Exodus 4

Moses feels inadequate and is given signs 1
Moses hesitates to speak to people 10
Moses returns to Egypt 18
Wonders to be done 21
Circumcision neglected 24
Brothers meet 27
Text
Comments
.1 ¶ And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee.
.2  And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.
.3  And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it.
 4  And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand:
 5  That they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee.
  2 - Rod See on nu1702.
.6  And the LORD said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow.
 7  And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh.
 8  And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign.
.9  And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.
  6 - Bosom "the open part of his outer robe, worn about the girdle." (JFB Commentary)
  7 - Leprous The disease was considered incurable.
  9 - Water ... blood The people worshiped the river. God's people were to learn to trust Him and the Egyptians, to fear him ex0715-19. Moses was the first prophet who was given power to perform such miracles and was a type (or symbol) of Christ de1815, jn0145, ac0322.
.10 ¶ And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
.11  And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?
 12  Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.
 13  And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send.
 14  And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart.
 15  And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.
.16  And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God.
.17  And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs.
   10 - I am not eloquent Moses had expressed humility and God clarified that if Moses would follow Him, he would be assisted by divine power. His continuing to make excuses became distrust. A sin that would bring trouble through the one God would send to talk for Moses.
   11 - Who made man's mouth? Response to Moses' excuse. Does God make the dumb (who cannot speak), the deaf, and the blind? Of course we suffer the results of sin in the world. I read this verse to mean that God can restore or remove gifts of speech and sight. He could and did give Moses eloquence in speech. God also allows spiritual conditions we choose jn0939.
   11 - Seeing See pr2012.
   14 - Anger of the Lord Why would Moses' speech problem bring God's pleasure? It didn't. You can understand from the text. After reasonable questions, humility becomes distrust.
   14 - Already on the way God knew ahead how Moses would respond and had called Aaron to come. (Remember that they didn't have e-mail back then). God's foreknowledge does not interfere with our free choice.
.18 ¶ And Moses went and returned to Jethro his father in law, and said unto him, Let me go, I pray thee, and return unto my brethren which are in Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive. And Jethro said to Moses, Go in peace.
.19  And the LORD said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought thy life.
 20  And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the rod of God in his hand.

Moses and family
.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.
.22  And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:
.23  And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.
  21 - I will harden Compare ex0815.
  22 - Israel is my son The people to be brought out of Egypt had practically lost their spiritual character. They would be born again as they made their pledge of faithfulness, but this could not happen in Egypt. Pharaoh would choose to gradually lose everything including his own firstborn son ex1105.
.24 ¶ And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him.   24 - Inn There were no such places then on the way to Egypt, the Hebrew means "place for spending the night." jos0403,8, is1029.
  24 - Met him This reminds us of the Lord's encounter with Elijah 1ki1909.
  24 - Sought to kill him Why? Earlier in the story we read about Moses' clear call from the Lord ch3. In the preceding verse we just read about the serious consequence awaiting Pharaoh's disobedience. Behind him were the powers of darkness Satan and the rest of the evil angels re1209, jude06. Moses would not be able to claim protection from the faithful angels while neglecting a known divine requirement ge1711. His death here in the desert would have been better than at the hands of the enemies of God after warning Pharaoh in Egypt. We might recall that the Lord dealt more directly with Moses than with others.
.25  Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me.   Zipporah took She obviously was not pleased with the idea of circumcision and we may assume she had opposed her husband on this matter since the circumcision of Gershom, their older boy and that Moses shrank from further confrontation. Now angry at the Lord and Moses, she took the stone and performed the circumcision on Eliezer.
  Sharp stone Flints were apparently used for this purpose jos0502. Perhaps she had one for preparing food.
  Cast it at his feet Literally "made it touch his feet." So Moses may not have been standing but sick in bed. This could explain why He did not do the circumcision himself.
.26  So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision.   So he let him go  Literally, "And he pulled back from him."
  A bloody husband The word for husband here, chathan, is used to refer to a relative of a woman by marriage and may be translated "groom" in this circumstance. Compare the more common word for "husband" or special man, iysh ge0316, ge1603, ru0109. Zipporah was apparently not awed and repeated her verbal abuse.
  The encounter must have developed Moses' faith and dependence solely on the Lord. Also he would have realized that she was not ready to face the trials that would come in Egypt. It may have been at this point that he sent her back to Midian. See ex1802.
.27  And the LORD said to Aaron, Go into the wilderness to meet Moses. And he went, and met him in the mount of God, and kissed him.
 28  And Moses told Aaron all the words of the LORD who had sent him, and all the signs which he had commanded him.
 29  And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel:
 30  And Aaron spake all the words which the LORD had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people.
 31  And the people believed: and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.
  27 - Go ... to meet Moses The instructions must have been given some time before Moses left Midian and more guidance than is apparent in this verse must have been provided ex0301. The "mount of God" would have been Horeb which is also called Sinai. Midian was in this area.
  29 - Elders See ex0316.
  30 - Spake ... did signs v16, ex0719.
  31 - Believed Somehow hardship helps us listen 1pe0412.
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