And Pharaoh sent
Not persons to observe whether there was any hail fell in the land of Goshen, though there are some F11 that so supply the words; but it cannot be thought that Pharaoh would send, or that any would go thither amidst such a storm of thunder and hail; but he sent messengers, and called Moses and Aaron;
who might be in his palace, at least not very far off: and said unto them, I have sinned this time;
not but that he had sinned before, and must be conscious of it, particularly in breaking his promise so often; but now he acknowledged his sin, which he had never done before: and this confession of sin did not arise from a true sense of it, from hatred of it, and sorrow for it as committed against God; but from the fright he was in, the horror of his mind, the dread of the present plague being continued; and the terror of death that seized him, the rebounding noise of the thunder in his ears, the flashes of lightning in his face, and the hailstones beating upon the top of his house, and against the windows and sides of it, frightened him exceedingly, and forced this confession from him: the Lord is righteous, and I and my people are wicked;
which was well spoken, had it been serious and from his heart; for God is righteous in his nature, and in all his works, and in all those judgments he had inflicted upon him; and he and his people were wicked in using the Israelites in such a cruel manner, and in detaining them when it had been promised them again and again that they should have leave to go, and especially in rebelling against God, and disobeying his commands.
F11 "Misisset qui observarent", Junius & Tremellius.