Verse 29. "I will see thy face again no more." - It is very likely that this was the last interview that Moses had with Pharaoh, for what is related, chap. xi. 4-8, might have been spoken on this very occasion, as it is very possible that God gave Moses to understand his purpose to slay the first-born, while before Pharaoh at this time; so, in all probability, the interview mentioned here was the last which Moses had with the Egyptian king. It is true that in chap. xii. 31 it is stated that Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron by night, and ordered them to leave Egypt, and to take all their substance with them, which seems to imply that there was another interview, but the words may imply no more than that Moses and Aaron received such a message from Pharaoh. If, however, this mode of interpreting these passages should not seem satisfactory to any, he may understand the words of Moses thus: I will see thy face - seek thy favour, no more in behalf of my people, which was literally true; for if Moses did appear any more before Pharaoh, it was not as a supplicant, but merely as the ambassador of God, to denounce his judgments by giving him the final determination of Jehovah relative to the destruction of the first-born.
1. To the observations at the conclusion of the preceding chapter, we may add that at first view it seems exceedingly strange that, after all the proofs Pharaoh had of the power of God, he should have acted in the manner related in this and the preceding chapters, alternately sinning and repenting; but it is really a common case, and multitudes who condemn the conduct of this miserable Egyptian king, act in a similar manner. They relent when smarting under God's judgments, but harden their hearts when these judgments are removed. Of this kind I have witnessed numerous cases. To such God says by his prophet, Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more. Reader, are not the vows of God upon thee? Often when afflicted in thyself or family hast thou not said like Pharaoh, (ver. 17,) Now therefore forgive, I pray thee, my sin only THIS ONCE, and take away from me this death ONLY? And yet when thou hadst respite, didst thou not harden thy heart, and with returning health and strength didst thou not return unto iniquity? And art thou not still in the broad road of transgression? Be not deceived; God is not mocked; he warns thee, but he will not be mocked by thee. What thou sowest, that thou must reap. Think then what a most dreadful harvest thou mayest expect from the seeds of vice which thou hast already sown! 2. Even in the face of God's judgments the spirit of avarice will make its requisitions. Only let your flocks and your herds be stayed, says Pharaoh.
The love of gain was the ruling principle of this man's soul, and he chooses desperately to contend with the justice of his Maker, rather than give up his bosom sin! Reader, is this not thy own case? And art thou not ready, with Pharaoh, to say to the messenger of God, who rebukes thee for thy worldly mindedness, &c., Get thee gone from me. Take heed to thyself, and see my face no more. Esau and Pharaoh have both got a very bad name, and many persons who are repeating their crimes are the foremost to cover them with obloquy! When shall we learn to look at home? to take warning by the miscarriages of others, and thus shun the pit into which we have seen so many fall? If God were to give the history of every man who hardens himself from his fear, how many Pharaoh-like cases should we have on record! But a day is coming in which the secrets of every heart shall be revealed, and the history of every man's life laid open to an assembled world.