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And the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, 'sa that they lent unto them such things as they required : and they spoiled the Egyptians.

And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, besides children.

And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle.

And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leaven.' ed : because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual.

Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years,

And it came to pass, at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Loró went out from the land of Egypt.

It is a night to be much observed unto the Lord for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the Lord to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations.

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Sanctify unto me all the first-born among the children of Israel both of man and of beast ; it is mine,

And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten.

This day came ye out in the nionth Abib. “And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he sware

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unto thy fathers to give thee, a land flowing with milk and honey, that thou shall keep this service in this month.

Seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the Lord.

Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days : and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters.

And thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the LORD did unto me, when I came forth out of Egypt.

And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine band and for


memorial between thine eyes ; that the LORD's law may be in thy mouth : for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt.

Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from year to year.

And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this ? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the Lord brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage.

And it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the LORD slew all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both the first-born of man and the first-born of beast; therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all the firstburn, being males, but all the first-born of my children I redeem.

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ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. We may suppose that Moses delivered the Lord's message to Pharaoh on the same day that he directed the Israelites to separate the lambs for the passover, which was several days before the last plague was sent upon Egypt, so that the Egyptians had sufficient time to reflect

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apon the danger to which they exposed themselves, by detaining God's people ; but while the Israelites, with faith and devout expectation, prepared for their departure, Pharaoh and his presumptuous subjects went on encouraging each other, in an obstinate defiance of the threatenings of that great Being, who had already fully demonstrated to them, that He is possessed of omnipotence. There was something so foolish in this conduct, that there is no accounting for it in any


than by imputing it to a want of that Divine principle, which, as has been before observed, is necessary to regulate human reason, and prevent the passions from obtaining an ascendancy over it. It is evident that Pha. raoh did not, on this occasion, make a proper use of his reasoning faculty, or he must have discerned the folly of opposing the will of the LORD God.

Of all the judgments that had yet been inflicted upon the Egyptians, none was equal in its effects and duration to the death of their first-born. This was calculated to recal that tenderness which impiety, by raising turbulent passions in the mind, had in a

manner oblite. rated; and at the same time to mortify the pride of those who exalted themselves against God, as it deprived them of the principal hope of their family, the first-born son; he who was to succeed his father in ho. nour and estate, and support that pride which aspired to domineer even over the people, whom God had ho. noured with the title of His own first born. The other plagues were but temporary evils in comparison with this. The river now no longer fowed with blood, but yielded again the ' refreshing element of water. The houses of the Egyptians were cleansed from noisome reptiles, their bodies from vermin, the flies which devoured them were dead, and the land was purified from the corruption which they had occasioned. The loss



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of cattle which they had sustained by the murrain might be repaired by purchase, and subsequent increase. Health was restored to their bodies ; the tempest was past, and the air again serene ; future crops of flax and barley might supply the deficiencies, which the hail and fire had made; and the quick growth of vegetables promised a restoration of the herds of the field; the army of locusts was no more ; and trees. would again shoot forth their leaves, and bear fruit.

The darkness was such as had never before been known, and might possibly never be known again. But who could restore to life their first born? What could recompense them for the loss of their children? The afflicted parents could not console themselves with the thought, that their beloved offspring were removed to a world of bliss, where they might hope to meet them again in glory, crowned with immortality; on the contrary, their

was aggravated by the TERROR OF The Lord," which seized their minds, and filled them with fearful apprehension that the vengeance

of an offended God would soon fall on their own heads

It was one part of God's denunciation against the Egyptians*, that he would execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt.

As the Egyptians originally descended from Misraim, the grandson of Noah, they must originally have had the knowledge of the Lord among them, nor had they totally lost it in the days of Abraham and Isaac ; but by degrees they fell into the grossest idolatry; and, besides a number of idols, which they called celestial and terrestrial gods, they paid adoration to brute animals ; and that to so great a variety, that in almost every town or village they worshipped different idols : which was * See Section lxiv.



often the cause of bitter" quarrels, and sometimes of dangerous wars. They paid divine honours to the lion, the bull, the sheep, the goat, the cat, the dog, the ibis, the wolf, the crocodile, and many others. If any person killed one of the sacred animals designedly, he was punished with immediate death : these animale were fed at great expence while living ; and, when they died, the Egyptians went into deep mourning, and lamented them as if they had been their dearest children. These, in all probability, were the beasts that died in the last plague, (the gods of Egypt) and not the cattle of the field. In this account of the idolatries of the Egyptians, we see, that, as the apostle expresses,

Though they knew God, they glorified Him not as GOD, but changed the glory of the uncorruptible God. (even · his own express Image) for four-footed beasts and creeping things ; the truth of God into a lie ; ho. nouring the creature more than the CREATOR, who is blessed for evermore* !”

The prediction, which Moses delivered to Pharaoh, was now fulfilledt. His own proud heart was 'humbled, and his people were urgent to send the Israelites out of their land; they at length acknowledged then to be the people of Godt, and willingly furnished them with such things as might be necessary to add splendour to the sacrifice they were going to make in the wilderness.

At first sight it appears a dishonourable act in the Israelites to borrow of the Egyptians what they could have no intention to return ; but we must consider, that they did it by the express command of God, and that all things in this world are properly His; He created, governs, and sustains the universe, therefore may justly take from one, and give to another, as His infinite wis

And it appears afterwards, that the Rom. i. 7. See Section lxiii. Sec Section Ixy, Q2


dom sees proper.

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