Exodus 6 - Outline of Exodus (Book Notes menu page)
This chapter begins with the LORD's answer to the desperate prayer of Moses, which closed ch.5 (5:22,23).
6:1 Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh:
for with a strong hand shall he let them go,
and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.
6:2 And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I [am] the LORD:
6:3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob,
by [the name of] God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.
6:4 And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan,
the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers.
6:5 And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel,
whom the Egyptians keep in bondage;
and I have remembered my covenant.
{cp. Gen 15:18-21; 17:7,8}
Now shall you see what I will do...-
Moses had questioned God's timing, and the increasing difficulties of His people. (Ex 5:22,23)
But the Lord knew what He was doing. cp. Isa 46:10(b),11(b); Eph 1:11
I am the LORD {ie., Jehovah}.- This statement recalls Ex 3:14.
"I AM" is the One who is sufficient in Himself for the needs of His people.
This Name, derived from the HB word for "to be," is equivalent to "the One who is, and was, and ever more shall be" (cp. Rev 1:4,8).
by my name 'Jehovah' was I not known unto them...-
What does this mean?
  • The name 'Jehovah' was not unknown prior to this time.
    In the KJV (and some other English translations), the Hebrew name 'Jehovah' is printed as "the LORD" (in all capital letters).
    This name occurs more that 5,500 times in the OT, and more than 160 times prior to Exodus ch. 6.
  • The statement can be translated as a rhetorical question:
    "By my name Jehovah, was I not known unto them?"
  • Abraham, Isaac & Jacob were intellectually familiar with this name (eg., Gen 12:7,8; 22:14-18; 49:18).
    It was the LORD who gave the patriarchs the Covenant promises.
    However, they did not comprehend the full force of this name. Their primary understanding was that He is 'the Almighty God' (v.3a), who has the power to keep His promises. [Re: 'the Almighty God' {HB=El Shadddai}, see the Notes at Gen 17:1.]
  • Abraham, Isaac & Jacob had not experientially known the timeless character of the self-sufficient One,
    who is and was and ever more shall be, whose eternal purposes are absolutely certain, because the eternal One personally secures His promises.
         When the LORD confirmed His covenant to Abraham, He also foretold Israel's slavery in Egypt, and He promised to deliver them and to bring them again into the land of promise (Gen 15:13-16). The passage of 400 years could not invalidate the promise of the eternal One. Now, Israel would begin to see Him move, as Jehovah, the ever-living God, who keeps His everlasting Covenants (Gen 17:7,8,13,19). The LORD could and would redeem His people from their sin and from their bondage in Egypt (v.6-8).
  • Through the LORD's deliverance of His people, He would reveal Himself, to Israel (v.7)
    and also to their enemies (eg., Pharaoh, and the Egyptians, Ex 7:5)...
    "...that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth" (9:13,14).
    [NT believers also need to comprehend the greatness of Him who is our Savior. cp. Eph 3:14-21]
I appeared... I have established my covenant... I have heard... I have remembered my covenant.- (v.3-5)
The Abrahamic Covenant is unconditional, in that its fulfillment rests solely upon the LORD.
6:6 Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I [am] the LORD,
and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians,
and I will rid you out of their bondage,
and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments:
6:7 And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God:
and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD your God,
which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.
6:8 And I will bring you in unto the land,
concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob;
and I will give it you for an heritage: I [am] the LORD.
I will... (occurs 7x in v.6-8)- Redemption rests completely on the work of the Redeemer.
The prophet and preacher proclaim what He has done and what He will do.
But the work of salvation belongs only to the LORD (in OT and NT). cp. Isa 43:11; 2Cor 5:17-21
Note the parallels between...
The LORD's redemption of IsraelChrist's redemption of the believer
I will bring you out from under your burdens.
(ie., the pressure of unreasonable taskmasters)
'I will give you rest.' Mat 11:28
(release from the burden of sin. Heb 2:14,15)
I will rid you out of their bondage.
(ie., from being slaves to Egypt)
'Take my yoke upon you...' Mat 11:29; Joh 8:36
(release from slavery to sin, to serve God)
I will redeem you with an outstretched arm,
as a King extends his sceptre...
(a) in power against His enemies:
eg., in the 10 plagues (Deu 26:8).
(b) in mercy toward believers:
by the blood of the Passover Lamb
(Psa 136:10-12).
Christ is the Arm of the LORD (Isa 53:1-f)
extended to save sinners. By Him...
(a) the Enemy is judged (Joh 12:31).
(b) believers are redeemed by His blood
and raised by the power of His life.
(1Pet 1:18-21)
I will take you for a people.
Israel: God's own people, Lev 26:12; Deu 14:2.
Christ redeemed us to be
'the people of Go.' Titus 2:14; 1Pet 2:9,10
I will be your God.
Israel was to forsake the gods of the nations,
and serve the LORD with one mind.
Christ is the believer's Lord:
we are to live for Him... Gal 2:20; Col 3:1-4
we are to look for Him... Titus 2:11-14
I will bring you into the land {of Canaan}.
A physical blessing upon the earth.
Christ has brought believers into
spiritual blessings in the heavenlies. Eph 1:3,4
I will give it to you for an heritage.
Israel's predetermined inheritance:
- to be realized under Messiah's earthly reign.
- is secured by the Word of the LORD.
In Christ, believers have a predestined
inheritance, as God's sons (Eph 1:5,6):
- to "be to the praise of His glory."
- as sealed by the Holy Spirit. Eph 1:11-14
6:9 And Moses spake so unto the children of Israel:
but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage.
6:10 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
6:11 Go in, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt,
that he let the children of Israel go out of his land.
6:12 And Moses spake before the LORD, saying,
Behold, the children of Israel have not hearkened unto me;
how then shall Pharaoh hear me, who [am] of uncircumcised lips?
6:13 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron,
and gave them a charge unto the children of Israel, and unto Pharaoh king of Egypt,
to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.
The promised redemption was sure, resting upon the LORD's work alone.
The LORD begins now to accomplish this redemption, though all concerned are in unbelief:
  • Pharaoh, v.11,12
  • the children of Israel, v.9,12 - blinded, by harsh circumstances, had lost faith in God's Word.
  • Moses & Aaron, v.12
    Moses' mention of his 'uncircumcised lips' suggests his continued sense of inadequacy, and the wavering of his own faith in the face of seemingly impossible circumstances (cp. Ex 4:10). Furthermore, if he happened to be well spoken, who was prepared to hear God's Word? cp. Jer 6:10
The LORD... gave... a charge {a command} - (v.13)
- to Moses & Aaron.- They must obey His instructions despite their misgivings.
- unto the children of Israel.- They must be brought out of Egypt.
- unto Pharaoh.- He must submit to the LORD.
6:14 These [be] the heads of their fathers' houses:
The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel; Hanoch, and Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi:
these [be] the families of Reuben.
6:15 And the sons of Simeon; Jemuel, and Jamin, and Ohad, and Jachin, and Zohar,
and Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman: these [are] the families of Simeon.
6:16 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] an hundred thirty and seven years.
6:17 The sons of Gershon; Libni, and Shimi, according to their families.
6:18 And the sons of Kohath; Amram, and Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel:
and the years of the life of Kohath [were] an hundred thirty and three years.
6:19 And the sons of Merari; Mahali and Mushi:
these [are] the families of Levi according to their generations.
6:20 And Amram took him Jochebed his father's sister to wife;
and she bare him Aaron and Moses:
and the years of the life of Amram [were] an hundred and thirty and seven years.
6:21 And the sons of Izhar; Korah, and Nepheg, and Zichri.
6:22 And the sons of Uzziel; Mishael, and Elzaphan, and Zithri.
6:23 And Aaron took him Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab, sister of Naashon, to wife;
and she bare him Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.
6:24 And the sons of Korah; Assir, and Elkanah, and Abiasaph:
these [are] the families of the Korhites.
6:25 And Eleazar Aaron's son took him [one] of the daughters of Putiel to wife;
and she bare him Phinehas:
these [are] the heads of the fathers of the Levites according to their families.
6:26 These [are] that Aaron and Moses, to whom the LORD said,
Bring out the children of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their armies.
6:27 These [are] they which spake to Pharaoh king of Egypt,
to bring out the children of Israel from Egypt:
these [are] that Moses and Aaron.
This genealogy is intentionally partial. It begins to list the sons of Jacob (the 12 tribes of Israel), but stops at Levi (Jacob's the third son), to expand on his descendants. The purpose is to show the lineage of Moses and Aaron, in order to establish their authority in their important leadership roles. More complete lists of the 12 tribes are given elsewhere. eg., Ex 1:1-5; Numbers ch. 26 (where Levi's descendants are listed separately, because, by that time, the Levites had been set apart for priestly service)
6:28 And it came to pass on the day [when] the LORD spake unto Moses in the land of Egypt,
6:29 That the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, I [am] the LORD:
speak thou unto Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say unto thee.
6:30 And Moses said before the LORD,
Behold, I [am] of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh hearken unto me?
(Verses 28-30 should be read as the opening lines of chapter 7.)

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