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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Exodus 4:18-23

Here, I. Moses obtains leave of his father-in-law to return into Egypt, Exod. 4:18. His father-in-law had been kind to him when he was a stranger, and therefore he would not be so uncivil as to leave his family, nor so unjust as to leave his service, without giving him notice. Note, The honour of being admitted into communion with God, and of being employed for him, does not exempt us from the duties of our relations and callings in this world. Moses said nothing to his father-in-law (for... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Exodus 4:22

And thou shall say unto Pharaoh ,.... When arrived in Egypt, and in his presence: thus saith the Lord ; he was to declare to him that he came in his name, and by his orders, and, as an ambassador of his, required the dismission of the children of Israel out of Egypt: Israel is my son, even my firstborn ; as dear to him as a man's firstborn is, or as his only son: adoption is one of the privileges peculiar to Israel after the flesh, even national adoption, with all the external... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Exodus 4:22

Israel is my son, even my firstborn - That is, The Hebrew people are unutterably dear to me. read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - Exodus 4:22

Verse 22 22.Israel is my son, even my first-born. God thus refutes, by anticipation, the only pretext by which Pharaoh could justify his refusal to let the people go. For Jacob had spontaneously submitted himself and all his family to his government; he had then free power to retain the people, which, by the common law of nations, was subject to the dominion of Egypt. But if it be an act of impiety to violate the ordinance instituted by God, the demand of Moses might appear improper, that the... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Exodus 4:18-23

True faith and its joy. I. THE OBEDIENCE OF FAITH . 1 . Note Moses' swift compliance with God's command. He tarried no longer: "He went and returned, and said, let me go." He does not seek advice. He does not even wait for a convenient opportunity of urging his request. We must wait neither upon time nor men. If God has spoken, we must obey. 2 . His wise reticence. He said nothing of what he had seen and heard. These experiences are a holy place where the soul meets alone... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Exodus 4:18-25

If Moses had, as we have supposed, been accepted into the Midianitish nation, he would need permission to withdraw himself from the tribal head. This head was now Jether, or Jethro, Moses' connexion by marriage, perhaps his brother-in-law, perhaps a less near connexion. Nations and tribes were at this time anxious to keep up their numbers, and jealous of the desertion even of a single member. Jethro, however, made no opposition to the return of Moses to Egypt, even though he designed to be... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Exodus 4:18-31

Facing Egypt. "And the people believed, and when," etc. ( Exodus 4:31 ). This section of the history may be homiletically treated under three geographical headings, which will keep the historical development prominent, without obscuring the moral and spiritual elements. I. MIDIAN . From Sinai Moses returned to Midian. Reuel now dead, Jethro, probably his son, becomes priest and sheikh of the tribe. [We take Jethro to have been the brother-in-law of Moses. See 'Speaker's... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Exodus 4:19-23

Obedience brings a blessing. There must have been something in the hesitation of Moses which caused it not to be wholly displeasing to God. Once he was "angered" ( Exodus 3:14 ), but even then not greatly offended—content to show his anger by inflicting a slight penalty. Now, when Moses still delayed in Midian, how gentle the rebuke that is administered—"Go, return;" and to the rebuke moreover is appended an encouragement—"all the men are dead who sought thy life." Observe also that no... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Exodus 4:19-29

My times are in Thy hand. Moses thought himself fit for his work at forty-eager to undertake it before the years increased; God waits until his self-confidence has abated, and then, at eighty, gives him his commission. I. THE GREAT COMMISSION . His errand is to Pharaoh, as an ambassador from the King of heaven to the king of Egypt. Notice— 1 . His credentials. As coming in a king's name he must be accredited by the king who sends him. God gives him signs, very simple but... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Exodus 4:21-23

And the Lord said, etc . Now that Moses had at last given up his own will and entered on the path of obedience, God comforted him with a fresh revelation,, and gave him fresh instructions as to what exactly he was to say to Pharaoh. The statements of Exodus 4:21 are not new, being anticipated in Exodus 3:19-20 ; but the directions in Exodus 3:22 -23 are wholly new, and point to the greatest of all the miracles wrought in Egypt—the death of the firstborn. read more

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