Exodus 5: Hard-Hearted Pharaoh

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 44

When we do what is right, we are not always immediately rewarded or may not be immediately successful in the ways we desire. To do what we know is right when the rewards are not immediate or when things seem to get worse instead of better is an important test of faith (see Ether 12:6).At the end of Exodus 4 we read that Moses returned to Egypt and showed signs and wonders to his people. They believed in him and appeared anxious to follow him in his role as deliverer. As you read Exodus 5, notice how and why the attitudes of the people changed. Also think about what you would do in a similar circumstance.

Understanding the Scriptures

Exodus 5

Hold a feast unto me (v. 1)Worship me 
Pestilence (v. 3)Epidemic, plague 
Burdens (vv. 4–5)Forced work or labor 
Ye make them rest from their burdens (v. 5)You are causing them to stop working 
Heretofore (vv. 7–8, 14)In the past 
Lay upon (v. 8)Assign 
Diminish/minish ought thereof (vv. 8, 11, 19)Make any smaller 
Idle (vv. 8, 17)Lazy 
Regard (v. 9)Pay attention to 
Vain words (v. 9)Things that are not true or that will not happen 
Stubble (v. 12)The short, small stalks left after cutting a field of wheat, barley, and so on 
Fulfil your works/task (vv. 13–14)Do what was required 
Wherefore dealest thou thus (v. 15)Why are you doing this 
Made our savour to be abhorred (v. 21)Made Pharaoh hate us 

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A, then do either activity B or C.

Activity A iconSummarize the Chapter

Summarize Exodus 5 by following the example below. Finish each sentence in your own words.

Moses and Aaron asked Pharaoh …

and so

Pharaoh responded by …

and so

The Israelites said to Pharaoh …

and so

Pharaoh said …

and so

The Israelites said to Moses and Aaron …

Activity B iconWrite an Imaginary Journal Entry

Record what you would have written at the end of Exodus 5 if you had experienced what Moses and Aaron did.

Activity C iconExplain an Important Idea

Write to the Israelites, telling why the Lord sometimes allows circumstances to get harder for us rather than making them easier when we do what is right. You may use any scripture, ancient or modern, in your answer, or you may use General Authority statements you might have access to.