“Unit 9: Day 2, Exodus 5–6,” Old Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2014)
“Unit 9: Day 2,” Old Testament Study Guide
Moses and Aaron obeyed the Lord by asking Pharaoh to let the children of Israel go into the wilderness to worship the Lord. Pharaoh refused and increased the burdens of the Israelites. The Israelites were angry that their burdens had been increased, and they complained to Moses and Aaron. As Moses prayed for help, the Lord reaffirmed that He would fulfill His covenants and deliver the children of Israel from bondage.
Have you, or someone you know, ever experienced opposition when trying to obey the Lord?
Moses faced great opposition when he followed the Lord’s command to go to Pharaoh and ask him to free the Israelites from slavery.
Read Exodus 5:1–9, looking for what happened as Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh.
- Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
What was the result of Moses and Aaron’s visit with Pharaoh?
What does Pharaoh’s response tell us about him?
According to these verses, what may we experience even when we are following the Lord’s commands? Answer the question by completing the following truth: Even when we are , we may experience opposition.
Why do you think we may experience opposition even when we are following the Lord’s commands?
- Although our opposition may not be as great as the opposition that Moses and Aaron faced from Pharaoh, we all face possible opposition. Read the following three scenarios, and describe in your scripture study journal what opposition you may face in each situation. Then answer the question that follows.
You choose to use clean language and ask others not to swear when they are around you.
You tell your coach that you will not play sports on Sunday.
You choose to dress modestly.
What reasons do you have for being obedient even though you may experience opposition as a result?
In Exodus 5:10–19 we learn that Pharaoh’s taskmasters told the Israelite slaves that in addition to making the same number of bricks each day, they would now have to collect the straw needed to make the bricks. When the Israelites failed to make the same amount of bricks as before, the taskmasters beat them. The Israelite officers complained to Pharaoh, but he was unsympathetic and rebuked them for being idle.
Read Exodus 5:20–21, looking for what happened as the officers of the Israelites were leaving Pharaoh. (It may help to know that when the Israelites told Moses and Aaron, “Ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh” (Exodus 5:21), they were saying that their lives were now harder because of what Moses and Aaron had done.)
If you, like Moses, had been doing what the Lord commanded to help someone, but what you did only seemed to make the situation worse, how might you feel? What questions might you have for the Lord?
Read Exodus 5:22–23, looking for what Moses did after the officers of the Israelites complained. You might want to mark the questions Moses asked the Lord.
Why do you think the Lord doesn’t always immediately solve all of our difficulties, even when we are being obedient?
As you study Exodus 6, look for answers to that question.
You might want to mark what the Lord said to reassure Moses in Exodus 6:1. The phrase “strong hand” means that the Lord promised to deliver Israel by His power. (You might want to read the Joseph Smith Translation in Exodus 6:3, footnote c, which indicates that the Israelites knew the Lord by the name Jehovah.)
According to Exodus 6:4–5, why would the Lord deliver Israel?
One truth we can learn from these verses is that the Lord remembers and fulfills His covenants.
How might having faith that the Lord remembers and fulfills His covenants have helped Moses and the Israelites at this difficult time?
Read Exodus 6:6–8, looking for the message the Lord wanted Moses to deliver to the discouraged Israelites. You may want to mark the phrase “I will” each time you find it in these verses.
If you had been in the Israelites’ position, which “I will” statement might have been most meaningful to you?
What do these verses show that the Lord has power to do?
From Exodus 6:6 we learn that the Lord has power to redeem us from our bondage and to lighten or remove our burdens.
The word redeem as used in verse 6 means to release from debt, to free from the consequences of sin, or to free from bondage by paying a ransom.
- Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
How do things such as sin, drugs, pornography, guilt, and doubt put us in bondage?
What do we have to do so the Lord can redeem us from these types of bondage?
In addition to freeing us from bondage, what types of burdens can the Savior remove from our lives?
Think of a time when you have felt the Lord redeem you from bondage or remove burdens from your life. If it is not too sacred or private, consider sharing your experience with a family member.
According to Exodus 6:7, what did the Lord say that the children of Israel would come to know when He delivered them from their difficulties?
From this verse we learn that as we experience the Lord’s help during our difficulties, we can come to know Him.
- Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: How can being delivered by the Lord help us come to know Him?
As you continue to study Exodus, look for how the Lord delivered Israel from their bondage and how this helped them come to know Him.
Read Exodus 6:9, looking for how the children of Israel reacted to Moses’s message. Why do you think they reacted that way? Why might they have felt “anguish of spirit”?
Remember that the Israelites had been in bondage for 400 years (see Genesis 15:13). During that time they were influenced by idol worship and beliefs about Egyptian gods. The Israelites reacted negatively to Moses because they did not know the Lord and had been in bondage and suffering for many generations.
Read Exodus 6:10–12, looking for what the Lord told Moses and how Moses responded. (It may be helpful to know that the phrase “uncircumcised lips” in verse 12 means that Moses stammered and was slow of speech.)
Why do you think Moses was concerned about doing what the Lord asked?
Read Exodus 6:13, looking for how the Lord responded to Moses’s concern.
Exodus 6:14–27 contains information on the genealogies of Reuben, Simeon, and Levi. Moses and Aaron were descendants of Levi, the third son of Jacob, or Israel. The genealogies of Reuben and Simeon may have been included to show the place of the tribe of Levi among the Israelites.
- Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Exodus 5–6 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: