Wherefore then do ye harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and
Pharaoh hardened their hearts?
&c.] And would not let Israel go, when their dismission was demanded by Moses and Aaron in the name of the Lord; but was refused from time to time, being given up to judicial blindness and hardness of heart: and it seems by this, that though it was proposed by some to send back the ark, and which the priests and diviners approved of; yet there were some that were against it, who, notwithstanding the plagues inflicted on them, like Pharaoh and the Egyptians hardened their hearts; which story these priests were acquainted with by the tradition of their ancestors, this being a fact then generally known in the world; or by the relation of the Israelites, over whom they had ruled many years, and were conversant with them:
when he had wrought wonderfully among them:
that is, the God of Israel, though they mention not his name, who had wrought wonders in the land of Egypt; the ten plagues he inflicted on them are referred to:
did they not let the people go, and they departed?
who were convinced by these plagues that they ought to let Israel go, and by them were prevailed upon to dismiss them, and the people did go out of their land; and therefore should not we let the ark go likewise, on whom plagues have been inflicted for detaining it? and may we not expect more and greater, should we refuse to dismiss it?