Exodus 11 Commentary

To go directly to that verse

Irving Jensen (Online) - Used by Permission
Click to Enlarge
View Chuck Swindoll's chart of Exodus
Summary Chart of
The Book of Exodus
Redemption from Egypt
Ex 1:1-18:27
Revelation from God
Ex 19:1-40:38
Getting Israel Out of Egypt Getting Egypt Out of Israel!
Narration Legislation
Birth of
Ex 1-2
Call of
Ex 3-6
Conflict with Pharaoh
Ex 7-10
Ex 11-12
Ex 13-15
Ex 16-18
Ex 19-24
Ex 25-31
Ex 32-34
Ex 35-40
Subjection Redemption Instruction
Suffering and Liberation
of People of God
of God
of God
Moses and
Burdens of Israel
Pharaoh and
Plagues Upon Egypt
Red Sea
and Oppression
and Provision
Law Pattern
and Construction
Israel in Egypt
Ex 1:1-13:16
Israel to Sinai
Ex 13:17-18:27
Israel at Sinai
Ex 19:1-40:38
God's People
God's Grace
in Redemption
God's Glory
in Worship
430 Years

(15% of Exodus)
2 Months

(30% of Exodus)
Mt Sinai
10 Months

(55% of Exodus)
Jensen's Survey of the Old Testament - online

Click to Enlarge
Click for Excellent Map of Route of the Exodus
Click another Exodus from Egypt
Click for Events during the Sojourn at Kadesh-Barnea

human effort and failure divine power and triumph
word of promise work of fulfillment
a people chosen a people called
God’s electing mercy God’s electing manner
revelation of nationality realization of nationality

(from Believer's Study Bible)

Exodus 11:1  Now the LORD said to Moses, "One more plague I will bring on Pharaoh and on Egypt; after that he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will surely drive you out from here completely.

  • One more plague I will bring: Ex 9:14 Lev 26:21 De 4:34 1Sa 6:4 Job 10:17 Rev 16:9 
  • after that he will let you go: Ex 3:20 Ge 15:14 
  • he will surely drive you out Ex 12:31-39 


At first glance this chapter might not seem to make sense sense as in Exodus 10 Pharaoh says Moses will never see his face again but here it is clear he is in the presence of Pharaoh. J Ligon Duncan gives a good explanation of what is going on - If you look at Exodus 11:1-3, they basically serve as a parenthesis to explain to you the context of this particular announcement. Then in Exodus 11:4-8, the plague is actually announced in the presence of Pharaoh. All of this is happening before Moses leaves. You remember back in Exodus 10:28,29, Pharaoh said to Moses, "I’m never going to see your face again, and if I do I’m going to kill you." And Moses says, "You’re right. You’re not going to see my face again." Well before Moses has left the presence of Pharaoh, he has announced this tenth and final plague, and then he dismisses himself in great anger against Pharaoh. And then finally, in verses 9 and 10 we have a summary explanation for all of God’s dealings with Pharaoh in the plague."

Believer's Study Bible agrees writing that "These verses (Ex 11:1-3) should probably be understood as parenthetical, informing the readers about revelation given to Moses prior to this meeting with Pharaoh. Ex 11:4, then, continues the conversation from Ex 10:29."

Now the LORD said to Moses - There is no burning bush we cannot be sure exactly how (or even exactly when) Jehovah communicated with Moses, but clearly He gave him direct revelation of this final plague against Egypt. Could Jehovah have spoken to Moses while he was still in Pharaoh's court? Of course He could. 

One more plague I will bring on Pharaoh and on EgyptPlague is not maggephah but nega which is used first in Ge 12:17+ where "the LORD struck Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife." This is the only use of nega in Exodus. The plague would directly fall on Pharaoh who would lose his firstborn. But it was also fall on all the families of Egypt.  Note the phrase I will bring indicating Jehovah Himself would carry out this plague. Jehovah is saying He is sovereign and as we learn, His sovereignty is over life and death. 

Plague (05061)(nega) is from a root (ng') that pertains when one thing physically contacts another which leads to the main meaning of root verb of "to touch." Thus the noun nega refers to a physical blow or punishment (1 Ki 8:37, 38, 2 Chr 6:28, 29), and usually refers to God as the deliverer of the punishment. Most of uses are found in Leviticus and relate to contagious diseases, especially the plague of leprosy. The most significant theologically significant use is found in Isaiah 53:8 "By oppression and judgment He (THE MESSIAH) was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered That He was cut off out of the land of the living (CRUCIFIED) For the transgression of my people (SUBSTITUTIONARY ATONEMENT), to whom the stroke (WE DESERVED THE BLOW!) was due? " 

Nega - 78x in 62v - affliction(2), another(1), assault(2), infection(30), mark(32), plague(6), plagues(1), stripes(1), stroke(1), strokes(1), wounds(1). - Gen. 12:17; Exod. 11:1; Lev. 13:2; Lev. 13:3; Lev. 13:4; Lev. 13:5; Lev. 13:6; Lev. 13:9; Lev. 13:12; Lev. 13:13; Lev. 13:17; Lev. 13:20; Lev. 13:22; Lev. 13:25; Lev. 13:27; Lev. 13:29; Lev. 13:30; Lev. 13:31; Lev. 13:32; Lev. 13:42; Lev. 13:43; Lev. 13:44; Lev. 13:45; Lev. 13:46; Lev. 13:47; Lev. 13:49; Lev. 13:50; Lev. 13:51; Lev. 13:52; Lev. 13:53; Lev. 13:54; Lev. 13:55; Lev. 13:56; Lev. 13:57; Lev. 13:58; Lev. 13:59; Lev. 14:3; Lev. 14:32; Lev. 14:34; Lev. 14:35; Lev. 14:36; Lev. 14:37; Lev. 14:39; Lev. 14:40; Lev. 14:43; Lev. 14:44; Lev. 14:48; Lev. 14:54; Deut. 17:8; Deut. 21:5; Deut. 24:8; 2 Sam. 7:14; 1 Ki. 8:37; 1 Ki. 8:38; 2 Chr. 6:28; 2 Chr. 6:29; Ps. 38:11; Ps. 39:10; Ps. 89:32; Ps. 91:10; Prov. 6:33; Isa. 53:8

After that he will let you go from here - Jehovah guarantees the Tenth Plague will result in Pharaoh letting Israel leave Egypt! This is reiteration of the promise Jehovah had earlier given Moses at the burning bush - “So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My miracles which I shall do in the midst of it; and after that he will let you go." (Ex 3:20+) In other words God had revealed to Moses all His miracles in Egypt which would result in Pharaoh letting Israel go. In other words for the getgo God promises Moses, you will be successful, you will win this battle. 

THOUGHT - God tells His children that while the enemy may seem powerful on earth and at times appears to be defeating God's children, in the final act, when the curtain rises, Jesus wins and since we are in Christ, we win. And the "plunder" of this victory will be enjoyed forever in eternity. 

Ex 3:19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not permit you to go, except under compulsion. (literally a strong hand)

Ex 6:1 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for under compulsion (strong hand) he shall let them go, and under compulsion (strong hand) he shall drive them out of his land."

When he lets you go, he will surely drive you out from here completely - Note lets you go and surely drive you out are synonymous ideas which serve to emphasize to Moses that Israel's release is absolutely certain. Drive out in Hebrew indicates Pharaoh would drive Israel out vigorously.  Jehovah prophesies Pharaoh would let Israel go, but not just "let" them go but actually expel them or throw them out. Pharaoh will be glad to be rid of you and thus it will be a total expulsion, but it would only be by compulsion (the Tenth Plague)!

Currid comments on why Jehovah uses the word completely - Remember that Pharaoh had previously said he would send the Hebrews out without their children (10:10), or at another time without flocks (10:24), and on an even earlier occasion that they could go provided they went not very far away (8:28). Now we see that the Israelites will leave Egypt in totality. Their departure will be without restriction or limitation.

NET Note - The last plague is the most severe; it is that for which all the others were preliminary warnings. Up to this point Yahweh had been showing his power to destroy Pharaoh, and now he would begin to do so by bringing death to the Egyptians, a death that would fulfill the warning of talionic judgment—“let my son go, or I will kill your son.” The passage records the announcement of the judgment first to Moses and then through Moses to Pharaoh. The first two verses record the word of God to Moses. This is followed by a parenthetical note about how God had elevated Moses and Israel in the eyes of Egypt (v. 3). Then there is the announcement to Pharaoh (vv. 4–8). This is followed by a parenthetical note on how God had hardened Pharaoh so that Yahweh would be elevated over him. It is somewhat problematic here that Moses is told not to see Pharaoh’s face again. On the one hand, given the nature of Pharaoh to blow hot and cold and to change his mind, it is not impossible for another meeting to have occurred. But Moses said he would not do it (v. 29). One solution some take is to say that the warning in 10:28 originally stood after chapter 11. A change like that is unwarranted, and without support. It may be that vv. 1–3 are parenthetical, so that the announcement in v. 4 follows closely after 10:29 in the chronology. The instruction to Moses in 11:1 might then have been given before he left Pharaoh or even before the interview in 10:24–29 took place. Another possibility, supported by usage in Akkadian, is that the expression “see my face” (and in v. 29 “see your face”) has to do with seeking to have an official royal audience (W. H. C. Propp, Exodus 1–18 [AB], 342). Pharaoh thinks that he is finished with Moses, but as 11:8 describes, Moses expects that in fact Moses will soon be the one in a position like that of royalty granting an audience to Egyptians.

Exodus 11:2  "Speak now in the hearing of the people that each man ask from his neighbor and each woman from her neighbor for articles of silver and articles of gold."

KJV  Exodus 11:2 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. 

  • Each man ask - : Ex 3:22 12:1,2,35,36 Ge 31:9 Job 27:16,17 Ps 24:1 105:37 Pr 13:22 Hag 2:8 Mt 20:15 
  • Articles of silver and articles of gold: Ex 32:2-4,24 35:22 Ezek 16:10-13 


This promise is a reiteration of the promise given to Abraham 430 years earlier "But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with many possessions." (Ge 15:14+)

Speak now in the hearing of the people From his neighbor and each woman from her neighbor for articles of silver and articles of gold - Jehovah had revealed this to Moses earlier at the burning bush encounter declaring that "every woman shall ask of her neighbor and the woman who lives in her house, articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; and you will put them on your sons and daughters. Thus you will plunder the Egyptians.” (Ex 3:22+) This will be fulfilled in Ex 12:36 where Moses says "the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have their request. Thus they plundered the Egyptians." The NET Note says "It is clear that God intended the Israelites to plunder the Egyptians, as they might a defeated enemy in war. They will not go out "empty." They will "plunder" Egypt." 

That each man ask - KJV has "let every man borrow." Of course that is not the best sense because Israel was leaving forever and the Egyptians would never see them again, so there would be no opportunity to pay back what they "borrowed." And the NKJV corrects this by simply says "let every man ask." However in light of the use of the word plunder in Ex 3:22 and Ex 12:36, when the text says that they will ask their neighbors for things, it implies "that they will be making  demands, and the Egyptians will respond like a defeated nation before victors."

Some commentators like W A Criswell feel that "Since the Egyptians had forced the Israelites to work through the years in bondage without compensation, God declared they should receive some fruit of their labor. Thus, they simply asked their taskmasters for things, and God opened the hearts of the Egyptians to their pleas." (Believer's Study Bible)

Henry Morris agrees that "This was the Lord's just way of requiring the Egyptians to pay for all the slave labor they had long been forcing upon the children of Israel." (Defender's Study Bible)

NET Note - The spoils that Israel takes are to be regarded as back wages or compensation for the oppression (see also Dt 15:13 = "“When you set him free, you shall not send him away empty-handed.").

THOUGHT - A secret revelation was made to Moses while in the presence of Pharaoh (ED: SOME THINK BEFORE HE MET WITH 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." (Matthew Henry)

Exodus 11:3  The LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Furthermore, the man Moses himself was greatly esteemed in the land of Egypt, both in the sight of Pharaoh's servants and in the sight of the people.

BGT  Exodus 11:3 κύριος δὲ ἔδωκεν τὴν χάριν τῷ λαῷ αὐτοῦ ἐναντίον τῶν Αἰγυπτίων καὶ ἔχρησαν αὐτοῖς καὶ ὁ ἄνθρωπος Μωυσῆς μέγας ἐγενήθη σφόδρα ἐναντίον τῶν Αἰγυπτίων καὶ ἐναντίον Φαραω καὶ ἐναντίον πάντων τῶν θεραπόντων αὐτοῦ

NET  Exodus 11:3 (Now the LORD granted the people favor with the Egyptians. Moreover, the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, respected by Pharaoh's servants and by the Egyptian people.)

LXE  Exodus 11:3 And the Lord gave his people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, and they lent to them; and the man Moses was very great before the Egyptians, and before Pharao, and before his servants.

NLT  Exodus 11:3 (Now the LORD had caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the people of Israel. And Moses was considered a very great man in the land of Egypt, respected by Pharaoh's officials and the Egyptian people alike.)

KJV  Exodus 11:3 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.

ESV  Exodus 11:3 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.

NIV  Exodus 11:3 (The LORD made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaoh's officials and by the people.)

ASV  Exodus 11:3 And Jehovah 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.

CSB  Exodus 11:3 The LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. And the man Moses was highly regarded in the land of Egypt by Pharaoh's officials and the people.

NKJ  Exodus 11:3 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.

NRS  Exodus 11:3 The LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover, Moses himself was a man of great importance in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's officials and in the sight of the people.

YLT  Exodus 11:3 And Jehovah giveth the grace of the people in the eyes of the Egyptians; also the man Moses is very great in the land of Egypt, in the eyes of the servants of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of the people.

  • the Lord: Ex 3:21 12:36 Ge 39:21 Ps 106:46 
  • Moses: Ge 12:2 2Sa 7:9 Es 9:4 Isa 60:14 Ac 7:22 Rev 3:9


Currid explains that "Exodus 11:3 is a parenthesis, a historical insertion by the author into the midst of the audience with Pharaoh....Just as God controls Pharaoh by hardening his heart, the Lord causes grace or favour to be bestowed on the Hebrews by the Egyptians."

THOUGHT – God’s promises are sure, even after 430 years. And that is true of His promises to believers. God’s delay is not denial.

The LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians - The LORD gave the people - This is the essence of grace when the LORD gives sinners anything good. Of course the word favor by itself also indicates grace. Anything good from Jehovah is grace because we all deserve death! It is not surprising that the Septuagint translates favor with charis the Greek word for grace. In simple terms grace is God's unmerited favor and certainly the Israelites (like ALL of us!) had done absolutely nothing to merit God's bestowal of favor, for as we discover later they had begun to adopt Egyptian idolatry rather than worship of God alone. And so even after the second generation had come into Canaan and possessed most of the land promised, on his death bed Joshua warned the Israelites to "put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD." (Josh 24:14) And in spite of having corrupted themselves with idols in Egypt we see Jehovah gave the people favor. Ultimately, He did this based upon His faithfulness to fulfill the promises in the Abrahamic Covenant

Favor (grace) (02580)(chen/hen from verb chanan = to favor) means favor (acts which display one’s fondness or compassion for another), grace (acts of kindness displaying one’s pleasure with an object, which benefit the object of pleasure), acceptance. The idea is that a person finds favor in the sight of another person or acceptance by the person. 

Furthermore, the man Moses himself was greatly esteemed in the land of Egypt, both in the sight of Pharaoh's servants and in the sight of the people - More literally greatly esteemed reads "the man Moses was very great." What a difference 9 plagues against the Egyptians made in the sight of the people of Israel! Recall that in Exodus 5:22 the Hebrew foremen who had met with Pharaoh about the worsening work conditions spoke to Moses and Aaron these harsh words "May the LORD look upon you and judge you, for you have made us odious in Pharaoh’s sight and in the sight of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to kill us.” The irony of their accusation is that in fact because of the 9 plagues, the Hebrews had become in essence "odious" to Pharoah, and the 10th plague would be the final straw (pun intended since they were punished in Exodus 5 by being forced to gather their own straw to make bricks)! 

Exodus 11:4  Moses said, "Thus says the LORD, 'About midnight I am going out into the midst of Egypt,

  • About midnight Ex 12:12,23,29 Job 34:20 Am 4:10 5:17 Mt 25:6 
  • I am going out: 2Sa 5:24 Ps 60:10 Isa 42:13 Mic 2:13 


Remember the context of Exodus 11:4-8 is that Moses is still in Pharaoh's court. 

Moses said, "Thus says the LORD, 'About midnight - The NAS does not say to whom Moses spoke in this verse, but as noted in Ex 11:8 he clearly was speaking to Pharaoh. And here Jehovah gives Pharaoh the specific timing of the Tenth Plague. Once again Pharaoh will know clearly it is the hand of Jehovah that miraculously brings about the Tenth Plague. About midnight is literally "about the middle of the night."

Currid on midnight - Night-time was an especially fearful time for the Egyptians. In the ‘Hymn to the Aten’, the author describes the dread of night because the sun-god has departed to the underworld and is no longer protecting the Egyptians. For the Hebrews, on the other hand, there is no fear, for ‘He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep’ (Ps. 121:4). Yahweh is awake, working, sustaining and protecting his people.

I am going out into the midst of Egypt - Notice Who is going to carry out this plague = I (Jehovah) am going..." It is God Himself Who will carry out this last plague!

Currid on I am going out - God says, ‘I am going out’ through Egypt. This verb is used commonly in the exodus account in relation to Israel’s departure from Egypt (e.g., Ex 7:5 "bring out the sons of Israel"). Because Pharaoh will not let God’s people go out of Egypt, God will go out in Egypt!

Exodus 11:5 and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of the Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the millstones; all the firstborn of the cattle as well.

  • all the firstborn: Ex 4:22-23 12:12,29 13:15 Ps 78:51 105:36 135:8 136:10 Heb 11:28 
  • who is behind the millstones: Jdg 16:21 Isa 47:2 La 5:13 Mt 24:41 


Recall the idea of plague means to touch, and here we see "the finger of God" touching the firstborn. 

and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die - All the firstborn would include even the firstborn of Israel, were God not to provide a way of escape for them! As we learn later "the battle is the LORD's" and here we see Jehovah will give the fatal blow to the gods of Egypt and to Pharaoh the representative of Satan. This Tenth Plague would be a foreshadowing of the final victory of Jehovah over Satan on the Cross, with the difference being that the firstborn who would die there would be God's only begotten Son! 

This is a fulfillment of the prophetic warning in Exodus 4:22

“Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Israel is My son, My firstborn. So I said to you, ‘Let My son go that he may serve Me’; but you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son, your firstborn.”’” 

From the firstborn of the Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the millstones - From the highest to the lowest and every family in between. 

All the firstborn of the cattle as well - Even the cattle would not escape death. Why animals? Recall that the Egyptians attributed divine characteristics the many of the animals. That they would not be spared in this plague clearly shows that Yahweh was sovereign over all the gods of Egypt. This would include household pets and sacred temple animals whose death would be viewed as a calamity!

Exodus 11:6  'Moreover, there shall be a great cry in all the land of Egypt, such as there has not been before and such as shall never be again.

  • Ex 3:7 12:30 Pr 21:13 Isa 15:4,5,8 Jer 31:15 La 3:8 Am 5:17 Zep 1:10 Lu 13:28 Rev 6:16,17 18:18,19 

'Moreover, there shall be a great cry in all the land of Egypt - There is an element of "poetic justice" in the word cry, for the same Hebrew word was used in Ex 3:7 where God said "have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters." And in Ex 3:9 “Now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them." And so in the Tenth Plague we see that the oppressors are oppressed and also let out a great cry. Note in all the land of Egypt indicates this plague will impact all of the nation. This is not weeping but a loud cry for help from one in dire straits, as would be the case with the loss of their firstborn. Currid suggests that "Egypt will call upon its gods for aid, but they will remain silent." Israel cried to Yahweh (Ex 3:7) and he answered. Egypt cried to their gods who were not gods and their cry went unanswered. 

Cry (06818)(tseaqah) refers to a cry, an outcry, a call for help, a cry of wailing and despair. E.g., tseaqah described the cries of outrage regarding sin that went up against Sodom and Gomorrah (Ge 18:21; Ge 19:13). The Septuagint translates tseaqah in this passage with krauge from krazo = clamor or cry = a word like "croak" ~ suggests a rough and guttural sound = croaking of ravens = croak or cry out with a loud, raucous voice like donkey in Job 6:5, childbirth Is 26:17, war cry in Josh 6:16) can refer to a chorus of voices (one voice in Lk 1:42) speaking loudly at the same time (outcry, shout, clamor).

THOUGHT – Part of their cry was very likely to their false gods who they thought had powers of life and death (cf Ex 12:12). This would show the futility of their idols. If we put our trust in idols (money, success, power, etc), we will be disappointed for ultimately they will all fail. The only trustworthy One is Jesus Who will never fail us.

Such as there has not been before and such as shall never be again - Egypt would never be smitten by Jehovah again with such a devastating blow. 

THOUGHT - The spiritual counterpart of the event is clear. All must die because of sin (cf. Ezek. 18:4, 20; Rom. 6:23). And all do die, either in their sins under the judgment of God personally, or in the person of their Representative, their covenantal Head, the Lord Jesus Christ. The unsaved die in their sins; the saved in their Substitute. And further, having died in their Substitute, heaven has no further claims against them. They are free forever. What a magnificent salvation we have through the Substitute provided for the elect through grace! Oh! may he have our gratitude and loving service forever.

Exodus 11:7  'But against any of the sons of Israel a dog will not even bark, whether against man or beast, that you may understand how the LORD makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.'

Currid - ‘But for all the children of Israel not a dog will growl against a man or an animal, in order that you might know that Yahweh makes a distinction between Egypt and between Israel.’

  • dog: Jos 10:21 Job 5:16 
  • the LORD makes a distinction: Ex 7:22 10:23 Mal 3:18 1Co 4:7 

'But against any of the sons of Israel a dog will not even bark whether against man or beast - Will not even bark is actually two words "sharpen" and "tongue." This expression describes a dog growling. A barking dog is disturbed, but in Goshen there was no disturbance as there was throughout the land of Egypt. 

That - This introduces the purpose of the previous statement. 

you may understand how the LORD makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel - The NLT paraphrase helps understand - "But among the Israelites it will be so peaceful that not even a dog will bark. Then you will know that the LORD makes a distinction between the Egyptians and the Israelites." (Ex 11:7NLT)

As Currid says "God sets apart a people (ISRAEL) by his own will and desire. Israel, by no means of its own merit or goodness, is the recipient of Yahweh’s favour and grace."

That this may be a subtle reference to the god Anubis is plausible, but again it could have been a little more drawn out. Anubis’ form is either a dog or jackal (a point of debate with some scholars) (Lurker 1984: 28). What is interesting is that Anubis guarded mummies of kings from evil forces at night. This is a point that adds to the interest of the death plague having occurred at night. For if Anubis is incompetent against Yahweh, what reassurance is there of Anubis’ protection over the firstborn of Pharaoh, who died during the nightly plague?

Distinction (06395)(palah) to be distinct, separate, set apart, to be different, to be selected, to be distinguished. To mark something as different from something else and to deal differently with it. All uses in OT - Exod. 8:22; Exod. 9:4; Exod. 11:7; Exod. 33:16; Ps. 4:3; Ps. 17:7; Ps. 139:14

Exodus 11:8  "All these your servants will come down to me and bow themselves before me, saying, 'Go 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.

KJV  Exodus 11:8 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.

ESV  Exodus 11:8 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.

NIV  Exodus 11:8 All these officials of yours will come to me, bowing down before me and saying, 'Go, you and all the people who follow you!' After that I will leave." Then Moses, hot with anger, left Pharaoh.

YLT  Exodus 11:8 and all these thy servants have come down unto me, and bowed themselves to me, saying, Go out, thou and all the people who are at thy feet; and afterwards I do go out;' -- and he goeth out from Pharaoh in the heat of anger.

  • All these your servants: Ex 12:31-33 Isa 49:23,26 Rev 3:9 
  • all the people who follow you: Jdg 4:10 8:5 1Ki 20:10 2Ki 3:9 *marg:
  • he went out from Pharaoh in hot anger  Nu 12:3 Dt 29:24 Dt 32:24 Ps 6:1 Eze 3:14 Da 3:19 Mk 3:5 


All these your servants will come down to me and bow themselves before me - Recall this is addressed to Pharaoh so the your servants refers to those of Pharaoh. Thus the NLT paraphrases it "All the officials of Egypt will run to me and fall to the ground before me  'Please leave!' they will beg. 'Hurry!" Pharaoh must have been stunned at this declaration that those who served and bowed down to him would one day bow down to Moses. Bow down is the Hebrew verb shachah which means to bow down, to prostrate oneself, to crouch, to fall down, to humbly beseech, to do reverence, to worship! The Septuagint translates it with the verb proskuneo which means to fall down and worship, throwing kisses with one's hands as one is bowing down and ultimately to kiss someone's feet, garment hem, or the ground in front of him; 

TECHNICAL NOTE - Bow down is in the Hithpael Stem which can be used to express an intensive type of action with a reflexive voice. The reflexive voice is used when the subject of the verb performs the verbal action upon itself. Picture these Egyptians prostrating themselves before Moses! 

THOUGHT - The idolatrous Egyptians would be forced to bow before this Jewish man because of the sovereign power of God. Does this not ring a bell, beloved. All of idol worshipping pagan world will be forced to bow down one day to another Jewish Man! Paul says it this way "or this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth," (Phil 2:9-10+)

Saying, 'Go out, you and all the people who follow you,' and after that I will go out." - All the people who follow you is literally "and all the people who are at your feet."

And he went out from Pharaoh in hot anger - Bob Marcaurelle asks "Why was Moses mad? He had just witnessed the spiritual suicide of a soul and knew this depraved man would carry many people to death with him including his own son. Look at Moses! This is righteous indignation—we see someone hurting others and it ought to make our blood boil. Our problem is we don't get mad unless they hurt us. Look at Pharaoh and remember this—you can harden your heart so much that neither God's tender love or His terrible threats can touch you. Pharaoh, who had seen what God had done, knew his firstborn son's life was on the line. But he didn't care. You and I, if we choose, can get just that angry at God and just that deaf to His warnings. You'd better listen to God, my friend, while you still hear His voice. The day can come when you can't." (Sermon)

Anger (nose, nostril, wrath) (0639)(aph from anaph = to breathe hard, to be angry) is a masculine noun meaning nose, nostril, snout (pigs - Pr 11:22), face (2Sa 25:23) and anger. The Septuagint translates aph with thumos meaning (from thuo = move violently, rush along) which describes a strong passion of the soul or mind, an anger which boils up and erupts. Uses in Exodus - Exod. 4:14; Exod. 11:8; Exod. 15:8; Exod. 22:24; Exod. 32:10; Exod. 32:11; Exod. 32:12; Exod. 32:19; Exod. 32:22; Exod. 34:6

Exodus 11:9  Then the LORD said to Moses, "Pharaoh will not listen to you, so that My wonders will be multiplied in the land of Egypt."

  • Pharaoh: Ex 3:19 7:4 10:1 Ro 9:16-18 
  • wonders: Ex 7:3 


Then the LORD said to Moses, "Pharaoh will not listen to you - This serves as summary statement of the 9 plagues.

So that - This term of purpose introduces the purpose of Pharaoh's refusal to listen to Moses.

My wonders will be multiplied in the land of Egypt - Ultimately Jehovah's 9 plagues or wonders being multiplied is about magnifying the power and the majesty of Yahweh over all the impotent false gods of Egypt. 

Exodus 11:10 Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh; yet the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the sons of Israel go out of his land.

  • the Lord: Ex 4:21 7:13,14 10:20,27 De 2:30 1Sa 6:6 Job 9:4 Ro 2:4,5 9:22 


Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh - This is a summary of all the previous 9 plagues. Pharaoh had a front row seat to all of them. 

Yet - Term of contrast. Contrast between the clear evidence of God's sovereignty and Pharaoh's persistent stubbornness. 

The LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the sons of Israel go out of his land - Pharaoh saw unequivocal evidence of Jehovah's power but refused to budge. While this text says LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart clearly Pharaoh had a role in hardening his own heart as we have seen in the previous plagues (See Summary of the Hardening of Pharaoh's Heart - those highlighted in purple = the LORD produced the hardening). 

THOUGHT - Pharaoh's stubborn hardening of his heart after even 9 plagues is a picture of godless men (so  called "earth dwellers") described by John in the Revelation of Jesus Christ. After Seven Seal Judgments, Seven Trumpet Judgments and Seven Bowl Judgments the Christ rejecting world will remain adamantly against God to the very end. And so we should not be surprised to read in Revelation 16 (the Bowl Judgments, the final outpouring of God's Wrath on planet earth). 

Revelation 16:8+ The fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun, and it was given to it to scorch men with fire. 9 Men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues, and they did not repent so as to give Him glory.  10 Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became darkened; and they gnawed their tongues because of pain, 11 and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they did not repent of their deeds. ...Rev 16:21 And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe.

G Campbell Morgan - Ex. 11:10

This is the last declaration of this kind in connection with the plagues, prefacing the story of the slaying of the firstborn. The same idea is found again in Ex 14:4, 8, 17. In a previous note (on Exodus  5:1), we said that the acts of God in judgment were the ratification of the acts and attitudes of this man. We may at this point consider that fact. In the course of the story the words harden and hardened often occur. By marginal readings the Revised Version has sought to show a difference in meaning. As a matter of fact, three Hebrew words are all translated in the same way. To understand the story they must be distinguished. The first of these (chazaq) means to make strong. This the Revisers have always indicated in the margin. The second- (kadad) means to make heavy, with the idea of stupidity. The third (qadshdh) means to make hard, in the sense of cruelty. Throughout the story, the first is used to described the action of God (Ex 4:21; 7:13, 22; 8:19; 9:12, 35; 10:20, 27; 11:10; 14:4, 8, 17). It is never employed to describe the act of Pharaoh. It is once used to describe the anxiety of the Egyptians that the Israelites should go (Ex 12:33), and there is rendered urgent. The second occurs first as God's description of Pharaoh's condition (Ex 7:14) ; then twice of Pharaoh's act (Ex 8:5, 32); then as the historian's description of Pharaoh's condition (Ex 9:7); then again of Pharaoh's act (Ex 9:34); and finally to describe the act of God (to. 1). The third is only found twice; once it describes the act of God (Ex 7:3) ; and once to describe the method of Pharaoh's refusal (Ex 13:15). A careful examination will show that God's activity was that of strengthening this man, and so leaving him to act. He never hardened him in the sense of rendering him stupid, until he had persisted in that action himself beyond remedy. These distinctions are of the utmost importance.