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Exodus 10:12-15

Context

10:12 The Lord said to Moses, “Extend your hand over the land of Egypt for 1  the locusts, that they may come up over the land of Egypt and eat everything that grows 2  in the ground, everything that the hail has left.” 10:13 So Moses extended his staff over the land of Egypt, and then the Lord 3  brought 4  an east wind on the land all that day and all night. 5  The morning came, 6  and the east wind had brought up 7  the locusts! 10:14 The locusts went up over all the land of Egypt and settled down in all the territory 8  of Egypt. It was very severe; 9  there had been no locusts like them before, nor will there be such ever again. 10  10:15 They covered 11  the surface 12  of all the ground, so that the ground became dark with them, 13  and they ate all the vegetation of the ground and all the fruit of the trees that the hail had left. Nothing green remained on the trees or on anything that grew in the fields throughout the whole land of Egypt.

1 tn The preposition בְּ (bet) is unexpected here. BDB 91 s.v. (the note at the end of the entry) says that in this case it can only be read as “with the locusts,” meaning that the locusts were thought to be implicit in Moses’ lifting up of his hand. However, BDB prefers to change the preposition to לְ (lamed).

2 tn The noun עֵשֶּׂב (’esev) normally would indicate cultivated grains, but in this context seems to indicate plants in general.

3 tn The clause begins וַיהוָה (vaadonay [vayhvah], “Now Yahweh….”). In contrast to a normal sequence, this beginning focuses attention on Yahweh as the subject of the verb.

4 tn The verb נָהַג (nahag) means “drive, conduct.” It is elsewhere used for driving sheep, leading armies, or leading in processions.

5 tn Heb “and all the night.”

6 tn The text does not here use ordinary circumstantial clause constructions; rather, Heb “the morning was, and the east wind carried the locusts.” It clearly means “when it was morning,” but the style chosen gives a more abrupt beginning to the plague, as if the reader is in the experience – and at morning, the locusts are there!

7 tn The verb here is a past perfect, indicting that the locusts had arrived before the day came.

8 tn Heb “border.”

9 tn This is an interpretive translation. The clause simply has כָּבֵד מְאֹד (kaved mÿod), the stative verb with the adverb – “it was very heavy.” The description prepares for the following statement about the uniqueness of this locust infestation.

10 tn Heb “after them.”

11 tn Heb “and they covered.”

12 tn Heb “eye,” an unusual expression (see v. 5; Num 22:5, 11).

13 tn The verb is וַתֶּחְשַׁךְ (vattekhshakh, “and it became dark”). The idea is that the ground had the color of the swarms of locusts that covered it.



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