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f. r j 1 HOSE who own God's dominion, and trust his all-. X sufficiency, shall experience his fidelity to his promises. Abraham believed him as El Shaddai, a God allpowerful, or allsufficient, and also found him Jehovan, a faithful God, the fulfillcr of his promises. He will always prove himself to be what lie has declared, and will not suffer his people to be disappointed.
2. God will faithfully remember his covenant, though he may seem to forget it; though his people think he forgets it, because deliverance is delayed, yet he is ever mindful of his premises. Those who trust him, and wait on him, shall always find that it
^is indeed so.
3. God can add energy to worthless lips, and make them triumph over all opposition. Ministers are too ready to adopt the words of Moses, If Israel, to whom I am sent, will not hear, how then shall Pharaoh? ti christians are perverse, haughtyy and disobedient, how shall we deal with the openly profane? But God can make his strength perfect in our weakness; when he gives a commission, we may hope for success.
4. The afflictions of God's people may be so many, that his consolations may appear small. When their hearts are oppressed with grief and concern they see not their own comforts, and a veil is spread over the promises. This is often owing to discontent and fretfulness; and then men may thank themselves if they taste not the pleasures of religion. It is good Jor a man to hope, and quietly wait for the salvation of God. If it be long delayed, and afflictions are continued, let it be our daily prayer, Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief.
In this chapter the plagues oJ Egypt begin, which exhibit an awful instance of the power of God, and show, that when he judgeth he will overcome.
1 AND the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made XI, thee a God to Pharaoh; clothed thee with a divine power, to represent me, to spcak in my name, and my power shall be with thee :* and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet, thy
2 spokesman, a representative to my representative.f Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aaron thy brother
• Moses was a God by commission; the viceroy, or depney, to the only living and true Cod.
t Moses btin^ a man of uncommon modesty, might be embarrassed in common comrrr. .virion, and not bare that readiness of speech vrhich. another, of far less abilities, might have.
shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel
3 out of his land. And, or, nevertheless, I will harden Pharaoh's heart, since he hath hardened his own heart against me and Israel so long, now in judgment I will ptmish him for it, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt.
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. These were designed on the one /land, to bring Israel out; on the other, to punish the princes and people for their barbarous treatment of Israel, for their idolatry,
5 and to make them see and own Jehovah, And the Egyptians shall know that I [am] the Lord, and that it is in vain to contend with me, when I stretch forth mine hand Upon Egypt, to slay their firstborn, and bring out the children of Israel
6 from among therm And Moses and Aaron did as the Lord commanded them, so did they. An emphatical repetition, to show their courage in attempting to do and say such tlnvgs to to great a monarch, in his own dominions; and their fidelity m the execution of all God's commands.
7 And Moses [was] fourscore years old,* and Aaron fourscore and three years old, when they spake unto Pharaoh.
8 And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, sayings
9 When Pharaoh shall speak untp you, saying, Show a miracle for you, that I may know you are sent of God :f then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast [it] before Pha-.
10 raoh, [and] it shall become a serpent.$ And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the Lord had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pha
11 raoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh also called the wise men, or philosophers, and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt,||they also did in like manner with their enchantments. God suffered them to do so, either in reality, or by some deception, that Pharaoh's heart being hardened, he might make his plagues wonderful; and that Moses
12 might triumph over them at last. For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents : but Aaron's rod, the dragon into which his rod was turned, swallowed up their
• The age ef Mosep is Liken notice of, te> show that be had now a venerable aspect, which would command reverence; that hv had great experience, which rendered him fit for the troublesome scenes he was to engine in; and that he would not be so apt to invent things, and he under the power of fancy, as younger persons would be. Wc may observe here, that ail the plagues of Egvpt did uot last more than one year; he was now eighty, he died at one hundred and twenty, and they were forty years in the wilderness.
t It was agreeable to the conmon sense of mankind, to expect, that if Cod had sent a person on an extraordinary embassy, he should work a miracle, to prove his divine mlssioa.
i A large dripjon or crocodile, Tv intimnte, that he would make the rod of Moses a ten i. ble soour^c. This emblem was exceeding proper among a people who dealt so much In hieroglyphics.
I These were persons who pretended to have commerce with demons or evil spirits; the Apostle Paul calls then 'Jann:.: and J>in.hu, 1 Tim. ii*. 8.
rods; to show that the power whereby Moses and Aaron had wrought their miracles, was far above that, whereby the magicians had wrought theirs, and was also an emblem of their power
13 being destroyed. And he hardened Pharaoh's heart, that he hearkened not unto them ;* as the Lord had said, chap. iv. 21.
14 And the Lord said unto Moses, Pharaoh's heart [is]
15 hardened, he refuseth to let the people go. Get thee unto Pharaoh in the morning; lo, he goeth out unto the water: and thou shalt stand by the river's brink against he come :f and the rod which was turned to a serpent shalt thou take in
16 thine hand, to strike Pharaoh's mind more powerfully. And thou shalt say unto him, The Lord God of the Hebrews hath sent me unto thee, saying, Let my pedple go, that they may serve me in the wilderness: and, behold, hitherto thou wouklst not hear. It was a great mercy in God to send such
17 a message, after he had been so obstinate and hardened. Thus saith the L»rd, In this thou shalt know that I [am] the Lord : behold, I will smite with the rod that [is] in mine hand upon the waters which [are] in the river,f and they.
18 shall be turned to blood. And the fish that [is] in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall loathe to drink of the water of the river.||
19 And the Lord spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and [that] there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in [vessels of] wood, and in [vessels of] stone.
SO And Moses and Aaron did so as the Lord commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that [were] in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that [were] in the river, were turned to blood.
21 And the fish that [was] in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river: and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.
22 And the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments, in some other places where the water was not changed t but this only increased . their plague, and made Pf -""h the
* Tile Hebrew is. And the heart of Pharaoh tva% hardened, as in v. 22. This was ona •r the methods of God's providence, against which Pharaoh hardened, himself, asd it wa ■oftcr.d as a judgment to him.
+ Moses was probably forbid the court, and therefore Ood ordered him to meet Pharaoh at the river, where he went m the morning to worship it, as was their custom.
f This is a remarkable form of speech. Moses was as a God to Pharaoh: he speaks as Jehovah, / ivltj smite the vjters which are in the river, a branch of the Nile, or a cat' From it, to water their ground, and fill their pools.
t How righteous and terrible was this judgment! Here they had murdered the Hebrew children, and now. they have Moot! to drink; their chief dainties were destroyed/ and they were made to loathe that which they worshipped as a Sod.
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more obstinate; and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, neither"
23 did he hearken unto them ; as the Lord had said. And Pharaoh turned and went jnto his house, neither did he set his heart to this also; hit proud heart regarded not, nor war
24 properly affected with it. And all the Egyptians digged round about the river for water to drink; for they could not drink of the water of the river; and they probably found some small
25 quantity for their present necessity. And seven days were fulfilled, after that the Lord had smitten the river: But dur* ing tliis time, Pharaoh was not humbled; and after this, God probably removed that plague to make way for another.
I. T ET us adore the almighty power of God in this reI. A markable change. He turns water into blood, and inanimate into living bodies, and changes them again. How wonderful is his power! and what madness is it for any, even the greatest men, to contend with him!
2. God knows how to overrule the hardness and obstinacy of men's hearts, to serve the purposes of his own glory. He overruled Pharaoh's obstinacy, that he might make himself known to Israel, as the faithful God; to Egypt, as the only true God; the almighty, irresistible King; and to make way for the deliverance of Israel: thus he causeth the wrath and the pride of man to praise him.
3. God foresees the excuses sinners will make, and provides a proper answer to them. Pharaoh will say, Show me a miracle. Sinners will plead in their own excuse, what they retain in their' hearts ; but God directs his ambassadors to give proper replies. He has in his word furnished answers to these pleas; and it is the business of ministers to study that word, and human nature too, that they may know how to discharge their duty.
4. God sometimes honours the advanced age of his servants 'with distinguished usefulness. Thus he did with regard to Moses and Aaron, when they perhaps began to think their days of service over; thus he puts an honour upon aged piety. Days shall speak, and multitude of years shall teach knowledge. When God is pleased to preserve the senses and memory, aged chris-' t:ans should be willing to be employed for God ; shotting to the generations to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and hit wonderful works that he hath done.
5. Sinners are but hurting themselves, when rebelling against the divine revelation and command. Pharaoh, by his obstinacy, only made his plagues more wonderful: he had better have sub.1 'mitted at once. He thought his magicians could do wonders, and would not let Israel go, even when he saw the magicians' overpowered. God's hand will be stretched out till the sinner is humbled; for none ever hardened himself against God, and prospered.
6. God, in the midst of judgment, remembers mercy: during the seven days while the water was turned into blood, some water was to be found by digging pits. He does not let forth all his wrath, but has compassion for a people, while he punishes them for their sins. And has he such compassion for his enemies? happy then are all his friends; blessed are all they that put their trust in him!
In this chapter tte have an account of three more plagues, the frogs, the lice, and the fiies,
1 AND the Lord spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, Xjl and say unto him, Thus s.aith the Lord, Let my peo
2 pie 'go, that they may serve me. And if thou refuse to let [them] go, behold, I will smite 'all thy borders with frogs:
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 kneading
4 troughs: And the frogs shall come up both on thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants. Moses gives him fair warning, tells him what the plague shall be, and how dreadful to himself and all his people ; but he still hardened his heart.
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
6 the land of Egypt. And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up n immense
7 quantities, and covered the land of Egypt.* And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt. God suffered them to do this ,. but they were not able to destroy them, nor send them away.f
9 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, entreat the Lord, that he may take away the frogs from me', and from my people; and I will let the people go, that . 9 they may do sacrifice unto the Lord. And Moses said unto Pharaoh, Glory over me : when shall I entreat for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people, to destroy the frogs
* This was a sad plague, as it was constant and general. The creatures were offensive «o the sight and smelt, made a very disagreeable noise, came upon theft. persons, hindered! <heir bakmg, and made their food loathsome. It was a plague That fell heavier on Pharaoh
than the former. Ptalm cv. 30. thev came in abundance tti ike cbamben of the king : No art
txuM destroy them, or keep them out.
+ At Pharaoh's commajid, they practised some of their divinations, and God gave them weeess, dmtrary to their cVn expectations* Thus tkey increased the rlagox aud aardenccj ?iuiaoh, but could not remove, toe frogs.