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Bible Commentaries

Kretzmann's Popular Commentary of the Bible

Exodus 11

Verses 1-10

The Last Definite. Message of Deliverance.

v. 1. And the Lord said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one plague more upon pharaoh and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence. When he shall let you go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether. The plague which the Lord had in mind was to be a final blow of such severity as to cause Pharaoh not only to dismiss the children of Israel, but even to drive them out.

v. 2. Speak now in the ears of the people, and let every man borrow of his neighbor, and every woman of her neighbor, jewels of silver and jewels of gold. This was one of the points which the Lord had mentioned as early as the time of Moses' call. The people were to demand of their Egyptian neighbors silverware and vessels of gold, jewelry of every kind.

v. 3. And the Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. He influenced the Egyptians in such a manner as to make them willing to give up their most costly treasures. Thus it happened that, in a way at least, the children of Israel received compensation for their years of severe toil. Moreover, the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's servants and in the sight of the people. This fact also had much weight in causing the Egyptians to part with their treasures so willingly: they stood in awe of Moses, because they saw the power of God in him.

v. 4. And Moses said, he made this solemn announcement to Pharaoh before he left his presence with the confident answer of Exodus 10:29: Thus saith the Lord, About mid-night will I go out into the midst of Egypt, He intended now to interfere personally in the affairs of Egypt, to execute judgment with His almighty arm.

v. 5. And all the first-born in the land of Egypt shall die, all the natural heads and representatives of families, all that was first-born, from the first-born of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the first-born of the maid-servant that is behind the mill, the slave that was engaged in grinding meal on a hand-mill; and all the first-born of beasts. There Would be no exception, from the highest to the lowest the Egyptians must suffer.

v. 6. And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more. The blow would be so sharp and would be so universally felt that the lamentation would arise on all sides, as it had never done in the same degree before.

v. 7. But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast, the proverbial expression of a dog's sharpening his tongue indicating that not the slightest trouble would be experienced, not the least disturbance would be suffered by the Jews; that ye may know how that the Lord doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel. The just revenge of God will finally strike all the unrepentant children of unbelief, delivering them to death and destruction, while He holds His sheltering hand over those that are HIsaiah

v. 8. 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, literally, under thy feet, under thy jurisdiction; and after that I will go out. And he went out from Pharaoh in a great anger. That was a just and holy indignation, for it is no small matter for unbelievers to reject the Word of the Lord. Pharaoh's time of grace was now coming to an end, and the wrath of the Lord would soon descend upon him.

v. 9. And the Lord said unto Moses, Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, heed not even his last terrible threat; that My wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt. When the Lord is finally obliged to resort to the destruction of the wicked, such righteous punishment redounds to the glory of His holiness and justice.

v. 10. And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh, all those that have been related till now; and the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land. That was a part of the final punishment upon the obstinate king, a foretaste of the last terrible wrath and endless destruction.

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Bibliographical Information
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Exodus 11". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kpc/exodus-11.html. 1921-23.