And the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him:
Verses 1-20. - THE EIGHTH PLAGUE. Notwithstanding his self-condemnation and acknowledgment of the righteousness of God in all the judgments that had been sent upon him (Exodus 9:27), Pharaoh no sooner found that the seventh plague had ceased than he reverted to his old obstinacy. He both wilfully hardened his own heart (Exodus 9:34); and God, by the unfailing operation of his moral laws, further blunted or hardened it (Exodus 10:1). Accordingly, it became necessary that his stubbornness should be punished by one other severe infliction. Locusts, God's "great army," as they are elsewhere called (Joel 2:25), were the instrument chosen, so that once more the judgment should seem to come from heaven, and that it should be exactly fitted to complete the destruction which the hail had left unaccomplished (ver. 5). Locusts, when they come in full force, are among the most terrible of all the judgments that can befall a country. "A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness" (Joel 2:3). They destroy every atom of foliage - crops, vegetables, shrubs, trees - even the bark of the fruit-trees suffers - the stems are injured, the smaller branches completely peeled and "made white" (Joel 1:7). When Moses threatened this infliction, his words produced at once a great effect. The officers of the court - "Pharaoh's servants," as they are called - for the first time endeavoured to exert an influence over the king - "Let the men go," they said; "knowest thou not yet that Egypt is destroyed?" (ver. 7). And the king so far yielded that - also for the first time - he let himself be influenced by the mere threat of a judgment. He would have let the Israelites depart, before the locusts came, if only they would have left their "little ones" behind them (vers. 8-11 ). Moses, however, could not consent to this limitation; and so the plague came in fall severity the locusts covered the whole face of the earth, so that the land was darkened with them (ver. 15); and all that the hail had left, including the whole of the wheat and doora harvests, was destroyed. Then Pharaoh made fresh acknowledgment of his sin, and fresh appeals for intercession - with the old result that the plague was removed, and that he remained as obdurate as ever (vers. 16-20). Verse 1. - Go in unto Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart. The word "I" is expressed in the original and is emphatic. It is not merely that Pharaoh has hardened himself (Exodus 9:34); but I have "dulled" or "hardened" him. Therefore condescend to see him once more, and to bear my message to him. The heart of his servants. Compare Exodus 9:34. As Pharaoh's determination began to waver the influence of the court officers increased. Hence the frequent mention of them in this part of the narrative. That I might shew them my signs. The "fierceness of man" was being "turned to God's praise." It resulted from the obstinacy of Pharaoh that more and greater miracles were wrought, more wonderful signs shown, and that by these means both the Israelites themselves, and the heathen nations in contact with them, were the more deeply impressed.
And that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son's son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am the LORD.
Verse 2. - That thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son's son. The Psalms show how after generations dwelt in thought upon the memory of the great deeds done in Egypt and the deliverance wrought there. (See especially Psalm 78, 105. and Psalms 106; but compare also Psalm 68:6, 7; Psalm 77:14-20; Psalm 81:5, 6; Psalm 114:1-3; Psalm 135:8, 9; Psalm 136:10-15.)
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 to humble thyself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me.
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.
Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, to morrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast:
Verse 4. - To-morrow. Again a warning is given, and a space of time interposed, during which the king may repent and submit himself, if he chooses. The locusts. The species intended is probably either the Aeridium peregrinum or the Oedipoda migratoria. Both are common in Arabia and Syria, and both are known in Egypt. They are said to be equally destructive. The Hebrew name, arbeh, points to the "multitudinous" character of the visitation. A traveller in Syria says - "It is difficult to express the effect produced on us by the sight of the whole atmosphere filled on all sides and to a great height by an innumerable quantity of these insects, whose flight was slow and uniform, and whose noise resembled that of rain; the sky was darkened, and the light of the sun considerably weakened. In a moment the terraces of the houses, the streets, and all the fields were covered by these insects." (Ollivier, Voyage clans l'Empire Ottoman, vol. 2. p. 424.) Into thy coast - i.e. "across thy border, into thy territories." The locust is only an occasional visitant in Egypt, and seems always to arrive from some foreign country.
And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth: and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field:
Verse 5. - They shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth. This is one of the points most frequently noticed by travellers. "The ground is covered with them for several leagues," says Volney. "The steppes," says Clarke, "were entirely covered by their bodies." "Over an area of 1600 or 1800 square miles," observes Barrow, "the whole surface might literally be said to be covered with them." They shall eat the residue of that which escaped. Locusts eat every atom of verdure in the district attacked by them. "In A.D. ," says Barhebraeus, "a large swarm of locusts appeared in the land of Mosul and Baghdad, and it was very grievous in Shiraz. It left no herb nor even leaf on the trees. When their swarms appear," writes Volney, "everything green vanishes instantaneously from the fields, as if a curtain were rolled up; the trees and plants stand leafless, and nothing is seen but naked boughs and stalks." And shall eat every tree. The damage done by locusts to trees is very great. "He (the locust) has laid my vine waste, and barked my fig-tree; he hath made it clean bare and east it away; the branches thereof are made white" (Joel 1:7). Travellers constantly notice this fact. "When they have devoured all other vegetables," says one, "they attack the trees, consuming first the leaves, then the bark." "After having consumed herbage, fruit, leaves of trees," says another, "they attacked even their young shoots and their bark." "They are particularly injurious to the palm-trees," writes a third; "these they strip of every leaf and green particle, the trees remaining like skeletons with bare branches." A fourth notes that "the bushes were eaten quite bare, though the animals could not have been long on the spot. They sat by hundreds on a bush, gnawing the rind and the woody fibres." (See Pusey's Minor Prophets, p. 106.)
And they shall fill thy houses, and the houses of all thy servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians; which neither thy fathers, nor thy fathers' fathers have seen, since the day that they were upon the earth unto this day. And he turned himself, and went out from Pharaoh.
Verse 6. - They shall fill thy houses. Compare Joel 2:9. The witness of modern travellers is to the same effect. Morier says "They entered the inmost recesses of the houses, were found in every corner, stuck to our clothes, and infested our food" (Second Journey, p. 100). Burckhardt observes - "They overwhelm the province of Nedjd sometimes to such a degree that, having destroyed the harvest, they penetrate by thousands into the private dwellings, and devour whatsoever they can find, even the leather of the water vessels" (Notes, vol. 2. p. 90). An older traveller, Beauplan, writes as follows: - "In June 1646, at Novgorod, it was prodigious to behold them, because they were hatched there that spring, and being as yet scarce able to fly, the ground was all covered, and the air so full of them that I could not eat in my chamber without a candle, all the houses being full of them, even the stables, barns, chambers, garrets, and cellars. I caused cannon-powder and sulphur to be burnt to expel them, but all to no purpose; for when the door Was opened, an infinite number came in, and the others went fluttering about; and it was a troublesome thing, when a man went abroad, to be hit on the face by those creatures, on the nose, eyes, or cheeks, so that there was no opening one's mouth but some would get in. Yet all this was nothing; for when we were to eat they gave us no respite; and when we went to cut a piece of meat, we cut a locust with it, and when a man opened his mouth to put in a morsel, he was sure to chew one of them." Oriental houses, it is to be borne in mind, have no better protection than lattice-work in the windows, so that locusts have free access to the apartments, even when the doers are shut. Which neither thy fathers, nor thy fathers' fathers have seen. Inroads of locusts are not common in Egypt. Only one reference has been found to them in the native records. When they occur, they are as destructive as elsewhere. Denon witnessed one in the early part of the present century. Two others were witnessed by Carsten Niebuhr and Forskal in 1761 and 1762 (Description de l'Arabie, p. 148); and another by Tisehendorf comparatively recently. The meaning in the text is probably that no such visitation as that now sent had been seen previously, not that Egypt had been hitherto free from the scourge. He turned himself and went out. Moses did not wait to learn what effect his announcement would have. He" knew "that Pharaoh would not fear the Lord. (See Exodus 9:30.)
And Pharaoh's servants said unto him, How long shall this man be a snare unto us? let the men go, that they may serve the LORD their God: knowest thou not yet that Egypt is destroyed?
Verse 7. - And Pharaoh's servants said unto him. This marks quite a new phase in the proceedings. Hitherto the courtiers generally had been dumb. Once the magicians had ventured to say - "This is the finger of God" (Exodus 8:19); but otherwise the entire court had been passive, and left the king to himself. They are even said to have "hardened their hearts" like him (Exodus 9:34). But now at last they break their silence and interfere. Having lost most of their cattle, and a large part of the year's crops, the great men became alarmed - they were large landed proprietors, and the destruction of the wheat and doora crops would seriously impoverish, if not actually ruin them. Moreover, it is to be noted that they interfere before the plague has begun, when it is simply threatened, which shows that they had come to believe in the power of Moses. Such a belief on the part of some had appeared, when the plague of hail was threatened (Exodus 9:20); now it would seem to have become general. A snare to us - i.e. "a peril" - "a source of danger," the species being put for the genus.
And Moses and Aaron were brought again unto Pharaoh: and he said unto them, Go, serve the LORD your God: but who are they that shall go?
Verse 8. - Moses and Aaron were brought again unto Pharaoh. Pharaoh did not condescend so far as to send for them, but he allowed his courtiers to bring them to him. And he so far took the advice of his courtiers, that he began by a general permission to the Israelites to take their departure. This concession, however, he almost immediately retracted by a question, which implied that all were not to depart. Who are they that shall go? It seems somewhat strange that the king had not yet clearly understood what the demand made of him was. But perhaps he had not cared to know, since he had had no intention of granting it.
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.
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).
And he said unto them, Let the LORD be so with you, as I will let you go, and your little ones: look to it; for evil is before you.
Verse 10. - And he said, etc. Pharaoh's reply to the plain statement of Moses is full of scorn and anger, as if he would say - "When was ever so extravagant and outrageous a demand made? How can it be supposed that I would listen to it? So may Jehovah help you, as I will help you in this - to let you go, with your families." (Taph is "family," or household, not "little ones." See Exodus 1:1.) Look to it; for evil is before you. Or, "Look to it; for you have evil in view." Beware, i.e., of what you are about. You entertain the evil design of robbing me of my slaves - a design which I shall not allow you to carry out. There is no direct threat, only an indirect one, implied in "Look to it."
Not so: go now ye that are men, and serve the LORD; for that ye did desire. And they were driven out from Pharaoh's presence.
Verse 11. - Go now ye that are men. Or, "ye that are adult males." The word is different from that used in ver. 7, which includes women and children. And serve the Lord; for that ye did desire. Pharaoh seems to argue that the request to "serve the Lord" implied the departure of the men only, as if women and children could not offer an acceptable service. But he must have known that women and children attended his own national festivals. (See the comment on ver. 9.) Probably, he knew that his argument was sophistical. And they were driven out. Literally, "One drove them out." Pharaoh's manifest displeasure was an indication to the court officials that he wished the interview ended, and as the brothers did not at once voluntarily quit the presence, an officer thrust them out. This was an insult not previously offered them, and shows how Pharaoh's rage increased as he saw more and more clearly that he would have to yield and allow the departure of the entire nation.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come up upon the land of Egypt, and eat every herb of the land, even all that the hail hath left.
And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts.
Verse 13. - The Lord brought an east wind. Locusts generally come with a wind; and, indeed, cannot fly far without one. An east wind would in this case have brought them from northern Arabia, which is a tract where they are often bred in large numbers. Denon, the French traveller, notes that an enormous cloud of locusts which invaded Egypt during his stay, came from the east. All that day. The rest of the day on which Moses and Aaron had had their interview with the Pharaoh.
And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt: very grievous were they; before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such.
Verse 14. - The locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt. This statement is very emphatic, and seems to imply that the plague was more widely extended than any that had preceded it. Egypt extends about 520 miles from north to south, but except in the Delta is not more than about 20 miles wide. Columns of locusts of the length of 500 miles have been noticed by travellers (Moor in Kirby on Entomology, letter 6.), and 20 miles is not an unusual width for them. But such a length and such a breadth are not elsewhere recorded in combination. Thus the visitation was, in its extent as well as in its circumstances, plainly abnormal.
For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left: and there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field, through all the land of Egypt.
Verse 15. - The land was darkened. It is not quite clear whether the darkness here spoken of was caused by the locusts when they were still on the wing or after they had settled. It is a fact that the insects come in such dense clouds that while on the wing they obscure the light of the sun, and turn noonday into twilight. And it is also a fact that with their dull brownish bodies and wings they darken the ground after they have settled. Perhaps it is most probable that this last is the fact noticed. (Compare ver. 5.) All the fruit of the trees which the hail had left. Injury to fruit by the hail had not been expressly mentioned in the account of that plague, though perhaps it may be regarded as implied in the expression - that the hail "brake every tree of the field" (ver. 25). The damage which locusts do to fruit is well known. They devour it with the green crops, the herbage, and the foliage, before setting to work upon the harder materials, as reeds, twigs, and the bark of trees. In Egypt the principal fruits would be figs, pomegranates; mulberries, grapes, olives, peaches, pears, plums, and apples; together with dates, and the produce of the persea, and the nebk or sidr. The fruit of the nebk is ripe in March. There remained not any green thing. "It is sufficient," observes one writer, "if these terrible columns stop half an hour on a spot, for everything growing on it, vines, olive-trees, and corn, to be entirely destroyed. After they have passed, nothing remains but the large branches and the roots, which, being underground, have escaped their voracity." "Where-ever they settle," says another, "it looks as if fire had burnt up everything." "The country did not seem to be burnt," declares a third, "but to be covered with snow, through the whiteness of the trees and the dryness of the herbs." A fourth sums up his account of the ravages committed by locusts thus - "According to all accounts, wherever the swarms of locusts arrive, the vegetables are entirely consumed and destroyed, appearing as if they had been burnt by fire."
Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste; and he said, I have sinned against the LORD your God, and against you.
Verse 16. - Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste. Literally, as in the margin, "hasted to call for M. and A." He had made similar appeals before (Exodus 8:8, 25; Exodus 9:27), but never with such haste and urgency. Evidently, the locusts were felt as a severer infliction than any previous one. I have sinned. So, after the plague of hail (Exodus 9:27); but here we have the further acknowledgment, against the Lord your God and against you; "against the Lord," in disobeying his commands; "against. you," in making you premises and then refusing to keep them (Exodus 8:15, 32; Exodus 9:34, 35).
Now therefore forgive, I pray thee, my sin only this once, and intreat the LORD your God, that he may take away from me this death only.
Verse 17. - Only this once. Compare Genesis 18:32. Pharaoh kept this promise. He did not ask any more for the removal of a plague. This death only - i.e. "this fatal visitation" - this visitation, which, by producing famine, causes numerous deaths in a nation. Pharaoh feels now, as his courtiers had felt when the plague was first threatened, that "Egypt is destroyed" (ver. 7).
And he went out from Pharaoh, and intreated the LORD.
Verse 18. - He... intreated the Lord. Moses complied, though Pharaoh had this time made no distinct promise of releasing the people. He had learnt that no dependence was to be placed on such promises, and that it was idle to exact them. If anything could have touched the dull and hard heart of the king, it would have been the gentleness and magnanimity shown by Moses in uttering no word of reproach, making no conditions, but simply granting his request as soon as it was made, and obtaining the removal of the plague.
And the LORD turned a mighty strong west wind, which took away the locusts, and cast them into the Red sea; there remained not one locust in all the coasts of Egypt.
Verse 19. - And the Lord turned a mighty strong west wind. Literally, "a very strong sea-wind" - i.e. one which blew from the Mediterranean, and which might, therefore, so far, be north, north-west, or north-east. As it blew the locusts into the "Sea of Weeds," i.e. the Red Sea, it must have been actually a north-west wind, and so passing obliquely over Egypt, have carried the locusts in a south-easterly direction. Cast them into the Red Sea. Literally, "the Sea of Weeds." No commentater doubts that the Red Sea is here meant. It 'seems to have received its Hebrew appellation, Yam Suph, "Sea of Weeds," either from the quantity of sea-weed which it throws up, or, more probably, from the fact that anciently its north-western recess was connected with a marshy tract extending from the present head of the Gulf of Suez nearly to the Bitter Lakes, in which grew abundant weeds and water-plants. There remained not one locust. The sudden and entire departure of locusts is as remarkable as their coming. "At the hour of prime," says one writer, "they began to depart, and at midday there was not one remaining.", "A wind from the south-west," says another, "which had brought them, so completely drove them forwards that not a vestige of them was to be seen two hours afterwards" (Morier, 'Second Journey,' p. 98).
But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go.
Verse 20. - But the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart. The word used here is the intensive one, khazoq, instead of the milder kabod of ver. 1. Pharaoh's prolonged obstinacy and impenitence was receiving aggravation by the working of the just laws of God. (See the comment on Exodus 4:21.)
And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.
Verses 21-29 - THE NINTH PLAGUE. The ninth plague, like the third and the sixth, was inflicted without special warning. God had announced, after the plague of boils, that he was about to "send all his plagues upon the heart" of the king; and so a succession of inflictions was to be expected. The ninth plague probably followed the eighth after a very short interval. It is rightly regarded as an aggravation of a well-known natural phenomenon - the Khamsin, or "Wind of the Desert" which commonly visits Egypt about the time of the vernal equinox, and is accompanied by an awful and weird darkness. This is caused by the dense clouds of fine sand which the wind brings with it, which intercept the sun's light, and produce a darkness beyond that of our worst fogs, and compared by some travellers to "the most gloomy night." The wind is depressing and annoying to an extreme degree. "While it lasts no man rises from his place; men and beasts hide themselves; the inhabitants of towns and villages shut themselves up in their houses, in underground apartments, or vaults." It usually blows for a space of two, or at most three, days, and sometimes with great violence, though more often with only moderate force. The visitation here recorded was peculiar,
1. In its extent, covering as it did "all the land d Egypt;"
2. In its intensity - "they saw not one another" (ver. 23) - "darkness which may be felt" (ver. 21);
3. In its circumscription, extending, as it did, to all Egypt except only the land of Goshen (ver. 23). These circumstances made Pharaoh at once recognise its heaven-sent character, and request its removal of Moses, whom he sought to persuade by conceding the departure of the Israelites with their families. He marred, however, the whole grace of this concession by a proviso that they should leave behind them their flocks and herds, viewing these as, equally with their families, a security for their return. Moses therefore indignantly rejected his offer - the flocks and the herds should go with them - he would not have a hoof left behind - they did not know what sacrifices would be required at the feast which they were about to keep, or how many (ver. 25, 26) - therefore they must take all. Pharaoh, greatly angered, forthwith broke up the conference (ver. 28), but not, as it would seem, before Moses, equally displeased, had announced the tenth plague, and the results which would follow it (Exodus 11:4-8). Verse 21. - Darkness which may be felt. Literally, "and one shall feel, or grasp, darkness." The hyperbole is no doubt extreme; but the general sentiment of mankind has approved the phrase, which exactly expresses what men feel in absolute and complete darkness. Kalisch renders, "a darkness in which men grope." But the grammatical construction does not allow of this.
And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days:
Verse 22. - A thick darkness. - Literally, "An obscurity of darkness." The phrase is intensitive.
They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.
Verse 23. - They saw not one another. Or, "Man did not see his brother." The descriptive phrases previously used are poetic, and might imply many different degrees of obscurity. This seems distinctly to shew that pitch darkness is meant. Such absolute obscurity is far beyond anything which the khamsin produces, even when it is most severe, and indicates the miraculous character of the visitation. Neither rose any from his place for three days. It is not meant that no one moved about his house, but that no one quitted it. (Compare Exodus 16:29, where the phrase used is similar.) No one went out into the unnatural darkness out of doors, which he dreaded. All stayed at home, and did what they had to do by the artificial light of lamps or torches. All the children of Israel had light in their dwellings. It is not explained how this was effected. Some suppose that the sand-storm did not extend to the land of Goshen. But in that case, such Egyptians as lived among the Israelites - their neighbours. (Exodus 11:2) - would have shared the benefit, which seems not to have been the case. I should rather suppose that the storm was general, and that the Israelites were supplied with a light, not that of the sun, by miracle.
And Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said, Go ye, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed: let your little ones also go with you.
Verse 24. - Only let your flocks and your herds be stayed. The pitch darkness is more than Pharaoh can bear. On the third day of its duration probably, he sends a messenger who succeeds in finding Moses, and conducting him to the monarch's presence. He has made up his mind to yield another point - that on which he insisted so strongly at the last interview (vers. 10, 11) - he will let the Israelites go with their families - only, their flocks and herds must remain behind. This will be, he considers, a sufficient security for their return; since without cattle they would be unable to support life for many days in the wilderness. Your little ones. Rather, "your families."
And Moses said, Thou must give us also sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice unto the LORD our God.
Verses 25, 26. - Moses absolutely refuses the suggested compromise. He had already declared on a former occasion, "With our young and with our old we will go; with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds we will go" (ver. 9). He is not inclined to retract now, after two additional plagues, what he had demanded before them. He does not refuse, however, to set forth his reasons. The cattle must go because the feast which they are about to keep requires sacrifices- they must all go, because the Israelites do not as yet know what animals, or how many of each, will be required of them. The feast was a new thing, without precedent; its ritual was not yet laid down. No exact directions were to be expected, until the place was reached where God intended that it should be celebrated.
Our cattle also shall go with us; there shall not an hoof be left behind; for thereof must we take to serve the LORD our God; and we know not with what we must serve the LORD, until we come thither.
But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go.
Verse 27. - Hardened - Again the strong expression, yekhazak, is used, as in ver. 20.
And Pharaoh said unto him, Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die.
Verse 28. - And Pharaoh said, etc. The reply of Pharaoh indicates violent anger. No doubt he thought that now the intention of Moses to deprive him altogether of the services of so many hundred thousand slaves was palpable, and scarcely concealed. Greatly enraged, he gives vent to his rage, with the want of self-control common among Oriental monarchs - rudely bids Moses be gone (Get thee from me), threatens him (take heed to thyself), and bids hires never more seek his presence, under the penalty of instant death, if he makes his appearance. Considering the degree of civilization, refinement, and politeness to which the Egyptians had attained under the eighteenth and nineteenth dynasties, such an outbreak must be regarded as abnormal, and as implying violent excitement.
And Moses said, Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more.
Verse 29. - And Moses said, etc. The reply of Moses, so far, is simple and dignified. Thou hast spoken well, he says - "thou hast made a right decision - further interviews between me and thee are useless, can lead to no result, only waste time. This shall be our last interview - I will see thy face no more." It is generally agreed however that Moses did not quit the presence with these words; but continued to address Pharaoh for some little time, making his parting speech in the terms which are recorded in vers. 4-8 of the next chapter. Having announced the Tenth Plague, the coming destruction of the first-born, he turned and "went out from Pharaoh in a great anger" (Exodus 11:8).