1. In this chapter are two plagues, plagues eight and nine. In plague eight the Lord gives the Egyptian king a warning, but in plague nine there is no recorded warning (more on this in chapter 11).
2. The eighth plague (locust) seems to garner in Pharaoh a response that was even more emphatic than the previous ones (10:16-17). Jewish teaching is of the sort that they declare that soon the king went running through the street calling for Moses and Aaron (Chumash, p. 340). Not only did the Egyptians learn who the Lord was, but the Israelites would learn in a greater way as well (10:2). Already, what vegetation was present had been destroyed in the rain, hail, and fire. Only that which was yet in the ground survived (9:31-32), now it was on the verge of destruction. Thoughtful servants to the king new this (10:7). Appealing to the king to be reasonable he seeks an audience with the Lord’s servants. However, because he did not get what he wanted he falsely accuses them and kicks them out of his presence (10:7-11). The plague comes and now Egypt has greater trouble on its hands; “An adult locust weighs a maximum of two grams and its combined destructive force can leave thousands of people with famine for years’” (Davis, p. 128).
3. The ninth plague was the plague of darkness. A darkness that no man living today has experienced, a darkness that could be felt (10:21). “Remembering that the chief god of the Egyptians, Ra, was the sun god. The heart of every Egyptian would be crushed as they cried for three days to their powerless and puny idol. But, no doubt, as some do today, when the respite came and light returned they probably looked to Ra as the victor. But Pharaoh was shaken” (Williams, p. 91).
4. The evolution of the Egyptian king’s attitude toward God and Moses. Pharaoh was hardened when snakes were present (7:13). Pharaoh was hardened when blood was present (7:23). Pharaoh was hardened, but gave room for the fact he might be wrong (8:15, 8). Pharaoh was hardened even though God’s finger was present (8:19). Pharaoh was hardened even though he was willing to let Israel go and sacrifice within the land (8:32, 25). Pharaoh was hardened even though a distinction was made between the two nations (9:7). Pharaoh was hardened even though his court was not able to be in his presence (9:11-12). Pharaoh was hardened when he publically acknowledged that he sinned (9:35, 27). Pharaoh was hardened though he recognized that Egypt was destroyed and that he had sinned against both Moses and the Lord (10:20, 7, 16-17). Pharaoh was hardened even though the greatest of the Egyptian gods was “put out” for three days (10:27, 22). Soon, Pharaoh would be broken.
5. Application: What will it take for us before we are broken? Many opportunities were given to the king, and many opportunities have been given us.