To the Egyptians, Moses was a back-stabbing murderer who fled to Midian for forty years. He was the poster-boy of why Egyptians should never treat Hebrews with respect because if they did, Hebrews wouldn’t change, even if wealth and power were handed to them. As the popular proverb said: dogs always return to their vomit.
To Pharaoh, it was more than that, it was personal. Moses’ act of treason brought shame and loss of face to the royal family forty years earlier. Moses’ name was probably spoken by royal family members in much the same way Benedict Arnold’s name was mentioned in America after the Revolutionary War: in disgust.
Thus, when the Bible states God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, it is easy to understand how God did it. He allowed Pharaoh to see Moses as a weak, disgusting Hebrew compared to Pharaoh’s deified stature as the incarnation of the god Horus (god of the sky), a son of Re (god of the sun), and Osiris (giver of life).
As far as the Lord God of Israel, Pharaoh looked at the weakness of Moses and the slavery of Israel’s people and assumed the Lord was a weak, low ranking God compared to himself and Egypt’s many other gods. After all, Pharaoh could openly see his gods, but could not see the Lord God of Israel.
To the Hebrew slaves, Moses’ return, at first, encouraged the slaves because of the signs he performed and his prophetic words to them. But soon, Pharaoh retaliated against Moses’ words by oppressing the slaves more than ever. Then the slaves reacted in anger toward Moses because they were discouraged by the brutality they suffered. They no longer listened to him.
Nice situation for a prophet to find himself, right? So what did God do?
Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, and gave them a charge to the sons of Israel and to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt. (Exodus 6:13)
The Hebrew word tsavah is translated into the English word charge in the above verse and more nearly means to put in command or in charge.
This is what will soon happen in some inner cities.
( Continued in Part 16)