Exodus 12:29
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
At midnight the LORD struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well.

New Living Translation
And that night at midnight, the LORD struck down all the firstborn sons in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sat on his throne, to the firstborn son of the prisoner in the dungeon. Even the firstborn of their livestock were killed.

English Standard Version
At midnight the LORD struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock.

New American Standard Bible
Now it came about at midnight that the LORD struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of cattle.

King James Bible
And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Now at midnight the LORD struck every firstborn male in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the prisoner who was in the dungeon, and every firstborn of the livestock.

International Standard Version
And so at midnight the LORD struck down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the prisoner who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock.

NET Bible
It happened at midnight--the LORD attacked all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the prison, and all the firstborn of the cattle.

New Heart English Bible
It happened at midnight, that the LORD struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of livestock.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
At midnight the LORD killed every firstborn male in Egypt from the firstborn son of Pharaoh who ruled the land to the firstborn son of the prisoner in jail, and also every firstborn animal.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And it came to pass at midnight, that the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the first-born of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the first-born of cattle.

New American Standard 1977
Now it came about at midnight that the LORD struck all the first-born in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the first-born of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the first-born of cattle.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the animals.

King James 2000 Bible
And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.

American King James Version
And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.

American Standard Version
And it came to pass at midnight, that Jehovah smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the first-born of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the first-born of cattle.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And it came to pass at midnight, the Lord slew every firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharao, who sat on his throne, unto the firstborn of the captive woman that was in the prison, and all the firstborn of cattle.

Darby Bible Translation
And it came to pass that at midnight Jehovah smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of cattle.

English Revised Version
And it came to pass at midnight, that the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.

Webster's Bible Translation
And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh that sat on his throne, to the first-born of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the first-born of cattle.

World English Bible
It happened at midnight, that Yahweh struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of livestock.

Young's Literal Translation
And it cometh to pass, at midnight, that Jehovah hath smitten every first-born in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh who is sitting on his throne, unto the first-born of the captive who is in the prison-house, and every first-born of beasts.
Study Bible
The Tenth Plague: Death of Firstborn
28Then the sons of Israel went and did so; just as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did. 29Now it came about at midnight that the LORD struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of cattle. 30Pharaoh arose in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians, and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was no home where there was not someone dead.…
Cross References
Hebrews 11:28
By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch Israel's own firstborn.

Exodus 4:23
"So I said to you, 'Let My son go that he may serve Me'; but you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son, your firstborn."'"

Exodus 9:6
So the LORD did this thing on the next day, and all the livestock of Egypt died; but of the livestock of the sons of Israel, not one died.

Exodus 11:4
Moses said, "Thus says the LORD, 'About midnight I am going out into the midst of Egypt,

Exodus 11:5
and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of the Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the millstones; all the firstborn of the cattle as well.

Exodus 12:28
Then the sons of Israel went and did so; just as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.

Exodus 13:15
'It came about, when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, that the LORD killed every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of beast. Therefore, I sacrifice to the LORD the males, the first offspring of every womb, but every firstborn of my sons I redeem.'

Numbers 8:17
"For every firstborn among the sons of Israel is Mine, among the men and among the animals; on the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I sanctified them for Myself.

Numbers 33:4
while the Egyptians were burying all their firstborn whom the LORD had struck down among them. The LORD had also executed judgments on their gods.

Job 34:20
"In a moment they die, and at midnight People are shaken and pass away, And the mighty are taken away without a hand.
Treasury of Scripture

And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.

at midnight

Exodus 12:12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite …

Exodus 11:4 And Moses said, Thus said the LORD, About midnight will I go out …

Exodus 13:15 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the …

Job 34:20 In a moment shall they die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight, …

1 Thessalonians 5:2,3 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as …

the Lord smote. The infliction of this judgment on the Egyptians was most equitable; because, after their nation had been preserved by one of the Israelitish family, they had, contrary to all right, and in defiance of original stipulation, enslaved the people to whom they had been so much indebted, and had murdered their offspring, and made their bondage intolerable.

Numbers 3:13 Because all the firstborn are mine…

Numbers 8:17 For all the firstborn of the children of Israel are mine, both man and beast…

Numbers 33:4 For the Egyptians buried all their firstborn, which the LORD had …

Psalm 78:51 And smote all the firstborn in Egypt; the chief of their strength …

Psalm 105:36 He smote also all the firstborn in their land, the chief of all their strength.

Psalm 135:8 Who smote the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and beast.

Psalm 136:10 To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endures for ever:

Hebrews 11:28 Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, …

Hebrews 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written …

the first-born of Pharaoh

Exodus 4:23 And I say to you, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if you …

Exodus 11:5 And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first …

dungeon. Heb. house of the pit

Isaiah 24:22 And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in …

Isaiah 51:14 The captive exile hastens that he may be loosed, and that he should …

Jeremiah 38:6,13 Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah …

Zechariah 9:11 As for you also, by the blood of your covenant I have sent forth …

THE TENTH PLAGUE.

(29, 30) The nature of the tenth plague is indubitable, but as to the exact agency which was employed there may be different views. In every family in which the firstborn child had been a male, that child was stricken with death. Pharaoh's firstborn son--the erpa suten sa--the heir to his throne, was taken; and so in all other families. Nobles, priests, tradesmen, artisans, peasants, fishermen--all alike suffered. In the hyperbolic language of the narrator, "there was not a house where there was not one dead." And the deaths took place "at midnight," in the weirdest hour, at the most silent time, in the deepest darkness. So it had been prophesied (Exodus 11:4); but the particular night had not been announced. As several days had elapsed since the announcement, the Egyptians may have been wrapt in fancied security. Suddenly the calamity fell upon them and "there was a great cry." Death did not come, as upon the host of Sennacherib, noiselessly, unperceivedly, but "with observation." Those who were seized woke up and aroused their relatives. There was a cry for help, a general alarm, a short, sharp struggle and then a death.

The visitation is ordinarily ascribed to God Himself (Exodus 4:23; Exodus 11:4; Exodus 12:12; Exodus 12:27; Exodus 12:29; Exodus 13:15, &c), but in Exodus 12:23 to "the destroyer." It has been already shown that this expression points to angelic agency. That agency, however, does not exclude a further natural one. As in 2 Samuel 24 the seventy thousand whom the destroying angel killed (Exodus 12:16) are said to have been slain by a pestilence (Exodus 12:15), so it may have been here. Pestilence often rages in Egypt in the spring of the year, and carries off thousands in a very short space. As with so many of the other plagues, God may here too have employed a natural agency. None the less would the plague have been miraculous--(1) in its intensity; (2) in its coming at the time prophesied, viz., midnight; (3) in its selection of victims, viz., the firstborn males only, and all of them; (4) in its avoidance of the Israelites; and (5) in its extension, as prophesied, to the firstborn of animals.

(29) All the firstborn.--The Hebrew word used applies only to males.

The firstborn of Pharaoh.--The law of primogeniture prevailed in Egypt, as elsewhere generally. The Pharaoh's eldest son was recognised as "hereditary crown prince," and sometimes associated in the kingdom during his father's lifetime. This had been the case with Lameses II., probably the Pharaoh from whom Moses fled (Exodus 2:15); but the practice was not common. In any case, however, the eldest son of the reigning monarch occupied a most important position, and his loss would be felt as a national calamity.

The firstborn of the captive.--The variation of phrase between this verse and Exodus 11:5 is curious, but appears not to be of any significance. The writer simply means, in both places, "all, from the highest to the lowest."

All the firstborn of cattle.--Rather, of beasts, as in Exodus 11:5. (On the reasons for beasts being included in the calamity, see the Note on that passage.)

Verses 29, 30. - THE TENTH PLAGUE. At last the time had come for the dealing of the final blow. Nine plagues had been sent, nine inflictions endured, and no serious effect had been produced. Once or twice Pharaoh had wavered, had made profession of submitting himself, had even acknowledged his sin. But each time he had relapsed into obstinacy. Now at length the fiat had gone forth for that last plague which had been announced the first (Exodus 4:23). Pharaoh's own son, his firstborn, the heir to his throne, was smitten with death, in common with all the other male Egyptians who had "opened the womb." What the effect on the king would have been, had he alone suffered, we cannot certainly say. As it was, the whole population of the country, nobles, tradesmen, peasants, suffered with him; and the feeling aroused was so intense that the popular movement left him no choice. The Egyptians everywhere "rose up in the night" (ver. 30), and raised "a great cry," and insisted that the Israelites should depart at once (ver. 33). Each man feared for himself, and felt his life insecure, so long as a single Israelite remained in the land. Verse 29. - At midnight. As prophesied by Moses (Exodus 11:4). The day had not been fixed, and this uncertainty must have added to the horror of the situation. The first-born of Pharaoh. We have no proof that the eldest son of Menephthah died before his father, unless we take this passage as proving it. He left a son, called Seti-Menephthah, or Seti II, who either succeeded him, or reigned after a short interval, during which the throne was held by Ammonmes, a usurper. The first-born of the captive who was in the dungeon. This phrase takes the place of another expression, viz. "the first-born of the maid-servant that is behind the mill" (Exodus 11:5). In both cases, the general meaning is, "all, from the highest to the lowest." This is perhaps the whole that is in the writer's thought; but it is also true that captives in dungeons were in some cases employed in turning hand-mills (Judges 16:21). And all the first-born of cattle. Rather, "of beasts." There is no limitation of the plague to domesticated animals. And it came to pass, that at midnight the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt,.... The midnight of the fifteenth of Nisan, as the Targum of Jonathan, when fast asleep, and thoughtless of any danger; and it being at such a time must strike with a greater horror and terror, when sensible of the blow, which might be attended with a great noise, that might awaken the rest:

from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne; the heir to his crown, who was to have sat upon his throne, or already did, being taken a partner with him in it:

unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; or prison, that was grinding at the mill there, Exodus 11:5 which was the work and business the prisoners were often put to, as appears from the case of Samson, Judges 16:21,

and all the firstborn of cattle; which were left of the other plagues, which had consumed great numbers of them. 29. at midnight the Lord smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt—At the moment when the Israelites were observing the newly instituted feast in the singular manner described, the threatened calamity overtook the Egyptians. It is more easy to imagine than describe the confusion and terror of that people suddenly roused from sleep and enveloped in darkness—none could assist their neighbors when the groans of the dying and the wild shrieks of mourners were heard everywhere around. The hope of every family was destroyed at a stroke. This judgment, terrible though it was, evinced the equity of divine retribution. For eighty years the Egyptians had caused the male children of the Israelites to be cast into the river [Ex 1:16], and now all their own first-born fell under the stroke of the destroying angel. They were made, in the justice of God, to feel something of what they had made His people feel. Many a time have the hands of sinners made the snares in which they have themselves been entangled, and fallen into the pit which they have dug for the righteous [Pr 28:10]. "Verily there is a God that judgeth in the earth" [Ps 58:11].12:29-36 The Egyptians had been for three days and nights kept in anxiety and horror by the darkness; now their rest is broken by a far more terrible calamity. The plague struck their first-born, the joy and hope of their families. They had slain the Hebrews' children, now God slew theirs. It reached from the throne to the dungeon: prince and peasant stand upon the same level before God's judgments. The destroying angel entered every dwelling unmarked with blood, as the messenger of woe. He did his dreadful errand, leaving not a house in which there was not one dead. Imagine then the cry that rang through the land of Egypt, the long, loud shriek of agony that burst from every dwelling. It will be thus in that dreadful hour when the Son of man shall visit sinners with the last judgment. God's sons, his first-born, were now released. Men had better come to God's terms at first, for he will never come to theirs. Now Pharaoh's pride is abased, and he yields. God's word will stand; we get nothing by disputing, or delaying to submit. In this terror the Egyptians would purchase the favour and the speedy departure of Israel. Thus the Lord took care that their hard-earned wages should be paid, and the people provided for their journey.
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