Exodus 10:19

Exodus 10:19

And the Lord turned a mighty strong west wind
He turned the wind the contrary way it before blew; it was an east wind that brought the locusts, but now it was changed into a west wind, or "a wind of the sea" F21, of the Mediterranean sea; a wind which blew from thence, which lay to the west of Egypt, as the Red sea did to the east of it, to which the locusts were carried by the wind as follows: which took away the locusts, and cast them into the Red sea; and as it is usual for locusts to be brought by winds, so to be carried away with them, and to be let fall into seas, lakes, and pools, and there perish. So Pliny says F23 of locusts, that being taken up and carried with the wind in flocks or swarms, they fell into seas and lakes; and Jerom observes F24 in his time, that they had seen swarms of locusts cover the land of Judea, which upon the wind rising have been driven into the first and last seas; that is, into the Dead sea, and into the Mediterranean sea; see ( Joel 2:20 ) . This sea here called the Red sea is the same which is now called the Arabian gulf; in the original text it is the sea of Suph; that is, the sea of flags or rushes; as the word is rendered, ( Exodus 2:3 Exodus 2:5 ) from the great numbers of these growing on the banks of it, which are full of them, as Thevenot F25 says; or the "sea of weeds" F26, from the multitude of them in the bottom of it, or floating on it. So Columbus found in the Spanish West Indies, on the coast of Paria, a sea full of herbs, or weeds F1, which grew so thick, that they sometimes in a manner stopped the ships. Some render Yam Suph, the sea of bushes; and some late travellers F2 observe, that though, in the dreadful wilds along this lake, one sees neither tree, shrub, nor vegetable, except a kind of bramble, yet it is remarkable that they are found in the sea growing on its bottom, where we behold with astonishment whole groves of trees blossoming and bearing fruit, as if nature by these marine vegetables meant to compensate for the extreme sterility reigning in all the deserts of Arabia; and with this agrees the account that Pliny F3 gives of the Red sea, that in it olives and green fruit trees grow; yea, he says that that and all the Eastern ocean is full of woods; and adds, it is wonderful that in the Red sea woods live, especially the laurel, and the olive bearing berries. Hillerus F4 thinks this sea here has the name of the sea of Suph from a city of the same name near unto it. It is often called the Red sea in profane authors as here, not from the coral that grew in it, or the red sand at the bottom of it, or red mountains near it; though Thevenot F5 says, there are some mountains all over red on the sides of it; nor from the shade of those mountains upon it; nor from the appearance of it through the rays of the sun upon it; and much less from the natural colour of it; which, as Curtius F6 observes, does not differ from others; though a late traveller says {g}, that

``on several parts of this sea (the Red sea) we observed abundance of reddish spots made by a weed resembling "cargaco" (or Sargosso) rooted in the bottom, and floating in some places: upon strict examination, it proved to be that which we found the Ethiopians call Sufo (as here Suph), used up and down for dying their stuffs and clothes of a red colour,''

but the Greeks called it so from Erythras or Erythrus, a king that reigned in those parts F8, whose name signifies red; and it is highly probable the same with Esau, who is called Edom, that is, red, from the red pottage he sold his birthright for to Jacob; and this sea washing his country, Idumea or Edom, was called the Red sea from thence; and here the locusts were cast by the wind, or "fixed" F9, as a tent is fixed, as the word signifies, and there continued, and never appeared more:

there remained not one locust in all the coasts of Egypt;
so that the removal of them was as great a miracle as the bringing them at first: this was done about the nineth day of the month Abib.


F21 (My xwr) "venture maris", Montanus, Drusius.
F23 Nat. Hist. l. 11. c. 29.
F24 Comment. in Joel, ii. 20.
F25 Travels into the Levant, B. 2. ch. 33. p. 175.
F26 (Pwo hmy) "in mare algosum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "in mare carectosum", Tigurine version.
F1 P. Martyr. de Angleria, Decad. 1. l. 6. Vide Decad. 3. 5.
F2 Egmont and Heyman's Travels, vol. 2. p. 158.
F3 Nat. Hist. l. 2. c. 103. l. 13. c. 25.
F4 Onomastic. Sacr. p. 128.
F5 Ut supra. (Travels into the Levant, B. 2. ch. 33. p. 175.)
F6 Hist. l. 8. sect. 9.
F7 Hieronymo Lobo's Observations in Ray's Travels, vol. 2. p. 489.
F8 Curtius ut supra. (Hist. l. 8. sect. 9.). Mela de Situ Orbis, l. 3. c. 8. Strabo, l. 16. p. 535, 536.
F9 (wheqtyw) "et fixit eam", Montanus; so Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Drusius, Ainsworth.