[Exodus 11] The Final Plague on Egypt: After nine plagues have devastated the nation, Pharaoh is yet unrepentant. The stage is now set for a final cataclysmic event wherein God informs Moses that all the firstborn of Egypt will die. What is the king’s response? To harden his heart once again to his own hurt.
[Exo 11:1-10 KJV] 1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one plague [more] upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence: when he shall let [you] go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether. 2 Speak now in the ears of the people, and let every man borrow of his neighbour, and every woman of her neighbour, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold. 3 And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses [was] very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants, and in the sight of the people. 4 And Moses said, Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: 5 And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that [is] behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts. 6 And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more. 7 But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel. 8 And all these thy servants shall come down unto me, and bow down themselves unto me, saying, Get thee out, and all the people that follow thee: and after that I will go out. And he went out from Pharaoh in a great anger. 9 And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt. 10 And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land.
After nine refusals and nine plagues, Pharaoh will now endure one final chastising from the Lord for his refusal to let the people God. The promise of God to Pharaoh is that not only will Pharaoh let them go but will surely “thrust you out altogether…” The people will go out indeed, but they will not go out empty (v. 2). They are to borrow from the neighboring Egyptians the bounty of the nation in jewels, gold, silver, and every precious thing. Why was this necessary? To show that the gospel is not just a gospel of eternal reward but also of temporal blessing. The wealth of the nation that the Israelites receive will be used not only to enrich them personally but to build a lavish tent of Tabernacle in the Wilderness where the Lord will meet with them in His glory.
God prepares the people for what will happen, but He also gives the time “about midnight” so that none will be caught in the streets when the death angel passes over to claim the lives of the firstborn of Egypt. This then is the final plague that the firstborn of every family will die, of men and beast whereupon the blood, sprinkled of hyssop on the doorposts is not found. The cry will be great (v. 6) as none like it before, neither after in all of human history. Why will God go to these great lengths and show such dread judgments? In v. 7, it is to make clear that the Lord puts a difference between the Egyptians (a type of the world) and the Israelites (a type of the believer).
In v. 8, Moses declares these things to Pharaoh and prophesies that all of Pharaoh haughty servants will bow at his sandaled feet, and after that, Moses will lead the people to their release from bondage. Having said thus, Moses turns his back and leaves the king’s court in great fury. In the following verse, the Lord informs Moses that though Pharaoh was warned, the king will not relent. Why? “That my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.” Thus the Lord hardens Pharaoh’s heart in this also, and the stage is set for the final climactic devastation on the nation of Egypt and its unrepentant king.
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