Exodus 9:12

This week’s crazy Bible verse is one that always bothered me, even when I was a Christian.

“But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said to Moses.” – Exodus 9:12

To put it simply, the Pharaoh is not doing nice thing to Moses and his people, but it’s a result of the Lord hardening the heart of the Pharaoh.  What would have happened had the Lord NOT hardened the Pharaoh’s heart?  Would the Pharaoh have let Moses and his people go?  Quite possibly.  We’ll never know because God intervened and made sure the Pharaoh’s heart was hardened such that he’d do evil against Moses.

This is one of those verses that I glossed over as a Christian saying, oh well, God works in mysterious ways.  Fortunately I now know that God working in mysterious ways is not an answer.  Why did God need to harden the Pharaoh’s heart?  If the goal is to get the Pharaoh to let Moses go, then why harden the Pharaoh’s heart?  It makes no sense and provides further evidence that the God of the Bible is NOT a good god.  A god that pushes evil on his creations is an evil god, not a good one.


10 thoughts on “Exodus 9:12

  1. Sigh… at least read the story… Pharaoh hardens his own heart first > Exodus 8:32 “But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also (meaning he was doing it before), and did not let the people go.”

    By 9:12 God is following through on the threat in the beginning and giving Pharaoh the fight he wanted.

    It’s not really a free-will verse, because there would have to be some sort of grace to change Pharaoh’s mind. Pharaoh was already a jerk.

    It’s “I will have mercy on who I will have mercy.” God doesn’t have to give Pharaoh (who claims to be a God) or anybody infinite chances.


      1. Yes, but it doesn’t mean that Pharaoh had no part in it on his own. He shows his free-will* by hardening his heart. Is God to be devoid of free will?
        Or do we have it because he wills it? Can you move without gravity, or are we free to move because of gravity…

        Sorry I digress, I fail to see the complaint standing even at the 50/50 level. It seems at that point to be sentimental. What if pharaoh was Hitlerkomen the 2nd? (Ohh, interesting issue, WW1 we don’t conquer them and have mercy so you get WW2 because they myth they didn’t really win)

        More off subject, the pharaoh question runs off philosophical considerations that are honestly very old and very short sighted.
        Unless, you want to posit that human’s minds work in a rational vacuum (circa 1706) and that environmental factors (1800’s), social interactions (1900’s), ethnic issues etc. effecting our choices AT ALL makes us no longer to blame at all.

        Open theism, Armenism, etc. and the like are really faulty anthropologies that don’t consider the social and corporal nature of the human being.

        I really just wanted to show you the verses of a narrative can’t stand alone because in a story paradox is allowed, and if you quote only one side of a paradox strange things emerge.


      2. You seem upset that God played a direct role in hardening the Pharaoh’s heart. Exodus is very clear. The Pharaoh was far from perfect, but he would not have done what he did to Moses unless God hardens his heart. And if God doesn’t harden his heart, all successive story lines fall apart. God FORCES the Pharaoh to commit evil against Moses. God could certainly have free will, as you suggest. He is, after all, God, but a free willed God that does this to the Pharaoh to push His own agenda is not a just God. He’s an evil God. Nothing more. Nothing less.


      3. You seem far more upset then me. Quantum physics is playing with pre and post determinism now. Personally, I think free-will is a theophany cop out. God simply showing what’s in there and judging it doesn’t seem upsetting or unfitting.

        The idea we judge God is what’s really funny. Like you have enough info to judge fairly… the assumption you do from here and now is huburistic.

        Also, you just repeated the same line refusing the evidence of paraoh hardening his own heart first, I guess one more testament to your impartiality. At least admit your bias brony.

        But you probably would judge me funny too. You just funny people.

        Waste of time talking to folks who ignore evidence.


      4. “Waste of time talking to folks who ignore evidence.”

        If you have evidence of the existence of God, please provide it. I, along with every atheist I know, are very willing to accept God IF we see solid evidence of God’s existence. Because we don’t see solid evidence, we don’t believe God or any god exists. But if you have evidence, please provide it. I’m genuinely interested in seeing your evidence.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Woah, switch le subject much non’?

        I don’t think you would accept it given your view of evidence in the field of literary criticism. The only criticism you seem keen on is point out percieved problems, not engaging with merky issues.

        You’re probably the same towards God, point out all the problems you see, but no real desire to engage the subject were it is merky or requires reflection.

        There’s a cognitive dissonance there. You’ve probably more evidence than I could give already, you just won’t accept or engage it.

        Jesus’ opponents never denied his works, they just didn’t engage them. I’m not so naive to think if I rose a dead person you’d change your mind.

        Obfuscate my friend! Obfuscate!

        I’ll be yo huckleberry for a discussion, but right now you’re just asking for things to say no to.


      6. Sigh, do you read my post? Like I said you probably have more evidence than me but just won’t take it. You just want a list of things to say no to.

        I’m not going to feed a troll, and I stand by my remark that if I raised the dead you wouldn’t accept it. So tell you what. List me the most compelling evidence for God that you’ve seen or have or heard, no criticism besides selecting what you think is best, just list it. Or are you so obtuse that you really think no one anywhere has anything they at least hold as evidence?

        Rather a basic school task but I don’t believe you care to learn or dialogue.
        Do at least that, or I’ll just take your concession towards contrainism. ‘Cause I don’t think your position has much to do with evidence at the heart of it.


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