Exo 11:1: Up to this point in Exodus, we have been told six times that Elohim hardened Pharoah’s heart. We also have been told the purpose behind that action is to glorify Elohim and for everyone to know His name (Ex. 7:3-5).
Why was it necessary to bring Israel out of Egypt? Why didn’t Elohim just stop the persecution of Israel and teach them to obey Him in Egypt? Wouldn’t that allow the Egyptians to learn about Elohim also?
Israel was not called to be a people mixed in with the idolatry and sin of Egypt. They were called to be a “holy” or “set-apart” people. They were called “out of Egypt” in order for them to live according to the ways of Elohim.
The way Elohim did this was to harden Pharoah’s heart in order for him to perform miracles and plagues that would glorify Him and make Him known throughout the world. Then He would deliver Israel out of Egypt. He would do this through His signs and wonders. He would do this through the blood of the Passover lamb and by the death of the firstborn. This would make His name great.
Elohim is still hardening the hearts of and blinding many (Romans 11:25-26, 2 Cor. 4:4). One thing that is difficult for many to accept is the sovreignty of Elohim and the fact that we are all predestined (Romans 8:28-30, 11:2, Jer. 1:4-5, Eph. 1:3-5, 1 Peter 1:1-2, John 6:37, 44, 65, 10:1-2, 10:27-29).
What if Elohim had not hardened the hearts of Israel? What would have happened if they had embraced Yeshua when he came the first time? We don’t know all the ramifications of such an act, but it would appear that those scattered in the nations would not have known salvation through Messiah, if that were the case. Elohim had to harden the hearts of Israel, in a similar way that He did to Pharoah. In these last days, He is calling out His people from the paganism in the world, just as He called Israel out of Egypt (Rev. 18:1-4, Jer. 51:5-9).
These first three verses in this chapter appear to be a message from Elohim to Moses before Moses leaves the palace.
(Exo 11:2 NASB) “Speak now in the hearing of the people that each man ask from his neighbor and each woman from her neighbor for articles of silver and articles of gold.”
(Exo 11:3 NASB) And the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Furthermore, the man Moses himself was greatly esteemed in the land of Egypt, both in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants and in the sight of the people.
Exo 11:3: Elohim hardened the heart of Pharoah and softened the hearts of the Egyptian people toward the people of Israel.
(Exo 11:4 NASB) And Moses said, “Thus says the LORD, ‘About midnight I am going out into the midst of Egypt,
(Exo 11:5 NASB) and all the first-born in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first-born of the Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the first-born of the slave girl who is behind the millstones; all the first-born of the cattle as well.
Exo 11:5: The death of the first-born of the Egyptians will free Israel from bondage. In the same way, the death of the first-born of Elohim gives salvation and freedom from the bondage of sin for all of Israel throughout all time.
After this, no one could then deny that Elohim was all-powerful. The Egyptian god Bes, protector of newborns, and Selket, guardian of life, could do nothing to stop this final judgement..
(Exo 11:6 NASB) ‘Moreover, there shall be a great cry in all the land of Egypt, such as there has not been before and such as shall never be again.
(Exo 11:7 NASB) ‘But against any of the sons of Israel a dog shall not even bark, whether against man or beast, that you may understand how the LORD makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.’
(Exo 11:8 NASB) “And all these your servants will come down to me and bow themselves before me, saying, ‘Go out, you and all the people who follow you,’ and after that I will go out.” And he went out from Pharaoh in hot anger.
Exo 11:8: Moses tells Pharoah that all the first-born of Egypt will die and all of Egypt will bow down before him and beg them to leave. Up to this point, Moses has not asked for anything more than for the people to leave on a three days journey outside of Egypt to worship Elohim.
(Exo 11:9 NASB) Then the LORD said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, so that My wonders will be multiplied in the land of Egypt.”
(Exo 11:10 NASB) And Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh; yet the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the sons of Israel go out of his land.
Exo 11:10: Once again, we see that the hardening of the heart of Pharoah came at the hand of Elohim. He once again also tells us why. It is so that His wonders will be multiplied in the land of Egypt.
Patrick McGuireCopyright 2014 Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly Fort Smith, Arkansas