Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
And the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him:CHAPTER 10 The Eighth and Ninth Plagues
1. The eighth plague: locusts (Exodus 10:1-15)
2. Pharaoh’s renewed confession and refusal (Exodus 10:16-20)
3. The ninth plague: darkness (Exodus 10:21-26)
4. Pharaoh’s anger (Exodus 10:27-29)
The eighth plague is introduced by another warning; the ninth came without it. As a result of the eighth plague, Pharaoh confessed his sin against God and against Moses and Aaron; but after the ninth plague drove Moses from his presence and threatened the divine messenger with death.
Locusts covered the face of the whole earth and every green thing was destroyed. On the ravages of the locusts we find a vivid description in the book of Joel. Locusts are typical of God’s punitive judgments. The locusts plague was aimed to show the impotence of the Egyptian god Serapis, in whom the Egyptians trusted as the protector against the locusts. Locusts are likewise mentioned in a symbolical way in Revelation 9:1-12.
In the ninth plague, darkness covered Egypt for three days. Beautiful must have been the vision of the land of Goshen . Out of the dense darkness the light shone brightly in the miserable abodes of the children of Israel . “All the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.” Note again the book of Revelation, chapter 16:10-11 (Revelation 16:10-11).
The sun as the source of light was worshipped in Egypt . If Menephtah was the Pharaoh of the exodus, as some hold, this plague has a special significance. A sculptural image of this Pharaoh is preserved. His hand is out-stretched in worship, and underneath stand in hieroglyphics these words: “He adores the sun; he worships Hor of the solar horizons.” Suddenly darkness, which could be felt, came upon Egypt . Pharaoh and all Egypt learned now that their idols were helpless. Darkness is the withdrawal of light. It stands for the solemn truth of the forsaking of God. (We may well think here of the darkness which enshrouded the cross and the unfathomable cry of our Lord, “my God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me?”) God was about to abandon Egypt , the darkness was the herald of it. All Egypt was to be plunged into the severest of all judgments, the death of the firstborn. This darkness was God’s final appeal to repentance. For three days they were shut in and all business was suspended. Rich and poor, king and beggar, the learned and the ignorant, all classes were shrouded in that awful darkness. The suspense must have been frightful. What was to come next? God waited, and in that silence and darkness appealed to their conscience. How slow God is to judge; it is His strange work. In infinite patience He waited before He dealt the final blow to Egypt . Thus He waits now and warns till at last His patience ends and His threatened judgments sweep the earth. The last objection and compromise by Pharaoh is found in Exodus 10:24, but Moses answered “not an hoof shall be left behind.” Jehovah’s demands and purposes concerning the completest separation from Egypt stand and must be literally executed.