Why did God harden Pharaoh’s heart, rather than let them go right away?

  • Christian Chat is a moderated online Christian community allowing Christians around the world to fellowship with each other in real time chat via webcam, voice, and text, with the Christian Chat app. You can also start or participate in a Bible-based discussion here in the Christian Chat Forums, where members can also share with each other their own videos, pictures, or favorite Christian music.

    If you are a Christian and need encouragement and fellowship, we're here for you! If you are not a Christian but interested in knowing more about Jesus our Lord, you're also welcome! Want to know what the Bible says, and how you can apply it to your life? Join us!

    To make new Christian friends now around the world, click here to join Christian Chat.
Mar 25, 2020
7
0
1
#41
Wouldn't it have been easier to just let them go on their way right away? Why did He choose to keep hardening Pharaoh's heart?
Our God is a God of the oppressed. It's His idea of showing the oppressor that the oppressor can oppress all he wants but it will be in vain. That particular Pharaoh was a wicked man hell bent on enslaving an entire people. God just wanted to teach him a lesson I guess.
 

exegete

Active member
Dec 23, 2018
160
145
43
53
My Tiny Apartment
#42
From - On First Things, Origen (2nd century AD)



“First, the statements concerning Pharaoh have troubled many. God declared several times, ‘I will harden Pharaoh’s heart’ [Exod. 4:21]. Of course, if Pharaoh was hardened by God and sinned as a result of being hardened, he was not the cause of his own sin. So he did not possess free will.

“Along with this passage let’s also look at the passage in Paul: ‘But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall the thing formed say to Him who formed it, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ Does the potter not have power over the clay – from the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?’ [Rom. 9:20,21]

“Since we consider God to be both good and just, let’s see how the good and just God could harden the heart of Pharaoh. Perhaps by an illustration used by the apostle in the Epistle to the Hebrews, we can show that, but the same operation, God can show mercy to one man while he hardens another, although not intending to harden. ‘The ground’, he says, ‘drinks in the rain that falls upon it and produces crops for the farmer, being blessed by God. But the ground that produces thorns and briers is worthless, and is in danger of being cursed. Its end is to be burned’ [Heb. 6:7,8]

“It may seem strange for Him who produces rain to say, ‘I produced both fruit and the thorns from the earth.’ Yet, although strange it is true. If the rain had not fallen, there would have been neither fruit nor thorns. The blessing of the rain, therefore, fell even on the unproductive land. But since it was neglected and uncultivated, it produced thorns and thistles. In the same way, the wonderful acts of God are like the rain. The differing results are like the cultivated and the neglected land.

“The acts of God are also like the sun, which could say, ‘I both soften and harden.’ Although these two actions are opposite, the sun would not speak falsely, because the same heat both softens wax and hardens mud. Similarly, on the one hand, the miracles performed though Moses hardened Pharaoh because of his own wickedness. But softened the mixed Egyptian multitude, who left Egypt with the Hebrews.”
 

bojack

Well-known member
Dec 16, 2019
1,354
584
113
Mar 23, 2016
3,533
904
113
#44
Is it possible that because the Pharos thought they were a god that God let him reject him?

the pharaoh was considered a god on earth, the intermediary between the gods & the people. ... When the pharaoh came to the throne he was instantly associated with Horus - the god who had defeated the forces of chaos and restored order - and when he died, he was associated with Osiris, the god of the dead. B(Pharo ancient history encyclopedia)
In Ex 5, when Moses and Aaron first spoke to pharaoh, the response of pharaoh:

Exodus 5:2 And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.


"I know not the Lord". At that point, even if pharaoh did not know God, he still could have let the people go. Because of pharaoh's actions here and after numerous requests to let the children of Israel go, Egypt was judged for its idolatry. God gave pharaoh ample opportunity to let the children of Israel go.



 
Mar 23, 2016
3,533
904
113
#45
Why would God need to harden one of these if not to heap more severe punishment on them?
God allows mankind to turn from Him. God is rejected and the heart becomes darkened. As people continue to reject, the end result is the reprobate mind. People don't start out with a reprobate mind. As people continue on the path of rejection, the heart becomes hardened.



 
Mar 5, 2020
485
130
43
#46
Wouldn't it have been easier to just let them go on their way right away? Why did He choose to keep hardening Pharaoh's heart?
To prove he was God and Pharaoh, who was viewed as a god by the Egyptian subjects, was not.
 
Mar 5, 2020
485
130
43
#47
In Ex 5, when Moses and Aaron first spoke to pharaoh, the response of pharaoh:

Exodus 5:2 And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.


"I know not the Lord". At that point, even if pharaoh did not know God, he still could have let the people go. Because of pharaoh's actions here and after numerous requests to let the children of Israel go, Egypt was judged for its idolatry. God gave pharaoh ample opportunity to let the children of Israel go.
No, he could not do that. Because if you recall, God told Moses that he would harden the heart of Pharaoh before Moses arrived in Egypt on God's mission.

Exodus 7:3 But I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in Egypt,

Exodus 4:21 The LORD said to Moses, "When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.

Exodus 14:4 And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD." So the Israelite's did this.
 
Mar 23, 2016
3,533
904
113
#48
No, he could not do that. Because if you recall, God told Moses that he would harden the heart of Pharaoh before Moses arrived in Egypt on God's mission.

Exodus 7:3 But I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in Egypt,

Exodus 4:21 The LORD said to Moses, "When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.

Exodus 14:4 And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD." So the Israelite's did this.
The Egyptians were already hardened against the children of Israel. In Ex 1 we read that the Israelites were afflicted (Ex 1:11-14) and the Hebrew midwives were instructed to kill male infants when they were born (Ex 1:16).

God continuing to have Moses ask pharaoh to let the people go and pharaoh's continued denial resulted in judgment upon Egypt.

1 Samuel 6:6 tells us that pharaoh and the Egyptians hardened their hearts against the Lord.



 
Mar 5, 2020
485
130
43
#49
The Egyptians were already hardened against the children of Israel. In Ex 1 we read that the Israelites were afflicted (Ex 1:11-14) and the Hebrew midwives were instructed to kill male infants when they were born (Ex 1:16).

God continuing to have Moses ask pharaoh to let the people go and pharaoh's continued denial resulted in judgment upon Egypt.

1 Samuel 6:6 tells us that pharaoh and the Egyptians hardened their hearts against the Lord.
Hard hearts then that could be changed. God hardened the heart of Pharaoh prior to Moses leaving on God's mission and his heart would then not change because God assured it would not. And God continued to harden Pharaoh's heart throughout until the last act, the killing of the first born of every Egyptian house. Which well enough did its part to revenge the loss of the Hebrew male children under Pharaoh before Moses.
 

tanakh

Senior Member
Dec 1, 2015
4,348
870
113
72
#50
I think others have answered the specific question but there are additional reasons surrounding the story.
Pharaoh and Egypt are types of the Antichrist and his Empire.

Also the plagues were not chosen by God at random. They were aimed at Egypt's Gods and Goddesses
to show the Egyptians that they were false and powerless to protect them.
 

Dave-L

Well-known member
Jan 17, 2020
4,520
691
113
#51
God allows mankind to turn from Him. God is rejected and the heart becomes darkened. As people continue to reject, the end result is the reprobate mind. People don't start out with a reprobate mind. As people continue on the path of rejection, the heart becomes hardened.
Scripture teaches all born are aloof from God in Adam. Only those whom he chose to save will have their minds renewed through the new birth.
 

notuptome

Senior Member
May 17, 2013
14,203
2,179
113
#52
It was not about Pharaoh at all. God needed Pharaoh to drive Israel out because they Israel had become accustomed to being slaves and many of them would have remained in Egypt if God had not turned Egypt against them. In the wilderness they complained how much better they had it in Egypt because they were hungry and thirsty.

God made it so Israel could only go one way.

For the cause of Christ
Roger
 

Whispered

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2019
4,553
2,204
113
www.christiancourier.com
#53
Why did God let Satan live? I think it is the same test. He has His plan. Sometimes it involves our torture and/or death to make it work.
 

Jimbone

Senior Member
Aug 22, 2014
2,229
567
113
40
#54
“Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” Romans 9:18 (KJV 1900)
Do you hate God if he does this sort of thing?
I understand why people have a problem with the line of thinking in a way, and they even say "God is in control of EVERYTHING", and this is what "God is sovereign" means, nobody has a problem saying "God is sovereign", but when you start speaking of Him as if He is sovereign, in any other way other than a "catch phrase", people start getting mad at you quick I find.
 

MattforJesus

Senior Member
Apr 15, 2017
2,474
478
83
#55
Exo 9:13 And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
Exo 9:14 For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth.
Exo 9:15 For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth.
Exo 9:16 And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.

Exo 7:5 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them.

God decided to do it by the 10 plagues to let the Egyptians know without a shadow of a doubt that the God of the Jews was the true God, so that His name would be declared throughout the earth, for Moses told him what would happen beforehand.

If God had delivered the Jews right away and Moses never spoke to Pharaoh concerning that God would deliver the Jews then Pharaoh would of contributed it to something else that delivered them like the power of nature that hindered the Egyptians temporarily that allowed the Jews to escape.

But with God using Moses to tell Pharaoh what would happen beforehand and said it was from the God of the Jews was a testimony that it did come from a God that was on the Jews side, and He was more powerful than the gods of Egypt, and not a force of nature that caused the Egyptians to be immobilized for a while allowing the Jews to escape.

Plus God probably wanted to break Pharaoh down by the plagues knowing Pharaoh was stubborn and would take a while to get it through his head that the God of the Jews is supreme so the Egyptians would change their ways and follow God, for a quick deliver of the Jews by the power of God which He uses nature to show His power would cause Pharaoh to believe that it did not come from a God but the force of nature.

Which the secular world when analyzing the Bible and it's miracles will contribute those miracles to the power of nature instead of a God, and believe that since they were more primitive, and not as knowledgeable as now that they contributed it to a God where today they say we know better seeing we have science that backs up evolution.

So God did not want to deliver the Jews by His power right away which He would do by the force of nature for Pharaoh would believe their deliverance was from a natural occurrence, the force of nature that caught the Egyptians off guard, and immobilized them to where it allowed the Jews to slip away.

And God wanted the Egyptians to know that it was coming from a God by Moses telling them God is going to do this if you do not let us go, and boom it happened, and God is going to do this if you do not let us go, and bam it happened.

Exo 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.

Exo 9:16 And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.

God did not want to deliver the Jews by His power right away, but He wanted Pharaoh to be the one to decide that the Jews leave and let the Jews go, for God wanted to break Pharaoh down for then the Pharaoh would know for sure that the God of Israel is true, and that it would spread through the then known world.

Exo 9:12 And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had spoken unto Moses.

The sixth plague and we read that Pharaoh was still hardened and would not let the people go.

Pharaoh was hardened through the 6 plagues.

Exo 9:27 And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time: the LORD is righteous, and I and my people are wicked.
Exo 9:28 Intreat the LORD (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail; and I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer.

At the 7th plague that was hail Pharaoh was breaking down for he said to Moses that he sinned this time, and he and his people are wicked, and said intreat the LORD, and he will let them go.

That was God's plan to break down Pharaoh and the Egyptians for it was the only way for Pharaoh to actually accept that the God of the Jews is the true God so that it would spread throughout the then known world, and the Egyptians would acknowledge the God of the Jews.

God could of also wanted to punish the Egyptians somewhat because of their mistreatment of the Jews, but it would be the Pharaoh's fault for not letting the Jews go.

Exo 10:7 And Pharaoh's servants said unto him, How long shall this man be a snare unto us? let the men go, that they may serve the LORD their God: knowest thou not yet that Egypt is destroyed?
Exo 10:8 And Moses and Aaron were brought again unto Pharaoh: and he said unto them, Go, serve the LORD your God: but who are they that shall go?
Exo 10:9 And Moses said, We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast unto the LORD.
Exo 10:10 And he said unto them, Let the LORD be so with you, as I will let you go, and your little ones: look to it; for evil is before you.
Exo 10:11 Not so: go now ye that are men, and serve the LORD; for that ye did desire. And they were driven out from Pharaoh's presence.

Pharaoh was breaking down more, and the servants were getting on Pharaoh's case and said let the people go for the nation of Egypt is destroyed and you want it to be worse, which they were believing that the God of the Jews is real and that He was more powerful than their gods, and Pharaoh wanted to let them go but wanted only the men to go and the rest stay behind, and Pharaoh even said to them let the LORD be with you.

It was like Pharaoh wanted to only let the men go because he knew they would come back because of their wives, and family, and kinfolk, like he still wanted them to be slaves but all would be alright because he acknowledged the Jews God.

Exo 10:24 And Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said, Go ye, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed: let your little ones also go with you.

Pharaoh broke down more, which Pharaoh knew it was unavoidable that they go for he knew he could not withstand the power of their God, but said leave the flocks and herds behind as if he wanted to make sure they came back because of their flocks and herds, for it something is left behind they might come back.

Continued,
 

MattforJesus

Senior Member
Apr 15, 2017
2,474
478
83
#56
Continued,

Exo 10:25 And Moses said, Thou must give us also sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice unto the LORD our God.
Exo 10:26 Our cattle also shall go with us; there shall not an hoof be left behind; for thereof must we take to serve the LORD our God; and we know not with what we must serve the LORD, until we come thither.
Exo 10:27 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go.
Exo 10:28 And Pharaoh said unto him, Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die.
Exo 10:29 And Moses said, Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more.

But Moses said we must take everything with us, and the cattle must go with us, and then Pharaoh got mad about that and his heart with hardened and would not let them go.

Which it seems like Pharaoh was going by his selfishness and greed because he wanted to keep the Jews in the land which can only be for one purpose to keep them as slaves for that is a benefit to them which the Bible said the Jews built cities and pyramids for the Egyptians, and his selfishness and greed blinded him to the danger facing him.

For if all the Jews and all their substance went out of Egypt then they might not come back but run.

Exo 11:9 And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.
Exo 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.

Pharaoh was stubborn for he would not let it all go out but wanted some part of the Jews to stay behind because he wanted them to come back after they worshipped the LORD.

Exo 12:31 And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said.
Exo 12:32 Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also.
Exo 12:33 And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men.

After the tenth plague Pharaoh wanted all of the Jews out of the land, and everything that they possessed to go with them, and Pharaoh even said bless me also for Pharaoh knew for sure that the God of the Jews was the greatest God.

Exo 3:21 And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty:
Exo 3:22 But every woman shall borrow of her neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians.

The Egyptians were in such a haste to get the Jews out of their land, and feared their God that the Jews borrowed from the Egyptians jewels of silver, and of gold, and raiment, and the Egyptians did not hesitate to give it to them.

Exo 14:4 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. And they did so.
Exo 14:5 And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled: and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people, and they said, Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?
Exo 14:6 And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with him.

But Pharaoh was hardened again when he heard the Jews fled and would not come back, and he wanted the Jews back as slaves for the Egyptians said why have we done this that we have let Israel go from serving us, so they all became hardened again which seems like Egypt thought it was alright to have the Jews as slaves as long as they acknowledged their God.

And God wanted to further prove and have it instilled in their mind that He is the true God.

God used the 10 plagues for a purpose to show the Egyptians that He is the greatest God, and to have His name declared throughout the then known world.

Jos 2:3 And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house: for they be come to search out all the country.

Jos 2:9 And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.
Jos 2:10 For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.
Jos 2:11 And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.

Which what God did spread to Jericho and the people of the land, including the men which they were frightened of the Jews and their God which is what God wanted to happen for the inhabitants would favor the Jews and their God.
 
Mar 5, 2020
485
130
43
#57
Scripture teaches all born are aloof from God in Adam. Only those whom he chose to save will have their minds renewed through the new birth.
John Calvin's god isn't the God of the Christian bible. Nor of the Hebrew for that matter.
 
Mar 5, 2020
485
130
43
#58
“Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” Romans 9:18 (KJV 1900)
Do you hate God if he does this sort of thing?
Where did Jesus say that same thing? What scripture?
 

Dave-L

Well-known member
Jan 17, 2020
4,520
691
113
#59
Where did Jesus say that same thing? What scripture?
“And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” John 6:65–66 (KJV 1900)
 

Dave-L

Well-known member
Jan 17, 2020
4,520
691
113
#60
John Calvin's god isn't the God of the Christian bible. Nor of the Hebrew for that matter.
But do you hate God if Calvin was basically right about sin and grace?