God once said: “I will harden Pharaoh’s heart” (Exodus 7:3). By itself this might be a difficult verse to explain, yet in your margin write: See 7:13, 22; 8:15; 9:34; 10:20.

A comparison of these passages reveals that Jehovah did not arbitrarily harden the king’s heart. Actually, several factors were involved.

  1. The Lord made demands upon Pharaoh which went against the monarch’s selfish interests, hence, in that sense God hardened his heart.
  2. The king resisted the divine command and hardened his own heart!
  3. The Egyptian magicians, attempting to duplicate Moses’ signs, added to Pharaoh’s confusion.

These facts indicate that the evil ruler was responsible for his own conduct. He was not the victim of a capricious God!