James Gray - Concise Bible Commentary
And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee.
And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel:Exodus 4:29-6:27
MOSES AND AARON IN EGYPT
BEFORE ISRAEL (Exodus 4:29-31)
What is the first step taken by Moses and Aaron on their return (Exodus 4:29)? What “signs” are referred to in Exodus 4:30 (compare Exodus 4:1-9)? How did the people receive their message (Exodus 4:31)? What effect was produced on the people by God’s compassion?
BEFORE PHARAOH (Exodus 5:1-23)
How does Moses limit his demand (compare Exodus 5:1 with Exodus 3:18)? Do you think it was necessary to tell Pharaoh the complete purpose of God with reference to His people? In replying to this question, however, it is well to know that a “a three days journey” would take them clear out of Egypt, and that therefore there was no deceit in what Moses said. And by making this smallest demand upon Pharaoh did it not give him the least possible occasion to harden his heart?
How does he express his contempt of the demand (Exodus 5:2)? What charge does he lay against God’s messages (Exodus 5:4)? What new hardships are imposed on Israel (Exodus 5:5-14)?
By whom are the messengers now reproached (Exodus 5:19-21)? These officers seem to have been Israelites placed over their brethren in subordination to the Egyptian taskmasters. Their Hebrew name, shoterim, refers to managers who kept account of matters under their charge. What is the effect of this reproach on Moses, and how is his dejection expressed (Exodus 5:22-23)?
BEFORE THE LORD (Exodus 6:1-13)
We receive a stirring impression of the encouragement this interview must have brought to Moses if we consider the several declarations of God about Himself and His purposes thus (Exodus 6:1-8):
I am the Lord.
I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac and unto Jacob.
I have established My covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan. I have heard the groaning of the children of Israel.
I have remembered My covenant.
I will bring you out from under the burden of the Egyptians. I will redeem you with a stretched out arm.
I will take you to Me for a people. I will be to you a God.
I will bring you in unto the land. I will give it you for an heritage. I am the Lord.
What do you suppose God means in Exodus 6:3? Of course the literal name “Jehovah” was known to the fathers, but its complete import was unknown. The name denotes not only the eternal existence of God but that unchangeable truth and omnipotent power which give fulfillment to His promises. The fathers had received the promises but had not yet enjoyed them. Now, however, God was about to do what He had decreed, and the following verses which speak of this are explanatory of the name. It were as though He said, “I am Jehovah, for I am now to do what I have declared to be My purpose.” Compare, for further illustration of this name, Exodus 7:5 and Ezekiel 28:22.
How is the renewal of Moses’ message received by the people, and why (Exodus 6:9)?
GENEALOGICAL RECORD (Exodus 6:14-27)
The design of this record just here is to establish the lineage of Moses and Aaron because of their prominence and importance in the coming history of the nation (Exodus 6:26-27).