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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
Exodus 8

 

 

Verse 1

Exodus 8:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go, that they may serve me.

Ver. 1. That they may serve me.] Eventus platarum est alius per accidens, ut simulata emendatio Pharaonis; alius per se, ut dimissio populi. (a)


Verse 2

Exodus 8:2 And if thou refuse to let [them] go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs:

Ver. 2. Behold, I will smite.] God usually, not always, warns before he wounds. Ideoque minatur, ut non puniat; and therefore threateneth, that he may not punish his creature.


Verse 3

Exodus 8:3 And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into thine house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneadingtroughs:

Ver. 3. And the river shall bring forth frogs.] Instead of fishes. Thus the first and this second plague are about the water; the third and fourth about the earth; the five next about the air; and the last about man.


Verse 4

Exodus 8:4 And the frogs shall come up both on thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants.

Ver. 4. And the frogs shall come up.] Neither walls nor weapons could keep off the frogs from Pharaoh and his people. As neither could Hatto, archbishop of Mentz, be possibly rid of that army of mice that God sent out against him for his cruelty to some of his poor subjects till they had devoured him. (a)


Verse 5

Exodus 8:5 And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch forth thine hand with thy rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come up upon the land of Egypt.

Ver. 5. And the Lord spake unto Moses.] By secret inspiration; for it was in Pharaoh’s presence.


Verse 6

Exodus 8:6 And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt.

Ver. 6. And the frogs came up.] With their hateful hearing of "Brekekekex coax, coax." (a)


Verse 7

Exodus 8:7 And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt.

Ver. 7. And the magicians did so.] {See Trapp on "Exodus 7:22"}


Verse 8

Exodus 8:8 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, Intreat the LORD, that he may take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may do sacrifice unto the LORD.

Ver. 8. Intreat the Lord.] In extremity a hypocrite will cry for help, as a pig under the knife, as a prisoner at the bar, as a drowning man will catch at that twig which erst standing on the bank he despised. Joab in distress runs to the horns of the altar. "Lord, in trouble have they visited thee, they poured forth a charm when thy chastening was upon them," saith the prophet of those hypocrites that yet "brought forth" no better than "wind." [Isaiah 26:16; Isaiah 26:18] But "will the hypocrite pray always?." [Job 27:10] "Did they at all fast unto me, even to me?." [Zechariah 7:5]

I will let the people.] For the present, it may be, he purposed so to do. Good thoughts make but a thoroughfare of carnal hearts: they cannot settle there. "Thy goodness is as the morning dew," &c. [Hosea 6:4]


Verse 9

Exodus 8:9 And Moses said unto Pharaoh, Glory over me: when shall I intreat for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people, to destroy the frogs from thee and thy houses, [that] they may remain in the river only?

Ver. 9. Glory over me.] Or, Jeer me, andreject me, as thou hast done heretofore: but when thou hast so done, thou must be beholden to me for my prayers, or thou art like to lie under the plague, for aught that thy wizards can do to relieve and release thee.

In the river only.] For a memento, that thou flinch not, nor forget thy promise. Quo teneam vultus, &c. (a)


Verse 10

Exodus 8:10 And he said, To morrow. And he said, [Be it] according to thy word: that thou mayest know that [there is] none like unto the LORD our God.

Ver. 10. To morrow.] Cras vat corvina. "Today, if ye will hear his voice." Now is the day of grace, &c.; procrastination is perilous. Hannibal, when he could have taken Rome, would not: when he would, could not. So, εις αυριον τα σπουδαια, said that fool. Let serious matters alone till tomorrow; but he was slain that night. (a)

Nemo tam divos habuit faventes,

Crastinum ut possit sibi policeri. ”

{a} Plutarch.


Verse 11

Exodus 8:11 And the frogs shall depart from thee, and from thy houses, and from thy servants, and from thy people; they shall remain in the river only.

Ver. 11. In the river only.] {See Trapp on "Exodus 8:9"}


Verse 12

Exodus 8:12 And Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh: and Moses cried unto the LORD because of the frogs which he had brought against Pharaoh.

Ver. 12. And Moses cried unto the Lord.] Not for Pharaoh’s conversion; for he knew he was past cure; but for his deliverance from the present plague, that the power of God might be the more manifested, and the tyrant’s conscience the more convinced.


Verse 13

Exodus 8:13 And the LORD did according to the word of Moses; and the frogs died out of the houses, out of the villages, and out of the fields.

Ver. 13. According to the word.] Iste vir potuit apud Deum quod voluit. Moses might do what he would with God, as one said of Luther.


Verse 14

Exodus 8:14 And they gathered them together upon heaps: and the land stank.

Ver. 14. And the land stank.] As once this land also did by those unclean frogs that came out of the Pope’s mouth. [Revelation 16:3] But England is now no more a babe, said King Henry VIII, in his protestation against the Pope: (a) there is no man here but now he knows that they do foolishly that give gold for lead, &c. Surely, except God take away our right wits, not only the Pope’s authority shall be driven out for ever, but his name also shall shortly be forgotten in England, &c. Thus he, and much more to like purpose. God hath promised to take away the unclean spirit out of the land. [Zechariah 13:2] Fiat, fiat. Surely the society of ungodly men, whether Papists or atheists, is unsavoury and tedious, like the slime and filth that is congealed, when frogs and toads and other vermin join together.


Verse 15

Exodus 8:15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.

Ver. 15. But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite.] Heb., A breathing, or respiration. So fulfilling that of the prophet Isaiah, Isaiah 26:10. In like sort William Rufus, being dangerously sick at Gloucester, in the sixth year of his reign, vowed, upon his recovery, to see all vacancies in the Church furnished: which he did, but with so much ado, as showed, that having escaped the danger, he would gladly have deceived the saint; (a) like the man in Erasmus’s Naufragium, who in a storm promised the Virgin a picture of wax as big as St Christotpher: but when he came to shore would not give a tallow candle! Thus, in the sweating sickness ministers were sent for, and large promises made of amendment: but no sooner were they recovered, but they returned to their old courses, as Mr Bradford complaineth: whence Pliny, in one of his epistles to one who desired rules from him how to order his life aright, I will, saith he, give you one rule, that shall be instead of a thousand, Ut tales esse perseveremus sani, quales nos futuros esse profitemur infirmi: That we go on to be such when well, as we promised to be when sick. Men roar when upon the rack: but once got off, they think they may do as they wish.


Verse 16

Exodus 8:16 And the LORD said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.

Ver. 16. Stretch out thy rod.] Here is no warning given; which shows great wrath. Impenitency makes God "weary of repenting." [Jeremiah 15:6] Absolute in his threatenings, if any; resolute in his executions, as Deuteronomy 29:19-20.


Verse 17

Exodus 8:17 And they did so; for Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and smote the dust of the earth, and it became lice in man, and in beast; all the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt.

Ver. 17. All the dust of the land became lice.] Or, gnats. Quid cniphe villus? saith Philo; what so base and vile a creature as a louse, a gnat? And yet by this poor vermin God so plagued all Egypt, that fainting under it, they were forced to cry out, "This is the very finger of God." Ciniphes sunt muscae minutisslmae, aculeis permolestae, saith Rupert. Others say, that here are meant pediculi inguinales, crab lice; Honos set auribus.


Verse 18

Exodus 8:18 And the magicians did so with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not: so there were lice upon man, and upon beast.

Ver. 18. But they could not.] Though they endeavoured it, as did the magician of Antwerp, who, being required by the English merchants there to play his feats and show his cunning, after much sweating and toil, when he saw that nothing could go forward, but that all his enchantments were void, was compelled openly to confess that there was some man there at supper which disturbed and hindered all his doings. This was Mr Tyndale the martyr, who, hearing of this magician, had desired certain of the merchants that he might be present to see him play, (a) &c.


Verse 19

Exodus 8:19 Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This [is] the finger of God: and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.

Ver. 19. This is the finger of God.] An act of omnipotency, as Luke 11:20, Psalms 8:3. "The heavens are the work of God’s fingers." Deus disponit membra pulicis et culicis, saith Augustine.

And he hearkened not to them.] Neither to Moses, nor to his own magicians, being akin to the catadupes that dwell at the fall of his river Nile, and are deaf.


Verse 20

Exodus 8:20 And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh; lo, he cometh forth to the water; and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go, that they may serve me.

Ver. 20. Rise up early in the morning.] Sanctificat, sanat, ditat quoque surgere mane. Early rising is good for health, wealth, and godliness. David "prevented the dawning of the morning," &c. [Psalms 119:147] Christ "rose up a great while before day." [Mark 1:35] {See Trapp on "Mark 1:35"}


Verse 21

Exodus 8:21 Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms [of flies] upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms [of flies], and also the ground whereon they [are].

Ver. 21. Shall be full of swarms of flies.] Of all the ten plagues this was the most troublesome; for that they never suffered men to rest: so worldly cares; nocte ac die non dabunt requiem, as those tyrants in Jeremiah 16:1-21.


Verse 22

Exodus 8:22 And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms [of flies] shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I [am] the LORD in the midst of the earth.

Ver. 22. And I will sever.] Heb., Marvellously separate, by setting upon them my signum salutare. [Ezekiel 9:4] So that the worst that are "shall return and discern betwixt the righteous and the wicked." [Malachi 3:18] See Exodus 33:16.

In the midst of the earth.] Not in heaven only, whereunto Aristotle and other atheists would confine his providence. (a) Lysippus made Alexander’s picture with this poesy: -

Iupiter asserui terram mihi, tu assere coelum.


Verse 23

Exodus 8:23 And I will put a division between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be.

Ver. 23. And I will put a division.] Heb., A redemption; so Luke 1:68. Aristotle reporteth that, when from the hill Etna there ran down a torrent of fire that consumed all the houses thereabouts, in the midst of those fearful flames the river of fire parted itself, and made a kind of lane for those who ventured to rescue their aged parents. This extorted from him an acknowledgment of God’s good providence for the godly here on earth. (a)


Verse 24

Exodus 8:24 And the LORD did so; and there came a grievous swarm [of flies] into the house of Pharaoh, and [into] his servants’ houses, and into all the land of Egypt: the land was corrupted by reason of the swarm [of flies].

Ver. 24. A grievous swarm of flies,] i.e., Numerous and pernicious; yet not so bad as those many noisome thoughts that swarm daily in men’s hearts. There is that Leviathan; there are also creeping things innumerable. And these many times mar and corrupt our prayers, so as that they stink in the nostrils of God.


Verse 25

Exodus 8:25 And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land.

Ver. 25. Sacrifice to your God in the land.] Persecutors, when they cannot conquer, would compound.


Verse 26

Exodus 8:26 And Moses said, It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the LORD our God: lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us?

Ver. 26. Will they not stone us?] Superstition is cruel; witness the Popish Inquisition to Lithgow, who, in ten hours, received seventy various torments. And the massacre of Paris, wherein they poisoned the Queen of Navarre, murdered the most part of the peerless nobility in France, their wives and children, with a great sort of the common people, a hundred thousand in one year in various parts of the realm; some say three hundred thousand! The bloody and barbarous persecutions of the religious abroad in Bohemia, the Valtoline, Piedmont, and Netherlands; the Marian dog-days here at home; are better known than I need to mention them.


Verse 27

Exodus 8:27 We will go three days’ journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to the LORD our God, as he shall command us.

Ver. 27. As he shall command us.] Manner as well as matter, circumstance as well as substance, to be heeded in God’s service; else there may be malum opus in bona materia, as one saith, - an evil work in a good matter.


Verse 28

Exodus 8:28 And Pharaoh said, I will let you go, that ye may sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness; only ye shall not go very far away: intreat for me.

Ver. 28. Only ye shall not go very far.] So loath was he to lose his hold. So is the devil. (a) The Pope made large offers to Queen Elizabeth, as also to our king, when in Spain.

Intreat for me.] So Simon Magus, in a fright, begs Peter’s prayers. So Maximinus, the persecuting emperor, sent to the Church for prayers, when God had laid upon him a grievous disease. So Ezra 6:10, "Pray for the king’s life, and for his sons."


Verse 29

Exodus 8:29 And Moses said, Behold, I go out from thee, and I will intreat the LORD that the swarms [of flies] may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, to morrow: but let not Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the LORD.

Ver. 29. Deal deceitfully any more.] Some are so slippery, there is no believing of them. Egesippus saith of Pilate, that he was vir nequam, et parvifaciens mendacium, a naughty man, and one that made no conscience of a lie. No more did Pharaoh.


Verse 30

Exodus 8:30 And Moses went out from Pharaoh, and intreated the LORD.

Ver. 30. Intreated the Lord.] {See Trapp on "Exodus 8:12"}


Verse 31

Exodus 8:31 And the LORD did according to the word of Moses; and he removed the swarms [of flies] from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people; there remained not one.

Ver. 31. There remained not one.] Prayer makes clean work; it can do wonders in heaven and earth. Say thou with David, "Cleanse thou me from secret faults," [Psalms 19:12] those that are of daily and hourly incursion. Prayer will scour the coast, clear the conscience of dead works. [Acts 8:22]


Verse 32

Exodus 8:32 And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go.

Ver. 32. And Pharaoh hardened.] All blows and pressures were so far from mollifying him, that he hardened and emmarbled more and more.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Exodus 8:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/exodus-8.html. 1865-1868.

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