And Pharaoh rose up in the night
Being awakened by the uncommon noise he heard:
he and all his servants, and all the Egyptians;
he and his nobles, and ministers of state, courtiers, and counsellors, and his subjects in common, perhaps everywhere in his kingdom, but particularly in the metropolis:
and there was a great cry in Egypt;
throughout the whole land, the firstborn being everywhere slain, which caused a most dreadful lamentation of parents for their eldest son, of brethren and sisters for their elder brother, and of servants and maidens for the principal and heir of the family; a cry so loud and general as perhaps was never heard before or since, and under which distress they could have no relief, or any to be their comforter, since all were in the same circumstances: for there was not a house wherein there was not one dead; for if there was no firstborn in it, as it can hardly be thought there should be in every house, though some have been of opinion that it was so ordered in Providence that there should; yet the principal or most considerable person in the family, that is next to the master, might be called the firstborn, as Jarchi notes from ( Psalms 89:27 ) . Though this may be taken as an hyperbolical expression, or, as Aben Ezra observes, it being usual with the Scripture to say that of all, which is true of the greatest part.