« PreviousContinue »
THE EIGHTH PLAGUE.
LOCUSTS. Exod. Ch. x. Ver. 3. And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me.
V. 4. Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, to-morrow will I bring the locusts ins to thy coasts:
V. 5. And they shall cover the face of the carth, that one cannot be able to see the earth: and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field---&c. &c.
V. 13. And Moses stretched forth his rod
over the land of Egypt, and the Lord brought an east wind upon the land all that day and all that night: and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts.
V. 14. And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt: very grievous were they ; before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such.
V. 15. For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left: and there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field, through all the land of Egypt. · V. 16. Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste; and he said, I have sinned against the Lord your God, and against you.
V. 17. Now therefore forgive, I pray thee, my sin only this once, and intreat the Lord your God, &c. &C.
V. 19. And the Lord turned a mighty strong west wind, which took away the locusts, and cast them into the Red-sea, &C.
In this instance, as well as in others which preceded, the time of the approaching cala
mity was precisely foretold by God's servants, which plainly pointed out the hand from whence the judgment proceeded. To some however it may appear strange, that after such a display of terror, Exod. ch. ix. ver. 23, 24. God should introduce the locust, or grasshopper, seemingly a poor instrument of divine vengeance: whose effects, after such a general devastation, could not have been very mate-, rial, however they may be represented. But the case was far otherwise. A swarm of locusts is a very fearful evil, though not outwardly accompanied with any alarming appearance: and the consequences of their introduction were very fatal to the Egyptians.
We may perceive, that it was not the purpose of God to complete every punishment at once : but to carry on these judgments in a series, and by degrees to cut off all hopes, and every resource, upon which the Egyptians depended. By the hail and thunder, and fire mingled with rain, both the flax and barley were entirely ruined : and their pastures must have been greatly injured. But the .' wheat,
: :They sowed in October : and the time of the different grain coming to maturity mentioned Exodus, ch. ix. v. 31, and 32. agrees with the account in Pliny. In Ægypto hors
and the rye, were not yet in ear; and such was the fecundity of the soil in Egypt, that a very short time would have sufficed for the leaves of the trees, and for the grass of the field to have been recruited. To complete therefore these evils, and to confound the stubborn prince and his magicians, it pleased God to send an host of locusts, to devour every leaf, and blade of grass, which had been left in the former devastation : and whatever was beginning to vegetate. It is hard to conceive, how widely the mischief extends, when a cloud of these insects come upon a country. Though it were á paradise before, it soon is rendered a desert. They devour to the very root and bark: so that it is a long time before vegetation can be renewed. Scarcely any 'misfortune can so effectually damage a land, but that room will be left for them to add to the mischief. How dreadful their inroads at all times were, may be known from a variety of s authors, both ancient and modern: and they describe them as being brought on upon a country by one wind; and carried off by another: and speak of their numbers as past all conception. The wind by which they are brought on, generally comes from a morassy country. They swarm greatly in Asia and Africa : and the lower parts of Europe towards the south-east are by no means free from their invasions.
deum sexto a satu mense, frumenta septimo, metuntur. l. 18, c. 7. p. 106.
* By the author of the Book of Wisdom, they are supposed to have killed by their bite-óvs pesu yok angidwu xahi pulan απέκτεινε δηγματα, και ουκ ευρεθη λαμα ταις ψυχεις αυτων. C. xvi. y. 9.
Instances concerning Locusts, and their
Depredations. In respect to Europe Thevenot tells us, that the region upon the Boristhenes, and particularly, that inhabited by the Cossacs, is greatly infested with locusts, especially in a dry season. They come in vast clouds, which extend fifteen and sometimes eighteen miles ; and are nine to twelve in breadth. The air, by their interposition, is rendered quite obscure; however bright the day may have been ... Barbot, Vander Brock, Cada Mosta, Loyer, St Andre Brene, Nieuhoff, Bouvet, Lettres Edifiantes, Le Bruyn's Voyage to the Levant, p. 179, 280. Russel's Hist. of Alepo, p. 62.
? Relation des Cossaques.-See Voyages, vol. 1. p. 12.