19. Pharaoh king of Egypt, and his servants, and his princes, and all his people;
19. Pharaoni (pendit enim a superiori versu quod propinaverit calicem Pharaoni,) regi Egyptio, servis ejus et principibus ejus et toti ejus populo;
It may here be asked, why he connects Pharaoh with the Jews, and assigns the second place to the Egyptians rather than to other nations? The reason is evident, -- because the Jews expected deliverance from them; and the cause of their irreclaimable obstinacy was, that they could not be removed from that false confidence by which the devil had once fascinated them. They departed from God by making the Egyptians their friends; and when they found themselves unequal to the Assyrians, they turned their hopes to the Egyptians rather than to God; the prophets remonstrated with them, but with no success.
As, then, the occasion of ruin to the chosen people was Egypt, and as Pharaoh was, as it were, the fountain and cause of destruction to Jerusalem, as well as to the whole people, rightly does the Prophet, after having spoken of Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, immediately mention Pharaoh in the second place; for he was a friend to the Jews, and they were so connected together that they were necessarily drawn together into destruction; for they had corrupted one another, and encouraged one another in impiety, and with united minds and confederate hearts kindled God's wrath against themselves.1 The Prophet, then, could not have spoken of the Jews by themselves, but was under the necessity of connecting the Egyptians with them, for the state of both people was the same.
Grant, Almighty God, that as we cease not to abuse thy paternal kindness, that when thou sparest us for a time, it is made by us the occasion of more audacity and liberty in sin, -- O grant that we may be so subdued by thy scourges as to return without delay to thee, and to seek reconciliation with thee through the blood of thine only-begotten Son, and also to be so displeased with our vices, that we may from the heart submit to thee, so as to be governed by thy Holy Spirit, until, having been cleansed from all our filth, we shall come to that blessed glory which thou hast prepared for us in heaven, and which has been obtained for us by the blood of the same, thy Son Jesus Christ. -- Amen.
1 Gataker observes that servants, princes, and people are mentioned together with the king, in order to preclude every hope of escape; for the king might have been removed, and the country left without being much disturbed. -- Ed.
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