Lately I've been trying to do some research on the bible to put some arguments between my family and I to rest. I was raised in a Christian family, and pretty much all of my family is religious except for me. My mother knows I'm not religious and likes to stir up arguments about it, so I decided it was time for me to have some things to come back with instead of seeming uninformed. Anyway, I'd like to hear other people's opinions about what I've put together. I was looking in Exodus, about the plagues on Egypt and how Pharaoh kept refusing to let the Israelites go to the wilderness to worship. Well it says several times in these verses that "God hardened Pharaoh's heart" and that that is why he would not relent. Towards the end it also says that "The Lord made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people." The last part was basically so that the Israelites could plunder the Egyptians. My problem here comes when people say that God doesn't and won't alter free will, and when they use this as some excuse for bad things people do, or why they say people will go to hell, etc. All throughout this story, and probably more stories, God is altering people's free will in some way or another, and in this case even brutally punishing an entire race of people for something he made happen. Any thoughts?