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Exo 7:1 And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.
Ver. 1. And the Lord said unto Moses. ] In answer to his last exception, which yet he had answered before. Exo 4:16 God bears with our infirmities.
A god to Pharaoh. ] Armed with mine authority; a vice-god.
Shall be thy prophet, ] i.e., Thy spokesman, and interpreter. Aben-Ezra saith that Aaron, as he was Moses’s eldest brother, so he prophesied to the people before Moses showed himself; and hence he is sometimes set before Moses.
Exo 7:2 Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land.
Ver. 2. Thou shalt speak. ] God’s word must be spoken, however it be taken.
Exo 7:3 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt.
Ver. 3. And I will harden. ] See Trapp on " Exo 4:21 " The Dutch have a proverb, Quem Deus excaecaturus est, huic primum oculos claudit. When God will blind a man, he first closeth up his eyes.
Exo 7:4 But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, [and] my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments.
Ver. 4. And Pharaoh shall not hearken. ] This judgment God layeth upon many of our hearers at this day of whom, after much painstaking, we may well complain, as the herdsman did in the poet: -
“Heu mihi! quam pingui macer est mihi taurus in arvo.”
Exo 7:5 And the Egyptians shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them.
Ver. 5. And the Egyptians shall know. ] To their cost, when the Lord’s hand, that is lifted up in threatening, shall fall down in punishing. "Lord," saith the prophet, "when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see, but they shall see," &c. Isa 26:11 God will unseal their heavy eyes with scorching plagues, and rouse them with horror enough.
Exo 7:6 And Moses and Aaron did as the LORD commanded them, so did they.
Ver. 6. Did as the Lord commanded them. ] Mallem obedire, quam miracula facere, saith Luther. Their obedience yielded them more comfort than their working of wonders.
Exo 7:7 And Moses [was] fourscore years old, and Aaron fourscore and three years old, when they spake unto Pharaoh.
Ver. 7. Fourscore years old. ] And so might say to his countrymen and others, as old Augustus did to his mutinous soldiers, Audite senem iuvenes, quem iuvenem senes audierunt.
Exo 7:9 When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast [it] before Pharaoh, [and] it shall become a serpent.
Ver. 9. Show a miracle for you. ] A persuading wonder, an admirable work, above the power of nature, as being a kind of creation, and such as requires omnipotency. But Pharaoh’s heart was such a nether millstone, as neither miracle, nor ministry, nor misery, nor mercy could possibly mollify. At the burning of Bainham the martyr, when his arms and legs were half consumed, he cried out to the bystanders and said, O ye Papists, behold you look for miracles! here now you may see a miracle: for in this fire I feel no more pain than if I were in a bed of down, or of roses. a Thus he: sed surdis fabulam.
a Act. and Mon., fol. 940.
Exo 7:10 And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent.
Ver. 10. And it became a serpent. ] Or a dragon, in token of desolation, if they disobeyed; and that their country should become a den of dragons. Isa 13:22
Exo 7:11 Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.
Ver. 11. The wise men and the sorcerers. ] Magic is either pure and natural, or impure and diabolical, which implieth a compact with the devil; either overt or covert. The chief of these magicians here were Jannes and Jambres, 2Ti 3:8 whose names are also mentioned in the Talmud; Tract. de Oblat., cap. 9. Numenius also, the Pythagorean philosopher, speaketh of them.
Exo 7:12 For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.
Ver. 12. And they became serpents. ] Not really such, but in appearance only. The devil’s miracles are mere impostures, phantasms, delusions. And this was the first plague that God inflicted upon Pharaoh.
Swallowed up their rods. ] That is, their dragons. So hath Christ, who is life essential, swallowed up death in victory. 1Co 15:55
Exo 7:13 And he hardened Pharaoh’s heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.
Ver. 13. And he hardened Pharaoh’s heart.] Not by bare prescience, or permission only, but by withdrawing his grace, directing the tyrant’s actions to his own glory, irritating his corruptions by oracles and miracles, and delivering him up to Satan to be further hardened.
Exo 7:14 And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh’s heart [is] hardened, he refuseth to let the people go.
Ver. 14. Pharaoh’s heart is hardened.] Heb., Heavy; clogged with corruption, and held down by the devil: as, on the contrary, Jehoshaphat’s "heart was light, and lifted up in the ways of the Lord." 2Ch 17:6 So were Dr Taylor’s and George Roper’s, the martyrs: the former fetched a frisk, the latter a great leap, when they came to the stake. a
a Ibid., fol. 1386, 1629.
Exo 7:15 Get thee unto Pharaoh in the morning; lo, he goeth out unto the water; and thou shalt stand by the river’s brink against he come; and the rod which was turned to a serpent shalt thou take in thine hand.
Ver. 15. In the morning. ] It was in the night then that God appeared to Moses. But afterwards "mouth to mouth," "apparently," by special privilege, Numbers 12:6 ; Num 12:8 Exo 33:11 "as a man speaketh with his friend."
Exo 7:16 And thou shalt say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath sent me unto thee, saying, Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness: and, behold, hitherto thou wouldest not hear.
Ver. 16. Hitherto thou wouldest not hear. ] Indeed, he could not hear; as little as those Jews could believe Christ’s miracles, John 12:37 . "Therefore they could not believe," saith the text, "because that Isaiah had said, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their hearts," &c.
Exo 7:17 Thus saith the LORD, In this thou shalt know that I [am] the LORD: behold, I will smite with the rod that [is] in mine hand upon the waters which [are] in the river, and they shall be turned to blood.
Ver. 17. In this thou shalt know, ] q.d., I shall really answer thee to that stomachful question of thine. Exo 5:2 See Trapp on " Exo 5:2 "
Exo 7:18 And the fish that [is] in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall lothe to drink of the water of the river.
Ver. 18. Shall loathe to drink of the river. ] Nile. God will confute them in their confidences. The Egyptians used to brag of their river, and in mockery to tell the Grecians that if God should forget to rain, they might chance to perish for it. The rain, they thought, was of God, but not the river. He therefore threateneth to dry it up, and here to bereave them of all comfortable use of it. Ezekiel 29:3 ; Eze 29:9 Isa 19:5-6
Exo 7:19 And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and [that] there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in [vessels of] wood, and in [vessels of] stone.
Ver. 19. Upon their ponds. ] Fish ponds are in Hebrew called Berechoth, Blessings. But how soon can God "curse our blessings," Mal 2:2 and destroy us, "after that he hath done us good!" Jos 24:20
Exo 7:20 And Moses and Aaron did so, as the LORD commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that [were] in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that [were] in the river were turned to blood.
Ver. 20. Were turned into blood. ] To show them, as in a mirror, their blood guiltiness. These bloody and deceitful men had "blood to drink, for they were worthy." Rev 16:6 See Trapp on " Rev 16:6 "
Exo 7:21 And the fish that [was] in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.
Ver. 21. And the fish. ] That was their common food. Num 11:5 The flesh of many beasts, they, through superstition, would not eat of, as one well noteth from Exodus 8:26 .
Exo 7:22 And the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments: and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, neither did he hearken unto them; as the LORD had said.
Ver. 22. Did so with their enchantments. ] With their secret sleights and magic, they seemed to do so. See Exodus 7:12 , for Pharaoh’s hardening.
Exo 7:23 And Pharaoh turned and went into his house, neither did he set his heart to this also.
Ver. 23. Neither did he set his heart. ] But to his "iron sinews" he added "brows of brass." Isa 48:4 To his natural and hereditary hardness, adventitious and habitual.
Exo 7:24 And all the Egyptians digged round about the river for water to drink; for they could not drink of the water of the river.
Ver. 24. Digged round about. ] If by drawing the waters they might purify them. But "they looked not to the Maker thereof"; they "returned not to him that smote them." Isaiah 22:11 ; Isa 9:13
Exo 7:25 And seven days were fulfilled, after that the LORD had smitten the river.
Ver. 25. And seven days were fulfilled. ] So long the plague continued; that they might be sensible of it; and not do as the dog, who getting out of the water, shakes his ears, and there is an end. Surely if these Egyptians had believed the prediction of this plague, they would have done as Pliny saith camels do - Implentur cameli, cum bibendi est occasio et in praeteritum et in futurum. They would have drunk for hereafter also. a
a Plin., lib. viii. cap. 18.
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Exodus 7". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26