Exodus 11:3
And the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's servants, and in the sight of the people.
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(3) The Lord gave the people favour—i.e., when the time arrived. (See below, Exodus 12:36.)

The man Moses.—At first sight there seems a difficulty in supposing Moses to have written thus of himself. “The man” is not a title by which writers of any time or country are in the habit of speaking of themselves; but it is far more difficult to imagine any one but Moses giving him so bald and poor a designation. To other writers he is a “prophet (Deuteronomy 34:10; Luke 24:27; Acts 3:22; Acts 7:37), or “a man of God” (Deuteronomy 33:1; Joshua 14:6; Psalms 90, Title; Ezra 3:2), or “the servant of the Lord” (Joshua 1:1; Hebrews 3:5); never simply “the man.”

Very great.—It has been said that this expression does not comport well with the “meekness” of Moses. But it is the mere statement of a fact, and of one necessary to be stated for the proper understanding of the narrative. Moses, in the course of his long contention as an equal with Pharaoh, had come to be regarded, not only by the courtiers, but by the Egyptians generally, as a great personage—a personage almost on a par with the Pharaoh, whom they revered as a god upon earth. The position to which he had thus attained exerted an important influence on the entire Egyptian people at this time, causing them to be well-inclined towards his countrymen, and willing to make sacrifices in order to help them and obtain their good-will.

Exodus 11:3. The man Moses was very great — The Egyptians all held him in great esteem and veneration, as a person that had an extraordinary power with God. This seems to be mentioned as the reason why Pharaoh did not attempt any thing against his person; and also why he and the Israelites found so much favour in the sight of the Egyptians.11:1-3 A secret revelation was made to Moses while in the presence of Pharaoh, that he might give warning of the last dreadful judgment, before he went out. This was the last day of the servitude of Israel; they were about to go away. Their masters, who had abused them in their work, would have sent them away empty; but God provided that the labourers should not lose their hire, and ordered them to demand it now, at their departure, and it was given to them. God will right the injured, who in humble silence commit their cause to him; and none are losers at last by patient suffering. The Lord gave them favour in the sight of the Egyptians, by making it appear how much he favoured them. He also changed the spirit of the Egyptians toward them, and made them to be pitied of their oppressors. Those that honour God, he will honour.Every man - In Exodus 3:22 only women were named; the command is more explicit when the time has come for its execution.

Borrow - "ask." See Exodus 3:22 note.

2, 3. Speak now in the ears of the people—These verses, describing the communication which had been made in private to Moses, are inserted here as a parenthesis, and will be considered (Ex 12:35). Therefore they complied with their request, not only out of love to the people, but out of fear to Moses, lest he should punish them severely in case of refusal. And the Lord gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians,.... So that they freely and willingly lent them the things they asked of them; which seems to be said by way of anticipation, for this was not done until the following plague was inflicted, see Exodus 12:35,

moreover, the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt; his name was famous throughout the whole land, because of the signs and wonders, and miracles wrought by him; they took him to be a very extraordinary person, as he was, and had him in great esteem, because at his entreaty the plagues were removed from them, when they had been wrought on them; and this made them the more willing to lend the above things to the people of Israel when they asked them of them, because of their great respect to Moses, and whom, if they did not cordially love, yet they feared, and might imagine that if they did not comply with the request of his people, he might resent it, and employ his power against them; and thus he stood, either beloved or feared, or both:

in the sight of Pharaoh's servants; his ministers, courtiers, and counsellors: and in the sight of the people; the common people, the inhabitants of the land of Egypt.

And the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's servants, and in the sight of the people.
Verse 3. - And the Lord gave the people favour - i.e. When the time came. See below, Exodus 12:36. Moreover the man Moses, etc. It has been supposed that this is an interpolation, and argued that Moses, being so "meek" as he was (Numbers 12:3), would not have spoken of himself in the terms here used. But very great here only means "very influential;" and the fact is stated, not to glorify Moses, but to account for the ornaments being so generally given. Moreover, it is highly improbable that any other writer than himself would have so baldly and bluntly designated Moses as the man Moses. (Compare Deuteronomy 33:1; Deuteronomy 34:5; Joshua 1:1, 13, 15; Joshua 14:6, 7; Joshua 22:2, 4; etc.) The "greatness" which Moses had now attained was due to the powers which he had shown. First of all, he had confounded the magicians (Exodus 8:18, 19); then he had so far impressed the courtiers that a number of them took advantage of one of his warnings and thereby saved their cattle and slaves (Exodus 9:20). Finally, he had forced the entire Court to acknowledge that it lay in his power to destroy or save Egypt (Exodus 10:7). He had after that parleyed with the king very much as an equal (ib. 8-11; 16 -18). It is no wonder that the Egyptians, who regarded their king as a "great god," were deeply impressed.

CHAPTER 11:4 Ninth plague: The Darkness. - As Pharaoh's defiant spirit was not broken yet, a continuous darkness came over all the land of Egypt, with the exception of Goshen, without any previous announcement, and came in such force that the darkness could be felt. חשׁך וימשׁ: "and one shall feel, grasp darkness." המשׁ: as in Psalm 115:7; Judges 16:26, ψηλαφητὸν σκότος (lxx); not "feel in the dark," for משׁשׁ has this meaning only in the Piel with בּ (Deuteronomy 28:29). אפלה חשׁך: darkness of obscurity, i.e., the deepest darkness. The combination of two words or synonyms gives the greatest intensity to the thought. The darkness was so great that they could not see one another, and no one rose up from his place. The Israelites alone "had light in their dwelling-places." The reference here is not to the houses; so that we must not infer that the Egyptians were unable to kindle any lights even in their houses. The cause of this darkness is not given in the text; but the analogy of the other plagues, which had all of them a natural basis, warrants us in assuming, as most commentators have done, that there was the same here - that it was in fact the Chamsin, to which the lxx evidently allude in their rendering: σκότος καὶ γνόφος καὶ θύελλα. This wind, which generally blows in Egypt before and after the vernal equinox and lasts two or three days, usually rises very suddenly, and fills the air with such a quantity of fine dust and coarse sand, that the sun loses its brightness, the sky is covered with a dense veil, and it becomes so dark that "the obscurity cause by the thickest fog in our autumn and winter days is nothing in comparison" (Schubert). Both men and animals hide themselves from this storm; and the inhabitants of the towns and villages shut themselves up in the innermost rooms and cellars of their houses till it is over, for the dust penetrates even through well-closed windows. For fuller accounts taken from travels, see Hengstenberg (pp. 120ff.) and Robinson's Palestine i. pp. 287-289. Seetzen attributes the rising of the dust to a quantity of electrical fluid contained in the air. - The fact that in this case the darkness alone is mentioned, may have arisen from its symbolical importance. "The darkness which covered the Egyptians, and the light which shone upon the Israelites, were types of the wrath and grace of God" (Hengstenberg). This occurrence, in which, according to Arabian chroniclers of the middle ages, the nations discerned a foreboding of the day of judgment or of the resurrection, filled the king with such alarm that he sent for Moses, and told him he would let the people and their children go, but the cattle must be left behind. יצּג: sistatur, let it be placed, deposited in certain places under the guard of Egyptians, as a pledge of your return. Maneat in pignus, quod reversuri sitis, as Chaskuni correctly paraphrases it. But Moses insisted upon the cattle being taken for the sake of their sacrifices and burnt-offerings. "Not a hoof shall be left behind." This was a proverbial expression for "not the smallest fraction." Bochart gives instances of a similar introduction of the "hoof" into proverbial sayings by both Arabians and Romans (Hieroz. i. p. 490). This firmness on the part of Moses he defended by saying, "We know not with what we shall serve the Lord, till we come thither;" i.e., we know not yet what kind of animals or how many we shall require for the sacrifices; our God will not make this known to us till we arrive at the place of sacrifice. עבד with a double accusative as in Genesis 30:29; to serve any one with a thing.
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