Exodus 8:29
And Moses said, Behold, I go out from thee, and I will intreat the LORD that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, to morrow: but let not Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the LORD.
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(29) And Moses said, Behold . . . I will in-treat the Lord.—Moses accepted Pharaoh’s second promise, and took no special exception to its condition —“only ye shall not go very far away.” He had distinctly stated his own demand, which was for “a three days’ journey into the wilderness” (Exodus 5:3; Exodus 8:27). It was for Pharaoh to settle with himself whether he considered that distance “very far” or not. As he made no clear objection to the distance, Moses was bound to suppose that he allowed it.

Let not Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more. God’s servants must rebuke even kings when they openly break the moral law (1Samuel 13:13; 1Samuel 15:16-23; 2Samuel 12:7-12; 1Kings 21:20-22; Matthew 14:4. &c.). Pharaoh had promised unconditionally to let the people go if the frogs were removed (Exodus 8:8), and had. then flagrantly broken his word. Moses was right to rebuke his deceit.”

8:20-32 Pharaoh was early at his false devotions to the river; and shall we be for more sleep and more slumber, when any service to the Lord is to be done? The Egyptians and the Hebrews were to be marked in the plague of flies. The Lord knows them that are his, and will make it appear, perhaps in this world, certainly in the other, that he has set them apart for himself. Pharaoh unwillingly entered into a treaty with Moses and Aaron. He is content they should sacrifice to their God, provided they would do it in the land of Egypt. But it would be an abomination to God, should they offer the Egyptian sacrifices; and it would be an abomination to the Egyptians, should they offer to God the objects of the worship of the Egyptians, namely, their calves or oxen. Those who would offer acceptable sacrifice to God, must separate themselves from the wicked and profane. They must also retire from the world. Israel cannot keep the feast of the Lord, either among the brick-kilns or among the flesh-pots of Egypt. And they must sacrifice as God shall command, not otherwise. Though they were in slavery to Pharaoh, yet they must obey God's commands. Pharaoh consents for them to go into the wilderness, provided they do not go so far but that he might fetch them back again. Thus, some sinners, in a pang of conviction, part with their sins, yet are loth they should go very far away; for when the fright is over, they will turn to them again. Moses promised the removal of this plague. But let not Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: if we think to cheat God by a sham repentance and a false surrender of ourselves to him, we shall put a fatal cheat upon our own souls. Pharaoh returned to his hardness. Reigning lusts break through the strongest bonds, and make men presume and go from their word. Many seem in earnest, but there is some reserve, some beloved, secret sin. They are unwilling to look upon themselves as in danger of everlasting misery. They will refrain from other sins; they do much, give much, and even punish themselves much. They will leave it off sometimes, and, as it were, let their sin depart a little way; but will not make up their minds to part with all and follow Christ, bearing the cross. Rather than that, they venture all. They are sorrowful, but depart from Christ, determined to keep the world at present, and they hope for some future season, when salvation may be had without such costly sacrifices; but, at length, the poor sinner is driven away in his wickedness, and left without hope to lament his folly.Three days' journey - See the Exodus 3:18 note. 25-32. Pharaoh called for Moses, … Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land, &c.—Between impatient anxiety to be freed from this scourge and a reluctance on the part of the Hebrew bondsmen, the king followed the course of expediency; he proposed to let them free to engage in their religious rites within any part of the kingdom. But true to his instructions, Moses would accede to no such arrangement; he stated a most valid reason to show the danger of it, and the king having yielded so far as to allow them a brief holiday across the border, annexed to this concession a request that Moses would entreat with Jehovah for the removal of the plague. He promised to do so, and it was removed the following day. But no sooner was the pressure over than the spirit of Pharaoh, like a bent bow, sprang back to its wonted obduracy, and, regardless of his promise, he refused to let the people depart. No text from Poole on this verse.

And Moses said, behold, I go out from thee,.... Directly, immediately, to the place where he was wont to meet the Lord, and receive orders and instructions from him:

and I will entreat the Lord that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh; for as he sent them, he only could remove them, and he could do the one as easily as he did the other:

from his servants, and from his people, tomorrow; that there might be a thorough and clear riddance of them from him and all his subjects, and out of every part of his kingdom; which should be done, and was done on the morrow, that is, on the thirtieth day of Adar, answering to part of our February, and part of our March, so that this must be about the middle of March:

but let not Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more, in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the Lord; as in the plague of frogs, refusing to let them go when it was past; which Moses calls an illusion, a mocking of them, and dealing deceitfully, to which he here refers; see Exodus 8:15.

And Moses said, Behold, I go out from thee, and I will intreat the LORD that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, to morrow: but let not Pharaoh deal {i} deceitfully any more in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the LORD.

(i) He could not judge his heart, but yet he charged him to do this honestly.

29. to-morrow] Cf. v. 10; and on v. 23.

deal deceitfully] properly, mock (1 Kings 18:27), so as to deceive (Genesis 31:7, Jdg 16:10; Jdg 16:13; Jdg 16:15).

any more] as in v. 15, after the promise of v. 8.

Verse 29. - To-morrow. As Pharaoh had fixed the "morrow" for the departure of the second plague (ver. 10), so Moses now announces a similar date for the departure of the fourth. He adds a remonstrance against any further deceit or tergiversation, which Pharaoh must have felt to be well deserved. Exodus 8:29These reasons commended themselves to the heathen king from his own religious standpoint. He promised, therefore, to let the people go into the wilderness and sacrifice, provided they did not go far away, if Moses and Aaron would release him and his people from this plague through their intercession. Moses promised that the swarms should be removed the following day, but told the king not to deceive them again as he had done before (Exodus 8:8). But Pharaoh hardened his heart as soon as the plague was taken away, just as he had done after the second plague (Exodus 8:15), to which the word "also" refers (Exodus 8:32).
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