10:1 ¶ And the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him: 2 And that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son’s son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am the LORD. 3 And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me. 4 Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, to morrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast: 5 And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth: and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field: 6 And they shall fill thy houses, and the houses of all thy servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians; which neither thy fathers, nor thy fathers’ fathers have seen, since the day that they were upon the earth unto this day. And he turned himself, and went out from Pharaoh. 7 And Pharaoh’s servants said unto him, How long shall this man be a snare unto us? let the men go, that they may serve the LORD their God: knowest thou not yet that Egypt is destroyed? 8 And Moses and Aaron were brought again unto Pharaoh: and he said unto them, Go, serve the LORD your God: but who are they that shall go? 9 And Moses said, We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast unto the LORD. 10 And he said unto them, Let the LORD be so with you, as I will let you go, and your little ones: look to it; for evil is before you. 11 Not so: go now ye that are men, and serve the LORD; for that ye did desire. And they were driven out from Pharaoh’s presence.
Verse two of chapter ten gives us one of the reasons for what is happening. God has an eye on history. These plagues on Egypt are a testimony for future generations. Christians should look to these events to understand God’s power and to have their faith confirmed in part.
Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Sadly, the Hebrews will not honor God’s commission regarding teaching, although technically for the hyperliteralist they did honor the command through the second generation. Of course, common sense tells us that God wanted the teaching done in every generation but, then, hyperliteralists aren’t possessed of much common sense.
Judges 2:7 And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, that he did for Israel...10 And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.
In verse 4 we have the promise of a plague of locusts to enter Egypt’s border which is the definition of the word coast in the Bible.
Numbers 21:13 From thence they removed, and pitched on the other side of Arnon, which is in the wilderness that cometh out of the coasts of the Amorites: for Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites.
Numbers 22:36 And when Balak heard that Balaam was come, he went out to meet him unto a city of Moab, which is in the border of Arnon, which is in the utmost coast.
The National Geographic website explains that locusts are related to grasshoppers and look very much alike but their behavior is much different. While locusts are solitary insects like grasshoppers they have a phase they can go through which is called the, “gregarious phase.” They can, under the right environmental conditions, with plenty of food and conditions ripe for breeding, grow into, “thick, mobile, ravenous swarms,” that can destroy crops and cause major agricultural damage, famine, and starvation.(3) This swarm of locusts will be unlike anything anyone has ever experienced before so there is no use trying to find a comparison with swarms of locusts you read about in the news today. God is working through these creatures as He works through men and women.
Solomon, in Proverbs, makes a statement about four types of creatures that goes against all modern concepts, such as evolution, in ascribing personhood, which is based on self-identity, and wisdom, which is a synonym for understanding, to specific creatures which we have been taught are not much more than simple and annoying biological machines. People, folk, and going out by bands, a term used again when talking about the Roman military units or a group of people, all imply something more than the modernist and the evolutionist give them credit for. Is the following simply metaphorical speech, an anthropomorphism, or describing something with deeper meaning?
Proverbs 30:24 ¶ There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise: 25 The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer; 26 The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks; 27 The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands; 28 The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings’ palaces.
We all play our part in the bundle of life (1Samuel 25:29).
After the counsel of Pharaoh’s servants to let the Hebrew men only leave, the Pharaoh calls them again and tells them he will let the men go to worship, leaving their families. That is the limit of his concession at this point, to let the men go to worship after the advice of his servants, probably not meaning domestic servants but ministers and advisers.
1Kings 10:5 And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her.
Esther 6:3 And the king said, What honour and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this? Then said the king’s servants that ministered unto him, There is nothing done for him.
Moses and Aaron are then driven from the Pharaoh’s presence. A rod turned into a serpent, infestations of frogs, lice, flies, a great plague among the Egyptian cattle, boils on the Egyptians themselves, hail mingled with thunder and lightning and fire and now a gigantic swarm of locusts. A nation is being brought to its knees by God and still, its leader will not listen or yield. There is always a question isn’t there? God has not spoken directly to Pharaoh but through Moses and Aaron and these terrifying signs. Pride is a great blinding mechanism, though. Has it been in your life?
(3) National Geographic Society, “Locusts.” http://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/group/locusts/