Exodus 11:1 MEANING

Exodus 11:1


(1) And the Lord said.--Rather, Now the Lord had said. The passage (Exodus 11:1-3) is parenthetic, and refers to a revelation made to Moses before his present interview with Pharaoh began. The insertion is needed in order to explain the confidence of Moses in regard to the last plague (Exodus 11:5), and the effect it would have on the Egyptians (Exodus 11:8).

When he shall let you go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether.--The word rendered "altogether" belongs to the first clause. Translate, when he shall let you go altogether, he shall assuredly thrust you out hence.

Verses 1-3. - We have here a parenthetic statement of something that had previously happened. Before Moses was summoned to appear in the presence of Pharaoh as related in Exodus 10:24, it had been expressly revealed to him by God,

1. That one more plague, and one only, was impending;

2. That this infliction would be effectual, and be followed by the departure of the Israelites; and,

3. That instead of reluctantly allowing them to withdraw from his kingdom, the monarch would be eager for their departure and would actually hasten it. He had also been told that the time was now come when the promise made to him in Mount Horeb, that his people should "spoil the Egyptians" (Exodus 3:22), would receive its accomplishment. The Israelites, before departing, were to ask their Egyptian neighbours for any articles of gold and silver that they possessed, and would receive them (ver. 2). The reasons for this extraordinary generosity on the part of the Egyptians are then mentioned, in prolongation of the parenthesis.

1. God "gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians"; and

2. The circumstances of the time had exalted Moses, and made him be looked upon as "very great" (ver. 3), so that there was a general inclination to carry out his wishes. Verse 1. - And the Lord spake unto Moses. Rather, "Now the Lord had said unto Moses." The Hebrew has no form for the pluperfect tease, and is consequently obliged to make up for the grammatical deficiency by using the simple preterite in a pluperfect sense. We cannot definitely fix the time when Moses had received this revelation; but the expression, one plague more, shows that it was after the commencement of the "plague of darkness." When he shall let you go, he shall surely thrust you out altogether. The Hebrew win not bear this rendering. It runs distinctly thus - "When he shall let you go altogether, he will assuredly thrust you out hence." As Canon Cook notes, "the meaning is - when at last he lets you depart, with children, flocks, herds, and all your possessions, he will compel you to depart in haste" (Speaker's Commentary, vol. 1. p. 290). It has been well noticed by the same writer that both this announcement, and the previous relentings of Pharaoh, would have caused Moses to have preparations made, and to hold the Israelites in readiness for a start upon their journey almost at any moment. No doubt a most careful and elaborate organization of the people must have been necessary; but there had been abundant time for such arrangements during the twelvemonth that had elapsed since the return of Moses from Midian.

11:1-3 A secret revelation was made to Moses while in the presence of Pharaoh, that he might give warning of the last dreadful judgment, before he went out. This was the last day of the servitude of Israel; they were about to go away. Their masters, who had abused them in their work, would have sent them away empty; but God provided that the labourers should not lose their hire, and ordered them to demand it now, at their departure, and it was given to them. God will right the injured, who in humble silence commit their cause to him; and none are losers at last by patient suffering. The Lord gave them favour in the sight of the Egyptians, by making it appear how much he favoured them. He also changed the spirit of the Egyptians toward them, and made them to be pitied of their oppressors. Those that honour God, he will honour.And the Lord said unto Moses,.... While in the presence of Pharaoh, by a secret impulse upon his mind; or he had said (m), which some refer as far back as to his appearance to him in Midian, Exodus 4:23, which is too remote; rather it refers to the last time he went to Pharaoh, being sent for by him; and the words may be rendered, "for the Lord had said" (n); and so are a reason why Moses was so bold, and expressed himself with so much confidence and assurance to Pharaoh, that he would see his face no more:

yet will I bring one plague more upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; upon him and all his subjects, for the following one would affect all the families of Egypt, in which there was a son:

afterwards he will let you go hence; out of Egypt readily, at once, and not attempt to stop or retard your going:

when he shall let you go; declare his will, give leave and orders for it:

he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether; absolutely, entirely, without any exception or limitation, them, their wives, their children, their flocks and herds, and whatsoever belonged to them, without any restraint upon them in any respect, and without any condition of return, or fixing any time for it, but the dismission should be general, unlimited, and unconditional; or, "in thrusting he shall thrust you out" (o), with force and vehemence, with urgency and in great haste.

(m) "dixerat", some in Vatablus, Ainsworth, Cartwright; so Aben Ezra. (n) "Dixerat enim", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Rivet. (o) "expellendo expellet", Pagninus, Montanus, Drusius; so Fagius, Vatablus, Cartwright.

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