A Final Plague Threatened
11 The LORD said to Moses, “Yet one plague more I will bring upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will drive you away completely. Speak now in the hearing of the people, that they ask, every man of his neighbor and every woman of her neighbor, for silver and gold jewelry.” And the LORD gave the people favor 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.
So Moses said, “Thus says the LORD: ‘About midnight I will go out in the midst of Egypt, and every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the cattle. There shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there has never been, nor ever will be again. But not a dog shall growl against any of the people of Israel, either man or beast, that you may know that the LORD makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.’ And all these your servants shall come down to me and bow down to me, saying, ‘Get out, you and all the people who follow you.’ And after that I will go out.” And he went out from Pharaoh in hot anger. Then the LORD said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.”
Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh, and the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the people of Israel go out of his land.
Exodus 11 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Let’s revisit a moment earlier in Moses’ calling. If you recall, when God showed up at the burning bush it was a moment of sheer terror. We read he hid his face because of being afraid. God had heard the cries of the people and was going to deliver them from their bondage. Then things turned. God called Moses to be their deliverer. The excuses came tumbling out of his mouth.
“Who am I that should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelite’s out?”
“What happens if the Israelite’s don’t listen to me?”
“What if they don’t believe me?”
“I’ve never been eloquent and am slow of speech and tongue.”
Finally, the ultimate statement – “Send someone else to do it.”
In each question or statement Moses gave, God had a tremendous rebuttal. He would be with him. He would help him speak the things needed. He would strengthen him. He would cause favor with the people and they would listen to him.
Timidly I imagine as his feet walked the sands back to where he had escaped from 40 years prior, God did all these things.
And to me, this is what makes chapter 11 so incredible. Here we read of a far different man than what he started off as. As he lays out the final plague coming against the entire Egyptian people, Moses is confident, direct, angry at what Pharaoh’s hard-heartedness will cost the people of Egypt. Oh, this is not the same man! I have reread his interaction with Pharaoh now several times because it is so jaw-dropping and bold.
The reality is God transformed Moses through this entire ordeal. He took a man timid and afraid and through their ongoing relationship and Moses’ reliance upon Him, he became this amazing man of God! The transforming work of Jesus in our own lives is exactly the same. When we embrace what calling He has given us.
When we wrestle through our weaknesses and excuses. When we take seriously where God is leading – He does a work unseen to human sight. He does a work deep within where our confidence rests solely on Him. Our wisdom and discernment in the calling we have are freely given.
You have a calling. What are you waiting for? Moses’ story is a testament of the Creator taking a keen interest in the lives we live, providing what we need in every situation, and forging us forward to the purpose He has upon our lives.
Exodus 11 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
It’s agreed upon by scholars that the first three verses of this chapter be read in the past tense. This means as the plague of darkness swept over the land, God began to prime Moses and the Israelites for their departure from Egypt. They were not only going to depart Egypt but plunder them (more on this in chapter 12).
The reason God was going to take silver and gold from the Egyptians was because it was the only means to stored value. Coinage would not come until 625 BC, so this gold and silver would establish Israel with wealth for the future. An ancient Egyptian necklace or bracelet was thick and heavy, sometimes weighing nearly 50 pounds!
Why would the Egyptian people freely give up their wealth to the Israelites? First and foremost, because God had willed it to happen. Secondly, because they had great respect and reverence for Moses. This is a man who has proven to them, (through plagues and natural wonders) that God is the only all-powerful and sovereign God.
You would think they would hate Moses for all the damage that was done, but in reality, they probably were more upset with Pharaoh for being so stubborn. In the end, Israel would triumph on many levels in their departure from Egypt but all the glory would go back to the Lord.