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Bible Commentaries

Smith's Bible Commentary

Exodus 11

Verses 1-10

Shall we turn now in our Bibles now to Exodus, chapter eleven? Up to this point Moses' life seems to be going from one bad experience to worse; sometimes we have that experience too. It looks like just, man, everything we do is wrong, nothing seems to be coming up right. Moses has been before the Pharaoh; he has made his demands. The Pharaoh's heart has been hardened. Egypt has been smitten by God with many plagues. Now the Pharaoh orders him out, orders him, "never to see my face again. The next time you see me, you're a dead man." So Moses leaves and says, "That's all right with me if I never see your face again."

So in chapter eleven,

The Lord said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one plague more upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; and afterwards he will let you go from here: when he shall let you go, he shall surely thrust you out from here altogether ( Exodus 11:1 ).

In other words, "He's not gonna just let you go, he's gonna kick you out of here" after this final plague. God's gonna smite Egypt once more. When He smites Egypt this time, the Pharaoh's not just gonna let them go, he's gonna throw them out of the land.

So speak now in the ears of the people, and let every man borrow ( Exodus 11:2 ),

Now the word "borrow" here is an unfortunate kind of a translation because it looks like they sort of dishonestly ripped off the Egyptians. In other words, "Go in and borrow all of their silver plates and all of their jewels and earrings and bracelets, and so forth. Then when you leave tonight rip them off, you take it with you." That Moses is advocating actually this kind of a rip off of the Egyptians.

But not so. The word would better be translated "let them ask". And at this point, let me tell you something, the Egyptians were glad to give them anything. In a sense this is back wages. They had been serving the Egyptians as slaves now for many years, without pay. So this really is just sort of a compensation to them for all of the labor, the years of labor that they had given to the Egyptians.

But it wasn't really just saying, "Oh, can I borrow that beautiful necklace tonight?" and then not showing up, but taking off and running with it. It was asking for the necklace, "I would like to have that earring. I would like to have that bracelet, I'd like to have that necklace."

So, "Let them ask the Egyptians",

all of them their neighbours, and every woman of her neighbour, for the jewels of silver, and the jewels of gold. And the Lord gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, and in the sight of Pharaoh's servants, and in the sight of the people ( Exodus 11:2-2.11.3 ).

At this point they really had begun-that is the Egyptians had really begun to look up to Moses. They had been through enough. The servants of Pharaoh were pleading with Pharaoh, "Hey, let this guy go before we're all dead. We're gonna be wiped out. We're not gonna have anything. Let them go." It was only the Pharaoh whose heart was hardened in resisting the letting of the people go. The people themselves were really at this point glad to see them go.

Moses said, Thus saith the Lord, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt ( Exodus 11:4 ):

So we talked about God passing through Egypt and the firstborn being slain. Moses tells us here that it was about midnight. I suppose that's why midnight is sort of looked upon as a scary hour.

And all of the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon the throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservants that is behind the mill; and all of the firstborn of the beasts. [In other words, the eradication of the firstborn was to be complete from the least to the greatest in the land, and even to include their own animals.] And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall it be like it any more. But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against the man or beast: that ye may know how that the Lord doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel ( Exodus 11:5-2.11.7 ).

Now it is true that God always puts a difference between those who are His people and those who are not His people. And God says, "I want you to know how that I put a difference between the Egyptians, and the Israelis." God makes a definite distinction always concerning His people.

And all these thy servants shall come down unto me, and bow down themselves unto me, saying, Get thee out, and all the people that follow thee: and after that I will go out. And he went out from Pharaoh in a great anger. [So Moses was angry, the Pharaoh was angry. Moses left the presence of the Pharaoh.] And the Lord said unto Moses, Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt. And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the Lord hardened [or made stiff] Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land ( Exodus 11:9-2.11.10 ).

So chapter eleven is just sort of a brief summary of what has happened up until this point, and now we are going to continue on and carry on with the story, chapter twelve.

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Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Exodus 11". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/exodus-11.html. 2014.