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vants and his cattle in the field, and thus bid defiance to God

and to Moses. 22 And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand

toward heaven, that there may be hail, not only in locat show. ers, which is commonly the case with hail storms, but in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt. This would be the more remarkable, as hail and rain were uncommon in

Egypt ; and the more dreadful, as it would destroy the grass 23 and herbs, and fruits of the earth. And Moses stretched

forth his rod toward heaven : and the LORD sent thunder and lightning, and hail, and the balls of fire ran along upon

the ground ; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of 24 Egypt, but the land of Goshen was free from it. So there was

hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as

there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became 25 a nation. 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 26 the field. Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of

Israel (were,] was there no hail. 27 And Pharaoh sent in great haste, and called for Moses and

Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time : the
LORD [is] righteous, and I and my people [are) wicked.
This acknowledgment and submission was very just ; but it only

proceeded from fear, and had no effect on his obstinate heart. 28 Entreat the LORD (for it is enough) I will not provoke him 10

inflict any more plagucs upon me; those which have been alroudy inflicted shall suffice for your dismission ; entreat him

that there be no [more] mighty thunderings and hail ; and I 29 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, I will spread abroad my hands unto the LORD ; [and] the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail ; that thou may

est know how that the earth [is] the LORD's, and that he can 30 send or remove judgments when he pleases. But as for thee and

thy servants, I know that ye will not yet fear the LORD God. 31 And the flax and the barley was smitten : for the barley

[was] in the ear, and the flax (was] bolled, the head began to 32 appear above the stalk. But the wheat and the rye were not 33 smitten : for they (were] not grown up. And Moses, calm

and secure amidst all the storm, went out of the city from Pharaoh, and spread abroad his hands unto the LORD ; and the thunders and hail ceased, and the rain was not poured upon the earth. Thus Moses prevailed with God to remove the

judgment, but could not prevail with Pharaoh to keep his word. 34 And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the

thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his Vol. I. · Hh .

· 35 heart, he and his servants. And the heart of Pharaoh was

hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go; as the LORD had spoken by Moses.

REFLECTIONS. ·

1. V E learn how immotable God is in his demands, v.

1. Go to Pharaoh and tell him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me. The same message is to be delivered ; he will not take up with any thing but an exact compliance. He makes the same demand on sinyers, sends the same message, time after time ; Repent and be converted, except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish. Men must come to God's terms, he will not stoop to theirs. Today then, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

2. Who would not fear so awful a God as this is ! This is a lesson to all succeeding generations, and shows what a fearful thing it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Fire, hail, thunder, and storms, fulfil his word; he has stores of vengeance in the skies; he can meet sinners, abroad or at home ; afflict them in their bodies, or in their cattle ; afflict them in time, and eternity. God directs his arrows against tyrants and persecutors; if one plague will not humble them, he will send another. How easily can he destroy the beasts of the field, send murrain through à land, that shall take away the most valuable and useful crea. tures ! In the sickness and death of cattle we are to observe the hand of God. He knows how to separate between the cattle of the righteous, and the cattle of the wicked, for he is the preserver both of man and beast. It is by the wickedness of the land that the beasts are consumed ; and when this is the case it becomes us to humble ourselves under God's mighty hand.

3. We may observe to what a wretched degree the heart of man is capable of being hardened. All Pharaoh's excuses were gone ; the magicians were confounded ; a distinction is made between the Israelites and the Egyptians ; he knew all this, and yet hardened his heart. Could one have thought that the human mind was capable of such impenitence? Let us keep our hearts with all diligence, and provoke one another to love and to good works, test any of us be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin,

4. We may see the happiness of fearing the word of the Lord, and recollect with pleasure that there were some who did so in Pharaoh's court. Some of his courtiers were affected with God's hand, obeyed his word, and he saved their cattle ; probably they escaped the rest of the plagues. Let us submit our hearts to the word of the Lord, that we may be under the care of his Providence ; for it is promised, Isa. xxxii. 18. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in guiet resting places ; when it shall hail, coming down on the forest, and the city shall be low in a low plass.

5. Let us observe how mysterious the conduct of Providence is, and not judge of good or evil by any thing under the sun. 'That such a proud, oppressive man, should be raised to be king over this rich, populous, and fruitful country ; that when so many of his subjects died by one plague or another, he should be spared : but God intended to make him a signal monument of his wrath. This may be the case of many who are the terror and plague of the nations on earth : God has vengeance in store for them; he is whetting his glittering sword, and making ready his bow. Sometimes calanities are a favour to the world ; and what appears a favour (as in the case of Pharaoh being spared) is a judgment and a punishment. We must take things in their connections ; be cautious in our censures, especially of the dispensations of Providence, and judge nothing before the time. The language of such dispensations is, that God is great, and greatly to be feared ; and that when he judgeth he will overcome.

CHAP. X.

Contains an account of the eighth and ninth plagues of Egypt, the

locusts and the darkness. Woe unto him who striveth with his Maker.

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1 AND the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Phara.

A oh; for, or though, I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might show these my signs 2 before him : And that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son,

and of thy son's son what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them ; that it may be a lesson to all the succeeding generations of the children of Is. rael; that ye may know how that I [am] the LORD, that ye may know the power of God over all creatures and elements, and his goodness to Israel.

And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? This pointed question was now proper, considering all that had been done, and to how little effect : let my people go, that they may serve me. Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, tomorrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast : these were

very large, terrible, and devouring creatures, the like to 5 which are never seen in this country : And they shall cover the face of the earth, (the original is, the eye of the earth, that is, the sun,) that one cannot be able to see the earth : and they shall eat the residuc of that which is escaped, which re

maineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which 6 groweth for you out of the field : And they shall fill thy

houses, and the houses of all thy servants, and the houses of

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all the Egyptians ; which neither thy fathers, nor thy fathers' fathers have seen, since the day that they were upon the earth unto this day, for number, size, and mischievous effects.

And he turned himself, and went out from Pharaoh. 7 And Pharaoh's servants, the nobles and counsellors of Egypt,

said unto him, How long shall this man be a snare, a means of destruction, unto us ? let the men go, that they may serve the LORD their God : knowest thou not yet that Egypt is,

in a great measure, destroyed? This was good advice, and had 1. he taken it, it would have prevented that mortification which he 8 afierward suffered. And Moses and Aaron were brought

again unto Pharaoh : and he said unto them, Go, serve the 9 LORD your God: [but] who (are] they that shall go ? And Moses said, We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go ; for we must hold) a feast unto the LORD:

it is to be a feast upon a sacrifice, therefore the beasts must go 10 for sacrifice and food, and all our families must attend. And

he said unto them, Let the LORD be so with you, as I will let you go, and your little ones ; this was a kind of imprecation, I wish you may be no more secure of the favour of God, than you are of my letting you go; look (to it ;] for evil [is] before you,

you have a seditious design, and I will make you smart for it. 11 Not so, your wives and children shall not go: go now ye (that

are] men, and serve the LORD ; for that ye did desire; this was false, for there was no such limitation made in any of their requests. And before Moses could make a reply, they were driven out from Pharaoh's presence, perhaps with violence, by some of his officers,

And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come

up upon the land of Egypt, and eat every herb of the land, 13 [even] all that the hail hath left. And Moses stretched forth

his rod over the land of Egypt ; and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all [that] night;

[and] when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts 14 from Arabia.* And the locusts went up over all the land of

Egypt, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt : very grievous

[were they ;] before them there were no such locusts as they 15 neither after them shall be such. For they covered the face

of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened ; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left : and there remained not any green

• This is no unusual plague in Arabia and Africa; where, when the harvest is ripe, they frequently come in vast numbers, and eat up all the corn. What they do not destroy, they spoil, and then dic and breed infections,

16

thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field, through all the land of Egypt.*

Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste ; and he said, I have sinned against the LORD your God, by contemning his works, by refusing his demand, and breaking my promise, and against you Israelites in general, by your cruel bondage ;

and against you Moses and Aaron in particular, by a denial of 17 your just requests, and my scornful dealings with you. Now

therefore, cease to punish me any further, forgive, I pray thee, my sin, only this once, if ever I trespass again in this kind, pray for me no more ; and entreat the LORD your God, that

he may take away from me this death only, this deadly plague. 18 And he went out from Pharaoh, and entreated the LORD. 19 And the LORD turned a mighty strong west wind, which came

from the Mediterranean sea, and took away the locusts, and cast them into the Red sea ; he fired them there, as the word sig. nifies ; had they died on the land, they would probably have pro

duced the plague ;t there remained not one locust in all the 20 coast of Egypt. But the LORD, hardened Pharaoh's heart, so

that he would not let the children of Israel go; all his repent

ance went away with the locusts. 21 And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand to

ward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness (which] may be felt ; or, as in the He.

brew, chat one may feel darkness; the air being 80 thickened 22 with gro88 mists and vapours that it might be felt. And Moses

stretched forth his hand toward heaven, and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days, which shut out all

the rays of the sun, and put out all their lamps and fires : and 23 They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place

for three days : but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings, 80 that they might have gone away with all they had ; but God would have them march out like triumphant conquerors,

and not go out like fugitives. 24 And Pharaoh, roused by this plague, called unto Moses, and

said, Go ye, serve the LORD ; only let your flocks and your 25 herds be stayed ; let your little ones also go with you. And

Moses said, with a becoming dignity and spirit, suitable to his

character, Thou must give us also sacrifices and burnt offer. 26 ings, that we may sacrifice unto the LORD our God. Our

cattle also shall go with us ; there shall not an hoof be left

* Natural historians give us a terrible account of their size, and the mumbers in which they come: they are something like grasshoppers, but much larger, sometimes six or seven inches long. They darken the heavens where they come ; breed a famine in a night ; fill up the highways, so that they cannot be passed; and break down large arms of trees ona which they lodge. See a beautiful descriptiog of this calamity, Joel ii. at the beginning. See also Thevenot's Travels, P.1, p. 12.

+ Homer speaks of the wind sweeping away locusts into the water; and Pliny speaks of a wind that was useful to Egypt, by carrying locusts into this sea ; which was called the Red Sea, from the abundance of reddish reeds, or bulrushes, which grow on its bank, or at its bottom.

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