Imatges de pÓgina

Third mi- fore Mofes was again sent to threaten him, that, if he did racle, of not let Ifrael go, his whole kingdom thould be fo filled frogs. with frogs, that their ovens, their beds and tables, should

swarm with them ;, as they accordingly did at the time appointed, whilst the magicians, indeed, went on to persuade him, that Mofes was only such another miracle-monger as they were, by imitating also this miracle, and bringing a fresh swarm of frogs. They migbt indeed bave shewed their skill to a better purpose, if they had tried to have removed those insects, of which the Egyptians did not want this fresh supply ; but it seems they had not power enough to do that. Wherefore Pharaob was reduced to send for Mofes, and to promise him, that he would let Ifrael go, if he would but deliver him and his country from that odious vermin. Moses took him at his word, and, defiring him to name the time when he should rid the land of those creatures, did precisely perform his part ; so that by the next day there was not one frog left alive in all the land. But whilst his subjects were gathering them up in heaps, in order to carry them off, their stench being like to have bred an infection, Pharaoh was thinking how to elude his promise, not considering that he only made way for another plague.

For, when Mofes found himself baffled, he touched Fourth mi-the dust with his rod, which was immediately turned into racle, of lice, or, as some think, into gnats; which small infect, the lice. they fay, is more common, and the fting more torment

ing, in Egypt, than any-where else. But our version seems-
to us more agreeable to the original, and to the genera-
lity of antient and modern translations and expositors f.
These infected man and beast in such quantities, that onc
would have imagined, that all the dust of Egypt had been
turned into lice. Pharaoh sent for his magicians, and
bid them try their skill, in vain ; for either their power
proved too short, or was curtailed by a superior hand;
so that they were forced to acknowlege, that the finger
of God did plainly display itself in this miracle (G).,'


Chala. Targ. JOSEPH. ant. I. i. c. 14. Rabbin. Mon. GAN. MUNSTER, VATABL. Jun. BOCHART, & al...

(G) What has been said magicians could not now bring upder this head in the last note forth lice, when they had been will eafily lead us to an answer able to produce swarms of to the next question, why the frogs, and other insects. For,


| However, Pharaoh not regarding their words, Mofes and

Aaron met him the next morning, as he was going down to the river, and told him, that his obstinacy would only bring more and worse plagues upon him, the next of which would be fuch mixed fwarms of flies, as would Fifth midarken the air ; that God, however, would put a dif- racle, of ference between his people and the Egyptians, and that swarms of there should none be found in all the land of Gofnen, tho' Aies,

the rest of the kingdom swarmed with them ; adding, that 1 the next day should bring this new plague upon him. Ac| cordingly, by the next morning the air was filled with

those insects, whose bite was lo venomous and painful, that the mischief which they did to Egypt became into

lerable 8, and forced the king to send for Mofes and Aaron, !

and to tell them, that he would give them leave to facritfice to their God, provided it was done within his domi

nions. To this they answered, they could not comply with his command, without imminent danger of their

& Vid. Pfal. Ixxviii. 45.


without having recourse to the juft inference; which is, that common folution, that this was that monarch had no other a creation of a new kind of view in employing them, than vermin, which therefore could to assure himself, whether Monot be imitated by the devil, ses’s miracles were really fuch, for which we have no warrant and done by a divine assistance, from the text, which expresly or only such jugglers tricks as calls them lice, it will be fuffi- his Egyptian magicians used to cient to say, that herein Mofes amuse the vulgar with ; and shewed his superior power in not, as 'fome have imagined, tying their hands from work- to try whether the God of the ing a miracle in all respects as Hebrews, by whose power Moeasy as any they had done till fes acted, was a stronger Deity then. For this was more than than that of the Egyptians, by fufficient to extort this confef- which the magicians ftrove to fion from them, that he acted imitate him; not but in either by a superior power, and that case there was sufficient proof the finger of God was in it of the fuperiority of the for(15).

mer, to make the king desist And accordingly we find, that from any further trial of that Pharaoh was so fully con- of the latter ; though his an vinced of the truth of it, that verseness to part with the Israelwe do not read of his making ites, he could not but plainly, any farther use of them and fee, would only expose him ta this will lead us to another feverer plagues. (15) Exod. väi. 19. Vido Lefley's easy mierbed wirb the deifts.

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lives, seeing they should be obliged to facrifice such creatures as the Egyptians worshiped, who would therefore be ready to ftone them, as guilty of the most horrid and abominable facrilege. They therefore insisted upon going three days journey out of the land, that they might fafely perform their God's command. This answer, which gave him just reason to suspect that they had a mind to go away for good, put him to a terrible nonplus ; but at length he consented that they should go, provided it was at no great distance from Egypt, and they promised him faithfully to return again in a little time. Mofes assured him, that he would immediately go out, and intreat the LORD for him, and defired him to keep his word; but no fooner had his prayer obtained a reprieve, and delivered the king

dom from those venomous infects, than the king drew on Sixth mi.

another plague by his obstinacy and breach of promise h.

This next judgment fell, according to Mofes's word, racle, the cattle of

on all the cattle of the Egyptians, the greatest part of the Egyp

which died by the next day, whilst that of the Ifraelités tians killed remained unhurt. But this not touching the king near by murrain enough, the next that followed was more effectually felt Seventh by him. It was miracle, out upon man and beast. Pharaoh, according to custom, boyls upon had recourse to his magicians, who, being themselves men and smitten with the boyls, dared not appear before Mofes, beasts. and Pharaoh continuing still obftinate, it was not long

before Moses was sent to threaten him with a more terrible

one, in which the voice of the God of Israel should be Eighthmi-heard in thunder, and his vengeance felt in such dreadful racle, bail-storms of hail, as had not been known since the foundaftorms and tion of Egypt. He gave him but one day to consider of thunders. it, assuring him, that the next day would prove a dismal

one to the Egyptians, unless he confented to difmiss the Ifraelites before that time, between whom and the Egyptians God would put such a difference, that the land of Goshen should be intirely free from the terrible punithment with which Egypt would be half undone Moses accordingly lifted up his rod towards heaven on the next morning : whereupon the thunders, lightnings and hail, followed one another so thick, that Egypt was half destroyed by them. - The hail that then fell was of such prodigious bigness, that it killed man and beast, broke all the trees, and destroyed all the barley and fax it chanced. to fall upon. The wheat only and the rye escaped, be

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to cause they were not fufficiently grown ; for the barley

harvest in Egypt begins about the middle or latter end of March ; whereas that of the wheat and rye doth not begin till fix or seven weeks after. As for the land of Gofben, it was found, upon inquiry, to have been as free from this, as it had been from all the former plagues.";

THESE. thunders, lightnings, and especially the hail, which were the more extraordinary, because it feldom or never rains in that part of Egypt, so frighted the proud king, that he sent immediately for Mofes and Aaron, and expressed himself in such terms to them, as might have passed for sure tokens of a real conversion ; and only begged to be delivered from the noise of those dreadful thunders ; after which he promised not to detain them one moment longer. Mofes, though he gave no credit to this promise, did yet engage to obtain a speedy ceflation of them, which he accordingly did, and gave the Egyptians an opportunity to examine the mischief that had the great been done by the hail, which they found to be much mischief greater than they had imagined. This inspired many of done by it. them with a real fear of the God of Israel ; but Pharach and his council no sooner perceived that the storm was over, but they returned to their old way i Whereupon Moses was sent to threaten them with a worse judgment, viz., with such an infinite number of locusts as Thould cover the face of the earth, and eat up what the hail had left undestroyed. There were some about the king then, who took the liberty to represent to him the unconceivable damage which his kingdom had already received ; that Egypt was already destroyed, and that it was high time the Hebrews were sent away to serve their Gon. Pbaraoh was now persuaded to let them go, but having sent for Mofes and Aaron back, to inquire who of them were to go, and who to stay, he was so highly provoked at their insisting upon taking with them their wives, children, cattle, and all that they had that he could not forbear cupbraiding them with their ill intentions, which, though concealed with so much art, and cloaked with the specious pretence of religion, did yet but too plainly shew, that they had no mind ever to return into Egypt again. He warned them of the danger they ran themselves into, and advised them to content themselves with taking only the men with them, and leaving their wives and children behind; and having threatened them severely, caused them to be thrust from his presence. Exod. ix. p. tet,


Nintb mi. Moses was no fooner got out, than he lifted up his racle, of tod over the land of Egypt. This was quickly followed locufts. by an east wind, which blew all the night, and brought

such a numerous fwarm of locusts by the next morning, as had never been seen before ; and thefe, spreading theniselves all over the land, did in a little time eat up every blade of grass, and every thing that had escaped the storm of hail. Pharaoh did not fail to send for Moses, to own his fault, and beg for one reprieve more ; but, having obtained it by means of a west wind, which blew all the

locufts into the sea, he continued as inflexible as ever. Tenth mi- Egypt was presently after smitten with such horrid darkracle, of nels, that Mofes chooses to exprefs it by a darkness that great dark may be felt. "During the three days it lasted, the Egyness during prians did neither fee one another, nor dare to stir out of ibree days, their place, whilst the land of Gojken enjoyed its usual

day-light. The horror of this obscurity, which could not be removed by the common methods then used to fupply the absence of the fun, caused such dreadful apprehenfions in the king and all his subjects, and was so heightened by the dismal outeries of men, women, and children, that their confternation may be much easier imagined than expressed. As soon therefore as the light was restored to them, Moses and Aaron were immediately fent for, and the king, according to custom, told them, that he was willing to grant their request, and that they might go with their wives and children, but insisted that their flocks should be left behind. Moses therefore, after many proper expostulations, observing Pharaoh's unwillingness to consent, told bim in express terms, that they would take all their cattle with them, and that not a fingle hoof should remain in Egypt. We need not wonder, if so proud a king as Pharaoh, could not hear so bold a demand without the highest resentment. He caused him to be thrust from his prefence with the utmost indignation, threatening him, that if he dared to come before him any more, it should certainly cost him his life. Such impotent threatenings had nothing in them that could frighten a man like Moses; only it is supposed, that it was at this last interview, that he fignified to the king the finishing stroke of the divine vengeance upon all the fird-born of men and cattle throughout Egypt, which should cause such a confternation among all his subjects, that they fhould come with bended knees to the Ifraelites, and beg of them, in the most submislave terms, to depart


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