Exodus 7:1 (NKJV)

1 So the LORD said to Moses: “See, I have made you as God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother shall be your prophet.

In what context was the author of exodus using this noun?

1 Answer 1


Elsewhere in the Book of Exodus, the noun אֱלֹהִים is used in reference to human judges.1 For example, in Exo. 21:6, it is written,

6 Then his master shall bring him unto the judges (הָאֱלֹהִים); he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever. KJV, 1769

Human judges are referred to as אֱלֹהִים because הַמִּשְׁפָּט לֵאלֹהִים—“judgment is Yahveh’s.”2 Hence, King Jehoshaphat informed the judges, “You do not judge for man, but for Yahveh, who is with you in the matter of judgment.”3 Accordingly, Yahveh appoints (or “makes”) Moses an אֱלֹהִים or “judge” over Pharaoh because Yahveh was going to use Moses in order to execute judgments upon Egypt.

In Exo. 7:4, it is written,

4 But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. KJV, 1769

According to Carl Friedrich Keil,4

Moses was a god to Aaron as the revealer of the divine will, and to Pharaoh as the executor of that will.


Keil, Carl Friedrich. Commentary on the Old Testament. 1900. Reprint. Trans. Martin, James. Vol. 1. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986.


1 Exo. 21:6, 22:8–9
2 Deu. 1:17
3 2 Chr. 19:6
4 p. 472

  • @Chin-Lee Chan The above is a good example of how a human can be called God (elohim) because he stands in for God as Judge and Law giver to his people, Israel, so Godlike is his power that he can also carry out death sentence for gross Law breakers on God's behalf, like God having the power of life and dearth in thier hands This is a fine example of "elohim" being used in a generic sense and not a literal sense. The same with the other texts I sent to you,
    – user26950
    Commented Dec 17, 2018 at 16:03

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