Richard Agee

Exodus 7-8: First four plagues against Mitsraim (Egypt)

Richard AgeeThe 10 plagues against Mitsraim (Egypt) were judgments against the false deities of the land, to show the descendants of Yisra’el (Israel) and the people of the land Who was the true God.

God had told Moshe (Moses) that He would bring the descendants of Yisra’el from Mitsraim with power but that He would also kill the firstborn of Mitsraim. Moshe was upset when this didn’t happen immediately. 

Now we begin to see the extent of the power that the Lord is going to inflict on Egypt before the descendants of Israel are allowed to leave for good. We are to read this story to find out what God had in mind, not what Moshe, Aharon (Aaron) or Pharaoh had in mind. 

“Then the Lord said to Moshe, ‘See, I make you as God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aharon shall be your prophet.'” (Ex. 7:1)

God in Hebrew is usually the plural אֱלֹהִים ’elohim (Strong’s lexicon No. H430). ’Elohim can refer to the Lord or pagan deities, depending on the context. In this passage, Moshe and Aharon were role-playing God and the Messiah. Aharon did all the talking just as when Yeshua was on earth, Yeshua did all the talking. Just as Aharon only said what God and Moshe told him to say, Yeshua only said what God told Him to say.

God deliberately made sure that Pharaoh did not hear and heed Moshe’ and Aharon’s words.  

God is not out to “get people” or to “get even” with the Egyptians. After all, He said, “Blessed be Mitsraim, My people….” (Isa. 19:21). That is not God’s plan here. If God really wanted to “get even” with mankind, He would have killed Adam and Khavah (Eve) on the spot and started over, but instead He made a judgment and then granted mercy. That is how God works. He does have to judge, but it is also in His nature to grant mercy.

The purpose of this scenario is for God’s fulfillment of His promise to Abraham, Yitskhak (Isaac) and Ya’akob (Jacob). 

When God “hardened” Pharaoh’s heart — hardened in Hebrew here is אַקְשֶׁה ’aqsheh, from קָשָׁה qasha (H7185), to be hard, dull, insensitive — it is not a reference to Pharaoh’s endurance. He gave strength to Moshe in spirit and power. Pharaoh’s heart was not hardened against Moshe or Aharon but against God. God did that by “answering a fool according to his folly” (Prov. 26:4) in a sense. Pharaoh already had the seeds of arrogance, bitterness and hatred of God in his heart, God just fed it and let it grow into fruition.

The staff turning into serpents, the blood and frogs were within the power of the wise men, magicians and sorcerers to duplicate but they could not change the snakes back into staffs. Aharon’s staff-snake ate them up. 

The sorcerers could not turn the blood back to water and they could not send the frogs back to the Nile of themselves. The sorcerers only had a small amount of power that God gave them to have. It was not the Devil or some angel or demon that gave them the power. All of the plagues were plagues of death. 

The plague of blood was inflicted on Egypt, not Goshen. The life that was in the Nile died in the blood. The blood persisted for seven days and this is the only plague that the Pharaoh controlled the timing.

When Pharaoh hardened again, Moshe brought up the gnats. He did this by striking the ground very hard with his rod, bringing up a cloud of dust. The magicians could not duplicate this plague.

God’s goal with the 10 plagues was to “kill the ’elohim of Mitsraim,” that which was worshiped. The first were the snakes, then the Nile.

God made a distinction between the people of Mitsraim and the people of Israel in Goshen. God is not a respecter of person but He is trying to teach Pharaoh a lesson and to fulfill the covenant He made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

These demonstrations were enough to harden Pharaoh’s heart even though there were later plagues that the sorcerers could not duplicate or diminish. Even though Pharaoh’s experts could “create” the snakes, blood and frogs, only God could send them away. Yet this wasn’t enough to soften Pharaoh’s heart.

We like to focus on one bad guy, but all of us are made of flesh and blood and we can harden our hearts against God when He doesn’t give us the easy way in life. God took the children of Israel on a difficult, 40-year journey in the wilderness.

We can’t make God go faster or slower, we can’t make God change His mind. We can’t imagine God killing an innocent person. He killed His innocent Son because He loved His creation so much, the people He formed after His likeness. He killed His Son because He wants us to commune with Him.

Reader: Jeff. Speaker: Richard Agee. Summary: Tammy.


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