Was reading the account of Pharaoh again yesterday. It is true that Pharaoh hardened his heart and God hardened his heart. Always took this to mean that after Pharaoh hardened his heart enough, God put the nail in the coffin. However, the continual appeal by Moses during the latter plagues made me re-think my own understanding (see, I'm not as hard headed as many of the cal's believe ). I'm not sure they are separate events, meaning the source of the hardening never changed, but the substance that was hardened (sun melts butter and hardens concrete, yet the sun never changes). I can do many things to make you not be able to see. I can spray you with mace, poke you in the eye, blindfold you, throw sand in your face, pluck out an eye, turn out the lights, etc. I can still say "I blinded you". Could it not be said that God hardened Pharaoh, not judicially, but by the circumstances surrounding Pharaoh, provoking him and his people, perseverance, physical ailments, continual protectiveness and blessing of the Jews, calling out Pharaoh's own deity complex, etc? Couldn't this same approach have been taken with Israel?