Exodus 9:5
And the LORD appointed a set time, saying, To morrow the LORD shall do this thing in the land.
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(5) The Lord appointed a set time.—As murrain is not uncommon in Egypt, especially in the Delta, and the coming affliction might therefore be ascribed by the Egyptians to natural causes, God took care to mark its miraculous character (1) by appointing a time; (2) by exempting the cattle of Israel; (3) by making the disease fatal to all the cattle of the Egyptians that were left “in the field.”

Tomorrow.—The delay allowed any Egyptians who believed Moses to save their cattle by housing them.

Exodus 9:5. The Lord appointed a set time — This appointing of a set or particular time, both for bringing on the plagues and removing them, and that at as short a distance as the nature of the appointment would admit, and the leaving it once, at least, to Pharaoh himself to fix it, seems to have been intended to prevent the Egyptians, who were possessed with highly superstitious notions of the influence of the heavenly bodies at particular times, from thinking that Moses took advantage of his knowledge of those times to work his miracles.9:1-7 God will have Israel released, Pharaoh opposes it, and the trial is, whose word shall stand. The hand of the Lord at once is upon the cattle, many of which, some of all kinds, die by a sort of murrain. This was greatly to the loss of the owners; they had made Israel poor, and now God would make them poor. The hand of God is to be seen, even in the sickness and death of cattle; for a sparrow falls not to the ground without our Father. None of the Israelites' cattle should die; the Lord shall sever. The cattle died. The Egyptians worshipped their cattle. What we make an idol of, it is just with God to remove from us. This proud tyrant and cruel oppressor deserved to be made an example by the just Judge of the universe. None who are punished according to what they deserve, can have any just cause to complain. Hardness of heart denotes that state of mind upon which neither threatenings nor promise, neither judgements nor mercies, make any abiding impression. The conscience being stupified, and the heart filled with pride and presumption, they persist in unbelief and disobedience. This state of mind is also called the stony heart. Very different is the heart of flesh, the broken and contrite heart. Sinners have none to blame but themselves, for that pride and ungodliness which abuse the bounty and patience of God. For, however the Lord hardens the hearts of men, it is always as a punishment of former sins.A very grievous murrain - Or "pestilence;" but the word "murrain," i. e. "a great mortality," exactly expresses the meaning. This terrible visitation struck far more severely than the preceding, which had caused distress and suffering; it attacked the resources of the nation.

The camels - These animals are only twice mentioned, here and Genesis 12:16, in connection with Egypt. Though camels are never represented on the monuments, they were known to the Egyptians, and were probably used on the frontier.

3-5. Behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thy cattle—A fifth application was made to Pharaoh in behalf of the Israelites by Moses, who was instructed to tell him that, if he persisted in opposing their departure, a pestilence would be sent among all the flocks and herds of the Egyptians, while those of the Israelites would be spared. As he showed no intention of keeping his promise, he was still a mark for the arrows of the Almighty's quiver, and the threatened plague of which he was forewarned was executed. But it is observable that in this instance it was not inflicted through the instrumentality or waving of Aaron's rod, but directly by the hand of the Lord, and the fixing of the precise time tended still further to determine the true character of the calamity (Jer 12:4). No text from Poole on this verse. And the Lord appointed a set time,.... For the coming of this plague, that it might plainly appear it came from him, and was not owing to any natural cause:

saying, tomorrow the Lord shall do this thing in the land; thus giving him time and space, as he had often done before, to consider the matter well, repent of his obstinacy, and dismiss the people of Israel, and so prevent the plague coming upon the cattle, as threatened.

And the LORD appointed a set time, saying, To morrow the LORD shall do this thing in the land.
5. To-morrow] cf. Exodus 8:23.Verse 5. - To-morrow. God may have interposed the interval in order that such as believed the announcement might save their animals by bringing them in out of the fields. All the cattle died - i.e, all that were "in the field" (ver. 3). These reasons commended themselves to the heathen king from his own religious standpoint. He promised, therefore, to let the people go into the wilderness and sacrifice, provided they did not go far away, if Moses and Aaron would release him and his people from this plague through their intercession. Moses promised that the swarms should be removed the following day, but told the king not to deceive them again as he had done before (Exodus 8:8). But Pharaoh hardened his heart as soon as the plague was taken away, just as he had done after the second plague (Exodus 8:15), to which the word "also" refers (Exodus 8:32).
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