For now will I stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and
thy people with pestilence
Which yet we never find was done; for though this by many is referred to the slaying of the firstborn, yet it is not certain that this was done by the pestilence: besides, Pharaoh was not then smitten, nor his people, only their firstborn; wherefore these words are to be rendered, not in the future, but in the imperfect or preterpluperfect tense, thus; "for when now I stretched out my hand, or if now I had stretched out my hand to smite thee and thy people with pestilence" F1; that is, at the time when he smote the cattle with the murrain or pestilence, when he could as well have smote him and his people with it; there was no want of power in God to do it, and had he done it, it would have been all over with him and them: and thou shall be cut off from the earth;
or "thou hadst been, or wouldest have been cut off from the earth" F2 must have perished out of it, and been no more in the land of the living.
F1 (ytxlv hte yk) "modo enim cum extendi", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Drusius, "vel si extendissem", Fagius, Cocceius; so Jarchi, Gersom, Targ. Onk. & Jon.
F2 (dxktw) "sic fuisses excisus", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Drusius, Cocceius.