Exodus 4:21

21 The LORD said to Moses, “When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.

Exodus 4:21 in Other Translations

KJV
21 And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.
ESV
21 And the LORD said to Moses, "When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.
NLT
21 And the LORD told Moses, “When you arrive back in Egypt, go to Pharaoh and perform all the miracles I have empowered you to do. But I will harden his heart so he will refuse to let the people go.
MSG
21 God said to Moses, "When you get back to Egypt, be prepared: All the wonders that I will do through you, you'll do before Pharaoh. But I will make him stubborn so that he will refuse to let the people go.
CSB
21 The Lord instructed Moses, "When you go back to Egypt, make sure you do in front of Pharaoh all the wonders I have put within your power. But I will harden his heart so that he won't let the people go.

Exodus 4:21 Meaning and Commentary

Exodus 4:21

And the Lord said unto Moses
At the same time he appeared to him in Midian, and ordered him to go into Egypt, even before his departure thither: when thou goest to return into Egypt;
and when got thither; for before the thing directed to in the next clause could not be done: see that thou do all these wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in
thine hand;
not the three signs or wonders, related in the preceding part of the chapter, for they were to be done not before Pharaoh, but before the children of Israel; but these are the wonders he was to do in the sight of Pharaoh, by inflicting the various plagues on him and his people, for refusing to let Israel go, and which God had put in the power of Moses to perform, and that by means of the rod in his hand he ordered him to take with him, ( Exodus 4:17 ) : but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go;
that is, not directly, not for some time, not until all the wonders are wrought, and plagues inflicted to bring him to it: he first hardening his own heart against God, and all remonstrances made unto him, it was but a righteous thing in God to give him up to the hardness of his heart, to deny him his grace, which only could soften it, and to leave him to the corruptions of his nature, and the temptations of Satan; and by leaving him to strong delusions, to believe the lying miracles of his magicians: this the Lord thought fit to acquaint Moses with, lest he should be discouraged by his refusal to dismiss Israel.

Exodus 4:21 In-Context

19 Now the LORD had said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all those who wanted to kill you are dead.”
20 So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey and started back to Egypt. And he took the staff of God in his hand.
21 The LORD said to Moses, “When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.
22 Then say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son,
23 and I told you, “Let my son go, so he may worship me.” But you refused to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son.’ ”

Cross References 3

  • 1. S Exodus 3:19,20
  • 2. Exodus 7:3,13; Exodus 8:15; Exodus 9:12,35; Exodus 10:1,20,27; Exodus 11:10; Exodus 14:4,8; Deuteronomy 2:30; Joshua 11:20; 1 Samuel 6:6; Psalms 105:25; Isaiah 6:10; Isaiah 63:17; John 12:40; Romans 9:18
  • 3. Exodus 8:32; Exodus 9:17