About Jesus      Steve Sweetman

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ch. 8:1-15   ch. 8:16-19     ch.  8:20-31

The Plague Of Frogs (ch. 8:1 - 15)


Note that the NIV places verse 28 of chapter 7 in with this section.  It says that seven days had passed since God made the Nile into blood.  Seven is often associated with God's judgment, and probably for that reason is significant here.


In verses 1 God tells Moses to go back to Pharaoh and tell him to let God's people go free.  Poor Moses.  This going back and forth must be getting to him, and it's only just begun.


In verses 3 to 5 God tells Moses what the outcome would be if Pharaoh refuses, which he was to tell Pharaoh.  There would be a plague of frogs.  The frogs would penetrate the whole land.  They'd get into houses, into ovens, into beds, and onto people.  This is one mass infestation of frogs.


In verse five we see that God told Moses to stretch out his hands and command the frogs to come out of all the waterways.  Here we learn for sure that Aaron had the same ability to perform miracles as Moses had.  We often think that only Moses did these miracles, but that is not so. 


In verses 6 and 7 Aaron did as God wanted.  He made frogs come up out of all the waterways.  Pharaoh's magicians were able to copy the same miracle.  Again, we see that this is not merely a battle between men.  This is a spiritual battle, between God and the devil.   As I've said before, a similar situation will be duplicated at the end of this age in the Great Tribulation.  God and satan will be battling it out.  Both performing miracles.


In verse 9 Moses says, "I leave you with the honor of setting the time for me to pray for you and your officials.."   Notice how Moses puts it.  He would like to pray for Pharaoh and his people in order to get rid of the frogs.  The way he puts it is interesting.  He is leaving the request up to the Pharaoh.  Pharaoh actually has "the honor" to ask Moses to pray for him, as if Moses was superior to Pharaoh.  That must have made Pharaoh burn a bit within.


In verse 10 Pharaoh tells Moses that he can pray for him tomorrow.  Why not right away, I don't know. 


Moses tells Pharaoh that when he prays, he would realize that the Lord, that's Yahweh, is God, that is, the only true. God.  All of these miracles are to show Pharaoh who the real God of the universe is, that He has sent Moses and Aaron to him so that he can free Israel, God's chosen people.


Verse 11 simply states that once Moses prays, all the frogs will leave, except for those who live in the Nile River.  The frogs will leave, just as Israel should leave as well.


In verses 12 through 15 we see that Moses did pray.  The text says that "he cried out to the Lord".  This was not just a simple little prayer.  This was real supplication.  Moses' heart was in this prayer.  God answered his prayer and all the frogs died.  Notice that the frogs didn't disappear.  They died, and they smelled the country side up.  The Egyptians had to get rid of the frogs  as fast as they could, just like they would eventually get rid of the Jews as fast as they could.


In all of this, in verse 15, we see that Pharaoh hardened his heart even more.  Notice again, that Pharaoh hardened his own heart.  As I have said before, the Bible says that God hardened Pharaoh's heart, but how did he do that.  He did not reach into Pharaoh's heart and arbitrarily make his heart hard against his will.  Pharaoh did not lose his freedom to choose.  He chose to harden his heart as it states here.


The Plague of Gnats (ch. 8:16 - 19)


The NIV uses the word "gnats" in this section.  The KJV uses the word "lice".  Lice may be a better way to view this. The reason why I say this is because men shaved their heads every three days in Egypt.  They needed to be well shaven.  This was stipulated by their religion.  Lice goes into people's hair, so that maybe, or maybe not, the reason why KJV uses the word lice.    


From verses 16 to 18 we see that Aaron struck the ground with his staff as God commanded.  Gnats filled the ground throughout all of Egypt .  This time Pharaoh's magicians could not duplicate the miracle.  They concluded, as they told Pharaoh, "this is the hand of God'.  That would be "Elohim", the God of Israel.  Pharaoh refused to bend.  He hardened his heart even more.  Thus once again, the way in which God hardened Pharaoh's heart was through his curses.  God did not reach down against Pharaoh's will and harden his heart. Pharaoh hardened his own heart. 


You might wonder why the magicians could not duplicate this miracle.  We know that satan can do nothing except God allows it.  Satan is actually a pond of God.  God uses satan at times for His own purpose.   If God so decides not to allow satan to do what he likes, satan cannot do anything.  Thus is the case here.


In verse 19 the magicians say that "this is the finger of God".  They now knew that the God of the Jews was the real God.  It appears that from this point on, the magicians no longer try to duplicate the miracles.  I believe you only see them mentioned once after this point, and they did not do a miracle then.  They seemed to have given up.     


The Plague Of Flies (ch. 8:20 - 31)


In verses 20 and 21 God tells Moses once again to go and confront Pharaoh by saying, "let my people go", or else a swarm of flies will infest everyone in the whole land.   


In verses 22 and 23 God tells Moses that these flies will not infest the land of Goshen so Israel will know that the God who speaks to Moses is their God, the God of their fathers.  This tells me that it might be possible the previous plagues did come to the Jews as well, but not this one. God says that He will make a distinction between His people and the people of Egypt .   I'm not certain just why God is making this distinction now, and apparently didn't before, assuming He really didn't make this distinction before, and that is an assumption.  


Verse 24 simply states that God did as He said He would.  God  always does what He says He will do, and that is why the Abrahamic Covenant still exists today.  What is really going on here, at least in part, has to do with the Abrahamic Covenant.  It is getting Israel back to Canaan where they belong.   


In verse 25 we now see that these plagues are getting to Pharaoh.  He does not let the Jews leave, but he does tell them to sacrifice to their God in Egypt.  That would mean that they would have to stop work and worship.  This tells me that the plagues are beginning to have some affect.


In verses 26 and 27 Moses tells Pharaoh that they can't offer their sacrifices to God in Egypt.  The Jewish form of sacrifices are detestable to Egyptians and they would stone the Jews for this.  Moses tells Pharaoh that they must leave the country.  The probable reason for the Jewish style sacrifices being detestable to Egyptians is for the most part, Egyptians sacrificed grains and vegetables, although at times they did offer a bit of animal sacrifices.  They would not have liked to see the Jews offering all these animals to their God.


In verse 28 Pharaoh is really beginning to cave in.  He tells Moses that the Jews can go to the desert to sacrifice but they aren't to go far.  Then he tells Moses to pray for him.  I say "cave in", but this might well be a ploy on Pharaoh's part.  We will see later that he lets Israel go, but then changes his mind.


In verse 29 Moses told Pharaoh that he would pray for him once he left and tomorrow the Lord would take away the flies from the land, assuming that Pharaoh would not "act deceitfully".   By now Moses is getting the upper hand over Pharaoh.  Moses is now beginning to be in control of the situation. Pharaoh is beginning to crumble and the man of God is taking hold of the situation


In verses 30 to 32 we see God answering Moses' prayer.  The flies died off, but Pharaoh once again hardened his heart.  Again I say, the way in which God hardened Pharaoh's heart was through these miraculous signs.  God did not reach down into Pharaoh's heart to make it hard.  Pharaoh did not lose his free will.  He decided to harden his own heart.  This is what it means when the text says that God hardened Pharaoh's heart.

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