Moses and Aaron return to Pharaoh at God’s instruction; and in verses 3-6 they tell him of the great destruction that the locusts are about to cause on the land because of his defiance of the Lord. In verse 7, his servants come to the same conclusion that his “magicians” did previously, and basically ask him how much longer he plans to keep this up and let the people suffer. So Pharaoh calls Moses and Aaron back in, but still he thinks he is the one that is in control, rather than the Lord, and tries granting them half-concession (v. 8-11). Partial obedience is no obedience where the Lord is concerned!
“So Moses stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt” (verse 13-15), and the destruction by the locusts is devastating. Pharaoh offers fake repentance; and the next plague – of darkness – makes foolish their worship of the sun, as the people of Israel enjoy light through it all (verse 23). Still, he tries partial obedience. But Moses, having now matured in the Lord, lets him know this is not acceptable in verses 25-26.
The events of God’s word as written in Hebrew are not always chronologically placed in succession; and some believe that the exchange between Pharaoh and Moses in 27-28 actually occurred during the warning about the tenth plague in 11:8. This seems to be given some credence by Moses’ statement in verse 29, “As you say! I will not see your face again.”
image © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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