And they shall fill your houses, and the houses of all your servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians; which neither your fathers, nor your fathers' fathers have seen, since the day that they were on the earth to this day. And he turned himself, and went out from Pharaoh.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)They shall fill thy houses.—“They shall run to and fro in the city,” says the prophet Joel; “they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows, like a thief.” Modern travellers bear abundant witness to the same effect; as Burckhardt: “They overwhelm the province of Nedjd sometimes to such a degree that, having destroyed the harvest, they penetrate by thousands into the private dwellings, and devour whatsoever they can find, even the leather of the water vessels” (Notes, vol. ii., p. 90). And Morier: “They entered the inmost recesses of the houses, were found in every corner, stuck to our clothes, and infected our food” (Second Journey, p. 100). Kalisch is quite correct when he says: “Sometimes they penetrate into the houses; they fly into the mouths of the inmates; they throw themselves on the food; they gnaw leather, and even wood” (Commentary, p. 123).
Which neither thy fathers, nor thy fathers’ fathers have seen.—Only one notice of locusts has been found in the native records.
He turned himself, and went out.—It seems to be meant that Moses did not on this occasion wait to see what effect his menace would have on Pharaoh. He “knew that Pharaoh would not yet fear the Lord” (Exodus 9:30).Exodus 10:6. They shall fill the houses of all the Egyptians — Dr. Shaw says, the locusts he saw in Barbary, in the year 1724, “climbed, as they marched forward, over every tree or wall that was in their way; they entered into our very houses and bed-chambers, like so many thieves.” — See Encycl. Brit. on the term Gryllus, p. 162, 3d edit.Joel 2:9.
and the houses of thy servants; the palaces of his nobles and courtiers:
and the houses of all the Egyptians; of all the common people, not only in the metropolis, but in all the cities and towns in the kingdom; and so Dr. Shaw (c) says, the locusts he saw in Barbary, in the years 1724 and 1725, climbed as they advanced over every tree or wall that was in their way; nay, they entered into our very houses and bedchambers, he says, like so many thieves:
which neither thy fathers, nor thy fathers' fathers, have seen since the day they were upon the earth unto this day; for size, for numbers, and for the mischief they should do; for though they have sometimes appeared in great numbers, and have covered a large spot of ground where they have settled, and devoured all green things, yet never as to cover a whole country at once, and so large an one as Egypt, and destroy all green things in it; at least, never such a thing had been seen or known in Egypt before since it was a nation, though it was a country sometimes visited by locusts; for Pliny (d) says, that in the country of Cyreniaca, which was near Egypt, see Acts 2:10 there was a law made for the diminishing of them, and keeping them under, to be observed three times a year, first by breaking their eggs, then destroying their young, and when they were grown up:
and he turned himself, and went out from Pharaoh; as soon as Moses had delivered his message, perceiving anger in Pharaoh's countenance, and concluding from hence and some gestures of his that he should not succeed, and perhaps might be bid to go away, though it is not recorded; or "he looked and went out from him" (e), in honour to the king, as R. Jeshuah observes, he went backward with his face to the king; he did not turn his back upon him, but went out with his face to him; and which as it was and is the manner in the eastern countries, so it is with us at this day, to go from the presence of the king, not with the back, but with the face turned toward him, so long as he is to be seen.And they shall fill thy houses, and the houses of all thy servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians; which neither thy fathers, nor thy fathers' fathers have seen, since the day that they were upon the earth unto this day. And he turned himself, and went out from Pharaoh.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)6. thy houses shall be filled, &c.] Cf. Morier, describing an invasion in Persia (ibid. p. 89), ‘They entered the inmost recesses of the houses, were found in every corner, stuck to our clothes, and infested our food.’
And he turned] i.e. Moses, though Aaron also, according to v. 3, had gone in. See the note on vv. 1b, 2, at the end.Verse 6. - They shall fill thy houses. Compare Joel 2:9. The witness of modern travellers is to the same effect. Morier says "They entered the inmost recesses of the houses, were found in every corner, stuck to our clothes, and infested our food" (Second Journey, p. 100). Burckhardt observes - "They overwhelm the province of Nedjd sometimes to such a degree that, having destroyed the harvest, they penetrate by thousands into the private dwellings, and devour whatsoever they can find, even the leather of the water vessels" (Notes, vol. 2. p. 90). An older traveller, Beauplan, writes as follows: - "In June 1646, at Novgorod, it was prodigious to behold them, because they were hatched there that spring, and being as yet scarce able to fly, the ground was all covered, and the air so full of them that I could not eat in my chamber without a candle, all the houses being full of them, even the stables, barns, chambers, garrets, and cellars. I caused cannon-powder and sulphur to be burnt to expel them, but all to no purpose; for when the door Was opened, an infinite number came in, and the others went fluttering about; and it was a troublesome thing, when a man went abroad, to be hit on the face by those creatures, on the nose, eyes, or cheeks, so that there was no opening one's mouth but some would get in. Yet all this was nothing; for when we were to eat they gave us no respite; and when we went to cut a piece of meat, we cut a locust with it, and when a man opened his mouth to put in a morsel, he was sure to chew one of them." Oriental houses, it is to be borne in mind, have no better protection than lattice-work in the windows, so that locusts have free access to the apartments, even when the doers are shut. Which neither thy fathers, nor thy fathers' fathers have seen. Inroads of locusts are not common in Egypt. Only one reference has been found to them in the native records. When they occur, they are as destructive as elsewhere. Denon witnessed one in the early part of the present century. Two others were witnessed by Carsten Niebuhr and Forskal in 1761 and 1762 (Description de l'Arabie, p. 148); and another by Tisehendorf comparatively recently. The meaning in the text is probably that no such visitation as that now sent had been seen previously, not that Egypt had been hitherto free from the scourge. He turned himself and went out. Moses did not wait to learn what effect his announcement would have. He" knew "that Pharaoh would not fear the Lord. (See Exodus 9:30.)
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