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And thou shalt say unto him, The Lo RD God of he Hebrews hath sent me unto thee, saying, Let my people go that they may serve me in the wilderness; and behold, hitherto thou wouldest not hear. Thus saith the LoRD, In this thou shalt know that I am the Lok D : behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood. And the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall loath to drink of the water of the river. - - - And the Lo R D spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood : and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone. And Moses and Aaron did so, as the Lo R D command. ed: and he lift up the rod and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants ; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. - And the fish that was in the river died, and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt. And the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments; and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, neither did he hearken unto them ; as the Lo R p had said. And Pharaoh turned and went into his house, neither did he set his heart to this also. And all the Egyptians digged round about the river for
water to drink; for they could not drink of the water of
the river. ****
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
It was observed in the last section, that those who openly opposed the Lokp subject themselves to the dreadful punishment of being “given up to a mind void of judgment.” In this condition was Pharaoh ; he disdained to obey the voice of the Lord God ; on which account Divine grace was withheld from him, and he had no guide of his actions but human reason, blinded by pride and prejudice; in consequence of which those very circumstances, which had a direct tendency to excite in a religious mind sentiments of reverence and devotion, hardened his heart, and strengthened the wicked resolution hehad formed. As the Lord foresaw that Pharaoh would require a miracle to be wrought, in confirmation of the mission of Moses and Aaron, he directed them how to proceed in this CdSC. By sending for the magicians, Pharaoh expressly defied the Lor D. We are told by St. Paul, that these persons were named Jannes and Jambres : that they were men of corrupt minds, and resisted the truth*. It is evidently beyond the reach of human art to turn rods into serpents, and we cannot suppose that the SUPKEM E Gov E R N or of the universe would permit any inferior Being whatever to alter the works of his hands : we must therefore ascribe the miracle which appeared to be wrought by the magicians to Divine hower, not to
* It has been inferred from several texts in Scripture, that signs and wonders could be wrought by the Devil and his agents. These must have been mere delusions, and indeed they are called “ lying wonders.” Real miracles could only be wrought by the power of God. How far God suffered devils to deceive their worshippers for their punishment is unknown to us, See Deut. xiii. 1,– Matt, oxxiv. 24.—2 Thess, ii. 9.
their enchantments, * By, causing their rods, as well as that of Aaron's, to be transformed, in order to be swallowed up by his, the Lo R D strongly intimated. His own supremacy over their idols. But Pharaoh could not discern the power of the Lo R D, for his foolish heart was full of hatred of God, pride, unmercifulness, maliciousness, and other malignant passions, with which the Holy, Sri R1T will not dwell ; therefore Gop withheld his grace, and Pharaoh's heart was of course hardened. The miracle which is next recorded was equally astonishing; for what can be more different than the liquid, substance that flows through the veins and arteries of living animals, and the element of water This change was certainly beyond the magicians' art to effect, or even that of the demons, whose aid they may be supposed to have invoked. The changing of the water into blood, and killing the fish, was a very heavy judgment upon the Egyptians ; as they "abstained from eating most kind of animals, drank scarcely any thing but water, and fed greatly upon fish. But though the power of the CREATo R was so evidently displayed in this miracle, we find that Pharaoh still refused to obey the voice of the Lo Rd. As the miracles, recorded in this section, were wrought to prove, that the Divine Being, whom we call God, is the Supreme Lord, we should regard them as evidences of this important truth. By changing inanimate sticks into living reptiles God demonstrated, that no creature is of any particular order or species, by necessity, or merely by a regular course of nature, but according to his will. How thankful then should those be who are placed in such a rank
* 2, Tim, iii. 8.
in the creation as enables them to contemplate his wondrous works, and to hold communion with Him on earth; and who enjoy a well founded hope that they shall, after death, be happy in his presence for ever in heaven | Water is bestowed by the bountiful Creator in such abundance, that few experience the want of it to a dis-tressing degree ; but let us imagine to ouselves what would be our unhappy condition, should this element, so necessary to our comfort and refreshment, be suddenly changed into blood, or, taken from us! We learn, from this section before us, that the CREAT of has power to alter it as he sees fit, and he can as easily take it away; let us then be very careful not to provoke God, to deprive ius of so invaluable a blessing, or turn it into a curse; and let us reflect on the numberless benefits we derive from water, that we may be thankful for ‘God's goodness in bestowing it. . . . . .
: ". . . . . . . . .”
H. " Yoo . . . . . . ." a the PLAGoes of Frogs, Lice, AND flies. From Exodus, Chaft. viii. "And seven days were fulfilled, after that the Loop had smitten the river. . . . . . . . . . . . And the Lok D" spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LoRD, Let my people go, that they may serve me. " . And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs. And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into thine house, and into
thy bed-chamber, and upon thy bed, and into the hou"
of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy ovens, and into thy kneading-troughs. And the frogs shall come up both upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants. And the Lo RD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch forth thine hand with thy rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come up upon the land of Egypt. And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt. And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt. Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, Intreat the Lok D, that he may take away the frogs from, me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may do sacrifice unto the Lok D. And Moses said unto Pharaoh, Glory over me: when shall I entreat for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people, to destroy the frogs from thee and thy houses that they may remain in the river only. . And he said, To-morrow. And he said, Be it according to thy word: that thou mayest know, that there is none like unto the LoRD our GoD. And the frogs shall depart from thee, and from thy houses, and from thy servants, and from thy people; they shall remain in the river only. And Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh ; and, Moses cried unto the Lord, because of 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. And they gathered them together upon heaps; and the