Exodus 10:3
And Moses and Aaron came in to Pharaoh, and said to him, Thus said the LORD God of the Hebrews, How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me.
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Exodus 10:3. How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself? — By this it appears that God’s design was not to harden Pharaoh, but to humble him by these extraordinary judgments. It is justly expected from the greatest of men that they should humble themselves before the great God, and it is at their peril if they refuse to do it. Those that will not humble themselves, God will humble.10:1-11 The plagues of Egypt show the sinfulness of sin. They warn the children of men not to strive with their Maker. Pharaoh had pretended to humble himself; but no account was made of it, for he was not sincere therein. The plague of locusts is threatened. This should be much worse than any of that kind which had ever been known. Pharaoh's attendants persuade him to come to terms with Moses. Hereupon Pharaoh will allow the men to go, falsely pretending that this was all they desired. He swears that they shall not remove their little ones. Satan does all he can to hinder those that serve God themselves, from bringing their children to serve him. He is a sworn enemy to early piety. Whatever would put us from engaging our children in God's service, we have reason to suspect Satan in it. Nor should the young forget that the Lord's counsel is, Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth; but Satan's counsel is, to keep children in a state of slavery to sin and to the world. Mark that the great foe of man wishes to retain him by the ties of affection, as Pharaoh would have taken hostages from the Israelites for their return, by holding their wives and children in captivity. Satan is willing to share our duty and our service with the Saviour, because the Saviour will not accept those terms.Hardened - Different words in the Hebrew. In Exodus 9:34 the word means "made heavy," i. e. obtuse, incapable of forming a right judgment; in Exodus 9:35 it is stronger, and implies a stubborn resolution. 2. And that thou mayest tell … of thy son, and of thy son's son, &c.—There was a further and higher reason for the infliction of those awful judgments, namely, that the knowledge of them there, and the permanent record of them still, might furnish a salutary and impressive lesson to the Church down to the latest ages. Worldly historians might have described them as extraordinary occurrences that marked this era of Moses in ancient Egypt. But we are taught to trace them to their cause: the judgments of divine wrath on a grossly idolatrous king and nation. No text from Poole on this verse. And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh,.... As the Lord commanded them, for what is before said to Moses was designed for Aaron also, his prophet and spokesman:

and said unto him, thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews; as the ambassadors of the God of Israel, and in his name said:

how long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? to acknowledge his offence, lie low before God, and be subject to his will; he had humbled himself for a moment, but then this did not continue; what God expected of him, and complains of the want of, was such a continued humiliation before him, and such a subjection to him, as would issue in complying with what he had so often demanded of him, and is as follows:

let my people go, that they may serve me; see Exodus 9:1.

And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse {b} to humble thyself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me.

(b) The purpose of affliction is that we humble ourselves with true repentance under the hand of God.

3–6. The announcement of the plague to Pharaoh.Verse 3. - How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself! The confession recorded in Exodus 9:27 had been a distinct act of self-humiliation; but it had been cancelled by subsequent self-assertion (ib. 34, 35). And, moreover, humility of speech was not what God had been for months requiring of Pharaoh, but submission in act. He would not really "humble himself" until he gave the oft- demanded permission to the Israelites, that they might depart from Egypt. The account of the loss caused by the hail is introduced very appropriately in Exodus 9:31 and Exodus 9:32, to show how much had been lost, and how much there was still to lose through continued refusal. "The flax and the barley were smitten, for the barley was ear, and the flax was גּבעל (blossom); i.e., they were neither of them quite ripe, but they were already in ear and blossom, so that they were broken and destroyed by the hail. "The wheat," on the other hand, "and the spelt were not broken down, because they were tender, or late" (אפילת); i.e., they had no ears as yet, and therefore could not be broken by the hail. These accounts are in harmony with the natural history of Egypt. According to Pliny, the barley is reaped in the sixth month after the sowing-time, the wheat in the seventh. The barley is ripe about the end of February or beginning of March; the wheat, at the end of March or beginning of April. The flax is in flower at the end of January. In the neighbourhood of Alexandria, and therefore quite in the north of Egypt, the spelt is ripe at the end of April, and farther south it is probably somewhat earlier; for, according to other accounts, the wheat and spelt ripen at the same time (vid., Hengstenberg, p. 119). Consequently the plague of hail occurred at the end of January, or at the latest in the first half of February; so that there were at least eight weeks between the seventh and tenth plagues. The hail must have smitten the half, therefore, of the most important field-produce, viz., the barley, which was a valuable article of food both for men, especially the poorer classes, and for cattle, and the flax, which was also a very important part of the produce of Egypt; whereas the spelt, of which the Egyptians preferred to make their bread (Herod. 2, 36, 77), and the wheat were still spared.
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