Thursday, May 31, 2007

Study Questions for Exodus 9:1-35

Study Questions for Exodus 9:1-35

Context: What has been happening and why?

Vss 1-7
Vs. 1—What did the Lord say to Moses next?
Where is Moses to go?
Who is YHWH? God of the Hebrews. You'd better let them go. The two sides are further delineated—Pharaoh and God.
For how long are they to be "let go"?
Why were they to be let go?

Vs. 2, 3—What will happen if Pharaoh refuses to let them go?
What does it mean that the hand of the Lord is upon thy cattle? Judges 2:15; Job 12:9; Ezek. 1:3; Acts 13:11
The word "field" means open grazing ground, not the kind of ground that would be where they would grow crops.
What does God call what he is about to do to the Egyptians?
Serious/terrible means "heavy." It refers back to 8:24 "grievous" or heavy plague.

There may also be a reference to one of the Egyptian gods where "the hand of god" meant that he was protecting the Egyptians (Mackay).
Which cattle are these?
What about the horses?
And donkeys?
And camels?
Apis the bull god of Memphis or ram of Amun.
What about the Israelite animals?
This was an assault on the Egyptian worship. It overthrew and overcame their gods. It showed that the God of the Hebrews could kill the representatives of the gods of the animals and the Egyptian gods had no power over the Israelite God.

Vs. 4—What is God going to do differently for Egypt and for Israel?
What will happen to Egypt's animals that will not happen to Israel?
What does God call the Israelites?

Vs. 5—When was all this to happen?
When it would happen makes it more precise than Moses simply predicting that it would happen. It would happen tomorrow and it would happen in all the land. God is flexing his muscles and the Egyptians had better take notice.
How was the time set? Who set it?
How far reaching was the curse to extend?

Vs. 6—And what was the result the next day?
Whose animals died and whose animals died?

Vs. 7—What did the Pharaoh do as a result of all his animals dying?
What was the status of the animals in Goshen?
What happened when Pharaoh found out that none of the Israelite animals had died?
Who hardened Pharaoh's heart? Made Heavy
What did Pharaoh do as a result of hard heart?

Notice that Pharaoh's sin affects not only him, but also his people and all of their animals. Rom. 8:19-22. Notice to that the people had chosen to worship animals and now God is killing their animals. God will not allow his people to set up idols and worship them for long.

Vss. 8-12
Vs. 8—What did God say next to Aaron and Moses?
Why did Moses not mention Aaron in vss. 1-77
What did God say for Moses and Aaron to do next?
Who was supposed to sprinkle the ashes?
Where was he supposed to get the ashes?
Where was he supposed to sprinkle it?
Who was supposed to be watching?
Why didn't they explain to Pharaoh what was happening this time?

Vs. 9—What would happen to the ashes?
What would it produce? Deut. 28:27
Who would be affected by this plague?
How wide was the devastation?

Vs. 10 What did Moses and Aaron do?

Vs. 11—What are the magicians doing during all of this?
Its hard to make fun of something when its affects are making you miserable. Where are their gods of healing?
What effect was the boils having on all the people?

Vs. 12—What effect was it having on Pharaoh?
who hardened Pharaoh's heart? Made strong
What did Pharaoh tell Moses and Aaron?
Did Moses and Aaron know this was going to happen?
How long did all of this take?

Vss. 13-21 Psa. 78:47-48; 105:32-33
Nut, the sky goddess

Vs. 13—How does this verse differ from verse one? What does he tell Pharaoh?
Why does he keep saying the same thing over and over?

Vs. 14—What does God say he's going to do now?
Who is it going to affect?
What does it mean that he will send all of his plagues?
What about on their hearts?
This begins, now, to go to the heart of the people. God is after their very cores, not simply their outward allegiance.
What will it show?
What does he mean "none like me in all the earth"?
God is God and there is no other. He is supreme in all the earth. Isa 42:8; Ex. 20:3; John 5:23.
See the other translations of this. God's acts here are actually acts of mercy to the people, even the Egyptians. They have earned God's wrath and judgment, but he continues to warn them, slowly ramping up the plagues and the conditions, trying to get the Pharaoh to repent. "There is nothing more important in life than having a tree perception of God and one's status before him. Pharaoh's stubborn refusal to recognizes the Lord already merited the severest of judgments." Mackay.

Vs. 15—What is God going to do with his hand?
What does "smite thee" mean?
What is "pestilence"?
What does "cut off from the earth" mean?

Vs. 16—What does "raised thee up" mean? Could mean brought into existence, more likely something like "you are who you are because I put you there." Why did God raise Pharaoh up?
1) To let Pharaoh see who God is.
2) God is after worldwide acclaim. He does what he does so that all the world will worship him and give him glory. See Ps. 9:1; 40:5; 44:1. See how Israel recounted the events Deut. 6:22; Psa 135:9. See also how other nations thought about these events, Josh. 2:8-11; 1 Sam. 4:8.
How wide did God want these events to be known? Why did God want his name made known in this way? Who is God?

Vs. 17—How has Pharaoh responded so far to God's show of power?
How has he exalted himself?.
When Pharaoh exalts himself over the people God seems to think that means he's exalting himself over God. How does that work?

Vs. 18—What is coming tomorrow?
What is hail?
Worst means "very heavy"
How big is the hail going to be?
Have they ever seen such hail?

Vs. 19—What does God tell Pharaoh to do in preparation for the hail?
Why are they to gather all the livestock into their barns?
What happens to anything left out?
Another call to faith. Do this in remembrance of everything that has gone before.

Vs. 20— How did the Egyptians respond?
What does "fear" mean?
What does feared the word of the Lord mean?
How do we know they folks who protected their slaves and animals feared the word of the Lord?

"The best way to define what you beliefs are is to ask yourself, what is my last resort?" (Kean). What do you when crunch time comes? Where do you turn when all is lost and there is nothing left for you to do?

Vs. 21—What happened with those who did not fear the word of the Lord?
"Ignored" is "did not set their hearts on" Deut. 32:46; Job 1:8
What happened to their animals as a result of their not fearing the word of the Lord?

Vss. 22-26
Vs. 22—What did the Lord tell Moses to do?
Why did God want Moses to point his staff to the sky?

Vs. 23—What did Moses do?
What happened to Aaron?
What happened when Moses did what he was supposed to do?
What happened besides hail?

Vs. 24—What was the result on Egypt?
How extensive was the hail and lightening?

Vs. 25—What happened to all of Egypt?
What, living in the fields, made it through the storm?
What was left in the fields?
All here is almost certainly hyperbolic. Not each and every animal, but the overwhelming vast majority of animals. We've got to have some plant left so they can be wiped out by the locusts in the next plague.

Vs. 26 What happened in Goshen while all this was happening in the rest of Egypt? Who lived in Goshen?

Vss. 27-35
Vs. 27—What did Pharaoh do as a result of the destruction?
What did Pharaoh say to Moses and Aaron?
What did he mean by "sin"? Miss the mark, go wrong. He is admitting he made a mistake, and error in judgment, a boo boo.
How does he describe God?
Who is the winner of the battle? Pharaoh finally realizes that he is way out of his league with God and wants some relief. He does and says the bare minimum to get the plague to stop.
He is making as minimal a confession as he can. He is being very politically correct. Compare 1 Sam. 15:24; Dan 4:37.
Once the situation has been resolved, Pharaoh goes back to being the same old rascal he was before.
What is his and his people's standing before God?

Vs. 28—What does Pharaoh ask Moses to do on his behalf?.
Thunder is literally "voices of God" in both Hebrew and Egyptian. Kind of ironic in this case.
Does Pharaoh want to make a deal with God?
How does this sort of thing usually go over with God?
What does Pharaoh ask?
What is he willing to do for God?
Pharaoh still things he is in charge. He will give something to God in response for God's giving him something. Two equals making a deal.

Vs. 29—What did Moses say he would do as a result of Pharaoh's plea?
Why will Moses spread out his hands to stop the storm?
How will this teach Pharaoh who God is?

Vs. 30—What is Moses final rejoinder to Pharaoh?
How does he know that Pharaoh hasn't really changed?
What does it mean that he does not yet fear the Lord?
Fear is an attitude toward God that is revealed in submission, reverence, worship, awe, and true Biblical godliness and humility.
What about what the Pharaoh just told him?
What's with that?
Gen 14:19 who is God?

Vs. 31— What does it mean that the barley was in the ear?
Barley was made into bread, brew, animal feed.
What is flax? Made linen clothing
What happened to the flax?
What does it mean that the flax was boiled?
What time of year must this have been? January.

Vs. 32—What happened to the wheat?
Why the difference between the kinds of plants?

Vs. 33—What did Moses do next?
How could he go out into the storm and not get whacked himself?
What does "unto the Lord" mean?
What happened as a result of Moses raising his hands to the Lord?
Who caused the storm to stop, Moses or God?

Vs..34—What did Pharaoh do when he saw that the storm had stopped?
How did he sin?
What is sin?
Who hardened his heart? Made heavy
Who besides Pharaoh hardened their hearts?

Vs. 35—After all this, what was the state of Pharaoh's heart?
who hardened it? made strong
What did he do to the Israelites?
What about his promise to let them go if God stopped the storm?
What does it mean "as the Lord had spoken by Moses"?
Changing paradigms is very difficult, but God will not allow us to remain holding a sinful, inaccurate, or immature paradigm. We are always reforming and constantly called to maturity in Christ. God's judgment is really his mercy being poured out on us. He could just as easily have crushed us for our sin. It's what we deserve for our insolence.

Pharaoh was more interested in his own self esteem and identity than in the welfare of his nation. "The regime and its ideology had to be upheld no matter what it cost the citizens of the land in deprivation and disaster. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why there is no Egyptian record of the Exodus. Disasters did not happen there. With an efficiency matched by many modem totalitarian regimes only the official version of events was allowed into the records." Mackay.

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