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Thursday, June 20th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Exodus 11

Grant's Commentary on the BibleGrant's Commentary

Verses 1-10



This was given before Pharaoh gave his final threat to Moses. Verses 1-3 form a parenthesis, and verse 1 should read, "And the Lord HAD said to Moses" (Numerical Bible). These three verses then deal with the Lord's words to Moses before He assures Moses that He will bring only one more plague on Egypt, then Pharaoh would not only let them go, but would drive them out. In view of this Moses was told to advise the Israelites to ask (no borrow) from the neighboring Egyptians jewels of silver and of gold. There is no doubt that Israel had fully earned this by their long service of slavery; and the Lord disposed the hearts of the Egyptians to willingly respond to the Jews' request. Added to this, the Lord had made Moses to be highly respected among Pharaoh's servants and the people generally (v.3).

From verse 4 to 8 Moses gives Pharaoh his final warning, as directly from the Lord's lips. God had spoken, saying that at about midnight He would intervene in the midst of Egypt's family life, and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt would die, the firstborn of Pharaoh included, together with the firstborn of the lowest of the people, and also the firstborn of beasts. Why the firstborn? Because they are those who ought to be devoted to the Lord, since He is the Creator and the best is rightly His (Exodus 13:1-2). but Egypt had persistently rejected God's claims as regards Israel, whom He called His "firstborn" (Exodus 4:22-23). Now it was true that Pharaoh's firstborn would be taken from him.

There would be a great cry of anguish throughout all the land of Egypt, such as had never before been heard there, nor would ever follow (v.6). As to Israel, however, they would be unaffected. Not even a dog would move its tongue. For it is well known that when even one death takes place, dogs will howl, so that Egypt would be full of howling Gods.

Moses further tells Pharaoh that when the plague of the death of the firstborn took place, all Pharaoh's servants would come to Moses, humbling themselves to urge him and all Israel to leave the land (v.8). After the many plagues God had sent, showing clearly that His Word was always carried out, it would seem that so dreadful a warning would surely have made Pharaoh stop and seriously consider the danger to both Egypt and to himself. But it was evidently at this point that Pharaoh told Moses, in the words of Chapter 10:28, to get out of his presence and never to see Pharaoh's face again, adding the threat of death to Moses if this did occur.

At this time Moses told Pharaoh he had spoken well: Moses would not see his face again (ch.10:20). Pharaoh was bitterly angry, but Moses "went out from Pharaoh in great anger" (v.8). This is the occasion of which Hebrews 11:27 speaks, "By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king." Moses had sought the willing cooperation of Egypt, which was now fully refused. He will no longer labor with them, but will give them up to their chosen destruction.

Again, in verse 9, the Lord gives to Moses the encouragement that, behind the defiant stubbornness of Pharaoh, God Himself was working in order that His wonders should be multiplied in Egypt. Then verse 10 summarizes the results of all the former plagues, in telling us that the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart in determination not to let Israel go. But this is the last time this is said!

Bibliographical Information
Grant, L. M. "Commentary on Exodus 11". Grant's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/lmg/exodus-11.html. 1897-1910.
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