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the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Exodus 11

Kingcomments on the Whole BibleKingcomments

Verses 1-3

There Will Be One More Plague

In a kind of parenthesis, we read in these verses what God said to Moses before he goes to Pharaoh for the last time. In the last plague God Himself will descend to judge. This means the final judgment. The result will be that Pharaoh will drive out the people as a whole by force from the country.

Before they leave, the Israelites have to ask for all kinds of articles from the Egyptians. They will need them for their service to the LORD. The LORD will be at work so that they will receive these articles. It is the unpaid wages of all years of toil that they and their ancestors did as slaves in Egypt.

For Moses, great esteem has arisen. The Egyptians see him as the processor of the plagues, someone whom they have to treat with respect. Moses is here a type of the Lord Jesus Who will also command respect through the judgments He will execute.

Verses 4-8

Announcement of the Death of All the Firstborn

Moses addresses his last words to Pharaoh. Unlike all previous plagues that God brought across Egypt through Moses and Aaron, God Himself will execute the last plague. To this end He will go through the midst of Egypt and judge the firstborn. In these firstborn children God will strike the whole land of Egypt (Psalms 78:51; Psalms 136:10).

The firstborn is a symbol of strength. The eldest son is the deepest pride of the oriental man. As is customary in the East, the existence of the name, of the family, depends on the eldest son. He represents the power of the whole generation. All hope of the natural man focuses on the firstborn. That’s why God smashes all their hope into the ground by striking their firstborn.

In the same way God breaks the power of every natural man, either by humbling him as he repents before God, broken and crushed, or by bringing eternal judgment upon him.

A loud wailing will fill the whole country of Egypt that night. It is the terrible pre-fulfilment of the cry of all who will abide forever in the outer darkness. There will be all those who on earth have preferred darkness to light. They “loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). Their desire to have nothing to do with God Who is light (1 John 1:5) is then fulfilled forever.

Unlike Egypt, there is no unrest among the Israelites at all. For the last time the distinction between the Egyptians and the Israelites is mentioned. The Egyptians will see in this distinction a reason to ask the people to leave. To this end they will come to Moses and bow down before him.

After these last words to Pharaoh, Moses went out from Pharaoh in hot anger. This time Pharaoh does not have the chance to chase Moses away, but Moses leaves himself. He no longer has any hesitation or fear of Pharaoh. He is in fellowship with God and therefore filled with a holy contempt for the sins of Pharaoh (cf. Mark 3:5).

Verses 9-10

The Heart of Pharaoh Hardened

The LORD tells Moses why Pharaoh will not listen to him, despite all the miracles he and Aaron have done for Pharaoh. God wants to give an abundance of miracles as a testimony of His power. As for Pharaoh, everything is in vain. If man refuses to listen, God can use his unwillingness to demonstrate His power as a warning testimony to anyone who wants to see.

Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Exodus 11". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kng/exodus-11.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.
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