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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Exodus 11

 

 

Verses 1-30

The Tenth Plague (Death of the Firstborn) - Exodus 11:1 to Exodus 12:30 tells us about the tenth and final plague in which an angel descended from Heaven and slew all of the firstborn in Egypt whose homes were not covered by the blood.

Exodus 11:2-3Scripture References- Note similar verses:

Exodus 3:21-22, "And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty: But every woman shall borrow of her neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians."

Exodus 12:35-36, "And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians."

Exodus 11:7"shall not a dog move his tongue" - Comments- No lamenting whatsoever shall occur.

Exodus 11:8Comments - The Scriptures record several occasions when Moses displayed negative actions as a result of his anger. All of these actions resulted in consequences in the life of Moses. Moses' anger at the abuse of his people moved him to murder:

Exodus 2:11-12, "And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no Prayer of Manasseh , he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand."

Moses was angry with Pharaoh:

Exodus 11:8, "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: and after that I will go out. And he went out from Pharaoh in a great anger."

Moses was angry with the children of Israel:

Exodus 16:20, "Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them."

Moses broke the Ten Commandments in anger.

Exodus 32:19, "And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses" anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount."

God commanded Moses to speak to the rock, but in his anger, he smote the rock twice. This cost Moses his trip into the Promised Land:

Numbers 20:11, "And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also."

Exodus 12:1-28 — The Institution of the Passover - Exodus 12:1-28 records the institution of the Passover, which was necessary in anticipation of the tenth plague? God had to get His people ready so that they did not have to partake of the final plague.

On the tenth day the lamb was chosen; it was inspected for three days; then it was sacrificed on the fourteenth day. Note that Jesus had a 3-year ministry in which He was inspected by many, especially the Pharisees. They could find no fault. Much of Gospel Passion narratives deal with last three days of Jesus ministry while He taught in temple and when He was taken and crucified.

The Scriptures teach us that there was healing in the Passover. Psalm 105:37 tell us that there was not a single weak, or sick, person among those children of Israel who went out in the Exodus , "He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes." During the Passover that Hezekiah instituted, God healed the people, "And the LORD hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people." ( 2 Chronicles 30:20)

Exodus 12:5Comments - Just as the Lord required every member of each household to have a sacrificial lamb in order cover them from the judgment of God, so does the Lord require everyone to come to the blood of Jesus to cover them from eternal judgment. No one can escape God's wrath without going to Jesus Christ as their Saviour and being cleansed by His precious blood.

Exodus 12:5Comments - The lamb was to be without blemish, which was a type and figure of Jesus, as our sacrificial lamb, who was without sin.

Exodus 12:6 — "ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month" - Comments- Why keep the lamb or goat for two weeks prior to sacrificing it on the day of Passover? One reason is that a goat has been out eating some trash. A goat will eat almost anything. This two-week period will give the owners time to feed it properly and to purge its system of impurities, so that the meat is fit to eat.

Exodus 12:8Comments- The unleavened bread and bitter herbs were part of the menu that the Israel's dined on the night of their exodus from Egypt ( Exodus 12:8). Because the Israelites made haste in leaving Egypt they did not have time to leaven their bread. According to Jesus and Paul, leaven is figurative for sin ( Matthew 16:6; Matthew 16:11-12, Mark 8:15, Luke 12:1, 1 Corinthians 5:6-8, Galatians 5:9). The Hebrew text reads, "with bitter," with the word "herbs" implied. As a result, the YLT translates this phrase "bitter things." Rawlinson tells us that Mishna suggests these bitter herbs may have been "endive, chicory, wild lettuce, and nettles." 44] The LXX gives a literal translation, " πικρίδων" (of bitter [things]). The Clementine Vulgate renders this phrase as "wild lettuce" (cum lactucis agrestibus). 45] The ISBE says that lettuce and endive are used by modern Jews in their Passover meal. 46] As a result, Wycliffe reads, "letusis of the feeld," the DRC reads, "wild lettuce," and the NLT reads "bitter salad green." Rawlinson expresses the popular view that these bitter herbs were in fact distasteful when eaten and represented the bitterness of their Egyptian bondage.

44] G. Rawlinson, Exodus , in The Pulpit Commentary, ed. H. D. M. Spence and Joseph Exell (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co, 1950), in Ages Digital Library, v 10 [CD-ROM] (Rio, WI: Ages Software, Inc, 2001), comments on Exodus 12:8.

45] Biblia Sacra juxta Vulgatam Clementinam (Ed. electronica) in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc, 2005), Exodus 12:8.

46] E. W. G. Masterman, "Bitter herbs," in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

Exodus 12:8, "And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it."

Matthew 16:6, "Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees."

Matthew 16:11-12, "How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees."

Mark 8:15, "And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod."

Luke 12:1, "In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy."

1 Corinthians 5:6-8, "Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."

Galatians 5:9, "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump."

Exodus 12:12 — "against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD" - Comments- Exodus 12:12 says that the ten plagues were directed against specific Egyptian Gods. Because YHWH is the true and living God, He will judge those other gods. Some Bible commentators associate the ten plagues with specific Egyptian gods or beliefs. 47]

47] See John J. Davis, Moses and the Gods of Egypt: Studies in Exodus , 2 nd ed. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1971); J. Vernon McGee, Exodus , in Thru the Bible With J. Vernon McGee (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub, 1998), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004).

1. Water turning to blood - Because the Nile River was a vital source of life, the Egyptians had a number of gods associated with the Nile River. David Padfield says that "Khnum was the guardian of the Nile," and "Hapi was the ‘spirit of the Nile;'" the Egyptians believed that the Nile River was the "bloodstream" of Osiris, the god of the underworld." 48] Miriam Lichtheim suggests that the first plague of water turning to blood may have been directed against Hapi, the spirit of the Nile River. 49] J. Vernon McGee say that what was a source of life for the Egyptians became their death. 50]

48] David Padfield, Against All The Gods Of Egypt (#1) (Zion, Illinois: Church of Christ, 2009) [on-line]; accessed 2March 2009; available from http://www.biblelandhistory.com/egypt/plagues-egypt-3.html; Internet.

49] Miriam Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature: Vol. I: The Old and Middle Kingdoms (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973-80), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), 204.

50] J. Vernon McGee, Exodus , in Thru the Bible With J. Vernon McGee (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub, 1998), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), comments on Exodus 7:14-25.

2. The plague of frogs - The second plague of frogs would have been directed against Heqt, often depicted as a frog, who was "the wife of the creator of the world and the goddess of birth." (Padfield) 51] McGee notes that the Egyptians considered the frogs sacred, so they would have had difficulty in killing them. 52]

51] David Padfield, Against All The Gods Of Egypt (#1) (Zion, Illinois: Church of Christ, 2009) [on-line]; accessed 2March 2009; available from http://www.biblelandhistory.com/egypt/plagues-egypt-3.html; Internet.

52] J. Vernon McGee, Exodus , in Thru the Bible With J. Vernon McGee (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub, 1998), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), comments on Exodus 8:1-5.

3. The plague of lice - Padfield believes that the plague of lice was actually sandflies or fleas. McGee suggests that the Hebrew word could mean gnats or mosquitoes, but prefers the word lice, and tells the story of a visitor to Egypt who thought the sand was moving, but found it to be thousands of tiny ticks which began to crawl up his leg. They suggest that this plague would have been directed towards "Geb, the great god of the earth." 53]

53] David Padfield, Against All The Gods Of Egypt (#1) (Zion, Illinois: Church of Christ, 2009) [on-line]; accessed 2March 2009; available from http://www.biblelandhistory.com/egypt/plagues-egypt-3.html; Internet; J. Vernon McGee, Exodus , in Thru the Bible With J. Vernon McGee (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub, 1998), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), comments on Exodus 8:16-19.

4. The plague of flies - McGee and Padfield suggest the plague of flies was actually the sacred scarab beetle, which fed upon dung, and were believed to be sacred to the sun god named Ra. 54] Padfield says the Egyptians believed Ra pushed the sun across the sky much like the scarab beetle pushed a ball of dung along the ground.

54] David Padfield, Against All The Gods Of Egypt (#1) (Zion, Illinois: Church of Christ, 2009) [on-line]; accessed 2March 2009; available from http://www.biblelandhistory.com/egypt/plagues-egypt-3.html; Internet; J. Vernon McGee, Exodus , in Thru the Bible With J. Vernon McGee (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub, 1998), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), comments on Exodus 8:20-23.

5. The murrain upon cattle - Apis was the sacred bull in Egyptian mythology. McGee notes that thousands of them have been mummified in Egyptian tombs. 55] Or, perhaps the fifth plague of murrain would have been directed against the Egyptian goddess of the sky named Hathor, who was sometimes portrayed as a cow, and later as a woman with the head of a cow. 56]

55] J. Vernon McGee, Exodus , in Thru the Bible With J. Vernon McGee (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub, 1998), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), comments on Exodus 9:1-7.

56] David Padfield, Against All The Gods Of Egypt (#1) (Zion, Illinois: Church of Christ, 2009) [on-line]; accessed 2March 2009; available from http://www.biblelandhistory.com/egypt/plagues-egypt-3.html; Internet; Orval Wintermute, "Hathor," in The World Book Encyclopedia, vol 9 (Chicago: World Book, Inc, 1993), 86.

6. The plague of boils- The plague of boils affected man as well as beasts. Padfield suggests this plague may have been directed against "Imhotep, the god of medicine," "Serapis, the deity in charge of healing," and "Thoth, the ibis-headed god of intelligence and medical learning." 57]

57] David Padfield, Against All The Gods Of Egypt (#1) (Zion, Illinois: Church of Christ, 2009) [on-line]; accessed 2March 2009; available from http://www.biblelandhistory.com/egypt/plagues-egypt-3.html; Internet;

7. The plague of hail- The seventh plague of rain, hail and thunder may have been directed against the Egyptian god Seth, the god of those types of storms and violent weather conditions." 58] McGee suggests it addressed "Isis (sometimes represented as cow-headed), goddess of fertility and considered the goddess of the air." 59] Padfield it was directed against "Nut, the sky goddess." He also lists "Shu, the wind god," "Horus, the hawk-headed sky god of Upper Egypt," and "Isis and Seth," who "protected the crops." 60]

58] Orval Wintermute, "Seth," in The World Book Encyclopedia, vol 17 (Chicago: World Book, Inc, 1993), 323.

59] J. Vernon McGee, Exodus , in Thru the Bible With J. Vernon McGee (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub, 1998), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), comments on Exodus 9:18-21.

60] David Padfield, Against All The Gods Of Egypt (#1) (Zion, Illinois: Church of Christ, 2009) [on-line]; accessed 2March 2009; available from http://www.biblelandhistory.com/egypt/plagues-egypt-3.html; Internet;

8. The plague of locust- McGee believes the plague of locusts were a sign of divine judgment directed against the people of Egypt. 61] They would have to acknowledge that judgment had come upon their land. Padfield lists other gods who were associated with the planting of crops: "Nepri, the god of grain," "Ermutet, the goddess of childbirth and crops," Isis, "Thermuthis, the goddess of fertility and the harvest," and "Seth, a god of crops." 62]

61] J. Vernon McGee, Exodus , in Thru the Bible With J. Vernon McGee (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub, 1998), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), comments on Exodus 10:17-20.

62] David Padfield, Against All The Gods Of Egypt (#1) (Zion, Illinois: Church of Christ, 2009) [on-line]; accessed 2March 2009; available from http://www.biblelandhistory.com/egypt/plagues-egypt-3.html; Internet;

9. The plague of darkness- The ninth plague of darkness was directed towards the sun god Revelation , the chief god in Egyptian mythology. The sun was the most potent religious symbol of Egypt, with the worship of the sun-god Revelation , their chief deities. 63] Padfield lists Re the sun god, and Horus, who "was the god of light who personified the life-giving power of the Sun." 64]

63] John D. McEachran, " Revelation ," in The World Book Encyclopedia, vol 16 (Chicago: World Book, Inc, 1993), 153-4

64] David Padfield, Against All The Gods Of Egypt (#1) (Zion, Illinois: Church of Christ, 2009) [on-line]; accessed 2March 2009; available from http://www.biblelandhistory.com/egypt/plagues-egypt-3.html; Internet;

10. The death of the firstborn- The tenth plague was the death of the firstborn, which would have been directed against the Egyptian Pharaoh, who was considered to be the incarnation of the Horus, the son of Amon- Revelation , the sun god. 65] Padfield believes that this plague was directed against all of the Egyptian gods. He lists a number of them associated with procreation and life. 66]

65] Leonard H. Lesko, "Pharaoh," in The World Book Encyclopedia, vol 16 (Chicago: World Book, Inc, 1993), 15.

66] David Padfield, Against All The Gods Of Egypt (#1) (Zion, Illinois: Church of Christ, 2009) [on-line]; accessed 2March 2009; available from http://www.biblelandhistory.com/egypt/plagues-egypt-3.html; Internet;

Exodus 12:17 — "for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt" - Comments- God is called the Lord of the Armies (Sabaoth) in the book of James.

Exodus 7:4, "But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments."

James 5:4, "Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth."

 


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These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Exodus 11:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/exodus-11.html. 2013.

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Saturday, July 4th, 2020
the Week of Proper 8 / Ordinary 13
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