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Bible Commentaries
Exodus 6

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-8


Verses 1-8:

Moses complained that God had delayed His redemption of Israel, and hinted that God was "slack concerning His promise" (see 2Pe 3:9). By using the word "now," God informs Moses that there would be no delay; He would start to work at once to accomplish Israel’s deliverance.

"A strong hand" refers to God’s hand, not Pharaoh’s.

"Drive them out" denotes the urgency with which the Egyptians would send Israel from their land, in order to be rid of them.

Verses 2-5 are addressed particularly to Moses, confirming God’s promise to deliver in Israel. Verses 6-8 are to the people of Israel.

God’s Assurance to Moses is based upon the faithfulness and power of His Name. God identified Himself to Abraham as "God Almighty," EI-Shaddai, the All-Nourishing One, Ge 17:1. But He also identified Himself to Abraham as Jehovah Elohim (Ge 15:7) before identifying Himself as El-Shaddai. That Abraham knew God as Jehovah is also evident in Ge 22:14, where he named the site of Isaac’s sacrifice as "Jehovah-Jireh," or "Jehovah will provide."

Jacob knew God as Jehovah-Elohim, Ge 28:13, at Bethel.

Moses addressed God as Jehovah, Ex 4:1, at the burning bush.

The fact that God told Moses to tell the elders of Israel that "I AM" (literally, Jehovah) was the One commissioning him affirms the antiquity of the name "Jehovah."

God does not contradict Himself. The true sense of verse 3 appears to be that the patriarchs were aware of the Name Jehovah, but did not understand the true meaning of the Name.

Here, Jehovah reaffirms the Covenant made with Abraham, expands it, and applies it to the nation Israel. The people who were then complaining of their lot in Egypt were to be delivered from their bondage, and were to be brought into the Land Jehovah had promised to Abraham and his seed.

Verses 9-13

Verses 9-13:

There is a stark contrast between the attitude of Israel in verse 9, and when Moses first announced God’s purpose, Ex 4:29-31. Earlier, the people were filled with hope of an easy, imminent release. But Pharaoh dampened this hope, by his unreasonable and cruel oppression. Instead of Israel’s circumstances improving, they worsened - greatly. "Anguish of spirit" is "shortness of spirit." They lost heart because of their circumstances. They refused to listen to Moses.

This is a pattern evident today. A child of God may cry out for release from severe trial, only to find that his circumstances deteriorate, rather than improve. He then focuses on his problems, rather than upon the One who has the solution. This plunges him deeper into despair, and he will not hear wise counsel.

Jehovah instructed Moses to appear once more before Pharaoh, and to repeat His demand that Pharaoh allow Israel to leave Egypt. Moses demurred: if Israel would not hear and believe him, how could he expect Pharaoh to do so? God’s reply: go and do as commanded.

"Uncircumcised lips" denotes lips unsuited or unable to do or say what they were supposed to say; as "uncircumcised ears" (Jer 6:10) denotes ears unable to hear, and "uncircumcised heart" (Jer 9:26) denotes a heart unable to understand.

Verses 14-15

Verses 14, 15:

"Fathers’ houses" denote "families," as in 1Ch 4:38; 4:13; et. al. Those listed refer to the main families of the tribes of Reuben and Simeon, the actual sons of these patriarchs.

The list here corresponds with that of Ge 46:9, 10, but differs with that of 1Ch 4:24; Nu 26:12. In the latter reference, "Jemuel" is "Nemuel," and "Zohar" is "Zerah." The name of Ohad is omitted from the list in Nu 26:12, indicating that this family died out soon after Israel left Egypt. In 1Ch 4:24, "Jachon" is "Jarib."

Verses 16-20

Verses 16-20:

Prominence is given to Levi in this genealogical listing, because of Moses’ role in the Scripture narrative. This list of Levi’s sons is the same as those in Ge 46:11; Nu 3:17; 1Ch 6:2. The "generations" include not only sons, but grandsons and great-grandsons, as well as other descendants.

Levi was probably about forty or fifty years of age when Israel went into Egypt. His three sons were born before the family moved to Goshen.

The lineage of Gershon is first listed, because he was the eldest.

Kohath was likely about twenty years old when the family moved to Egypt. His oldest son Amram was likely born when Kohath was about thirty.

The sons of Merari were among the most important of the families of Levites, see Numbers 3:33. "Mahali" is the same as "Mahli," 1Ch 6:19.

"Amram" in verse 20 is the same man named in Ex 2:1. However, it is not possible that he was the same as in verse 18, who was the actual son of Kohath, and contemporary with Joseph He was a descendant of the sixth and seventh generation, with the same name as his ancestor. He married his father’s sister, Jochebed. This was not an uncommon practice, nor was it unlawful at that time, although it was later forbidden in the Mosaic Law (see comments on ch. 2).

Verses 21-27

Verses 21-27:

This list of Levi’s descendants includes the names of those who figure prominently in Israel’s wilderness experiences. Some are noted for their faithfulness, others for their disobedience and the

consequences. These will be studied in subsequent chapters. There were many other descendants whose names are not recorded.

The genealogy concludes with the notation that the Moses and Aaron here mentioned as Levi’s direct descendants, are the very ones who went before Pharaoh with God’s message, to bring Israel out of Egypt.

Verses 28-30

Verses 28-30:

Verses 14-28 appear to be a parenthetical section of genealogy. At this point, the writer resumes the narrative with a recapitulation of the things done and said. Emphasis in these verses is upon the identity and authority of the One who commissioned Moses to this task: Jehovah, God of Israel.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Exodus 6". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/exodus-6.html. 1985.
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