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from thee and thy houses, [that] they may remain in the river only ? As 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 be
holden 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.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smile the dust of the land, that it may be17 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, because 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 not : 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 LORD had said ; therefore this plague
seems to have been continued on man and beast. 20 And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the
morning, and stand before Pharaoh ; 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 fies] mixed swarms of hornets, wasps, gnats, and all kinds of troublesome flies, (Psa. lxxviij. 45.) upon 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 was nothing more difficult in the producing lice than frogs, but God here fruswated their counsellors, and made their diviners mad. Now the magicians owned a divine power was present, and that it was above all the power of enchantment to do this thing : they probably referred to the other miracles as well as to this. It might have been expect. ed that Pharaoh would now have relented, but he 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 was surprising ; for 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 prescribed to them ; I will do thus, to the end thou mayest know that I sam] the LORD in the midst
of the earth, and have the whole creation at my command.* 23 And I will put a division between my people and thy people:
tomorrow shall this sign be. He fixes the time, to show that he had a 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 infected, and many of the people poisoned or stung by them. Psalm lxxviii. 45.
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 as idols, and thus make them an abomi
nation : lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians 27 before their eyes, and will they not stone us ?4 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 plagues 30 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 32 one. And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, con
tinued obdurate, neither would he let the people go, notwithstanding the promise he had made, and the warning he had received from 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.
+ There was no law for doing this, but they would do it in a popular fury. A Roman in Egypt once killed a cat inadvertently, upon which the people tumultuously met together, beset the house, and killed the man, in spite of the king and princes who endeavoured to prevent it. This story illustrates what Moses here says.
T E may learn hence, the uncontroled power of God
VV over the creatures. He doeth according to his will, makes them instruments of mercy, or judgment. See what power he gave to Moses, and to 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 su glorious a Being !
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, and 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 of 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 100 frequently wear off : when there is not a princi. ple 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 be. hold 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. Ilow easily can God preserve his people in times of general calamity ! He directs the motion of the meanest creatures, or ingects; and when he makes the plagues of a sinful people wonderful, he will hide his servants in the day of his anger. He knoweth 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. I T HEN the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh,
1 and tell him, Thus saith the LORD 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 kept
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 Is5 rael. And the LORD appointed a set time, saying, Tomor6 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 afterward 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 wonder: ful, since they 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. * 3 And the LORD said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to
you handfuls of ashes of the furnacest and let Moses sprinkle
• A Roman historian wonders, why may should be esteemed the wisest of creatures, for no creature acts so foolishly ; other creatures, when they have smarted once, will be. ware 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.
+ As they oppressed the Israelites with furnace work in burning of brick, so now they are punished with burning sores, wbich came from ashes taken out of the furnace.
it loward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh ; to note that this 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 ul.
cers, which were incurable, (Deut. xxviii. 27.) upon man and 10 upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt. And they 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 morn
ing, 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 shall sting thee to the heart,
and upon thy servants, and upon thy people ; that thou may15 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.† 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 se
verity, may be made more illustrious before all the world, as a 17 warning to incorrigible sinners. 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 Egypt 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 80 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 continırd with Pharaoh, probably endeavouring to harden his heart, and to persuade him it was all done by magic, and that they should overcome Moses at last; but now they retreated, and we hear no more of them. Their folly was manifest Lo all men. See 2 Tim. iii. 9.
t It might be better rendered, Thuve stretched out my hard to smite shee, and thou hadst been before this cut off, that is, were it not to display my justice, &c. as it follows in v. 16.