Was Pharaoh Predestined to Have a Hard Heart?
Selected from our Questions and Answers program
In Exodus 7:3
it is said that God will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and it’s repeated in 9:12 and 10:20, but I’ll go to the first reference: “And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt” (Exodus 7:3
). What does that mean? Pharaoh’s heart was already hardened, and it doesn’t mean God deliberately hardened it. The thought in the Hebrew is to twist a rope — in other words, God forced him to bring out that which was already in his heart. There are so many of us that do not tell all we know, and in our conduct with certain people we do not let them know exactly how we feel. We compromise so much, and compromise is the password of politics today. Pharaoh was a compromiser — he could say one thing and do another or say one thing and then change his mind. God forced him to bring out that which was in his heart. And what was it? He did not intend to let the children of Israel go; he intended to keep them in slavery; and he did not believe in their god. God forced him to bring all of that out.