Monday, April 15, 2019

Bible Study for April 16th


Date: Mon, Apr 15, 2019 at 10:41 PM

Subject: Bible Study for April 16th





Bereans, 

I'm learning a lot about who God is and who I am! 

So We are going to start with takeaways from Exo 8. We read it and looked at some highlights but did not get down and dirty into the text, so that's the plan this week. We will start with BIG IDEAS (that's why it's all capitalized!) 

Next, we are going to specifically look at the Magicans by reading verses Exo 8:2, Exo 8:7-8, and Exo 8:18-19. 

Then look at out 3 MAIN characters - Pharaoh, Moses, and God by reading verses Exo 8:10, Exo 8:15, 16, Exo 8:28 & Exo 8:29. 

We will end with looking at the Egyptians vs Hebrews by reading verses Exo 8:21, Exo 8:22, Exo 8:26, & Exo 8:27. (How do the Hebrews feel? How do the Egyptians feel? How does God feel?) 

If you get a chance read ahead to Exo 9, this makes Exo 8 even more meaningful and it's where we are heading either this week or next. 

Finally, I know that I'm not Nathan and I do things differently than others who have led. I have been praying and as long as I keep accountable by the men in the study and God then I have nothing to worry about. What I'm learning from studying Exodus is that sometimes being uncomfortable and doing things different is a good thing! Anyway, I enjoy doing it and will continue until Nathan returns (Like Moses returning from God on the mountain) or someone else wants to lead! 

Prayer request list item... 

Bible Study: Pray that we see God's power today. That we TRUST God as we deepen our relationship with him. 

Love you guys and see you Tuesday! 

Dusty Hanson 
Life Application Study Bible
Chapter 8

8:3ff Moses predicted that every house in Egypt would be infested with frogs. The poor of Egypt lived in small, mud-brick houses of one or two rooms with palm-trunk roofs. The homes of the rich, however, were often two or three stories high, surrounded by landscaped gardens and enclosed by a high wall. Servants lived and worked on the first floor while the family occupied the upper floors. Thus, if the frogs got into the royal bedrooms, they had infiltrated even the upper floors. No place in Egypt would be safe from them.
8:15 After repeated warnings, Pharaoh still refused to obey God. He hardened his heart every time there was a break in the plagues. His stubborn disobedience brought suffering upon himself and his entire country. While persistence is good, stubbornness is usually self-centered. Stubbornness toward God amounts to rebellion against him. Rebellion will not only bring you grief, but it also may affect those who stand with you.

8:19 Some people think, "If only I could see a miracle, I could believe in God." God gave Pharaoh just such an opportunity. When gnats infested Egypt, even the magicians agreed that this was God's work ("the finger of God")—but still Pharaoh refused to believe. He was stubborn, and stubbornness can blind a person to the truth. When you rid yourself of stubbornness, you may be surprised by abundant evidence of God's work in your life.
8:25-29 Pharaoh wanted a compromise. He would allow the Hebrews to sacrifice, but only if they would do it nearby. God's requirement, however, was firm: The Hebrews had to leave Egypt. Sometimes people urge believers to compromise and give only partial obedience to God's commands. But commitment and obedience to God cannot be negotiated. When it comes to obeying God, half measures won't do.

8:26 The Israelites would be sacrificing animals that the Egyptians regarded as sacred, and this would be offensive to them. Moses was concerned about a violent reaction to sacrificing these animals near the Egyptians.--Life Application Study Bible [1]


Chapter 9
9:1 This was the fifth time God sent Moses back to Pharaoh with the demand "Let my people go." By this time, Moses may have been tired and discouraged, but he continued to obey. Is there a difficult conflict you must face again and again? Don't give up when you know what is right to do. As Moses discovered, persistence is rewarded.
The Plagues on Egypt                                                                                                                                                                                              9:12 God gave Pharaoh many opportunities to heed Moses' warnings. But finally God seemed to say, "All right, Pharaoh, have it your way," and Pharaoh's heart became permanently hardened. Did God intentionally harden Pharaoh's heart and overrule his free will? No, he simply confirmed that Pharaoh freely chose a life of resisting God. Similarly, after a lifetime of resisting God, you may find it impossible to turn to him. Don't wait until just the right time before turning to God. Do it now while you still have the chance. If you continually ignore God's voice, eventually you will be unable to hear it at all.
9:20, 21 If all the Egyptian livestock were killed in the earlier plague (9:6), how could the slaves of Pharaoh bring their livestock in from the fields? The answer is probably that the earlier plague killed all the animals in the fields (9:3) but not those in the shelters.
9:27-34 After promising to let the Hebrews go, Pharaoh immediately broke his promise and brought even more trouble upon the land. His actions reveal that his repentance was not real. We do damage to ourselves and to others if we pretend to change but don't mean it. --Life Application Study Bible [2]




Pulpit Commentary, The - Ex 8:5 Exposition.

Over the streams... rivers... ponds. See the comment on Exodus 7:19.

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Ex 8:7 Exposition.


The magicians did so... and brought up frogs. Here again, as in their imitation of the first plague (Exodus 7:22), sleight of hand may have been the means employed by the magicians; or possibly they may have merely claimed that their enchantments “brought up” frogs, which were in reality the consequence of Aaron's act (ver. 2).

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Ex 8:1 Three plagues � frogs, lice, flies.


2. As a proof of the almightiness of Jehovah (see on Exodus 7:17), and of the folly of further contest with him (vers. Ex 8:10, Ex 8:22).




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Ex 8:1 Three plagues � frogs, lice, flies.


I. THE SUPREMACY OF GOD in THE KINGDOM OF NATURE. All creatures, all agencies, are under his control. They come and go, march and countermarch, act in separation or combination, at his pleasure. He sent the hornets before the Israelites to drive out the Amorites from their strong castles (Exodus 22:28). He frequently punished Israel by sending armies of locusts to devour the produce of the fields (Joel 1, 2; Amos 4.). Jehovah was at the head of these armies (Joel 2:11), and so was he at the head of the armies of frogs, gnats, flies, and other noxious insects that drove the Egyptians to a state of desperation. This is a striking thought, in as full accordance with a sound philosophy and with the facts presented to us in nature, as with the teaching of Christ, who bids us see the Father's hand even in the fall of a sparrow. What account can be given, e.g., of the minatory instincts of birds, save that suggested by this thought of Jehovah's rule, regulating their motions, and guiding them in their long and perilous journeys (Jeremiah 8:7). He rules. He alone rules. “An idol is nothing”(1 Corinthians 8:4).




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Ex 8:1 The plague of frogs.


II. THE SECOND PLAGUE INDUCED A SUBMISSION WHICH THE FIRST FAILED TO EXTORT (ver. 8). It was submission under compulsion, but it testified to a remarkable change in the king's views about Moses and Jehovah. It was not long since he had been erecting himself in his pride in supreme defiance of both. Moses and Aaron he had treated as base-born slaves, and had ordered them back to their burdens (Exodus 5:4). He had scorned the message of their God, and had shown his contempt for it by heaping new insults on Jehovah's worshippers. So impressed was even Moses by his lordly greatness, that he had shrunk from exposing himself to the proud king's despite, lie thought it was useless for him to attempt to go to Pharaoh. Very different were Pharaoh's ideas about Moses and Jehovah now he had been smitten by the invisible hand of this God with these two reeling blows, and already he was on his knees asking for deliverance. The vaunting sinner will change his views of the living God when once he falls into His hands.




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Ex 8:8 Exposition.


Intreat the Lord — i.e., “Intreat your God, Jehovah, who has sent this plague, and can doubtless take it away.” An acknowledgment of Jehovah's power is now for the first time forced from the reluctant king, who has hitherto boasted that “he knew not Jehovah” (Exodus 5:2). I will let the people go. The royal word is passed. A positive promise is made. If the Pharaoh does not keep his word, he will outrage even Egyptian morality — he will be without excuse.




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Ex 8:16 Exposition.


Lice. Kinnim — the word is only found here and in the Psalms which celebrate the Exodus (Psalm 78:46; 105:31). It was understood as “lice”by Josephus, the Talmudical writers, Bochart, Pool, and our translators in the reign of James I. But the great weight of authority is in favour of the rendering “gnats” or “mosquitoes.” See the preceding paragraph. It must also be berne in mind that the nearest Egyptian equivalent, khennems, has the signification of mosquito (Speaker's Commentary, vol. 1. p. 490).




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Ex 8:19 Moral avalanches not easily arrested when once set in motion.


The magicians had begun by exciting Pharaoh to obstinate unbelief and resistance to the Divine Will They had, by artifice or otherwise, persuaded him that there was nothing so very marvellous in the wonders wrought by Moses and Aaron, nothing that indicated a Divine author of the wonders. They had thus encouraged and stimulated him to embark upon a fatal course. Now, they would fain have stopped him, but they could not. His pride and self-conceit — his honour, as no doubt he thought it, were concerned in the struggle upon which he had entered — to give way would be to acknowledge himself worsted in a contest with two contemptible Hebrews. In vain did the magicians change their tone, and make the acknowledgment — “This is the finger of God” — their altered spirit had no effect upon him. No — whoever changed or blenched — he would persevere — his heart had become hardened — if now and then he quailed, and seemed on the verge of yielding, yet after a time he drew back — always provoking God more and more by his continual perverseness, until at last all Egypt was involved in destruction (Exodus 12:29, 30; 14:27-30). The magicians, who had had a large share in causing his entrance upon an evil course, found themselves unable to arrest his steps, and must be regarded as in part responsible for the final catastrophe. So nations are often urged by evil counsellors into wars or rebellions, which they soon bitterly regret; but it is too late to stop the evil. Men in business are recommended to adopt questionable means of pushing or retrieving their fortunes, and embark on courses from which their advisers would fain withdraw them; but it is impossible. Advisers should recognise the greatness of their responsibility from the first, and set themselves against the very beginning of evil, else they will find the course of affairs soon get beyond their control — they will be utterly powerless to stop the avalanche which they have set in motion.




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Ex 8:16 The plague of lice.


III. IT LED THE MAGICIANS TO GIVE UP THE CONTEST (ver. 19). We find them still standing before Pharaoh (Exodus 9:11), but from this point we hear of no more attempts at imitation. They may have abandoned the contest —




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Ex 8:20 Exposition.


It has been noticed that — setting apart the last and most terrible of the plagues, which stands as it were by itself — the remainder divide themselves into three groups of three each — two in each group coming with a warning, and the third without. (See Exodus 8:16; 9:8; 10:21.) In other respects, no great regularity is observable. There is a general principle of increasing severity in the afflictions, but it does not obtain throughout the entire series. The first three caused annoyance, rather than actual injury, either to persons or property. Of the next three, two were upon property, one upon both property and person (Exodus 9:10). Of the remaining three, two again inflicted injury on property, while one (the plague of darkness) was a mere personal annoyance. The exact character of the fourth plague depends on the proper translation of the word ‘arob. The Jewish commentators connected this word with ‘Ereb and ‘Arab, words meaning “mingled” or “mixed;” and supposed a mixed multitude of animals — beasts, reptiles, and insects — to be meant. But the expression used throughout, which is ha-’arob, “the ‘arob,” marks very clearly a single definite species. So much was clear to the LXX., who rendered the word by κυνόμυια, “the dog-fly,” which is not the common house-fly (Musca domestica), but a distinct species (Musca canina). Flies of this kind are said to constitute a terrible affliction in Egypt (Philo, De vit. Mos. 2. p. 101; Munk, Palestine, p. 120; etc.); but they attack men chiefly, and do no harm to houses or to the fruits of the field, whereas the ‘arob is spoken of as a pest in the houses, and as “destroying the land” (verse 24). It has been, therefore, suggested that the Blatta orientalis, or kakerlaque, a kind of beetle, is really intended. These creatures suddenly appear upon the Nile in great numbers; they “inflict very painful bites with their jaws; gnaw and destroy clothes, household furniture, leather, and articles of every kind, and either consume or render unavailable all eatables”(Kalisch). They sometimes drive persons out of their houses; and they also devastate the fields.




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Ex 8:20 Exposition.


Lo, he cometh forth to the water. See Exodus 7:15, and comment. It is suspected that on this occasion Pharaoh “went to the Nile with a procession to open the solemn festival ”held in the autumn when the inundation was beginning to abate (Cook). Say unto him. Repeat, i.e., the Divine command so often given (Exodus 5:1; 7:16; 8:1).




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Ex 8:20 The fourth plague � the flies: the immunities of Goshen.


1. Note what this protection did for the Israelites. Had they then up to this time been sharers in the inconveniences and perils of the first three plagues? We must conclude that they had been; and that Jehovah only now deemed it fitting to extend special exemption to them. It was well for them to share somewhat of the sufferings of the Egyptians. (And we must bear in mind that however much they shared of these sufferings, yet afterwards, in the wilderness, the recollection of the comforts and delicacies of Egypt rose above all the recollection of the sufferings. Exodus 16:3; Numbers 11:4-6.) But now, with the fourth plague, the time has come to make a perceptible difference between Israelite and Egyptian. True, the contest is advancing, but there is still much to be done; and it is well to give Israel timely encouragements. They must wait a while to be liberated from Pharaoh's thraldom, yet surely it must rejoice and comfort their hearts to see themselves, even though in bondage, free from the afflictions which are coming ever more thickly upon Egypt. Though they have not all they want, it is something to have such a clear sign that God has marked them for his own. Even in this world, with all his sufferings, temporal disadvantages, and opportunities of gain missed, because he is a Christian, the Christian has that which makes the world to envy and to fear. For a while we must share in the world's sufferings, but the world cannot share in our joys. Israel has to suffer with Pharaoh in the beginning, but presently it escapes; whereas Pharaoh cannot by any plan extend Goshen among the habitations of his own people. If we would have the comforts of Goshen we must go there, fraternise with them that dwell there, and join ourselves on to them.




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Ex 8:27 Exposition.


Three days’ journey into the wilderness. This was the demand made from the first (Exodus 5:3) by Divine direction (Exodus 3:18). Its object was to secure the absence of Egyptians as witnesses. As he shall command us. Compare Exodus 10:26, where Moses observes — “We know not with what we must serve the Lord until we come thither.” Divine directions were expected as to the number and the selection of the victims.




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Ex 8:28 Exposition.


Only ye shall not go very far away. Here for the first time Pharaoh shows his real objection to letting the Israelites go — he is afraid that they will escape him. So he suggests the compromise, that they shall just enter the wilderness on his eastern border, remaining near the frontier, and therefore within his reach. Moses seems to have made no objection to this proviso. As Kalisch says, “he committal himself entirely to the guidance and direction of God.” The three days’ journey which he had requested by Divine command (Exodus 3:18) would not take him far beyond the Egyptian frontier. Entreat for me. Compare ver. 8. An abbreviated form is now used, as sufficiently intelligible.




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Ex 8:32 Exposition.


At this time also. Compare Exodus 7:13, 22; Exodus 8:15. 




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Ex 9:4 Exposition.


The Lord shall sever. Compare Exodus 8:22. There shall nothing die, etc The original is more emphatic, and might be rendered literally — ” There shall not die of all that is the children's of Israel a thing.”




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Ex 9:1 The plague of murrain of beasts.


1. As a new blow at Egyptian idolatry. The sacredness of the cow and ox are hinted at in Exodus 8:26. It may well have been that the sacred beasts themselves, the bull Apis, the calf Mnevis, and the rest, were smitten by the pestilence.




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Ex 9:8 Exposition.


Ashes of the furnace. Rather “soot from the furnace.” The word commonly used in Hebrew for “ashes” is different. Many recondite reasons have been brought forward for the directions here given. But perhaps the object was simply to show that as water, and earth (Exodus 8:13) and air (Exodus 10:13) could be turned into plagues, so fire could be. The “soot of the furnace” might well represent fire, and was peculiarly appropriate for the preduction of a disease which was in the main an “inflammation.” It is not likely that Moses imitated any superstitious practice of the priests of Egypt. Toward the heaven. The act indicated that the plague would come from heaven — i.e. from God. In the sight of Pharaoh. Compare Exodus 7:20 It is probable that the symbolic act which brought the plague was performed “in the sight of Pharaoh” in every case, except where the plague was unannounced, though the fact is not always recorded.




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Ex 9:12 Exposition.


And the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart. Up to this time the hardening of Pharaoh's heart has been ascribed to himself, or expressed indefinitely as a process that was continually going on — now for the first time it is positively stated that God hardened his heart, as he had threatened that he would (Exodus 4:21). On the general law of God's dealings with wicked men, see the comment on the above passage




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Ex 9:13 Exposition.


Rise up early. Compare Exodus 7:15, and 8:20. The practice of the Egyptian kings to rise early and proceed at once to the dispatch of business is noted by Herodotus (ii. 173). It is a common practice of oriental monarchs. And say unto him. The same message is constantly repeated in the same words as a token of God's unchangingness. See Exodus 8:1-20; 9:1; 10:3; etc.




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Ex 9:14 Exposition.


I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart. A very emphatic announcement. At this time contrasts the immediate future with the past, and tells Pharaoh that the hour of mild warnings and slight plagues is gone by. Now he is to expect something far more terrible God will send all his plagues — every worst form of evil — in rapid succession; and will send them against his heart. Each will strike a blow on that perverse and obdurate heart — each will stir his nature to its inmost depths. Conscience will wake up and insist on being heard. All the numerous brood of selfish fears and alarms will bestir themselves. He will tremble, and be amazed and perplexed. He will forego his pride and humble himself, and beg the Israelites to be gone, and even intreat that, ere they depart, the leaders whom he has so long opposed, will give him their blessing (Exodus 12:32). That thou mayest know. Pharaoh was himself to be convinced that the Lord God of Israel was, at any rate, the greatest of all gods. He was not likely to desert at once and altogether the religion in which he had been brought up, or to regard its gods as nonexistent. But he might be persuaded of one thing — that Jehovah was far above them. And this he practically acknowledges in vers. 27 and 28.




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Ex 9:18 Exposition.


To-morrow about this time. As it might have been thought that Moses had done nothing very extraordinary in predicting a storm for the next day, a more exact note of time than usual was here given. Compare Exodus 8:23; 9:5. I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail. Rain, and, still more, hail are comparatively rare in Egypt, though not so rare as stated by some ancient authors (Herod, 3:10; Pomp. Mela, De Situ Orbis, 1:9). A good deal of rain falls in the Lower Country, where the north wind brings air loaded with vapour from the Mediterranean; particularly in the winter months from December to March. Snow, and hail, and thunder are during those months not very uncommon, having been witnessed by many modern travellers, as Pococke, Wansleben, Seetzen, Perry, Tooke, and others. They are seldom, however, of any great severity. Such a storm as here described (see especially vers. 23, 24) would be quite strange and abnormal; no Egyptian would have experienced anything approaching to it, and hence the deep impression that it made (ver. 27). Since the foundation thereof. Not “since the original formation of the country” at the Creation, or by subsequent alluvial deposits, as Herodotus thought (2:5-11), but “since Egypt became a nation” (see ver. 24). Modern Egyptologists, or at any rate a large number of them, carry back this event to a date completely irreconcilable with the Biblical chronology — Bockh to B.C. 5702, Unger to B.C. 5613, Mariette and Lenormant to B.C. 5004, Brugsch to B.C. 4455, Lepsius to B.C. 3852, and Bunsen (in one place) to B.C. 3623. The early Egyptian chronology is, however, altogether uncer-rain, as the variety in these dates sufficiently intimates. Of the dynasties before the (so-called) eighteenth, only seven are proved to be historical, and the time that the Old and Middle Empires lasted is exceedingly doubtful. All the known facts are sufficiently met by such a date as B.C. 2500-2400 for the Pyramid Kings, before whose time we have nothing authentic. This is a date which comes well within the period allowed for the formation of nations by the chronology of the Septuagint and Samaritan versions.




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Ex 9:22 Exposition.


Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven. The action was appropriate, as the plague was to come from the heaven. Similarly, in the first and second plagues, Aaron's hand had been stretched out upon the waters (Exodus 7:19, 20; 8:6); and in the third upon “the dust of the ground” (Exodus 8:17). And upon every herb of the field — i.e., upon all forms of vegetable life. (Compare Genesis 1:30; 9:3.)




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Ex 9:23 Exposition.


Moses stretched forth his rod. In the last set of three plagues, the earthly agent was Moses (Exodus 9:10; Exodus 10:13, 22), whose diffidence seems to have worn off as time went on, and he became accustomed to put himself forward. Thunder and hail. Thunder had not been predicted; but it is a common accompaniment of a hail-storm, the change of temperature produced by the discharge of electricity no doubt conducing to the formation of hailstones. The fire ran along upon the ground. Some very peculiar electrical display seems to be intended — something corresponding to the phenomena called “fireballs,” where the electric fluid does not merely flash momentarily, but remains for several seconds, or even minutes, before it disappears.




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Ex 9:26 Exposition.


Only in the land of Goshen, etc. Compare Exodus 8:22; 9:4; 10:23.




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Ex 9:13 The method of the Divine Rule over bad men illustrated by God's message to Pharaoh.


III. THE FACT THAT ALL RESISTANCE OF GOD'S WILL BY SINNERS TENDS TO INCREASE, AND IS DESIGNED TO INCREASE, HIS GLORY. “The fierceness of man turns to God's praise., He has endowed men with free will, and allows them the free exercise of their free will, because, do as they like, they cannot thwart his purposes. Being, as he is, the God of order, and not of confusion or anarchy, he could not have allowed flee will at all to his creatures, if their employment of it prevented the accomplishment of his own designs and intentions. But it does not; it is foreseen, taken into account, provided for. And the only result of men's opposition to his will is the increase of his glory and of his praise. Great kings are seen arraying themselves against God, determining to take Jerusalem, like Sennacherib (2 Kings 18:35), or to destroy the infant Church, like Herod Agrippa (Acts 12:1-3), or to rebuild Jerusalem, like the apostate Julian, or to crush the Reformation, like Philip II. of Spain — and they do their utmost; they levy armies, or man fleets, or collect materials and engage thousands of workmen, or murder and imprison at their pleasure-but nothing comes of it. Their efforts fail utterly. And the sole result of all their exertions is, that men see and recognise God's hand in their overthrow, and that his glory is thereby increased. All this is commonly declared in Scripture, and especially in the Psalms (Psalm 2:4; 5:10; 7:11-17; 9:15-20, etc.). The message sent by God to Pharaoh through Moses adds, that the result is designed. “For this cause have I made thee stand (marg.), for to show to thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth”(ver. 16). Compare Exodus 14:17, 18; 15:14-16; Joshua 2:9-11.




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Ex 9:16 The road to ruin.


“And in very deed for this cause,” etc. (Exodus 9:16). The character and conduct of Pharaoh as a probationer under the moral government of the Ever Living God is worthy of special and separate consideration. That he was such a probationer should not be simply assumed, but made clearly manifest. All the great light of natural religion shone upon his path (Romans 1:19-25), like stars in heaven upon the path of every soul. Then there is the inward witness that speaks of the soul, of God, of duty, of immortality (Romans 2:14, 15). Within the confines of his empire existed a nation of no less than two millions, to whom had already been confided a part, at least, of the “oracles of God.” They were the recipients of such revelations as God had already vouchsafed. Their beliefs ought not to have been unknown to him. Two missionaries, direct from God, Moses and Aaron, were his teachers. They Came with full credentials. Providential judgments, not untempered with mercy (for warning after warning came), spake with trumpet tongue. Some of his own people, convinced, probably penitent, pleaded for the right. And yet this soul went from bad to worse. We indicate the stages on the road to ruin. It is only necessary to premise that though the stages are broadly manifest enough, they, in so complicated a character, occasionally overlap, and are blended with each other.




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Ex 9:16 The road to ruin.


III. ALARM. In Pharaoh's case this was especially manifest after the second (Exodus 8:8), fourth (Exodus 8:25), seventh (Exodus 9:27), and eighth (Exodus 10:16) visitations.




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Ex 9:16 The road to ruin.


IV. CONFESSION. After the seventh (Exodus 9:27). No wonder, for God had said before this judgment, “I will at this time send all my plagues upon thy heart.” Coming calamity was to be of a deeper and more searching kind. The man seems to have had an access of real and honest feeling. Sees the sin of the people as well as his own. Confesses. But the confession was not followed up.




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Ex 9:16 The road to ruin.


V. PROMISE — VIOLATION. After second (Exodus 8:8-15), fourth (Exodus 8:28-32), and seventh (Exodus 9:28-35) plagues. A very common thing with sinners under Divine discipline — promises of amendment — but the sweep onward of the bias toward iniquity is like that of a mighty river, and carries the most earnest vows into the gulf of oblivion.




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Ex 9:16 The road to ruin.


VI. DISPOSITION TO COMPROMISE. See Exodus 8:25-28, 10:8-11, 10:24. Such penitence as Pharaoh had was one of conditions and compromise. Israel's festival must be “in the land;” then not “far away; “then only the men should go; then all might go, but the cattle must stay behind. So “We will give up sin, but only part of it. We will yield ninety-nine points, not the hundredth. We will give up what we do not care for so much, but keep What we peculiarly like. We will keep all the commandments, but not give up our money.** We will gain the credit and reputation of religion, but shun the pain and denial of it.” (see on “Pharaoh,” in Munro's “Sermons on Characters of the Old Testament,” vol. 1. ser. 15.)




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Ex 9:16 The road to ruin.


VIII. HARDNESS OF HEART. Except in the objective announcement made to Moses at the first, there is no statement that God hardened Pharaoh's heart till after the sixth plague (Exodus 9:12). Up to that time Pharaoh hardened his own heart, or the fact simply is stated, that his heart was hardened. In this matter man acts first sinfully, then God judicially.




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Ex 9:13 The earth is the Lord's and the fulness of it.


I. THERE IS NO ONE LIKE JEHOVAH IN THE WHOLE EARTH, AND PHARAOH 18 TO BE MADE TO KNOW THIS. Such is the statement of ver. 14; and of course the whole gist of it lies in the bringing of Pharaoh to a clear and unmistakable knowledge of the supremacy of God over all terrestrial powers. That there is none like God in all the earth may be true, but the thing wanted is to bring that truth distinctly and practically before our minds, and if profitably for us also, then so much the better This end had to be achieved in the instance of Pharaoh by persistent attacks of Jehovah upon him, attacks ever increasing in effective force, till at last they proved irresistible. It was not enough for others to be assured by Pharaoh's doom that there was none like God in all the earth. Pharaoh must know it for himself, and confess it, not by the ambiguous channel of speech, but by a most decisive act, the committal of which he cannot avoid (Exodus 12:31-33). And that he may be brought to such a knowledge is the reason of the severe plagues that remain. We might, indeed, count it enough to be told that Jehovah had sent all his plagues. We might rest upon Jehovah's character, and say that whatever he does is right, even though there be much that at first staggers us, and that continues to perplex. But the reason for all these plagues is plainly stated, and if it be looked into ‘it will be seen an ample, cheering, and encouraging reason. Though Jehovah is Sovereign of the universe, he does not treat Pharaoh in an arbitrary way; he acts, not as one who says that might makes right, but as using his might in order to secure the attainment of right. Pharaoh's way, on the contrary, is an arbitrary one, without the slightest mitigation or concealment. Everything rests simply on his will; and yet will is too dignified a word — whim would be nearer the mark. And now that proud will is to be subdued and dissolved, so far, at least, as to flow forth in the liberation of Israel, even though immediately they be liberated it hardens again to its former rigidity. The announcement Moses was now to make to Pharaoh we may fairly say would have been inappropriate at an earlier time. It becomes God, in his first approaches to men, to draw them, if perchance for their own sakes they may willingly submit; afterwards, when they will not be drawn, then for the sake of others they have to be driven. It is not until Pharaoh fully manifests his selfishness, his malignity, and the reasonless persistency of his refusal, that God indicates the approach of all his plagues. The man has been humbled in his circumstances, but his pride of heart remains as erect as ever; and so the full force of Jehovah has to be Brought upon it in order to lay it low. tic is at last to feel in himself, whatever he may say, that the true question is not “Who is Jehovah, that Pharaoh should let Israel go?” but, “Who is Pharaoh, that he should keep Israel back?” He has gotten some rudiments and beginnings of this knowledge already, even though they have made no difference in his practice. Every time he has opened his eyes. he has seen something fresh, which, however quickly he might close his eyes again, he could not unsee. And now he is on the very point of getting more knowledge, and that in a way very disagreeable to a despot. With alarming rapidity, his people are about to be impressed with the supremacy of Jehovah (Exodus 9:20; 10:7).




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Ex 9:13 Harden not your hearts.


(1) spoke to Pharaoh by Moses (Exodus 5:1), then




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Ex 9:13 Harden not your hearts.


(2) punished him again and again (Exodus 9:14), only




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Ex 9:13 Harden not your hearts.


(3) finally expelled him; foreseeing all the while that his treatment would but harden the offender, yet persisting in it for the good of others, to strengthen and maintain his own authority (Exodus 9:16).




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Ex 9:13 Harden not your hearts.


(2) A hardened heart. The disposition was not altered by the infliction. “I have sinned” only meant “I have suffered.” Once-remove the suffering, and the sufferer showed himself more obdurate than ever. It would have been easy to remove Pharaoh at once; but he occupied an exemplary position, and must, for the sake of others, be treated in an exemplary manner. Expulsion came at last, but God retained him in his position so long as it was needful thereby to teach others his power (Exodus 9:16). Perfectly just to all; for even Pharaoh, though his conduct was foreseen, yet had it in his own power to alter it. Hardened like clay beneath the sun's heat, his own self-determination made him like the clay; it might have made him like the snow, in which case his obduracy would have melted.




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Ex 9:17 The seventh plague � the hail mingled with fire.


1. God has his “to-morrow”(ver. 18) as well as Pharaoh (Exodus 8:10). Only when Pharaoh's “to-morrow” comes, there comes with it the evidence that he means not what he says. But when God’s” to-morrow” comes there is the evidence of his perfect stability, how he settles everything beforehand, even to the very hour. “Tomorrow, about this time.” A whole twenty-four hours then Pharaoh gets for consideration, although really he needs it not, and cannot be expected to profit by it. But as we see presently, it is serviceable to protect the fight-minded among his people. Perhaps the very period of consideration would make Pharaoh even to despise the prediction. He would say to himself that a hailstorm, however severe, could be lived through, and the damage from it soon made right again.




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Ex 9:17 The seventh plague � the hail mingled with fire.


2. It must be absorbingly personal. It must occupy in the most imperative fashion all the individual consciousness. If there is any time when, as one may say, it is a man's duty to look on his own things, and not the things of others, it is when he is labouring to get the proper conviction of sin. He is not to lose himself in the crowd; he is to stand out before his own mind's eye — self so unsparingly revealed to self — that nothing less will do to say than, “I am the chief of sinners.” For not till a man knows what it is to be the chief of sinners is he in the way of discovering what it is to be the chief of saints. “I and my people are wicked,” says Pharaoh. It was a false unity; a claim of unity dictated even by pride, for he had become incapable of thinking of his people apart from himself. He calls them one in wickedness, when they were not one; for some had this possibility of goodness at least, that they feared Jehovah enough to follow his counsels (ver. 20). And later, when the mixed multitude went out with Israel (Exodus 12:38), what then became of the boast, “I and my people”?




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Ex 9:27 Exposition.


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.




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Ex 9:34 Exposition.


He sinned yet more, and hardened his heart. Altogether there are three different Hebrew verbs, which our translators have rendered by “harden,” or “hardened” — kabad, qashah, and khazaq. The first of these, which occurs in Exodus 7:14; 8:15, 32; 9:7 and 34, is the weakest of the three, and means to be “dull” or “heavy,” rather than “to be hard.” The second, which appears in Exodus 7:3, and 13:15, is a stronger term, and means “to be hard,” or, in the Hiphil, “to make hard.” But the third has the most intensive sense, implying fixed and stubborn resolution. It occurs in Exodus 4:21; 7:22; 8:19; 9:35; and elsewhere. He and his servants. Pharaoh's “servants,” i.e. the officers of his court, still, it would seem, upheld the king in his impious and mad course, either out of complaisance, or because they were really not yet convinced of the resistless might of Jehovah. After the eighth plague, we shall find their tone change (Exodus 10:7).




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Ex 9:35 Exposition.


As the Lord had spoken by Moses. Compare Exodus 3:19; 4:21; and 7:3, 4




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Ex 9:27 The mock repentance of a half-awakened sinner counterfeits the true, but has features by which it may be known.


III. IT POSSESSED THE FEATURES OF SELF-DISTRUST AND OF APPEAL TO THE MINISTERS OF GOD FOR AID. Pharaoh “sent and called for Moses and Aaron.” Not very long before, he had dismissed them from his presence as impertinent intruders, with the words, “Get you to your burdens” (Exodus 5:4). Now he appeals to them for succour. He asks their prayers — “Intreat for me.” Such appeals are constantly made, both by the true and by the mock penitent. Reliance on self disappears. God's ministers take their due place as ambassadors for him and stewards of his mysteries. They are asked to intercede for the sinner, to frame a prayer for him, and offer it on his behalf. All this is fitting under the circumstances; for lips long unaccustomed to prayer cannot at once offer it acceptably, and intercessory prayer is especially valuable at the time when the half-awakened soul feels a yearning towards God, to which, if unassisted, it is unable to give effect.-- Spence, H. D. M. and Joseph S. Excell, ed. The Pulpit Commentary – Volume 1 [3]

Appendix / Bibliography
                                                                                                                                       
Life Application Study Bible
[1] Life Application Study Bible, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale, 1988), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 107-108.






















                                                            

                              

                              



                                                           
                              
                                                                                         

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