Exodus 9:16
And in very deed for this cause have I raised you up, for to show in you my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.
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(16) And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up.—Rather, but truly on this account have I made thee standi.e., kept thee alive, not for thy deserts, not even in pity, but only “for to show in thee My power.” Thou hast provoked Me so that long since thou wouldst have been “cut off from the earth,” only that My glory will be the more shown forth by thy continuance in life, and by the further plagues and punishments whereto thou wilt be subjected.

That my name may be declared.—Comp. Exodus 14:17; Exodus 15:14-16, &c.

Exodus 9:16. For this cause have I raised thee up — A most dreadful message Moses is here ordered to deliver to him, whether he will hear, or whether he will forbear. He must tell him that he is marked for ruin: that he now stands as the butt at which God would shoot all the arrows of his wrath. For this cause I raised thee up — To the throne, at this time; and made thee to stand — The shocks of the plagues hitherto; to show in thee my power — Providence so ordered it, that Moses should have a man of such a fierce and stubborn spirit to deal with, to make it a most signal and memorable instance of the power God has to bring down the proudest of his enemies. It must be observed, that the Hebrew word, here rendered raised up, never signifies to raise, or bring a person or thing into being; but to preserve, support, establish, or make to stand, as in the margin of our Bibles, and as may be seen, 1 Kings 15:4; Proverbs 29:4. And accordingly, the Septuagint translation, the Chaldee, Samaritan, Arabic, and Junius and Tremellius, all render this place, “For this cause thou hast hitherto been preserved,” ενεκεν τουτου διετηρηθης, Sept. The meaning therefore of this passage is, not that God brought Pharaoh into being, or made him on purpose, that he might be an example of his severity and vengeance, but that, though Pharaoh had long deserved to be destroyed, yet God had spared him, and made him subsist for a considerable time, to show his power, by the signs and wonders which he wrought in the land of Egypt, and by delivering his people at length, in spite of all the opposition of Pharaoh, with a strong hand and outstretched arm. That my name might be known — My being, and providence, and manifold perfections; my patience in bearing with thee so long, my justice in punishing thee, my power in conquering thee, my wisdom in overruling thy pride, tyranny, cruelty, to thy own destruction and the redemption of my oppressed people, and my faithfulness in accomplishing my promises to them, and my threatenings to thee. Throughout all the earth — Not only in all places, but throughout all ages, while the earth remains. This will infallibly be the event.9:13-21 Moses is here ordered to deliver a dreadful message to Pharaoh. Providence ordered it, that Moses should have a man of such a fierce and stubborn spirit as this Pharaoh to deal with; and every thing made it a most signal instance of the power of God has to humble and bring down the proudest of his enemies. When God's justice threatens ruin, his mercy at the same time shows a way of escape from it. God not only distinguished between Egyptians and Israelites, but between some Egyptians and others. If Pharaoh will not yield, and so prevent the judgment itself, yet those that will take warning, may take shelter. Some believed the things which were spoken, and they feared, and housed their servants and cattle, and it was their wisdom. Even among the servants of Pharaoh, some trembled at God's word; and shall not the sons of Israel dread it? But others believed not, and left their cattle in the field. Obstinate unbelief is deaf to the fairest warnings, and the wisest counsels, which leaves the blood of those that perish upon their own heads.Have I raised thee up - See the margin. God kept Pharaoh "standing", i. e. permitted him to live and hold out until His own purpose was accomplished.10. Moses took ashes from the furnace—Hebrew, "brick-kiln." The magicians, being sufferers in their own persons, could do nothing, though they had been called; and as the brick-kiln was one of the principal instruments of oppression to the Israelites [De 4:20; 1Ki 8:51; Jer 11:4], it was now converted into a means of chastisement to the Egyptians, who were made to read their sin in their punishment. Raised thee up; so the Hebrew word is translated, Romans 9:17. I have raised thee up out of thy first nothing, into thy being, and life, and kingdom; and upheld thy being and reign even in the midst of thy tyranny. Heb. I have made thee to stand, i.e. to remain alive and untouched, when thy magicians could not stand, Exodus 9:11. I have preserved thee in life, not for want of power to destroy thee, as thou mayst fancy, nor for want of provocation from thee, but for my own glory.

To show in thee my power, in those mighty works which have been occasioned by thy rebellion and obstinacy. My name; my being and providence, and my manifold perfections; my patience in bearing thee so long, my justice in punishing thee, my power in conquering thee, my wisdom in overruling thy pride, and tyranny, and cruelty, to thy own destruction, and the redemption of my oppressed people, and my faithfulness in making good my promises to them, and my threatenings to thee. And in very deed, for this cause have I raised thee up,.... Or but truly or verily (c); instead of smiting thee with the pestilence, and cutting thee off out of the land of the living, "I have raised thee up"; made thee to stand (d), to continue in being; I have preserved thine from perishing by the former plagues, and have reserved thee for greater judgments and sorer punishments. It may take in all that God did to him; the constitution and appointment of him to all this in his eternal mind; his bringing him into being, and raising him up to kingly dignity; preserving him from perishing by the pestilence, boils and blains, and keeping him for future evils, and all upon this account for the following reasons:

for to shew in thee my power; in working miracles, inflicting judgments one after another, and especially in destroying him and his host in the Red sea:

and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth; as it has been more by that last action than by all the rest of the plagues; though, in all, his sovereignty, wisdom, power, patience, longsuffering, and justice, are most visibly displayed and glorified.

(c) "veruntamen", Junius & Tremellius, Psicator, Drusius, Fagius; so Ainsworth. (d) "stare fecite", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus.

And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my {d} name may be declared throughout all the earth.

(d) That is, that all the world may magnify my power in overcoming you.

16. made thee to stand] i.e. maintained thee alive, the causative of to ‘stand’ in the sense of to continue, ch. Exodus 21:21, Psalm 102:28 [Heb. 27]. The same sense is expressed by the paraphrase of LXX. thou wast preserved (διετηρήθης). St Paul quotes this verse in Romans 9:17, in his argument to prove the absolute sovereignty of God. He there (disregarding the LXX.) expresses the verb by ἐξήγειρά σε, raised thee up, i.e. brought thee on to the stage of history (cf. ἐξεγείρω in LXX., Habakkuk 1:6, Zechariah 11:16, and ἐγείρω, Jdg 2:16; Jdg 2:18; Jdg 3:9 al.),—a sense which העמיד might have had in post-exilic Hebrew, but hardly at the date when this passage of Ex. was written1[126]. The difference between raised up and kept alive does not, however, affect the Apostle’s argument. He is arguing against the Jews (who strongly maintained that their national privileges were inalienable), that God, in rejecting Israel, is not arbitrary or unjust; and he quotes two passages from the OT. to shew the absolute character of the Divine sovereignty, Exodus 33:19 b as proof that God can choose Himself the recipients of His mercy, and the present passage as proof that He may, if it pleases Him, be severe, in order to carry out His Divine purpose. See further p. 54.

[126] In post-exilic Heb. עמד and העמיד acquire meanings which in early Heb. are expressed by קום and הקים: see examples in the writer’s Introduction, pp. 475, 503 (ed. 6 or 7, pp. 507, 535), Nos. 16 and 4. In early Heb. ἐξεγείρω would have been expressed by הקים (as in Habakkuk 1:6, &c., quoted above).

to shew thee,—lit. to make thee see, i.e. experience,—my power] which might have had the effect of softening Pharaoh’s heart, and did in fact lead him more than once to give God the glory (v. 27, Exodus 10:16 f.).

and that my name, &c.] Pharaoh is a signal type of the power of the world, as opposed to God; and God’s victory over him will cause His name to be declared (Psalm 102:21) and known far and wide in the world.Verse 16. - And in very deed, etc. Rather, "But truly for this cause have I caused thee to stand," i.e., "kept thee alive and sustained thee in the position thou occupiest" for to shew to thee my power - i.e., to impress thee, if it is possible that thou canst be impressed, with the greatness of my power, and the foolishness of any attempt to resist it, and also that my name may be declared throughout all the earth - i.e., that attention may be called widely among the neighbouring nations to the great truth that there is really but one God, who alone can deliver, and whom it is impossible to resist. The sixth plague smote man and beast with Boils Breaking Forth in Blisters. - שׁחין (a common disease in Egypt, Deuteronomy 28:27) from the unusual word שׁחן (incaluit) signifies inflammation, then an abscess or boil (Leviticus 13:18.; 2 Kings 20:7). אבעבּעת, from בּוּע, to spring up, swell up, signifies blisters, φλυκτίδες (lxx), pustulae. The natural substratum of this plague is discovered by most commentators in the so-called Nile-blisters, which come out in innumerable little pimples upon the scarlet-coloured skin, and change in a short space of time into small, round, and thickly-crowded blisters. This is called by the Egyptians Hamm el Nil, or the heat of the inundation. According to Dr. Bilharz, it is a rash, which occurs in summer, chiefly towards the close at the time of the overflowing of the Nile, and produces a burning and pricking sensation upon the skin; or, in Seetzen's words, "it consists of small, red, and slightly rounded elevations in the skin, which give strong twitches and slight stinging sensations, resembling those of scarlet fever". The cause of this eruption, which occurs only in men and not in animals, has not been determined; some attributing it to the water, and others to the heat. Leyrer, in Herzog's Cyclopaedia, speaks of the "Anthrax which stood in a causal relation to the fifth plague; a black, burning abscess, which frequently occurs after a murrain, especially the cattle distemper, and which might be called to mind by the name ἄνθραξ, coal, and the symbolical sprinkling of the soot of the furnace." In any case, the manner in which this plague was produced was significant, though it cannot be explained with positive certainty, especially as we are unable to decide exactly what was the natural disease which lay at the foundation of the plague. At the command of God, Moses and Aaron took "handfuls of soot, and sprinkled it towards the heaven, so that it became dust over all the land of Egypt," i.e., flew like dust over the land, and became boils on man and beast. הכּבשׁן פּיח: soot or ashes of the smelting-furnace or lime-kiln. כּבשׁן is not an oven or cooking stove, but, as Kimchi supposes, a smelting-furnace or lime-kiln; not so called, however, a metallis domandis, but from כּבשׁ in its primary signification to press together, hence (a) to soften, or melt, (b) to tread down. Burder's view seems inadmissible; namely, that this symbolical act of Moses had some relation to the expiatory rites of the ancient Egyptians, in which the ashes of sacrifices, particularly human sacrifices, were scattered about. For it rests upon the supposition that Moses took the ashes from a fire appropriated to the burning of sacrifices - a supposition to which neither כּבשׁן nor פּיח is appropriate. For the former does not signify a fire-place, still less one set apart for the burning of sacrifices, and the ashes taken from the sacrifices for purifying purposes were called אפר, and not פּיח (Numbers 19:10). Moreover, such an interpretation as this, namely, that the ashes set apart for purifying purposes produced impurity in the hands of Moses, as a symbolical representation of the thought, that "the religious purification promised in the sacrificial worship of Egypt was really a defilement," does not answer at all to the effect produced. The ashes scattered in the air by Moses did not produce defilement, but boils or blisters; and we have no ground for supposing that they were regarded by the Egyptians as a religious defilement. And, lastly, there was not one of the plagues in which the object was to pronounce condemnation upon the Egyptian worship or sacrifices; since Pharaoh did not wish to force the Egyptian idolatry upon the Israelites, but simply to prevent them from leaving the country.

The ashes or soot of the smelting-furnace or lime-kiln bore, no doubt, the same relation to the plague arising therefrom, as the water of the Nile and the dust of the ground to the three plagues which proceeded from them. As Pharaoh and his people owed their prosperity, wealth, and abundance of earthly goods to the fertilizing waters of the Nile and the fruitful soil, so it was from the lime-kilns, so to speak, that those splendid cities and pyramids proceeded, by which the early Pharaohs endeavoured to immortalize the power and glory of their reigns. And whilst in the first three plagues the natural sources of the land were changed by Jehovah, through His servants Moses and Aaron, into sources of evil, the sixth plague proved to the proud king that Jehovah also possessed the power to bring ruin upon him from the workshops of those splendid edifices, for the erection of which he had made use of the strength of the Israelites, and oppressed them so grievously with burdensome toil as to cause Egypt to become like a furnace for smelting iron (Deuteronomy 4:20), and that He could make the soot or ashes of the lime-kiln, the residuum of that fiery heat and emblem of the furnace in which Israel groaned, into a seed which, when carried through the air at His command, would produce burning boils on man and beast throughout all the land of Egypt. These boils were the first plague which attacked and endangered the lives of men; and in this respect it was the first foreboding of the death which Pharaoh would bring upon himself by his continued resistance. The priests were so far from being able to shelter the king from this plague by their secret arts, that they were attacked by them themselves, were unable to stand before Moses, and were obliged to give up all further resistance. But Pharaoh did not take this plague to heart, and was given up to the divine sentence of hardening.

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