They saw not one another
Not only the luminaries of heaven were covered and beclouded with the darkness, so that they were of no use to them; but the fogs and vapours which occasioned it were so damp and clammy that they put out their fires, lamps, and candles, so that they could receive no benefit from them: neither rose up any from his place for three days;
from the place of his habitation, not being able to find the way to the door, or however not able to do any business abroad; and besides were quite amazed and confounded, supposing the course of nature was changed and all things going to a dissolution, their consciences filled with horror and terror and black despair, strange and terrible phantoms and apparitions presented to their minds, as the author of the book of Wisdom suggests,
``No power of the fire might give them light: neither could the bright flames of the stars endure to lighten that horrible night.'' (Wisdom 17:5)and which is countenanced by what the psalmist says, who instead of this plague of darkness, takes notice of evil angels being sent among them, ( Psalms 78:49 ) that is, devils in horrible shapes represented to their minds, which dreadfully distressed and terrified them, so that they durst not stir and move from the place where they were: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings;
not only in the land of Goshen, but in all places where they were mixed with the Egyptians, as it is plain they were, from ( Exodus 10:23 ) so that they could go about their business, and perform it as at other times, and had now a fine opportunity of packing up their goods, and getting every thing ready for their departure, without being observed by the Egyptians. Doctor Lightfoot F11 thinks, that now they attended to the ordinance of circumcision, which had been generally neglected, and was necessary to their partaking of the passover, which in a few days was to be observed, and of which no uncircumcised person might eat, ( Exodus 12:48 ) and which he grounds upon ( Psalms 105:28 ) , and this time was wisely taken for it, when the Egyptians could have no opportunity or advantage against them, because of their soreness by it; it may indeed be wondered at, that they did not take the advantage of the darkness the Egyptians were in, of getting out of the land, and going their three days' journey into the wilderness; but it was the will of God that they should not steal away privately, or go by flight as fugitives, but openly, and with the mighty hand and outstretched arm of God; besides, the Lord had not as yet wrought all the judgments he intended. In the fabulous expedition of Bacchus against the Indians, a story is told which seems to be taken from hence, that the Indians were covered with darkness, while those with Bacchus were in light all around them F12.
F11 Works, vol. 1. p. 707.
F12 Vid. Huet. Quaest. Alnetan. l. 2. c. 13. sect. 12. p. 204.