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[1635-1451 B.C.

9. He sent a thick darkness over the land for three days; the Egyptians saw not one another, neither rose any from his place; but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.

The Israelites were free from all the plagues. During each plague Pharaoh promised to let the Israelites go;--but after each plague was removed by the entreaties of Moses, he refused to let them go. God then threatened to destroy all the first-born of Egypt, both of man and beast.


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2nd plague the frog which was common in the Nile, was one of the sacred animals of Egypt; in this case the object of their superstition became the instrument of their punishment, It is not known whether the Egyptians esteemed or disliked frogs, but in both ancient and modern times objects of dislike or fear have been regarded as deities.

3rd plague-great care was taken by the Egyptians not to harbour any kind of vermin. The priests were shaved every third day that no detestable creature might harbour upon them when they were performing their duty to their gods. This plague would consequently be most noisome to them. Some commentators consider that mosquitos are the insects referred to under the word 'lice.'

wroth-angry; because their hopes of immediate deliverance from their 4th plague-it is generally thought servile bondage were disappointed. that the 'flies' were the species of beetle God's messengers often experience called the cockroach-the sacred beetle undeserved reproach and unmerited of the Egyptians; it devours every blame.

1st plague the Nile was one of the principal objects of Egyptian worship; the change of its water into blood manifested that their idol was powerless. Considering it merely as a physical punishment, it was severe, as water is in constant demand in hot climates for quenching thirst, as well as for other purposes. Ancient and modern writers unite in praising the peculiarly agreeable qualities of the water of the Nile.

thing that comes in its way-clothes, books, plants; and it also inflicts severe bites on man. Thus the Egyptians

were again chastized by one of their own idols.

5th plague-it was especially provided that the cattle of the Israelites should sustain no harm when those of the Egyptians were slain by the deadly murrain. Pharaoh sent to ascertain if this was the case; he found it so, but he still refused to allow the Israelites to depart.



6th plague-this infliction was one of such severe pain on the bodies of the Egyptians-boils and blains, ulcers and inflammations, that even the priestly magicians could not stand in the presence of their sovereign.

7th plague-rain is seldom seen in Egypt, hail is almost unknown; such a visitation would be awful.

Thunder and lightning are unfrequent and never injurious. How then must the king and his people have been alarmed by the terrible thunder and lightning that "ran along the ground!" This plague alarmed the king. He sent hastily for Moses and Aaron and acknowledged his sin; he afterwards again hardened his heart.

8th plague-all the vegetation left by the hail and rain was devoured by the locusts the next infliction of divine anger on Egypt; these insects are of the form and appearance of crickets and grasshoppers, but much larger;

there are many distinct species, and they are all destructive; some species migrate in immense numbers, and wherever they settle they destroy not only the hopes of the husbandman, but every vegetable production within their reach, even the bark of trees. They destroy much more than they devour. Locusts are extensively used as an article of food by the Arabs.

9th plague a darkness so thick and intense that it seemed a material substance; perhaps accompanied by a wind which filled the air with dust or sand during its continuance; such winds are not uncommon in eastern deserts. Some imagine that a dark dense fog was spread over the land which would be appalling to the inhabitants, as fogs are never naturally produced in Egypt. Whatever was its nature it obscured the glory of their great deity, the sun, for three days.

entreaties-earnest prayers.



When Pharaoh dare'd to vex the saints,
And thus provok'd their God,
Moses was sent at their complaints,
Arm'd with his dreadful rod.

He call'd for darkness, darkness came
Like an o'erwhelming flood;
He turn'd each lake and every stream,
To lakes and streams of blood.

He gave the sign, and noisome flies
Through the whole country spread ;
And frogs, in croaking armies, rise
About the monarch's bed.

Through fields, and towns, and palaces,
The tenfold vengeance flew;
Locusts in swarms devour'd their trees,
And hail their cattle slew.

Now let the world forbear its rage,
Nor put the church in fear:

Israel shall live through every age,
And be the Almighty's care.



Before the ninth plague was sent on Egypt, God instituted the passover; he told the Israelites to kill a lamb, and sprinkle its blood on the sides of their doors; the lamb was to be roasted, and they were to be ready to depart when they ate of it. They were also to eat unleavened bread six days. God said he would smite all the first-born in Egypt, but he would pass over the doors of the Israelites, when he saw the blood of the lamb upon them. God commanded the Israelites to keep the Lord's passover every year; and when they should come into the land which he would give them, if their children should ask the meaning of this service, they were to say, "It is the sacrifice of the Lord's passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he 'smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses." And at midnight the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. Pharaoh then called for Moses and Aaron, and told them to depart with the children of Israel; and to take with them their flocks and herds. The Israelites borrowed jewels from the Egyptians, silver and gold, and raiment. They departed from Rameses in Goshen. They numbered about 600,000 men on foot, besides children. The period which elapsed from the time of the call of Abraham to the departure of the Israelites from Egypt was four-hundred-and-thirty years. God had foretold this bondage of his descendants to Abraham.


God instituted-appointed; established by his command.


unleavened-unfermented; there was not sufficient time for the fermentation of the passover-a solemn feast commemorative dough from the moment when Pharaoh of the passing over the houses of the Israelites commanded the Israelites to leave Egypt when the destroying angel smote the first- to the time of their actual departure. born of Egypt. first-born-the eldest male-child of a lamb-the lamb was to be without blemish. family the expression first-born is some


times expressive of great dignity. The firstborn of the sacred animals died also, and we are informed, that when a sacred animal died the lamentation was louder than on the death of a child.

every year-so that this great event should not be forgotten by the Hebrew nation. The feast of the passover not only referred to the great events in Egypt, but it also prefigured the coming and sacrifice of Him who is our paschal lamb-the lamb of God, without sin, which taketh away the sin of the world. 1 Cor. v. 8; John i. 29. smote & delivered-smote the Egyptians with plagues, and not the Israelites-smote the first-born of Egypt, and delivered Israel from their long and bitter bondage.

Pharaoh-this was not the Pharaoh by whose daughter Moses was brought up.

captive-a prisoner.

dungeon-a prison-house; the prisons in the East are generally unwholesome.

a great cry-lamentation and bitter weeping in every Egyptian family. As the people went about the streets lamenting loudly when a death took place, the outcry, when every family had lost a member, must have been awful.

borrowing, that is to be returned; but
asked, or demanded, without any intention
or intimation of returning the articles thus
obtained. The Egyptians had long profited
by the slavish toil of the oppressed He-
who were
now leaving behind
them much valuable property. The Egypt-
ians gave readily in their panic, and the
justice of the proceeding cannot be ques-
tioned, for it was by God's command.

600,000-it is computed that the entire population of the Hebrews, men, women and children at the time of their departure was not less than 2,400,000.

430 years-the actual stay of the Israelites in Egypt, from the time that Jacob went thither with his sons and their families to the Exodus, was 215 years; but the sojourning of the Israelites and their fathers in the land of Canaan, and in the land of Egypt was 430 years.

foretold-Lesson 7, 'vision;' ' bondage.'


RAMESES OR RAAMSES-a treasure-city in Egypt which the Israelites built during their bondage; it is supposed in the land of Goshen. From this place the Israelites departed, when they left Egypt, after the borrowed-not according to our idea of death of the first-born.

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'Tis midnight-'tis midnight o'er Egypt's dark sky,
And in whirlwind and storm the sirocco sweeps by:
All arid and hot is its death-breathing blast-
Each sleeper breathes thick, and each bosom beats fast.
And the young mother wakes and arouses from rest,
And presses more closely her babe to her breast;
But the heart that she presses is death-like and still,
And the lips that she kisses are breathless and chill.
And the young brother clings to the elder in fear,
As the gust falls so dirge-like and sad on his ear,
But that brother returns not the trembling embrace:
He speaks not-he breathes not-death lies in his place.

And the first-born of Egypt are dying around;

'Tis a sigh 'tis a moan and then slumber more sound: They but wake from their sleep, and their spirits have fledThey but wake into life, to repose with the dead.


And there lay the infant still smiling in death,
And scarce heav'd its breast as it yielded its breath;
And there lay the boy, yet in youth's budding bloom,
With the calmness of sleep-but the hue of the tomb!
And there fell the youth in the pride of his prime ;
In the morning of life-in the spring-tide of crime :
And unnerv'd, is that arm and fast close'd is that eye,
And cold is that bosom which once beat so high.

And the fond mother's hope, and the fond father's trust;
And the widow's sole stay, are returning to dust:
Egypt has not a place where there is not one dead,
From the proud monarch's palace to penury's shed.
And the hearths of that country are desolate now,
And the crown of her glory is struck from her brow:
But while proud Egypt trembles, all Israel is free-
Unfetter'd-unbound as the wave of the sea.


20. THE PURSUIT. PHARAOH'S HOST DROWNED. Exodus xii. 40-xiv.

After God had given further instructions relative to the keeping of the Passover, he commanded the Israelites to sanctify their first-born unto him, as a memorial of the destruction of the first-born of Egypt. Moses took with him from Egypt the bones of Joseph. And the Lord went before the people by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light.

The Egyptians repented that they had let the Israelites go, and Pharaoh and his host pursued them. They overtook them, encamping by the Red Sea, beside Pihahiroth. And when Pharaoh and his host of chariots drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord; and they said unto Moses, "Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians,

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