Renewal of the Promise.
1. the Lord said unto Moses—The Lord,
who is long-suffering and indulgent to the errors and infirmities of
His people, made allowance for the mortification of Moses as the result
of this first interview and cheered him with the assurance of a speedy
and successful termination to his embassy.
2. And God spake unto Moses—For his
further encouragement, there was made to him an emphatic repetition of
the promise (Ex 3:20).
3. I … God Almighty—All enemies
must fall, all difficulties must vanish before My omnipotent power, and
the patriarchs had abundant proofs of this.
but by my name, &c.—rather,
interrogatively, by My name Jehovah was I not known to them? Am not I,
the Almighty God, who pledged My honor for the fulfilment of the
covenant, also the self-existent God who lives to accomplish it? Rest
assured, therefore, that I shall bring it to pass. This passage has
occasioned much discussion; and it has been thought by many to intimate
that as the name Jehovah was not known to the patriarchs, at least in
the full bearing or practical experience of it, the honor of the
disclosure was reserved to Moses, who was the first sent with a message
in the name of Jehovah, and enabled to attest it by a series of public
9-11. Moses spake so unto the children of
Israel—The increased severities inflicted on the Israelites
seem to have so entirely crushed their spirits, as well as irritated
them, that they refused to listen to any more communications (Ex 14:12). Even the faith of Moses himself
was faltering; and he would have abandoned the enterprise in despair
had he not received a positive command from God to revisit the people
without delay, and at the same time renew their demand on the king in a
more decisive and peremptory tone.
12. how then shall … who am of uncircumcised
lips?—A metaphorical expression among the Hebrews, who,
taught to look on the circumcision of any part as denoting perfection,
signified its deficiency or unsuitableness by uncircumcision. The words
here express how painfully Moses felt his want of utterance or
persuasive oratory. He seems to have fallen into the same deep
despondency as his brethren, and to be shrinking with nervous timidity
from a difficult, if not desperate, cause. If he had succeeded so ill
with the people, whose dearest interests were all involved, what better
hope could he entertain of his making more impression on the heart of a
king elated with pride and strong in the possession of absolute power?
How strikingly was the indulgent forbearance of God displayed towards
His people amid all their backwardness to hail His announcement of
approaching deliverance! No perverse complaints or careless
indifference on their part retarded the development of His gracious
purposes. On the contrary, here, as generally, the course of His
providence is slow in the infliction of judgments, while it moves more
quickly, as it were, when misery is to be relieved or benefits
Ex 6:14-30. The Genealogy
14, 15. These be the heads of their fathers'
houses—chiefs or governors of their houses. The insertion of
this genealogical table in this part of the narrative was intended to
authenticate the descent of Moses and Aaron. Both of them were
commissioned to act so important a part in the events transacted in the
court of Egypt and afterwards elevated to so high offices in the
government and Church of God, that it was of the utmost importance that
their lineage should be accurately traced. Reuben and Simeon being the
oldest of Jacob's sons, a passing notice is taken of them, and then the
historian advances to the enumeration of the principal persons in the
house of Levi [Ex 6:16-19].
20. Amram took him Jochebed his father's sister to
wife—The Septuagint and Syriac versions render
it "his cousin."
23. Elisheba—that is, Elizabethan. These
minute particulars recorded of the family of Aaron, while he has passed
over his own, indicate the real modesty of Moses. An ambitious man or
an impostor would have acted in a different manner.