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Exo 10:1 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:
Ver. 1. For I have hardened his heart. ] As he that brings in a light blinds an owl; or as he that pours on water kindles the lime whereupon it is poured: so the Lord by publishing his commands, and by doing his miracles, hardened the heart of Pharaoh; who, for his wilful rebellion, was justly forsaken of God, and delivered up to his own heart which is somewhat worse than to be delivered up to the devil.
Exo 10:2 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.
Ver. 2. And that thou mayest tell. ] The memory of God’s magnalia, his great works, must be transmitted to posterity -
“ Ut nati natorum et qui nascentur ab illis, ”
that later ages may hear and fear this great God. See 1 Samuel 4:8 .
Exo 10:3 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.
Ver 3. How long wilt thou refuse? ] God thinks long of the time that men misspend and waste in wicked courses. Jeremiah 4:14 ; Jer 13:27 It is a savoury saying of Bernard, Totum vitae meae tempus perdidi, quia perdite vixi: the time of my looseness I have utterly lost.
Exo 10:4 Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, to morrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast:
Ver. 4. Else, if thou refuse. ] Men should look up with David, and see the punishing angel over their heads with a drawn sword, and submit. And if not, Balaam’s ass shall condemn them for their desperate lewdness: for he fell down before the angel.
I will bring the locusts. ] God hath treasuries of plagues for the obstinate; neither can he be, as the poet feared of his Jupiter, a possibly exhausted.
a Si quoties peccent homines, &c.
Exo 10:5 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:
Ver. 5. And they shall cover. ] For "they go forth by heaps," Pro 30:27 and huge multitudes. Jdg 6:5
And shall eat every tree. ] See Joel 1:7 , Plin., lib. xi. cap.
Exo 10:6 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.
Ver. 6. And he turned himself. ] No man may turn himself to go out of the great Turk’s presence, but must go backward till he be out of the room. a Dissension falling out between Queen Elizabeth and the Earl of Essex about a fit man for the government of Ireland, he uncivilly turned his back, as it were in contempt with a scornful look: she, waxing impatient, gave him a cuff on the ear, bidding him come again when she sent for him, b &c. But Moses may not be imagined to have so turned himself.
a Turk. Hist.
b Camden’s Elis., fol. 494.
Exo 10:7 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?
Ver. 7. And Pharaoh’s servants said unto him.] They were convinced and mollified, though he was not. "Whom he will God hardeneth." Rom 9:18
How long shall this man be a snare unto us? ] He was not the "snare," but their own sin. Pro 29:6 Howbeit he must bear the blame. As if some fond people should accuse the herald or the trumpet as the cause of their war: or, as if some ignorant peasant, when he sees his fowls bathing in his pond, should cry out of them as the causes of foul weather.
Exo 10:8 And Moses and Aaron were brought again unto Pharaoh: and he said unto them, Go, serve the LORD your God: [but] who [are] they that shall go?
Ver. 8. And Moses and Aaron were brought, &c. ] Something the tyrant would seem to yield to his counsellors, and not to deal by them as the Persian monarchs, who were wont to advise with their peers: but if any of them delivered that which was contrary to the king’s mind, flagris caedebantur; they were whipped: which is a punishment also usually inflicted at this day by the great Turk, even upon the greatest Bashaws of the court, upon the least displeasure. a
a Keckerman. Turk. Hist.
Exo 10:9 And Moses said, We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we [must hold] a feast unto the LORD.
Ver. 9. For we must hold a feast. ] See Trapp on " Exo 5:1 "
Exo 10:10 And he said unto them, Let the LORD be so with you, as I will let you go, and your little ones: look [to it]; for evil [is] before you.
Ver. 10. Let the Lord be so with you. ] In cursing them, he unwittingly blessed them. Exodus 12:30-2.12.31 ; Exo 13:21-22 Cursing men are cursed men. But God’s people fare the better for being cursed. "Let them curse, but do thou bless," Psa 109:28 is not more a prayer than a prophecy.
Exo 10:11 Not so: go now ye [that are] men, and serve the LORD; for that ye did desire. And they were driven out from Pharaoh’s presence.
Ver. 11. Not so, ] q.d., I will watch you for that what should children do sacrificing? Them I will retain, as pledges of your return.
Exo 10:12 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.
Ver. 12. Even all that the hail hath left. ] How easily can God straiten, yea, starve us all, if he but send forth his foraging armies! Joe 1:6
Exo 10:13 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.
Ver. 13. An east wind. ] The proper and ordinary office whereof is to purge the air.
Exo 10:14 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.
Ver. 14. And the locusts went up. ] As a formidable army. See a graphical description of a like plague threatened in Joel 2:4-29.2.11 .
Exo 10:15 For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left: and there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field, through all the land of Egypt.
Ver. 15. So that the land was darkened. ] So many of them flying together, as a cloud. The like was seen in Poland and Silesia in 1575 and 1542. a
a Bucholc., Chronol.
Exo 10:16 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste; and he said, I have sinned against the LORD your God, and against you.
Ver. 16. I have sinned against the Lord. ] A fair confession, but forced and extorted. Thus the toad, if beaten on the belly, will vomit up his venom, and the malefactor on the rack will utter all. But as water heated, if taken off the fire will soon return to its natural coldness, yea, become colder after heating than before; a so hypocrites’ heats are not kindly, from the Spirit, but violent, from the outward fire of God’s judgments: therefore when that is out, these are gone.
a Aristot., Meteor., i. 12.
Exo 10:17 Now therefore forgive, I pray thee, my sin only this once, and intreat the LORD your God, that he may take away from me this death only.
Ver. 17. Now therefore forgive. ] Moses must forgive his sin: God is not in all his thoughts. David cries, Peccavi; Pharaoh, Perii: David, "Against thee, thee only, have I sinned"; Pharaoh cries to Moses to pardon his sin. Man may forgive the trespass, but God only the transgression.
Exo 10:18 And he went out from Pharaoh, and intreated the LORD.
Ver. 18. And he went out. ] The wisdom from above is "gentle, easy to be intreated," ready to every good work. Jam 3:17 The devils are called Shegnirim, rough and rugged.
Exo 10:19 And the LORD turned a mighty strong west wind, which took away the locusts, and cast them into the Red sea; there remained not one locust in all the coasts of Egypt.
Ver. 19. A mighty strong west wind. ] Rupertus calls the winds mundi scopas, the besoms wherewith God sweeps his great house of this world. Like as his spiritual house - the hearts of his people - he sweeps off all foul lusts, those hellish locusts, with that rushing mighty wind spoken of in Acts 2:2 .
Exo 10:20 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go.
Ver. 20. But the Lord hardened. ] See Trapp on " Exo 10:1 "
Exo 10:21 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.
Ver. 21. Stretch out thine hand. ] Here was no warning. See Exodus 8:16 . As good, the more unexpected, is the more welcome; so evil, the more sudden, the more terrible.
Exo 10:22 And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days:
Ver. 22. Thick darkness. ] It was thick indeed, that might be felt: a so thick and foggy were the vapours that caused it.
a ψηλαφητον ακοτος . - Sept.
Exo 10:23 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.
Ver. 23. They saw not one another. ] That they might know the worth of light, by the want of it. One being asked whether light was pleasant, answered, τυφλου το ερωτμηα , That is a blind man’s question. Little do we prize this excellent creature.
Exo 10:24 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.
Ver. 24. Called unto Moses, ] viz., When the darkness was over: though some think that, even during the darkness, Pharaoh - such was his madhess - raged against God, and menaced Moses.
Exo 10:25 And Moses said, Thou must give us also sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice unto the LORD our God.
Ver. 25. Thou must give us also sacrifices. ] God gave Noah of every clean beast seven, for sacrifice likely, but of every unclean two only. Gen 7:2
Exo 10:26 Our cattle also shall go with us; there shall not an hoof be left behind; for thereof must we take to serve the LORD our God; and we know not with what we must serve the LORD, until we come thither.
Ver. 26. Not a hoof. ] God’s law must be kept as the apple of our eye. Pro 7:2 A dispensatory conscience is an evil conscience. Repentance makes clean work: as the flood drowned all, even Noah’s friends also.
Exo 10:28 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.
Ver. 28. Get thee from me. ] Evermore when God’s messengers are abandoned, destruction is at next door by. "I know that the Lord hath a purpose to destroy thee." 2 Chronicles 25:16 ; 2Ch 36:16
Exo 10:29 And Moses said, Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more.
Ver. 29. Thou hast spoken well, ] q.d., When I see thee next, do thy pleasure by me. a This was an act of faith in him, whereby he "feared not the wrath of the king." Heb 11:27 So when Valens, the Arian Emperor, threatened Basil with bonds and banishment, Pueris illa terriculamenta proponat, said he; Let him threaten boys with those tortures. The emperor may take away my life, but not my faith; my head, but not my crown.
a εζθε γενοιτο μοι τουτο .
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Exodus 10". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
Second Sunday after Epiphany