Exodus 6

Yahweh Discusses His Name and Israel’s Future

1 And Yahweh said to Moses, "Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh, because with a strong hand he will release them, and with a strong hand he will drive them out from his land."
2 And God spoke to Moses, and he said to him, "I [am] Yahweh.
3 And I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as God Shaddai, but by my name Yahweh I was not known to them.
4 And I not only established my covenant with them to give to them the land of Canaan, the land of their sojournings, in which they dwelt as aliens,
5 but also I myself heard the groaning of the {Israelites}, whom [the] Egyptians [are] making to work, and I remembered my covenant.
6 Therefore say to the {Israelites}, 'I [am] Yahweh, and I will bring you out from under the {forced labor} of Egypt, and I will deliver you from their slavery, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great punishments.
7 And I will take you {as my people}, and I will be {your God}, and you will know that I [am] Yahweh your God, who brought you out from under the {forced labor} of Egypt.
8 And I will bring you to the land {that I swore} to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, and I will give it to you [as] a possession. I [am] Yahweh."
9 And Moses spoke thus to the {Israelites}, but they did not listen to Moses, because of {discouragement} and because of hard work.
10 And Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
11 "Go, speak to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and let him release the {Israelites} from his land."
12 And Moses spoke before Yahweh, saying, "Look, the {Israelites} do not listen to me, and how will Pharaoh listen to me, since I [am] {a poor speaker}?"
13 And Yahweh spoke to Moses and to Aaron, and he commanded them [to go] to the {Israelites} and to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, to bring the {Israelites} out from the land of Egypt.

The Genealogy of Moses and Aaron

14 These [are] the heads of {their families}. The sons of Reuben, the firstborn of Israel, [are] Enoch and Pallu, Hezron and Carmi. These [are] the clans of Reuben.
15 And the sons of Simeon [are] Jemuel and Jamin and Ohad and Jakin and Zohar and Shaul the son of the Canaanitess. These [are] the clans of Simeon.
16 And these [are] the names of the sons of Levi according to their genealogies: Gershon and Kohath and Merari, and the years of the life of Levi [were] {one hundred and thirty-seven years}.
17 The sons of Gershon [are] Libni and Shimei according to their clans.
18 And the sons of Kohath [are] Amram and Izhar and Hebron and Uzziel, and the years of the life of Kohath [were] {one hundred and thirty-three years}.
19 And the sons of Merari [are] Mahli and Mushi. These [are] clans of the Levites according to their genealogies.
20 And Amram took Jochebed his aunt for himself as a wife, and she bore for him Aaron and Moses, and the years of the life of Amram [were] {one hundred and thirty-seven years}.
21 And the sons of Izhar [are] Korah and Nepheg and Zikri.
22 And the sons of Uzziel [are] Mishael and Elzaphan and Sithri.
23 And Aaron took Elisheba the daughter of Amminadab, the sister of Nahshon, for himself as a wife, and she bore for him Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.
24 And the sons of Korah [are] Assir and Elkanah and Abiasaph. These [are] the clans of the Korahites.
25 And Eleazar the son of Aaron took for himself [one] from the daughters of Putiel as a wife, and she bore for him Phinehas. These [are] the heads of the {families} of the Levites according to their clans.
26 [It was] that Aaron and Moses to whom Yahweh said, "Bring the {Israelites} out from the land of Egypt according to their divisions."
27 They [were] those who spoke to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, in order to bring the {Israelites} out from Egypt. [It was] that Moses and Aaron.
28 {And so it was on a certain day} Yahweh spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt.
29 And Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, "I [am] Yahweh. Speak to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, all that I [am] speaking to you."
30 And Moses said before Yahweh, "Look, I [am] {a poor speaker}. And how will Pharaoh listen to me?"

Exodus 6 Commentary

Chapter 6

God renews his promise. (1-9) Moses and Aaron again sent to Pharaoh. (10-13) The parentage of Moses and Aaron. (14-30)

Verses 1-9 We are most likely to prosper in attempts to glorify God, and to be useful to men, when we learn by experience that we can do nothing of ourselves; when our whole dependence is placed on him, and our only expectation is from him. Moses had been expecting what God would do; but now he shall see what he will do. God would now be known by his name Jehovah, that is, a God performing what he had promised, and finishing his own work. God intended their happiness: I will take you to me for a people, a peculiar people, and I will be to you a God. More than this we need not ask, we cannot have, to make us happy. He intended his own glory: Ye shall know that I am the Lord. These good words, and comfortable words, should have revived the drooping Israelites, and have made them forget their misery; but they were so taken up with their troubles, that they did not heed God's promises. By indulging discontent and fretfulness, we deprive ourselves of the comfort we might have, both from God's word and from his providence, and go comfortless.

Verses 10-13 The faith of Moses was so feeble that he could scarcely be kept to his work. Ready obedience is always according to the strength of our faith. Though our weaknesses ought to humble us, yet they ought not to discourage us from doing our best in any service we have to do for God. When Moses repeats his baffled arguments, he is argued with no longer, but God gives him and Aaron a charge, both to the children of Israel, and to Pharaoh. God's authority is sufficient to answer all objections, and binds all to obey, without murmuring or disputing, ( Philippians 2:14 ) .

Verses 14-30 Moses and Aaron were Israelites; raised up unto them of their brethren, as Christ also should be, who was to be the Prophet and Priest, the Redeemer and Lawgiver of the people of Israel. Moses returns to his narrative, and repeats the charge God had given him to deliver his message to Pharaoh, and his objection against it. Those who have spoken unadvisedly with their lips ought to reflect upon it with regret, as Moses seems to do here."Uncircumcised," is used in Scripture to note the unsuitableness there may be in any thing to answer its proper purpose; as the carnal heart and depraved nature of fallen man are wholly unsuited to the services of God, and to the purposes of his glory. It is profitable to place no confidence in ourselves, all our sufficiency must be in the Lord. We never can trust ourselves too little, or our God too much. I can do nothing by myself, said the apostle, but I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Footnotes 27

  • [a]. Often translated as "Almighty"
  • [b]. Literally "sons/children of Israel"
  • [c]. Literally "sons/children of Israel"
  • [d]. Literally "burdens" or "burdensome labor"
  • [e]. Literally "to/for me for a people"
  • [f]. Literally "to/for you for a God"
  • [g]. Literally "burdens" or "burdensome labor"
  • [h]. Literally "that I raised my hand"
  • [i]. Literally "sons/children of Israel"
  • [j]. Literally "a lack of spirit" or "shortness of spirit"
  • [k]. Literally "sons/children of Israel"
  • [l]. Literally "sons/children of Israel"
  • [m]. Literally "uncircumcised of lips"
  • [n]. Literally "sons/children of Israel"
  • [o]. Literally "sons/children of Israel"
  • [p]. Literally "the house of their fathers"
  • [q]. Or "the Canaanite woman." The Hebrew word is feminine
  • [r]. Or "generations"
  • [s]. Literally "seven and thirty and hundred of year"
  • [t]. Literally "three and thirty and hundred of year"
  • [u]. Or "generations"
  • [v]. Literally "seven and thirty and hundred of year"
  • [w]. Literally "fathers"
  • [x]. Literally "sons/children of Israel"
  • [y]. Literally "sons/children of Israel"
  • [z]. Literally "and it was on a day"
  • [aa]. Literally "uncircumcised of lips"

Chapter Summary


The Lord encourages Moses to hope for success from his name Jehovah, and the covenant he had made with the fathers of his people, Ex 6:1-5, orders him to assure the children of Israel that he would deliver them from their bondage and burdens, and bring them into the land of Canaan; but through their distress and anguish they hearkened not to him, Ex 6:6-9 but Moses is sent again to Pharaoh to demand the dismission of Israel, to which he seems unwilling, and both he and Aaron are charged both to go to the children of Israel, and to Pharaoh, Ex 6:10-13, next follows a genealogy of the tribes of Reuben, Simeon, and Levi, which seems to be given for the sake of Moses and Aaron, and to show their descent, Ex 6:14-15, who were the persons appointed of God to be the instruments of bringing the children of Israel out of Egypt, Ex 6:26-30.

Exodus 6 Commentaries

Scripture quotations marked (LEB) are from the Lexham English Bible. Copyright 2012 Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software.