Exodus 8:8
Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, Entreat the LORD, that he may take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may do sacrifice to the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) Pharaoh called for Moses.—This was the first sign of yielding. Pharaoh had borne the infliction of the water turned to blood without flinching, probably because individually he had suffered but little from it. (See the comment on Exodus 7:23.) But he suffered from the frogs as much as any one else (Exodus 8:3-4); and the personal inconvenience drove him to make a concession. As far as words could go, the concession was complete. (1) He acknowledged the power of Jehovah (“Intreat the Lord, that He may take away, &c.”’); (2) he acknowledged the power of righteous men’s prayers; (3) he made an absolute unreserved promise to “let the people go.”

Exodus 8:8. Pharaoh said, Entreat the Lord — This is the man, who, not long ago, proudly said, Who is the Lord? Who is Jehovah? He now begins to know something of Jehovah’s power and justice at least, and is glad to procure Moses and Aaron to become intercessors to Jehovah for him. It appears evident from this, that Pharaoh’s magicians had no power to remove the frogs which Moses had brought. So Aben Ezra observes: “He called for Moses, because he saw the magicians had only added to the plague, but could not diminish it.”8:1-15 Pharaoh is plagued with frogs; their vast numbers made them sore plagues to the Egyptians. God could have plagued Egypt with lions, or bears, or wolves, or with birds of prey, but he chose to do it by these despicable creatures. God, when he pleases, can arm the smallest parts of the creation against us. He thereby humbled Pharaoh. They should neither eat, nor drink, nor sleep in quiet; but wherever they were, they should be troubled by the frogs. God's curse upon a man will pursue him wherever he goes, and lie heavy upon him whatever he does. Pharaoh gave way under this plague. He promises that he will let the people go. Those who bid defiance to God and prayer, first or last, will be made to see their need of both. But when Pharaoh saw there was respite, he hardened his heart. Till the heart is renewed by the grace of God, the thoughts made by affliction do not abide; the convictions wear off, and the promises that were given are forgotten. Till the state of the air is changed, what thaws in the sun will freeze again in the shade.The magicians would seem to have been able to increase the plague, but not to remove it; hence, Pharaoh's application to Moses, the first symptoms of yielding. 8-15. Pharaoh called, … Intreat the Lord, that he may take away the frogs from me—The frog, which was now used as an instrument of affliction, whether from reverence or abhorrence, was an object of national superstition with the Egyptians, the god Ptha being represented with a frog's head. But the vast numbers, together with their stench, made them an intolerable nuisance so that the king was so far humbled as to promise that, if Moses would intercede for their removal, he would consent to the departure of Israel, and in compliance with this appeal, they were withdrawn at the very hour named by the monarch himself. But many, while suffering the consequences of their sins, make promises of amendment and obedience which they afterwards forget; and so Pharaoh, when he saw there was a respite, was again hardened [Ex 8:15]. No text from Poole on this verse. Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron,.... He sent for them:

and said, entreat the Lord, that he may take away the frogs from me and from my people; he begins now to know the Lord, whom he knew not before, by the judgments he executed on him, to acknowledge his hand in those judgments, and tacitly to own that none else could remove them; and his proud heart was so far humbled, as to beg the favour of Moses and Aaron to intercede with the Lord to cause this plague to cease, which was intolerable: and it may be observed from other instances in history, somewhat similar to this, that whole cities and countries have been deserted by their inhabitants on a like occasion, as those of Paeonia and Dardania, in the account above given; and Justin reports (u) of the Abderites, a people of Thrace, that because of the multitude of frogs and mice, were obliged to leave their native country, and seek new habitations; and Diodorus Siculus (w) and Aelianus (x) relate much the same of a people called Autariatae; and Varro (y) affirms, that in a city in France, the inhabitants of it were drove away by frogs; which instances, as they show how very distressing such a calamity is, so they serve to illustrate and confirm the truth of the divine history, cavilled at by infidels, when anything is related in it exceeding the common and ordinary course of things:

and I will let the people go, that they may do sacrifice unto the Lord; as had been frequently required of him, Exodus 5:1.

(u) E Trogo, l. 15. c. 2.((w) Bibliothec. l. 3. p. 164. (x) De Animal. l. 17. c. 41. (y) Apud Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 29.

Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, {c} Intreat the LORD, that he may take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may do sacrifice unto the LORD.

(c) Not love but fear causes the infidels to seek God.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8–14. At the Pharaoh’s urgent request, and promise, if it be granted, that he will let the people go, the frogs die away off the land.Verses 8-15. - How long the plague of frogs endured, we are not told. Probably every effort was made, short of intentionally killing them, to get rid of them. Snakes, and chameleons, and ibises would destroy many - others would be crushed beneath wheels, trampled on by animals, squeezed to death by the opening of doors, unintentionally killed by men. But the vacancies made were constantly filled; and there seemed no prospect of the infliction passing away. The influence of his counsellors would under these circumstances be brought to bear upon the mind of the Pharaoh - he would be warned that his subjects were attributing their sufferings to his obstinacy - he would be recommended - perhaps pressed - to yield, and would find in the annoyance which he individually endured a strong motive for compliance. Accordingly, he after a while sent for the two Israelite chiefs, and made the request recorded in the text. Verse 8. - Intreat the Lord - i.e., "Intreat your God, Jehovah, who has sent this plague, and can doubtless take it away." An acknowledgment of Jehovah's power is now for the first time forced from the reluctant king, who has hitherto boasted that "he knew not Jehovah" (Exodus 5:2). I will let the people go. The royal word is passed. A positive promise is made. If the Pharaoh does not keep his word, he will outrage even Egyptian morality - he will be without excuse. The plague of Frogs, or the second plague, also proceeded from the Nile, and had its natural origin in the putridity of the slimy Nile water, whereby the marsh waters especially became filled with thousands of frogs. צפרדּע is the small Nile frog, the Dofda of the Egyptians, called rana Mosaica or Nilotica by Seetzen, which appears in large numbers as soon as the waters recede. These frogs (הצּפרדּע in Exodus 8:6, used collectively) became a penal miracle from the fact that they came out of the water in unparalleled numbers, in consequence of the stretching out of Aaron's staff over the waters of the Nile, as had been foretold to the king, and that they not only penetrated into the houses and inner rooms ("bed-chamber"), and crept into the domestic utensils, the beds (מטּה), the ovens, and the kneading-troughs (not the "dough" as Luther renders it), but even got upon the men themselves.
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