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Bible Commentaries
Exodus 9

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 1

Then the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh, and tell him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me.

Let my people go. — The very same message to a word, as before often. Austin persuades God’s messengers so long to insist upon the same point, beating and repeating of it in the same words, till they perceive by the gesture and countenance of the hearers that they understand and embrace it. De Doctrina Christiana. Chrysostom at Antioch preached many sermons against swearing; and told the people, that seemed to be weary of that subject, that till they stopped their swearing, he would never stop preaching against that sin; ου μονον ταυτα αλλα και περι ταυτων , said Socrates.

Verse 2

For if thou refuse to let [them] go, and wilt hold them still,

And wilt hold them still. — Being wedded to thy will, which will prove thy hell. Voluntas tua infernus tuus. - Bern.

Verse 3

Behold, the hand of the LORD is upon thy cattle which [is] in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: [there shall be] a very grievous murrain.

Is upon thy cattle. — Both those ad esum and those ad usum. Men sin, these suffer, and therefore groan. Romans 8:22

Verse 4

And the LORD shall sever between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt: and there shall nothing die of all [that is] the children’s of Israel.

And there shall nothing die. — It is fair weather oft with the saints when it is foulest with the wicked. God hideth his in the hollow of his hand, Psalms 91:1-16 till the indignation be overpast. Isaiah 26:20 He gives the like charge of them as David did of Absalom. 2 Samuel 18:5

Verse 6

And the LORD did that thing on the morrow, and all the cattle of Egypt died: but of the cattle of the children of Israel died not one.

And all the cattle. — That is, A great sort of them, not all. Non universaliter, sed communiter. Exodus 9:19 ; Exodus 9:25 And this was the fifth of those ten plagues, a number of perfection; to note that God therein did most perfectly administer and execute his judgments.

Verse 7

And Pharaoh sent, and, behold, there was not one of the cattle of the Israelites dead. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people go.

And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened. — Like a smith’s anvil, he grew harder for hammering. There was little need to say to Pharaoh, as the smith did to the Landgrave of Thuring, Durescite, durescite, O in felix Lantgravi. Pet. Nicol. Gelstronp. He hardened fast enough.

Verse 8

And the LORD said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh.

Sprinkle it toward the heaven. — In token that this plague should, in a special manner, be inflicted from heaven. The Philistines, by their golden emerods, acknowledged that the emerods in their flesh were from God. Hippocrates called the pestilence το θειον , the divine disease, as we call the spots thereof God’s marks. The falling sickness was anciently called morbus sacer as an immediate hand of God. And what can we conceive less of the sweating sickness, with which no stranger in England was touched? And yet the English were chased therewith, not only in England, but in other countries abroad; which made them, like tyrants, both feared and avoided wherever they came. Life of King Edward VI, by Sir John Heywood, p. 127.

Verse 9

And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth [with] blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt.

A boil breaking forth. — This Moses threateneth to all disobedient persons Deuteronomy 28:27 Job’s boils were rather probational than penal. So were Munster’s ulcers (medicinal they were, howsoever), which he showed to his friend, and said, Hae sunt gemmae et pretiosa ornamenta Dei, quibus Deus amicos suos ornat, ut eos ad se attrahat. These be those gems and jewels wherewith God adorneth his best friends, that he may bring them nearer to himself. Manlii, loc. com, p. 127.

Verse 10

And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth [with] blains upon man, and upon beast.

And they took ashes of the furnace. — Whereby, being cast up towards heaven, was sent up, as it were, a complaint to God against the oppression of the Israelites in the furnace of the brick kilns, - see Deuteronomy 4:20 , - which came down with a vengeance upon man and beast.

Verse 11

And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians.

For the boil was upon the magicians. — Who were convicted, but not converted. Exodus 8:19 They stood still to withstand Moses: as Balaam, against the light of his own conscience, was resolved to curse, howsoever; and therefore went not aside as at other times to speak with God, but set his face toward the wilderness; like a headstrong horse that gets the bit in his teeth, and runs away with his rider.

Verse 12

And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had spoken unto Moses.

And the Lord hardened. — See Exodus 9:7 ; Exodus 4:21 , …

Verse 13

And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me.

Let my people go. — See Exodus 9:1 .

Verse 14

For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that [there is] none like me in all the earth.

All my plagues upon thine heart. — Heart plagues are the worst plagues of all. A hard heart is in some respects worse than hell: since one of the greatest sins is greater in evil, than any of the greatest punishments.

Verse 15

For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth.

For now I will stretch out. — His former preservation was but a reservation: and he hath hitherto escaped with his life; not for any love that God bare to him, but "to show his power on him." Wicked men may have common mercies and deliverances, but "the Lord Ioveth the righteous." Psalms 146:8

Verse 16

And in very deed for this [cause] have I raised thee up, for to shew [in] thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.

Have I raised thee up. — Heb., I have constituted and set thee up as a butt mark: that I may let fly at thee and follow thee close with plague upon plague, till I’have beaten the very breath out of thy body. See Proverbs 16:4 Romans 9:17 .

Verse 17

As yet exaltest thou thyself against my people, that thou wilt not let them go?

As yet exaltest thou thgself? — q.d., No amendment yet? A sore sign of a vessel of wrath fitted to destruction. It is ill with the body when physic will either not enter or not stay with us.

Verse 18

Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now.

Such as hath not been in Egypt. — Dio maketh mention of a shower of blood and of water, that fell in Egypt a little before it was subjected by Augustus, in quae loca ne stilla quidem aquae ante ceciderat, saith he; where never any drop of water, much less of blood, ever fell before. Dio, in Aug.

Verse 19

Send therefore now, [and] gather thy cattle, and all that thou hast in the field; [for upon] every man and beast which shall be found in the field, and shall not be brought home, the hail shall come down upon them, and they shall die.

Send therefore now. — Here "(mercy rejoiceth against judgment," James 2:13 if by any means he might be wrought upon. Sed Rhinoceros interimi potest, capi non potest. It was past time of day to do Pharaoh good.

Verse 20

He that feared the word of the LORD among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses:

He that feared the word of the Lord. — As few will do till they feel his hand. But they that tremble not in hearing shall be crushed to pieces in feeling, said that martyr. Bradford.

Verse 21

And he that regarded not the word of the LORD left his servants and his cattle in the field.

And he that regarded not. — This was, doubtless, the greater number; Qualis Rex, talis grex. This was a just presage and desert of ruin, not to be warned.

Verse 22

And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt.

Stretch forth thine hand, — i.e., Thy rod in thine hand. Exodus 9:23

Verse 23

And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt.

And the fire ran along upon the ground. — Such "hailstones and coals of fire" we also read of in Psalms 18:13-15 Isaiah 30:30-31 ; and in the Roman history, when Marcus Antonius the philosopher fought with the Quades, and by the prayers of the thundering legion - κεραυνοβολος , as they were afterwards called - of the Christians, rain was obtained to the refreshing of the Roman army, ingens grando compluraque fulmina in hostes ceciderunt: Itaque licebat videre in eodem loco aquam ignemque simul de coelo cadere, atque ob eam causam, Romanos valere ac bibere. Quados exuri et penitus interire. i.e., A huge hail and many lightening bolts fell upon the enemy; fire and water fell at once from heaven; the Romans drank of the water and were relieved; the Quades were burnt by the fire, and perished. Dio, in Vita M. Ant. Phil.

Verse 24

So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.

Ver. 24e. So there was hail, and fire mingled. — A strange mixture; a miracle within a miracle, saith Rub. Solomon. Fire and water made a peace betwixt themselves, that they might obey the will of their Creator.

Verse 25

And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that [was] in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field.

And break every tree of the fleld. — Here was strages et clades horrenda; yet Pharaoh’s heart is not broken, but remains obdurate. Perdidistis fructum afflictionis, was a heavy charge. August. Ducklings stoop and dive at any little stone thrown by a man at them; yet shrink not at the heaven’s great thunder.

Verse 26

Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel [were], was there no hail.

Only in the land of Goshen.See Trapp on " Exodus 8:23 " Dio reports further of the fire forementioned, Exodus 8:23 that that fire from heaven either fell not at all upon the Romans; or, if it did, it was presently quenched: neither did the waters help the Quades, but inflamed them, as if it had been oil, so that they called for water to cool them, when the rain fell upon them; and wounded their own bodies to quench the fire with their blood. Dio, ubi supra.

Verse 27

And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time: the LORD [is] righteous, and I and my people [are] wicked.

The Lord is righteous.See Trapp on " Exodus 5:2 "

Verse 28

Intreat the LORD (for [it is] enough) that there be no [more] mighty thunderings and hail; and I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer.

I will let you go. — But though he speak thus fair, believe him not: "for there are seven abominations in his heart." Proverbs 26:25 No sooner was Pharaoh off the rack, but he bites in his confession, and retracts his promise.

Verse 29

And Moses said unto him, As soon as I am gone out of the city, I will spread abroad my hands unto the LORD; [and] the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail; that thou mayest know how that the earth [is] the LORD’S.

I will spread abroad my hands, — viz., In prayer; holding up and out the palms of the hand, as those do that expect to receive an alms, in a having manner: so did Solomon, 2 Chronicles 6:13 Psalms 143:6 Ezra 9:5 .

That the earth is the Lord’s.See Trapp on " Exodus 9:14 "

Verse 30

But as for thee and thy servants, I know that ye will not yet fear the LORD God.

That ye will not yet fear. — Howbeit I will pray for you, and you shall feel the fruit of it. Thus God is good to "the just and the unjust." Matthew 5:45

Verse 31

And the flax and the barley was smitten: for the barley [was] in the ear, and the flax [was] bolled.

Ver. 31, 32. And the flax and the barley. — We need not wonder that in Egypt their barley harvest was so long before their wheat harvest; since, from the overflow of the Nile, and the difference of the climate, it must, needs be otherwise with them than with other countries.

Verse 32

But the wheat and the rie were not smitten: for they [were] not grown up.

See Trapp on " Exodus 9:31 "

Verse 33

And Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh, and spread abroad his hands unto the LORD: and the thunders and hail ceased, and the rain was not poured upon the earth.

Went out of the city. — For privacy sake.

Spread abroad his hands.See Trapp on " Exodus 9:29 "

Verse 34

And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants.

But sinned yet more. — As iron is very soft and malleable while in the fire, but soon after returns to its former hardness: so here.

Verse 35

And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go; as the LORD had spoken by Moses.

And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened. — Judicially; and penally, after that he had first hardened his own heart. Exodus 9:34

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Exodus 9". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/exodus-9.html. 1865-1868.
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