by Pharaoh's officials and by the people.)
- One more plague remains. The LORD at first does not go into detail about it, but simply instructs Moses to tell the people to ask their neighbors for silver and gold articles before it happens. Whatever it is, it will cause Pharaoh to want to drive the Israelites out of his land.
- We are told that the LORD made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the Israelites, which means that they will likely agree to these requests. We are also told that Pharaoh's officials and the people had great regard for Moses himself. Moses had in the past shown great military prowess, and his demonstration of the power of Israel's God had no doubt been impressive to all who witnessed the plagues which had come upon Egypt. I also get the impression that Moses' character is involved here. The Egyptians may not believe in his God, but they seem to have respect for Moses.
- The last plague is finally revealed. All the firstborn sons of Egypt will die, whether of high or low position in society. This will be a tragic, crushing blow to Egypt. Its severity indicates the seriousness with which God viewed Pharaoh's rebellion and willful disobedience.
- Even the firstborn of the cattle will die. At first I wondered why, for the animals had not rebelled against God. Then I remembered how Pharaoh had wanted the Israelites to leave their cattle behind, which was both an attempt to hold the Israelites back from leaving Egypt, and an effort at robbing them of their wealth so that they had no resources with which to make a life elsewhere. God is still keeping the promises which he made to Abraham. One of them was that whoever blessed Israel would be blessed and whoever cursed Israel would be cursed. Throughout history, God has kept that promise, and in a kind of ironic justice, has seemingly done to Israel's enemies the exact thing which they had attempted to do to Israel. In this case the Egyptians had attempted to take Israel's cattle, so guess whose cattle takes a hit?
- The loud wailing throughout Egypt (at the realization of the death of the firstborn sons) would be worse than had ever happened before, or ever would happen again.
- The Israelites would be spared this tragedy, and the LORD would show the distinction between Israel and Egypt, because of their relationship with God. Not even a dog would bark at them, a situation which emphasizes the providential care which God was taking of His people.
- Moses is angry at Pharaoh, and warns him that his own officials would come and beg him to leave Egypt. Then he left Pharaoh's presence. That is an awesome moment. If Pharaoh had any real wisdom at all, he would have run after Moses and begged for God's forgiveness. However, by now Pharaoh's heart -- continually hardened by his own repeated transgressions -- had been made hard enough that the thought of repentance was nowhere evident.
- The final verses of this text (v.9-10) remind us that all these things were no surprise to God. Before Moses had even left his father-in-law's home to come to Egypt, God had told Moses that Pharaoh would not listen to him. He had also told Moses that these events would take place so that God's wonders could be displayed in Egypt. All of Pharaoh's resistance would merely allow God to be glorified and His miraculous control over all His creation to be displayed before the Israelites and the Egyptians alike.