Ex. 6:1 Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.
Ex. 6:2 And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD:
Ex. 6:3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.
So the LORD tells Moses—just you watch. Now you’ll see what I will do to Pharaoh. Because of my strong hand he will let the people go; in fact, he will drive them out of Egypt. God then tells Moses that, “I am the LORD.” He tells him that He appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty; but He did not make Himself known to them by the name JEHOVAH.
I decided to go to the Bible dictionary for help with this. The thought that made the most sense to me was that the people had never yet experienced the redemptive power of the “I AM.” Although they knew Him as Almighty God, they had not experienced the power associated with the name of God that they were about to experience firsthand.
Ex. 6:4 And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers.
Ex. 6:5 And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant.
God told Moses that He had established (considered an act already accomplished according to Webster) His covenant (promise) with them to give them the land of Canaan where they (their forefathers, the patriarchs) had lived as aliens. God has heard the groanings (pain, misery, unhappiness) of His people; He knows they are slaves. He is ready to take the next step in fulfilling His covenant. That is the key here—the time is now right according to God’s perfect will for the next step.
Ex. 6:6 Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments:
Ex. 6:7 And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.
Ex. 6:8 And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the LORD.
God tells Moses to speak to the Israelites for Him. He is to say, “I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians” (take you out of slavery). I will free you…..I will redeem you. Moses is to affirm that they are God’s own people; He is their God. They will know this when He frees them from slavery in Egypt and takes them to the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. “I will give it you for an heritage (possession); I am the LORD.”
God minces no words. This world is His. He can choose to give whatever He wants to whomever He wants whenever He wants. When He acts, there will be no mistaking whose power is accomplishing these actions. I think He is also alluding to His protection for His people with His “outstretched arms,” the same arms with the hands that will judge the oppressors.
Ex. 6:9 And Moses spake so unto the children of Israel: but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage.
Ex. 6:10 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Ex. 6:11 Go in, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, that he let the children of Israel go out of his land.
Ex. 6:12 And Moses spake before the LORD, saying, Behold, the children of Israel have not hearkened unto me; how then shall Pharaoh hear me, who am of uncircumcised lips?
Moses gave God’s message to the Israelites, but they did not believe him because of their discouragement and cruel bondage. (They had believed him the first time—and look where that had gotten them.)
So the LORD tells Moses to go to Pharaoh again and tell him to let the Israelites go. Moses argues with God again. (I don’t know in what form this communication is happening, but I know that Moses is consciously “talking back” to Almighty God. I can’t really fathom this in one sense, yet in another sense I know I’m just as guilty as Moses. My mind knows that God is speaking to me in one sense, but in another sense I often deny His presence/voice by my actions. I often equate this disobedience with not being able to “see God.” It is a constant battle to realize that His communication to me is just as important as His communication to Moses; it is just as real.)
Back to verse 12—Moses basically answers with, “If my own people won’t listen to me, why would Pharaoh listen to me, a man with uncircumcised lips?” The Hebrew for the word uncircumcised indicates unskilled, but the main definition has to do with having foreskin, a covering. It makes me think that Moses had a physical problem like a lisp or stutter that would “cover” his words.
Ex. 6:13 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, and gave them a charge unto the children of Israel, and unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.
Ex. 6:14 These be the heads of their fathers’ houses: The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel; Hanoch, and Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi: these be the families of Reuben.
Ex. 6:15 And the sons of Simeon; Jemuel, and Jamin, and Ohad, and Jachin, and Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman: these are the families of Simeon.
Ex. 6:16 And these are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations; Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari: and the years of the life of Levi were an hundred thirty and seven years.
Ex. 6:17 The sons of Gershon; Libni, and Shimi, according to their families.
Ex. 6:18 And the sons of Kohath; Amram, and Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel: and the years of the life of Kohath were an hundred thirty and three years.
Ex. 6:19 And the sons of Merari; Mahali and Mushi: these are the families of Levi according to their generations.
Ex. 6:20 And Amram took him Jochebed his father’s sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses: and the years of the life of Amram were an hundred and thirty and seven years.
Ex. 6:21 And the sons of Izhar; Korah, and Nepheg, and Zichri.
Ex. 6:22 And the sons of Uzziel; Mishael, and Elzaphan, and Zithri.
Ex. 6:23 And Aaron took him Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab, sister of Naashon, to wife; and she bare him Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.
Ex. 6:24 And the sons of Korah; Assir, and Elkanah, and Abiasaph: these are the families of the Korhites.
Ex. 6:25 And Eleazar Aaron’s son took him one of the daughters of Putiel to wife; and she bare him Phinehas: these are the heads of the fathers of the Levites according to their families.
Ex. 6:26 These are that Aaron and Moses, to whom the LORD said, Bring out the children of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their armies.
Ex. 6:27 These are they which spake to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring out the children of Israel from Egypt: these are that Moses and Aaron.
All of a sudden in verse 13 we are given the family record of Moses and Aaron after God commands them to express His will to the children of Israel. First are listed the clans of Reuben and Simeon. Then we are given the sons of Levi (who lived 137 years)àKohath (133 years)àAmram (137 years) who married his father’s sister (his aunt) Jochebed, mother of Aaron and Moses. (3/10) Reuben, Simeon and Levi were the first three sons of Jacob.
Aaron married Elisheba and had four sons—Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. Others were mentioned, but these were directly in connection with Aaron and Moses.
Verse 26 tells us that this is the history of the Moses and Aaron that God has instructed to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. They are the ones confronting the Pharaoh. I’m sure this is an important historical record, especially for the people to whom it was first addressed. The leadership and direction of Moses as God’s spokesman in these early days of Israel’s history were to be established as fact without dispute. His would be the voice that God would use to establish His commands regarding worship, sacrifice, and laws (both for government and health and safety). He would be the one to supervise the building of the tabernacle and establishment of the priesthood. Basically, he was God’s representative who directed the establishment of all that is the core, the heart of the Jewish nation.
Ex. 6:28 And it came to pass on the day when the LORD spake unto Moses in the land of Egypt,
Ex. 6:29 That the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, I am the LORD: speak thou unto Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say unto thee.
Ex. 6:30 And Moses said before the LORD, Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh hearken unto me?
So when Moses complains that Pharaoh won’t listen to him because he can’t speak well, God provides Aaron as his mouthpiece. Again, there appears to be a clue that this alluded to more than just the use of words; it seemed to reference a disability that made Moses hard to understand.