Exodus 12:32
Also take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also.
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(32) And bless me also.—Here Pharaoh’s humiliation reaches its extreme point. He is reduced by the terrible calamity of the last plague not only to grant all the demands made of him freely, and without restriction, but to crave the favour of a blessing from those whom he had despised, rebuked (Exodus 5:4), thwarted, and finally driven from his presence under the threat of death (Exodus 10:28). Those with whom were the issues of life and death must, he felt, have the power to bless or curse effectually.

12:29-36 The Egyptians had been for three days and nights kept in anxiety and horror by the darkness; now their rest is broken by a far more terrible calamity. The plague struck their first-born, the joy and hope of their families. They had slain the Hebrews' children, now God slew theirs. It reached from the throne to the dungeon: prince and peasant stand upon the same level before God's judgments. The destroying angel entered every dwelling unmarked with blood, as the messenger of woe. He did his dreadful errand, leaving not a house in which there was not one dead. Imagine then the cry that rang through the land of Egypt, the long, loud shriek of agony that burst from every dwelling. It will be thus in that dreadful hour when the Son of man shall visit sinners with the last judgment. God's sons, his first-born, were now released. Men had better come to God's terms at first, for he will never come to theirs. Now Pharaoh's pride is abased, and he yields. God's word will stand; we get nothing by disputing, or delaying to submit. In this terror the Egyptians would purchase the favour and the speedy departure of Israel. Thus the Lord took care that their hard-earned wages should be paid, and the people provided for their journey.Bless me also - No words could show more strikingly the complete, though temporary, submission of Pharaoh. 32. also take your flocks, &c.—All the terms the king had formerly insisted on were now departed from; his pride had been effectually humbled. Appalling judgments in such rapid succession showed plainly that the hand of God was against him. His own family bereavement had so crushed him to the earth that he not only showed impatience to rid his kingdom of such formidable neighbors, but even begged an interest in their prayers. No text from Poole on this verse. Pray to God for me, that I may not perish by this or any other plague. Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said,.... Which they had insisted upon should go with them, but he had refused, but now he is willing they should go with them:

and be gone; out of his city and country in all haste:

and bless me also; or pray for me, as the Targum of Onkelos; pray the Lord to bestow a blessing upon me also, as I have done well by you in suffering you to depart with your whole families, flocks, and herds. The Targum of Jonathan is,"I desire nothing else of you, only pray for me, that I die not;''and so Jarchi. As he found his firstborn, and the heir to his crown and kingdom, was dead, he might justly fear it would be his case next, and perhaps very soon; and therefore desires their prayers for him, that his life might be spared.

Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and {p} bless me also.

(p) Pray for me.

32. as ye have said] See Exodus 10:9; Exodus 10:26 (J).

and bless me also] viz. at the festival which you are about to hold: include me as well as yourselves in the blessings which you will then invoke.Verse 32. - Also take your flocks and your herds. Pharaoh thus retracted the prohibition of Exodus 10:24, and "gave the sacrifices and burnt-offerings" which Moses had required (ib. ver. 25). Bless me also. Pharaoh was probably accustomed to receive blessings from his own priests, and had thus been led to value them. His desire for a blessing from Moses and Aaron, ere they departed, probably sprang from a conviction - based on the miracles which he had witnessed - that their intercession would avail more with God than that of his own hierarchy. (cf. Exodus 12:13). "He will not suffer (יתּן) the destroyer to come into your houses:" Jehovah effected the destruction of the first-born through המּשׁחית, the destroyer, or destroying angel, ὁ ὁλοθρεύων (Hebrews 11:28), i.e., not a fallen angel, but the angel of Jehovah, in whom Jehovah revealed Himself to the patriarchs and Moses. This is not at variance with Psalm 78:49; for the writer of this psalm regards not only the slaying of the first-born, but also the pestilence (Exodus 9:1-7), as effected through the medium of angels of evil: though, according to the analogy of 1 Samuel 13:17, המּשׁחית might certainly be understood collectively as applying to a company of angels. Exodus 12:24. "This word," i.e., the instructions respecting the Passover, they were to regard as an institution for themselves and their children for ever (עד־עולם in the same sense as עולם, Genesis 17:7, Genesis 17:13); and when dwelling in the promised land, they were to explain the meaning of this service to their sons. The ceremony is called עבדה, "service," inasmuch as it was the fulfilment of a divine command, a performance demanded by God, though it promoted the good of Israel.
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