Exodus 6:2
And God spoke to Moses, and said to him, I am the LORD:
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Exodus 6:2. I am the Lord — That is, Jehovah, on which word the emphasis is laid, and it is to be wished that it had been always preserved in this translation, and especially in such passages as this, the sense of which entirely depends on the word. It signifies the same with, I AM THAT I AM, the fountain of being and blessedness, and of infinite perfection. By my name Jehovah was I not known unto them — As it is certain that God declared himself to these patriarchs by the name Jehovah, as may be seen Genesis 15:6-7; Genesis 22:14; Genesis 22:16, some of the best and most accurate writers conclude that the latter part of this verse ought to be read interrogatively, thus, And by my name Jehovah was I not known unto them? The original words will well bear this translation, and it would entirely remove that apparent contradiction which is implied in our version. At the same time it would greatly improve the sense and force of the passage. But if we do not read it in this manner, we must not understand it of the name itself, but of the power and virtue which the name expresses. And then the meaning of the passage will be, that though God had revealed himself to the patriarchs as the El-shaddai, the Almighty, or All-sufficient, yet they did not live to see the accomplishment of his promises; and therefore, though they believed, yet they did not experimentally know that he was a God of unchangeable truth; nor had they experienced that all the powers of nature were in his hand, and that he could change them as he pleased, and even communicate the power of doing so to man. But it was to Moses that God first showed his power of making alterations in nature, or working miracles and prodigies. What makes this sense of the passage probable is, that the knowing of Jehovah is spoken of in this way, Exodus 7:5, And the Egyptians shall know that I am Jehovah, when I stretch forth my hand on Egypt. Thus, Henry observes, “The patriarchs knew this name, but they did know him in this matter by that which this name signifies.” God would now be known by his name Jehovah, that Isaiah , 1 st, A God performing what he had promised, and so giving being to his promises. 2d, A God perfecting what he had begun, and finishing his own work. In the history of the creation God is never called Jehovah till the heavens and the earth were finished, Genesis 2:4. When the salvation of the saints is completed in eternal life, then he will be known by his name Jehovah, Revelation 22:13; in the mean time they shall find him for their strength and support, El-shaddai, a God all-sufficient, a God that is enough.6:1-9 We are most likely to prosper in attempts to glorify God, and to be useful to men, when we learn by experience that we can do nothing of ourselves; when our whole dependence is placed on him, and our only expectation is from him. Moses had been expecting what God would do; but now he shall see what he will do. God would now be known by his name Jehovah, that is, a God performing what he had promised, and finishing his own work. God intended their happiness: I will take you to me for a people, a peculiar people, and I will be to you a God. More than this we need not ask, we cannot have, to make us happy. He intended his own glory: Ye shall know that I am the Lord. These good words, and comfortable words, should have revived the drooping Israelites, and have made them forget their misery; but they were so taken up with their troubles, that they did not heed God's promises. By indulging discontent and fretfulness, we deprive ourselves of the comfort we might have, both from God's word and from his providence, and go comfortless.There appears to have been an interval of some months between the preceding events and this renewal of the promise to Moses. The oppression in the meantime was not merely driving the people to desperation, but preparing them by severe labor, varied by hasty wanderings in search of stubble, for the exertions and privations of the wilderness. Hence, the formal and solemn character of the announcements in the whole chapter.

Exodus 6:2

I am the Lord ... - The meaning seems to be this: "I am Jehovah (Yahweh), and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as El Shaddai, but as to my name Jehovah, I was not made known to them." In other words, the full import of that name was not disclosed to them. See Exodus 3:14.

2. And God spake unto Moses—For his further encouragement, there was made to him an emphatic repetition of the promise (Ex 3:20). No text from Poole on this verse. And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord. Or Jehovah, the self-existent Being, the Being of beings, the everlasting I am, the unchangeable Jehovah, true, firm, and constant to his promises, ever to be believed, and always to be depended on. And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD:
2. I am Yahweh] The speaker declares His name to be ‘Yahweh,’ though to the patriarchs He had been known, not by this name, but as El Shaddai. It is the theory of P that the name ‘Yahweh’ was not known until now; and accordingly in the sections of Genesis belonging to P, Elohim, ‘God,’ is the Divine name regularly employed (except twice, Genesis 17:1; Genesis 21:1 b, where ‘Yahweh’ has been introduced by a scribe or redactor), ‘El Shaddai’ (see the next note) being the distinctive name said to have been revealed to, and used by, the patriarchs. The Being denoted by ‘Yahweh,’ the special, personal name of the God of Israel, is thus identified with the ‘Elohim’ and ‘El Shaddai’ of (according to P) the pre-Mosaic period. On the name Yahweh, see on Exodus 3:14, and p. 40.

as God Almighty] as El Shaddai. See Genesis 17:1 (‘I am El Shaddai,’ addressed to Abraham), Genesis 35:11 (‘I am El Shaddai,’ ad dressed to Jacob); Genesis 28:3 and Genesis 48:3 (‘El Shaddai’ used by Isaac (and Jacob). All these passages belong to P.

‘El Shaddai’ occurs besides in Genesis 43:14 (E), Genesis 49:25 [read with LXX. אל for את], Ezekiel 10:5; ‘Shaddai’ alone, as a poet, name of God, in Numbers 24:4; Numbers 24:16, Ruth 1:20-21, Ezekiel 1:24, Isaiah 13:6 = Joel 1:15, Psalm 68:14; Psalm 91:1, and 31 times in Job. Shaddai is rendered convention ally ‘Almighty’ (LXX. 14 times in Job παντοκράτωρ; elsewhere θεός, κύριος, &c., in Gen. Ex. strangely my (thy, their) God; Vulg. mostly omnipotens); and it is true that the idea of might does suit the context in many passages in which the name occurs; but whether ‘Almighty is its real meaning is more than we can say, neither tradition nor philology throwing any certain light upon it, and all suggested explanations of it,—the ‘Waster,’ the ‘Over-powerer,’ ‘My mountain, (from the Assyrian; cf. ‘My rock,’ Psalm 18:2 al.),—being open to objection of one kind or another (see the writer’s Genesis, p. 404 ff.).

I was not, &c.] Or (cf. Ezekiel 20:5), made I not myself known. For but, &c., a Yemen MS. of 11 cent. (Kittel), LXX., Syr., Vulg., Onk. have ‘but my name J. I made not known to them’ (ה for נ), easing the construction (Ewald, § 281c), but not materially affecting the sense.

2–8. God, who had appeared to the patriarchs as El Shaddai, reveals Himself to Moses by His name Yahweh; and bids him tell the Israelites that, having heard their groanings in bondage, He has resolved to fulfil the covenant made with the patriarchs, to deliver them from their sufferings, to make them His people, and to bring them into the land promised to their forefathers.Verse 2. - And God spake. The promise of the first verse was, apparently, given first, and was quite distinct from all the others - perhaps separated from them by an interval of hours, or days. It was especially addressed to Moses. The rest was in the main (ver. 6-8) a message to the people. I am the Lord. Or, "I am JEHOVAH." Compare 3:15, and note ad loc. When the Israelitish overlookers saw that they were in evil (בּרע as in Psalm 10:6, i.e., in an evil condition), they came to meet Moses and Aaron, waiting for them as they came out from the king, and reproaching them with only making the circumstances of the people worse.
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