|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:10-23 The Egyptian task-masters were very severe. See what need we have to pray that we may be delivered from wicked men. The head-workmen justly complained to Pharaoh: but he taunted them. The malice of Satan has often represented the service and worship of God, as fit employment only for those who have nothing else to do, and the business only of the idle; whereas, it is the duty of those who are most busy in the world. Those who are diligent in doing sacrifice to the Lord, will, before God, escape the doom of the slothful servant, though with men they do not. The Israelites should have humbled themselves before God, and have taken to themselves the shame of their sin; but instead of that, they quarrel with those who were to be their deliverers. Moses returned to the Lord. He knew that what he had said and done, was by God's direction; and therefore appeals to him. When we find ourselves at any time perplexed in the way of our duty, we ought to go to God, and lay open our case before him by fervent prayer. Disappointments in our work must not drive us from our God, but still we must ponder why they are sent.
Verses 20, 21. - On quitting the presence of Pharaoh, the officers of the Israelites, burning with the sense of the injustice done them, and deeply apprehensive with respect to their own future, found Moses and Aaron waiting in the precincts of the court to know the result of their application. It need cause no surprise that they poured out their pent-up indignation upon them. Were not Moses and Aaron the sole cause of the existing state of things? Did not the extreme affliction of the people, did not their own sufferings in the past, did not their apprehended sufferings in the future, originate wholly in the seductive words which the two brothers had addressed to them at the assembly of the people? (Exodus 4:29-31). Accordingly, they denounced, almost cursed their officious would-be deliverers (Exodus 5:21). "The Lord look upon you, and judge" between you and us, whether the blame of this whole matter does not lie upon you, its initiators - you have made us to be abhorred in the sight of Pharaoh, and of the Egyptians generally you have brought us into danger of our lives - the Lord judge you!" Verse 20. - Who stood in the way. Rather, "who waited to meet them." It was not accident, but design, that had brought the two brothers to the spot. They were as anxious as the officers to know what course Pharaoh would take - whether he would relax the burthens of the people or no - whether he would have compassion or the contrary.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they met Moses and Aaron,.... The officers of the children of Israel, who had been with their complaints to Pharaoh:
who stood in the way as they came forth from Pharaoh; they, had placed themselves in a proper situation, that they might meet them when they came out, and know what success they had, and which they were extremely desirous of hearing; by which they might judge in what temper Pharaoh was, and what they might for the future expect from him in consequence of their embassy.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20, 21. they met Moses … The Lord look upon you, and judge—Thus the deliverer of Israel found that this patriotic interference did, in the first instance, only aggravate the evil he wished to remove, and that instead of receiving the gratitude, he was loaded with the reproaches of his countrymen. But as the greatest darkness is immediately before the dawn, so the people of God are often plunged into the deepest affliction when on the eve of their deliverance; and so it was in this case.
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