10:4 But if you refuse to release my people, I am going to bring 1 locusts 2 into your territory 3 tomorrow. 10:5 They will cover 4 the surface 5 of the earth, so that you 6 will be unable to see the ground. They will eat the remainder of what escaped 7 – what is left over 8 for you – from the hail, and they will eat every tree that grows for you from the field. 10:6 They will fill your houses, the houses of your servants, and all the houses of Egypt, such as 9 neither 10 your fathers nor your grandfathers have seen since they have been 11 in the land until this day!’” Then Moses 12 turned and went out from Pharaoh.
10:13 So Moses extended his staff over the land of Egypt, and then the Lord 13 brought 14 an east wind on the land all that day and all night. 15 The morning came, 16 and the east wind had brought up 17 the locusts! 10:14 The locusts went up over all the land of Egypt and settled down in all the territory 18 of Egypt. It was very severe; 19 there had been no locusts like them before, nor will there be such ever again. 20 10:15 They covered 21 the surface 22 of all the ground, so that the ground became dark with them, 23 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 הִנְנִי (hinni) before the active participle מֵבִיא (mevi’) is the imminent future construction: “I am about to bring” or “I am going to bring” – precisely, “here I am bringing.”
2 tn One of the words for “locusts” in the Bible is אַרְבֶּה (’arbeh), which comes from רָבָה (ravah, “to be much, many”). It was used for locusts because of their immense numbers.
3 tn Heb “within your border.”
4 tn The verbs describing the locusts are singular because it is a swarm or plague of locusts. This verb (וְכִסָּה, vÿkhissah, “cover”) is a Piel perfect with a vav consecutive; it carries the same future nuance as the participle before it.
6 tn The text has לִרְאֹת וְלֹא יוּכַל (vÿlo’ yukhal lir’ot, “and he will not be able to see”). The verb has no expressed subjects. The clause might, therefore, be given a passive translation: “so that [it] cannot be seen.” The whole clause is the result of the previous statement.
7 sn As the next phrase explains “what escaped” refers to what the previous plague did not destroy. The locusts will devour everything, because there will not be much left from the other plagues for them to eat.
8 tn הַנִּשְׁאֶרֶת (hannish’eret) parallels (by apposition) and adds further emphasis to the preceding two words; it is the Niphal participle, meaning “that which is left over.”
9 tn The relative pronoun אֲשֶׁר (’asher) is occasionally used as a comparative conjunction (see GKC 499 §161.b).
10 tn Heb “which your fathers have not seen, nor your fathers’ fathers.”
11 tn The Hebrew construction מִיּוֹם הֱיוֹתָם (miyyom heyotam, “from the day of their being”). The statement essentially says that no one, even the elderly, could remember seeing a plague of locusts like this. In addition, see B. Childs, “A Study of the Formula, ‘Until This Day,’” JBL 82 (1963).
12 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Moses) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
13 tn The clause begins וַיהוָה (va’adonay [vayhvah], “Now Yahweh….”). In contrast to a normal sequence, this beginning focuses attention on Yahweh as the subject of the verb.
14 tn The verb נָהַג (nahag) means “drive, conduct.” It is elsewhere used for driving sheep, leading armies, or leading in processions.
15 tn Heb “and all the night.”
16 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!
17 tn The verb here is a past perfect, indicting that the locusts had arrived before the day came.
18 tn Heb “border.”
19 tn This is an interpretive translation. The clause simply has כָּבֵד מְאֹד (kaved mÿ’od), the stative verb with the adverb – “it was very heavy.” The description prepares for the following statement about the uniqueness of this locust infestation.
20 tn Heb “after them.”
21 tn Heb “and they covered.”
23 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.