaoh, denounced threatenings against him, and called for judgments upon him. Pharaoh, proud and great as he was, could not resist. Moses stood not in awe of Pharaoh, but made him tremble. This seems to be meant in the words, Thou shalt be a god unto Pharaoh. At length Moses is delivered from his fears. He makes no more objections, but, being strengthened in faith, goes about his work with courage, and proceeds in it with perseverance.With this chapter begins the series of miracles performed in Egypt. They are progressive. The first miracle is performed to accredit the mission of the brothers; it is simply credential, and unaccompanied by any infliction. Then come signs which show that the powers of nature are subject to the will of Yahweh, each plague being attended with grave consequences to the Egyptians, yet not inflicting severe loss or suffering; then in rapid succession come ruinous and devastating plagues, murrain, boils, hail and lightning, locusts, darkness, and lastly, the death of the firstborn. Each of the inflictions has a demonstrable connection with Egyptian customs and phenomena; each is directly aimed at some Egyptian superstition; all are marvelous, not, for the most part, as reversing, but as developing forces inherent in nature, and directing them to a special end. The effects correspond with these characteristics; the first miracles are neglected; the following plagues first alarm, and then for a season, subdue, the king, who does not give way until his firstborn is struck. Even that blow leaves him capable of a last effort, which completes his ruin, and the deliverance of the Israelites.

I have made thee a god - Or "appointed thee." See the margin reference. Moses will stand in this special relation to Pharaoh, that God will address him by a prophet, i. e. by one appointed to speak in His name. The passage is an important one as illustrating the primary and essential characteristic of a prophet, he is the declarer of God's will and purpose.

CHAPTER 7

Ex 7:1-25. Second Interview with Pharaoh.

1. the Lord said unto Moses—He is here encouraged to wait again on the king—not, however, as formerly, in the attitude of a humble suppliant, but now armed with credentials as God's ambassador, and to make his demand in a tone and manner which no earthly monarch or court ever witnessed.

I have made thee a god—"made," that is, set, appointed; "a god"; that is, he was to act in this business as God's representative, to act and speak in His name and to perform things beyond the ordinary course of nature. The Orientals familiarly say of a man who is eminently great or wise, "he is a god" among men.

Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet—that is, "interpreter" or "spokesman." The one was to be the vicegerent of God, and the other must be considered the speaker throughout all the ensuing scenes, even though his name is not expressly mentioned.God encourages Moses to speak to Pharaoh, Exodus 7:1. God foretells the hardness of, Pharaoh’s heart, that he might multiply his wonders in Egypt, Exodus 7:3,4 to declare to the Egyptians that he only is the Lord, Exodus 7:5. Moses and Aaron obey God’s command, Exodus 7:6. Their age, Exodus 7:7. God commands them to show a miracle for the confirmation of their authority, Exodus 7:8,9. Their rod turned into a serpent, Exodus 7:10. The magicians do the same, Exodus 7:11. Aaron’s rod devoureth theirs, Exodus 7:12. Pharaoh is hardened, as the Lord had said, Exodus 7:13; and refuseth to let the people go, Exodus 7:14. God denounces judgments on the Egyptians, Exodus 7:17,18. Commands Moses and Aaron to stretch out their hands oven the waters, Exodus 7:19. The waters are turned into blood, Exodus 7:20. The fish die, and the river stinks, Exodus 7:21. The magicians do the same, whereby Pharaoh’s heart is hardened, Exodus 7:22. The means they used against this plague, Exodus 7:24. The continuance of it, Exodus 7:25.

To represent my person, to act like God, by requiring his obedience to thy commands, and by punishing his disobedience with such punishments as none but God can inflict, to which end thou shalt have my omnipotent assistance. i.e. Thy interpreter, or spokesman, as Exodus 4:16, to deliver thy commands to Pharaoh.

And the Lord said unto Moses,.... In answer to his objection, taken from his own meanness, and the majesty of Pharaoh, and from his want of readiness and freedom of expression:

see; take notice of, observe what I am about to say:

I have made thee a god to Pharaoh; not a god by nature, but made so; he was so by commission and office, clothed with power and authority from God to act under him in all things he should direct; not for ever, as angels are gods, but for a time; not in an ordinary way, as magistrates are gods, but in an extraordinary manner; and not to any other but to Pharaoh, being an ambassador of God to him, and as in his room and stead to, rule over him, though so great a monarch; to command him what he should do, and control him when he did wrong, and punish him for his disobedience, and inflict such plagues upon him, and do such miracles before him, as no mere man of himself, and none but God can do; and even exercise the power of life and death, as in the slaying of the firstborn, that Pharaoh should stand in as much fear of him, as if he was a deity, and apply to him to remove the plagues upon him, as if he was one:

and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet; to declare the will of God revealed to him by Moses from the Lord; so that this seems to be more than to be the mouth and spokesman of Moses and interpreter and explainer of his words, or to be acting the part of an orator for him; for Moses in this affair being God's viceregent, and furnished with a knowledge of the mind and will of God respecting it, as well as with power to work miracles, and inflict plagues, was made a god to both Pharaoh and Aaron; see Exodus 4:6 to Pharaoh in the sense before explained, and to Aaron, he being his prophet, to whom he communicated the secrets of God, and his will and pleasure, in order to make the same known to Pharaoh. Thus highly honoured was Moses to be a god to a sovereign prince, and to have Aaron to be his prophet.

And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a {a} god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.

(a) I have given you power and authority to speak in my name and to execute my judgments on him.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1. a god] Cf. the parallel in J, Exodus 4:16. Moses is to be as it were a god unto Aaron; and Aaron, like a prophet (Deuteronomy 18:18, Jeremiah 1:9), to speak the words which his god puts into his mouth.

1, 2. As Moses is unable to speak fluently, Aaron is appointed to be his spokesman with Pharaoh, just as in J (Exodus 4:15 f.) he was appointed to be his spokesman with the people.Verses 1-9. - Once more God made allowance for the weakness and self-distrust of Moses, severely tried as he had been by his former failure to persuade Pharaoh (Exodus 5:1-5) and his recent rejection by the people of Israel (Exodus 6:9). He made allowance, and raised his courage and his spirits by fresh promises, and by a call upon him for immediate action. The process of deliverance, God assured him, was just about to begin. Miracles would be wrought until Pharaoh's stubbornness was overcome. He was himself to begin the series at once by casting his rod upon the ground, that it might become a serpent (ver. 9). From this point Moses' diffidence wholly disappears. Once launched upon his Heaven-directed course, assured of his miraculous powers, committed to a struggle with the powerful Egyptian king, he persevered without blenching or wavering until success crowned his efforts. Verse 1. - I have made thee a god to Pharaoh. Moses was diffident of appearing a second time before Pharaoh, who was so much his worldly superior. God reminds him that he is in truth very much Pharaoh's superior. If Pharaoh has earthly, he has unearthly power. He is to Pharaoh "as a god," with a right to command his obedience, and with strength to enforce his commands. Aaron shall be thy prophet, i.e. "thy spokesman" - the interpreter of thy will to others. Compare Exodus 4:16. The Genealogy of Moses and Aaron. - "These are their (Moses' and Aaron's) father's-houses." בּית־אבות father's-houses (not fathers' house) is a composite noun, so formed that the two words not only denote one idea, but are treated grammatically as one word, like בּית־עצבּים idol-houses (1 Samuel 31:9), and בּית־בּמות high-place-houses (cf. Ges. 108, 3; Ewald, 270c). Father's house was a technical term applied to a collection of families, called by the name of a common ancestor. The father's-houses were the larger divisions into which the families (mishpachoth), the largest subdivisions of the tribes of Israel, were grouped. To show clearly the genealogical position of Levi, the tribe-father of Moses and Aaron, among the sons of Jacob, the genealogy commences with Reuben, the first-born of Jacob, and gives the names of such of his sons and those of Simeon as were the founders of families (Genesis 46:9-10). Then follows Levi; and not only are the names of his three sons given, but the length of his life is mentioned (Exodus 6:16), also that of his son Kohath and his descendant Amram, because they were the tribe-fathers of Moses and Aaron. But the Amram mentioned in Exodus 6:20 as the father of Moses, cannot be the same person as the Amram who was the son of Kohath (Exodus 6:18), but must be a later descendant. For, however the sameness of names may seem to favour the identity of the persons, if we simply look at the genealogy before us, a comparison of this passage with Numbers 3:27-28 will show the impossibility of such an assumption. "According to Numbers 3:27-28, the Kohathites were divided (in Moses' time) into the four branches, Amramites, Izharites, Hebronites, and Uzzielites, who consisted together of 8600 men and boys (women and girls not being included). Of these, about a fourth, or 2150 men, would belong to the Amramites. Now, according to Exodus 18:3-4, Moses himself had only two sons. Consequently, if Amram the son of Kohath, and tribe-father of the Amramites, was the same person as Amram the father of Moses, Moses must have had 2147 brothers and brothers' sons (the brothers' daughters, the sisters, and their daughters, not being reckoned at all). But as this is absolutely impossible, it must be granted that Amram the son of Kohath was not the father of Moses, and that an indefinitely long list of generations has been omitted between the former and his descendant of the same name" (Tiele, Chr. des A. T. p. 36).

(Note: The objections of M. Baumgarten to these correct remarks have been conclusively met by Kurtz (Hist. of O. C. vol. ii. p. 144). We find a similar case in the genealogy of Ezra in Ezra 7:3, which passes over from Azariah the son of Meraioth to Azariah the son of Johanan, and omits five links between the two, as we may see from 1 Chronicles 6:7-11. In the same way the genealogy before us skips over from Amram the son of Kohath to Amram the father of Moses without mentioning the generations between.)

The enumeration of only four generations, viz., Levi, Iohath, Amram, Moses, is unmistakeably related to Genesis 15:16, where it is stated that the fourth generation would return to Canaan. Amram's wife Jochebed, who is merely spoken of in general terms as a daughter of Levi (a Levitess) in Exodus 2:1 and Numbers 26:59, is called here the דּודה "aunt" (father's sister) of Amram, a marriage which was prohibited in the Mosaic law (Leviticus 18:12), but was allowed before the giving of the law; so that there is no reason for following the lxx and Vulgate, and rendering the word, in direct opposition to the usage of the language, patruelis, the father's brother's daughter. Amram's sons are placed according to their age: Aaron, then Moses, as Aaron was three years older than his brother. Their sister Miriam was older still (vid., Exodus 2:4). In the lxx, Vulg., and one Hebrew MS, she is mentioned here; but this is a later interpolation. In Exodus 6:21. not only are the sons of Aaron mentioned (Exodus 6:23), but those of two of Amram's brothers, Izhar and Uzziel (Exodus 6:21, Exodus 6:22), and also Phinehas, the son of Aaron's son Eleazar (Exodus 6:25); as the genealogy was intended to trace the descent of the principal priestly families, among which again special prominence is given to Aaron and Eleazar by the introduction of their wives. On the other hand, none of the sons of Moses are mentioned, because his dignity was limited to his own person, and his descendants fell behind those of Aaron, and were simply reckoned among the non-priestly families of Levi. The Korahites and Uzzielites are mentioned, but a superior rank was assigned to them in the subsequent history to that of other Levitical families (cf. Numbers 16-17; Numbers 26:11, and Numbers 3:30 with Leviticus 10:4). Aaron's wife Elisheba was of the princely tribe of Judah, and her brother Naashon was a tribe-prince of Judah (cf. Numbers 2:3). אבות ראשׁי (Exodus 6:25), a frequent abbreviation for בית־אבות ראשׁי, heads of the father's-houses of the Levites. In Exodus 6:26 and Exodus 6:27, with which the genealogy closes, the object of introducing it is very clearly shown in the expression, "These are that Aaron and Moses," at the beginning of Exodus 6:26; and again, "These are that Moses and Aaron," at the close of Exodus 6:27. The reversal of the order of the names is also to be noticed. In the genealogy itself Aaron stands first, as the elder of the two; in the conclusion, which leads over to the historical narrative that follows, Moses takes precedence of his elder brother, as being the divinely appointed redeemer of Israel. On the expression, "according to their armies," see Exodus 7:4.

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