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Pharaoh's Hard Heart

Overview

Tod Kennedy November 15, 2015
  1. Hard heartedness does not necessarily mean that the individual has been prevented from believing the gospel or from repentance of some kind.  Eternal salvation was not involved in the Pharaoh incident. The hardening by God followed Pharaoh’s own hardening of himself. God hardened Pharaoh so God could do all the signs in Egypt, make his name known, and have Pharaoh release Israel. Exodus 5.1-2 express Pharaoh’s personal rejection of God’s command. Pharaoh’s hard heart was showing
  2. Verbs for harden in the Old Testament:
    • חָזַק hzq  (BDB 304) Qal, be or grow firm, strong, strengthen (Exodus 7.13,22; 8.19); piel, make rigid, hard (Exodus 4.21; 9.12; 10.20,27; 11.10; 14.4,8,17).
    • כָּבֵד kbd  (BDB 457) qal, to be heavy, weighty, burdensome, honored (Ex 9.7); hiphil, make heavy, make dull, make unresponsive (Ex 8.15,32; 10.1).
    • קָשָׁה qshh (BDB 904) qal be hard, severe, fierce; hiphil, make difficult, make severe, make hard, stiff stubborn (Exodus 7.3).
  3. God predicted that He will harden Pharaoh's heart (Exodus 4.21; 7.3).
    • Exodus 4.21. And the LORD said to Moses, "When you go back to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. חָזַק (BDB 304) piel impf 1 cs, make rigid, hard (Exodus 4:21, NASB). Eternal salvation not involved.
    • Exodus 7.3. "But I will harden Pharaoh's heart that I may multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt. קָשָׁה (BDB 904) hiphil impf 1cs, make difficult, make severe, make hard, stiff stubborn (Exodus 7:3, NASB). Eternal salvation not involved.
  4. Pharaoh first hardened his own heart (Exodus 7.13-14, 22; 8.15, 19, 32; 9.7).
    • Exodus 7.13 Yet Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had said. חָזַק (BDB 304) Qal impf 3ms, be or grow firm, strong, strengthen
    • Exodus 7.14 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Pharaoh's heart is stubborn כָּבֵד adj, heavy, burdensome. He refuses to let the people go. (Exodus 7:13-14, NASB)
    • Exodus 7.22. But the magicians of Egypt did the same with their secret arts; and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had said. חָזַק (BDB 304) qal impf 3ms, to be heavy, weighty, burdensome, honored (Exodus 7:22, NASB).
    • Exodus 8.15. But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not listen to them, as the LORD had said. כָּבֵד (BDB 457) hiphil infin, make heavy, make dull, make unresponsive (Exodus 8:15, NASB, Hebrew Exodus 8.11).
    • Exodus 8.19. Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, "This is the finger of God." But Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had said. חָזַק (BDB 304) Qal impf 3ms, be or grow firm, strong, strengthen. (Exodus 8:19, NASB, Hebrew 8.15).
    • Exodus 8.32. But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and he did not let the people go.  כָּבֵד (BDB 457) hiphil impf m3ms, make heavy, make dull, make unresponsive. (Exodus 8:32, NASB, Hebrew Exodus 8.28).
    • Exodus 9.7. And Pharaoh sent, and behold, there was not even one of the livestock of Israel dead. But the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people go. כָּבֵד (BDB 457) qal impf 3ms, to be heavy, weighty, burdensome, honored. (Exodus 9:7, NASB).
  5. After Pharaoh’s repeated unbelief, stubbornness, and rejection of God, God then hardened Pharaoh's heart just as he predicted He would do. He did not harden Pharaoh's heart until after the sixth plague. At this point God hardened Pharaoh’s heart while the earlier verses say Pharaoh's heart became stubborn. God confirmed Pharaoh's defiant unbelief by removing all restraint so that his unbelief would be completely free to express itself (Ex 9.12; 10.1, 16, 20, 27; 11.10; 14.4, 8).
    • Exodus 9:12. And the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not listen to them, just as the LORD had spoken to Moses. חָזַק (BDB 304) piel impf, make rigid, hard (Exodus 9:12, NASB).
    • Exodus 10:1. Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may perform these signs of Mine among them,  כָּבֵד (BDB 457)  hiphil pf 1 common sing, make heavy, make dull, make unresponsive (See also Exodus 10:2-3, NASB).
    • Exodus 10.16. Then Pharaoh hurriedly called for Moses and Aaron, and he said, "I have sinned against the LORD your God and against you.
    • Exodus 10.17. "Now therefore, please forgive my sin only this once, and make supplication to the LORD your God, that He would only remove this death from me."
    • Exodus 10.18. And he went out from Pharaoh and made supplication to the LORD.
    • Exodus 10.19. So the LORD shifted the wind to a very strong west wind which took up the locusts and drove them into the Red Sea; not one locust was left in all the territory of Egypt.
    • Exodus 10.20. But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the sons of Israel go.  חָזַק (BDB 304) piel impf, make rigid, hard.
    • Exodus 10.21. Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward the sky, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even a darkness which may be felt."
    • Exodus 10.22. So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt for three days.
    • Exodus 10.23. They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days, but all the sons of Israel had light in their dwellings.
    • Exodus 10.24. Then Pharaoh called to Moses, and said, "Go, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be detained. Even your little ones may go with you."
    • Exodus 10.25. But Moses said, "You must also let us have sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice them to the LORD our God.
    • Exodus 10.26. "Therefore, our livestock, too, will go with us; not a hoof will be left behind, for we shall take some of them to serve the LORD our God. And until we arrive there, we ourselves do not know with what we shall serve the LORD."
    • Exodus 10.27. But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he was not willing to let them go.  חָזַק (BDB 304) piel impf 3ms, make rigid, hard (Exodus 10:16-27, NASB).
    • Exodus 11.10. 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. 4.1. חָזַק (BDB 304) piel impf 3ms, make rigid, hard (Exodus 11:10, NASB).
    • .Exodus 14.4. "Thus I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will chase after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD." And they did so. חָזַק (BDB 304) piel pf 1 cs, make rigid, hard (Exodus 14:4, NASB).
    • Exodus 14.8. And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he chased after the sons of Israel as the sons of Israel were going out boldly. חָזַק (BDB 304) piel impf 3ms, make rigid, hard (Exodus 14:8, NASB).
  6. See Deuteronomy 2.30, where God hardened Sihon's heart to complete His purpose; and see Joshua 11.20, where God hardened the Canaanites in order to bring them into battle.
    • Deuteronom 2.30. "But Sihon king of Heshbon was not willing for us to pass through his land; for the LORD your God hardened his spirit and made his heart obstinate, in order to deliver him into your hand, as he is today. קָשָׁה hiph perf 3ms (BDB 904) hiphil, make difficult, make severe, make hard, stiff, stubborn (Deuteronomy 2:30, NASB).
    • Joshua 11.20. For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, to meet Israel in battle in order that he might utterly destroy them, that they might receive no mercy, but that he might destroy them, just as the LORD had commanded Moses. חָזַק piel infin  (BDB 304) piel, make rigid, hard (Joshua 11:20, NASB).
  7. Principles. See the doctrines for more details.
    • God does not prevent mankind from believing God’s word or from gaining eternal life. Mankind has free will. He may chose for or against God (Genesis 2.15-17; Deuteronomy 30.15-20; John 7.17).
    • God prompts people though general revelation (Psalm 19.1-6; Romans 1.18-20), the Holy Spirit (John 16.8-11), the Bible (2 Timothy 3.14-15), and people (Matthew 28.1920; Acts 28.30-31).
    • When a person chooses unbelief, this begins to set a pattern. God may use mankind’s unbelief by causing it to have free expression of unbelief. In this sense He has hardened your heart, but only after you have done so first. Paul also explains this process in Ephesians 4:17-19. Romans 1.24, 26, 28 describes people whom God turned over to their rampant sinful desires. The application is that we need be careful what we decide and chose. Bad choices can build and make us insensitive to God.

 

Last Update

Thursday, February 9, 2017