I again felt sad for the Egyptians. Not only did they suffer the locus plague which I knew about but also a plague of darkness and a plague of the death of all their first born children. This was the most horrible plague to me. I just can't imagine!
Finally after all of this Pharaoh got a clue and finally decided to do what the Lord, through Moses, was asking him to do. One would hope although you can't know that he would have made the decision was much quicker if the Lord wouldn't have hardened his heart. Perhaps, as my atheist friend says, it is was a little much to inflict on the entire population of Egypt. I'm sure that one or two small acts would have covered it.
The Children of Israel wonder in dessert for 430 years. They are led by the Lord, masqueraded as both a "pillar of cloud" and "a pillar of fire". From a poet's perspective, I think these are very pretty phrases.
These chapters also explained how unless you had a needed job, like feeding people should work.