A Short Study of Exodus 9:1-7

Exodus 9:1 Then the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh, and tell him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me.

Exodus 9:2 For if thou refuse to let them go, and wilt hold them still,

Exodus 9:3 Behold, the hand of the LORD is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very grevious murrain.

Exodus 9:4 And the LORD shall sever between the cattle of Israel and tye cattle of Egypt: and there shall nothing die of all that is the children’s of Israel.

Exodus 9:5 And the LORD appointed a set time, saying, To morrow the LORD shall do this thing in the land.

Exodus 9:6 And the LORD did that thing on the morrow, and all the cattle of Egypt died: but of thr cattle of the children of Israel died not one.

Exodus 9:7 And Pharaoh sent, and, behold, there was not one of the cattle of the Israelites dead. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did mit let the people go.

All of the plagues which God sent upon Egypt were but the figures of the spiritual plagues poured out upon this world to bring to pass the deliverance of God’s elect. God gathered His people in Goshen and there revealed to them His awful curse upon Egypt because of their sinful ways and unbelieving hearts. Even as He gathered them together in Goshen so He has gathered all His elect together in Christ and there by faith they are made to see the plagues of God poured out on unbelieving men. The fifth plague is a plague poured out upon the beasts. It has several applications to those who are given eyes to see.

First, it shows us the far reaching effects of sin. Sin not only brought about the fall of man but it tainted the whole universe in which he dwells. (Genesis 3:17-19, Job 25:5, 2nd Peter 3:10-12)

Secondly, the plague of God upon the beasts of Egypt declares God’s sovereign hand upon all things created to fulfill His covenant promises to Israel. “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope.” (Romans 8:19-20) Everything in the created universe is in some way connected to the glorious work of Christ in Redemption. (Colossians 1: 16-17)

Thirdly, God’s plague upon the beasts of Egypt plainly declares that God will not accept or respect the works of unbelieving men. Cain was very diligent and brought that which he labored to produce, but God had no respect of Cain or his offering. The beasts of Israel testify that their works are accepted through faith in the sacrificial Lamb.

Last, knowing what these plagues are sent to represent, I cannot help but believe that the whole of mankind is being represented here in these beasts. Nebuchadnezzar was made by an experience of grace to take his place with the beasts. God showed him that the only thing that separates him from the beasts is the sovereign purpose and grace of God. David said, “so foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.” (Psalms 73:22) All men are beasts because of the fall but not all men are cursed with a grievous murrain. This murrain was a deadly disease. Nothing survived it outside of Goshen. The plague of the beast is to demonstrate to Israel the plague of religion that is deadly to all but those who are gathered together in Christ. Beasts though they are, they are God’s beasts and He will preserve them and multiply them and take them into the Land of Promise.

D. Pruitt

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