|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:12-20 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.
Verse 13. - The Lord brought an east wind. Locusts generally come with a wind; and, indeed, cannot fly far without one. An east wind would in this case have brought them from northern Arabia, which is a tract where they are often bred in large numbers. Denon, the French traveller, notes that an enormous cloud of locusts which invaded Egypt during his stay, came from the east. All that day. The rest of the day on which Moses and Aaron had had their interview with the Pharaoh.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt,.... His hand, with his rod in it:
and the Lord brought an east wind upon the land, all that day and all that night; all that day after he had been driven from Pharaoh, and after he had stretched out his hand with his rod in it over Egypt, which was the seventh of the month Abib, and all the night following. This Jehovah did, who holds the winds in his fist, and brings them out of his treasures, whose will they obey, and whose word they fulfil:
and when it was morning; the morrow was come, Exodus 10:4 the eighth day of the month Abib:
the east wind brought the locusts; it was usual for these creatures to be taken up and carried with the wind, and brought into countries, as Pliny (g) and other writers attest. In the year 1527, a strong wind brought vast troops of locusts out of Turkey into Poland, which did much mischief; and in the year 1536 a wind from the Euxine Pontus brought such vast numbers of them into Podolia, as that for twenty miles round they devoured everything (h). The word here used commonly signifies the east wind, and so the Jewish writers unanimously interpret it; and if those locusts were brought from the Red sea, into which they were carried, it must be by an east wind, since the Red sea was east of Egypt; but the Septuagint version renders it the "south wind", and which is approved of by De Dieu on the place, and by Bochart (i); and the latter supposes these locusts were brought by a south wind out of Ethiopia, which lay to the south of Egypt, and where in the spring of the year, as it now was, were usually great numbers of locusts, and where were a people that lived upon them, as Diodorus Siculus (k) and Strabo (l) relate; who both say that at the vernal equinox, or in the spring, the west and southwest winds blowing strongly brought locusts into those parts; and the south wind being warm might contribute to the production, cherishing, and increasing of these creatures, and which are sometimes brought by a south wind. Dr. Shaw says (m), the locusts he saw in Barbary, An. 1724 and 1725, were much bigger than our common grasshoppers, and had brown spotted wings, with legs and bodies of a bright yellow; their first appearance was toward the latter end of March, the wind having been for some time from the south.
(g) Nat. Hist. l. 11. c. 29. (h) Frantzii Hist. Animal. Sacr. par. 5. c. 4. p. 794. (i) Hierozoic. par. 2. l. 1. c. 15. Colossians 101, 102, & l. 4. c. 3. col. 463. Vid. Jablonski de Terra Goshen, Dissertat. 5. sect. 5. (k) Bibliothec, l. 3. p. 162. (l) Geograph. l. 16. p. 531. (m) Travels, p. 187. Edit. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13-19. the Lord brought an east wind—The rod of Moses was again raised, and the locusts came. They are natives of the desert and are only brought by an east wind into Egypt, where they sometimes come in sun-obscuring clouds, destroying in a few days every green blade in the track they traverse. Man, with all his contrivances, can do nothing to protect himself from the overwhelming invasion. Egypt has often suffered from locusts. But the plague that followed the wave of the miraculous rod was altogether unexampled. Pharaoh, fearing irretrievable ruin to his country, sent in haste for Moses, and confessing his sin, implored the intercession of Moses, who entreated the Lord, and a "mighty strong west wind took away the locusts."
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