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14 they may serve me. For I will at this time send all my
plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon
thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me 15 in all the earth. For now I will stretch out my hand, that I
may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou 16 shalt be cut off from the earth. And in very deed for this
cause have I raised thee up, for to show in thee my power;
and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth. 17 As yet exaltest thou thyself against my people, that thou wilt 18 not let them go? Behold, to-morrow about this time I will for that plague itself includes a system of strokes,-hail, thunder, flame; and, as we have noted, is fit to make the land “full of horrors ” (cp. the
judgment ” on Sodom and Gomorrha). The second and third strokes of this triad are tame as compared with the first; which is like an overwhelming storm of artillery on what is intended for the last day of a great siege. What here is meant is, that his soul is to be subdued with terror : the stubborn heart of Egypt in him is to be broken down by force. The previous visitations have been as preliminary skirmishing, comparatively superficial and isolated prelusions; now there is to be— like the rush of stormers through a breachconcentrated force of terror sweeping all before it. Thy people : cp. my people, in ver. 13. Thine heart. It is a tragic circumstance, that in the suffering of the plagues there is included, along with the ruling power, the community of the ruled. That is a general fact in the history of the world under providence of God, who is just. In the present case a provision is made (vers. 20, 21) for exemption from specific evil effects of that good general rule. That-earth. Even for the temporal happiness and worth of human life, any conceivable amount of physical suffering in Egypt that week is incommensurable, as fine dust of the balance, with the importance of its being made unmistakably clear that Jehovah the Redeemer is the only God. And the manifestation of God in His glory is in itself the only conceivable supreme end of all divine action, while it is the highest interest of the rational universe as a whole (Edwards, God's Chief End in Creation). 15, 16 make one sentence, “For now I stretch-that I may smite—that thou mayest—and truly for this end." There is a remarkable stress laid here on the end, or final cause (cp. Ro. ix. in the connection of ver. 19 there). All the earth, in ver. 14, might be made all the land (of Egypt). But here we perceive that any thought of limitation would be foreign to the state of mind. What the mind here has regard to is, a public controversy, before the world, between Pharaoh and the living God. And the end is always (under ver. 4) that my name' -earth.” Cut off: here needs to have the full force of annihilating, causing to disappear. Pestilence (under 3, 14). And in very deed: implies, But in truth. "Raised thee up: lit. caused thee to stand. Sept. has simply, kept thee (standing). Paul—who knows—(Ro. ix. 17) has, raised thee up. Show in thee my power: Heb. show thee my power (so Rev. Vers.). Still for the great end, that-earth (vers. 14, 15). The exodus thus is, so to speak, the definitive inauguration of Jehovahism in the world (the inauguration ode is in Ex. xv.). 17. The Heb. for exalting here is not that for raised up in ver. 16; but as if Pharaoh had placed himself as a barrier (“set yourself up!”) in the chosen people's way to serve God (cp. Is. xl. 3, 4). 18. Behold
cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in 19 Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now. 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 20 come down upon them, and they shall die. He that feared
the word of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh made 21 his servants and his cattle flee into the houses; and he that
regarded not the word of the Lord left his servants and his cattle in the field.
And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of
Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of 23 the field, throughout the land of Egypt. And Moses stretched will cause.
The rhetoric in the original is more energetic :-(“set yourself up!”) " you obstruct-Lo, I cause”—the I being emphatic by position. Since foundation (under x. 6). This, relatively to (Lower) Egypt, is almost an historic human period : even Herodotus, " father of history" (Hist. B. 11), speculates about the formation of the Delta land (“gist of the Nile,” he calls it), as having taken place since man came into Upper Egypt. But the obvious meaning is simply as in ver. 24. Such-Egypt (see initial note). Not unexampled in kind, but unparalleled in magnitude. The history has nothing of asseveration of miracle, but allows the work to bear witness (cp. Mat. xi. 4). 19. Send. Plainly a warning to all Egyptians (vers. 20, 21) through Pharaoh. Beast: of wide import, equivalent to cattle in ver. 21 (“beastry”). Gather: the word has the force of cause to flee-as a shepherd's dog causes the flock to flee—from danger. So, made- flee, in ver. 20. In the field (under ver. 14), thus, mercy mingled with judgment, while the mercy is discriminating as the judgment is just. On looking close into this history, we find that probably the amount of human suffering was comparatively small-being nothing like the amount of suffering caused by one “glorious war” of man's vain ambition. 20, 21. Word of the Lord. Those who so far saw and felt that Jehovah is true God, as to act upon His warning. The expression is not to be pressed into making those Egyptians really Israelitish in habitual faith. * Fleeequivalent to flight from deadly peril, as in lost battle. Regarded not : lit. did not put his heart to. 22. Thine hand (the roil reappearing, ver. 23).. The Heb. expression here is quite different from that for spreading abroad (my hands) in ver. 29. There the meaning is, expansion of the open palms, as in prayer to heaven. Here (and in ver. 23) it is, stretching out the arm (with rod), as directing or commanding the plague to smite on earth. Toward heaven (cp. “thundering Jove," the air-god) : not only, to the source of rains and storms, but to the Eternal on the throne of all things. The most awful of lightning conductors, though the world does not " lay heart to it” (Ro. i. 32). Thus the law” in Jn. i. 17 (cp. the grace in Lu. ix. 54-56, and the connection in Ro. v. 20, 21). Every herb: thus, completely, all the life that Egypt owned. In all--throughout (under ver. 6): the point here is, outside of Israel's possession or location (ver. 26). Whether all Upper Egypt, or whether all Lower Egypt was reached by the plague, cannot be judged from
forth his rod toward heaven; and the Lord sent thunder and
; hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground : and the Lord 24 rained hail upon the land of Egypt. So there was hail, and
fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like
in all the land of Egypt since it be me a nation. 25 And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that
was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote
every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field. 26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel
were, was there no hail. 27 And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and
said unto them, I have sinned this time; the Lord is righteous, 28 and I and my people are wicked. Entreat the Lord (for it is
enough), that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail ; 29 and I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer. And
Moses said unto him, As soon as I am gone out of the city,
the generality of expression all the land in question was reached (see initial note on the nine plagues, p. 60); the visitation was general within the sphere of the operations of this campaign. Thunder : lit. voices. (In ver. 28, mighty thunderings is, lit. voices of God --- elohim). The description of thunder as Jehovah's terrible voice (articulate judgment-sounding) is congenial to the Hebrew mind (formed by this revelation of Him) : cp. Ex. xix. 16, and responses, e.g. Ps. xxix. 3-6. Fire—hail. In Lower Egypt there sometimes is rain, and even hail. Many understand the words here as meaning, that the fires collected ; e.g. so as to form into globes of flame. Living men have seen lightning blended with hail into apparently one continuous flaming
There are recorded cases of hail causing death. The recording of them shows that they are of rare occurrence-like “prodigies” in annals. None like it: all illustration from ordinary experience is only illustration of
26. (Cp. Re. vii. 1-4.) This geographical note, fixing Israel's habitat in Egypt, is a “speech bewraying” exodus-Israelitish authorship of the history : Goshen does not appear except Scripture. 27. The Lord --wicked : antithesis, as if, —“He is in the right, we are in the wrong.” The word here for sin, like the common Greek N. T. word for sin, natively might mean simply mistake, as when an arrow misses the mark. Here, and generally in Bible usage, it appropriately means, moral obliquity (cp. " Israel is a deceitful bow”). Here the righteousness of divine procedure“straightforward”—the Mosaic intercession and the “sinning yet more” in ver. 34 go along with Pharaoh's confession, to give a curious completeness of precision to the representation of sin as sinful. 28. The structure of the sentence is confused or obscure. There is weighty opinion in favour of the construction, .“ Enough! (of terrors for persuasion): let the calamitous contention cease: I submit.” Mighty thunderings (under ver. 23). 29. City : This may have been On, or Pithom, or Raamses, or some smaller town (or
township”) occupied by the court or by the king at the time. Mr. Petrie in 1884 found that Tanis (Zoan) was really a great city of Rameses II. (the Great). There may have been a periodical yearly residence of the king in I will spread abroad my hands unto the Lord; and the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail ;
that thou mayest know how that the earth is the Lord's. 30 But as for thee and thy servants, I know that ye will not yet 31 fear the Lord God. And the flax and the barley was smitten; 32 for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was bolled. But
the wheat and the rye were not smitten; for they were not 33 grown up. And Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh,
and spread abroad his hands unto the Lord; and the thun
ders and hail ceased, and the rain was not poured upon the 34 earth. And when Pharaoh saw that the rain, and the hail,
and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and 35 hardened his heart, he and his servants. And the heart of
Pharaoh was hardened, neither would he let the children of
rich beautiful Tanis. Spread-hands (under ver. 22). The earth-Lord's: may be rendered, that the land (of Egypt) is Jehovah’s (under ver. 14). That-know : coincidence of petition with cessation of trouble (cp. Jn. iv. 52, 53) made a “mark" of miracle (principium cognoscendi), which in its nature (principium essendi) is “ extraordinary” providence. 30. I know, etc. Why does he (prematurely ?) communicate this knowledge to Pharaoh ? Is it, as in the case of Hazael, to bring to the king's knowledge a disloyalty that is in his heart without his being aware of it? (“ latent consciousness made patent consciousness=blushing?). Fear the Lord: here lit. fear from presence of, or from face of, Jehovah. 31, 32. (On the notes of season here, see initial note on this triad, p. 80.) Bolled : “in the corolla.” (Boll: “to form into a pericarp or seed-vessel.”—Webster's English Dictionary.) The rye here is probably a kind of spelt. A coarse bread of barley was eaten, and now is eaten, by the poor in Egypt and vicinity. Flax, as raw material of linen cloth, was of great value, because linen was the main material of dress. From wheat was made the finest bread; but an intermediate quality of bread from what we may suppose to be this spelt was the main article of food for the mass of the people not very poor, This plague left untouched about half of the year's increase of the earth (see x. 5). Were not grown up: they are later in their season than barley and spelt-about a month. 34, 35. Sinned yet more : lit. added on to sin (under ver. 27). Hardened- hardened: the Heb. word here is varied—(1) was made heavy, as if became blunted in feeling (insensibility, cp. He. vi. 4-6); (2) was made strong, as if became resolutely obstinate (perversity, cp. 1 Pe. ii. 8). Here (see note on Induration, p. 132) a natural progression of moral evil (cp. Ps. i. I, etc.), through which a “ second death" of sinfulness becomes the punishment of sin :-(1) Evil action destroys capacity of feeling; and (2) in the absence of (restraining) right feeling, there is active opposition to God and good (Eph. iv. 19, 20). N.B.–From this point onward, the divine agency in induration, punishing evil action with confirmed evil disposition, becomes conspicuously manifest. Observe (Ro. ix.) that God intended we should study the matter in this case of Pharaoh.
Exercise 22. 1. Give a case of miraculous "weather prophecy ;” and a lesson regarding
spiritual life taken from the habit of weather prophecy. 2. As to effect in this case. (1) If the Egyptians who obeyed God in this matter
did not love Him, was their obedience of any value? How, and why?
reference to “season"? Explain. Note on Weather.-This, which is the proximate cause of supporting human life, God has (Ge. viii, 22; Act. xiv, 17) in a special manner reserved in His own hand. No man can forecast the weather on earth beyond some forty-eight hours. Sir William Herschel thought he might be able to find some sort of determining secondary causation of good harvests, by comparing the prices of corn with the appearance or absence of spots on the sun. Since that time, by means of records of pestilences, famines, etc., statists have been able to trace their way back through the economical history of some 3000 years. From indications thus furnished, it has been concluded that there is a cycle of eleven years, within which the earth has a hot year, with a (penumbral?) cold year on each side of it, and moderate years between (Prof. Archibald Geikie in conversation with the present writer). This would be valuable for fixing the duration of a lease ; which apparently ought to be a multiple of eleven. But it is not of the least use for showing whether in this or in that one particular year there shall be plenty or dearth, or whether the farmers of a region may not lose their harvest within three days. On simply obtaining bread, not only the life, but the occupation, of mankind is dependent. If by a miracle bread were to rain from heaven, the human race would be miserable for lack of employment. God has promised the stable succession of the seasons. Yet he has left man visibly dependent on a sovereign providence for simple daily bread. Political Economy (a most valuable science) does not handle the question of religion, which thus was raised in Egypt and settled in Sinai (De. viii. 3).
Eighth Plague (x. 1-20) - of locusts. The narrative of this plague is very fully in keeping with natural history, so as to show that here there is no ostentation of uncalled for supernaturalism. We now have learned from the facts, that the season of this plague must have been the spring, between the ripening of barley and that of wheat, -say (in Goshen) toward the close of March. It is in the late spring and onward that those lands are most exposed to this very formidable natural plague. The main aspects of the visitation, even the dramatically abrupt finale, are, as here appearing, familiar in the natural history of those lands. În this case " the finger of God" appears through accessory circumstances, such as those we have noted in the preceding plagues.
Moses, now coming forward as if all oblivious of original "unreadiness," exhibits a long-suffering patience, unlike his natural Levitical impetuous fire, which he may have been learning (2 Co. iii. 18) from Jehovah's remarkable forbearance, with Moses as well as with Pharaoh ; and perhaps his natural impulses are subdued by his knowing that (cp. Lu. xix. 41-44) he now is dealing with a sinner doomed to destruction, and judicially given over to a reprobate mind (see the Song of Moses and the Lamb in Re. xv. 3, 4, cp. 1). Pharaoh, who has previously made submissions which are found to be fallacious (ix. 27, 28), is now subjected to the influence of entreaties from his own servants not to persist in what is destroying his people. Again he yields; but again his yielding is only