Exodus chapter 10

The eighth plague: LOCUSTS. The ninth plague: DARKNESS.

 


 

PLAGUE #8. LOCUSTS

 

VERSE 1. The LORD said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may show these my signs among them;

The LORD God said he would harden Pharaoh’s heart. What does this mean? Read more »

 

VERSE 2. and that you may tell in the hearing of your son, and of your son’s son, what things I have done to Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that you may know that I am the LORD.”

tell in the hearing of your son. Even now, thousands of years later, we are still telling people these great works of the LORD God to free his people from slavery.

 

VERSE 3. Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh, and said to him, “This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go, that they may serve me.

Let my people go. The LORD God is patient with those who oppose him. He works with them to bring about the freedom of his people.

But eventually, even the worst tyrant can wear out God’s patience.

At that point, there is no force on earth that can restrain God’s will to bring his people into freedom. Then, even the strongest powers on earth will crumble.

By Pharaoh’s obstinacy, he called down grave suffering upon his nation. Things would have gone far better if he simply let God’s people go.

But Pharaoh did not. He clung to what was not his. He had to be right, no matter the cost to his people and his nation.

 

VERSE 4. Or else, if you refuse to let my people go, behold, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your country,

I will bring locusts into your country. Locusts were viewed as a curse:

Deuteronomy 28:38. You will carry much seed out into the field, and will gather little in; for the locust will consume it.

 

VERSE 5. and they shall cover the surface of the earth, so that one won’t be able to see the earth. They shall eat the residue of that which has escaped, which remains to you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which grows for you out of the field.

 

VERSE 6. Your houses shall be filled, and the houses of all your servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians, as neither your fathers nor your fathers’ fathers have seen, since the day that they were on the earth to this day.’ ” He turned, and went out from Pharaoh.

 

VERSE 7. Pharaoh’s servants said to him, “How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the men go, that they may serve the LORD, their God. Don’t you yet know that Egypt is destroyed?”

Don’t you yet know that Egypt is destroyed? Pharaoh’s compulsive need to “win” at any cost is working against him.

Pharaoh’s obstinacy is causing his own people, and his own nation, to be destroyed.

Yet Pharaoh prizes his own ego far more than his nation and his people.

 

VERSE 8. Moses and Aaron were brought again to Pharaoh, and he said to them, “Go, serve the LORD your God; but who are those who will go?”

 

VERSE 9. Moses said, “We will go with our young and with our old. We will go with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds; for we must hold a feast to the LORD.”

with our flocks and with our herds. They will liberate the animals too.

 

VERSE 10. He said to them, “The LORD be with you if I let you go with your little ones! See, evil is clearly before your faces.

 

VERSE 11. Not so! Go now you who are men, and serve the LORD; for that is what you desire!” Then they were driven out from Pharaoh’s presence.

 

VERSE 12. The LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come up on the land of Egypt, and eat every herb of the land, even all that the hail has left.”

Stretch out your hand. The LORD God could have liberated his people through any means whatsoever. But he chose to work through a human operative. As is usually the case.

In this case, Moses simply stretched out his hand. And simultaneously, God caused a stupendously great miracle to happen.

To the observer, it would seem that Moses caused the miracle to happen.

And from a limited perspective, Moses did. It took great faith to do such an improbable thing.

To do it and have nothing happen would be a terrible setback, terribly embarrassing. So it took great faith to do such a negligible thing.

And yet that negligible gesture was all God was waiting for. That amount of faith was sufficient for God to do terrifying miracles, miracles that affected millions of people and changed the course of human history.

 

VERSE 13. Moses stretched out his rod over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind on the land all that day, and all night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts.

 

VERSE 14. The locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the borders of Egypt. They were very grievous. Before them there were no such locusts as they, nor will there ever be again.

 

VERSE 15. For they covered the surface of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened, and they ate every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left. There remained nothing green, either tree or herb of the field, through all the land of Egypt.

they covered the surface of the whole earth. This is the worst insect problem in the history of the world.

 

VERSE 16. Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste, and he said, “I have sinned against the LORD your God, and against you.

sinned. The Hebrew word is חָטָ֛אתִי (“ḥā·ṭā·ṯî”). It means to miss, go wrong, sin.

 

VERSE 17. Now therefore please forgive my sin again, and pray to the LORD your God, that he may also take away from me this death.”

 

VERSE 18. Moses went out from Pharaoh, and prayed to the LORD.

 

VERSE 19. The LORD sent an exceedingly strong west wind, which took up the locusts, and drove them into the Sea of Suf. There remained not one locust in all the borders of Egypt.

Suf. The Hebrew word is סוּף (“suph”). It means reeds, rushes.

It refers to the body of water currently known as the Sea of Suf, or possibly to one of the bodies of water connected to it or near it.

Historically, it was translated into English as “Red,” not “Reed.” Hence, in English we say “Red Sea” instead of “Reed Sea.”

 

VERSE 20. But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he didn’t let the children of Israel go.

The LORD God said he would harden Pharaoh’s heart. What does this mean? Read more »

 

PLAGUE #9. DARKNESS

 

VERSE 21. The LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.”

Stretch out your hand. The LORD God could have liberated his people through any means whatsoever. But he chose to work through a human operative. As is usually the case.

In this case, Moses simply stretched out his hand. And simultaneously, God caused a stupendously great miracle to happen.

To the observer, it would seem that Moses caused the miracle to happen.

And from a limited perspective, Moses did. It took great faith to do such an improbable thing.

To do it and have nothing happen would be a terrible setback, terribly embarrassing. So it took great faith to do such a negligible thing.

And yet that negligible thing was all God was looking for. That amount of faith was sufficient for God to do terrifying miracles, miracles that affected millions of people and changed the course of human history.

darkness over the land of Egypt. There was such intense darkness that people could feel it.

Not all in the spiritual life is sweetness and happiness. Sometimes the spiritual life involves difficulties or hardships, suffering or unpleasant life situations, hard choices or growth in discipleship.

Sometimes the only way to make progress in the spiritual life is to enter into darkness.

The path of Contemplative Prayer includes times of God-given darkness. That darkness is the gateway to far greater light than one could ever have experienced in the past.

The Prophet Job experienced that darkness, as did St. John of the Cross.

 

VERSE 22. Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt for three days.

 

VERSE 23. They didn’t see one another, and nobody rose from his place for three days; but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.

the children of Israel had light in their dwellings:

Exodus 10:23. They didn’t see one another, and nobody rose from his place for three days; but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.

Job 28:3. They know how to shine light in the darkness and explore the farthest regions of the earth as they search in the dark for ore. (New Living Translation)

John 1:5. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness hasn’t overcome it.

 

VERSE 24. Pharaoh called to Moses, and said, “Go, serve the LORD. Only let your flocks and your herds stay behind. Let your little ones also go with you.”

 

VERSE 25. Moses said, “You must also give into our hand sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.

 

VERSE 26. Our livestock also shall go with us. Not a hoof shall be left behind, for of it we must take to serve the LORD our God; and we don’t know with what we must serve the LORD, until we come there.”

Our livestock also shall go with us. They will liberate the animals too.

 

VERSE 27. But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he wouldn’t let them go.

The LORD God said he would harden Pharaoh’s heart. What does this mean? Read more »

 

VERSE 28. Pharaoh said to him, “Get away from me! Be careful to see my face no more; for in the day you see my face you shall die!”

 

VERSE 29. Moses said, “You have spoken well. I will see your face again no more.”

I will see your face again no more. Moses was standing before the mighty Pharaoh.

Moses was the prophet of the Most High God. As such, Moses was one of the most important people to ever walk the earth.

Yet Pharaoh was so enthralled with his own ego that he couldn’t recognize Moses for who he was.

It would have been sad to hear these words of Moses. It would have been even sadder to hear them and think it was good news.

 


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EXODUS

CHAPTERS: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 3940

RESOURCES: Summary, Outline, Memorize, Pharaoh’s Heart, Moses’ fast

Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.