Exodus 10:24
And Pharaoh called to Moses, and said, Go you, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed: let your little ones also go with you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(24) Let your little ones also go with you.—Rather, your families. Pharaoh yields another point, but he will not yield all. He has not yet made up his mind really to “let the people go.” He must still keep some hold on them, and the cattle will serve his purpose equally with the “little ones.” If the Israelites depart without their cattle, they will be sure to return for them.

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.Your flocks and your herds - Pharaoh still exacts what would of course be a complete security for their return: but the demand was wholly incompatible with the object assigned for the journey into the wilderness. 24-26. Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said, Go ye, serve the Lord—Terrified by the preternatural darkness, the stubborn king relents, and proposes another compromise—the flocks and herds to be left as hostages for their return. But the crisis is approaching, and Moses insists on every iota of his demand. The cattle would be needed for sacrifice—how many or how few could not be known till their arrival at the scene of religious observance. But the emancipation of Israel from Egyptian bondage was to be complete. And Pharaoh, or therefore, or then, to wit, after the darkness was either wholly or in part removed.

Let your flocks and your herds be stayed, either as a pledge of your return after your sacrifice is ended, or as a recompence for the cattle which I have lost by your means. Let your little ones also go with you, and consequently the women, whose help and service was necessary for their little ones in divers regards. And Pharaoh called unto Moses,.... After the three days, as the Targum of Jonathan, when the darkness was over, or at least much diminished, fearing that still worse evils would befall him:

and said, go ye, serve the Lord, only let your flocks and your herds be stayed; stopped or remained behind, as a pledge and security of their return; and these the rather he was desirous of retaining, because of the great loss of cattle he had sustained by the murrain and boils upon them, and by the hail: let your little ones also go with you; this he had refused before, but now consents to it, which he thought was doing them a great favour, and that upon such terms they might be content to go.

And Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said, Go ye, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed: let your little ones also go with you.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
24–26. The Pharaoh now summons Moses again, and offers a greater concession than before (vv. 8–11): the entire people may go; only their flocks and herds must be left behind (as a security for their return). But Moses will not listen to such a compromise. The passage must belong to the same source as vv. 8–11 (J).Verse 24. - Only let your flocks and your herds be stayed. The pitch darkness is more than Pharaoh can bear. On the third day of its duration probably, he sends a messenger who succeeds in finding Moses, and conducting him to the monarch's presence. He has made up his mind to yield another point - that on which he insisted so strongly at the last interview (vers. 10, 11) - he will let the Israelites go with their families - only, their flocks and herds must remain behind. This will be, he considers, a sufficient security for their return; since without cattle they would be unable to support life for many days in the wilderness. Your little ones. Rather, "your families." To show the hardened king the greatness of the divine long-suffering, Moses prayed to the Lord, and the Lord cast the locusts into the Red Sea by a strong west wind. The expression "Jehovah turned a very strong west wind" is a concise form, for "Jehovah turned the wind into a very strong west wind." The fact that locusts do perish in the sea is attested by many authorities. Gregatim sublatae vento in maria aut stagna decidunt (Pliny); many others are given by Bochart and Volney. ויּתקעהוּ: He thrust them, i.e., drove them with irresistible force, into the Red Sea. The Red Sea is called סוּף ים, according to the ordinary supposition, on account of the quantity of sea-weed which floats upon the water and lies upon the shore; but Knobel traces the name to a town which formerly stood at the head of the gulf, and derived its name from the weed, and supports his opinion by the omission of the article before Suph, though without being able to prove that any such town really existed in the earlier times of the Pharaohs.
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