Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Exodus
Book: Exodus
Chapter: 11

God's last instructions to Moses respecting Pharaoh and the
Egyptians. (1-3) The Death of the First-born threatened. (4-10)

1-3 A secret Revelation was made to Moses while in the presence
of Pharaoh, that he might give warning of the last dreadful
Judgment, before he went out. This was the last Day of the
servitude of Israel; they were about to go away. Their masters,
who had abused them in their work, would have sent them away
empty; but God provided that the labourers should not lose their
hire, and ordered them to demand it now, at their departure, and
it was given to them. God will right the injured, who in humble
silence commit their cause to him; and none are losers at last
By patient suffering. The Lord gave them favour in the sight of
the Egyptians, By making it appear how much he favoured them. He
also changed the Spirit of the Egyptians toward them, and made
them to be pitied of their oppressors. Those that honour God, he
will honour.

4-10 The Death of all the First-born in Egypt at once: this
Plague had been the first threatened, but is last executed. See
how slow God is to wrath. The Plague is foretold, the time is
fixed; all their First-born should sleep the sleep of Death, not
silently, but So as to rouse the families at midnight. The
Prince was not too high to be reached By it, nor the slaves at
the Mill too low to be noticed. While angels slew the Egyptians,
not So much as a Dog should bark at any of the children of
Israel. It is an Earnest of the difference there shall be in the
great Day, between God's people and his enemies. Did men know
what a difference God puts, and will Put to eternity, between
those that serve him and those that serve him not, religion
would not seem to them an indifferent thing; nor would they act
in it with So much carelessness as they do. When Moses had thus
delivered his message, he went out from Pharaoh in great Anger
at his obstinacy; though he was the meekest of the men of the
Earth. The Scripture has foretold the unbelief of many who hear
the Gospel, that it might not be a surprise or stumbling-block
to us, Ro 10:16. Let us never think the worse of the Gospel of
Christ for the slights men Put upon it. Pharaoh was hardened,
yet he was compelled to abate his stern and haughty demands,
till the Israelites got full Freedom. In like manner the people
of God will find that every struggle against their spiritual
Adversary, made in the might of Jesus Christ, every attempt to
overcome him By the Blood of the Lamb, and every desire to
attain increasing likeness and Love to that Lamb, will be
rewarded By increasing Freedom from the enemy of souls.