Exodus 6


‘Then the LORD said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.” God also said to Moses, “I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself fully known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they resided as foreigners. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant. “Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.’” Exodus 6:1-8

After pouring his heart out to God about the trouble the Israelites are going through, and questioning why God hasn’t freed His people, Exodus 5:22-23, God replies to Moses and reassures him, that Pharaoh will let his people go.

He not only reassures him but tells Moses that Pharaoh will actually drive them out of the land. The demonstration of God’s power through the upcoming plagues would be so great that Pharaoh will be glad to see the back of the Israelites.

God didn’t forget his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when lived as strangers in the very land which Israel was given as a possession, Genesis 15:18. He was waiting until Israel was prepared to enter the land, and for the wickedness of the inhabitants to digress to the point of no moral return.

Notice God says that ‘by my name the LORD I did not make myself fully known to them’. Some translation have the phrase, ‘by my name Jehovah I was not known to them’.

This could be misleading because the Patriarchs certainly did know His name, Genesis 22:14 / Exodus 6:20 / Genesis 15:7 / Genesis 15:8 / Genesis 4:1 / Genesis 18:13 / Genesis 18:17 / Genesis 26:2 / Genesis 27:20 / Genesis 9:26.

Most scholars agree that this is a difficult text to understand. The Pulpit Commentary says the following concerning this verse.

‘Perhaps the true sense is, ‘I was known to them as a Being of might and power, not as mere absolute (and so eternal and immutable) existence.’ This meaning of the word, though its etymological and original meaning, may have been unknown to the patriarchs, who were not etymologists. It was first distinctly declared to Moses at Sinai, Exodus 3:14 / Exodus 3:15.’

The fact that He is the only God is evidence that He is omnipotent, Genesis 4:26 / Genesis 12:8 / Genesis 17:1 / Genesis 28:3. God is the only eternal and absolute power.

Unlike most of us, when God makes a covenant, He doesn’t break it, and because He knows that He can keep the conditions for the establishment of His covenants with man, He can bind Himself to a covenant.

Notice also that what God called ‘wonders’ earlier, Exodus 3:20 / Exodus 4:22, He now calls judgments. The plagues are clearly to be seen as judgments against Pharaoh.

Unger, is his commentary says the following. ‘Exodus as a book of redemption presents a type of all redemption. It is wholly from God, Exodus 3:7-8. It is through a Person, Exodus 2:2. It is by blood, Exodus 12:13 / Exodus 12:23 / Exodus 12:27. It is by power, Exodus 6:6.’

Notice the statements which God’s says in these verses.

‘I have established, Exodus 6:4.

‘I have heard’, Exodus 6:5.

‘I have remembered, Exodus 6:5.

‘I AM the LORD, Exodus 6:6.

‘I will bring’, Exodus 6:6.

‘I will free,’ Exodus 6:6.
‘I will redeem!’ Exodus 6:6.

‘I will take’, Exodus 6:7.

‘I will be’, Exodus 6:7.

‘I will bring’, Exodus 6:8.

‘I will give’, Exodus 6:8.

“Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labour. Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the Israelites go out of his country.” But Moses said to the LORD, “If the Israelites will not listen to me, why would Pharaoh listen to me, since I speak with faltering lips?” Exodus 6:9-12

By the time Moses reported what God had said to the Israelites, it’s clear that things were just getting worse for them. The burden was becoming intolerable and so, they must have come to the conclusion that things were getting worse because of Moses.

When God asks Moses to go to Pharaoh and tell him to let His people go, Moses says his people won’t listen to him because he has faltering lips, which literally translated means uncircumcised lips.

This is a Hebrew idiom referring to imperfection with reference to communication, Jeremiah 6:10 / Jeremiah 9:26. Moses genuinely did have a speech impediment, Exodus 4:10, but that didn’t stop God using to do great things. God doesn’t reply to Moses at this point but will do in Exodus 7:1.

Family Record Of Moses And Aaron

‘Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron about the Israelites and Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he commanded them to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. These were the heads of their families: The sons of Reuben the firstborn son of Israel were Hanok and Pallu, Hezron and Karmi. These were the clans of Reuben. The sons of Simeon were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman. These were the clans of Simeon. These were the names of the sons of Levi according to their records: Gershon, Kohath and Merari. Levi lived 137 years. The sons of Gershon, by clans, were Libni and Shimei. The sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel. Kohath lived 133 years. The sons of Merari were Mahli and Mushi. These were the clans of Levi according to their records. Amram married his father’s sister Jochebed, who bore him Aaron and Moses. Amram lived 137 years. The sons of Izhar were Korah, Nepheg and Zikri. The sons of Uzziel were Mishael, Elzaphan and Sithri. Aaron married Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab and sister of Nahshon, and she bore him Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. The sons of Korah were Assir, Elkanah and Abiasaph. These were the Korahite clans. Eleazar son of Aaron married one of the daughters of Putiel, and she bore him Phinehas. These were the heads of the Levite families, clan by clan. It was this Aaron and Moses to whom the LORD said, “Bring the Israelites out of Egypt by their divisions.” They were the ones who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt about bringing the Israelites out of Egypt—this same Moses and Aaron.’ Exodus 6:13-27

Matthew Henry, in his commentary says the following.

‘The genealogy was simply intended to show that Moses and Aaron came in a direct line from Abraham, and to ascertain the time of Israel’s deliverance. The whole account from Exodus 6:14-26, inclusive, is a sort of parenthesis, and does not belong to the narration; and what follows from Exodus 6:28, is a recapitulation of what was spoken in the preceding chapters.’

The sons of Levi mentioned in Exodus 6:16 are given because of the importance of their work as outlined later in the Pentateuch.

The Amram of Exodus 6:18 isn’t the same Amram of Exodus 6:20 because there are several generations between the two. The Amram in Exodus 6:20 is Moses’ father.

Mahli, and Mushi, Exodus 6:19, were among the most important of the Levitical families.

Korah, Exodus 6:21, later figured prominently in a rebellion against Moses, Numbers 16:1-3 / Numbers 16:32 / Jude 1:11. Though Korah, Moses’ cousin, later perished because of rebellion, his mention here is to affirm to his descendants their genealogical heritage, Numbers 26:11.

Jochebed, Exodus 6:20, was the mother of Moses and the aunt of Amram, Numbers 26:59. Aaron is mentioned first here because he was the older. The order of their importance is observed in Exodus 6:27, where we have, Moses and Aaron.

Nadab, and Abihu, Exodus 6:23, were killed by God for their presumption in offering strange fire, Numbers 3:4.

Elisheba, Exodus 6:23, is the name of Aaron’s wife, which is in Greek, Elizabeth.

Eleazar and Ithamar, Exodus 6:25, ministered in the office of the high priest and Eleazar succeeded Aaron to that office, Numbers 3:4. Eleazer was Aaron’s son whose grandson was Phinehas.

Notice that God says that He will ‘bring the Israelites out of Egypt by their divisions.’ Some translations use the word ‘armies’, Exodus 7:4, but God’s people were armed for battle, this simply means that they will come out in an orderly fashion, Exodus 3:16 / Exodus 12:17 / Exodus 13:18.

God wanted it to be clear throughout Israel’s history that He was working through and with Moses and Aaron to bring about Israel’s deliverance.

‘Now when the LORD spoke to Moses in Egypt, he said to him, “I am the LORD. Tell Pharaoh king of Egypt everything I tell you.” But Moses said to the LORD, “Since I speak with faltering lips, why would Pharaoh listen to me?” Exodus 6:28-30

Here we have one of the problems with chapter breaks, as these verses should really begin at start of the next chapter, instead of the end of this chapter.

As we saw earlier, faltering lips, literally translated means uncircumcised lips. This is a Hebrew idiom referring to imperfection with reference to communication, Jeremiah 6:10 / Jeremiah 9:26. Moses genuinely did have a speech impediment, Exodus 4:10, and so God was going to use Aaron to do the speaking.

Go To Exodus 7


"But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."