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Exodus 6:8-9

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Exodus 6:8
  • Exodus 6:9

The book of Exodus is the second book of the Torah (“law”). It continues the story of Genesis concerning the migration of the family of Jacob (the Israelites) to Egypt (Genesis 50). It describes the commissioning of Moses and Aaron as God’s representatives on earth to accomplish God’s deliverance of His people from slavery in Egypt and lead them to the Promised Land (the land of Canaan). It also relates the miraculous deliverance from Egypt beginning with the plagues on Egypt and the crossing of the Red Sea. It then describes the journey to Mount Sinai and the establishment of the Mosaic covenant with the Israelites. The last part of the book involves the specifications and building of the tabernacle – the place where the Lord Himself dwelt amongst His people.

In the book of Exodus, the focus shifts to the deliverance of God’s people.


Chapter 6 contains the LORD’s answer to Moses’ prayer in 5:22-23. It is an answer that not only addresses Moses’ criticism but also contains a great amount of encouragement and comfort. The LORD also repeats what He wants Moses to do – confront Pharaoh about releasing the Israelites. There is a genealogy included to show that Moses and Aaron are of the priestly line and are qualified to receive the LORD’s direct revelation and be His spokesmen in the coming conflict with Pharaoh.

 

 

Chapter 6 can be outlined as follows:

  • The LORD’s answer to Moses’ complaint (6:1-9)
  • The LORD instructs Moses to speak to Pharaoh (6:10-13)
  • Moses’ and Aaron’s genealogy (6:14-27)
  • The LORD instructs Moses to speak to Pharaoh (6:28-30)

In verses 6 – 8 is what the LORD commanded Moses to tell the Israelites. They need to be prepared for their deliverance that is about to happen, and He wanted them to believe that He will do what He says He is going to do in these verses.

 

The last two “I will” statements center around the idea of promise. This promise has two parts. In the sixth “I will,” the LORD says I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Hebrew for “I swore” is literally “I raised my hand,” signifying that the LORD took a solemn oath to give them the land. The second part of the promise has the LORD saying (in the seventh “I will”), I will give it to you for a possession. The sovereign LORD of creation who owns everything (Exodus 19:5) will give the promised land to Israel. So, the LORD will bring them to the promised land and give it to them, all of which is part of the covenant promises the LORD made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

 

He ends the seven “I will” statements with the declaration of who is making these promises – I am the Lord. Once again, in the Hebrew, this is simply “Yahweh.” Implied in this also is a message – Moses was not the deliverer of Israel, the LORD is. And the Great I Am of, author of all that is and well be, is now making Himself known. There is a difference between knowing the name Yahweh and knowing Yahweh, who He is and what He means. Ezekiel 16 details Israel’s rebellion and Yahweh’s unrelenting pursuit of them. After all of their disobedience, Yahweh establishes his covenant with them so that they “shall know that I am the Lord (Yahweh).”

 

To summarize this section, verses 6 – 8 described what the LORD is about to do for Israel. He articulates this in the form of seven “I will” statements:

  • I will bring you out (verse 6)
  • I will deliver you (verse 6)
  • I will redeem you (verse 6)
  • I will take you (verse 7)
  • I will be your God (verse 7)
  • I will bring you to the land (verse 8)
  • I will give it to you (verse 8)

 

Moses obeys the LORD and spoke thus to the sons of Israel, hoping that the message the LORD gave him would encourage the Israelites. Sadly, however, they did not listen to Moses on account of their despondency and cruel bondage. The word “despondency” is literally “shortness of breath” in the Hebrew text. It means that the people rejected Moses’ message because they were exhausted and discouraged. Because of their disillusionment, they were in no mood to accept any message of hope, no matter the source.

Biblical Text

I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you for a possession; I am the Lord.’” So Moses spoke thus to the sons of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses on account of their despondency and cruel bondage.

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