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REFLECTIONS.

. THOSE who own God's dominion, and trust his all

I sufficiency, shall experience his fidelity to his promises. Abraham believed him as El Shaddai, a God allpowerful, or allsufficient, and also found him JEHOVAH, a faithful God, the fulfiller of his promises. He will always prove himself to be what he 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 promises. 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 triúmph 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 ? If christians are perverse, haughty, 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 for 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.

CHAP. VII.

In this chapter the plagues of 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

Al thee a God to Pharaoh ; clothed thee with a divine power, to represent me, to speak 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.t Thou

shalt speak all that I command thee : and Aaron thy brother

* Moses was a God by commission; the viceroy, or deputy, to the only living and true

Cod.

† Moses being a mw of uncommon modesty, might he embarrassed in common conver. sation, and not have that readiness of speech which another, of far less abilities, might

shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel 3 out of his land. And, or, nevertheless, I will harden Pha

raoh's heart, since he hath hardened his own heart against me and Israel so long, now ini judyment I will punish 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 hand, to bring Israel out ; on the other, to punish the princes and peo

ple 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 10 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 them. 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 things to 80 great a monarch, in his own dominions ; and their fidel

îty in the execution of all God's commands. 7 And Moses (was] fourscore years old,* and Aaron four

score and three years old, when they spake unto Pharaoh. 8 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, 9 When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Show a mira

cle for you, that I may know you are sent of God it then thou

shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast [it] before Pha10 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 Pha11 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,l!they also did in like manner with their enchantments. God suffered them to do 80, either in reality, or by some deception, that Pharaoh's heart being

hardened, he might make his filagues wonderful; and that Moses 12 might triumph ot'er them at last. For they cast down every

man his rod, and they became serpents : but Aaron's rod, the dragon into thich his rod was turned, swallowed up thcir

• The age of Moses is taken notice of, to show that he had now a venerable aspect, which would coinmund reverence; that he had great experience, which rendered him fit for the troublesome scenes he was to engage in; and that he would not be so apt to invent things, and he under the power of fancy, as younger persons would be We may o'serve here, that all the plagues of Egypt did not last piore than one year; he was now eighty, he died at one hundred and twenty, and they were forty years in the wilderness.

+ It was agreeable to the common sense of mankind, to expect, that if God had sent 2 person on an extraordinary embassy, he should work a miracle, to prove his divine inission

A large dragon or crocodilo, to i timate, that he would make the rod of Moses a terri. ble sooarse. This emblem was exccediu, proper among a people who dealt so much in his erozlyphics.

These were persons who pretended to have commerce with demons or evil spirits; the Apostle Paul calls theo yaan's 20 .01 , 2 Tin.iit. 8.

rods ; to show that the power whereby Moses and Aaron had wrought their miracles, was far above that, whereby the magi.

cians 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 people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness : and, behold, hitherto thou

wouldst not hear. It was a great mercy in God to send suclu 17 a message, after he had been so obstinate and hardened. Thus

saith the LORD, 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, 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.ll 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. 20 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.

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 enchant

ments, in some other places where the water was not changed; but this only increased their plague, and made Pi upoh the

• The Hebrew is, And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, as in v. 22. This was one of the methods of God's providence, against which Pharaoh hardened himself, and it was suffer d as a judgment to him.

4 Moses was probably forbid the court, and therefore God ordered him to ineet Pharaoh at the river, where he went in the morning to worship it, as was their custom,

This is a remarkable form of speech. Moses was as a God to Pharaoh : he speaks as Jehovah, I will smite the waters which are in the river, a branch of the Nile, or a cut From it, to water their ground, and fill their pools.

How righteous and terrible was this judgment! Here they had murdered rbe He. brew children, and now, they have blood to drink ; their chief daintics wete destroyed, and they were made to loathe that which they worshipped as a God.

VOL. I.

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 into his house, neither did he set

his heart to this also ; his proud heart regarded not, nor was 24 properly affected avith 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 : Bu during this time, Pharaoh was not humbled ; and after ihis, God firobably removed that plague to make way for another.

REFLECTIONS.

1. I ET us adore the almighty power of God in this re

u 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 cuuseth the wrath and the pride of man to praise him.

3. God foresces 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 minister's to study that word, and human nature too, that they may know how to discharge their duty.

4. God soinetimes honours the advanced age of his servants with distinguished usefulness. Thus he did with regard to Moscs 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 christrans should be willing to be employed for God; showing to the generations to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his 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 submitted 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 síns. And has he such compassion for his enemies ? happy then are all his friends ; blessed are all they-that frut their trust in him !

CHAP. VIII.

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In this chapter we have an account of three more plagues, the

frogs, the lice, and the flies, 1 AND the LORD spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh,

Al and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my peo2 ple'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 kneading4 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.

And the Lord spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch forth thine hand with thy rod over the streams, over the riv

ers, 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 in immense 7 quantities, and covered the land of Egypt.* And the magi

cians 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.t 8 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, en

treat 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 to the sight and sinell, made a very disagreeable noise, cume upon their persons, hindered their baking, and made their food loathsogne. It was a plague that fell heavier on Pharaoh than the former. Psalm cv. 30, they came in abundance to the chambers of the king : No art could destroy them, or keep them out.

At Pharaoh's command, they practised some of their divinations, and God gave them success, contrary to their own expectations. Thus they incrcased the plague and hardened Pharaob, but could not remove the frogs.

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