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1 And the Lord said vnto Moses, Goe in vnto Pharaoh: for I haue hardned his heart, and the heart of his seruants, that I might shew these my signes before him:

2 And that thou mayest tell in the eares of thy sonne, and of thy sonnes sonne, what things I haue wrought in Egypt, and my signes which I haue done amongst them, that ye may know how that I am the Lord.

3 And Moses and Aaron came in vnto Pharaoh, and saide vnto him, Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrewes, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thy selfe before mee? Let my people goe, that they may serue me.

4 Els, if thou refuse to let my people goe, behold, to morrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast.

5 And they shall couer the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth, and they shall eate the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth vnto you from the haile, and shall eate euery tree, which groweth for you out of the field.

6 And they shall fill thy houses, and the houses of all thy seruants, and the houses of all the Egyptians, which neither thy fathers, nor thy fathers fathers haue seene, since the day that they were vpon the earth, vnto this day. And he turned himselfe, and went out from Pharaoh.

7 And Pharaohs seruants said vnto him, How long shall this man be a snare vnto vs? Let the men goe, that they may serue the Lord their God: Knowest thou not yet, that Egypt is destroyed?

8 And Moses and Aaron were brought againe vnto Pharaoh: and he said vnto them, Goe, serue the Lord your God: but who are they that shall goe?

9 And Moses said, We wil goe with our yong, and with our old, with our sonnes and with our daughters, with our flockes and with our heards will we goe: for we must hold a feast vnto the Lord.

10 And he said vnto them; Let the Lord bee so with you, as I will let you goe, and your litle ones. Looke to it, for euill is before you.

11 Not so: goe now yee that are men, and serue the Lord, for that you did desire: and they were driuen out from Pharaohs presence.

12 And the Lord said vnto Moses, Stretch out thine hand ouer the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come vp vpon the land of Egypt, and eate euery herbe of the land, euen all that the haile hath left.

13 And Moses stretched forth his rod ouer the land of Egypt, and the Lord brought an East wind vpon the land all that day, and all that night: and when it was morning, the East wind brought the locusts.

14 And the locusts went vp ouer all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt: very grieuous were they: before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such.

15 For they couered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkned, and they did eate euery herbe of the land, and all the fruit of the trees, which the haile had left, and there remained not any greene thing in the trees, or in the herbes of the field, through all the land of Egypt.

16 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste: and he said, I haue sinned against the Lord your God, and against you.

17 Now therefore forgiue, I pray thee, my sinne onely this once, and intreat the Lord your God, that hee may take away from mee this death onely.

18 And he went out from Pharaoh, and intreated the Lord.

19 And the Lord turned a mighty strong West wind, which tooke away the locusts, and cast them into the red sea: there remained not one locust in all the coasts of Egypt.

20 But the Lord hardened Pharaohs heart, so that hee would not let the children of Israel goe.

21 And the Lord said vnto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heauen, that there may be darkenesse ouer the land of Egypt, euen darkenes which may be felt.

22 And Moses stretched foorth his hand toward heauen: and there was a thicke darkenesse in all the land of Egypt three dayes.

23 They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three dayes: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.

24 And Pharaoh called vnto Moses, and said, Goe ye, serue the Lord: onely let your flockes and your herds be stayed: let your litle ones also goe with you.

25 And Moses saide, Thou must giue vs also sacrifices, and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice vnto the Lord our God.

26 Our cattell also shall goe with vs: there shall not an hoofe bee left behind: for thereof must we take to serue the Lord our God: and we knowe not with what wee must serue the Lord, vntill we come thither.

27 But the Lord hardened Pharaohs heart, and he would not let them goe.

28 And Pharaoh said vnto him, Get thee from me, take heed to thy selfe: see my face no more: for in that day thou seest my face, thou shalt die.

29 And Moses said, Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face againe no more.

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Commentary for Exodus 10

The plague of locusts threatened, Pharaoh, moved by his servants, inclines to let the Israelites go. (1-11) The plague of locusts. (12-20) The plague of thick darkness. (21-29)1-11 The plagues of Egypt show the sinfulness of sin. They warn the children of men not to strive with their Maker. Pharaoh had pretended to humble himself; but no account was made of it, for he was not sincere therein. The plague of locusts is threatened. This should be much worse than any of that kind which had ever been known. Pharaoh's attendants persuade him to come to terms with Moses. Hereupon Pharaoh will allow the men to go, falsely pretending that this was all they desired. He swears that they shall not remove their little ones. Satan does all he can to hinder those that serve God themselves, from bringing their children to serve him. He is a sworn enemy to early piety. Whatever would put us from engaging our children in God's service, we have reason to suspect Satan in it. Nor should the young forget that the Lord's counsel is, Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth; but Satan's counsel is, to keep children in a state of slavery to sin and to the world. Mark that the great foe of man wishes to retain him by the ties of affection, as Pharaoh would have taken hostages from the Israelites for their return, by holding their wives and children in captivity. Satan is willing to share our duty and our service with the Saviour, because the Saviour will not accept those terms.

12-20 God bids Moses stretch out his hand; locusts came at the call. An army might more easily have been resisted than this host of insects. Who then is able to stand before the great God? They covered the face of the earth, and ate up the fruit of it. Herbs grow for the service of man; yet when God pleases, insects shall plunder him, and eat the bread out of his mouth. Let our labour be, not for the habitation and meat thus exposed, but for those which endure to eternal life. Pharaoh employs Moses and Aaron to pray for him. There are those, who, in distress, seek the help of other people's prayers, but have no mind to pray for themselves. They show thereby that they have no true love to God, nor any delight in communion with him. Pharaoh desires only that this death might be taken away, not this sin. He wishes to get rid of the plague of locusts, not the plague of a hard heart, which was more dangerous. An east wind brought the locusts, a west wind carries them off. Whatever point the wind is in, it is fulfilling God's word, and turns by his counsel. The wind bloweth where it listeth, as to us; but not so as it respects God. It was also an argument for their repentance; for by this it appeared that God is ready to forgive, and swift to show mercy. If he does this upon the outward tokens of humiliation, what will he do if we are sincere! Oh that this goodness of God might lead us to repentance! Pharaoh returned to his resolution again, not to let the people go. Those who have often baffled their convictions, are justly given up to the lusts of their hearts.

21-29 The plague of darkness brought upon Egypt was a dreadful plague. It was darkness which might be felt, so thick were the fogs. It astonished and terrified. It continued three days; six nights in one; so long the most lightsome palaces were dungeons. Now Pharaoh had time to consider, if he would have improved it. Spiritual darkness is spiritual bondage; while Satan blinds men's eyes that they see not, he binds their hands and feet, that they work not for God, nor move toward heaven. They sit in darkness. It was righteous with God thus to punish. The blindness of their minds brought upon them this darkness of the air; never was mind so blinded as Pharaoh's, never was air so darkened as Egypt. Let us dread the consequences of sin; if three days of darkness were so dreadful, what will everlasting darkness be? The children of Israel, at the same time, had light in their dwellings. We must not think we share in common mercies as a matter of course, and therefore that we owe no thanks to God for them. It shows the particular favour he bears to his people. Wherever there is an Israelite indeed, though in this dark world, there is light, there is a child of light. When God made this difference between the Israelites and the Egyptians, who would not have preferred the poor cottage of an Israelite to the fine palace of an Egyptian? There is a real difference between the house of the wicked, which is under a curse, and the habitation of the just, which is blessed. Pharaoh renewed the treaty with Moses and Aaron, and consented they should take their little ones, but would have their cattle left. It is common for sinners to bargain with God Almighty; thus they try to mock him, but they deceive themselves. The terms of reconciliation with God are so fixed, that though men dispute them ever so long, they cannot possibly alter them, or bring them lower. We must come to the demand of God's will; we cannot expect he should condescend to the terms our lusts would make. With ourselves and our children, we must devote all our worldly possessions to the service of God; we know not what use he will make of any part of what we have. Pharaoh broke off the conference abruptly, and resolved to treat no more. Had he forgotten how often he had sent for Moses to ease him of his plagues? and must he now be bid to come no more? Vain malice! to threaten him with death, who was armed with such power! What will not hardness of heart, and contempt of God's word and commandments, bring men to! After this, Moses came no more till he was sent for. When men drive God's word from them, he justly gives them up to their own delusions.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Exodus 10

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