The First Plague: Blood
With Questions and Proposed Answers Supplied
Background and Printed Text: Exodus 7:8-25
Exodus 7:8 And Yehovah said unto Draw [Moshe] and unto Oy!-Conception! [Aharon] to say, 9 “Because Pharaoh will speak unto you to say, ‘Give ye a wonder for yourselves,’ and thou shalt say unto Oy!-Conception! [Aharon], ‘Take thy rod! And throw to the faces of Pharaoh.’ He will become to a taneen!” 10And Draw [Moshe] came, and Oy!-Conception! [Aharon], unto Pharaoh. And they did established—just as Yehovah commanded. And Oy!-Conception! [Aharon] threw his rod to the faces of Pharaoh and to the faces of his slaves. And he became to a ‘taneen’! 11And Pharaoh also called to wise-[ones] and to warlocks. And the diviners of Egypt—they also did via their flames. Established! 12And they threw—a man his rod! And they became to ‘taneeneem’! And the rod of Oy!-Conception! [Aharon] swallowed their rods! 13And the heart of Pharaoh gripped. And he did not hearken unto them, just as Yehovah spoke!
14And Yehovah said unto Draw [Moshe], “The heart of Pharaoh is heavy. He refused to send the People. 15Walk unto Pharaoh in the morning. Behold, he will exit waterward. And be positioned to meet him upon the lip of the river. And thou shalt take the rod that flipped-over to a serpent in thine hand. 16And thou shalt say unto him, ‘Yehovah Gods of the Hebrews sent me unto thee to say, “Send my People! And he has served me in the desert!” And behold, thou hast not hearkened unto so!’” 17 “So said Yehovah, ‘Thou shalt know that I am Yehovah via this! Behold, I am smiting via the rod that is in my hand upon the waters that are in the river! And they shall be flipped-over to blood! 18The fish that is in the river will die, and the river shall stink! And the Egyptians will loath to drink water from the river!’”
19And Yehovah said unto Draw [Moshe], “Say unto Oy!-Conception! [Aharon], ‘Take thy rod. And stretch thine hand upon waters of Egypt, upon their rivers, upon their canals and upon their pools, and upon every gathering of their waters. And they shall be blood! And the blood shall be in all the land of Egypt, and in the trees and in the rocks!” 20And Draw [Moshe] and Oy!-Conception! [Aharon] did so, just as Yehovah commanded. And he elevated via the rod. And he smote the waters that are in the canal to the eyes of Pharaoh and to the eyes of his slaves. And all the waters that are in the canal flipped-over to blood! 21And the fish that is in the canal died. And the canal stank. And Egyptians were not able to drink water from the canal. And the blood was in all the land of Egypt! 22And the diviners of Egypt did so via their flames. And the heart of Pharaoh gripped. And he did not hearken unto them just as Yehovah spoke. 23And Pharaoh turned. And he came unto his house. And he did not put his heart also to this. 24And all Egyptians dug water around the canal to drink, for they were not able to drink from the waters of the canal. 25And He fulfilled seven of the days after Yehovah’s smiting the canal.
I. Serpents (verses 8-13)
Yehovah gave directions to Moshe and Aharon: “Because Pharaoh will speak unto you to say, ‘Give ye a wonder for yourselves…’” He then told them what to do: “…and thou shalt say unto Aharon, ‘Take thy rod! And throw to the faces of Pharaoh.’ He will become to a taneen!” (See the questions to learn what a taneen is.)
Moshe and Aharon came unto Pharaoh. They did exactly what Yehovah commanded. Aaron threw his rod directly in front of Pharaoh and directly in front of his slaves. The rod turned into a taneen!
Pharaoh wasn’t satisfied; he also called to wise ones and to warlocks. These diviners of Egypt also certainly did via their flames! Everyone threw his rod, and they turned into taneeneem! Then something happened: Aharon’s rod swallowed their rods!
Pharaoh’s heart (his mind) gripped. Pharaoh didn’t hearken to them; that was just what Yehovah had spoken.
1. Why did Yehovah speak unto both Moshe and Aharon? They both had to hear the commands of Yehovah since they would both be obeying those commands in detail. This established to Aharon that Yehovah was truly speaking to Moshe.
2. Yehovah knew that Pharaoh would say, “Give ye a wonder for yourselves.” Why would Pharaoh do this? He was used to doing this with his diviners! They had convinced Pharaoh of their power and of their communications with the gods. Pharaoh greatly enjoyed their shows that they did for him.
3. Yehovah then said to Moshe, “Thou shalt say unto Aharon…” Didn’t Aharon hear Yehovah for himself? Yes, he did. I propose that Yehovah spoke to Moshe in Aharon’s hearing so that Aharon would later believe Moshe when Moshe will tell Aharon that Yehovah said something.
4. Yehovah told Aharon to take his rod and throw it in front of Pharaoh. How frightening would this act be? Pharaoh was a king. He sometimes commanded his slaves to kill folks who offended him just a little. Aharon was not young, but he had been a slave under Pharaoh all his life. Throwing a rod in front of Pharaoh took much boldness.
5. What is a taneen? This animal has the following features: it can be very large, dangerous, rod-like in shape like a snake; poisonous; it is drawn in pictures in Israel; folks watch (for) them; it can dwell in the sea or live on land, it can swallow a human, and it breastfeeds its young. I could not find what this animal is beyond this, nor could I guess what it was. I knew it was a frightening animal, and is not mythical. Yet, scientists don’t know of such an animal today. (It will again be present in the End Times.)
6. What are wise ones (verse 11)? They are astrologers. Astrologers read constellations to determine what will happen in the future. Since nearly all astrologers alive today don’t know how to read the constellations, they make things up (and therefore lie to folks). A true astrologer will fear Yehovah, the Gods of the Bible, and will believe the Bible literally.
7. What are warlocks? Warlock is the masculine form of witch. Both warlocks and witches make drugs—not for medicinal usage, but in order for others to obtain lusts that they have. Some like the drugs for personal highs and pleasures, for seeing weird sights, and for temporarily soothing addictions, while others like the drugs in order to manipulate others into doing what they otherwise would not do, including becoming unable to stop another from sexual advances. Folks who set up ‘meth’ labs are warlocks and witches. Drug dealers are also warlocks and witches.
8. What are diviners? They practice divination—that is, they write information obtained by occult (hidden) means, making contact with spirits (demons playing the role of dead folks, etc.). The word itself seems to combine three Hebrew words: rx, meaning hot, jjr, meaning tremble, and amj, meaning unclean. If these are correct, such a person is hot, trembling and unclean.
9. Were the diviners successful in doing the same miracle? Yes.
10. Why did Yehovah permit them to be successful in doing the same miracle? This way, readers of the Bible could realize that those who follow demons can also do miracles! Doing a miracle doesn’t prove that a person is given power by Yehovah.
11. What does “via their flames” mean? This means that they did some action that caused flames to suddenly erupt, after which the miracle had been done. This is usually done to distract an audience from a clever switch or trick, but these men truly did the same miracle.
12. What does “Established!” mean? This means that the action was certainly performed and done as described.
13. What are taneeneem? This word is the plural form of taneen.
14. How many of these diviners were able to cause their rods to become taneeneem? They all were able!
15. What happened to the rods/taneeneem of the diviners? They became meals for the taneen of Aharon! His one taneen swallowed their taneeneem!
16. What does “And the heart of Pharaoh gripped” mean, and why did this happen? Since the heart is the mind, Pharaoh’s mind gripped—it tightly held on to his earlier decision to not hearken to Aharon and Moshe. Pharaoh determined to refuse to change his mind.
Why did this happen? Pharaoh did not desire to change his mind no matter what he saw. He wanted all things to remain as they were.
17. Did Yehovah’s knowing that Pharaoh wouldn’t change his mind cause Pharaoh to not change his mind? No! Just because Yehovah knows something doesn’t mean that He causes it to occur. Yehovah knows all things that occur. If He caused all things that He knows to occur, He would be responsible for sin and evil! He isn’t responsible for sin or evil, and He will make certain that all humans are judged.
II. Blood Warning (verses 14-18)
Yehovah further said to Moshe, “The heart of Pharaoh is heavy. He refused to send the People.”
Yehovah told Moshe to meet him: “Walk unto Pharaoh in the morning. Behold, he will exit waterward. And be positioned to meet him upon the lip of the river. And thou shalt take the rod that flipped-over to a serpent in thine hand. And thou shalt say unto him, ‘Yehovah Gods of the Hebrews sent me unto thee to say, “Send my People! And he has served me in the desert!”’”
Yehovah then began to threaten Pharaoh: “And behold, thou hast not hearkened unto so!” Yehovah continued, “Thou shalt know that I am Yehovah via this! Behold, I am smiting via the rod that is in my hand upon the waters that are in the river! And they shall be flipped-over to blood! The fish that is in the river will die, and the river shall stink! And the Egyptians will loath to drink water from the river!”
1. What did Yehovah mean by, “The heart of Pharaoh is heavy”? Since the heart is the mind, this tells the reader that Pharaoh’s mind was heavy—that is, that it was loaded with troubling thoughts, fears and anxieties (especially about the Israeli slaves and their desire to leave Egypt). Pharaoh feared what was occurring. He knew he had to be very careful lest the Israelis entirely revolt from Egypt’s grip. This God of Aharon and Moshe was also scaring him.
Since his mind was heavily loaded, he refused to send the Israelis.
2. Identify this People (verse 14): This People is Israel.
3. Yehovah told Moshe to walk unto Pharaoh, telling Moshe where Pharaoh will be located. Didn’t Pharaoh have bodyguards? If he did, they didn’t stop folks from approaching Pharaoh. I suspect that the fear of Pharaoh was great enough that only very brave persons approached him without an invitation.
4. What is the lip of the river? That is the shoreline, where the river waters the sand. It is like the lips of a human, being regularly watered from inside the mouth.
5. Why should Moshe take the rod that had become a serpent? Yehovah knew that Pharaoh would understand that the power that Moshe (and Aharon) had was in the rod; so Moshe must take that rod.
6. Yehovah told Moshe to say to Pharaoh, “Yehovah Gods of the Hebrews sent me unto thee to say, ‘Send my People!’” Was this a nice request? No, it wasn’t a request. It was a demand. It was an order. Yehovah had no interest in asking Pharaoh to send Yehovah’s property, the Israelis.
In many translations, the wording is something like this: “Let my people go.” This isn’t even close to what Yehovah told Moshe to say. He said, “Send my People!” That is what Yehovah meant.
7. Why didn’t Yehovah request (ask) Pharaoh to send the Israelis? Might Pharaoh have done so, had He asked nicely? Yehovah is God. He tells humans what to do, and He holds them responsible for what they do or refuse to do. Pharaoh wouldn’t have complied had Yehovah begged him to send the Israelis, and that would have lowered Yehovah’s rank!
8. Who is he in, “And he has served me in the desert”? He is Yehovah’s People (Israel). Yehovah views the People of Israel as one being. The word people in Hebrew is singular, just as a group is singular—that is, it is one thing.
9. Why would Pharaoh desire to send the Israeli people to serve Yehovah (another god) in the desert? He wouldn’t! Yehovah knew this. Yehovah will do some ‘arm twisting;’ Pharaoh will become willing.
10. Who said, “And behold, thou hast not hearkened unto so,” and to whom did he say this? Yehovah said this to Pharaoh! Pharaoh must hearken to Yehovah!
11. What was Yehovah doing when He said to Pharaoh, “Thou shalt know that I am Yehovah via this”? He was threatening Pharaoh!
12. Why did Pharaoh tolerate being addressed by to low-ranking persons—one who was still a slave, and the other who was an outsider? I propose that Pharaoh (up to this point) was entertained by them, figuring that he would have them put to death for their insolence (for their arrogant, smart-mouthed responses) very shortly.
13. Right after Moshe said, “Thou shalt know that I am Yehovah via this,” he said, “Behold, I am smiting via the rod that is in my hand (referring to Moshe’s hand) upon the waters that are in the river.” Was Moshe acting as if he, Moshe, is Yehovah? Yehovah designed it this way so that Pharaoh will view Moshe as Yehovah Himself! This is what Yehovah commanded Moshe to say. Since Pharaoh is supposed to be a god, Yehovah is making Moshe into a god—into Yehovah Himself before Pharaoh!
14. What does “they shall be flipped-over to blood” mean? This means that the waters will churn, and they will become blood as they turn and churn in the river. Once they have turned over, they will be blood.
15. Why did Yehovah attack the river? Every attack that Yehovah is about to do will be against one of Egypt’s gods. The Egyptians worshipped that river as a god! That river gave Egypt life. Egypt would have dried up and died without it.
16. What does “the Egyptians will loath to drink water from the river” mean? This means that they will hate to drink from it; they will be disgusted at the thought of drinking from it; they will do whatever is necessary to avoid drinking from it.
III. The Bloody Act (verses 19-25)
Yehovah continued to command Moshe. This time, the orders were for Aharon: Take thy rod. And stretch thine hand upon waters of Egypt, upon their rivers, upon their canals and upon their pools, and upon every gathering of their waters. And they shall be blood! And the blood shall be in all the land of Egypt, and in the trees and in the rocks!”
Moshe and Aharon did exactly as Yehovah commanded them. He (Aharon) lifted over the water with his rod. He smote the waters in the canal directly in front of Pharaoh and all Pharaoh’s slaves. The waters in the canal immediately turned over, and they became blood!
This resulted in the canal’s fish dying. The smell came next: the canal stank with the smell of dead fish. The Egytians had normally drunk water from the canal, but they just couldn’t drink it; it was blood, and it stank.
The blood wasn’t only in the canal; it was in all the land of Egypt.
The diviners of Egypt obtained water that wasn’t blood, and they did the same miracle using their flames. The heart (mind) of Pharaoh gripped—that is, his mind stood firm. He didn’t hearken to Moshe and to Aharon about sending the Israelis. This was exactly what Yehovah said he would do.
Pharaoh turned from Moshe and Aharon, and he came to his house. He refused to put his heart (mind) to this miracle (as well as the other miracles).
The Egyptians dug for water around the canal in order to drink water; the canal was useless for this.
For a full seven days after Yehovah smote the canal, it was in this condition.
1. Yehovah again told Moshe to command Aharon to take up the rod and to do the miracle. Why did Yehovah desire Aharon to do this? Yehovah desired to establish Aharon as Moshe’s prophet, leaving Moshe as being God to Pharaoh! This is very important since gods normally send prophets.
2. What places where waters are found in Egypt were attacked, according to verse 19?
- The rivers (plural) of Egypt
- The canals (plural) of Egypt
- The pools (whether made for swimming and washing, or where waters would ‘pool up’ from rivers and canals) of Egypt
- Every gathering of their waters, including in their water pots and wells
3. What is the difference between water and blood? List the distinctions.
- Water is clear; blood is red and not clear.
- Water is runny; blood is thick.
- When water dries, it evaporates (and disappears). When blood dries, it becomes brown and hard.
- Water has very little smell; blood becomes very bad-smelling in large amounts when it is left in the air.
- Drinking water is not harmful; drinking blood will affect the way folks think.
- Drinking water will quench thirst; drinking blood will not work in the same way.
- Water usually doesn’t make folks sick; having to drink blood will make many sick at the thought.
- Water doesn’t stain any normal fabric (except ones like silk) if the water is clean. Blood, on the other hand, tends to stain almost everything.
4. How can blood be in the trees? Some of the trees that grow in Egypt grow in the water. Some of those trees have hollow places where water can collect. Blood will replace that water in those trees.
5. How can water be in rocks? It can collect in crevices and in craters in rocks. Some rocks are very big and are hollowed out. Those rocks that previously had water will now have blood.
6. Why did Yehovah choose blood to attack the waters (instead of something else, like bitter-tasting liquid, poison, or something of that nature)? Blood is very visual, and it represents life and death. The Egyptians were (and are) highly superstitious. This affected their minds (like seeing zombies would affect some today). The purity of water and the uncleanness of blood (as if it came from corpses) were so opposite and so terrible to the Egyptians. They prided themselves on being clean and smelling good. Blood stains clothing. It will ruin the Egyptian garments that it touches. Besides these things, Yehovah used the blood to threaten the Egyptians.
7. Who is he who elevated via the rod? Aharon elevated via the rod. Pictures showing Moshe doing this regarding the blood are wrong.
8. What does smite mean? To smite is to hit with an intensity that can potentially kill. It isn’t a slap, and it isn’t a light punch; it is with great force.
9. Why did Aharon have to smite the waters in the canal to the eyes of Pharaoh and his slaves? He had to do these miracles straight in front of these men and in their sight so that they couldn’t claim that someone else or some other god had done this.
10. Why did the fish die? The fish died because gills are not designed to obtain oxygen from blood, but rather from water. The fish couldn’t breathe.
11. What made the canal stink? The combination of the smell of rotting blood and dead fish made the canal stink.
(If you desire to see what this is like, obtain some blood from a butcher and some fish; let them sit out in the sun in a plastic bag for a few days. Then sniff.)
12. What does “the blood was in all the land of Egypt” mean? The blood was everywhere in Egypt where waters gathered. It was not in the soil where folks could dig; had blood been there, the Egyptians would have died. They were able to obtain fresh water, but they had to dig for it. (Do you dig?)
13. What does “he did not put his heart also to this” mean? It means that Pharaoh made sure to not think about this event. He avoided thinking about it, because if he thought about it, he might do as Yehovah commanded!
14. How many of the Egyptians dug water to drink? All Egyptians did this. (The very old and the very young could not dig, but they could stand there while others dug for them.) They had to have water because the climate is very hot and dry; going without water or something to drink for day or two in such a climate can dehydrate a person (cause them to become sick and even die from too little water).
15. Who is He in, “And He fulfilled seven of the days…”? I propose that this is Yehovah; He made certain that a full seven days in this water crisis occurred throughout Egypt.
16. Did the Israelis also suffer? Yes! They had to learn to fear Yehovah; they were pagans just like the Egyptians! Thus, they also had to dig for water!
17. Wasn’t the water muddy if they dug for it? I expect that it was muddy! When folks are thirsty, they will even drink muddy water. They could filter the water through cloth and get some of the mud out, but the water would still taste muddy.