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Pharaoh on Trial: An Exegetical Analysis into the Hardening Of Pharaohs Heart and Its Meaning, Implications, and Significance

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Theology
Wordcount: 6391 words Published: 23rd Sep 2019

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CONTENTS (Will complete for Final Paper)

I. Introduction………………………………………………………………………….…………3

Introductory Statement……………………………………………………………………3

Statement of Purpose…………………………………………………………….………..3

Methodology and Sources……………………………………………………….………..3

Transliteration of Hebrew Passage……………………………………………..……….4-5

 Background of Passage…………………………………………………………………5-6

II. Main Body……………………………………………………………………………………..7

Reason for choosing Exodus 7:2-13………………………………………………………7

Outline outlining of passage………………………………………………………….…7-8

Exegetical Analysis of the term harden……………………………..…………………8-13

Theology and Application…………………………………………………………….13-15

III. Conclusion…………………………………………………………………….………….15-16



 The author of Exodus intended for the Exodus event to serve as a reminder of God’s providence and God’s deliverance for generations to come. This becomes evident in the frequent mention of this event in many of the other books of the Bible. The exodus account infuses into the identity of Israel as God’s people and a distinction from the rest of the other tribes of the known world.


 The purpose of this study is to examine the meaning of Pharaoh’s heart being hardened. The fact that God “hardened” Pharaoh’s heart makes it seem like God caused Pharaoh to sin/predestined his destiny. This contradicts with God’s character and is a major issue. This has been a very difficult passage to deal with in the past and I want to know what exactly is the text suggesting. I will exegete Exodus 7 in context of the whole book of Exodus and of the Bible to get a better understanding of the meaning behind this passage.


  I will conduct an exegetical study of the passage in issue.  Scholarly commentaries, journals, papers and other works will be studied, considered and consulted in this research.

ב  אַתָּהתְדַבֵּר, אֵתכָּלאֲשֶׁראֲצַוֶּךָּ; וְאַהֲרֹןאָחִיךָיְדַבֵּראֶלפַּרְעֹה, וְשִׁלַּחאֶתבְּנֵייִשְׂרָאֵלמֵאַרְצוֹ.

2 “You will speak all that I command you and Aaron, your brother, will speak unto Pharaoh that he send the sons (children) of Israel out from his land.

ג  וַאֲנִיאַקְשֶׁה, אֶתלֵבפַּרְעֹה; וְהִרְבֵּיתִיאֶתאֹתֹתַיוְאֶתמוֹפְתַי, בְּאֶרֶץמִצְרָיִם.

3 And I (will cause) to harden the heart of Pharaoh and I (will cause to) increase my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt.

ד  וְלֹאיִשְׁמַעאֲלֵכֶםפַּרְעֹה, וְנָתַתִּיאֶתיָדִיבְּמִצְרָיִם; וְהוֹצֵאתִיאֶתצִבְאֹתַיאֶתעַמִּיבְנֵייִשְׂרָאֵל, מֵאֶרֶץמִצְרַיִם, בִּשְׁפָטִים, גְּדֹלִים.

4 But Pharaoh will not listen to you, and I will lay my hand on Egypt, and bring forth my armies, my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments.

ה  וְיָדְעוּמִצְרַיִםכִּיאֲנִייְהוָה, בִּנְטֹתִיאֶתיָדִיעַלמִצְרָיִם; וְהוֹצֵאתִיאֶתבְּנֵייִשְׂרָאֵל, מִתּוֹכָם.

5 And the Egyptians shall know that I am Adonai, when I stretch forth My hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them.

ו  וַיַּעַשׂמֹשֶׁה, וְאַהֲרֹןכַּאֲשֶׁרצִוָּהיְהוָהאֹתָם, כֵּןעָשׂוּ.

6 And Moses and Aaron did as Adonai commanded them, so they did.

ז  וּמֹשֶׁה, בֶּןשְׁמֹנִיםשָׁנָה, וְאַהֲרֹן, בֶּןשָׁלֹשׁוּשְׁמֹנִיםשָׁנָהבְּדַבְּרָם, אֶלפַּרְעֹה.  {פ}

7 And Moses was eighty years old, and Aaron was eighty-three years old, when they spoke to Pharaoh.

ח  וַיֹּאמֶריְהוָה, אֶלמֹשֶׁהוְאֶלאַהֲרֹןלֵאמֹר.

8 And Adonai spoke unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying

ט  כִּייְדַבֵּראֲלֵכֶםפַּרְעֹהלֵאמֹר, תְּנוּלָכֶםמוֹפֵת; וְאָמַרְתָּאֶלאַהֲרֹן, קַחאֶתמַטְּךָוְהַשְׁלֵךְלִפְנֵיפַרְעֹהיְהִילְתַנִּין.

9 When Pharaoh speaks unto you, saying, Give for yourselves a wonder; then you shall say unto Aaron, Take your staff, and cast (it) before Pharaoh — it will become a monster.’

י  וַיָּבֹאמֹשֶׁהוְאַהֲרֹן, אֶלפַּרְעֹה, וַיַּעֲשׂוּכֵן, כַּאֲשֶׁרצִוָּהיְהוָה; וַיַּשְׁלֵךְאַהֲרֹןאֶתמַטֵּהוּ, לִפְנֵיפַרְעֹהוְלִפְנֵיעֲבָדָיווַיְהִילְתַנִּין.

10 And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as Adonai had commanded: and Aaron cast down his staff before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a monster.

יא  וַיִּקְרָא, גַּםפַּרְעֹה, לַחֲכָמִים, וְלַמְכַשְּׁפִים; וַיַּעֲשׂוּגַםהֵםחַרְטֻמֵּימִצְרַיִם, בְּלַהֲטֵיהֶםכֵּן.

11 And then Pharaoh also called for the wise men and the sorcerers; and they also, the magicians of Egypt, did in like manner with their secret arts

יב  וַיַּשְׁלִיכוּאִישׁמַטֵּהוּ, וַיִּהְיוּלְתַנִּינִם; וַיִּבְלַעמַטֵּהאַהֲרֹן, אֶתמַטֹּתָם.

12 And they cast down every man his staff, and they became monsters; but Aaron`s staff swallowed up their staffs.

יג  וַיֶּחֱזַקלֵבפַּרְעֹה, וְלֹאשָׁמַעאֲלֵהֶם: כַּאֲשֶׁר, דִּבֶּריְהוָה.  {ס}

13 And he hardened Pharaoh’s heart that he would not listen to them; as Adonai had said.

Moses had fled from Egypt because Pharaoh had sought to kill him. In Exodus 3:1, Moses is married and is working for his father-in-law Jethro. A while after, Moses while tending his flocks, has an encounter with God at mount Horeb at the burning bush. God calls Moses to talk to Pharaoh so that he will let Israel, his people, go from Egypt. Moses gives God excuses on why he cannot speak on God’s behalf and asks God to choose his brother. God eventually tells Moses that Aaron will be Moses’s speaker. The story resumes with another conversation between God and Moses and the first encounter with Pharaoh.

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Exodus 7 describes the Lord’s dramatic intervention in the lives of the Israelites. God accomplishes two main objective through the plagues and the eventual exit from Egypt and eventually the exit from Egypt in the crossing of the sea. “I have made you like God to Pharaoh” This may have been a response to the Egyptian belief that the pharaoh was divine.

Moses is to be a god to Pharaoh will be the Lord’s doing, not his own, and the Lord will bring that about through a combination of word and deed, both originating in himself. Moses is to speak what the Lord speaks, and Aaron, to communicate the message to the Lord.

Concerning the great Exodus from Egypt, the Egyptian records mention neither the stay of the Israelites in Egypt nor their departure.[1] This has created an argument against the reliability and historicity of the Exodus. The historical setting for the book of Exodus is essentially unknown. At best, scholars believe the Exodus period fits best within the second half of the second millennium B.C.[2] They place it during the New Kingdom. Exodus contains an array of literary forms. My text is classified as an epic narrative. Many modern scholars place the Exodus in the 13th century B.C, because of the mention of the city of Raamses (Exodus 1:11)[3].

My passage, Exodus 7:2-13, is a narrative. Narrative occupies an important position in biblical literature, as is reflected in its quantity, structure and content. About, one-third of biblical literature is in the form of narratives, and structurally the stories are the vessels, which carry the significant contents.[4] In terms of content, most of the stories serve one purpose: to tell the history of the people of Israel from the viewpoint of its relations with its God.The book in general contains an array of literary forms. The grand exit from bondage in Egypt is an epic narrative. There are legal instructions and ritual instructions.

Main Body

I chose Exodus 7:2-13 because it is where God first mentions the hardening of Pharaohs heart. It brings perfect context to the whole matter. In addition, these verses show one of the scenarios of Pharaoh hardening his heart. The following texts after verse 13 outline the ten plagues and is irrelevant to my topic. In addition, the texts before is a genealogy of the family of Moses and Aaron again proving irrelevant for my topic. Here is my outline of the passage:

  1. God’s Anointing of Moses and Aaron (7:2)
    1. Assures Moses of his anointing. (v.2)
    2. Gives Moses authority. (v.2)
    3. Appoints Aaron as Moses’s Spokesman. (v.2)
  2. God declares judgment upon Pharaoh and Egypt and Israel’s deliverance. (7:3-7)
    1. Declares the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart. (v. 3)
    2. Declares the multiplying of His signs and wonders. (v.3)
    3. Declares judgment on Egypt. (v.4)
  3. First Encounter with Pharaoh (7: 8-13)
    1. God tells Moses and Aaron what Pharaoh will ask of them and when he does ask for a miracle to throw the rod on the ground and it will turn into a “snake” (Many scholars debate on what the term actually means). (7:8-9)
    2. Moses and Aaron do exactly what the Lord commanded of them. (v.10)
    3. Pharaoh’s wise men and sorcerers perform the same miracle. (v.11)
    4.  Aaron’s rod swallows up the others. (v.12)
    5. Pharaoh’s heart grew hard. (v.13).

Exegetical Analysis of the term harden

The term “harden” is primarily found in the exodus narratives from Exodus 4 all the way until Exodus 14. This term harden is used interchangeably between God and Pharaoh. There are times when God announces that he will “harden”[5] Pharaoh’s heart. The irony here is that God performs dreadful wonders to warn the Egyptians but at the same time refuses them the opportunity to change the course of their actions. In the NT, hardening of the heart is never attribute to God’s action (Hebrews 3:8, 3:13, Matthew 13:15, Mark 6:52, 8:17 and Romans 2:5-6, and Acts 19:9). Many of the cases of “hardened” is passive (Hebrews 3:13, Mark 6:52, and 8:17).  The theological point of the OT seems to be that God uses this gap between perception and judgment to prevent humans from recognizing and responding to his presence in their world.[6]

Throughout the plague cycles, Pharaoh expresses his hardness of heart in three different ways: Pharaoh hardened his own heart, Pharaohs heart was hardened or became hard (7:13), and God hardened it (9:12). There are no specific distinctions between these expressions in the English. However, as I mentioned earlier, the Hebrew contains very important distinctions that are key in understanding what is taking place.

Biblical and Literary Exegesis

In Exodus 7:3 the root word for harden used is קָשָׁה. The root קָשָׁה means to be hard, severe, stubbornness, and cruel.[7] It emphasizes the subject has an overly heavy yoke, which is hard to bear. It also emphasizes the rebellious resistance of oxen to the yoke. It emphasizes the weight of the thing bearing down. In this instance, it represents Pharaoh’s disobedience, which is causing his heart to become heavy. Most of the verses it is found in are Qal. Many translations miss the mark when they translate these phrases as “was hardened.” The Qal stem translates to “be(come) strong.” The other forms it is found in are in the Piel. The Piel stem translates to “make strong” or “strengthen.” Again, many translations translate it as “was hardened.”

There are 12 occurrences of the word חָזַק. It occurs in Exodus 4:21, 7:13, 7:22, 8:19, 9:12, 9:35, 10:20, 10:27, 11:10, 14:4, 14:8, 14:17. חָזַק means to be strong, become strong, be firm and emphasizes pressure exerted contrary to כָּבֵד which emphasizes the weight of the thing bearing down[8]. The chief meaning “to be/become strong” in the Qal makes no distinction between physical and mental/emotional strength[9].

There are six occurrences of the word כָּבֵד. כָּבֵד primarily means to be heavy or unresponsive[10]. It occurs six times through Exodus 4 to Exodus 14. It emphasizes the weight of the thing being bearing down. The word כָּבֵד is defined in English as “heavy” and although it is used in some passages to literally mean “heavy in weight”, it actually means weight as burdensome, weight in its function[11]. If someone places a heavy yoke upon someone else, it is considered heavy in the sense of burdensome. In the same sense, Pharaoh is placing a heavy yoke upon his own heart and around the people of Egypt by his disobedience to yield to God’s command.

Many of these different forms of the word harden are used to relate to the stubborn (stiff-necked) people of the Lord, the Israelites. Like rebellious oxen, calf worshipping, Israel quickly turned aside from the Lord’s service (Ex 32:9)[12]. This relates to Pharaoh being stubborn and in his disobedience became non-responsive to the guiding of Yahweh.

Exodus 7:13 literally translates to, “Pharaoh’s heart was hard.” The KJV here seems to attribute the result to a direct act of God. In v. 22 the identical Hebrew expression is translated, “Pharaoh’s heart was hardened,” as it is in the RSV rendition of v. 13. The miracle made no impression on his obdurate heart. As far as he could see, Moses and Aaron had done little more than his own magicians could do.

Nearly half of the Bible passages that refer to the hardening of the heart relate to the refusal of Pharaoh and the Egyptians to release God’s chosen people from bondage. All three Hebrew words are used interchangeably, both of the Lord’s hardening Pharaoh’s heart and of the act of hardening as Pharaoh’s own. Below is a list that represents the difference between when God hardens and when Pharaoh hardens his own heart. These verses are taken from the KJV.

God did.

The Pharaoh did.

Exodus 4:21

And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.

Exodus 7:3-13

And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt. (v.3)

And he hardened Pharaoh’s heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said. (v.13)

Exodus 9:12

And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had spoken unto Moses.

Exodus 10:1-27

And the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him. (v.1)

But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go. (v.20)

But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let them go. (v.27)

Exodus 11:10

And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land.

Exodus 14:4-17

And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD. (v.4)

And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel (v.8)

I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour. (v.18)

Exodus 8:15-32

But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart. (v.15)

And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go. (v.32)

Exodus 9:34

And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants.

1 Samuel 6:6

Wherefore then do ye harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts?

Egyptian Religion

 Egyptian religion believed judgment would take place in the afterlife[13].  The judgment scene as described as the heart of the deceased being weighed on a scale to determine if it is heavier than the feather that represents the Egyptian conception of what is right and just[14]. The person will be judged or whether the heart light enough or too heavy. This would be done by placing one’s heart on one side of a scale. On the other side of the scale was a feather. This feather was recognized as the feather of truth, the feather of righteousness, and the feather of holiness.[15] The heart would represent all the good and bad deeds that person has done throughout their lifetime. If the heart was lighter than the feather then that person will be granted with everlasting life in paradise. However, if the heart was heavier than the feather that person will be subject to judgment by Anubis, the god of the afterlife.[16]The biblical expressions about a hard or strong heart, according to this view, are actually about a heavy heart. Each time the text says that Pharaoh’s heart grows strong or hard, actually means that his heart grows heavier. When one reads the Exodus account in Hebrew, it seems as if the author is trying to denote that Pharaoh’s heart is continually growing stronger and stronger and heavier and heavier. Pharaoh becomes more and more guilty when compared to the standard of what is right.

Theology and Application

One pattern that I noticed as I did a diagram of the verb, subject, and objects of my text is the repeated mention of God “doing”. This whole time Israel has felt that God has abandoned them and is not in control. God reminds them and Moses that he is the “I Am”. He is present and he has power but most of all has “heard” their pain.

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 As the book of Exodus, starts out it may seem, as God is not in control. In the book of Genesis God makes a covenant with the Israelites that they would be His people and He their God. Throughout the book of Genesis, God’s people continually sins against Him. As the book of Exodus starts out it seems as if God has abandoned the Israelites. The Israelites are oppressed and made slaves by the Egyptians, although they were promised to be made into a great nation. As one continues through the book of Exodus, the author notes how God still was in control.

 The expression of God’s involvement seems odd at first. Pharaoh’s decisions not to let the people go are not surprising given the great economic loss of slaves. God’s claim to be involved is surprising, since it does not seem necessary to the story. It is included because it demonstrated God’s in control. The Lord is God over life and death, even in a country where the pharaoh, emissary of the gods of Egypt, believed that he controlled life and death.

 Exodus 7 proves this further when God anointed Moses with authority and Aaron with the high position of Moses’s prophet. God then tells Moses that He will display mighty acts of judgment on Egypt, Israel’s oppressor. God then mentions how the Egyptians “shall know that I am the Lord” (Exodus 7:5). God is showing that He is still in control and has not forgotten about his chosen people of Israel. 

 Exodus 7 portrays the great conflict between God and Satan, the powers of good versus the powers of evil, known as the Great Controversy. It is interesting to note how before the book of Exodus, in the book of Genesis, Egypt is in a “good” state physically and spiritually. Egypt was considered a place of refuge during the great famine that spread throughout the region and people from all over the known world migrated to Egypt for food[17]. Joseph, the son of Jacob and Rachel, became Pharaoh’s right hand man and God used Joseph mightily and blessed Egypt[18].

  However, as noted in chapter 1 of the book of Exodus, the new Pharaoh forgotten of what Joseph did for Egypt. The new Pharaoh has forgotten what God has done for Egypt. In addition, the new Pharaoh out of fear and pride casted the Israelites into bitter slavery.  The turning of Egypt from good to evil is linked to the turning of Satan. Satan who was the right hand man of God turned against God. In Exodus 7, one can note this struggle between God and Satan. God gave Moses a sign to show that “He is Lord” which was, supposed to be Aaron casting out his staff and throwing it down before Pharaoh and it will turn into a serpent (many scholars disagree what exactly Aaron’s rod transformed into).

 Interestingly enough, when Aaron performed this miracle before Pharaoh in verse 8 Pharaoh called upon his own wise men and sorcerers and they did the exact same thing. They performed the counterfeit of God’s sign. Although they were able to perform the same sign, Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. All this represents the Great Controversy between God and Satan.

 A powerful thought to consider is how an Israelite reading these passages would have felt. Many Egyptian texts refer to the Egyptian king or the Pharaoh as a God. Pharaoh to the Egyptians was sinless. [19]An Israelite reading these verses would be amazed and awestruck to know that the God that they served even has power over the Pharaoh of Egypt. Yahweh is demonstrated as greater than Pharaoh as being the one who possesses the strong arm, and he will defeat the one whom all of Egypt thinks possesses it. Yahweh intends to beat Pharaoh at his own game[20].

 It easy to feel like God has forsaken you. In the business of life and the frequent rollercoaster of life, one can feel that God has forsaken them. I know for me, I spent a long time questioning God and arguing with God. I’ve seen people go through so much pain. My mom had a long battle with cancer. My mom was a faithful, devout, God-fearing woman. She constantly prayed to God. I was awe-struck on why it seemed God was so silent. I could not understand why God would allow this battle between my mom and cancer to go on. Unfortunately, cancer was winning. Just like with the Israelites, it seemed that the Egyptians would forever oppressed them, they felt as if God has forgotten them. However, God came and saved them and took them from bondage and oppression. He did the same with my mother. She won the battle against cancer. Many of us today feel God is silent but this passage shows us that no matter what someone is going through, God is in control.

In conclusion, the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart on God’s part is an act of judgment not an act of cruelty. In addition, that every one of the three words (קָשָׁה, חָזַק, and כָּבֵד), to make hard, to make strong, and to make heavy, have lost it’s true meaning and interpretation when translated to English. One must look into the Hebrew to realize each of these words give a different connotation to what exactly is taking place. These words are employed to express Pharaoh’s own treatment of himself, before it is applied to any work of God, as actually taking place already. God gave the command (let my people go), Pharaoh rebelled against the command; he was sentenced to judgment and paid the consequence for his disobedience.



  1. Abegg, Martin G., and Katharine Doob Sakenfeld. The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible : NIB Vol. 2 Vol. 2. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2007
  2. Arnold, Bill T., and H. G. M. Williamson. Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books. Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 2005.
  3. Beale, G. K. An Exegetical and Theological Consideration of the Hardening of Pharaoh’s Heart in Exodus 4-14 and Romans 9. TrinJ 5 NS, 1984.
  4. Bruckner, James K. Exodus: Based on the New International Version. Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson, 2008.
  5. Coover Cox, Dorian G. The Hardening of Pharaoh’s Heart in Its Literary and Cultural Contexts. Biblotheca Sacra, 2006.
  6. Durham, John I. Word Biblical Commentary. Volume 3. Waco, Tex: Word Books, 1986.
  7. MacGregor, James. Exodus; with Introduction, Commentary & Special Notes, Etc.. 1889, Vol. 1, p1-207. 207p.
  8. Freedman, David Noel, Gary A. Herion, David F. Graf, John David Pleins, and Astrid B. Beck. The Anchor Bible Dictionary: Volume 2: D – G. New York: Doubleday, 1992.
  9. Handbook of Egyptian Religion. 1907, p1-280. 280p. 129
  10. Harris, R. Laird, Gleason L. Archer, and Bruce K. Waltke. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody Press, 1980
  11. Jenni, Ernst, and Claus Westermann. Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament. Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson Publishers, 1997.
  12. Jewish Bible Quarterly. Apr-Jun2014, Vol. 42 Issue 2, p128-130. 3p.
  13. K.A. Kitchen, “Egyptians and Hebrews, from Raamses to Jericho,” in The Origins of Early Israel-Current Debate (Beer-sheva: Negev [Ben Gurion Univ.], 1998), 136.
  14. Mcaffee, Matthew. The Heart of Pharaoh in Exodus 4-15. University of Chicago: Bulletin for Biblical Research, 2003.
  15. McGinnis, Claire Matthews. The hardening of Pharaoh’s heart in Christian and Jewish intepretation, 6th ed. Journal of Theological Interpretation, 2012.
  16. Nicoll, W. Robertson, and Oscar Loos Joseph. The Expositor’s Bible: Volume 1 (Genesis-Exodus). New York: A.C. Armstrong and Son, 1908.
  17. The Seventh-day Adventist. Bible Commentary: Genesis to Deuteronomy. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1953.
  18. VANGEMEREN, Willem A. New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, Volume 5. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 1997.
  19. Vetus Testamentum. 4/1/2012, Vol. 62 Issue 2, p133-158. 26p.
  20. Walton, John H. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2009.
  21. Wilson, Robert R. Hardening of Pharaoh’s Heart, 41st ed. Catholic Biblical Quaterly, 1979.

[1] Coover, Dorian, “The Hardening of Pharaoh’s Heart in Its Literary and Cultural Contexts” Biblotheca Sacra, no. 3 (2006)

[2] Walton, John H., Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, 162

[3] Ibid. 163

[4] MacGregor, James, Exdous, with Introduction, Commentary, and Special notes, 15-16

[5] The term harden in Hebrew has different meaning and connotations. In English, most translations translate all the different words for harden the same.

[6] Abegg, Martin G., and Sakenfeld, The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible: NIB Vol. 2 Vol. 2, 103.

[7] Harris, R. Laird, Gleason L. Archer, and Bruce K. Waltke. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, 818

[8] Ibid, 819

[9] Jenni, Ernst, and Claus Westermann. Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament, 38

[10] Vangemeren, Willem A. New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, Volume 5, 45

[11] Ibid.

[12] After looking into the many different definitions of the word harden and its different implications, the illustration of rebellious oxen that has a heavy yoke upon it came into my mind. It really deepens the richness of the text.

[13] Interestingly, I found many similarities to Christian belief of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The Egyptian Religion believes in a judgment scene, paradise/heaven, and hell.

[14] K.A. Kitchen, “Egyptians and Hebrews, from Raamses to Jericho,” in The Origins of Early Israel-Current Debate, 2

[15] Ibid.

[16] Ibid, 3

[17] The Seventh-day Adventist, Bible Commentary: Genesis to Deuteronomy, 102

[18] Ibid.

[19] K.A. Kitchen, “Egyptians and Hebrews, from Raamses to Jericho,” in The Origins of Early Israel-Current Debate, 4

[20] Ibid.


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