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Yahweh said to Moses, “Behold, I have made you God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother will be your prophet. Bible

“made you God to Pharaoh.” The biblical languages, including Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin, used the word “God” with a much broader meaning than we do today. In the ancient culture and languages, “GOD” was a descriptive title applied to a range of authorities, including angels and demons, lesser gods, great people, rulers, and people acting with God’s authority. We see this here in Exodus 7:1. God is speaking to Moses and says, “See, I have made you God to Pharaoh” (Darby). That very literal translation makes many people uncomfortable, and another legitimate translation is: “See, I have made you a god to Pharaoh” (BBE, KJV) because the word “God” can have an indefinite article supplied before it. But even that translation makes some modern people uncomfortable, so a less literal translation is common: “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh.” That translation adds the word “like” (HCSB, ESV, NET, NIV, NRSV), but we must not lose sight of the fact that the Hebrew text says the true God made Moses “GOD” to Pharaoh. A New Testament reference to the flexible meaning of “God” is John 10:33, when the Jews challenged Jesus and said he was claiming to be “a god” (mistranslated in most versions as “God”; see the commentary on John 10:33), he answered them pointing out that in the Old Testament that people to whom the Word of God came were called “GODS.”

Moses was God to Pharaoh because what Moses commanded would come to pass, and Moses would have power over Pharaoh.


Commentary for: Exodus 7:1