And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt…
I. THE JUDGMENT OF EGYPT EMBLEM AND PROMISE OF THE WORLD'S JUDGMENT.
1. The time of visitation; midnight, when all were wrapt in deepest slumber and, notwithstanding the warning which had been given, busy only with dreams. The world will be surprised in the midst of its false security. "As it was in the days of Noel etc.
2. Its universality. There were none so high that God's hand did not reach them, and none so low that they were overlooked.
3. The after anguish. The whole nation, steeped the one moment in deceitful slumber, the next torn with the most heartrending and hopeless grief. Their sin had slain their dearest and best.
4. It is a hopeless sorrow. Their grief cannot bring back their dead. The anguish of the wicked, like Esau's, will find no place for repentance.
II. THE DELIVERANCE OF ISRAEL THE EMBLEM AND PROMISE OF THE FULL ENFRANCHISEMENT OF THE PEOPLE OF GOD.
1. All that God had ever asked for them is granted. The demand for freedom to the people of God, and the breaking of the yoke laid upon the poor, will yet be obeyed in fear by the persecutor and the oppressor.
2. It is pressed upon them with all the eagerness of deadly fear. Israel never so desired the boon as the Egyptians that they should now accept it. The persecutors will come and worship at the Church's feet.
3. They go forth laden with the treasures of Egypt (Isaiah 60:5-17).
4. They go forth awed by the proof of God's faithfulness. To a day had he kept the promise given to the fathers (ver. 41). The prophecies, now dim and misunderstood, will then be read in the light of God's deeds, and like Israel of old, we shall know that God has kept the appointed time. - U.
Parallel VersesKJV: And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.
WEB: It happened at midnight, that Yahweh struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of livestock.