Exodus 10


‘Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these signs of mine among them that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the LORD.” So Moses and Aaron went 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, so that they may worship me. If you refuse to let them go, I will bring locusts into your country tomorrow. They will cover the face of the ground so that it cannot be seen. They will devour what little you have left after the hail, including every tree that is growing in your fields. They will fill your houses and those of all your officials and all the Egyptians—something neither your parents nor your ancestors have ever seen from the day they settled in this land till now.’” Then Moses turned and left Pharaoh. Pharaoh’s officials said to him, “How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the people go, so that they may worship the LORD their God. Do you not yet realize that Egypt is ruined?” Then Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. “Go, worship the LORD your God,” he said. “But tell me who will be going.” Moses answered, “We will go with our young and our old, with our sons and our daughters, and with our flocks and herds, because we are to celebrate a festival to the LORD.” Pharaoh said, “The LORD be with you—if I let you go, along with your women and children! Clearly you are bent on evil. No! Have only the men go and worship the LORD, since that’s what you have been asking for.” Then Moses and Aaron were driven out of Pharaoh’s presence. And the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over Egypt so that locusts swarm over the land and devour everything growing in the fields, everything left by the hail.” So Moses stretched out his staff over Egypt, and the LORD made an east wind blow across the land all that day and all that night. By morning the wind had brought the locusts; they invaded all Egypt and settled down in every area of the country in great numbers. Never before had there been such a plague of locusts, nor will there ever be again. They covered all the ground until it was black. They devoured all that was left after the hail—everything growing in the fields and the fruit on the trees. Nothing green remained on tree or plant in all the land of Egypt. Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the LORD your God and against you. Now forgive my sin once more and pray to the LORD your God to take this deadly plague away from me.” Moses then left Pharaoh and prayed to the LORD. And the LORD changed the wind to a very strong west wind, which caught up the locusts and carried them into the Red Sea. Not a locust was left anywhere in Egypt. But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go.’ Exodus 10:1-20

The Plague Of Locusts

Here read about the eighth plague, locusts. Again this was a judgment against the Egyptian gods, ‘Nut’, ‘Osiris’, and ‘Set’. God here tells us two reasons why He hardened Pharaoh’s heart.

1. He chose Pharaoh so that He might show the signs of the plagues to him.

2. God wanted Israel and all mankind to have a record of this great work of God, Psalm 78 / Psalm 105.

The later crops, wheat and rye, which had survived the hail, were now devoured by the swarms of locusts which would ultimately result in there being no harvest in Egypt that year.

It’s interesting to note that it was Pharaoh’s servants who informed him about what was happening, this suggests that Pharaoh didn’t go out much except for his early morning walks to worship, Exodus 7:14.

Because they knew exactly what was going on in Egypt and the devastation the plagues had caused, they were the ones pleading with Pharaoh.

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following.

‘Just as this mighty locust plague was the harbinger of the ultimate judgment and destruction of Pharaoh, ‘it is also a type of the plagues which will precede the last judgment.’ The prophet Joel, Joel 1-2, thus interpreted a severe locust plague that struck Judah.’

Keil, in his commentary, says the following.

‘The locust plague forms the groundwork for the description in Revelation 9:3-10, just as Joel discerned it as the day of the Lord, i.e., of the Great Day of Judgment, which is advancing step by step in all the great judgments of history, or rather of the conflict between the kingdom of God and the powers of this world and will be finally accomplished in the last general judgment.’

Pharaoh again appears to soften his heart and gives in to the request of Moses and Aaron to take the Israelites on a journey for three days in the wilderness to worship God.

However, once again Pharaoh puts terms and conditions before them, he wants Moses to leave families and flocks in Egypt whilst they go to worship. This was obviously some kind of insurance policy to ensure the Israelites would return. Moses and Aaron were not willing to compromise with Pharaoh.

Something which is often overlooked is that God made the ‘east wind’ blow to bring the locusts into Egypt and He also made the wind blow to remove the locusts.

There’s nothing new about locusts entering a place and destroying everything in their path but here the real miracle is seen in that happened at the very time God said to Moses it would happen.

Don’t miss the fact that the locusts didn’t go into Goshen either, but they covered the whole of Egypt. The impact on Egypt would have been devastating as the locusts would have eaten all the food in Egypt which forced the Egyptians to buy food from God’s people.

The Plague Of Darkness

‘Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness spreads over Egypt—darkness that can be felt.” So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days. No one could see anyone else or move about for three days. Yet all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived. Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and said, “Go, worship the LORD. Even your women and children may go with you; only leave your flocks and herds behind.” But Moses said, “You must allow us to have sacrifices and burnt offerings to present to the LORD our God. Our livestock too must go with us; not a hoof is to be left behind. We have to use some of them in worshiping the LORD our God, and until we get there we will not know what we are to use to worship the LORD.” But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was not willing to let them go. Pharaoh said to Moses, “Get out of my sight! Make sure you do not appear before me again! The day you see my face you will die.” “Just as you say,” Moses replied. “I will never appear before you again.” Exodus 10:21-29

Here we read about the ninth plague, darkness. This was aimed at the sun god, ‘Re’, who was symbolized by Pharaoh himself. For three days, the land of Egypt was smothered with unearthly darkness, but the homes of the Israelites had light.

The Israelites must be utterly shell shocked by what’s happening. They must have been in awe as they enjoyed the light but the rest of Egypt is in total darkness. They must have been thinking to themselves, ‘is there anything that this God cannot control or do?’

I can imagine them saying to themselves, ‘no wonder our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob worshipped this God.’

It was God who created light in the beginning, Genesis 1:3, and it’s God who removes the light, Luke 23:44. This would have included the sun, moon and stars, which He also created, Genesis 1:14-19.

Notice that it was so dark no one could see anyone else, it’s no wonder no one moved around for three days. Pharaoh once again softens his heart and tells Moses that they can go and worship God, only if they leave their flocks and heard behind.

Moses once again isn’t willing to compromise with Pharaoh, because he knows everything belongs to God, Psalm 5 / Psalm 10.

Notice that Pharaoh basically says, if Moses turns up in front of him again, he’s as good as dead. Also notice that Moses replied that he wouldn’t appear in front of Pharaoh again. On the surface, this reads as though the two would never meet face to face again, but they will, as we shall see in Exodus 11:4-10.

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following.

‘Moses accepted Pharaoh’s words without fear, calmly waited until the final plague was announced, and told Pharaoh Plainly. ‘After just one more plague, Pharaoh’s servants would come to him, bow down, and plead with the Israelites to leave.’ As it turned out, even Pharaoh himself did this, Exodus 12:30-31.

Go To Exodus 11