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from thee and thy houses, [that] they may remain in the river only ? At if he had said, Prescribe your own time when it shall be done, that you may know it is the mighty work of God, and not by chance, or any natural means, that the frogs are
10 destroyed. And he said, Tomorrow. He was so loth to be beholden to God or Moses, that he chose rather to endure the plague till next day, to see whether it might not go away of itself. And he said, [Be it] according to thy word : that thou may. est know, that [there is] none like unto the Lord our God.
11 And the frogs shall depart from thee, and from thy houses, and from thy servants, and from thy people; they shaH
12 remain in the river only. And Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh: and Moses cried unto the Lord because of
13 the frogs which he had brought against Pharaoh. 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.
14 And they gathered them together upon heaps: and the land
15 stank. This was a further rebuke to the Egyptians. But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them ; as the Lord had said.
16 And the Lord said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may be.
17 come lice throughout all the land of Egypt. 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, that is, the dust in every part of the land, became lice throughout all the land of Egypt. Here was no warning given, becausr Pharaoh had been perfidious,
18 and dealt. treacherously. And the magicians did so with their enchantments, to bring forth lice, that is, smote the dust, as Aaron had done, but they could n'ot: so there were lice upon
19 man and upon beast. Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This [is] the finger of God, the immediate power and work of God :* and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the Lor D had said ; therefore this plague seems to have been continued on man and beast.
SO And the Lord said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pha/aoh; lo, he cometh forth to the water; and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Let
21 my people go, that they may serve me. Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms [of flies] mixed swarms of hornets, wasps, gnats, and oil kinds of troublesome flies, (Psa. hexviij. 45.) tipon 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,]#
• There w» nothing more difficult in the producing lice than frog,, but God here frustrated their counsellors, and made their diviners mad. Now the magicians owned a divine pnwer was present, and that it was above all the power of enchantment to do this thing; they protably referred to the other miracles as well as to this. It might have bcctl expect* ed that Pharaoh would now have rcicnted, but be did not.
22 and also the ground whereon they [are.] And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms [of flies] shall be there; This ivas surprising; /or the air was open, and their motion swift; there were much cattle and good food for insects there; but none could pass the bounds which God had firescribfd to them; I will do ¿At/», to the endthou mayest know that I tarn] the Lord in the midst of the earth, and have the whole creation at my command'!*
2" And I will put a division between my people and thy people: tomorrow shall this sign be. Heßxcs the time, to show that he hada divine commission; to give Pharaoh space to repent; and convince him that it was not owing to any natural causes.
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 ;] the air was injected, and many of the fieofilt poisoned or stung by them. Psalm Ixxviii. 45.
25 And Pharaoh began to relent, and he called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land; you may sacrifice to your God, but not go out of this land to do it.
26 And Moses gave a remarkable reason why they could not do so, .and said, It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the Lord our God, those animals which you worship us idols, and thus make them an aliomi
'nation : lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians
27 before their eyes, and will they not stone us ?t We will go three days' journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to the
28 Lord our God, as he shall command us. And Pharaoh said, I will let you go, that ye may sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness ; only you shall not go very far away:
29 entreat for me. And Moses, having gained his consent so far, agreed to intercede for him, and said, Behold, I go out from thee, and I will entreat the Lord that the swarms [of flies] may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, tomorrow: but let not Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the Lord, since the same almighty power can bring even worse plague»
SO than these. And Moses went out from Pharaoh, and entreated 31 the Lord. 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 S2 one. And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, continued obdurate, neither would he let the people go, notwithstanding the promise he had made, and the warning he had re~ teivedfrom Moses only the day before.
• The rod of Moses was not used in this instance ; God showed that there was no virtue in the rod, and that he was not confined to any particular mode of operation.
t There wa> no law for doing ihU, but they would do it in a popular fury. A Roman in Epvpt once killed а с \t inadvertently, apon which the people tumultnously met together, bei'et the house, and killed the man, in spite of the king and princM who endeavoured to prevent it. This »tory illustrate! what Moses here say«.
1. "CTfTE may learn hence, the uncontroled power of God V￼V over the creatures. He doeth according to his will, makes them instruments of mercy, or judgment. See what power he gave to Moses, and t»the magicians; and when he pleased he restrained it. He is the great God, and of great power * his understanding is infinite. He overrules various orders of beings; holds infernal spirits in his chains, and restraineth them when he pleaseth, as easily as he does a frog or a fly. Who would not reverence so glorious a Being 1
2. See by what contemptible instruments God can scourge the proudest enemies: how easily he can bring swarms of frogs, lice, and flies; and thus cast contempt upon princes. God hisseth for the flies and other animals, he calls them forth with infinite ease ; they are all at his control. How much reason have we to fear before him, who can make such small, despicable creatures, the instruments of terrible vengeance! who can make them trample upon, and conquer the mightiest of the sons of men! Herod was destroyed by them; so were some other emperors and princes, of whom we read in history. Let all worship and reverence the King of kings, against whom none can prevail.
3. See what an honour God puts upon prayer, in that he made it the means of delivering Egypt. Moses cried unto the Lord, jjnd entreated him, and he heard. Moses compassionately prayed for this tyrannical prince, and God chose to communicate his mercies in this way. He would have men pray always; and delights to see his servants sensible of their dependance upon him.
4. Professions »f repentance are little to be regarded, when they are extorted by divine judgments. This is an awful truth, remarkably illustrated in Pharaoh. When the judgment was re'moved, he forgot his promise; when the rod was gone, the conviction was gone, and he repented of his repentance. In afflictions men will seek God early, and promise, and vow ; but such impressions loo frequently wear off: when there is not a principle of religion in their souls, they will come to nothing. If the goodness of God does not lead men to repentance, his judgments seldom do it. 'The disposition of the heart must be changed (as Mr. Henry observes) by divine grace, or else, what melts in the sun, will freeze in the shade.' Thus the prophet observes, Let favour be showed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness : in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord, Isa. xxvi. 10. When he slew them, then they sought him, and they returned and inquired early after God. Psalm lxxviii. 34. This shows how careful and serious we should be in making engagements, lest we add treachery and deceit to our other crimes, as Pharaoh did.
5. How easily can God preserve his people in times of general calamity! He directs the motion of the meanest creatures, or insects; and when he makes the plagues of a sinful people wonderful, he will hide his servants in the day of his anger. He knowet/i them that are his, and will protect them, generally in this world, always in,another. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward him.
This chapter contains an account of the mortality among the cattle; of the boils and blains; and of the storms of hail; which were the fifth, sixth, and seventh plagues of Egypt.
1 r I ""HENthe Lord said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh,
JL and tell him, Thus saith the Lobd God of the Hebrews,
2 Let my people go, that they may serve me. For if thou refuse
3 to let [them] go, and wilt hold them still, Behold, the hand of the Lord, the extraordinary, immediate power of God, without any human means, (as ch. viii. 24.) is upon thy cattle which [is] in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep, (which they kefu for their milk and other uses, though not to kill, ch. viii. 26.)
4 [there shall be] a very grievous murrain. And the Lord shall sever between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt: and there shall nothing die of all [that is] the children's of Is.
5 rael. And the Lord appointed a set time, saying, Tomor
6 row the Lord shall do this thing in the land. And the Lord did that thing on the morrow, the plague was sent as God had threatened, and all the cattle of Egypt died; some of all sorts, for some were aftenvard destroyed by the hail. This showed the vanity of their idolatry, for they worshipped some of these cattle as gods: but of the cattle of the children of Israel died
7 not one. And Pharaoh sent, and, behold, there was not one of the cattle of the Israelites dead. This was indeed wonderful, since t/jey breathed the same air, and drank the same water as the Egyptian cattle. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people go, notwithstanding this remarkable providence in their favour.*
t And the Lord said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace,t and let Moses sprinkle
* A Roman historian wonders, why maa should be esteemed the wisest of creatures. Tor no creature acts so foolishly J other creatures, when tUcy have smarted once, will beware for the future. Man only is not weary of sinning, but repeats it, though he smarts for it. This was remarkably the case with the King of Egypt.
t As they oppressed the Israelites with furnace work in burning of brick, so now they •re punished with burnin; sores, which cune from ashes taken out of the furnace.
it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh ; to note that thia 9 judgment came upon them in a special manner from God. And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth [with] blains, or a burning kind of ulcers, which were incurable, (Deut. xxviii. 27.) upon man and
10 upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt. And tfiey took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh ; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth [with] blains upon man, and upon beast: the affliction
11 now came on their bodies. And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils ;* for the boil was upon the
12 magicians, and upon all the Egyptians. And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, gave him up to the corruptions of his own heart, and he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had spoken unto Moses.
13 And the Lord said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning,and stand before Pharaoh,and say unto him,Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may
14 serve me. For I will at this time send all my plagues, which I intended upon thine heart; they s/iall sting thee to the heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people ; that thou may.
15 est know that [there is] none like me in all the earth. For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from
16 the earth.f And in very deed for this [cause] have I raised thee up, made thee king, and spared thy life, for to show [in] thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth ; that the glory of my justice, power, and severity, may be made more illustrious before all the world, as a
17 warning to incorrigible sinnera. As yet exaltest thou thyself
18 against my people, that thou wilt not let them go? Behold, I again solemnly warn thee, that tomorrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egvpt since the foundation thereof, even until now.
19 Send therefore now, [and] gather thy cattle, and all that thou hast in.the field; [for upon] every man and beast which shall be found in the field, and shall not be brought home, the hail shall come down upon them, and they shall die. Thus God mixed mercy with judgment, gave them an opportunity of saving their cattle, and some were so wise as to improve it;
20 He that feared the word of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses:
21 And he that regarded not the word of the Lord left his ser.
•Till this time they continued with Phanioh, probably endeavouring to harden his heart, and to persuade him it was all done by mapic, and that they should overcome Mosts at last; but now they retreated, and we hear no more of them. Tlith felly Tu»ij manifest U all mm. See 2 Tim. iii. 9. .
t It might be better rendered, / hive stretched out my hand to smite thee, and thou had* hen ieftre this cut eff, that Is, were it not to display my justice, Sec. as it follows ill v. 1*.