1. And the Lord said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened Ms heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might show these my signs before him:
1. Et dixit Jehovah ad Mosen, Vade ad Pharaonem: quia ego aggravavi cor ejus, et cor servorum ejus, ut ponerem signa mea haec in medio ejus.
2. 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.
2. Et ut narres in auribus filii tui et nepotis tui quae fecerimin AEgypto, et signa mea quae posuero inter eos: et sciatis quod ego sum Jehova.
3. 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:
3. Venit ergo Moses et Aharon ad Pharaonem, et dixerunt ei, Sic dicit Jehova Deus Hebraeorum, Quousque renuis humiliari coram facie mea? Dimitte populum meum ut serviant mihi.
4. Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, tomorrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast:
4. Quod si tu renuis dimittere populum meum, ecce, ego inducam cras locustam in terminos tuos.
5. 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.
5. Et operiet superficiem terrae, ut non possit videri terra: et comedet quod residuum est, quod evasit, quod relictum est vobis a grandine: et comedet omnem arborem quae fructificat vobis ex agro.
6. 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.
6. Et implebunt domos tuas, et domos omnium servorum tuorum, et domos omnium AEgyptiorum: quas non viderunt patres tui, et patres patrum tuorum, a die quo ipsi fuerunt super terram usque ad diem hunc. Et aversus, egressus est a Pharaone.
1. And the Lord said. Moses passes on to another plague, whereby God took vengeance on the treachery and obstinacy of the wicked king; viz., that He gave over the remaining produce of the year, which He had spared, to be eaten and devoured by locusts. And this was no ordinary punishment, to destroy Egypt by dearth and famine, when all their corn had perished. But, before Moses proceeds to this, he again relates that he was the proclaimer of this plague, and that God had announced to him the reason why Pharaoh had so often resisted to his own injury. Therefore God says, that He had hardened his heart, in order that he might show forth these miracles and evidences of His power; for if Pharaoh had been humbled, and had yielded immediately, the contest would have been superfluous; since what would be the object of contending with a conquered and prostrate enemy? The obstinacy of the tyrant, then, in so often provoking God, opened the way to more miracles, as fire is produced by the collision of flint and iron. Thence also the silly imagination is refuted, that the heart of Pharaoh was no otherwise hardened than as the miracles were set. before his eyes; for Moses does not say that his heart was divinely hardened by the sight of the signs, but that it pleased God in this manner to manifest His power. Hence also we gather, that whatever occurred was predestinated by the sure counsel of God. For God willed to redeem His people in a singular and unusual way. That this redemption might be more conspicuous and glorious, He set up Pharaoh against himself like a rock of stone, which by its hardness might afford a cause for new and more remarkable miracles. Pharaoh was, therefore, hardened by the marvelous providence of God with this object, that the grace of His deliverance might be neither despicable nor obscure. For God regarded tits own people more than the Egyptians, as immediately appears, |that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son's son,| etc. For far more abundant material for thanksgiving and for celebrating the memory of their deliverance was afforded, by the fact of the Israelites having seen God's arm stretched forth so often from heaven, and with so many prodigies. Had they been redeemed by any ordinary method, the praise due to God would soon have been forgotten. It was proper, then, that their posterity should be thus instructed by their fathers, that they might have no doubts as to the author of so illustrious a work. But it is here required of the fathers, who had been eye-witnesses of the signs, that they should be diligent and assiduous in teaching their children; and on these also, care and attention in learning is enjoined, that the recollection of God's mercies should flourish throughout all ages. The practical effect of this doctrine is seen in Psalms 44 and Psalm 105
3. And Moses and Aaron came in. Moses now relates how, at God's command, he tried whether Pharaoh's heart, after so many experiments, would be bent to obedience out of fear of the new punishment which impended. But by this proof his impiety was better known, since, although he saw his kingdom deprived of a part of its corn, he fears not what is denounced by Moses respecting the other part. Therefore he reproves him still more severely, inquiring, |How long| wilt thou proudly resist the command of God? For since plagues vanquish even the worst natures, it was marvelous that the king, having been smitten eight times, and in so awful a manner, was still unwilling to yield, as if he were in safety, and unaffected by any injury. But we may learn from this passage, that we are chastised with this object by the rods of God, that we may return from the indulgence of our lusts to submission to Him. This Moses calls (and Peter after him, 1 Peter 5:6) to |humble| ourselves before God, or |beneath His mighty hand,| when, having experienced His formidable power, we reverently submit ourselves to His dominion. Whence it follows, that they, who are neither tamed nor bent by the fear of punishment., struggle against God as with an iron brow. Let fear, then, teach us to repent; and that we may not provoke His vengeance by proud contempt, let us learn that nothing is more terrible than to fall into His hands. Moses also hints that Pharaoh's contention was not with the Israelites only, but with God who undertook their cause. And let us not doubt, therefore, that all tyrants, who unjustly persecute the Church, contend with God Himself, to whose powers they will find themselves far inferior.
4. Else, if thou refuse. Moses denounces the extreme dearth and famine of the land of Egypt, because the locusts will suddenly arise, altogether to consume the remaining produce of the year; for half of it had already been destroyed by the hail. But, although ancient histories bear witness, and it has happened also in our time, that not only cornfields, but that pastures have been devoured by locusts, still we may gather from the circumstances, that this was an extraordinary instance of the divine vengeance; because Moses both appoints the next day, and also relates that an incredible multitude suddenly burst forth, and adds, that such had never been seen; and, lastly, threatens that no house should be exempt from their invasion. Moreover, it is worth while again to remark the nature of the scourge, that God collects and arms a host of vile insects, whereby He may insultingly overcome this indomitable tyrant with all his forces. The ingratitude of Egypt, too, was worthy of this return, since it was too great an indignity that the posterity of Joseph should be tyrannically persecuted in that. country, which a little more than 250 years before he had preserved from famine by his energy. What follows in verse 6, that |he turned himself, and went out from Pharaoh,| is recorded as a token of his indignation; as though Moses, worn out with the perverseness of the tyrant, had hastily withdrawn himself from him, without bidding him farewell. Therefore, although he was otherwise of a mild disposition, this peremptory harshness was to be adopted as a reproof of the arrogance with which the tyrant spit in the face of heaven itself. But, let the Pharaohs of our age also learn, that when they impede by their cruel menaces the pure worship of God, it is in His strict justice that fanatics, like locusts, assail their kingdoms with their impious errors, and infect their people with contagion.