The Second Book of Moses, Called Exodus

Chapter 8

Frogs are sent, 1-7. Pharaoh appeals to Moses, who by prayer removes them away, 8-15. The dust is turned into lice, which the magicians could not do, 16-19. The plague of flies, 20-24. Pharaoh inclines to let the people go, but yet is hardened, 25-32.

1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh and say to him, 'Thus says the LORD: "Let my people go so that they may serve me. 2 And if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all your borders with frogs. 3 And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into your house, into your bed-chamber, upon your bed, into the house of your servants, upon your people, into your ovens, and into your kneading bowls. 4 And the frogs shall come upon you, upon your people, and upon all your servants."'" 5 And the LORD spoke to Moses, "Say to Aaron, 'Stretch forth your hand with your rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come up on the land of Egypt.'" 6 And Aaron stretched his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. 7 And the magicians did so with their enchantments and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt.

8 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and said, "Entreat the LORD that he may take away the frogs from me and from my people, and I will let the people go so that they may do sacrifice to the LORD." 9 And Moses said to Pharaoh, "Glory over me in this: when shall I entreat for you, for your servants, and for your people to destroy the frogs from you and your houses so that they may remain in the river only?" 10 And he said, "Tomorrow." And he said, "May it be according to your word so that you may know that there is no one like the LORD our God. 11 And the frogs shall depart from you, from your houses, from your servants, and from your people. They shall remain in the river only."

12 And Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh. And Moses cried to the LORD because of the frogs which he had brought against Pharaoh. 13 And the LORD did according to the word of Moses. And the frogs died out of the houses, out of the villages, and out of the fields. 14 And they gathered them into heaps, and the land was offensive in smell. 15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart and did not listen to them, as the LORD had said.

16 And the LORD said to Moses, "Say to Aaron, 'Stretch out your rod and smite the dust of the land so that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.'" 17 And they did so. For Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod and smote the dust of the earth, and it became lice in man and in beast. All the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt. 18 And the magicians did so with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not. So there were lice upon man and upon beast. 19 Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, "This is the finger of God." But Pharaoh's heart was hardened and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had said.

20 And the LORD said to Moses, "Rise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh (behold, he comes forth to the water) and say to him, 'Thus says the LORD: "Let my people go so that they may serve me. 21 Or else, if you will not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon you, upon your servants, upon your people, and into your houses. And the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground on which they are. 22 And in that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, so that no swarms of flies shall be there, to the end you may know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth. 23 And I will put a division between my people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall be."'" 24 And the LORD did so. And there came a grievous swarm of flies into the house of Pharaoh, into his servants' houses, and into all the land of Egypt. The land was corrupted by reason of the swarm of flies.

25 And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron and said, "Go, sacrifice to your God in the land." 26 And Moses said, "It is not proper to do so, for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the LORD our God. Behold, if we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, will they not stone us? 27 We will go three days' journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the LORD our God as he commands us." 28 And Pharaoh said, "I will let you go so that you may sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness. Only you shall not go very far away. Entreat for me." 29 And Moses said, "Behold, I go out from you, and I will entreat the LORD so that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people tomorrow. But do not let Pharaoh deal deceitfully anymore in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the LORD."

30 And Moses went out from Pharaoh and entreated the LORD. 31 And the LORD did according to the word of Moses and removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people. Not one remained. 32 And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Exodus, Chapter 8


[v.8] - Even though Pharaoh's sorcerers were able to bring frogs upon the land, Pharaoh still had to ask Moses and Aaron to entreat God to remove them. The sorcerers have been able to copy all of the previous wonders, but each of God's wonders has shown itself in some aspect, or altogether, to be greater than that which Pharaoh's sorcerers performed.

[v.9-12] - Moses is asking Pharaoh to give him the honor to ask, on Pharaoh's behalf, for God to remove the frogs from the land of Egypt. Since Pharaoh's sorcerers cannot do it, God must be respectfully asked to remove the frogs. Pharaoh, most likely out of pride, then tells Moses to ask God to remove the frogs on the next day. Matthew Henry speculates Pharaoh's reason for the delay by saying, "he hoped that they would go away of themselves, and then he should get clear of the plague without being obliged either to God or Moses." Nevertheless, Pharaoh gave Moses and Aaron the time at which he wanted the frogs removed. Moses then tells Pharaoh that the frogs will be removed just as he had said, that is, on the next day, so that he would know that there is no one like God. Pharaoh was not swayed by the appearance of the frogs, yet he faltered a bit in the removal of them by relying upon God for their removal. This is the first instance where Pharaoh begins to yield to the judgments of God.

[v.15] - Once the frogs ceased from coming upon Egypt, Pharaoh saw that the wonder had finished, and therefore, he hardened his heart. God was not finished with Pharaoh and that gave occasion for Pharaoh to harden his heart and not listen to Moses and Aaron. It is only after God gives us a new heart and a new spirit that we are given the ability to walk in His statutes and keep and do His judgments (Ezekiel 36:26). Only a regenerated heart is granted repentance to acknowledge the truth (2 Timothy 2:25)—such truth being that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior—and to call upon the name of the Lord (Joel 2:32; Romans 10:13). Since Pharaoh was not granted repentance, his heart remains hardened.

[v.22-23] - This is the first instance where God mentions that He will set His people apart from the Egyptians in receiving judgment. John Calvin explains this by saying, "Although this had not been expressly declared as yet, still it must be extended to the other plagues; for it is certain, that when God inflicted punishment on the Egyptians, He did not proceed promiscuously against all men; and, therefore, that His chosen people, in whose behalf He acted, were free from all inconvenience. But now perhaps for the first time this distinction is made more evident to Pharaoh, whereas before the peculiar grace of God had not been known to him. From hence, however, it was more than plain, that mercies and punishments were in the power of the one God of Israel, so that He might spare His own people, and treat them kindly and paternally, while, on the other hand, He exercised vengeance against His enemies." Reference, Malachi 3:11, 18.