The Death of the First Born by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Exodus 10:1 And יהוה said to Moses, go in to Pharaoh: for I have hardened את־ his heart וְאת־ and the heart of his servants, that I might show My signs before him: 2 And that you may tell your son and your son’s son, את what I have done in Egypt וְאת־ and My signs which I have done among them; that you may know that I am יהוה.  C-MATS

Question: Why did יהוה harden Pharaoh and his servants’ heart? The reason why את hardens Pharaoh’s heart is so that Moses may tell his descendants what את did in Egypt, so that the Israelites and Egyptians may know יהוה Father. Romans 9:17 For the scripture said unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. 18 Therefore has he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardens. C-MATS

Question: Was it unjust for יהוה to harden the heart of Pharaoh and then punish Egypt for what Pharaoh did as a result of his hardened heart?  Pharaoh was not an innocent or righteous man. He was a brutal dictator overseeing the terrible abuse and oppression of the Israelites, who likely numbered over 1.5 million people at that time. The Egyptian pharaohs had enslaved the Israelites and ordered male Israelite babies be killed at birth. (Exodus 1:16 And he said, When you serve in the office of a midwife to את־ the Hebrew women and see them upon their stools; if it is a son, then you will kill אֹתֹו him: but if it is a daughter, then she will live.) Pharaoh and Egypt had horribly sinned against יהוה. It would have been just if יהוה had completely annihilated Egypt. The plagues, as terrible as they were, actually demonstrate יהוה’s mercy in not completely destroying Egypt, which would have been a perfectly just penalty. We have all sinned against יהוה (Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of Elohim.), and the just penalty for that sin is death (Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of Elohim is eternal life through Yahusha haMashiach our Adonai.). Therefore, יהוה’s hardening and punishing a person is not unjust; it is actually merciful in comparison to what the person deserves.