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Bible Commentaries

Gaebelein's Annotated Bible

Exodus 5

Verses 1-23

3. Moses and Aaron in Egypt

CHAPTERS 4:29-5:23 Before the Elders and Before Pharaoh

1. Before the elders of Israel (Exodus 4:29-31 )

2. Before Pharaoh, and his answer (Exodus 5:1-4 )

3. The increased oppression (Exodus 5:5-19 )

4. Israel ‘s complaint and Moses’ prayer (Exodus 5:20-23 )

The people were willing and believed. Notice they believed after the signs were done. Faith was followed by worship. It is almost a constitutional thing with the Jew to see first and then believe. Compare with John 20:26-29 .

Then the messengers of God appeared before Pharaoh. This must have been in his capital Zoan (Psalms 78:43 ). Jehovah made of Pharaoh seven demands. They are found in chapters 5:1; 7:16; 8:1; 8:20; 9:1; 9:13; 10:3. Satan’s power now becomes more fully manifested. Israel is Jehovah’s people and He must have His chosen ones out of Egypt and fully delivered. The objects of his love and grace must be completely freed from the miserable slavery of sin and Satan. The typical application as to man’s condition as a sinner is so well known that we need not to follow it in detail.

Pharaoh’s attitude is that of defiance, though he spoke the truth when he said, “I know not Jehovah.” The threat of coming judgments is disbelieved. His answer was increased burdens marked by the most awful cruelty. It was Satan’s rage through Pharaoh in anticipation of Jehovah’s intervention in the redemption of His people. As far as Israel is concerned this will yet be repeated during the great tribulation. Then Satan’s wrath will be great, for he knows his time is short and the Lord will deliver the remnant of Israel (Revelation 12:12-17 ). It is the same in the individual experience. Satan will not let his victims go. When sin and the power of the flesh is felt, then comes the conflict and Satan’s rage.

What discouragement for the poor slaves in Egypt ! They had rejoiced in faith and worshipped because Jehovah’s servants had announced deliverance, and now a darker night had settled upon them; but it was only the harbinger of the glad dawn of the redemption. They murmured while Moses, deeply perplexed, turned to the Lord in prayer. Moses was a great man of prayer. He cast his burden upon the Lord.

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Bibliographical Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Exodus 5". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gab/exodus-5.html. 1913-1922.