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Bible Commentaries

Kingcomments on the Whole Bible

Exodus 6

Verses 1-9

God Promises to Deliver His People

The LORD does not blame Moses. He points out to Moses what He will do. Moses is discouraged, because he has seen who Pharaoh is and who the people are. Instead of blaming him, God shows him Who He is. He as it were places Himself before Moses and says: “I am the LORD.” By virtue of that Name, Yahweh, He is with His own. That Name means that He is always reliable and true. He, the LORD, also is “God Almighty”.

He gives Moses a new impression of Himself and of His goodness, and tells him that He will make Himself known to His people as the LORD. The name ‘LORD’ is not a new name. It is His Name in connection with man. We see this in Genesis 2, where this name first appears when it comes to His connection with Adam. It is a new name for the relationship with a people, His people. God unfolds this new name to Moses in connection with the plan He shows Moses about the redemption of Israel.

In the name ‘LORD’ the faithfulness of God to His promises is expressed. The patriarchs were aliens in the land of promise. God had given them His promises. Now He will fulfill these promises. The people will be allowed to take possession of this land. In seven steps God will, “I will”, execute this plan (Exo 6:6-8). It underlines that He is a God Who fulfills His promises. He says:
“I will”
1. “bring you out”,
2. “deliver you”,
3. “redeem you”,
4. “take you for My people”,
5. “be your God”,
6. “bring you to the land”,
7. “give it to you [for] a possession”.

These seven steps are wedged in between Who He is as the LORD. He stands at the beginning (Exo 6:6), so He begins to speak, and He stands at the end (Exo 6:8). In Exo 6:8, with the statement “I am the LORD”, He puts his signature, as it were, under what He has just said.

These seven steps briefly represent the history of Israel from its deliverance from Egypt to its arrival in the promised land. To carry His people out of Egypt and thereby fulfill His plan, God uses His “outstretched arm” (Exo 6:6). This means that He will use His power for this. He confirms that He will then bring His people to the land with an oath, literally by lifting up His hand, which is the gesture of swearing an oath.

After Moses is encouraged, he goes back to the Israelites and tells them the word of God. However, the people are not open to what Moses passes on on behalf of the LORD. They are impatient [“despondency” is literally shortness of spirit or impatient] and unhappy. Impatience is an evil that repeatedly arises in the course of Israel’s history. This evil also causes a lot of damage in the life of the Christian.

Verses 10-13

Moses Has to Go to Pharaoh Again

God is not impressed by the reaction of the people. Moses is. He is again discouraged. Again he comes up with the argument that he is unskilled in speech (Exo 6:12; Exo 4:10). Literally it says ‘uncircumcised of lips’ (cf. Jer 6:10; Jer 9:26). Circumcision is the sign of the covenant, the external mark that a person had to have in order to be a member of God’s earthly people (Gen 17:9-14). Moses feels like someone who is lacking something, like a deficient member of God’s people, so that he finds himself incapable and unable to speak with power. He feels powerless.

The LORD does not react to it, but commands him to go to the Israelites and to Pharaoh. This command also applies to Aaron whom God gives to Moses for the execution of the command precisely in view of his argument that he cannot speak well (Exo 4:14). He adds the purpose of the assignment: to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

Verses 14-25

Some Genealogies

In the middle of the story, the genealogies of Ruben, Simeon and Levi seem to have a lost place. That is not the case, of course. We can see that God, even though His own are so oppressed, knows them all personally and also their origins. He forgets none.

Only the three oldest sons of Israel are mentioned. Four children of Ruben are mentioned. Of Simeon, six are mentioned. Others are ignored. All attention is drawn to the offspring of the third son, Levi. It is about him and his descendants and especially Moses and Aaron. Therefore the genealogy stops with Levi and his sons to focus all attention on Moses and Aaron.

We’ll come across several names later, like Gerson, Kohath and Merari. The most important thing is that from Levi the liberator, Moses, comes forth, while from this tribe also the high priest and all priests come forth. Moses and Aaron will act on behalf of the LORD toward Pharaoh.

Verses 26-27

Moses and Aaron

Before God now executes His plans for salvation, Moses and Aaron are confirmed as His executors. Together they are a picture of the Lord Jesus. Moses is the mediator between God and men; he represents God with men. Aaron is the high priest who represents people with God. Both persons – ultimately it is the Lord Jesus (Heb 3:1) – represent the whole people before God. Therefore, the genealogy can end after the mention of Moses and Aaron. By saying “it was [the same] Aaron and Moses” all emphasis is on them both together.

Verses 28-30

Command Repeated and Objection Repeated

After the interruption for the genealogies the writer takes up the thread in Exo 6:28 to continue the conversation between the LORD and Moses. When the LORD has made it clear who belongs to Him and who will go to Pharaoh on His behalf, there will be a repetition of the command to go back to Pharaoh (Exo 6:29; Exo 6:11) and a repetition of the objection of Moses (Exo 6:30; Exo 6:12).

Before the LORD gives the command again, He says for the third time in this chapter: “I am the LORD” (Exo 6:2; 6; 29). This is the Name by virtue of which He will now act. The battle between the LORD and Pharaoh can begin. Moses’ objection that he is unskilled in speech is answered by the LORD in the next chapter.

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Kingcomments on the Whole Bible © 2021 Author: G. de Koning. All rights reserved. Used with the permission of the author
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Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Exodus 6". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.