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Pharoah's hardened heart

#1epictetus1216Posted 3/21/2014 6:50:26 AM
When God sends Moses to Egypt to free the Israelites, He tells him he will harden Pharoah's heart so he refuses in spite of all the miracles performed by Moses to prove he was sent by God. There are theories about this which exonerate God of wrongdoing, but if we apply Occam's Razor it seems pretty clear that God can be culpable for men's actions. It's not always a case of turning away from God. Sometimes, as in the Pharoah's case, God turns you away from him. The question is, will he send you to hell afterwards?
#2Moorish_IdolPosted 3/21/2014 7:12:39 AM
That question bothers me, because I've often heard people say yes. I personally don't see how it would be just to punish someone for using them as a tool (e.g. Judas).

I'm failing to find any scripture that would say one way or the other though.

But as you said, people will say God actually isn't responsible for hardening his heart (the old "lack of action caused the hardening" argument).
#3CoyoteTheGreatPosted 3/21/2014 7:33:24 AM
There are also some weird implications here given how so many Christians pretend that free will is somehow the end all doctrine of Christianity and solution to every theology question.
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Disobedience is the stamp of the hero. -Ragnar Redbeard
Also, this is Kagata.
#4ave1Posted 3/21/2014 7:45:06 AM
I watched the Prince of Egypt last night and the way the writers portrayed it was that Ramses's father called him weak and his mindset was solidified while he was in his youth to not make changes to the kingdom which would be construed as an act of weakness.

When Moses requested for his people to be let go, Ramses scoffed and the magicians were enabled to conjure apparent miracles to make the Pharaoh feel invincible over the God of Israel. God allowed these magicians or occult workers to have their mystical works produce a very powerful sway on Pharaoh's perception of the situation. God let the acts of magic happen and this is how He hardened Pharaoh's heart.
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If a tree falls in a forest and you hear it, but your eyes are closed, how do you know it's not just fifty porcupines sliding down a hill?
#5OrangeWizardPosted 3/21/2014 7:48:18 AM
Yeah, God didn't make him obstinate, he just allowed him to become obstinate.
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The head is backwards.
The head is backwards
#6darkmaian23Posted 3/21/2014 9:09:44 AM
OrangeWizard posted...
Yeah, God didn't make him obstinate, he just allowed him to become obstinate.


The Bible--at least every version I've read--states that God hardened Pharaoh's heart, not that he allowed him to become that way. God doing this is a central part of the story.
#7kozlo100Posted 3/21/2014 9:14:10 AM
I used to have a big problem with this passage too, it seems so clear cut.

However, I eventually found out that the phrase is essentially idiomatic to the culture of the time. With rulers or leaders, and particularly omnipotent ones like God, they didn't make a linguistic differentiation between causing something to happen and allowing something to happen.

The act of God permitting Pharaoh to harden his own heart would be described as God hardening his heart. Doesn't make a lot of sense to us in modern English, but that's idioms for you.
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Time flies like the wind,
and fruit flies like a banana.
#8OrangeWizardPosted 3/21/2014 9:59:01 AM
darkmaian23 posted...

The Bible--at least every version I've read--states that God hardened Pharaoh's heart, not that he allowed him to become that way. God doing this is a central part of the story.


Yes. Those are the literal words that the bible says.
That's not, however, what it means
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The head is backwards.
The head is backwards
#9Moorish_IdolPosted 3/21/2014 10:14:34 AM(edited)
kozlo100 posted...
The act of God permitting Pharaoh to harden his own heart would be described as God hardening his heart. Doesn't make a lot of sense to us in modern English, but that's idioms for you.

Why mention God at all, if that's the case? Why not just say Pharaoh's heart was hardened, remained hardened, or something similar?

Even if there is no difference in the original language between cause and allow, they still explicitly mentioned God, which seems extraneous if He wasn't involved somehow.
#10kozlo100Posted 3/21/2014 10:19:11 AM
Moorish_Idol posted...
Why mention God at all, if that's the case?


That's part of the idiom. It's a reference to the notion that this is all happening within God's domain, which was a common thing to do with important events.

It's not dramatically different from the way we use 'God willing...', if you're familiar with that phrase.
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Time flies like the wind,
and fruit flies like a banana.