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.
And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs:
The Hebrew tzephardÍim is evidently the same with the Arabic zafda, Chaldaic oorde‚naya, and Syriac oordeai, all of which denote frogs, as almost all interpreters, both ancient and modern, agree to render it; Bochart conceives, from tzifa, a bank, and rad‚, mud, because of delighting in muddy and marshy places.
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, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneadingtroughs:
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 frogs
Whether the frog among the Egyptians was an object of reverence or abhorrence is uncertain. It might have been both at the same time, as many objects are known to have been among particular nations; for proof of which see the very learned Jacob Bryant, on the Plagues of Egypt, pp. 31-34.
And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt.
Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, Intreat the LORD, 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 I will
And Moses said unto Pharaoh, Glory over me: when shall I intreat 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?
Glory over me
or, Have this honour over me.
or, against when. to destroy. Heb. to cut of.
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.
or, against to-morrow.
there is none
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 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.
But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.
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.
The word kinnim is rendered by the LXX. [skiphes, skipes] or [sknÈphes] and by the Vulgate sciniphes, Gnats; and Mr. Harmer supposes he has found out the true meaning in the word tarrentes, a species of worm. Bochart, however, seems to have proved that lice, and not gnats, are meant; because, 1. they sprang from the dust, and not from the waters; 2. they were on both man and beast, which cannot be said of gnats; 3. their name is derived from koon, to make firm, fix, establish, which cannot agree with gnats, flies, etc., which are ever changing place, and almost constantly on the wing; 4. the term kinnah is used by the Talmudists to express the louse. This insect must have been a very dreadful and afflicting plague to the Egyptians, and especially to the priests, who were obliged to shave all their hair off, and to wear a single linen tunic, to prevent vermin harbouring about them.
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.
lice in man
And the magicians did so with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not: 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.
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.
or, a mixture of noisome beasts, etc. The word arov is rendered [kunomwea] kunomuia,] the dog-fly, by the LXX. (who are followed by the learned Bochart,) which must have been particularly hateful to the Egyptians, because they held dogs in the highest veneration, under which form they worshipped Anubis.
And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth.
And I will put a division between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be.
Heb. a redemption.
or, by to-morrow.
And the LORD did so; and there came a grievous swarm of flies 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.
How intolerable a plague of flies can prove, is evident from the fact that whole districts have been laid waste by them. The inhabitants have been forced to quit their cities, not being able to stand against the flies and gnats with which they were pestered. Hence different people had deities whose office it was to defend them against flies. Among these may be reckoned Baalzebub, the fly-god of Ekron; Hercules, muscarum abactor, Hercules the expeller of flies; and hence Jupiter had the titles of [apomuios, muiagros, muiochoros] because he was supposed to expel flies, and especially clear his temples of these insects. See Bryant.
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, and will they not stone us?
It is not
i.e., The animals which they worshipped; for an account of which, see note on ch. 9:3.
We will go three days' journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to the LORD our God, as he shall command us.
as he shall
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: 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 intreated the LORD.
And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go.