Exodus 8
Expositor's Dictionary of Texts
And the LORD spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
Exodus 8:1

And so the world went its way, controlled by no dread of retribution; and on the tomb frescoes you can see legions of slaves under the lash dragging from the quarries the blocks of granite which were to form the eternal monuments of the Pharaoh's tyranny; and you read in the earliest authentic history that when there was a fear that the slave-races should multiply so fast as to be dangerous their babies were flung to the crocodiles.

One of these slave-races rose at last in revolt. Noticeably it did not rise against oppression as such, or directly in consequence of oppression. We hear of no massacre of slave-drivers, no burning of towns or villages, none of the usual accompaniments of peasant insurrections. If Egypt was plagued, it was not by mutinous mobs or incendiaries. Half a million men simply rose up and declared that they could endure no longer the mendacity, the hypocrisy, the vile and incredible rubbish which was offered to them in the sacred name of religion. 'Let us go,' they said, 'into the wilderness, go out of these soft water-meadows and cornfields, forsake our leeks and our flesh-pots, and take in exchange a life of hardship and wandering, that we may worship the God of our fathers.' Their leader had been trained in the wisdom of the Egyptians, and among the rocks of Sinai had learnt that it was wind and vanity. The half-obscured traditions of his ancestors awoke to life again, and were rekindled by him in his people. They would bear with lies no longer. They shook the dust of Egypt from their feet, and the prate and falsehood of it from their souls, and they withdrew with all belonging to them, into the Arabian desert, that they might no longer serve cats and dogs and bulls and beetles, but the Eternal Spirit Who had been pleased to make His existence known to them. They sung no paeans of liberty. They were delivered from the house of bondage, but it was the bondage of mendacity, and they left it only to assume another service. The Eternal had taken pity on them. In revealing His true nature to them, He had taken them for His children. They were not their own, but His, and they laid their lives under commandments which were as close a copy as, with the knowledge which they possessed, they could make, to the moral laws of the Maker of the Universe.

—Froude, Short Studies, vol. 11.

Reference.—VIII. 1.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. vi. No. 322.

Exodus 8:15

I expected every wave would have swallowed us up, and that every time the ship fell down, as I thought, in the trough or hollow of the sea, we should never rise more; and in this agony of mind I made many vows and resolutions, that if it would please God here to spare my life this one voyage, if ever I got once my foot upon dry land again, I would go directly home to my father, and never set it into a ship again while I lived.... These wise and sober thoughts continued all the while the storm continued, and indeed some time after; but the next day the wind was abated and the sea calmer, and I began to be a little inured to it.... In a word, as the sea was returned to its smoothness of surface and settled calmness by the abatement of that storm, so the hurry of my thoughts being over, my fears and apprehensions of being swallowed up by the sea being forgotten, and the current of my former desires returned, I entirely forgot the vows and promises that I made in my distress.

—Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (chap. I.)

References.—VIII. 25.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxxi. No. 1830. VIII. 28.—Ibid., vol. xxxi. No. 1830. IX. 1.—Stopford A. Brooke, The Old Testament and Modern Life, p. 129. See also Christian World Pulpit, vol. xlv. 1894, p. 214. IX. 7J. J. Tetley, Christian World Pulpit, vol. lx. 1901, p. 94.

And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs:
And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into thine house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneadingtroughs:
And the frogs shall come up both on thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants.
And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch forth thine hand with thy rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come up upon the land of Egypt.
And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt.
And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt.
Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, Intreat the LORD, that he may take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may do sacrifice unto the LORD.
And Moses said unto Pharaoh, Glory over me: when shall I intreat for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people, to destroy the frogs from thee and thy houses, that they may remain in the river only?
And he said, To morrow. And he said, Be it according to thy word: that thou mayest know that there is none like unto the LORD our God.
And the frogs shall depart from thee, and from thy houses, and from thy servants, and from thy people; they shall remain in the river only.
And Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh: and Moses cried unto the LORD because of the frogs which he had brought against Pharaoh.
And the LORD did according to the word of Moses; and the frogs died out of the houses, out of the villages, and out of the fields.
And they gathered them together upon heaps: and the land stank.
But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.
And they did so; for Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and smote the dust of the earth, and it became lice in man, and in beast; all the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt.
And the magicians did so with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not: so there were lice upon man, and upon beast.
Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh; lo, he cometh forth to the water; and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are.
And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth.
And I will put a division between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be.
And the LORD did so; and there came a grievous swarm of flies into the house of Pharaoh, and into his servants' houses, and into all the land of Egypt: the land was corrupted by reason of the swarm of flies.
And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land.
And Moses said, It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the LORD our God: lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us?
We will go three days' journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to the LORD our God, as he shall command us.
And Pharaoh said, I will let you go, that ye may sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness; only ye shall not go very far away: intreat for me.
And Moses said, Behold, I go out from thee, and I will intreat the LORD that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, to morrow: but let not Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the LORD.
And Moses went out from Pharaoh, and intreated the LORD.
And the LORD did according to the word of Moses; and he removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people; there remained not one.
And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go.
Nicoll - Expositor's Dictionary of Texts

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