Exodus 9:27
And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said to them, I have sinned this time: the LORD is righteous, and I and my people are wicked.
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(27) Pharaoh sent.—It is evident that the Pharaoh was more impressed by this plague than by any preceding one. This may have been partly because it caused destruction of human life, partly on account of its extraordinary and awful character. It must be borne in mind that the storm was still continuing, and gave no sign of coming to a natural end (Exodus 9:29; Exodus 9:33).

I have sinned this time—i.e., This time I confess that I have sinned in resisting Jehovah; I do not any more maintain that I have acted right.

The Lord is righteous.—Heb., Jehovah is the Just One—a form of speech implying that Jehovah, and He alone, was just.

Wicked.—Heb., the sinners. “I and my people” stand in contrast with God and His people. Previously Pharaoh had denounced the Israelites as idlers and hypocrites (Exodus 5:8; Exodus 5:17); now he admits that it is only he and his people that are to blame. The confession is satisfactory, except in so far as it divides between Pharaoh and the Egyptians the blame which was almost wholly his.

Exodus 9:27. Pharaoh said, I have sinned; the Lord is righteous — These, professions were only produced by his fears: his heart was still untouched with any true veneration for, or humiliation before, the God of Israel, or with compunction and sorrow for his own obstinacy.9:22-35 Woful havoc this hail made: it killed both men and cattle; the corn above ground was destroyed, and that only preserved which as yet was not come up. The land of Goshen was preserved. God causes rain or hail on one city and not on another, either in mercy or in judgment. Pharaoh humbled himself to Moses. No man could have spoken better: he owns himself wrong; he owns that the Lord is righteous; and God must be justified when he speaks, though he speaks in thunder and lightning. Yet his heart was hardened all this while. Moses pleads with God: though he had reason to think Pharaoh would repent of his repentance, and he told him so, yet he promises to be his friend. Moses went out of the city, notwithstanding the hail and lightning which kept Pharaoh and his servants within doors. Peace with God makes men thunder-proof. Pharaoh was frightened by the tremendous judgment; but when that was over, his fair promises were forgotten. Those that are not bettered by judgments and mercies, commonly become worse.The Lord - Thus, for the first time, Pharaoh explicitly recognizes Yahweh as God (compare Exodus 5:2).27-35. Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned—This awful display of divine displeasure did seriously impress the mind of Pharaoh, and, under the weight of his convictions, he humbles himself to confess he has done wrong in opposing the divine will. At the same time he calls for Moses to intercede for cessation of the calamity. Moses accedes to his earnest wishes, and this most awful visitation ended. But his repentance proved a transient feeling, and his obduracy soon became as great as before. I now plainly see and freely acknowledge my sin in striving with God. He seems not to deny that he had sinned before, for even the light of nature would discover his sin, in breaking his faith, and the word of a King given to Moses for Israel’s dismission. And Pharaoh sent,.... Not persons to observe whether there was any hail fell in the land of Goshen, though there are some (k) that so supply the words; but it cannot be thought that Pharaoh would send, or that any would go thither amidst such a storm of thunder and hail; but he sent messengers:

and called Moses and Aaron; who might be in his palace, at least not very far off:

and said unto them, I have sinned this time; not but that he had sinned before, and must be conscious of it, particularly in breaking his promise so often; but now he acknowledged his sin, which he had never done before: and this confession of sin did not arise from a true sense of it, from hatred of it, and sorrow for it as committed against God; but from the fright he was in, the horror of his mind, the dread of the present plague being continued; and the terror of death that seized him, the rebounding noise of the thunder in his ears, the flashes of lightning in his face, and the hailstones beating upon the top of his house, and against the windows and sides of it, frightened him exceedingly, and forced this confession from him:

the Lord is righteous, and I and my people are wicked; which was well spoken, had it been serious and from his heart; for God is righteous in his nature, and in all his works, and in all those judgments he had inflicted upon him; and he and his people were wicked in using the Israelites in such a cruel manner, and in detaining them when it had been promised them again and again that they should have leave to go, and especially in rebelling against God, and disobeying his commands.

(k) "Misisset qui observarent", Junius & Tremellius.

And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I {g} have sinned this time: the LORD is righteous, and I and my people are wicked.

(g) The wicked confess their sins to their condemnation, but they cannot believe to obtain remission.

27. The Pharaoh this time, impressed, it may be supposed, by the spectacle of the storm, confesses his fault, as he has never done before. His penitence, however, as the sequel shews, is not very deep.

I have sinned] Exodus 10:16.

righteous … wicked] rather, the (with the art.) one in the right … those in the wrong. The words are used not in their ethical, but in their forensic sense, as Exodus 2:13 (where ‘him that did the wrong’ is lit. the wicked one), Deuteronomy 25:1.

27–33. The Pharaoh craves a third time (see Exodus 8:8; Exodus 8:28) for a cessation of the plague.Verses 27-35. - The plague of hail impressed the Pharaoh more than any previous one. It was the first which had inflicted death on men. It was a most striking and terrible manifestation. It was quite unlike anything which the Egyptians had ever experienced before (vers. 18, 24). It was, by manifest miracle, made to fall on the Egyptians only (ver. 26). Pharaoh was therefore more humbled than ever previously. He acknowledged that he "had sinned" (ver. 27); he added a confession that "Jehovah [alone] was righteous, he and his people wicked" (ibid.). And, as twice before, he expressed his willingness to let the Israelites take their departure if the plague were removed (ver. 28). The ultimate results, however, were not any better than before. No sooner had Moses prayed to God, and procured the cessation of the plague, than the king repented of his repentance, "hardened his heart;" and, once more casting his promise to the winds, refused to permit the Israelites to depart (vers. 33-35). His people joined him in this act of obduracy (ver. 34), perhaps thinking that they had now suffered the worst that could befall them. Verse 27. - And Pharaoh sent. Compare Exodus 8:8, and 25-28. Pharaoh had been driven to entreat only twice before. I have sinned this time. The meaning is, "I acknowledge this time that I have sinned" (Kaliseh, Cook). "I do not any longer maintain that my conduct has been right." The confession is made for the first time, and seems to have been extorted by the terrible nature of the plague, which, instead of passing off, like most storms, continued. The Lord is righteous, etc. Literally, "Jehovah is the Just One; and I and my people are the sinners." The confession seems, at first sight, ample and satisfactory; but there is perhaps some shifting of sin, that was all his own, upon the Egyptian "people," which indicates disingenuousness. The good advice to be given by Moses to the king, to secure the men and cattle that were in the field, i.e., to put them under shelter, which was followed by the God-fearing Egyptians (Exodus 9:21), was a sign of divine mercy, which would still rescue the hardened man and save him from destruction. Even in Pharaoh's case the possibility still existed of submission to the will of God; the hardening was not yet complete. But as he paid no heed to the word of the Lord, the predicted judgment was fulfilled (Exodus 9:22-26). "Jehovah gave voices" (קלת); called "voices of God" in Exodus 9:28. This term is applied to the thunder (cf. Exodus 19:16; Exodus 20:18; Psalm 29:3-9), as being the mightiest manifestation of the omnipotence of God, which speaks therein to men (Revelation 10:3-4), and warns them of the terrors of judgment. These terrors were heightened by masses of fire, which came down from the sky along with the hail that smote man and beast in the field, destroyed the vegetables, and shattered the trees. "And fire ran along upon the ground;" תּהלך is a Kal, though it sounds like Hithpael, and signifies grassari, as in Psalm 73:9.
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