Exodus 8


                        THE SECOND PLAGUE  - FROGS


vs. 1-15 – “And the LORD spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh” -  The second

plague is given simply as a plague, not as a sign. It is first threatened (v. 2), and then

accomplished (v. 6), an interval being allowed, that Pharaoh might change his mind,

and escape the plague, if he chose.and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let

my people go, that they may serve me.  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” -  The extreme cleanliness of the Egyptians

(Herod. 2:37) rendered this visitation peculiarly disagreeable to them.  and into the

house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy

kneading troughs:  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.   After an interval which there are no

means of estimating, the second plague followed the first. Again, while the main

purpose of the plague was to punish the nation by which Israel had been so long

oppressed, the secondary object of throwing contempt upon their, religion was maintained.

Frogs were among the Egyptian sacred animals. One of their deities, Heka, was a frog-

headed goddess; and they seem to have regarded the frog as a sacred emblem of creative

power.  The great multiplication of frogs, whereby they became an annoyance and a curse,

was a trial and strain to the entire Egyptian religious system. The Egyptians might not kill

them; yet they destroyed all their comfort, all their happiness. Their animal-worship was

thus proved absurd and ridiculous. They were obliged to respect the creatures which they

hated — to preserve the animals they would fain have swept from the face of the earth. It

is perhaps somewhat difficult for modern Europeans to imagine the plague that frogs might

be. The peculiar kind, which has the scientific name of Rana Mosaica, resembles our toad,

and is a disgusting object, which crawls rather than leaps, and croaks perpetually. (I can

remember as a child, as spring began to approach, the shrill noises of frogs from a swamp

nearby where I lived – CY – 2010) - To have the whole country filled with these disgusting

reptiles, to be unable to walk in the streets without treading on them, to find them not only

occupying one’s doorstep but in possession of one’s house, in one’s bed-chamber, and

upon one’s bed, to hear their dismal croak perpetually, to see nothing but their loathsome

forms whithersoever one looked, to be in perpetual contact with them and feel the repulsion

of their cold, rough, clammy skin, would be perhaps as severe a punishment as can

well be conceived. Nations are known to have deserted their homes, and fled to a

foreign land to escape from it. “In Paeonia and Dardania,”says Phoenias, a disciple of

Aristotle, “there appeared once suddenly such a number of frogs, that they filled the

houses and the streets. Therefore — as killing them, or shutting the doors, was of no avail;

as even the vessels were full of them, the water infected, and all food uneatable;

as they could scarcely set their foot upon the ground without treading on heaps of them,

and as they were vexed by the smell of the great numbers which died — they fled from

that region altogether”(Eustath. ad Horn. Il. 1 p. 35). In Egypt, the young frogs come

out of the waters in the month of September, when the inundation is beginning to

subside. Even now they sometimes amount to a severe visitation.  How long the plague

of frogs endured, we are not told.  Probably every effort was made, short of

intentionally killing them, to get rid of them. Snakes, and chameleons, and ibises

would destroy many — others would be crushed beneath wheels, trampled on by

animals, squeezed to death by the opening of doors, unintentionally killed by men.

But the vacancies made were constantly filled; and there seemed no prospect of the

infliction passing away. The influence of his counselors would under these

circumstances be brought to bear upon the mind of the Pharaoh — he would be

warned that his subjects were attributing their sufferings to his obstinacy — he would

be recommended — perhaps pressed — to yield, and would find in the annoyance

which he individually endured a strong motive for compliance. Accordingly, he after

a while sent for the two Israelite chiefs, and made the request recorded in the text.

Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, Intreat the LORD” - An

acknowledgment of Jehovah’s power is now for the first time forced from the reluctant

king, who has hitherto boasted that “he knew not Jehovah” (ch. 5:2) -  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: Probably a phrase of ordinary courtesy, meaning — “I submit to thy will

 have the honour of my submission.”  when shall I entreat 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”.  Moses accepts the date fixed by the Pharaoh, and makes an appeal

to him to recognize the unapproachable power and glory of Jehovah, if the event

corresponds with the time agreed upon.  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” - The expression used is a strong one, and seems to imply

special earnestness in the prayer. Moses had ventured to fix a definite time for the

removal of the plague, without (so far as appears) any special command of God.

Hence earnest prayer was doubly necessary. (Compare I Kings 18:36-37.) – “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”.   Even when the relief came, it was not entire relief. The putrefaction

of the dead bodies filled the whole land with a fetid odor.  But when Pharaoh saw

that there was respite” - Literally, “a taking of breath,” i.e., “a breathing-space.”

he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them” - past, and not expecting

any fresh visitation. As Isaiah 26:10 says — “Let favour be shewed to the wicked,

yet will he not learn righteousness”.   Bad men “despise the riches of God’s

goodness and forbearance, and long-suffering, not knowing that the goodness of

God leadeth them to repentance.” In this way, they “treasure up to themselves

wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God”

(Romans 2:4-5), either in this world or in the world to come. As the Lord had said”.

 (See chps. 3:19; 4:21; 7:4)



      STRAW  (vs. 1-7)  A frog seems an innocent and harmless reptile enough, not

      pleasing nor attractive, but scarcely calculated to cause much suffering. When

      the Egyptians made frogs sacred, they had no notion of one day finding them

            an intolerable annoyance. But God can make, of the least of His creatures, a

            weapon to wound, a whip to scourge men. Minute microscopic fungi and

            entozoa destroy crops and wither up the human frame. Huge ships are

            utterly ruined by the working of the Teredo navalis. White ants bring down

            houses. And so, on this occasion, poor weak frogs made the lives of the

            Egyptians a burden to them. Forced to tread on them as they walked, to

            feel them crawling upon their naked feet, to see them covering the floors of

            their chambers and the soft cushions of their beds, finding them in their

            ovens, their kneading-troughs, the culinary and other vessels, scarcely able

            to keep them out of their food, always hearing their melancholy croak, the

            unfortunate wretches had not a moment’s comfort or peace. Constant

            dropping wears out a stone. A trivial annoyance becomes intolerable by

            repetition and persistence. Thus, even the obdurate Pharaoh, who had

            borne the first plague till God chose to remove it without a symptom of

            yielding, is cowed by the second plague, and “calls for Moses and

            Aaron” – (v. 8).



            The object of the judgments, as well as of the goodness of God is “to lead

            men to repentance” - (Romans 2:4). He wouldeth not the death of a

            sinner, but rather that he should be converted and live”(Ezekiel 33:11).

            His cry is ever, “Why will ye die, O house of Israel?” And sometimes His

            judgments have their proper effect on men, partially at any rate. Ahab

            repented to some extent when woe was denounced upon his house by

            Elijah — he “rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted,

            and lay in sackcloth, and went softly”(I Kings 21:27). The Ninevites

            repented at the preaching of Jonah”— the king “proclaimed a fast,” and

            rose from his throne, and put his robe from him, and covered him with

            sackcloth, and lay in ashes”— the people moreover, “put on sackcloth

            from the greatest to the least of them”(Jonah 3:5-7). And so Pharaoh

            seems to have repented, in a certain sense, at this time. He abated his pride,

            and came down from the high position which he had assumed, sent for

            God’s ministers, begged their prayers, and promised compliance with the

            Divine commands. Probably he was not conscious to himself of insincerity.

            His spirit was humbled — he was convinced of the power of Jehovah — he

            believed in the Divine mission of Moses and Aaron — he promised,

            intending to perform; and God, though knowing well how short-lived his

            repentance would be, suffered Himself to be intreated, took away His heavy

            hand, and gave to Pharaoh, as He gave to Ahab and to the Ninevites, “a

            breathing space.” We see by this, that such is the mercy of God, such His

            love for sinners who are not yet wholly hardened, that He looks with

            favor on the slighest relenting, the least indication of a desire to turn away

            from sin, forsake it, and turn to righteousness. And this divine pattern must

            be followed by His ministers. They must not assume that any professed

            repentance is insincere. They may have their own private belief, as Moses

            doubtless had; but it is their business to welcome the first show of

            penitence; to come when the sinner asks their aid, to give him the benefit of

            their prayers, to seek to obtain for him a remission or alleviation of God’s

            judgments. And further, they will do well to imitate the humility and

            courtesy of Moses. “A proud look and high stomach” on their part are

            unsuitable when the sinner abases himself. It is their duty, and their highest

            wisdom, to be “all things to all men”— (I Corinthians 9:22) to meet

            repentance half-way — to assist it, forward it, encourage it. No doubt,

            repentance under the pressure of judgment — such, e.g., as sickness — is in

            itself suspicious and doubtful; but the wise minister will keep his doubts to         

            himself, and bend his whole mind to the fixing, furthering, and deepening of

            the repentance, so that (if passible) it may issue in a real conversion of the soul

            to God.



            An Egyptian king was not likely, unless exceptionally gifted by nature, to

            be firm, fixed, and stable in his conduct. Flattered and indulged from

            infancy, no sooner did he obtain the crown, than he found himself

            recognised as a divinity by the great mass of his subjects, and regarded as

            one who “could do no wrong.” Occasionally, he may have been so

            fortunate as to fall under the influence of a wise counselor, but in general

            he would have been surrounded by advisers only anxious to please by

            echoing to him his own wishes and ideas. This Pharaoh — whether he was

            Menephthah, or any one else — was evidently a weak, impulsive, double-

            minded monarch. He wavered between good and bad impulses, now

            inclining one way, now another. He was sure therefore to be unstable in his

            ways. (James 1:8) - Similar, though (it may be) less pronounced, instability        

            attaches to all those whose souls are not anchored upon the firm and     

            unchangeable basis of fixed principles. (Hebrews 6:19) - It is fatal to the           

            consistency of a career that a man should be double-minded. No man can

            serve God and Mammon. (Luke 16:13) - There is no fellowship between light

            and darkness, or between Christ and Belial. (II Corinthians 6:14-15) - A man   

            should make his choice, and not “halt between two opinions.  If Jehovah be            

            God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him” -  (I Kings 18:21) -  Shifting,

            unstable, uncertain, variable souls earn universal contempt, and are powerless

            to effect anything but their own ruin.



                                    THE THIRD PLAGUE - LICE


vs. 16-19 – “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” - Kinnim — the

word is only found here and in the Psalm105:31. It was understood as “lice”by

Josephus,  the Talmudical writers, Bochart, Pool, and our translators in the reign

of James I. But the great weight of authority is in favor of the rendering gnatsor

mosquitoes.”   It must also be borne in mind that the nearest Egyptian equivalent,

khennems, has the signification of mosquito (Speaker’s Commentary, vol. 1. p. 490). 

[Smith’s A Dictionary of the Bible says that there is not sufficient authority to change

the translation of “lice” – Sir Samuel Baker, in his travels, described the vermin in

very similar terms:  “it is as though the very dust were turned into lice”  - The lice

which he describes are a sort of tick, not larger than a grain of sand, which when

filled with blood expand to the size of a hazel nut.  – Canon Cook] - {Vernon McGee

says – the word lice could mean gnats or mosquitoes.  Its root means to “cover” or

nip” or “pinch”.  It is interesting that the nipping, pinching, or covering could not be

fulfilled by a gnat or a mosquito.  It is, however, a good description of lice.  A leading

zoologist has said that mites form an enormous order whose leading function, to a large

extent, is to play the scavenger.  You can well imagine with the land stinking with

frogs that there were crowds of lice.  The lice could eventually rid the land of the frogs

and could therefore become a blessing as well as a curse.  Regardless of the apparent

help the lice might have been, one man tells about his experience with them in Egypt: 

“I noticed that the sand appeared to be in motion.  Close inspection revealed that the

surface of the ground was a moving mass of minute ticks, thousands of which were

crawling up my legs…I beat a hasty retreat, pondering the words of the Scriptures,

the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt’ – (v. 17) – The

plague of lice could not be duplicated by the Egyptian magicians.  God is beginning

to level His judgment against life itself in the land of Egypt.}  And the magicians

did so with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not” - events

had convinced them that they could not cope with Moses and Aaron; and it would

seem that they therefore declined further contest – “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.”  - (Reader, the Bible says that in the last days, God will work

as He did in the days of coming out of Egypt[Micah 7:15; Zechariah 14:3]

CY – 2010)



      MOTION – (v. 19) - The magicians had begun by exciting Pharaoh to obstinate

      unbelief and resistance to the Divine Will.   They had, by artifice or otherwise,

      persuaded him that there was nothing so very marvelous in the wonders

      wrought by Moses and Aaron, nothing that indicated a Divine author of the       

      wonders.  They had thus encouraged and stimulated him to embark upon a fatal

            course. Now, they would fain have stopped him, but they could not. His

            pride and self-conceit — his honor, as no doubt he thought it, were

            concerned in the struggle upon which he had entered — to give way would

            be to acknowledge himself worsted in a contest with two contemptible

            Hebrews. In vain did the magicians change their tone, and make the

            acknowledgment“This is the finger of God”— their altered spirit had

            no effect upon him. No — whoever changed or blenched — he would

            persevere — his heart had become hardened — if now and then he quailed,

            and seemed on the verge of yielding, yet after a time he drew back —

            always provoking God more and more by his continual perverseness, until

            at last all Egypt was involved in destruction (chps. 12:29-30; 14:27-30).

            The magicians, who had had a large share in causing his entrance upon

            an evil course, found themselves unable to arrest his steps, and must be

            regarded as in part responsible for the final catastrophe. So nations are

            often urged by evil counselors into wars or rebellions, which they soon

            bitterly regret; but it is too late to stop the evil. Men in business are

            recommended to adopt questionable means of pushing or retrieving their

            fortunes, and embark on courses from which their advisers would fain

            withdraw them; but it is impossible. Advisers should recognize the

            greatness of their responsibility from the first, and set themselves against

            the very beginning of evil, else they will find the course of affairs soon get

            beyond their control — they will be utterly powerless to stop the

            avalanche which they have set in motion.



                                    THE FOURTH PLAGUE – FLIES


vs. 20-24 – “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” – The “severance” is a new feature, and one

distinguishing the later from the earlier plagues. It was an additional mark of the

miraculous character of the visitations, well calculated to impress all thoughtful and

honest minds.  (Think of the so-called “open-mindedness” of liberals today – I am

of the opinion that Christians do not have a lock on “hypocrisy” – CY – 2010)

By all such it would be seen that the God who could make this severance was no

local God of the Hebrews only, but one whose power extended over the whole earth.

to the end thou mayest know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth.  

And I will put a division” – (literally “a redemption” – a sign that they are

redeemed from bondage) “between my people and thy people” – (not thine any

longer) -  “tomorrow shall this sign be.” - Particulars of time and place are fixed

beforehand, to mark clearly that the visitation does not take place by chance, or by

mere natural law, but by Gods positive decree and by his agency.  And the LORD

did so; and there came a grievous swarm of flies” - Rather “a multitude of beetles.”

As with the frogs, so with the beetles, it aggravated the infliction, that, being sacred

animals, they might not be destroyed or injured. Beetles were sacred to Ra, the sun-

god; and one form of Ra, Chepra, was ordinarily represented under the form of a

beetle, or as a man with a beetle for his head.  [Smith’s A Dictionary of the Bible says

it is now generally supposed that the dogfly is meant, which at certain seasons is

described as a far worse plague than mosquitoes.  The bite is exceeding sharp and

painful, causing severe inflammation, especially in the eyelids.  Coming in immense

swarms, they cover all objects in black and loathsome masses, and attack every

exposed part of a traveler’s person with incredible pertinacity. – Canon Cook]

{Vernon McGee says these flies were most likely the sacred beetle or scarab as

they are known in Egypt.  These scarabs, many of gold, are found in the tombs in

Egypt.  They were sacred to the sun god Ra.  The severity of this plague is

reflected in the fact that Pharaoh was willing to reach some sort of compromise

with Moses at this time.  Notice in the next section the proposal of Pharaoh as

these invaded the land}. (My input in this is “do scarabs swarm?” – CY – 2010)

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.” Rather

destroyed;” i.e. grievously injured, or “devastated”[as Kalisch renders]. The beetles

seriously damaged the growing crops. It has been noticed that — setting apart the

last and most terrible of the plagues, (death of the first-born) which stands as it were

by itself — the remainder divide themselves into three groups of three each — two

in each group coming with a warning, and the third without. (See chps. 8:16; 9:8; 10:21)  

In other respects, no great regularity is observable. There is a general principle of increasing

severity in the afflictions, but it does not obtain throughout the entire series. The first three

caused annoyance, rather than actual injury, either to persons or property. Of the next three,

two were upon property, one upon both property and person (ch. 9:10). Of the remaining

three, two again inflicted injury on property, while one (the plague of darkness) was a mere

personal annoyance. The exact character of the fourth plague depends on the proper

translation of the word arob. The Jewish commentators connected this word with Ereb

and ‘Arab, words meaning “mingled” or “mixed;” and supposed a mixed multitude of

animals — beasts, reptiles, and insects — to be meant. But the expression used

throughout, which is ha-’arob, the arob,” marks very clearly a single definite species.

So much was clear to the LXX., who rendered the word by kuno>muia, “the dog-fly,”

which is not the common house-fly (Musca domestica), but a distinct species

(Musca canina). Flies of this kind are said to constitute a terrible affliction in Egypt

Philo, De vit. Mos. 2. p. 101; Munk, Palestine, p. 120; etc.); but they attack men chiefly,

and do no harm to houses or to the fruits of the field, whereas the ‘arob is spoken of as a

pest in the houses, and as “destroying the land” (v. 24). It has been, therefore, suggested

that the Blatta orientalis, or kakerlaque, a kind of beetle, is really intended. These creatures

suddenly appear upon the Nile in great numbers; they “inflict very painful bites with their jaws;

gnaw and destroy clothes, household furniture, leather, and articles of every kind, and either

consume or render unavailable all eatables”(Kalisch). They sometimes drive persons out

of their houses; and they also devastate the fields.



       In some respects the good and the bad appear to be treated alike in this life, and          

      no difference to be made between them. “God maketh his sun to rise on the

      evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust”       

      (Matthew 5:45). The Preacher’s experience was that “all things come alike to          

      all; there is one event to the righteous and to the wicked; to the clean and

      to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth and to him that sacrificeth not; as is          

      the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth as he that feareth an      

      oath(Ecclesiastes 9:2). If God sends a pestilence upon a land, or a drought, or

      an excess of rain, or any other calamity, the good and the bad seem to suffer     

      equally; no difference to be put between them.  This is the first impression of

      the contemplative philosopher when he looks upon human life; and it is a true    

      impression to a great extent. But there are limitations, which, though easily         

      overlooked at the first glance, become apparent upon more careful examination.           

      God does not treat all nations alike — he favors those which observe His laws;

      punishes those who disobey them. He seems sometimes especially to bless

      certain faithful families, as that of David, and to rain plagues upon others, as

      those of Saul, Herod the Great, and Napoleon. He gives, on the whole, to good           

      men certain temporal advantages over bad men, as those which flow naturally

            (i.e. by His appointment) from industry, honesty, prudence, sobriety, and

            other virtues. The result is that “godliness” is said in Scripture to “have the

            promise of this life”(I Timothy 4:8). And if we take into consideration the      

            satisfaction of a good conscience, the confidence towards God, the calm trust,

            and the certain hope which sustain the good, and set in the opposite scale the    

            doubts and fears and horrors of an evil conscience which afflict the bad, we

            shall have little doubt that the balance of happiness, even in this life, is with

            the servants of God. Still, no doubt the great “division” is put hereafter.

            When the Son of Man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels

            with Him, before Him shall be gathered all nations; and He shall

            separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from

            the goats — and He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats

            on the left” (Matthew 25:31-33). Awful the separation, where between the

            two “there is a great gulf fixed”(Luke 16:26) — on the one side heavenly

            joy and perfect felicity — on the other, “the blackness of darkness for

            ever” - (Jude 13).





vs. 25-32 – “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” -  if they held a

great festival anywhere in Egypt, the Israelites could not avoid offending the

religious feelings of their neighbors. Some animals would be sure to be sacrificed — white

cows, or heifers, for instance — by some of the people, which the Egyptians regarded it as

sacrilegious to put to death. A bloody conflict, or even a civil war, might

be the consequence. “and will they  not stone us?” - Death was the legal penalty for

wilfully killing any sacred animal in Egypt (Herod. 2:65).  Stoning does not appear to have

been a legal punishment in Egypt, so that we must suppose Moses to have

feared the people present taking the law into their own hands, seizing the sacrificers,

and killing them by this ready method.  We will go three days’ journey into the

wilderness” - This was the demand made from the first (ch. 5:3) by Divine direction

(ch. 3:18). Its object was to secure the absence of Egyptians as witnesses – “and

sacrifice to the LORD our God, as He shall command us” - Compare ch. 10:26,

where Moses observes - “We know not with what we must serve the Lord until

we come thither.” Divine directions were expected as to the number and the selection

of the victims.  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” -  As Pharaoh had fixed the “morrow” for the departure of the second

plague (v. 10), so Moses now announces a similar date for the departure of the fourth. He

adds a remonstrance against any further deceit, which Pharaoh must have

felt to be well deserved – “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 entreated 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”.  The hand of God was shown in the

removal no less than in the infliction of the plagues. The complete disappearance was

as abnormal as the sudden coming -  “And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time

also, neither would he let the people go.”  The fourth plague moves the Pharaoh more

than any preceding one. He still cannot bring himself to grant the demand of Moses; but

he offers a compromise. The Israelites shall have a respite from their toils, and be permitted

to hold their festival, and offer the needful sacrifices in Egypt (v. 25). When this offer is for

good reasons not accepted, he yields even further — he will let the people go and sacrifice

in the wilderness — only they must “not go far away” – (v. 28).  Having made this promise,

he obtains for the second time the intercession of Moses and the discontinuance of the plague

in consequence of it. But then, as before, when he saw that there was respite (v. 15), he

retracted his promise, hardened himself, and refused to allow the people to quit Egypt

(v. 32).  (Beware of sinner, that you do not harden and change your mind like Pharaoh

“He that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed,

and that without remedy” - [Proverbs 29:1] - CY – 2010)



      (vs. 25-26) - The struggles of political and social life, the conflicting claims

      of races, nations, states, classes, parties, are usually terminated, and perhaps,    

      under the existing condition of things, are best terminated, by compromise.

      Let neither side get all it wants — let both yield something to the other — let

            the prudent and the moderate on each side seek an intermediate course

            between the two extremes advocated — and the result is often peace and

            something approaching to contentment. Compromise is the soul of

            diplomacy — the idol of clever Parliamentary leaders and party managers

            the oil, as has been said, whereby the wheels of the world are made to

            run smoothly. But in religion, compromise is out of place.


ü      There must be no compromise on any question of morality. If a

      thing is wrong, it must be got rid of, not tolerated under certain  

      restrictions; e.g., slavery, prostitution, vivisection, intemperance.

      A compromise between vice and virtue is an insult to virtue.



ü      There must be no compromise with respect to doctrine. Doctrine is

                        either false or true; and between truth and falsity there is no half-way

                        house. Half a truth is a lie. To compromise the truth, is to give place

                        to a lie.


ü      There must be no compromise with respect to any Christian duty. The

                        laws of God are plain and must be obeyed. Not to obey them is to

                        disobey them. Moses was ordered to lead his people out of Egypt. To

                        have accepted Pharaoh’s offer would have been a flagrant breach of the

                        command given to him. It was not necessary for him to see any ill

                        consequences, in order that he should feel bound to reject it. Ill

                        consequences even could none have been foreseen — would have been

                        sure to follow. For he would have forfeited God’s blessing — he would

                        have entered on the path of disobedience — to curry favor with an

                        earthly monarch he would have offended against the King of Heaven.



      EARTH (v. 29) - “Let not Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more.” Deceit is

      despicable in the meanest of men. How much more in a king!  Subterfuge,

      tricks, lies, are said to be the refuge of the weak, the only resource whereby

      they can meet and defend themselves against the violence and oppressiveness

      of the strong. What need has a king of them? A king drags his honor in the

      dust when he forfeits his word, and does more to lower the dignity of kings in

            general than fifty rebels or revolutionists.  And when kings err, in this or any      

            other way, it is the duty of those who have the opportunity, to rebuke them.

            Elijah rebuked Ahab; Azariah, son of Oded, rebuked Asa; Eliezer, Jehoshaphat;           

            Azarlah the high priest, Uzziah; John Baptist, Herod Antipas. Jesus Himself

            spoke of Herod as “that fox,” The great are very apt to urge that whoever says

            a word in their dispraise is “speaking evil of dignities”(Jude 8), and so

            offending against the law of God. But the examples cited show that dignities”            

            have no claim to exemption from the rebukes and reproofs of God’s servants.   

            Dignities ought to be above needing rebuke. They ought to set an example of    

            virtue and high-mindedness, and, above all, of regard for their word, when

            once they have pledged it. What might be forgiven in inferior men, cannot be

            pardoned in them. “Be wise, O ye kings; be instructed, ye judges of the

            earth.” – (Psalm 2:10) - “A city set on a hill cannot be hid.” – (Matthew



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