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What Does the Bible Say About..Hardening Pharaoh's Heart?

I am reading the book of Exodus. And noticed that God deliberately hardened Pharoah's heart. Why would he deliberatly hardened his heart in order to get the Israelites freed from slavery. If that is what he wanted anyway.


Exodus 4:21 does indicate that God would intentionally harden Pharaoh’s heart so he would not let the people go. That was so that God could show the world his power, as exhibited in the plagues. I believe that God needed to show his own people his power as much as he needed to show it to others. Only in this way would his people choose to follow his laws. Furthermore, the Passover (the last of the plagues) served as a picture of the redemption that would later come through the Messiah.

Exodus 8:15 indicates Pharaoh hardened his own heart. So how much of the hardening came from God? Maybe very little. Since Pharaoh hardened his own heart, maybe God just needed to harden it a little more so that he would not let the people go before the last plague. Perhaps if God had not hardened his heart he might have let them go after only eight or nine plagues. But God wanted to make sure that the plague of the death of the firstborn would occur. So he took Pharaoh’s already hard heart and hardened it a little more. It’s not like Pharaoh had a soft heart to begin with and God made it hard, taking away his choice. It is more like God hardened an already obstinate heart.