Exodus 7:4
But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments.
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(4) Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay.—Heb., Pharaoh will not hearken unto you, and I will lay. No relation of effect and cause is here asserted as existing between the two clauses, which are co-ordinate.

Mine armies, and my people. Rather, my armies, my people. The two expressions are in apposition—the second exegetical of the first.

Great judgments.—See the comment on Exodus 6:6.

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.Wonders - A word used only of portents performed to prove a divine interposition; they were the credentials of God's messengers. 4, 5. I may lay mine hand upon Egypt, &c.—The succession of terrible judgments with which the country was about to be scourged would fully demonstrate the supremacy of Israel's God. No text from Poole on this verse.

But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you,.... Regard not what they said, nor answer the demand they made, or obey the command of God delivered by them to him: this the Lord apprised them of, that they might not be discouraged, and conclude their labour would be in vain, their attempts fruitless, and they should never gain their point, but spend their time, and expose themselves to danger to no purpose:

that I may lay mine hand upon Egypt; the inhabitants of Egypt, smiting them with one plague after another, and particularly with the last, slaying their firstborn; every plague was a stroke of his hand, and an effect of his mighty power and vengeance, and more especially that:

and bring forth mine armies; the children of Israel consisting of 600,000 men, besides women and children, Exodus 12:37 which, divided into twelve tribes, made twelve fine armies, 50,000 men in a tribe or army upon an average:

and my people the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; the word "and" need not be supplied; if any supplement is necessary, the word "even" would be better, since this clause is added by way of explanation, showing who are meant by the armies of the Lord, his people to be brought out:

by great judgments; inflicted upon the Egyptians.

But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great {b} judgments.

(b) To strengthen Moses' faith, God promises again to punish most severely the oppression of his Church.

4. lay my hand] severely, to inflict the great ‘judgements’ (see on Exodus 6:6; and cf. Exodus 12:12), which ultimately effected Israel’s deliverance.

my hosts] See on Exodus 6:26.

Verse 4. - That I may lay my hand on Egypt. Pharaoh's obstinacy was foreseen and foreknown. He was allowed to set his will against God's, in order that there might be a great display of Almighty power, such as would attract the attention both of the Egyptians generally and of all the surrounding nations. God's glory would be thereby promoted, and there would be a general dread of interfering with his people. (See Exodus 15:14-16; Deuteronomy 2:25; Deuteronomy 11:25, etc.) Bring forth my armies. See the comment on Exodus 6:26. Great judgments. See above, Exodus 6:6. Exodus 7:4את־ידי ונתתּי: "I will lay My hand on Egypt," i.e., smite Egypt, "and bring out My armies, My people, the children of Israel." צבאות (armies) is used of Israel, with reference to its leaving Egypt equipped (Exodus 13:18) and organized as an army according to the tribes (cf. Exodus 6:26 and Exodus 12:51 with Numbers 1 and 2), to contend for the cause of the Lord, and fight the battles of Jehovah. In this respect the Israelites were called the hosts of Jehovah. The calling of Moses and Aaron was now concluded. Exodus 7:6 and Exodus 7:7 pave the way for the account of their performance of the duties consequent upon their call.
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