|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:1-11 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.
Verse 4. - To-morrow. Again a warning is given, and a space of time interposed, during which the king may repent and submit himself, if he chooses. The locusts. The species intended is probably either the Aeridium peregrinum or the Oedipoda migratoria. Both are common in Arabia and Syria, and both are known in Egypt. They are said to be equally destructive. The Hebrew name, arbeh, points to the "multitudinous" character of the visitation. A traveller in Syria says - "It is difficult to express the effect produced on us by the sight of the whole atmosphere filled on all sides and to a great height by an innumerable quantity of these insects, whose flight was slow and uniform, and whose noise resembled that of rain; the sky was darkened, and the light of the sun considerably weakened. In a moment the terraces of the houses, the streets, and all the fields were covered by these insects." (Ollivier, Voyage clans l'Empire Ottoman, vol. 2. p. 424.) Into thy coast - i.e. "across thy border, into thy territories." The locust is only an occasional visitant in Egypt, and seems always to arrive from some foreign country.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Else, if thou refuse to let my people go,.... He threatens him with the following plague, the plague of the locusts, which Pliny (x) calls "denrum irae pestis":
behold, tomorrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast; according to Bishop Usher (y) this was about the seventh day of the month Abib, that this plague was threatened, and on the morrow, which was the eighth day, it was brought; but Aben Ezra relates it as an opinion of Japhet an Hebrew writer, that there were many days between the plague of the hail, and the plague of the locusts, that there might be time for the grass and plants to spring out of the field; but this seems not necessary, for these locusts only ate of what were left of the hail, as in the following verse.
(x) Nat. Hist. l. 11. c. 29. (y) Annales Vet. Test. p. 21.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. to-morrow will I bring the locusts—Moses was commissioned to renew the request, so often made and denied, with an assurance that an unfavorable answer would be followed on the morrow by an invasion of locusts. This species of insect resembles a large, spotted, red and black, double-winged grasshopper, about three inches or less in length, with the two hind legs working like hinged springs of immense strength and elasticity. Perhaps no more terrible scourge was ever brought on a land than those voracious insects, which fly in such countless numbers as to darken the land which they infest; and on whatever place they alight, they convert it into a waste and barren desert, stripping the ground of its verdure, the trees of their leaves and bark, and producing in a few hours a degree of desolation which it requires the lapse of years to repair.
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