Exodus 10:9
And Moses said, We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast unto the LORD.
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(9) With our sons and with our daughters . . . for we must hold a feast.—It was customary in Egypt for children to join in festivals (Herod. ii. 60).

With our flocks and with our herds.—The family of Jacob brought numerous flocks and herds into Egypt (Genesis 47:1). These had, no doubt, increased, notwithstanding the oppression, and at the time of the Exodus must have been very numerous. The requirement to “take a lamb for an house” (Exodus 12:2) on the institution of the Passover involved the killing, on a single day, of 200,000 lambs. Even after this the flocks and herds which went out with them (Exodus 12:38) were “very much cattle.”

Exodus 10:9. We must hold a feast unto the Lord — And in such solemnities the whole body of the nation, men, women, and children, and all who were not confined by sickness, were wont to join.

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.With our young ... - The demand was not contrary to Egyptian usage, as great festivals were kept by the whole population. 7-11. Pharaoh's servants said—Many of his courtiers must have suffered serious losses from the late visitations, and the prospect of such a calamity as that which was threatened and the magnitude of which former experience enabled them to realize, led them to make a strong remonstrance with the king. Finding himself not seconded by his counsellors in his continued resistance, he recalled Moses and Aaron, and having expressed his consent to their departure, inquired who were to go. The prompt and decisive reply, "all," neither man nor beast shall remain, raised a storm of indignant fury in the breast of the proud king. He would permit the grown-up men to go away; but no other terms would be listened to. A feast upon a sacrifice, wherein all are concerned, and therefore all must be present and ready to do what God requires us.

Moses said, we will go with our young and with our old,.... The latter were necessary to guide, direct, and instruct in the business of sacrifice, and to perform it as heads of their respective families; and the former were to be present, that they might be trained up and inured to such religious services:

with our sons and with our daughters; as with persons of every age, so of every sex, who had all a concern herein, especially as it was a solemn feast, which all were to partake of:

with our flocks and with our herds will we go; which were requisite for the sacrifices, not knowing which they were to sacrifice, and with which to serve God, till they came to the place where they were to sacrifice; see Exodus 10:26,

for we must hold a feast unto the Lord; which required the presence of old and young, men, women, and children, to join in it, and their flocks and their herds, out of which it was to be made.

And Moses said, We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast unto the LORD.
9. a feast unto the Lord] more naturally, Jehovah’s feast.

Verse 9. - And Moses said, We will go with our young, and with our old. This statement was at any rate unambiguous, and no doubt could henceforth be even pretended as to what the demand was. The whole nation, with its flocks and herds, was to take its departure, since a feast was to be held in which all the nation ought to participate. The Egyptians were accustomed to the attendance of children at national festivals (Herod. 2:60). Exodus 10:9As Moses had left Pharaoh after announcing the plague, he was fetched back again along with Aaron, in consequence of the appeal made to the king by his servants, and asked by the king, how many wanted to go to the feast. ומי מי, "who and who still further are the going ones;" i.e., those who wish to go? Moses required the whole nation to depart, without regard to age or sex, along with all their flocks and herds. He mentioned "young and old, sons and daughters;" the wives as belonging to the men being included in the "we." Although he assigned a reason for this demand, viz., that they were to hold a feast to Jehovah, Pharaoh was so indignant, that he answered scornfully at first: "Be it so; Jehovah be with you when I let you and your little ones go;" i.e., may Jehovah help you in the same way in which I let you and your little ones go. This indicated contempt not only for Moses and Aaron, but also for Jehovah, who had nevertheless proved Himself, by His manifestations of mighty power, to be a God who would not suffer Himself to be trifled with. After this utterance of his ill-will, Pharaoh told the messengers of God that he could see through their intention. "Evil is before your face;" i.e., you have evil in view. He called their purpose an evil one, because they wanted to withdraw the people from his service. "Not so," i.e., let it not be as you desire. "Go then, you men, and serve Jehovah." But even this concession was not seriously meant. This is evident from the expression, "Go then," in which the irony is unmistakeable; and still more so from the fact, that with these words he broke off all negotiation with Moses and Aaron, and drove them from his presence. ויגרשׁ: "one drove them forth;" the subject is not expressed, because it is clear enough that the royal servants who were present were the persons who drove them away. "For this are ye seeking:" אתהּ relates simply to the words "serve Jehovah," by which the king understood the sacrificial festival, for which in his opinion only the men could be wanted; not that "he supposed the people for whom Moses had asked permission to go, to mean only the men" (Knobel). The restriction of the permission to depart to the men alone was pure caprice; for even the Egyptians, according to Herodotus (2, 60), held religious festivals at which the women were in the habit of accompanying the men.
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