Exodus 10:21
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness spreads over Egypt--darkness that can be felt."

New Living Translation
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Lift your hand toward heaven, and the land of Egypt will be covered with a darkness so thick you can feel it."

English Standard Version
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt.”

New American Standard Bible
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward the sky, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even a darkness which may be felt."

King James Bible
And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward heaven, and there will be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness that can be felt."

International Standard Version
Then the LORD told Moses, "Stretch your hand toward the sky and there will be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness that one can feel."

NET Bible
The LORD said to Moses, "Extend your hand toward heaven so that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness so thick it can be felt."

New Heart English Bible
The LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward the sky, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Lift your hand toward the sky, and a darkness [so thick] that it can be felt will come over Egypt."

JPS Tanakh 1917
And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Stretch out thy hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.'

New American Standard 1977
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even a darkness which may be felt.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.

King James 2000 Bible
And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.

American King James Version
And the LORD said to Moses, Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.

American Standard Version
And Jehovah said unto Moses, Stretch out thy hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the Lord said to Moses: Stretch out they hand towards heaven: and may there be darkness upon the land of Egypt, so thick that it may be felt.

Darby Bible Translation
And Jehovah said to Moses, Stretch out thy hand toward the heavens, that there may be darkness in the land of Egypt -- so that one may feel darkness.

English Revised Version
And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the LORD said to Moses, Stretch out thy hand towards heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.

World English Bible
Yahweh said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward the sky, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt."

Young's Literal Translation
And Jehovah saith unto Moses, 'Stretch out thy hand towards the heavens, and there is darkness over the land of Egypt, and the darkness is felt.'
Study Bible
The Ninth Plague: Darkness
20But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the sons of Israel go. 21Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward the sky, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even a darkness which may be felt." 22So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt for three days.…
Cross References
Revelation 8:12
Then the fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun and moon and stars were struck. A third of the stars were darkened, a third of the day was without light, and a third of the night as well.

Revelation 16:10
And the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness, and men began to gnaw their tongues in anguish

Exodus 7:19
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Say to Aaron, 'Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, over their streams, and over their pools, and over all their reservoirs of water, that they may become blood; and there will be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone.'"

Exodus 9:22
Now the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward the sky, that hail may fall on all the land of Egypt, on man and on beast and on every plant of the field, throughout the land of Egypt."

Deuteronomy 28:29
and you will grope at noon, as the blind man gropes in darkness, and you will not prosper in your ways; but you shall only be oppressed and robbed continually, with none to save you.

Psalm 105:28
He sent darkness and made it dark; And they did not rebel against His words.

Ezekiel 32:7
"And when I extinguish you, I will cover the heavens and darken their stars; I will cover the sun with a cloud And the moon will not give its light.
Treasury of Scripture

And the LORD said to Moses, Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.

stretch

Exodus 9:22 And the LORD said to Moses, Stretch forth your hand toward heaven, …

darkness. As the Egyptians not only worshipped the light and sun, but also paid the same veneration to night and darkness, nothing could be more terrible than this punishment of palpable and coercive darkness, such as their luminary Osiris could not dispel.

Psalm 35:6 Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD …

Psalm 78:49 He cast on them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, …

Psalm 105:28 He sent darkness, and made it dark; and they rebelled not against his word.

Proverbs 4:19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

Ecclesiastes 2:14 The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walks in darkness: …

Ecclesiastes 6:4 For he comes in with vanity, and departs in darkness, and his name …

Isaiah 8:21,22 And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it …

Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land to the ninth hour.

Mark 15:33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole …

Luke 23:44 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all …

2 Peter 2:4,17 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down …

Revelation 16:10,11 And the fifth angel poured out his vial on the seat of the beast; …

even darkness which may be felt. Heb. that one may feel darkness

THE NINTH PLAGUE.

(21-23) The ninth plague, like the third and sixth, was sent without any previous warning. It consisted in a "thick darkness," which may have been brought about by means of the Khamsin, or "Wind of the Desert," which frequently blows about the time of the vernal equinox, and brings with it such clouds of a fine impalpable sand that the light of the sun is obscured, and an effect produced which some travellers have compared to "the most gloomy night." Or it may have been a shutting out of the sun's rays by dense fog and cloud of a more ordinary character; though in that case there must have been something in the visitation very much exceeding any known instance of such darkness. "They saw not one another," we are told, "for three days" (Exodus 10:23). The darkness was one which "might be felt" (Exodus 10:21). Such a preternatural continuance of absolutely impenetrable "blackness of darkness" would cause to any man a feeling of intense alarm and horror. To the Egyptians it would be peculiarly painful and terrible. Ra, the sun-god, was among the principal objects of their worship, especially in the Delta, where Heliopolis and Pithoni were cities dedicated to him. Darkness was a creation of Set--the Evil Principle, the destroyer of Osiris--and of Apophis, the Great Serpent, the impeder of souls in the lower world. It would have seemed to the Egyptians that Ra was dead, that Set had triumphed over his brother, that Apophis had encircled the world with his dark folds, and plunged it in eternal night. Hence Pharaoh's early call for Moses, and permission that the people should depart, with their families (Exodus 10:24): a concession which, however, was marred by the proviso, "Only let your flocks and herds be stayed."

(21) Darkness which may be felt.--Heb., one shall grasp darkness. The Authorised Version seems to give the true meaning, which is found also in the LXX. and the Vulg. The idea is an exaggeration of that instinctive feeling which makes us speak of "thick darkness." The general voice of mankind confirms the use of the phrase.

Verses 21-29 - THE NINTH PLAGUE. The ninth plague, like the third and the sixth, was inflicted without special warning. God had announced, after the plague of boils, that he was about to "send all his plagues upon the heart" of the king; and so a succession of inflictions was to be expected. The ninth plague probably followed the eighth after a very short interval. It is rightly regarded as an aggravation of a well-known natural phenomenon - the Khamsin, or "Wind of the Desert" which commonly visits Egypt about the time of the vernal equinox, and is accompanied by an awful and weird darkness. This is caused by the dense clouds of fine sand which the wind brings with it, which intercept the sun's light, and produce a darkness beyond that of our worst fogs, and compared by some travellers to "the most gloomy night." The wind is depressing and annoying to an extreme degree. "While it lasts no man rises from his place; men and beasts hide themselves; the inhabitants of towns and villages shut themselves up in their houses, in underground apartments, or vaults." It usually blows for a space of two, or at most three, days, and sometimes with great violence, though more often with only moderate force. The visitation here recorded was peculiar,

1. In its extent, covering as it did "all the land d Egypt;"

2. In its intensity - "they saw not one another" (ver. 23) - "darkness which may be felt" (ver. 21);

3. In its circumscription, extending, as it did, to all Egypt except only the land of Goshen (ver. 23). These circumstances made Pharaoh at once recognise its heaven-sent character, and request its removal of Moses, whom he sought to persuade by conceding the departure of the Israelites with their families. He marred, however, the whole grace of this concession by a proviso that they should leave behind them their flocks and herds, viewing these as, equally with their families, a security for their return. Moses therefore indignantly rejected his offer - the flocks and the herds should go with them - he would not have a hoof left behind - they did not know what sacrifices would be required at the feast which they were about to keep, or how many (ver. 25, 26) - therefore they must take all. Pharaoh, greatly angered, forthwith broke up the conference (ver. 28), but not, as it would seem, before Moses, equally displeased, had announced the tenth plague, and the results which would follow it (Exodus 11:4-8). Verse 21. - Darkness which may be felt. Literally, "and one shall feel, or grasp, darkness." The hyperbole is no doubt extreme; but the general sentiment of mankind has approved the phrase, which exactly expresses what men feel in absolute and complete darkness. Kalisch renders, "a darkness in which men grope." But the grammatical construction does not allow of this. And the Lord said unto Moses,.... About the eleventh day of the month Abib:

stretch out thine hand toward heaven; where the luminaries are, and from whence light comes:

that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt; that is, what caused it, the gross vapours and thick fogs; for otherwise darkness itself, being a privation of light, cannot be felt: Onkelos paraphrases it,"after that the darkness of the night is removed;''so Jonathan; that it might appear to be different from that, and be much grosser. Ex 10:21-29. Plague of Darkness.

21-23. Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness—Whatever secondary means were employed in producing it, whether thick clammy fogs and vapors, according to some; a sandstorm, or the chamsin, according to others; it was such that it could be almost perceived by the organs of touch, and so protracted as to continue for three days, which the chamsin does [Hengstenberg]. The appalling character of this calamity consisted in this, that the sun was an object of Egyptian idolatry; that the pure and serene sky of that country was never marred by the appearance of a cloud. And here, too, the Lord made a marked difference between Goshen and the rest of Egypt.10:21-29 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.
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