Proverbs 16:12

Pharaoh, let my people go

Anjali BenjaminArticles Leave a Comment

Proverbs 16:12 says, ‘It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness, for a throne is established by righteousness.’ which also means that, –‘A man is not established by wickedness.’(Proverb 12:3a) This is the law or we can say the principle of the Lord.  I would like to mention few more proverbs to emphasize this principle.

  • Mercy and truth preserve the king, and by lovingkindness he upholds his throne.(20:28)
  • The king establishes the land by justice. (29:4a)
  • The king who judges the poor with truth, his throne will be established forever. (29:14)

It is very clear from the Word of God that, no power/authority/king/throne will prosper or be established with cunning schemes, wickedness, lies, partiality, and deceit.

There are many examples of such wicked kings mentioned in the Bible. But I would like to bring to your notice a couple of them in detail.

In Exodus, we can see 2 wicked kings who ruled over Egypt.

During Joseph time, there was a king, i.e. Pharaoh (1). He was good to the sons of Jacob because of Joseph.  After him, there arose a new king who was very wicked & cruel.

Pharaoh (2):- As per Exodus 1:8, ‘Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph’. He was very shrewd.  Because the children of Israel were fruitful, multiplied and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land of Egypt was filled with them, this wicked king, i.e. Pharaoh brought hard & rigorous bondage on Israelites, so that they cannot increase in number. But verse 12 says that, ‘but the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew.’ So Pharaoh spoke to the Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah & Puah, that they shall kill the Hebrew male child on the birthstools. But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive.

Then, he commanded all his people, saying, “Every son who is born you shall cast into the river and every daughter you shall save alive.” During this time, Moses was born. And miraculously he became the son of the Pharaoh’s daughter. Pharaoh sought to kill Moses, when he came to know that Moses killed an Egyptian.  After Moses fled to Midian, in the process of time, THIS PHARAOH, WHO SOUGHT TO KILL MOSES DIED. (Exodus 2:23), but the children of Israel were still in the bondage & hardships of Egyptians.

Pharoah(3) :-Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. And God chose Moses & Aaron to deliver them from the hands of this Pharaoh. God told Moses that, “See, I have made you as God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother shall be your prophet.”(7:1). Though God performed many signs & wonders, yet the Pharaoh did not heed the voice of God. Let us see the series of events through which he hardened his heart & DEALT DECEITFULLY WITH MOSES & THE ISRAELITES. And after repeated warnings, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart because he continued to harden his heart.


 God’s Miracles / SignsPharaoh hardens his heart!Reference
1Aaron’s rod became a serpent And Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, as the Lord had said.Exodus 7:13
2The First Plague: Waters Become BloodPharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, as the Lord had said.Exodus 7:22
3The Second Plague: FrogsBut when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not heed them, as the Lord had said.Exodus 8:15
4The Third Plague: Lice


Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, just as the Lord had said.Exodus 8:19
5.The Fourth Plague: FliesBut Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also; neither would he let the people go.Exodus 8:32



The Fifth Plague: Livestock Diseased

Then Pharaoh sent, and indeed, not even one of the livestock of the Israelites was dead. But the heart of Pharaoh became hard, and he did not let the people go.Exodus 9:7
7.The Seventh Plague: Hail

(Note:- Before seventh plague i.e. at sixth plague God had harden Pharaoh’s heart)

And when Pharaoh saw that the rain, the hail, and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet more; and he hardened his heart, he and his servants. 35 So the heart of Pharaoh was hard; neither would he let the children of Israel go, as the Lord had spoken by Moses.Exodus 9:34,35


 God’s Miracles / SignsGod hardens Pharaoh’s heartReference
1.The Sixth Plague: Boils But the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh; and he did not heed them, just as the Lord had spoken to Moses.Exodus 9:12
2.The Eighth Plague: LocustsBut the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go.Exodus 10:20
3.The Ninth Plague: DarknessBut the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let them go.Exodus 10:27
4.At the time of Red Sea crossingAnd the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the children of Israel; and the children of Israel went out with boldness.Exodus 14:8

The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh & he did not let the children of Israel go when the Israelites were crossing the Red sea. So the Egyptians pursued them, all the HORSES and CHARIOTS of Pharaoh, his HORSEMEN and his ARMY, and overtook them camping by the sea beside Pi Hahiroth, before Baal Zephon. Pharaoh was very proud of his horses, chariots, horsemen & his army and so he forgot with whom he was fighting.

But Psalmist says in Psalm 33:16:17 that, “No king is saved by the multitude of an army; a mighty man is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a vain hope for safety; neither shall it deliver any by its great strength.”  When the Egyptians pursued and went after them into the midst of the sea, at that time the Lord took off their chariot wheels, so that they drove them with difficulty; and the Egyptians recognized that God of Israel was fighting for Israel and they said, “Let us flee from the face of Israel, for the Lord fights for them against the Egyptians.”

After removing the wheels of their chariots, the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained. God’s justice is like a great deep, which He gave to the children of Israel by destroying the army, horses, horsemen & chariots of the proud Pharaoh. After deliverance from the Egyptian, Moses & the children of Israel sang a song to the Lord. In that song they mentioned 2 times, Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea; His chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea.

It is God who raises & removes Kings. He expects the kings to deal with people with truth, justice, mercy & righteousness.  As per Proverb 20:8, King should scatter all the evil with his eyes, when he sits on the throne of judgment. But he should not misuse his power & authority by feeding the evil & evildoers. History witnessed that those who misused their power & authority to oppress innocent & poor, God dealt with them severely.

  • In the book of Esther, Haman was hung on the same gallows by King Ahasuerus, which he prepared for the Mordecai by deceitful scheme.
  • Ahab & Jezebel snatched the vineyard of Naboth by cruel scheme of killing Naboth. But God vindicated Naboth. Dogs licked up Ahab’s blood & ate flesh of Jezebel after their death according to the Word of the Lord which He had spoken.(1 King 22:29- 40, 2 King 9:30-37)
  • Hitler killed cruelly 6 million Jews in gas chamber to annihilate them, at last he shot himself dead, but Jewish community still exist today.

No one can fool God. God is the righteous judge. His righteousness is like the great mountains and His justice is like the great deep. For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest on the land allotted to the righteous,..(Psalm 36:6, 125:3) God bless & help us not to misuse God given power.

(Reference:- Exodus 1,2,14,15, 1 King 21)

Anjali Jose

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