How Many Times Did God Harden Pharaoh’s Heart?

how many times did god harden pharaohs heart

Many people question if God is unfair when He hardens our hearts. Scripture indicates this fact by hardening Pharaoh’s, yet this makes one question whether this action was unjustified or necessary to demonstrate His power.

At times, people’s will can only be altered with supernatural help. God, being King and Lord over all creation, can force everyone’s will into submission with His divine force.

Exodus 4:21

At the time of Moses’ visit, God had already informed him that He would harden Pharaoh’s heart four times (Ex. 4:21; 7:3; 14:4) in order to make it more difficult for Moses to convince Pharaoh to release Israel. But God wanted this hardening process to show how all-powerful He truly was by showing how it can do anything He pleases.

Pharaoh was important for hearing Moses’ words because otherwise, he may have found himself powerless against divine order. Unfortunately, Pharaoh was already resistant and each time he refused to listen made it harder for him to listen the next time around.

Pharaoh was hardened against Moses gradually through a series of blows that eventually deafened his ears. In Hebrew, “harden” can also mean “strengthen,” so this phrase can be read as: The Lord strengthened Pharaoh’s will.” While critics have often seen in this passage an element of predestination and freewill at play here, it should be remembered that Pharaoh himself initiated this process himself – remaining stubborn against listening to Moses and freeing the Israelites.

Exodus 7:3

Pharaoh is one of the most compelling figures in biblical history, sparking widespread discussion and debate about biblical justice and free will. After being so stubborn, ten plagues had to be sent against Egypt before Pharaoh finally gave in and released the Israelites from captivity. His story raises many intriguing questions regarding divine justice and personal choice.

As part of the story, we hear repeatedly that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart – but what exactly does this mean? Did He use force against Pharaoh to act against his best interests or as part of His divine authority over all creation?

Exodus typically uses the term hardened to describe a state in which someone becomes rigid in their emotions or heart, usually after God had sent five plagues upon Pharaoh and given him opportunities to change his position. The Greek term for this condition is kabad which can also mean heavy, insensible or dull and thus describes his state after each of God’s first five plagues had hit his kingdom. Exodus 7:3, 9:12, 10:20 and 11:10 all refer back to these actions taken after having had been given opportunities by God himself after sending five plagues upon Pharaoh when God sent five plagues upon Pharaoh after receiving the first five plagues had struck Pharaoh’s heart hardens. Other references using this same word (Exodus 7:3, 9:12 etc describing Pharaoh after having received opportunities given to change his actions after opportunities had presented itself after each opportunity.) These references (Exodus 7 3 912 10 20 11 10 and 1110) also describe Pharaoh after having received opportunities to change his actions but with no change occurring after given opportunities presented itself when given opportunities presented him opportunities for change had presented him.

Exodus 9:12

Exodus 4-14’s ten plagues have often been described as the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart; yet what is the correct understanding here? Reputable commentators contend that when Scripture refers to his heart being hardened, this actually refers to God facilitating an internal process initiated by Pharaoh himself; something Paul describes in Romans 9:17-18.

God told Moses in Exodus 7:3 that He would harden Pharaoh’s heart in order to accomplish His plan to multiply signs and wonders throughout Egypt; which means He used Pharaoh’s free will in order to fulfill His sovereign purposes.

As the plagues continued, it became evident that Pharaoh was losing touch with reality and had a choice – repent or die. Yet when Pharaoh refused to repent, God unleashed His wrath upon both himself and Egypt as the final plague of hail demonstrated His sovereignty over nature while showing up Pharaoh’s other deities such as Sekhmet (goddess of plagues), Sunu (god of pestilence), and Isis (goddess of healing), leaving him no time or excuses or room to reconsider his positions – leaving no time or space for him rethink his position either!

Exodus 10:1

This chapter begins with the first of the ten plagues recorded: locusts. Pharaoh attempts again to convince Moses of his surrendering his kingdom, but cannot agree (vv 2-3). Pharaoh’s servants had recommended earlier that they compromise with Moses by letting only some men sacrifice to the LORD at once (vv 4-7) but now ask “how long?” in an apparent bid to break through Moses’ stubbornness (vv 3-4). They propose another compromise: let all their men leave but make sure their women and children stay behind as security against possible future returns (vv 14-17).

But Pharaoh remains unyielding, banging his head against an unyielding wall of hardness. His refusal to acknowledge God’s sovereignty has only brought hardship upon himself and now endangers his people’s lives. Moses suggests giving in, but Pharaoh rejects this solution too resoundingly – thus showing how human nature invariably rejects testimony of God when left to himself, leading Him on to harden up even further as punishment – not necessarily through any action on God’s part but by hardening on God himself! This shows us something important: man invariably rejects testimony of God, leading Him down an inevitable hardening which ends in punishment by Him, not doing something positive but through hardening up on God himself!

Exodus 10:20

One recurring theme in the Exodus story is God hardening Pharaoh’s heart, which many interpret as evidence that He violates free will by forcing people to do what He wants them to. However, this interpretation is incorrect as Exodus 10:20 mentions how God acted against Pharaoh’s will by hardening his heart – while verses later state he chose against God by rejecting God’s commands (Exodus 8:15-32 and 9-34 show clearly this showed Pharaoh was fully responsible for his decision and did not overrule his will by divine authority).

Exodus 17 uses the Hebrew term for “harden”: hazaq, which essentially means to strengthen something. Thus when God hardened Pharaoh’s heart it means He strengthened an already present stubborn will within Pharaoh.

Paul refers to this principle in Romans 9 and it’s important to keep context and interpretation in mind when reading Scriptures; when God hardened Pharaoh’s hearts it does not indicate He was turning him into an evil ruler – in fact, Pharaoh was already known for being violent and cruel even before God began His work on him!

Exodus 11:10

You might already know the story of Exodus; God called Moses to tell Pharaoh to let Israel leave Egypt, and when Pharaoh refused, sent plagues against him in punishment. Yet it remains a question how often God hardened Pharaoh’s heart against this request from Him.

Pharaoh was described in the story as having a hardened heart, though Hebrew can have various interpretations for that word. Some scholars speculate that “harden” refers to two distinct ideas. One would be that Pharaoh was fully responsible for his actions and should face punishment, while the second possibility suggests God was directly behind Pharaoh’s stubbornness through using plagues to break him down – this second interpretation being supported by verses regarding the first five plagues ending with “He hardened his heart”.

Hardening of the heart does not happen overnight. Rather, it is caused by sins accumulating over time that lead to a dulled conscience, leading people to ignore God’s warnings and follow their own desires instead. Therefore, Christians must guard against pride and arrogance as these factors often play a part in hardened hearts.

Exodus 14:8

Pharaoh was described by the Bible as an arrogant dictator who refused to acknowledge or release God or His people, leading him down a path of sins and pride that caused a hardened heart that led him down this path of destruction (1 Peter 1:20). Jesus warned his followers about pride’s ability to harden hearts (Proverbs 16:5); Jesus warned his followers that such hardening of hearts could eventually lead them down a destructive path (1 Peter 1:20).

God sent five plagues upon Egypt that demonstrated Pharaoh’s heart hardening either through his own will, or an unknown source; when blood, frogs, gnats and flies arrived later however, Pharaoh was clearly hardened through God’s will – whether directly or through other sources is unknown.

Some may argue that God was entirely absent in Pharaoh’s hardening of heart, but that would be wrong. According to Moses’ Word and signs from God, Pharaoh’s heart hardened due to God’s will and signs given through Moses – not an attempt to cover up Pharaoh’s personal responsibility but instead to demonstrate God’s power over hearts at will – an approach often required when dealing with stubborn or resistant individuals who won’t listen to what He had to say.

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