Exodus 10:5

Hebrew Bible

3 So Moses and Aaron came to Pharaoh and told him, “This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has said: ‘How long do you refuse to humble yourself before me? Release my people so that they may serve me! 4 But if you refuse to release my people, I am going to bring locusts into your territory tomorrow. 5 They will cover the eye17 of the earth, so that you will be unable to see the ground. They will eat the remainder of what escaped—what is left over for you—from the hail, and they will eat every tree that grows for you from the field. 6 They will fill your houses, the houses of your servants, and all the houses of Egypt, such as neither your fathers nor your grandfathers have seen since they have been in the land until this day!’” Then Moses turned and went out from Pharaoh.

Numbers 22:5

Hebrew Bible

3 And the Moabites were greatly afraid of the people, because they were so numerous. The Moabites were sick with fear because of the Israelites. 4 So the Moabites said to the elders of Midian, “Now this mass of people will lick up everything around us, as the bull devours the grass of the field.” Now Balak son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at this time. 5 And he sent messengers to Balaam son of Beor at Pethor, which is by the Euphrates River in the land of Amaw, to summon him, saying, “Look, a nation has come out of Egypt. They cover the eye10 of the earth, and they are settling next to me. 6 So now, please come and curse this nation for me, for they are too powerful for me. Perhaps I will prevail so that we may conquer them and drive them out of the land. For I know that whoever you bless is blessed, and whoever you curse is cursed.”

 Notes and References

"... Exodus 10:5 ... We find the identical expression in Numbers 22:5, 11. Pace the Targumim and Saadiah, this is probably not the sun; rather, 'eye' connotes 'surface, appearance' in Leviticus 13:5, 37, 55; Numbers 11:7; 1 Samuel 16:7; Ezekiel 1:4-27; 8:2; Proverbs 23:31; Daniel 10:6. The idiom seems to exchange the organ of perception for the thing perceived. (1 Samuel 16:7, too, mingles the notions of 'eyes' and 'appearance': 'Do not regard his appearance ... for Man sees 'with his eyes/ at appearances,' while Yahweh sees 'into the heart.'') The imagery in 10:5 seems playful: Yahweh covers Egypt's 'eye' in a manner previously 'unseen' (verse 6), so that the land cannot be 'seen' (verse 5) ..."

Propp, William Henry Exodus 1-18: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (p. 336) Doubleday, 1999

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