Category Archives: Exodus

Who are Jannes and Jambres?

Jannes JambresJannes and Jambres appear only once, by name, in the Bible at 2 Timothy 3:8. While our knowledge is limited there some things that can be known and more importantly, some things that we should learn from them.

Jewish tradition taught that Jannes and Jambres were Pharaoh’s two magicians who stood against Moses in Exodus 7:11 ff. Moses was sent to demand the release of the Hebrews from Egyptian servitude. At the first meeting with Pharaoh Moses demonstrated his own bona fides by casting down his staff which became a snake. Two magicians countered with a trick that appeared equal to what Moses had done. But to the astonishment of all, Moses snake devoured the two belonging to the magicians. Tradition asserts that these two magicians were Jannes and Jambres.

While there is an extensive and often bizarre tradition about these two, there are some things that we can know for certain and most importantly, some things that we can learn from them.

Jannes and Jambres Are Examples of False Teachers

This portion of Scripture, at 2 Timothy 3:1-9, discusses the failing away that occurs in the last days. Paul has previously spoken of this heretical time in 1 Timothy 4:1. Paul talks of the same failing away in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12. In both cases false teaching will occur. While Paul looks for the coming of the “man of sin” in his Thessalonian letter, he is more general in the letter to Timothy. But false teaching is in the forefront.

Jannes and Jambres are caricatures of the people detailed in the second Timothy letter.

“For men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, railers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good, traitors, headstrong, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power thereof. From these also turn away” (2 Timothy 3:2-5).

As with all false teachers, these people love themselves more than God, appear righteous but deny the power and glory of the Lord.

Jannes and Jambres Failed Like All False Teachers

Jannes and Jambres gave the appearance of being godly. They opposed Moses and his message of truth. One ancient legion even calls them sons of Baal. They tried to demonstrate their other-worldly power through tricks but ultimately failed (Exodus 8:18-19).

False teachers today sweep millions, even billions, into the fold of deception and trickery. Yet, like these two, they will fail. Sadly, they will take untold souls into a Devil’s hell. Like Simon, their riches will perish with them apart from true repentance.

As Christians, we have the once for all revealed word of God (Jude 3) which sustains and supports all our needs (2 Corinthians 9:8). Through constant examination of the Scriptures (Acts 17:11) we can know the truth (John 8:32) and be prepared to discern truth from fable. As John wrote, let us test the spirits to see if they are from God (1 John 4:1).

 Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at You can follow Bryant on Twitter @jbevans.

Exodus – Know the Book

PDExodus is the second book of the Bible, the Old Testament and the Pentateuch. It begins with the same general story as Genesis ends with but over 400 years later. The initial tenor of the narrative is set in Exodus 1:8

“Now there arose a new king over Egypt who did not know Joseph.”

This verse portends a coming enslavement which will only be broken by the mighty hand of God through a series of calamities, or plagues, which befall the Egyptians. This is a continual story of God’s deliverance of his people which divides rather neatly at Exodus 15. The first 15 chapters declare God’s attention to his people; the calling of Moses and the conflict between Moses and Pharaoh. Chapter 15  is a song of deliverance after the pursuing Egyptians are destroyed in walls of collapsing water in the Red Sea.

The remaining 25 chapters detail an interval of encampment at Mount Sinai where God delivered the Law to Moses. Within those chapters we find the 10 Commandments which are a part of the larger Law of Moses.

If there is a key verse in the book I would point to Exodus 5:1.

“…Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go’…”

The bondage of the Hebrews is a type of the bondage we endure today from sin. As God broke the bonds of wicked Pharaoh he will also break the bonds of Satan upon men today. The call to “…let my people go…” resounds today as it did then.

Authorship, Dating and Technical Details

Like Genesis, the authorship of the book is attributed to Moses.

“And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in  the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob?” (Mark 12:26)

The statement Jesus speaks of is found in Exodus 3:1-4 and Exodus 3:17. Thus Jesus attributes the book to Moses.

Dating is connected with authorship. As with Genesis it would almost certainly have been written during the period of Israelite wandering.

Exodus finds its great significance in the demonstration of God’s interest and care for his people. The law, revealed in Exodus and Leviticus, will be the same law in effect when Jesus is born.

Monday Memo – Moses

Great things were in store for Moses. His life had been a roller coaster always teetering between life and death. He began life fleeing from Egyptian executioners, found himself among royalty and then became a fleeing felon from the household of Pharaoh. Now, in Midian, he had the unexciting job of herding sheep for his father-in-law.

God spoke to Moses from the bush that didn’t burn. He gave him the most improbable and surprising command of all: go back to Egypt and free my people.

In Exodus 3, Moses offered every possible excuse to avoid returning to Egypt. He was afraid of Pharaoh and the fate that awaited him there. God would not take excuses then as he does not now. Instead he told Moses that he would be with him and would give him the tools he needed to accomplish his mission (Exodus 3:10 4:17). There comes a point where Moses’ hesitancy incurs God’s wrath. “The anger of the Lord burned against Moses” (Exodus 4:14). God simply will not take excuses. You know the rest of the story and you know the great a mighty success brought by God.

Is there some God-appointed mission in your life that you are delaying? Are you fearful of what the future may hold? God took no excuses from Moses and will take none from us. On the other hand, he will be with us and give us all the tools necessary to accomplish his will.

Will you rise up today and do what the Lord has asked?