1. 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.
1. Dixit autem Jehova ad Mosen, Vade ad Pharaonem, et dic ad eum, Sic dicit Jehova, Dimitte populum meum ut serviant mihi.
2. And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs:
2. Quod si tu renuis dimittere, ecce, ego percutio omnes terminos tuos ranis.
3. And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up, and come into thine house, and into thy bed-chamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneading-troughs:
3. Et scatebit flumen ranis, quae ascendent, et intrabunt domum tuam, et conclave cubilis tui, et super lectum tuum, et in domum servorum tuorum, et in populum tuum, et in furnos tuos, et in panaria tua. (Heb. farinas tuas.)
4. And the frogs shall come up both on thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants.
4. Itaque in te, et in populum tuum, et in omnes servos ascendent ranae.
5. 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.
5. Et ait Jehova ad Mosen, Dic ad Aharon, Extende manum tuam cum virga tua super fluvios, super rivos, et super stagna, ut adducas ranas super terram Aegypti.
6. And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt.
6. Et extendit Aharon manum suam super aquas Aegypti, et ascenderunt ranae, operueruntque terram Aegypti.
7. And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt.
7. Et sic fecerunt magi incantationibus suis: nempe adducendo ranas super terram Aegypti.
1. And the Lord spake. Again, as if the matter were only now begun, God demands of Pharaoh His own peculiar right, viz., that His people should serve Him, but out of the land of Egypt, that His worship might be separate and pure from all defilement, for He desired (as was before said) by this separation of His people to condemn the superstitions of the Egyptians. Meanwhile there was no excuse for the tyrant, when, with sacrilegious boldness, he presumed to deprive God of His just honor. Therefore, in refusing to let them go, he was declared not only to be cruel, but also a despiser of God. Threatening is also added, that at least he may, however unwillingly, be driven to obey; for thus must the stubborn be dealt with, who never are brought to duty except when forced by fear or punishment. Indeed, God sometimes also threatens His own servants, in order to stimulate their laziness; but especially is He more severe towards the perverse and disobedient. Thus is it said, (Psalm 18:26,)
|With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward.|
This is the reason why He sanctions His command with threats when He addresses Pharaoh. In this second plague there are, besides, two things to be remarked by us; for, first, God shews that the Egyptians had hitherto held their lives by a precarious tenure, as it were, because He had protected them from the incursion of frogs by His special mercy. We know that Egypt, on account of its many marshes, and the sluggish and almost stagnant Nile, was full of frogs and venomous animals; now, when great multitudes of them come forth suddenly, cover the surface of the fields, penetrate even to the houses and bed-chambers, and finally ascend even into the royal palace, it plainly appears that they were before only restrained by God's hand, and thus that the God of the Hebrews was the guardian and keeper of that kingdom. Secondly, God chose not only to inflict a punishment upon the Egyptians, but to expose them to mockery by its ignominious nature; nor can we doubt but that their pain must have been much embittered by this contumely, when they saw that they were thus evil-entreated not by some victorious army, but by filthy reptiles; and besides this, that their calamity had its origin in the Nile, which enriched their country with so many advantages. But let us learn from this history that there are many deaths mixed up with our life, and that it is not otherwise lengthened out to us, except as God restrains the dangers which everywhere beset us; and again, although He may not openly strike us with lightning from heaven, nor arm his angels for the destruction of men, still, at His slightest nod, all creatures are ready to execute this judgments; and, therefore, we must ascribe it to His kindness and long-suffering, if the wicked do not perish at each moment. Finally, if we are ever galled by ignominy or disgrace, let us remember that this happens designedly, that the shame itself may mortify our pride.
5. And the Lord spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron. It is questionable whether God thus enjoined Moses in a continuous address, or whether He waited until Pharaoh contumaciously despised His command. It is probable, indeed, that after Pharaoh had paid no attention to the threats, the execution of the punishment was commanded. Meantime, we must recollect what I before said, that Moses moved not even a finger; but, as he had been commanded, transferred the active measures to his inferior minister, that thus Pharaoh might be treated more contemptuously. It was thus that he overwhelmed the whole land, as it were, by a breath. But although in this way God cast down the fierce tyrant in his swelling pride to be trampled beneath their feet, still the wickedness of the magicians did not rest. Thus was it requisite that the servants of God should be exercised by constant contests one after another.