Does God Harden Pharaoh's Heart ?????

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by Dusty, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. Does God Harden Pharaoh's Heart ?????

    The age old question " Did God harden Pharaoh's heat?

    Exodus 7:3.... But I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and though I multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt, 4 he will not listen to you.

    No ! And here is why .

    In their perpetual quest to find discrepancies in the Bible , to determine biblical ethics , and to find fault with the actions of God , sceptics have charged that God mistreated Pharaoh by over riding his free will and forcing him to resist the demand of Moses to allow the Israelites to exit Egypt . The sceptics focus on the verses about Pharaoh's heart , demanding that the God of the Bible is unjust and cruel . But according to 1 Samuel 6:6.... God didn't harden Pharaoh's heart ; Pharaoh did it himself.

    The Hebrew language uses active verbs to express the agent's design to attempt to do anything , even though the thing was not actually done. Verbs , therefore , can have idiomatic usages that may convey something other than a strict , literal meaning . Active verbs were used by the Hebrews to express , not the doing of the thing , but the permission of the thing which the agent is said to do . These active verbs can express permission and not direct action.

    In the case of Pharaoh , God provided the circumstance and the occasion for Pharaoh to be forced to make a decision . God sent Moses to place His demands before Pharaoh . Moses merely announced God's instructions . Pharaoh made up his own mind to resist God's demands . Of his own accord , he stubbornly refused to comply . If God had not sent Moses, Pharaoh would not have been faced with the dilemma of whether to release the Israelites . So God was certainly the initiator . But He was not the author of Pharaoh's defiance.

  2. Oh yeah, I always took it as more of an allowing thing.
    Even if God did do something, HE IS GOD, what are you going to do right.
    though wouldn't hardening hearts be agiant his nature?
  3. I see it as similar to my experience as a child.
    Sometimes my parents would not let me do something because they knew what was best. I saw things differently and got mad. My heart was hardened… you could say.
    You could also say that my parents hardened my heart by what they did, although it was all my attitude and not them.

    It was all God’s plan and God knew Pharaoh’s heart would be hardened by His plan.

  4. Exactly Dean ,

    But you see when people take things in a literal sense and they say oh God hardened his heart ... but like th example you gave as a child that is the same thing Pharaoh did . It was his choice not God's . I have heard people say God did it but God is love ... He would never harden some one's heart.
  5. Not unlike when someone makes the comment to me… “That guy makes me so mad”
    I tell them “No he doesn’t, he doesn’t have enough power to make you mad”
    What he did, or said might “cause” you to be mad, but no one can “make” you mad.

    Kind of like when matuisgman made me crave peanut butter when I didn’t want to.
    Ohhhhh…. He makes me so mad. :D ;)
  6. What about popcorn ?

  7. Nice try… :p

    I don’t like popcorn that much. :cool:
  8. I found this to be good

    God bless
  9. Warning fairly long post but i think important to read and consider.

    I believe God did Harden Pharaoh but not before Pharaoh hardened himself twice of his own free will towards Gods will. I believe the following scripture shows that clearly.

    Exodus 8

    8Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, "Entreat the LORD that He may take away the frogs from me and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may sacrifice to the LORD."
    9And Moses said to Pharaoh, "Accept the honor of saying when I shall intercede for you, for your servants, and for your people, to destroy the frogs from you and your houses, that they may remain in the river only."
    10So he said, "Tomorrow." And he said, "Let it be according to your word, that you may know that there is no one like the LORD our God. 11And the frogs shall depart from you, from your houses, from your servants, and from your people. They shall remain in the river only."
    12Then Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh. And Moses cried out to the LORD concerning the frogs which He had brought against Pharaoh. 13So the LORD did according to the word of Moses. And the frogs died out of the houses, out of the courtyards, and out of the fields. 14They gathered them together in heaps, and the land stank. 15But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not heed them, as the LORD had said.

    Note it says that he (pharaoh) hardened his heart.[FONT=&quot]

    Exodus 8
    28So Pharaoh said, "I will let you go, that you may sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness; only you shall not go very far away. Intercede for me."
    29Then Moses said, "Indeed I am going out from you, and I will entreat the LORD, that the swarms of flies may depart tomorrow from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people. But let Pharaoh not deal deceitfully anymore in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the LORD."
    30So Moses went out from Pharaoh and entreated the LORD. 31And the LORD did according to the word of Moses; He removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people. Not one remained. 32But Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also; neither would he let the people go.

    Once again here we see pharaoh after being given a second chance hardened his heart again against the will of God. Pharaoh was in total rebellion against the will of God.

    Exodus 9
    8 So the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Take for yourselves handfuls of ashes from a furnace, and let Moses scatter it toward the heavens in the sight of Pharaoh. 9And it will become fine dust in all the land of Egypt, and it will cause boils that break out in sores on man and beast throughout all the land of Egypt." 10Then they took ashes from the furnace and stood before Pharaoh, and Moses scattered them toward heaven. And they caused boils that break out in sores on man and beast. 11And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for the boils were on the magicians and on all the Egyptians. 12But the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh; and he did not heed them, just as the LORD had spoken to Moses.

    Now we see God deciding to keep pharaohs heart hard to complete the series of signs to leave no one in doubt that it was God himself who was freeing the Jews from Egypt. Pharaoh was already lost, God chose to use him for his greater plan. By pharaohs stiff necked rebellion he made himself available to God to be used as a vessel of Gods wrath.
    Not only did God harden the heart of pharaoh but he has hardened the heart of other people who have repeatedly rebelled against His will. This will happen in the future also.

    2 Thessalonians 2
    8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.[FONT=&quot]

    [/FONT]So God can harden people But only after they have rejected Him and His truth.

    All Praise The Ancient Of Days
  10. Reading through these posts I was reminded of something I was taught many, many years ago.

    The sun softens butter and melts snow, but it hardens mud and dries out clothes. The same action by God may melt the heart of one but harden the heart of another.

    Not an answer to the question, but perhaps food for thought.

    God bless us all as we learn together.
  11. Wow .... Lots of food for thought here and adstar .... that's also a good way to look at it as well. Thanks It is good to have other perspectives.

    And Jeannann.... that little tidbit of info is neat ... thanks
  12. Yes I saw that too , Adstar and a lot of people are saying that God hardens people's hearts ..... Not .!!!!!and you have showed how God did not and that Pharaoh in his stubborness hardened his own self .

    I thought it was interesting that you had memtioned the frogs and after research about that Plague here is what I found

    The Frogs

    Frogs were also regarded as having divine power. In the Egyptian pantheon , the goddess Heqet had the body of a woman with a frog's head . From her nostrils , it was believed , came the breath of life that animated the bodies of those created by her husband , the great god Khnum, from the dust of the earth . Therefore frogs were not to be killed . Frogs were so sacred in Egypt the even the involuntary slaughter of one was often punishable by death. Imagine the irony as the Egyptians went out to gather the decaying bodies of the frogs . and put them into heaps .

    This time only Moses could take away the frogs ... and the magicians could do nothing . The fact that Pharaoh entreated Moses to intercede with the Lord to take away the frogs was a sign that he recognized the God of Israel as being the author of the plague.

  13. 1 Samuel 6:6
    .........Wherefore then do ye harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? when he had wrought wonderfully among them, did they not let the people go, and they departed?
  14. i would imagine his heart was already hardened.
  15. I think this is the first time I have heard this point of view as I have often myself taken it literally (which I normally don't take the entire bible literally).

    Good points of view.
  16. Dusty, this is interesting. Does this special use of the active verb also apply when it is referring to Pharaoh's action of self-hardening? In other words, when it says, "Pharaoh hardened his heart," does this really mean, "Pharaoh gave permission for his heart to be hardened"? I'm just wondering that if we apply this special use of the verb when used of God's actions, should it not also be applied when used of Pharaoh's?


  17. Romans 1:

    In light of this discussion on who hardened whose heart, what does everyone make of God's actions in Romans 1 (from the NIV):

    1:24: Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.
    1:26: Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.
    1:28: Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.

    Was this harsh and unfair of God?
  18. I would say that and it was entirely his choice .... not God's . A lot of the OT because it was written so many thousand years ago has differnt meaning and somethings with our natural understanding is hard but when we try to sort it out in the Spiritual it becomes more clear and I think this is one example because God is a God of Love and would never harden any one's heart.
  19. I think again as I said in the other post is not God's unfairness or His harshness . It is the people who made those bad decisions and being a just God , He let them make those bad decisions.because ultimately they will have to pay for their wrongs.
  20. I guess I don't understand, then. Certainly it's true that Pharaoh made the choice to harden his own heart; the Bible affirms that. But besides that, I'm interested in the linguistic issue you raised. I wonder in what sense Pharaoh gave permission for his heart to be hardened. To whom did he give this permission? To himself? If so, that doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

    I would suggest that this is only one attribute of God. He is also severe and holy in addition to being merciful and loving. That is why I don't see a problem at all with the teaching that God actively hardened Pharaoh's heart. God judges those who resist him and who persist in sin. It's all throughout scripture.

    Food for thought.

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