Page images
PDF
EPUB

let you go, and your little ones : { that they may come up upon the
look' to it; for evil is before you. land of Egypt, and I eat every herb

11 Not so: go now ye that are of the land, even all that the hail
men, and serve the LORD; for that hath left.
ye did desire. And they were 13 And Moses stretched forth his
driven out from Pharaoh's pres- rod over the land of Egypt, and the

Lord brought an east wind upon 12 | And the LORD said unto Mo- the land all that day, and all that ses, kStretch out thine hand over night: and when it was morning, the land of Egypt for the locusts, the east wind brought the locusts.

ence.

[ocr errors]

I ver. 4. 5.

[ocr errors]

of evil to happen to them, or as an ac- verb active is used indefinitely in the cusation of evil intended by them. Pro- third person singular for the plural pas. bably the words will admit the union sive. See Note on Gen. 16. 14. ‘Among of both senses ; 'You are harboring an natives of rank, when a person is very evil design, and are exposing yourselves importunate or troublesome, when he to the evil of a corresponding punish. presses for something which the former ment.' Gr. 'See that mischief is pro are not willing to grant, he is told to posed by you. Vulg. 'Who doubteth begone. Should he still persist, the but that you intend very wickedly?' servants are called, and the order is Chal. “See how the evil which you were given, ‘Drive that fellow out. He is thinking to do shall return to your own then seized by the neck, or taken by the faces.'

hands, and dragged from the premises; 11. Not so. I do not consent to your he all the time screaming and bawling going on these conditions. Go now as if they were taking his life. Thus ye that are men. 'Leave your women to be driven out is the greatest indignity and children behind as a pledge for your which can be offered, and nothing but safe return, and then you have my con- the most violent rage will induce a susent that the 'men,' all the adults of perior to have recourse to it.' Roberts. the congregation, should go, for this is 12. For the locusts, that they may the fair interpretation of your request ; come up. Heb. 3 ay handa ba-arbeh thus only did I understand it ; thus far va-yaal, for the locust, that he may come only will I comply with it. Yet it is up; collect. sing. difficult to say what authority he had 13. The Lord brought an east wind for such an assertion, as the foregoing upon the land. Heb. 112 nihag, con. aarrative attributes no expression to ducted. The word is remarkable, as it Moses which would seem fairly capable has the import of guiding, leading, of such a construction. It is possible directing one's course. The wind may he intended to say, that that must have be said to blow where it listeth ; but deen Moses' meaning when he asked then it listeth or chooseth only as God permission to sacrifice unto Jehovah. has ordered it, At his command it But he had no right to attribute a sense blows one day to bring up locusts, and to Moses' words which Moses did not on the next another to sweep them away. design to convey, and then act as if it Though locusts are common in Arabia, were the true sense. And they they are comparatively rare in Egypt; were driven out from Pharaoh's pres. the Red Sea forming a sort of barrier ence. Heb. Das wh797 va-yegaresh against them, as they are not formed otham, and one drove them out ; an in- for crossing seas, or for long flights. stance of the phraseology in which a Yet on the present occasion they were

14 And m the locusts went up ed in all the coasts of Egypt: very over all the land of Egypt, and rest- grievous were they ; n before them

m Ps. 78. 46. & 105. 34.

n Joel 2. 2.

enabled, by the aid of a strong east custs take their flight, to surmount any wind, to cross that sea from Arabia, obstacles, or to traverse more rapidly a which was another remarkable circum- desert soil, the heavens may literally stance, as the winds which prevalently be said to be obscured with them. To blow in Egypt are six months from the this may be added the narrative of a south, and six months from the north. similar visitation in the Canary Islands

I Brought the locusts. Heb. 02 described by an eye witness, about two nasa, bore up, supported, sustained. centuries ago. "The air was so full of Syr. and Vulg. 'The burning rushing them, that I could not eat in my chamwind raised the locusts. Considering her without a candle ; all the houses what Pharaoh and his people had already being full of them, even the stables, suffered from the preceding plagues, barns, chambers, garrets, and cellars. this additional one must have been be. I caused cannon-powder and sulphur to yond measure afflictive. The dearth and be burnt to expel them, but all to no desolation were now complete. Every purpose ; for when the door was opened leaf and blade of grass left from the an infinite number came in, and the previous ravages of the hail, were now others went out, fluttering about ; and devoured. It is difficult to conceive the it was a troublesome thing when a man devastating effects that follow when a went abroad to be hit on the face by cloud of hungry locusts, comes upon a those creatures, so that there was no country. They devour to the very root opening one's mouth but some would and bark, so that it is a long time be get in. Yet all this was nothing, for fore vegetation can be renewed. The when we were to eat, these creatures account which M. Volney (Travels in gave us no respite ; and when we cut a Syria, vol. 1. p. 188) gives of the de. bit of meat, we cut a locust with it; vastations of these insects, contains a and when a man opened his mouth to striking illustration of this passage :- put in a morsel, he was sure to chew "Their quantity is incredible to all who one of them. I have seen them at night, have not themselves witnessed their as when they sit to rest them, that the tonishing numbers ; the whole earth is roads were four inches thick of them, covered with them for the space of one upon another; so that the horses several leagues. The noise they make would not trample over them, but as in browsing on the trees and herbage they were put on with much lashing, may be heard at a great distance, and pricking up their ears, snorting and resembles that of an army plundering treading fearfully. The wheels of our in secret. The Tartars themselves are carts and the feet of our horses bruising a less destructive enemy than these lit- these creatures, there came forth from tle animals. One would imagine that them such a stench as not only offended fire had followed their progress. Wher- the nose, but the brain. I was not able ever theiç myriads spread, the verdure to endure it, but was forced to wash of the country disappears ; trees and my nose with vinegar, and hold a handplants stripped of their leaves and re- kerchief dipped in it continually at my duced to their naked boughs and stems, nostrils? Gallaudet's Life of Moses, vol. cause the dreary image of winter to 1. p. 114, See also “Scrip. Illust.'p. 551. succeed in an instant to the rich scenery 14. The locusts went up over all the of spring. When these clouds of lo- land. From the following passages in

there were no such locusts as they, I the herbs of the field, through allneither after them shall be such. the land of Egypt.

15 For they ocovered the face of 16 4 Then Pharaoh called for Mothe whole earth, so that the land ses and Aaron in haste; and he was darkened; and they p did eat said, qI have sinned against the every herb of the land, and all the LORD your God, and against you. fruit of the trees which the hail 17 Now therefore forgive, I pray had left: and there remained not thee, my sin only this once, and any green thing in the trees, or in rentreat the LORD your God that

1 Kings 13. 6.

o ver. 5. P Ps. 105. 35.

9 ch. 9. 27. rch. 9. 28.

4

the Psalms some have thought that the ther after him arose there any like
locusts were accompanied by countless him.' Here indeed it is not easy to see
swarms of caterpillars. Ps. 78. 46, 'He how the same thing could consistently
gave also their increase unto the cater- be said of these two different kings, ex-
pillar, and their labor unto the locust. cept on the ground of the correctness of
Ps. 105. 34, 'He spake, and the locusts Rosenmuller's remark. On the same
came, and the caterpillars, and that principle we are perhaps to interpret the
without number.' But it is now gener- two prophetical declarations of Daniel
ally admitted that the original terms and our Savior ; Dan. 12. 1, And at that
merely imply different species of lo- time shall Michael stand up, the great
custs. Before them there were, &c. prince which standeth for the children
This has been thought to be inconsist of thy people: and there shall be a time
ent with Joel, 2.2, when in speaking of of trouble, such as never was since there
an invading army of locusts the prophet was a nation even to that same time.'
says, 'A great people and a strong ; Mat. 24. 21, 'For there shall be great
there hath not been ever the like, nei. tribulation, such as was not since the
ther shall be any more after it, even to beginning of the world to this time, no,
the years of many generations.' To nor ever shall be. It may indeed be
this Abarbanel, the Jewish critic, an- affirmed that the two predictions refer
swers, that Moses' words are to be un to the same time, which is indeed pos.
derstood of the country of Egypt only; sible, though not certain.
that there never was before and never 15. Covered the face of the whole
was to be again such a plague of lo- earth. .
custs there. But Rosenmuller contends haaretz, the eye of the whole earth. See
that this is no more than a common Note on v.5. The land was dark.
hyperbolical and proverbial mode of ened. Heb. 17* eretz, the same word
speech, which is not to be pressed to as in the preceding clause. Either the
the utmost strictness of its import. He surface of the ground was so covered
adduces the following instances of par- as to be hidden from sight, so making
allel usage. 2 Kings, 18.5, 'He (Heze. the phrase exegetical of the preceding;
kiah) trusted in the Lord God of Israel; or, which preferable, the immense
so that after him was none like him clouds of them in the air intercepted
among all the kings of Judah, nor any the sun's rays, and thus darkened the
that were before him. 2 Kings, 23. 25, land. Chal. “They covered all the land
‘And like unto him (Josiah) was there so that the sun-beams could not pierce
no king before him, that turned to the to it, and the land was obscured.'
Lord with all his heart, and with all 16, 17. Then Pharaoh called. Heb.
his soul, and with all his might, ac. *7p nan yemaher likro, hastened to
cording to all the law of Moses ; nei. I call. So formidable was this calamity

avin kol עין כל הארץ .Heb

he may take away from me this Red sea : there remained not one death only.

locust in all the coasts of Egypt. 18 And he s went out from Pha 20 But the LORD u hardened Pharaoh, and entreated the LORD. raoh's heart, so that he would not

19 And the LORD turned a mighty let the children of Israel go. strong west wind which took away 21 || And the LORD said unto Mothe locusts, and cast them tinto the ses, Stretch out thine hand toward

sch. 8. 30. Joel. 2. 20.

uch. 4. 21. & 11. 10.

x ch.9. 22.

רוח ים חזק מאד .Iieb

that although Pharaoh had previously However this may be, he deprecates driven Moses and Aaron from his pres- the plague of locusts more than the ence, yet he is now constrained to send plague of his own heart, which was for them again, to avow his fault, and much more deadly. But this is one of to beg for one reprieve more. His con- the thousand cases continually occur. fession now has more the air of un- ring, where men are more anxious to be feigned repentance than on any former delivered from their troubles than their occasion. He acknowledges that he had sins, and cry upon their beds only from sinned against God and his servants, acuteness of bodily pain or fear of hell. humbly asks their forgiveness, and sues They shrink and writhe under the confor their intercession. Only let him be sequences of their transgressions, but forgiven this once, only let him be de. they do not hate and repent of the livered from this death, and there should transgressions themselves. be no more cause for complaint. Alas! 19. The Lord turned a mighty strong there are but too many who upon read- | west wind. . ing this will be reminded of something ruah yam hazak meod, a sea-wind strong similar in their own case ; too many exceedingly. The Hebrews denominatwho will recollect in the hour of sick. ed the West from the Mediterranean ness and in the fear of death, to have sea, which lay to the west of Palestine. prayed to be delivered only this once, - Cast them. Heb. 7752079 yithwith promises of amendment, but who kaëhu, fastened them ; i. e. they were yet upon recovery have returned, Pha. so cast or driven into the sea, that as to raoh-like, to their former impenitence, the event, it was as if they had been worldliness, and sin. But let it not be “fastened, like a tent which is pitched forgotten that these repeated lapses and and fast nailed to the ground. This broken vows are all the while swelling complete removal of the locusts was as our guilt to fearful dimensions, and miraculous as the bringing them on.making us more and more ripe for a 1 Into the Red Sea. Heb. 910 9 yam sudden destruction. - - This death. suph, Sea of Suph, or weedy sea, sea of That is, this deadly plague. Thus, 2 rushes, from the great quantities of seaKings, 4. 40, “And they cried out and i weeds and flags which abound upon its said, 0 thou man of God, there is death shores. It is called “Red Sea' from its in the pot ;' i. e. something deadly. bordering upon the country of Edom, The plague of the locusts was in itself which, in the Hebrew tongue signifies deadly in the sense of having been des- red.' tructive ; but it is probable that Pha. 21. Even darkness which may be felt. raoh alluded rather to its apprehended Heb. Ten w277 va-yamesh hoshek,

that consequences. He may have supposed, one may feel darkness; the same word that famine and pestilence causing a in the original with that used to express general mortality would follow in the the darkness' which covered the deep train of the ravages of the locusts. I at the time of the six days' creation.

heaven, that there may be dark- was a ythick darkness in all the ness over the land of Egypt, even land of Egypt three days: darkness which may be felt

. 23 They saw not one another, 22 And Moses stretched forth his neither rose any from his place for hand toward heaven: and there

y Ps. 105. 28.

It was a darkness consisting of thick, 10, 'And the fifth angel poured out his clammy fogs, of vapors and exhalations vial upon the seat of the beast, and his so condensed that they might almost kingdom was full of darkness; and they be perceived by the organs of touch. gnawed their tongues for anguish.' Some commentators, supposing that hu 23. Neither rose any from his place. man life could not be sustained an hour Heb. 7onana mittahtav, from that in such a medium, imagine that instead which was under him. Gr. Ek ons KOLTOS of ‘darkness that may be felt, the Heb. autov, from his bed. The meaning probphrase may signify a darkness in which ably is, that no one went out of his men went groping and feeling about for house to attend to his usual business. every thing they wanted. But some It is probable too that they were prething of a hyperbolical character may vented by the heavy and humid state of be allowed for expressions of this kind, the atmosphere from availing themwhich are not to be pared to the quick. selves of any kind of artificial light. Considering that the sun was one of the So Wisdom, chap. 17. 5, 'No power of deities of Egypt, and that in that coun- fire might give light. We can scarcely try any darkening of his light in the conceive a more distressing situation ; day time is an extremely rare occur- yet as Pharaoh and his people had rerence, we may imagine the consterna- belled against the light of God's word, tion that would sieze upon the inhabit- conveyed to them by Moses, it was a ants at such a phenomenon. The cloud righteous thing with God thus to punish of locusts which had previously dark. them with a sensible pre-intimation of ened the land were nothing compared that blackness of darkness' which enwith this. It was truly “an horror of ters into the misery of the damned.thick darkness.'

1 The children of Israel had light in 22. There was a thick darkness. Heb. their dwellings. Again God put a mark73DN yuN hoshek aphëlah, darkness of ed difference between his enemies and obscurity or gloom ; i. e. a darkness of his people. Well is it said of this preternatural density. The expression miracle in the apocryphal book above in the original is peculiarly emphatic, quoted, ch. 17. 20, 21, “The whole world and is, therefore, rendered in the Gr. shined with clear light, and none were by three words, “darkness, thick black- hindered in their labor; over them only ness, and tempestuous gloom. The (the Egyptians) was spread a heavy description which the author of the night, an image of that darkness which Book of Wisdom, chap. 17. 2, 3, 21, should afterwards receive them : but gives of their inward terrors and con- yet were they unto themselves more sternation may not be altogether con- grievous than the darkness!! In allujectural: 'They were not only prisoners sion, perhaps, to the gracious discrimi. of darkness and fettered with the bonds nation here spoken of we find the prom. of a long night, but were horribly as- ise, Is. 69. 1, 2, 'Arise, shine; tonished likewise and troubled with light is come, and the glory of the Lord strange apparitions. Compare with Mo. is risen upon thee. For behold, dark. ses’ account of the ninth plague, the woe ness shall cover the earth and gross of the fifth apocalyptic vial, Rev. 16. I darkness the people, but the Lord shall

for thy

« PreviousContinue »