Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at sacred-texts.com
exo 8:2All thy borders - All the land that is within thy borders.
exo 8:3The River - Nile. Under which are comprehended all other rivers and waters.
exo 8:9Glory over me - That is, I yield to thee.
exo 8:10And he said, To - morrow - Why not immediately? Probably he hoped that this night they would go away of themselves, and then he should get clear of the plague, without being obliged either to God or Moses. However, Moses joins issue with him upon it. Be it according to thy word - It shall be done just when thou wouldst have it done, that thou mayst know, that whatever the magicians pretend to, there is none like unto the Lord our God - None has such a command as he has over all creatures, nor is any so ready to forgive those that humble themselves before him. The great design both of judgments and mercies, is to convince us that there is none like the Lord our God; none so wise, so mighty, so good; no enemy so formidable, no friend so desirable, so valuable.
exo 8:15But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart - Observe he did it himself, not God, any otherwise than by not hindering.
exo 8:17The frogs were produced out of the waters, but the lice out of the dust of the earth; for out of any part of the creation God can fetch a scourge wherewith to correct those that rebel against him.
exo 8:18And the magicians did so - That is, endeavoured to do so.
exo 8:19This is the finger of God - The power of God. The devil's agents, when God permitted them, could do great things; but when he laid an embargo upon them, they could do nothing. The magicians inability in this instance shewed whence they had their ability in the former instances, and that they had no power against Moses but what was given them from above. But Pharaoh's heart was hardened - By himself and the devil.
exo 8:20Rise up early - Those that would bring great things to pass for God and their generation must rise early, and redeem time in the morning. Pharaoh was early up at his superstitious devotions to the river; and shall we be for more sleep, and more slumber, when any service is to be done which would pass well in our account in the great day?
exo 8:21Flies - Or insects of various kinds; not only flies, but gnats, wasps, hornets; and those probably more pernicious than the common ones were.
exo 8:22Know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth - In every part of it. Swarms of flies, which seem to us to fly at random, shall be manifestly under the conduct of an intelligent mind. Hither they shall go, saith Moses, and thither they shall come, and the performance is punctual according to this appointment; and both compared amount to a demonstration, that he that said it, and he that did it, was the same, even a being of infinite power and wisdom.
exo 8:23A division - A wall of partition.
exo 8:24There came a grievous swarm of flies - The prince of the power of the air has gloried in being Beel - zebub, the god of flies; but here it is proved that even in that he is a pretender, and an usurper; for even with swarms of flies God fights against his kingdom and prevails.
exo 8:26The abomination of the Egyptians - That which they abominate to see killed, because they worshipped them as gods.
exo 8:27As he shall command us - For he has not yet told us what sacrifices to offer.
exo 8:28Ye shall not go very far away - Not so far but that he might fetch them back again. It is likely he suspected that if once they left Egypt, they would never come back; and therefore when he is forced to consent that they shall go, yet he is not willing they should go out of his reach. See how ready God is to accept sinners submissions. Pharaoh only says, Intreat for me - Moses promises immediately, I will intreat the Lord for thee; and that he might see what the design of the plague was, not to bring him to ruin, but to repentance.
exo 8:32But Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also - Still it is his own act and deed, not God's.