Exodus 7:13

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And Pharaoh`s heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as Jehovah had spoken. (ASV)

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On numerous occasions throughout Exodus, God actively "hardens Pharaoh's heart" so that Pharaoh won't let the Hebrews go, and God will get an excuse to do some smiting.

Exodus 7:13 is the first heart-hardening incident (though the intention to harden Pharaoh's heart is mentioned earlier, in Exodus 4:21 and Exodus 7:3). Some apologists try to claim that Pharaoh hardened his own heart initially, but the text plainly contradicts this. The heart-hardener is:

Exodus 4:21 God

Exodus 7:3 God

Exodus 7:13 God

Exodus 7:22 Unspecified

Exodus 8:15 Pharaoh

Exodus 8:32 Pharaoh

Exodus 9:7 Unspecified

Exodus 9:12 God

Exodus 9:34 Pharaoh

Exodus 10:1 God

Exodus 10:20 God

Exodus 10:27 God

Exodus 11:10 God

Exodus 14:4 God

Exodus 14:8 God

Exodus 14:17 God

Exodus 7:13 is particularly relevant, as it's the first time that the heart-hardening actually happened (rather than God discussing his intention). Bible translations follow:


KJV: And he hardened Pharaoh's heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.


NLT: Pharaoh's heart, however, remained hard and stubborn. He still refused to listen, just as the Lord had predicted.

(...note that the prediction is "But I will cause Pharaoh to be stubborn so I can multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt")


NASB: Yet Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had said.

(...note that the lord had said that HE would harden Pharaoh's heart)


NKJV: And Pharaoh's heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, as the Lord had said.

(...note that the lord had said that HE would harden Pharaoh's heart)


Webster's: And he hardened Pharaoh's heart that he hearkened not to them; as the LORD had said.


Young's: and the heart of Pharaoh is strong, and he hath not hearkened unto them, as Jehovah hath spoken.

(...this implies that Pharaoh might have been at fault, but this is contradicted again by Exodus 7:3, where the lord had said that HE would harden Pharaoh's heart)


Darby's: And Pharaoh's heart was stubborn, and he hearkened not to them, as Jehovah had said.

(...again, Jehovah had said that HE would do it)


ASV: And Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as Jehovah had spoken.

(...again, Jehovah had said that HE would do it)


RSV: Still Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them; as the LORD had said.

(...again, what he said was that HE would harden Pharaoh's heart)


...So, all the popular translations are in agreement on this issue. In each case, God either specifically hardens Pharaoh's heart in Exodus 7:13, or Pharaoh's heart hardens in 7:13 as God had said earlier (in Exodus 7:3), where God had said that HE would harden Pharaoh's heart. --Robert Stevens 11:56, 17 Aug 2006 (CDT)

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