Exodus 4:1

1 And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee.

Exodus 4:1 Meaning and Commentary

Exodus 4:1

And Moses answered and said
In reference to what Jehovah had declared to him in the latter end of the preceding chapter: but, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken to my voice;
this seems to contradict what God had said to him, ( Exodus 3:18 ) that they would hearken to his voice; but it can hardly be thought, that so good a man, and so great a prophet as Moses was, would directly fly in the face of God, and expressly contradict what he had said. To reconcile this it may be observed, that what the Lord says respects only the elders of Israel, this all the people; or Jehovah's meaning may be, and so this of Moses, that neither the one nor the other would regard his bare word, without some sign or miracle being wrought; for as his call was extraordinary, so it required something extraordinary to be done that it might be credited: for they will say, the Lord hath not appeared unto me:
in the bush, as he would affirm he did, and might do it with the greatest assurance; yet the thing being so marvellous, and they not eyewitnesses of it, might distrust the truth of it, or be backward to receive it on his bare word; and this Moses might rather fear would be the case, from the experience he had had of them forty years ago, when it was more likely for him to have been a deliverer of them.

Exodus 4:1 In-Context

1 And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee.
2 And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.
3 And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it.
4 And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand:
5 That they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee.