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Saturday, July 20th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Exodus 10

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

Verse 1

And the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him:

Show these my signs ... Sinners even of the worst description are to be admonished, even though there may be little hope of amendment; and hence, those striking miracles that carried so clear and conclusive demonstration of the being and character of the true God were performed in lengthened series before Pharaoh, to leave him without excuse, when judgment should be finally executed.

Verse 2

And that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son's son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am the LORD.

And that thou mayest tell ... There was a further and higher reason for the infliction of those awful judgments-namely, that the knowledge of them then, and the permanent record of them in the sacred history, might furnish a salutary and impressive lesson to the Church down to the latest ages, (cf. Psalms 78:1-72; Psalms 105:1-45.) Worldly historians might have described them as extraordinary occurrences that marked this era of Moses in ancient Egypt. But we are taught to trace them to their cause-the judgments of divine wrath on a grossly idolatrous king and nation.

Verse 3

And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 4

Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, to morrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast:

Tomorrow will I bring the locusts. Moses was commissioned to renew the request so often made and denied, with an assurance that an unfavourable answer would be followed on the morrow by an invasion of locusts. This species of insect resembles a large, spotted, red and black, double-winged grasshopper, about three inches or less in length, with the two hind legs working like hinged springs of immense strength and elasticity. Perhaps no more terrible scourge was ever brought on a land than those voracious insects, which fly in such countless numbers as to darken the land which they infest; and on whatever place they alight, they convert it into a waste and barren desert, stripping the ground of its verdure, the trees of their leaves and bark, and producing in a few hours a degree of desolation which it requires the lapse of years to repair.

Verse 5

And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth: and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field:

They shall cover the face of the earth - literally, the eye of the earth (cf. Exodus 10:15; Numbers 20:5; Numbers 20:11).

Verse 6

And they shall fill thy houses, and the houses of all thy servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians; which neither thy fathers, nor thy fathers' fathers have seen, since the day that they were upon the earth unto this day. And he turned himself, and went out from Pharaoh.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verses 7-11

And Pharaoh's servants said unto him, How long shall this man be a snare unto us? let the men go, that they may serve the LORD their God: knowest thou not yet that Egypt is destroyed?

Pharaoh's servants said. Many of his courtiers must have suffered serious losses from the late visitations, and the prospect of such a calamity as that which was threatened, and the magnitude of which former experience enabled them to realize, led them to make a strong remonstrance with the king. Finding himself not seconded by his counselors in his continued resistance, he recalled Moses and Aaron, and having expressed his consent to their departure, inquired 'who were to go.' The prompt and decisive reply, 'all:' neither man nor beast shall remain raised a storm of indignant fury in the breast of the proud king: he would permit the grown up men to go away. But no other terms would be listened to.

Verse 11. They were driven out ... The ungovernable rage of Pharaoh drove him in this reply to assume a contemptuous tone, not only toward Moses and Aaron, but toward the Lord. He declared that he penetrated their secret, and, being convinced that their real motive was rebellion, now broke off all negotiations with them. In the East, when a person of authority and rank feels annoyed by a petition which he is unwilling to grant, he makes a signal to his attendants, who rush forward, and, seizing the obnoxious suppliant by the neck, drag him out of the chamber with violent haste. Of such a character was the impassioned scene in the court of Egypt when the king had worked himself up into such a fit of uncontrolable fury as to treat ignominiously the two venerable representatives of the Hebrew people.

Verse 12

And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come up upon the land of Egypt, and eat every herb of the land, even all that the hail hath left.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 13

And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts.

The Lord brought an east wind - the rod of Moses was again raised, and the locusts came. They are natives of the desert, and are commonly brought into Egypt, where they are not an unfrequent scourge, from Libya or Ethiopia, by a south or southwest wind [Septuagint, Anemos Notos]. But qaadiym (H6921), is commonly used in Scripture (Job 27:21; Isaiah 27:8; Jeremiah 18:17; Ezek. 29:26 ) to denote the East Wind, now called in Lower Egypt a Shurkiyeh wind; and hence, this invasion of locusts must have come from Arabia, the continued prevalence of so violent a gale for the whole of the previous day and night indicating that they came from a distant region. They sometimes come in sun-obscuring clouds, destroying in a few days every green blade in the track they traverse. Man, with all his contrivances, can do nothing to protect himself from the overwhelming invasion. Egypt has often suffered from locusts. But the one that followed the wave of the miraculous rod was altogether unexampled. Pharaoh, fearing irretrievable ruin to his country, sent in haste for Moses, and, confessing his sin, implored the intercession of the leader, who entreated the Lord; and a "mighty strong west wind took away the locusts." Assuming, as we have done, the scene to be laid [en pedioo Taneoos] in "the field of Zoan," lying close to the Tanitic branch of the Nile, a west wind-literally, a wind from the sea (namely, the Mediterranean) - would drive the locusts in the direction of the Red Sea.

Verses 14-20

And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt: very grievous were they; before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 21

And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.

Stretch out thine hand ... darkness. Whatever secondary means were employed in producing it-whether thick clammy fogs and vapours, according to some, a sand storm, or the chamsin, according to others-it was such that it could be almost perceived by the organs of touch, and so protracted as to continue for three days, which the chamsin does (Hengstenberg, Osburn). 'It was a gross and palpable darkness; the longer night that the book of God specifies-a silent, solitary, melancholy, inexplicable season. No murmur disquiets the air, no man hears his name, no birds sing, except the owl and the night-raven, which creak only dismal things' (Adams).

Verse 22

And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days:

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 23

They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.

Neither rose any from his place - literally, 'they did not rise each one from under him; i:e., from that which he had under him.' The appalling character of this calamity consisted in this, that the sun was an object of Egyptian idolatry-that the pure and serene sky of that country was never marred by the appearance of a cloud. And here, too, the Lord made a marked difference between Goshen and the rest of Egypt.

Verses 24-26

And Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said, Go ye, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed: let your little ones also go with you.

Pharaoh called unto Moses. Terrified by the preternatural darkness, the stubborn king relents, and proposes another compromise-the flocks and herds to be left as hostages for their return.

Verse 25. Thou must give us also sacrifices, [ zªbaachiym (H2077)] - opposed to [ `olowt (H5927)], 'burnt offerings.' The word denotes a sacrifice only in part consumed, a thank offering (cf. Leviticus 17:8; Numbers 15:5). But the crisis is approaching, and Moses insists on all he had asked for. The cattle would be needed for sacrifice-how many or how few could not be known until their arrival at the scene of religious observance.

Verse 26. There shall not an hoof be left behind - an elegant metonomy for 'all the cattle must be taken with us.' The emancipation of Israel from Egyptian bondage was to be complete.

Verse 27

But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 28

And Pharaoh said unto him, Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die.

Pharaoh said unto him, Get thee from me. The calm firmness of Moses provoked the tyrant. Frantic with disappointment and rage, with offended and desperate malice, Pharaoh ordered him from his presence, and forbade him ever to return.

Verse 29

And Moses said, Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more.

Moses said, Thou hast spoken well.

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Exodus 10". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/exodus-10.html. 1871-8.
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