23 02 2010

The title “Pharaoh” means “great house”. It refers perhaps to a particular dynasty (house) of kings. As king of Egypt, the pharaoh (in the world’s eyes), was one of the most powerful men on earth. The Book of Exodus mentions 2 of these pharaohs.


1. The Pharaoh that knew not Joseph (Exodus 1:8)
This is Raamses II, the first pharaoh of the 19th dynasty of ancient Egypt and totally unrelated to the 18th dynasty that may have shown gratefulness to Joseph and his heirs. Known for his desire to build, he ruled for 67 years. He enslaved the Hebrew nation for 2 reasons.
a. To build his nation
b. To kill their spirit
He saw the benefit of a free labor force, as well as them becoming too strong of a military or political force. Not only did he kill their spirit, but he ordered the killing of male babies. It was this Pharaoh who Moses served until the age of 40. It was this Pharaoh who desired to bring Moses to justice after he killed on Egyptian as he beat a Hebrew. When Raamses II died, Moses was directed to a burning bush that was not consumed by the fire.

2. The Pharaoh that knew not Jehovah (Exodus 5:2)
He is also of the 19th dynasty, whose name was Menephthah (not Yule Brenner). He reigned for 12 years. During this time was the great exodus story of 10 plagues, the Passover, and the dividing of the Red Sea. One historian I read believes that this Pharaoh may have succumbed to revolutionary movements, consequent upon the loses he suffered at the Red Sea catastrophe. This Pharaoh is a type of the Antichrist, who would receive similar plagues by 2 “witnesses”, believed to be Moses and Elijah. This Pharaoh is also a type of the Antichrist because….
a. He hated the Jew
b. He despised the Lord
c. He denied God’s Word


This Pharaoh who knew not Jehovah could be used to answer some of our own questions about God’s dealings with man. Let’s look at 4.
1. The bottom line of sin is ownership Exodus 5:2
When Jehovah demands, “Let my people go,” Pharaoh says, who is Jehovah and why should I do what He says, he doesn’t own me! If we strip away every other motive for sin, you will find the sin of pride. Pride says, “I an going to do my thing, in spite of what God says. Commentator Matthew Henry notes, “Here is the core of the controversy, God must rule, but man will not be rules.” At salvation, we surrender ownership of ourselves to Jesus. “We are not our own, for we are brought with a price.” (I Corinthians 6:20). When we sin, we lose the concept of this ownership.

2. God would harden a heart that does not choose Him. Exodus 9:12
More theological energy has been spent on God hardening Pharaoh’s heart because Pharaoh hardened his own heart one time too many. Commentator Herb Lackyer notes, “ ‘I will harden’ is used by God six times, but not until Pharaoh done it seven times.” In Exodus 9:12 we see the Lord hardening Pharaoh’s heart without using the verb “will”. In god’s foreknowledge, He knew Pharaoh would harden his own heart. God is loving and merciful, giving us a 2nd chance to harkened to Him, as well as a 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6ht or whatever. There comes a time when a person says “no” one time too many and becomes hardened. In the New Testament it is called the “unpardonable sin.” Pharaoh crossed that line and reached the point of no return. This should be sufficient warning to those who keep rejecting God’s offer of salvation through Jesus.

3. Even the heathen could be sued for god’s glory Exodus 9:16
This verse is alluded to in Romans 9:17. To Pharaoh’s own frustration, he becomes a pawn in God’s game and not a king in his own!

4. God will not accept compromise of obedience
The devil is very subtle and crafty. II Corinthians 2:11 warns us that we ought not to be ignorant of his devices. One of his slickest devices is compromise. “It’s not like you are disobeying the Lord,” the devil tempts, “you are just not doing all that He says!” Pharaoh tried it 4 times with Moses.
a. “Go and sacrifice, just remain in the land Exodus 8:25
Go ahead and serve God, just don’t let go of your old lifestyle. Serve God and mammon (money). Matthew 6:24
b. Go not very far Exodus 8:28
In other words, “don’t leave my kingdom.” “Don’t be fanatical,” he says, “live in the grey areas; live on the fence.”
c. Go, but only the men” Exodus 10:11
“Go as far as you want, just let me have your wives and children.” This is an assault on spiritual leadership in the family.
d. Go, but leave your flocks. Exodus 10:24
The flocks were necessary for sacrifice and worship. This compromise is to serve God without sacrifice. “Don’t rock the boat, don’t leave your comfort zone, God really don’t need your sacrifice!”

Pharaoh made his mark in the Book of Exodus. It is one of hardness, cruelty, murder, and comprise. Allow his example to act as a warning to both saved and unsaved alike1




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