set apart in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end you may know that I am Yahweh on the earth.
Exodus 8 [20.] Yahweh said to Moses, “Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh; behold, he comes out to the water; and tell him, ‘This is what Yahweh says, “Let my people go, that they may serve me. Else, if you will not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies on you, and on your servants, and on your people, and into your houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are. I will set apart in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end you may know that I am Yahweh on the earth. I will put a division between my people and your people: by tomorrow shall this sign be.”’” Yahweh did so; and there came grievous swarms of flies into the house of Pharaoh, and into his servants’ houses: and in all the land of Egypt the land was corrupted by reason of the swarms of flies.
- Divine Distinction:
The introductory phrase, "But in that day I will set apart the land of Goshen," establishes a divine act of separation. God, in His sovereignty, designates a specific territory for His people, shielding them from the affliction that is to befall the rest of Egypt. This underscores the idea of God's special care and protection for His chosen ones.
Cross-Reference: Exodus 9:26: "Only in the land of Goshen, where the Israelites were, was there no hail." This verse presents another instance where God's protection is evident in the land of Goshen, reinforcing the theme of divine distinction.
- Specific Protection:
The verse continues, specifying the nature of this protection: "that no swarms of flies shall be there." Here, God highlights a specific aspect of the plague—swarms of flies—that will be absent in the land of Goshen. This emphasizes the precision and intentionality of God's protective measures.
Cross-Reference: Psalm 105:31: "He spoke, and there came swarms of flies, and gnats throughout their country." This reference to swarms of flies in the broader context of God's judgments aligns with the narrative in Exodus.
- Purposeful Revelation:
The latter part of the verse states, "to the end that you may know that I am Yahweh in the midst of the earth." This reveals a profound purpose behind the divine distinction and protection. The intended outcome is not only the safety of God's people but a revelation of God's identity and authority to both the Israelites and the Egyptians.
Cross-Reference: Exodus 7:5: "The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it." The theme of God's actions serving as a revelation of His identity and authority is consistent throughout the plagues.
Divine Protection: Exodus 8:22 prompts reflection on the nature of God's protection in our lives. It encourages us to trust in God's ability to set apart and shield His people, even in the midst of challenging circumstances.
Purpose in Adversity: The verse invites us to consider the purpose behind difficulties and challenges we may face. Just as God had a purpose in the plague of flies, there may be a deeper revelation of God's identity and authority in the midst of our trials.
Recognition of Yahweh's Sovereignty: Ultimately, Exodus 8:22 underscores the importance of recognizing Yahweh's sovereignty. The divine act of setting apart Goshen and sparing it from the plague serves as a testimony to God's unmatched authority over all the earth.
In conclusion, Exodus 8:22 captures a moment of divine intervention, where God sets apart the land of Goshen for the protection of His people. It reveals the precision of God's actions, the specific nature of His protection, and the overarching purpose of bringing forth a revelation of His identity and authority. As we contemplate this verse, may we find assurance in God's protective care, discern the purpose in our challenges, and stand in awe of Yahweh's sovereign presence in the midst of the earth.
PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible