Exodus 10:16
Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste; and he said, I have sinned against the LORD your God, and against you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste.—Heb., hasted to call for Moses and Aaron. The expression “hasted to call” is new, and marks extreme urgency. The visitation of the locusts was felt as far more severe than any previous one. It entirely destroyed all the remaining harvest, both of grain and fruit, and must have produced a terrible famine, had it not been for the Egyptian institution of granaries (Genesis 41:35; Genesis 41:48, &c).

I have sinned . . . —Comp. Exodus 9:27. This confession is an improvement upon the former one: (1) as acknowledging a double fault—“against the Lord and against you; “and (2) as free from any attempt to put the blame, either wholly or in part, upon others. It was probably sincere at the time; but the feeling from which it sprang was short-lived.

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.Went up - At a distance the locusts appear hanging, as it were, like a heavy cloud over the land; as they approach they seem to rise, and they fill the atmosphere overhead upon their arrival.

Over all the land - Travelers mention a cloud of locusts extending over 500 miles, and so compact while on the wing that it completely hid the sun. This passage describes a swarm unprecedented in extent.

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." Pharaoh called for them, because this kind of plague in itself was most pernicious, whereby whole countries had been wasted, and grievous famines and pestilences caused, and was mightily aggravated by the vengeance of God, and by the peculiar quality of these locusts, which did not only fall upon their herbs and fruits, as they use to do, but invade their very houses, Exodus 10:6, infect their meats, fill their beds, poison them with their stink and with their venomous bitings, whereby they killed many men, as it is written in /APC Wis 16:19.

Against you; by contempt of your great and terrible works, by breach of my promise made to you, and by my denial of your just desires and commands given to me in his name, whom I now find and feel to be the almighty and sovereign God. Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste,.... Or, "hastened to call them" (t); sent messengers in all haste to fetch them, and desire them to come as soon as possible to him. Thus he who a few hours ago drove them from his presence, in a hurry, sends for them to come to him with all speed, which the present circumstances he was in required:

and he said to Moses and Aaron: when they were brought into his presence:

I have sinned against the Lord your God, and against you; against the Lord by disobeying his command, in refusing to let Israel go, when he had so often required it of him; and against Moses and Aaron his ambassadors, whom he had treated with contempt, and had drove them from his presence with disgrace; and against the people of Israel, whom they personated, by retaining them, and using them so ill as he had. This confession did not arise from a true sense of sin, as committed against God, nor indeed does he in it own Jehovah to be his God, only the God of Moses and Aaron, or of the Israelites; but from the fright he was in, and fear of punishment continued upon him, to the utter ruin of him and his people.

(t) "et festinavit ad vocandum", Montanus; "festinavit accersere", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

Then Pharaoh called for {f} Moses and Aaron in haste; and he said, I have sinned against the LORD your God, and against you.

(f) The wicked in their misery seek God's ministers for help, even though they hate and detest them.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
16, 17. Such terrible ravages move the Pharaoh to confess his sin, in stronger terms than before (Exodus 9:27); he prays for forgiveness, and for a fourth time intreats for the removal of the plague (cf. Exodus 8:8; Exodus 8:28 Exodus 9:28).Verse 16. - Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste. Literally, as in the margin, "hasted to call for M. and A." He had made similar appeals before (Exodus 8:8, 25; Exodus 9:27), but never with such haste and urgency. Evidently, the locusts were felt as a severer infliction than any previous one. I have sinned. So, after the plague of hail (Exodus 9:27); but here we have the further acknowledgment, against the Lord your God and against you; "against the Lord," in disobeying his commands; "against. you," in making you premises and then refusing to keep them (Exodus 8:15, 32; Exodus 9:34, 35). As Moses had left Pharaoh after announcing the plague, he was fetched back again along with Aaron, in consequence of the appeal made to the king by his servants, and asked by the king, how many wanted to go to the feast. ומי מי, "who and who still further are the going ones;" i.e., those who wish to go? Moses required the whole nation to depart, without regard to age or sex, along with all their flocks and herds. He mentioned "young and old, sons and daughters;" the wives as belonging to the men being included in the "we." Although he assigned a reason for this demand, viz., that they were to hold a feast to Jehovah, Pharaoh was so indignant, that he answered scornfully at first: "Be it so; Jehovah be with you when I let you and your little ones go;" i.e., may Jehovah help you in the same way in which I let you and your little ones go. This indicated contempt not only for Moses and Aaron, but also for Jehovah, who had nevertheless proved Himself, by His manifestations of mighty power, to be a God who would not suffer Himself to be trifled with. After this utterance of his ill-will, Pharaoh told the messengers of God that he could see through their intention. "Evil is before your face;" i.e., you have evil in view. He called their purpose an evil one, because they wanted to withdraw the people from his service. "Not so," i.e., let it not be as you desire. "Go then, you men, and serve Jehovah." But even this concession was not seriously meant. This is evident from the expression, "Go then," in which the irony is unmistakeable; and still more so from the fact, that with these words he broke off all negotiation with Moses and Aaron, and drove them from his presence. ויגרשׁ: "one drove them forth;" the subject is not expressed, because it is clear enough that the royal servants who were present were the persons who drove them away. "For this are ye seeking:" אתהּ relates simply to the words "serve Jehovah," by which the king understood the sacrificial festival, for which in his opinion only the men could be wanted; not that "he supposed the people for whom Moses had asked permission to go, to mean only the men" (Knobel). The restriction of the permission to depart to the men alone was pure caprice; for even the Egyptians, according to Herodotus (2, 60), held religious festivals at which the women were in the habit of accompanying the men.
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