And Moses said, You must give us also sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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. Thou must give us,
i.e. suffer us to take of our own stock
And Moses said, thou must give us also sacrifices and burnt offerings,.... Sheep, rams, and goats for sacrifices, and oxen for burnt offerings; and that of his own, as Jarchi interprets it; but rather the meaning is, that besides having their little ones with them, they must be allowed also to take their cattle for sacrifices and burnt offerings:
that we may sacrifice unto the Lord our God; might have wherewith to offer up in sacrifice to him as he shall require. And Moses said, Thou must give us also sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice unto the LORD our God.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)25
. Thou also must
, &c.] The pron. is emphatic. Pharaoh, besides letting the Israelites’ cattle go, must also himself contribute to the sacrifices which will be offered. By ‘sacrifices’ (lit. slaughterings
) are meant the most common kind of sacrifice, called elsewhere for distinction ‘peace-offerings’ (see on Exodus 20:24
): they are often, esp. in the historical books, mentioned together with burnt-offerings (see ibid.
] Heb. do
,—used in a sacrificial sense, like ῥέζειν
, and the Ass. epêshu
. So Exodus 29:36
; Exodus 29:38
, Deuteronomy 12:27
, 1 Kings 3:15
, and frequently (the instances in the OT. have been collected by the writer in DB.
s.v. Offer, Offering, No. 7, iii. 588b).Verses 25, 26.
- Moses absolutely refuses the suggested compromise. He had already declared on a former occasion, "With our young and with our old we will go; with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds
we will go" (ver. 9). He is not inclined to retract now, after two additional plagues, what he had demanded before them. He does not refuse, however, to set forth his reasons. The cattle must go because the feast which they are about to keep requires sacrifices- they must all
go, because the Israelites do not as yet know what animals, or how many of each, will be required of them. The feast was a new thing, without precedent; its ritual was not yet laid down. No exact directions were to be expected, until the place was reached where God intended that it should be celebrated.
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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