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Exodus Chapter 10
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Warning
10:1 God said to Moses, 'Go to Pharaoh. I have made him and his advisors stubborn, so that I will be able to demonstrate these miraculous signs among them.
10:2 You will then be able to confide to your children and grandchildren how I made fools of the Egyptians, and how I performed miraculous signs among them. You will then fully realize that I am God.'
10:3 Moses and Aaron came to Pharaoh. In the name of God, Lord of the Hebrews, they said to him, 'How long will you refuse to submit to Me? Let My people leave and serve Me.
10:4 If you refuse to let My people leave, I will bring locusts to your territories tomorrow.
10:5 They will cover every visible speck of land, so that you will not be able to see the ground, and they will eat all that was spared for you by the hail, devouring every tree growing in the field.
10:6 They will fill your palaces, as well as the houses of your officials and of all Egypt. It will be something that your fathers and your fathers' fathers have never seen, since the day they were in the land.'

With that, [Moses] turned his back and left Pharaoh.

10:7 Pharaoh's officials said to him, 'How long will this [man] continue to be a menace to us? Let the men go, and let them serve God their Lord. Don't you yet realize that Egypt is being destroyed?'
10:8 Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. 'Go serve God your Lord,' he said. 'But exactly who will be going?'
10:9 'Young and old alike will go,' replied Moses. 'We will go with our sons and our daughters, with our sheep and cattle. It is a festival to God for [all of] us.'
10:10 'May God only be with you just as I will let you leave with your children!' replied Pharaoh. 'You must realize that you will be confronted by evil.
10:11 But that's not the way it will be. Let the males go and worship God, if that's really what you want!' With that, he had them expelled from his presence.

Locusts: The Eighth Plague
10:12 God said to Moses, 'Extend your hand over Egypt [to bring] the locusts, and they will emerge on Egypt. They will eat all the foliage in the land that was spared by the hail.'
10:13 Moses raised his hand over Egypt, and all that day and night, God made an east wind blow over the land. When morning came, the east wind was carrying the locusts.
10:14 The locusts invaded Egypt, settling on all Egyptian territory. It was a very severe [plague]. Never before had there been such a locust plague, and never again [would the like be seen].
10:15 The [locusts] covered the entire surface of the land, making the ground black. They ate all the plants on the ground and all the fruit on the trees, whatever had been spared by the hail. Nothing green remained on the trees and plants throughout all Egypt.
10:16 Pharaoh hastily summoned Moses and Aaron. 'I have committed a crime,' he said, 'both to God your Lord and to you.
10:17 Now forgive my offense just this one more time. Pray to God your Lord! Just take this death away from me!'
10:18 [Moses] left Pharaoh's presence and prayed to God.
10:19 God turned the wind around, [transforming it into] a very strong west wind. It carried away the locusts, and plunged them into the Red Sea. Not a single locust remained within all Egypt's borders.
10:20 But once again, God made Pharaoh obstinate, and he would not let the Israelites leave.

Darkness: The Ninth Plague
10:21 God said to Moses, 'Reach out toward the sky with your hand, and there will be darkness in Egypt. The darkness will be palpable.'
10:22 Moses lifted his hand toward the sky, and there was an opaque darkness in all Egypt, lasting for three days.
10:23 People could not see each other, and no one left his place for three days. The Israelites, however, had light in the areas where they lived.
10:24 Pharaoh summoned Moses. 'Go!' he said. 'Worship God! Even your children can go with you. Just leave your sheep and cattle behind.'
10:25 'Will you then provide us with sacrifices and burnt offerings so that we will be able to offer them to God our Lord?' replied Moses.
10:26 'Our livestock must also go along with us. Not a single hoof can be left behind. We must take them to serve God our Lord, since we do not know what we will need to worship God until we get there.'
10:27 God made Pharaoh obstinate, and he was no longer willing to let [the Israelites] leave.
10:28 'Leave my presence!' said Pharaoh to [Moses]. 'Don't dare see my face again! The day you appear before me, you will die!'
10:29 'As you say,' replied Moses. 'I will not see your face again.'



Commentary:

Go
  See note on Exodus 6:11.

confide
  Literally, 'place in the ear of.' See note on Genesis 20:8.

made fools of
  Or, 'amused Myself with' (Rashi); 'dealt wantonly with' (Ibn Ezra); or 'did fearsome acts with' (Radak, Sherashim; Targum).

all of
  (Ibn Ezra).

May God only...
  (Ralbag). Or, 'Even if God is with you when I send you, evil will confront you' (Rashi).

you will be confronted
  (Ibn Ezra). Literally, 'evil is before your face.' Possibly, 'the evil will come back on you' (Ramban), or 'Your intentions are evil' (Rashbam; cf. Targum). See note, this line, 'evil'.

evil
  Ra in Hebrew. According to some, however, this is speaking of Ra, the Egyptian sun god (cf. Rashi; Yalkut Shimoni 392). See Exodus 32:12. Some sources identify this with Baal Tzafon (Exodus 14:2; Lekach Tov).

east wind
  The east wind would often blow across the desert from Arabia, or even from Iran, Pakistan or India, carrying locusts (cf. Diodorus Siculus 3:29; Orosius 4:11; Livy 42:2; Aelien, Of the Nature of Animals 3:12).

plunged them...
  Locust swarms were often carried away by the wind into the sea (cf. Joel 2:20; Pliny 11:35).

Red Sea
  Or 'Erythrean Sea' (Septuagint cf. original Greek of I Maccabees 4:9; Wisdom of Solomon 10:18, 19:7). Yam Suf in Hebrew, literally, 'Sea of Reeds' (Rashi on Exodus 13:18; see note on Exodus 2:3) or 'End Sea.' (Ibn Ezra on Exodus 13:18). This probably denotes the Gulf of Suez, which separates Egypt from the Sinai Peninsula. See note on Exodus 13:18.

In ancient times, the term 'Red Sea' or 'Erythrean Sea' referred to what is now the Red Sea as well as its two arms, the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba (cf. Rashi; Herodotus 2:11). However, it also included the rest of the waters to the south of Asia Minor, such as the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean (Josephus, Antiquities 1:1:3; Herodotus 4:37; Pliny 6:28; Strabo 16:765).

Some say that it is called the Red Sea because of the color of its reeds (see note on Exodus 2:3), the corals in its waters, the color of the mountains bordering its coasts, or the glow of the sky reflected in it. Others say that its name is derived from the ancient nation of Erythria, so named because is inhabitants painted their faces red (Dio Cassius 68:28; Philostratus, Apollonius 3:50; Arrian, Indica 37). It is possible that the name may also be associated with Edom (see Genesis 25:30), which means red. It is also said that it is called the 'Red Sea' because it lies to the south, and the south is called the 'red zone' (cf. Photius 250:717).

palpable
  Sh'moth Rabbah 14:1; Rashi; Ibn Ezra; Ramban). Alternatively, 'the darkness was opaque' (Radak, Sherashim; Septuagint; cf. Wisdom of Solomon 17:5); or 'intense darkness' (Rashi; Rashbam).

Will you then provide us...
  (Abarbanel). Or, 'you should also be giving us...' (Rashi; Ibn Ezra; Ramban).

burnt offerings
  See note on Genesis 8:20.





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