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the land stank. 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 smite the dust of the land, that it may become 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: and the dust of the land. became lice throughout all the land of Egypt. And the magicians did so with their enchantments, to bring forth lice, but they could not : so there were lice upon man, and upon beast. “Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the Lor D had said, And the Lord said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh : (lo, he cometh forth to the waters) and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Let my people go, that they may serve me: Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy serwants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses; and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, 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; to the end thou mayest know, that I am the Loko in the midst of the earth. And I will put a division between my people and thy people : to-morrow shall this sign be. And the Lok D 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 swarms of flies.
And Pharaoh called for Moses, and Aaron, and said, Go ye sacrifice to your God in the land.
And Moses said, it is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the Lord our God; lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us 2
We will go three days journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to the Lord our GoD, as he shall command us. - o - -
And Pharaoh said, I will let you go, that ye may sacrifice to the Lo R D your God in the wilderness; only ye shall not go very far away : intreat for me. .
And Moses said, Behold, I go out from thee, and I will intreat the LCRD, that the swarms of flies may de; part from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, to-morrow ; but let not Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more, in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the Lord.
And Moses went out from Pharaoh, and intested the LoRD.
And the Lok D 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 One.
And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go.
ANNOTATIONs and REFLECTIONS.
The same that has been said respecting the changing of the water may be applied to the plague of frogs. It is manifest, that neither the magicians nor their idols possessed miraculous power, or it would have been displayed in driving the frogs, flies, and lice away; but instead of their being useful in this respect, Pharaoh was under the
necessity necessity of intreating Moses and Aaron to supplicate the Lok D, in order to obtain deliverance, yet he shew. ed no signs of repentance He gave way to the power of the Lord, only because he was at that instant sensi. ble of his own comparative weakness; but he felt no remorse or sorrow for his wickedness and presumption. What a triumph had Moses and Aaron The haughty tyrant, who a few days before had commanded them to work as his slaves, now becomes a supplicant to them for mercy By hearkening to the prayer of Moses, in behalf of Pharaoh, the Lord greatly honoured his minister. Well might Moses say ironically, to Pharaoh, “ Glory over me.” The Lord was pleased to suffer Pharaoh to name the exact time at which the plague of frogs should be removed; and it is observable, that the king did not entreat that it might immediately cease, but mentioned the morrow ; from which may be inferred, that he was unwilling to owe any thing to the Lok D, supposing that the frogs would go of themselves by that time. The event agreeing with Pharaoh’s own appointment, proved that all was the work of God. If Pharaoh had not had “ a mind void of judgment,” surely these wonders would have convinced him, that there is none like unio the Lok D God. - ... " By the dust, we may understand those light particles of earth, which being raised imperceptibly by the air, are only to be seen in, the sun beams : and which, as they fall, lodge on every substance that is in the way to receive them ; even these, changed into vermin, must have been very tormenting ; and how wonderful was the transformation Who but the Creator could ef
It is to be observed, that when Aaron smote the earth, all the dust of the land of Egypt became lice. The efforts of the magicians must therefore have been directed against the land of Goshen, in which the Israelites dwelt. Here they were compelled to acknowledge publicly a Divine power; but even the testimony of the Egyptian priests “was not sufficient to soften the proud heart of Pharaoh, who gave a convincing proof of the Lord's prescience, by opposing all conviction, as He had foretold.” Though it is not mentioned before, we may reasonably conclude that a distinction was, from the first, made between the Israelites and the Egyptians. The former did not deny the Load to be God. He had chosen them as his peculiar people; and such calamities as were sent upon the Egyptians, added to their other afflictions, would have driven them to downright despair; besides the Egyptians could not have discerned the finger of God, had his own people been fellow-sufferers with them.
It is likely that Pharaoh and his subjects would have regarded it as the effect of chance; and that even the Israelites themselves might have overlooked the mercy, had not the Lord expressly called them to observe the difference he made between them.
The plague of flies was a very distressing one, as may be easily conceived, if we consider that there are a number of species of insects that go under this denomi. nation; most of which have powers of tormenting, either by venomous stings, which give intolerable pain ; or disagreeable buzzings, that are extremely disturbing. The Psalmist observes, that the Egyptians were “devoured with flies f;” and they certainly must have suf** * * * * * - . . . . + *:. * . fered great anguish from them, or the haughty Pharaoh would not have relented. On this occasion, he stipulated that the Israelites should
* The magicians were idolatrous priests. . . ... * * * * + Ps. lxxviii. 45.
not go out of his land ; which shews that he retained the same principle of oppression, which had hitherto actu. ated him to treat them with rigour.
The Egyptians idolized those animals which the pa. triarchs offered in sacrifice, and of course would have taken great offence at seeing any of the flocks and herds offered in sacrifices to the Lor D. From the question of Moses, “Shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone our " we may infer that sacrifices had been omitted by the Israelites during the Egyptian bondage ; the rite however was not forgotten. " x - w
Though frogs are in general harmless creatures, and it is a great mark of weakness to be terrified at them, they are certainly very disagreeable in houses. Our merciful CREATo R, who, in all parts of the world, has shewn a tender regard for the welfare of mankind, has so disposed this, and many other species of noxious creatures, that they give no annoyance to us; but, on the contrary, prove beneficial, by feeding on what would render stagnated waters prejudicial to our health. Yet how apt are we now to overlook these marks of his kindness | The miracle we are now considering, is calculated to awaken, in our hearts, proper sentiments; therefore, while we rejoice, that we have not frogs in our chambers, in our beds, in our kneading troughs, and our ovens; let us emember that it is God who preserve” us from so distressing an evil. . . . . - - We have equal reason to be grateful for God's goodness in respect to noisome insects, which seldom abound,
except where cleanliness is wanting; nor should we bo - unthankful