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three days: 2 but all the children of offerings, that we may sacrifice unIsrael had light in their dwellings to the LORD our God. 24 | And Pharaoh called unto 26 Our cattle also shall
with Moses, and a said, Go ye, serve the us; there shall not an huof be left LORD: only let your flocks and your behind; for thereof must we take herds be stayed: let your blittle to serve the LORD our God; and we
know not with what we must serve 25 And Moses said, Thou must the LORD, until we come thither. give us also sacrifices, and burnt 27 | But the LORD c hardened z ch.8. 22. a ver. 8. b ver. 10.
c ver. 20. ch. 4. 21. & 14. 4, 8. arise upon thee, and his glory shall be do part with any, it is with the utmost seen upon thee. Yet a greater differreluctance, like the mariner who casts ence will hereafter be made between his goods overboard to lighten his ship the righteous and the wicked, between and keep it from sinking. But while those that fear God, and those that fear Pharaoh would plead for some abatehim not. While the light of his coun- ment, and shrinks from obeying the tenance and the glory of his heaven Lord wholly, Moses, instead of recedshall exhilarate and rejoice the former, ing an iota from his previous demand, in that state which needs not sun or grows bolder as the crisis approaches, moon to enlighten it, the wicked shall and declares that not only shall the endure the total loss of day, and dwell children go, but also that there shall darkling in perpetual night. There is not an 'hoof be left behind.' even now an earnest of the final diver 25. Thou must give us also sacrifices. sity of lot. The darkness of ignorance Heb. 13790 770 titten be-yadenu, shalt and sin enshrouds the one, and the night give in, or into, our hands. It is not of nature clouds all their perceptions; probably to be understood from this that while the bright shining of the sun of Moses demanded that animals for sacririghteousness sheds its kindly and re- tice should be given to them from the freshing beams upon the other. flocks and herds of the Egyptians, but
24. And Pharaoh called unto Moses. that he should freely allow them to take That is, after the lapse of three days their own ; that he should throw no of darkness.--Go ye, serve the Lord, obstacle in the way of their taking their only let the flocks, &c. The visitation stock of cattle with them. To give of the darkness, so well calculated to into their hands, therefore, is equivaappal and terrify the Egyptians, com lent to leaving in their power and at pelled the king to relax his previous their disposal. This is evident from the determination. Still he is bent on a drift of the next verse. compromise. He will now permit the 26. Not an hoof be left behind. The children also to go, but the flocks and exact and punctilious obedience of Mothe herds must be stayed behind as a ses to every item of the divine com. security for their return. Thus it is mandment is here displayed, as an exthat sinners are disposed to make terms ample from following which we should with the Almighty, instead of yielding be deterred by no persecution or tyran. cheerfully to all his demands. They ny of men. The 'not leaving an hoof will consent, under the pressure of judg. behind intimated their full and comments, to part with some of their sins, plete egress from Egyptian bondage, but not all. They would rather retain leaving nothing to tempt them to rethem all, if they could do it consistent. turn. ly with their hope of heaven. If they 27. He would not let them go. Heb.
let them go:
d Hebr. 11. 27.
· Pharaoh's heart, and he would not spoken well, dI will see thy face
again no more. 28 And Pharaoh said unto him,
CHAPTER XI. Get thee from me, take heed to
ND the LORD said unto Moses, thyself, see my face no more: for Yet will I bring one plague in that day thou seest my face, more upon Pharaoh, and upon thou shalt die.
Egypt; afterwards he will let you 29 And Moses said, Thou hast n2x *3 lo abah, was not willing, was
CHAPTER XI. not persuaded, did not consent, to let 1. And the Lord said unto Moses. them go. This word, strongly indica- Rather perhaps, "The Lord had said tive of the wilfulness of the king, oc. unto Moses.' From v. 8, it appears that curs here for the first time in the whole Moses, after announcing the eighth narrative.
plague, went out from Pharaoh in great 28. Get thee from me, &c. "Has a anger, and yet previously in ch. 10. 29, servant, an agent, or an officer, deeply he is represented as saying to Pharaoh, offended his superior, he will say to 'I will see thy face again no more. It him, 'Take care never to see my face is consequently to be inferred that the again; for on the day you do that, evil present judgment was denounced to the shall come upon you.' Begone, and king before the close of the last-menin future never look in this face,' point- tioned interview, and the information ing to his own.' Roberts. The firmness respecting it communicated to Moses of Moses exasperated Pharaoh beyond some time previous to that interview. measure. He here shows himself fran- The true construction undoubtedly is to tic with disappointment and rage. He consider the first three verses of this not only dismisses the unwelcome mes chapter as a mere parenthesis, and to senger with indignation, from his court, connect ch. 11. 4, with ch. 10. 29, as a but forbids, upon pain of death, the be- continuation of the same train of narholding his face again. A desperate rative. Otherwise there is very great madness and an impotent malice are confusion in the incidents detailed. alike conspicuous in this angry order. The connexion between this and the Had he not had abundant evidence that last verse of the preceding chapter is Moses could plague him without seeing undoubtedly very close, however loose his face ? Had he not had time to dis- at first sight it may appear. Moses does cover that an almighty power was work in effect in these words state the ground ing with Moses, and that it was idle to of the confident and peremptory tone threaten him with death, who was the which he assumed in his reply to Pha. special charge of Omnipotence? But raoh. They give us to understand that to what length of daring impiety will it was not of his own motion that he not a hardened heart bring the presump- then intimated that that should be their tuous rebel !
last interview; for we cannot suppose 29. I will see thy face again no more. that it was optional with Moses whether It is a sad farewell when God, in the to continue or to break off the negocia. persons of his servants, refuses any more tions with Pharaoh. Unless divinely to see the face of the wicked; especial instructed to the contrary, how did he ly if in so doing he yields to their de- know but that God would have him car. sires. For the manner in which this is ry another message to the king in de to be reconciled with the subsequent spite of his lordly interdict? From this history, see Note on Ex. 11, 1-3, passage we learn that he was thus in
go hence: a when he shall let you people, and let every man borrow go, he shall surely thrust you out of his neighbour, and every woman hence altogether.
of her neighbour, bjewels of silver, 2 Speak now in the ears of the and jewels of gold. a ch. 12. 31, 33, 39.
bch. 3. 22. & 12. 35. structed,—that God had informed him as a statement of the reason which ex. that the contest with Pharaoh was just isted to give countenance and secure about to close,-that with one plague success to the measure proposed. Both more he would complete the deliver- Moses and the people were now in high ance of Israel. Yet will I bring estimation with the Egyptians, from its one plague more upon Pharaoh. Fear. having been so clearly evinced that they ful and wonderful had been the plagues were the special objects of a divine in. which the Lord had already brought up- terposition, and accounting this as a on Egypt, but before Moses retires from providential intimation they were led to the royal presence he has one more, and avail themselves of the favorable im. but one, judgment to denounce to the pressions of their enemies to obtain a incorrigible king. It was of portentous partial redress for their wrongs. As to import, and might well make the ears the true import of the original word for of the haughty rebel to tingle. The sol. · borrow,' it is, as before remarked, ch. emn manner in which it is announced | 3. 22, that of asking, demanding, soli. to Moses reminds us that whatever aw.citing, without expressly implying a ful succession of plagues we may have promise of restoration, although it canthus far endured, God may still have not be denied that there are cases where one in reserve which shall do more it legitimately imports the act of borexecution than all the preceding. rowing, as Ex. 22. 14, 2 Kings 6,5. But
2. Speak now in the ears of the peo- in the present instance it is obvious that ple, and let every man borrow, &c. Heb. the Egyptians were as voluntary and as 73804 yishalu, ask, demand. On the forward in giving as the Israelites were import of the term see Note on Ex. 3. in receiving, there being no bribe which 22. We are by no means satisfied that they were not willing to offer in order Moses was required to command the to free themselves from the presence of people to practise the device here men. men whom they regarded as the cause tioned. We regard it rather, as far as of their calamities, and the natural they were concerned, as the mere pre-effect of the terrible inflictions which diction of a fact which should occur. they had just sustained, would be, for Moses, we conceive, was here directed the time, to render the precious things as a private individual, and probably in which the Hebrews required of small a covert manner (whence the Gr. has, value in their sight. When we conspeak therefore privily in the ears;' | sider for how long a period the Israel. i. e. in a private, not in a public, capa. ites had been impoverished that the city), to start the suggestion among Egyptians might be enriched, and that the people that the present was a favor. now being about to quit the land of their able opportunity to obtain some meas- sojourning with only so much of their ure of that remuneration for years of effects as they could bind up in their unrequited service to which they were clothes upon their shoulders, all the justly entitled. The grounds of this property which they left behind would proceeding are given in the ensuing naturally fall into the hands of their verse, which is to be taken in immedi oppressors, we cannot deem it inconate connection with what goes before, sistent with the divine perfections that
3 c And the LORD gave the people go out into the midst of Egypt: favour in the sight of the Egyptians. 5 And fall the first-born in the Moreover, the man d Moses was land of Egypt shall die, from the very great in the land of Egypt, in first-born of Pharaoh that sitteth the sight of Pharaoh's servants, upon his throne, even unto the firstand in the sight of the people. born of the maid-servant that is 4 And Moses said, Thus saith the behind the mill; and all the firstLORD, e About midnight will I born of beasts.
ech. 3. 21. & 12. 36. Ps. 106.46. d 2 Sam. 7. 9. Esther 9. 4. e ch. 12. 12, 23, 29. Amos 5. 17.
I ch. 12. 12, 29. Amos 4. 10.
this mode of possessing themselves of thus rendered the reverence and awe their dues should be suggested to an in which his miracles had inspired tribujured people. They took no more than tary to the enriching his people. The they received, they received no more servants' and the people' here spoken than they demanded, and they demand- of are undoubtedly both to be under. ed no more than that to which they stood of the Egyptians. were justly entitled. Josephus says, 4. And Moses said. That is, to Pha"They also honored the Hebrews with raoh, in continuation of ch. 10. 29, begifts, some in order to get them to de- fore he left the royal presence. part quickly, and others on account of About midnight will I go out, &c. their neighborhood and the friendship | Heb. 1974 ani yotzë, I going out ; they had with them. It is evident from the present future participle. Chal. 'I ch. 12. 35, 36, that this account of the will be revealed in the midst of Egypt.' borrowing of the jewels is inserted here Arab. ‘I will make my Angel to walk by anticipation, as the fact did not oc- through the country of Egypt.' God cur till some time afterward. This was now to go forth, as he is elsewhere confirms still farther the idea above said to come down, in the execution of suggested that these verses are paren- his judgments. The language represents thetical.
God himself as the immediate author of 3. The Lord gave the people favor, the tremendous calamity about to be in. &c. The influence which should pro-flicted. Hitherto he had plagued Egypt duce the effect here described was toò by means and instruments: "Stretch out signal and marvellous not to be ascribed thine hand ;''Say unto Aaron, Stretch directly to a divine source. The Psalm. forth thine hand with thy rod.' But ist informs us Ps. 105. 25, that the hearts now it is, 'I will go out into the midst of the Egyptians were turned to hate the of Egypt.' As mercies coming imme. chosen people, and here we find the se- diately from the hand of our heavenly cret agency of heaven controlling the Father are sweeter and better than those spirits of his enemies, and prompting that are communicated through the me. them to bestow favors where they might dium of the creature; so the judgments rather be expected to vent malice. But issuing directly from the stores of the God very often mollifies the hearts divine wrath, are more terrible and which he does not sanctify, and realizes overwhelming than those which come to his afflicted people what is said, Ps. through any created agency. 106.46, 'He made them also to be pitied 5. All the first-born in the land of of all ihem that carried them captive.' Egypt shall die. It is scarcely possible By the same working of his overruling to conceive a denunciation fraught with providence he made Moses also 'great elements of more terror than this. Had in the esteem of the people of Egypt, and the whole Egyptian nation been doomed
to utter extinction, it would indeed have , object lately seen and enjoyed in perbeen a judgment of greater magnitude, fect health ; to be forced to the acknow. and have produced a deeper impression ledgment of the great and holy Lord upon those that should have beheld it; God by such a fearful demonstration of but then one part of the people would his presence and power! But this was not have survived to experience the an- not all. The universality of the woe was guish of being so fearfully separated to be such as greatly to enhance its hor. from the other. As it was, it was to be rors. From every house the cry of misery attended with the most heart-rending was to burst forth. The mighty leveller aggravations. It was to be a blow which was to invade all ranks and conditions. should wound there where the heart is The prince and the peasant, the master most susceptible. The pride, the hope, and the slave, were alike to confess the the joy of every family was to be taken destructiveness of his march. And then from them. The bitterness of fathers to crown the whole was the keen reflecand mothers for their first-born is pro- tion, that all this accumulated distress verbial. Here were Egyptian parents might have been prevented. How would
to be found weeping for their they now condemn their desperate madchildren because they were not.' It ness in provoking a power which had was to be a woe without alleviation so often and so forcibly warned them of and without remedy. He that is sick their danger? If Pharaoh were not past may be restored. A body emaciated or feeling, how dreadful must have been ulcerated, maimed or enfeebled, may the pangs which he felt in the thought again recover soundness and strength. that after attempting to destroy, by But what kindly process can reanimate unheard of cruelties, an innocent and the breathless clay, and give back to helpless race of strangers, he had now the arms of mourning affection an only ruined his own country by his obsti. son, a first-born, stricken with death! nate perseverance in impiety and folly? Hope, the last refuge and remedy under With what anguish must he have beheld other evils, was here to be cut up by his own hopes blasted in their dearest the roots. Again, the blow was to be object, the heir of his throne and em. struck at midnight, when none could pire, because he regarded not the claims see the hand that inflicted it, and most of humanity in the treatment of his were reposing in quiet sleep. Had this vassals ? But see the judgment more sleep been silently and insensibly ex. fully considered in the Note on Ex. 12. changed for the sleep of death, the cir- 29.- From the first-born of Phacumstances would have been less over. raoh that sitteth upon his throne. That whelmingly awful. But it was not to is, the first-born whose right it would be so. Although for three days and have been to sit upon the throne of the nights previously they had been envel- kingdom as a successor to his father. oped in thick darkness, and none had Modern interpreters for the most part risen up from their places, yet now they refer the expression that sitteth upon were to be aroused from their beds to his throne' to Pharaoh, but the Targums render what fruitless aid they could to of Onkelos and Jonathan understand it their expiring children, and to mourn of the heir apparent—qui sessurus est over their slain. What consternation super thronum regni ejus, who is to sit and woe could be equal to this? To upon the throne of his kingdom. De prematurely awakened out of sleep 1 The maid-servant that is behind the by the dying groans of a near relative mill. 'Most families, says Shaw (Tra. suddenly smitten; to be presented with vels, p. 231) speaking of the Moors in the ghastly image of death in a darling Barbary, ‘grind their wheat and barley VOL I