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Exodus 11:1-3

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Exodus 11:1
  • Exodus 11:2
  • Exodus 11:3

The book of Exodus is the second book of the Torah (“law”). It continues the story of Genesis concerning the migration of the family of Jacob (the Israelites) to Egypt (Genesis 50). It describes the commissioning of Moses and Aaron as God’s representatives on earth to accomplish God’s deliverance of His people from slavery in Egypt and lead them to the Promised Land (the land of Canaan). It also relates the miraculous deliverance from Egypt beginning with the plagues on Egypt and the crossing of the Red Sea. It then describes the journey to Mount Sinai and the establishment of the Mosaic covenant with the Israelites. The last part of the book involves the specifications and building of the tabernacle – the place where the Lord Himself dwelt amongst His people.

In the book of Exodus, the focus shifts to the deliverance of God’s people.


The three cycles of plagues were now complete. The land of the Egyptians, as well as their economy and way of life, lay in ruins. Suffering, fear, and utter discouragement must have been pervasive. Neither Pharaoh, his servants, nor his priests, could do anything to prevent it or control it in any way.

 

The account of the tenth (and last) plague on Egypt, the plague of death of the firstborn, is described in 11:1 through 12:36. Chapter 11 looks back to what has already happened and at the same time looks forward to what is about to happen.

 

Chapter 11 can be outlined as follows:

  • The Next Plague Told to Moses (11:1 – 3)
  • The Next Plague Told to Pharaoh (11:4 – 8)
  • Results of the Nine Plagues (11:9 – 10)

Verses 1 – 3 contain the LORD’s resolve to bring the last and most serious plague. The nature of the plague was not specified here, just the aftermath of the plague. The LORD told Moses that the Israelites would not just be allowed to leave Egypt after this plague, they would be driven out altogether. The Egyptians are enthusiastic that the plagues stop by any means. They even give their Israelite neighbors their gold and silver to entice them to leave. Even Moses would be greatly admired by the Egyptian people, (possible exception being Pharaoh, who is omitted from the list).

To convey His intentions, the Lord said to Moses several things in verses 1 – 2. First, He revealed that one more plague I will bring on Pharaoh and on Egypt. The first nine were a prelude to this one. Next, He said that the result of the plague would be that after that he will let you go from here. But this time, the LORD says when he lets you go, he will surely drive you out from here completely. Pharaoh would tell them to go and not come back. All of the Israelites would leave along with their livestock, Pharaoh will want them out of Egypt completely.

But before they were to leave, Moses was to speak now in the hearing of the people. Each man was to ask from his neighbor and each woman from her neighbor for articles of silver and articles of gold. In other words, the Israelite people should go to their Egyptian neighbors and request gold and silver pieces from them. This treasure will prove to be a provision as well as a snare in their trek to the promised land.

Verse 3 appears  to be parenthetical. It seems to be a recollection concerning other side effects of the plagues that have already occurred. First, the Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. The Israelites were no longer looked down upon as despised by the Egyptians. Not only that, 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. The public image of Moses seemed to have changed from a disgraced, exiled former-Egyptian turned Israelite leader to a person with great power and integrity. The things that Moses predicted did happen. He was a man of his word. One person is not mentioned here, Pharaoh. It may be because Pharaoh still looked upon Moses with disdain. He likely still considered himself to be divine, and above all making him by nature superior to Moses as well as the LORD. This attitude was going to cost him dearly in his very near future.

Biblical Text

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. 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.” 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.

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