Exodus 5 – 6

Bondage Increased
Exodus 5:1 – 6:27

Oppression Made More Harsh (5:1-21)

And afterwards Moses and Aaron went in, and said to Pharaoh, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, Let my people go that they may celebrate a feast to me in the wilderness. v.1 Worship in view. Deliverance necessary for worship.

 And Pharaoh said, Who is Jehovah, to whose voice I am to hearken to let Israel go? I do not know Jehovah, neither will I let Israel go.
v.2 Pharaoh’s first objection is concerning the greatness of God.

 And they said, The God of the Hebrews has met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days’ journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to Jehovah our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence or with sword. 4 And the king of Egypt said to them, Why do ye, Moses and Aaron, wish to have the people go off from their works? Away, to your burdens! 

 And Pharaoh said, Behold the people of the land are now many, and ye wish to make them rest from their burdens. 6 And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying, 7 Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves. 8 And the number of the bricks they have made heretofore shall ye lay upon them: ye shall not diminish any of it, for they are idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God. 9 Let them put heavier labour on the men, that they may be taken up with it, and not regard vain words. 10 And the taskmasters of the people and their officers went out and spoke to the people, saying, Thus says Pharaoh: I will not give you straw: 11 go ye, get yourselves straw where ye may find it; but none of your work shall be diminished. 12 And the people were scattered abroad throughout the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw. 13 And the taskmasters urged them, saying, Fulfil your labours, the daily work, as when there was straw. 14 And the officers of the children of Israel, whom Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and it was said, Why have ye not fulfilled your task in making brick, both yesterday and to-day, as heretofore?
vv.5-14 Straw speaks of those empty things that were once supplied to the enslaved people to make their lives bearable. As soon as they express desire for freedom, Satan will no longer provide even those things; yet his expectation for service and devotion to the world remains at the same level. Examples of straw might be: family bonds, marriages, and fleshly pleasures that keep people going from day to day. The officers are beaten when they cannot deliver the required level of production. Satan is a cruel master: first enticing us with the melons, leek, onions, and garlic, and then enslaving us with addictions… and for all this, he will beat us if we don’t meet his requirements.

 Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried to Pharaoh, saying, Why dost thou deal thus with thy bondmen? 16 There is no straw given to thy bondmen, and they say to us, Make brick; and behold, thy bondmen are beaten, but it is the fault of thy people. 17 And he said, Ye are idle, idle! therefore ye say, Let us go and sacrifice to Jehovah. 18 And now go — work! and straw shall not be given you, and ye shall deliver the measure of bricks.
vv.15-18 Complaint yields no relief.

 And the officers of the children of Israel saw that it stood ill with them, because it was said, Ye shall not diminish anything from your bricks, the daily work. 20 And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood there to meet them, as they came out from Pharaoh. 21 And they said to them, Jehovah look upon you and judge, that ye have made our odour to stink in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his bondmen, putting a sword into their hand to kill us!
vv.19-21 The children of Israel at first didn’t even want to be free. To them, Moses’ interference in their affairs was unwelcome. They were by nature the children of wrath, even as the Egyptians. There they were ignorant, helpless slaves when God delivered them from their awful circumstances. We were sinners, haters of God, unlovable, unholy, and unable to change our state. This illustrates total depravity. Dead in sins to alive in sins.

Promise of Deliverance Renewed (5:22 – 6:12)

22 And Moses returned to Jehovah, and said, Lord, why hast thou done evil to this people? why now hast thou sent me? 23 For ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all! vv.22-23 Moses’ Complaint. In God’s ways with a soul leading to deliverance, it has to get worse before it gets better. They must be made to feel the bondage they are under. Moses could not understand why things were not going as anticipated.
And Jehovah said to Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh; for by a strong hand shall he let them go, and by a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land. v.1 Jehovah’s Answer. 

 And God spoke to Moses, and said to him, I am Jehovah. 3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, as the Almighty GOD; but by my name Jehovah I was not made known to them. 4 And I established also my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, in which they were sojourners. 5 And I have heard also the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians have forced to serve, and I have remembered my covenant. 6 Therefore say unto the children of Israel, I am Jehovah, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their service, and I will redeem you with a stretched-out arm, and with great judgments. 7 And I will take you to me for a people, and will be your God; and ye shall know that I, Jehovah your God, am he who bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you into the land concerning which I swore to give it unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; and I will give it you for a possession: I am Jehovah.
vv.3-8 Jehovah’s Covenant Relationship with Israel. God enters into a covenant relationship with Israel as a nation, and announces Himself under a special name. The sovereign call of God first given to Abraham as an individual is not given to Israel as a nation. A stretched out arm is a public display of Gods power in deliverance.
 And Moses spoke thus to the children of Israel; but they did not listen to Moses from anguish of spirit, and from hard service.
v.9 The People’s Response. They were unable to hear. Did it seem to good to be true.

 And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying, 11 Go in, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, that he let the children of Israel go out of his land. 12 And Moses spoke before Jehovah, saying, Lo, the children of Israel do not hearken to me: how then should Pharaoh hearken to me, to me of uncircumcised lips?
vv.10-12 The time had come. Moses was afraid. He needn’t be. He was invincible until his work was done.

The Deliverers Identified (6:13-27)

13 And Jehovah spoke to Moses and to Aaron, and gave them a commandment to the children of Israel, and to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt. 14 These are the heads of their fathers’ houses: the sons of Reuben, the firstborn of Israel: Enoch and Phallu, Hezron and Carmi: these are the families of Reuben. 15 — And the sons of Simeon: Jemuel, and Jamin, and Ohad, and Jachin, and Zohar, and Saul the son of a Canaanitish woman: these are the families of Simeon. 16 And these are the names of the sons of Levi, according to their generations: Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari. And the years of the life of Levi were a hundred and thirty-seven years. 17 The sons of Gershon: Libni and Shimei, according to their families. 18 And the sons of Kohath: Amram, and Jizhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel. And the years of the life of Kohath were a hundred and thirty-three years. 19 And the sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi: these are the families of Levi according to their generations. 20 And Amram took Jochebed his aunt as wife; and she bore him Aaron and Moses. And the years of the life of Amram were a hundred and thirty-seven years. 21 And the sons of Jizhar: Korah, and Nepheg, and Zicri. 22 And the sons of Uzziel: Mishael, and Elzaphan, and Sithri. 23 And Aaron took Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab, sister of Nahshon, as wife; and she bore him Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 24 And the sons of Korah: Assir, and Elkanah, and Abiasaph: these are the families of the Korahites. 25 And Eleazar Aaron’s son took one of the daughters of Putiel as wife; and she bore him Phinehas: these are the heads of the fathers of the Levites according to their families. 26 This is that Aaron and Moses, to whom Jehovah said, Bring out the children of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their hosts. 27 These are they who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring out the children of Israel from Egypt: this is that Moses and Aaron.
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