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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Exodus 11



Verses 1-10

The Tenth Plague threatened

2. Borrow] RV 'ask': see on Exodus 3:22.

4. Moses is here speaking to Pharaoh. This v. is the continuation of Exodus 10:29. About midnight] The particular night is not specified, though it is implied that it is the night following the day on which this interview takes place. On the other hand, Exodus 12:3, Exodus 12:6 prescribes a four days' preparation for the Passover. But see on Exodus 12:1.

5. Firstborn] The Heb. word means the firstborn male. The death of the firstborn may be regarded as a punishment for the slaughter of the Hebrew children (see Exodus 1:16, Exodus 1:22) and the oppression of Israel, the 'firstborn of Jehovah' (see on Exodus 4:22-23).

Behind the mill] What is meant is the hand-mill, which consisted of two circular stones about 18 in. in diameter lying one above the other. The upper stone is turned round a pivot, which rises from the centre of the lower, by means of a handle fixed near its circumference. The grain is poured into a funnel-shaped hole in the upper stone surrounding. the central pivot, and the meal escapes between the two stones at the circumference. The mill rests on the ground, and the maidservant sits 'behind the mill.' Sometimes two servants tinned the stone, in which case they sat facing each other, each grasping the handle: cp. Matthew 24:41. Grinding was considered menial work, fit only for women and slaves: cp. Judges 16:21; Isaiah 47:1-2; Lamentations 5:13.

7. Move (lit. 'whet') his tongue] a proverbial expression: cp. Joshua 10:21.

9, 10. These vv. sum up the purpose and effect of the preceding series of nine plagues.


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Exodus 11:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.

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