The Dismissal
Exodus 12:31-37
And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people…

The blow had been so measured by infinite wisdom as to produce precisely the desired effect. Pharaoh "called for Moses and Aaron by night," etc. Observe -

I. PHARAOH IS NOW AS ANXIOUS TO GET RID OF THE ISRAELITES AS FORMERLY HE WAS TO KEEP THEM. It had been predicted at the beginning that this would be the issue of God's dealings with him (Exodus 6:1). Note,

1. Pharaoh's folly in resisting the demand of God so long. He has to concede everything at last. Had he yielded at the beginning, he could have done so with honour, and with the happiest results to his dynasty and kingdom. As it is, he has gained nothing, and has lost much, nearly all. He has ruined Egypt, suffered severely in his own person, lost his first-born, and irretrievably forfeited his prestige in the eyes of his subjects. Foolish king! and yet the same unequal and profitless contest is being repeated in the history of every sinner!

2. The dismissal is unconditional. No more talk of leaving the little ones, or the flocks and herds; or even of returning after the three days' journey. Pharaoh wants no more to do with this fatal people. No one could any longer dream of the Israelites returning, or expect them to do so. They were "thrust out altogether" (Exodus 11:1).

3. He seeks a blessing (ver. 32). He wished Moses to leave a blessing behind him. He would be blessed, and still continue in his sins. Beyond letting Israel go, he had no intention of renouncing his idols, and becoming a worshipper of the God he had so long defied. Many would like to be blessed, while cleaving to their sins.


1. They were affrighted. "They said, we be all dead men' (ver. 33). They were perfectly right. Had Israel been detained longer, their nation would have been destroyed. It would be well if every sinner had as clear a perception of the effects of persistence in his evil.

2. They were urgent to send the people away. Not simply because this was what Jehovah had commanded, but because they were terrified to have them in their midst any longer. The Israelites were a people of ill-omen to them. They wished to get rid of the nation at once and for ever. This is not without significance. We remember how the Gadarenes besought Jesus that he would depart out of their coasts (Matthew 8:34). Worldly people have no liking for the company of the converted. Society bustles them out of its midst. Their old companions betray a singular uncomfortableness in their presence. They would rather have done with them. "Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways" (Job 21:14). Alas! the world that desires to be rid of the society of God's people will one day get its wish. The separation they would fain hasten will take place, and for ever (Matthew 25:46).

3. They were willing to buy the departure of Israel (ver. 35, 36). The Israelites asked, and the Egyptians freely gave, of jewels of gold, of jewels of silver, and of raiment. Thus, singularly did Providence provide for the enriching of the people in the hour of their exodus. They went forth, not in squalor and disorder, but as a triumphant host, laden with the spoils of the enemy. The spoils of the world will yet turn to the enrichment of the Church.

III. THE ISRAELITES MAKE NO DELAY IN AVAILING THEMSELVES OF THE OPPORTUNITY OF FREEDOM (ver. 34). Pharaoh did not need to tell them twice to leave the land. Their dough was unleavened, but, binding up their kneading-troughs in their clothes upon their shoulders, they prepared at once for departure. There are supreme moments in every man's history, the improvement or non-improvement of which will decide his salvation. Many other things at such a moment may need to be left undone; but the man is insane who does not postpone everything to the making sure of his deliverance. Such times are not indolently to be waited for. The Lord is to be sought at once. But God's ways of saving are varied. The seeking, as in Augnstine's case, may go on a long time before God is found. - J.O.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said.

WEB: He called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, "Rise up, get out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel; and go, serve Yahweh, as you have said!

The Marks of Spiritual Death
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