555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

95. If God "Hardened" Pharaoh's Heart, Was It Possible for Him to do Otherwise than He Did?

The true interpretation is that the divine message of warning and the plagues which followed were the occasion of Pharaoh's heart being hardened. Thus the expression which has been translated as "hardened," is, in Hebrew, "strong," implying that the influence of the events had been to make the king's heart stubborn or rebellious. (See Ex. 7:13, 14, 8:19, and 9:35.) Elsewhere in the same narrative the Hebrew expression is capable of being translated "made heavy" (as in Ex. 7 :14 and 8:15 and 32, also Ex. 9.-34). The passage in Exodus 7 -23, which may be rendered as in the Authorized Version, and also as "he (Pharaoh) set his heart even to this," expresses the condition of Egypt's ruler, who had set his face like a flint against Jehovah, and was alternately depressed and defiant, but not repentant