Category Archives: Bible Difficulty

Exodus 7:11—How could the wise men and sorcerers of Pharaoh perform the same feats of power that God told Moses to perform?

Problem: Several passages in Exodus (7:11, 22; 8:7) state that the wise men, sorcerers, and magicians of Pharaoh did the same works with their enchantments which God commanded Moses and Aaron to perform. However, Moses and Aaron claimed to have been sent from the Lord God. How could these men perform the same feats of power as Moses and Aaron did by the power of God?

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Exodus 6:16–20—How could the people of Israel have been in Egypt for 430 years when there were only three generations between Levi and Moses?

Problem: Exodus 6:16–20 indicates that there were only three generations between Levi, the son of Jacob, and Moses. However, Galatians 3:17 indicates that Israel was in Egypt for 430 years. How could there be only three generations between Levi, who went down into Egypt at the beginning of the 430-year period, and Moses, who delivered Israel from Egypt at the end of the 430-year period?

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Exodus 6:3—Was God known by His name “Lord” (Jehovah or Yahweh) before Moses’ time?

Problem: According to this text God told Moses, “I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name, LORD [Jehovah, Yahweh], I was not known to them.” However, the word “LORD” [Jehovah, Yahweh] occurs in Genesis in many places, both in combination with the term “God,” as “LORD God” (Gen. 2:4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 15, etc.) and alone as LORD (Gen. 4:1, 3, 4, 6, 9, etc.).

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Exodus 4:24—Whom did the Lord meet at the encampment, and why did He seek to kill him?

Problem: Exodus 4:24 states, “And it came to pass on the way, at the encampment, that the Lord met him and sought to kill him.” The verse does not explicitly say whom the Lord met in the encampment, but the context indicates that it was Moses. If so, why did God seek to kill him, since He had called him to lead Israel out of Egypt?

Solution: First, it is clear that Moses had been selected by the Lord to be His instrument to deliver the people of Israel from Egyptian bondage and from the power of Pharaoh. But, as one of God’s covenant people, Moses was obligated to circumcise his sons on the eighth day. For one reason or another, Moses had not performed the rite of circumcision on his son as one of the covenant people of the Lord. It was not possible for the Lord to permit His chosen deliverer to represent Him to the people of Israel when he had not complied with the dictates of the covenant relationship himself. Apparently, God took this drastic measure to prompt Moses to obey Him, knowing that Moses would not willingly go against the wishes of his wife Zipporah. Zipporah performed the circumcision, perhaps because Moses was incapacitated from an affliction which the Lord had brought upon him. As soon as the circumcision was performed, the Lord ceased from seeking to kill Moses.

Second, it is obvious that the Lord could have killed Moses suddenly if that were the intent of this incident. God certainly possessed the power to do this without delay. The incident clearly indicates that God’s purpose was to cause Moses to comply with His requirements. God obviously did not want to kill Moses. What He wanted was Moses’ obedience and complete commitment to His law, if he was going to be the great lawgiver to his people.

Continue reading Exodus 4:24—Whom did the Lord meet at the encampment, and why did He seek to kill him?

Exodus 4:21—If God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, how can Pharaoh be held responsible?

Problem: The Bible quotes God as saying, “I will harden his [Pharaoh’s] heart, so that he will not let the people go.” But if God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, then Pharaoh cannot be held morally responsible for his actions, since he did not do it of his own free will, but out of constraint (cf. 2 Cor. 9:7; 1 Peter 5:2).

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Exodus 1:15–21—How could God bless the Hebrew midwives for disobeying the God-ordained governmental authority (Pharaoh) and lying to him?

Problem: The Bible declares that “the authorities that exist are appointed by God” (Rom. 13:1). The Scripture also says, “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord” (Prov. 12:22). But the Pharaoh (king) of Egypt had given a direct order to the Hebrew midwives to murder the newborn Hebrew boys. “But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive” (Ex. 1:17). Not only did the midwives disobey Pharaoh, but when he questioned them about their actions, they lied saying, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are lively and give birth before the midwives come to them” (Ex. 1:19). In spite of this, Exodus 1:20 states that God “dealt well with the midwives … He provided households for them” (v. 21). How could God bless the midwives for disobedience and lying?

Continue reading Exodus 1:15–21—How could God bless the Hebrew midwives for disobeying the God-ordained governmental authority (Pharaoh) and lying to him?