Frog, Louse, and the Swarm
Background and Printed Text: Exodus chapter 8 [Starting at 7:26 in Hebrew]
Note: I give the verse references for both the Hebrew Bible and the King James Version Bible. Please use the verse reference that matches the Bible you are using so that you won’t get lost. The chapters differ because translators and copyists chose to break up the chapters at different points. The choice made by the Hebrew copyists makes more sense in this case.
Exodus 7:26 [Hebrew Bible]; Exodus 8:1, [KJV] And Yehovah said unto Draw [Moshe], “Come unto Pharaoh! And thou shalt say unto him, ‘So said Yehovah! “Send my people! And he has served me! 27 [8:2, KJV] And if thou art refusing to send, behold I am scourging all thy border via Tzfardeem [frogs]! 28 [8:3, KJV] And the canal shall swarm Tzfardeem [frogs]. And they shall ascend. And they shall come into thine house and into the chamber of thy bed and upon thy recliner and into the house of thy slaves and into thy people and into thine ovens and into thy kneadingtroughs! 29 [8:4, KJV] And the Tzfardeem [frogs] will ascend into thee and into thy people and into all thy slaves. The Tzfardeem [frogs] shall ascend!”’”
8:1 [8:5, KJV] And Yehovah said unto Moshe, “Say unto Aharon, ‘Stretch thine hand via thy rod upon the rivers, upon the canals and upon the pools. And make the Tzfardeem [frogs] ascend upon the land of Egypt!’” 2 [8:6, KJV] And Aharon stretched his hand upon waters of Egypt. And the Tzfardaya [frog] ascended. And she covered the land of Egypt. 3 [8:7, KJV] And the diviners did so via their flames. And they made-ascend the Tzfardeem [frogs] upon the land of Egypt.
4 [8:8, KJV] And Pharaoh called to Moshe and to Aharon. And he said, “Entreat unto Yehovah, and He has turned-away the Tzfardeem [frogs] from me and from my people! And I will send the people. And they have sacrificed to Yehovah.” 5 [8:9, KJV] And Moshe said to Pharaoh, “Make thyself bright concerning me! When shall I entreat for thee and for thy slaves and for thy people to cut-off the Tzfardeem [frogs] from thee and from thy houses? They will remain only in the canal.” 6 [8:10, KJV] And he said, “Tomorrow!” And he said, “According to thy speech so that thou shalt know that there isn’t as Yehovah our Gods! 7 [8:11, KJV] And the Tzfardeem [frogs] shall turn-away from thee and from thy houses and from thy slaves and from thy people. They will remain only in the canal.” 8 [8:12, KJV] And Moshe exited, and Aharon, from with Pharaoh.
And Moshe shouted unto Yehovah concerning the speech of the Tzfardeem [frogs] that He put to Pharaoh. 9 [8:13, KJV] And Yehovah did according to the speech of Moshe. And the Tzfardeem [frogs] died from the houses, from the courtyards and from the fields. 10 [8:14, KJV] And they heaped them, their bubbling, their bubbling. And the land stank.
11 [8:15, KJV] And Pharaoh saw that the breather was. And he weighted his heart. And he didn’t hearken unto them just as Yehovah spoke.
Exodus 8:12 [Hebrew], 8:16 [KJV] And Yehovah said unto Moshe, “Say unto Aharon, ‘Stretch thy rod! And smite dust of the land. And he will become to their louse in all the land of Egypt.’” 13 [8:17, KJV] And they did so. And Aharon stretched his hand via his rod. And he smote dust of the land. And she became their louse in adam and in beast—all dust of the land became lice in all the land of Egypt. 14 [8:18, KJV] And the diviners did so via their flames to send-out the lice—and they weren’t able!
And their louse became in adam and in beast. 15 [8:19, KJV] And the diviners said unto Pharaoh, “He is the finger of gods!” And the heart of Pharaoh gripped. And he did not hearken unto them just as Yehovah spoke.
Exodus 8:16 [Hebrew], 8:20 [KJV] And Yehovah said unto Moshe, “Early-rise in the morning. And position-thyself to the faces of Pharaoh. Behold he will exit to the water. And thou shalt say unto him, ‘So said Yehovah, “Send my people, and he has served me! 17 [8:21, KJV] For if thou aren’t sending my people, behold I am sending the swarm into thee and into thy slaves and into thy people and into thy houses! And they shall fill the houses of Egypt with the swarm, and also the soil that they are upon her! 18 [8:22, KJV] And in that day, I will segregate the land of Goshen upon which my people is standing so that the swarm is not being there, so that thou wilt know that I am Yehovah in the midst of the land! 19 [8:23, KJV] And I will put a redemption between my people and between thy people! This sign shall be tomorrow!”’” 20 [8:24, KJV] And Yehovah did so. And a heavy swarm came toward the house of Pharaoh and the house of his slaves, and in all the land of Egypt. The land was ruined from the faces of the swarm!
21 [8:25, KJV] And Pharaoh called unto Moshe and to Aharon. And he said, “Walk ye! Sacrifice ye to your gods in the land!” 22 [8:26, KJV] And Moshe said, “Not established to do so! For we will sacrifice the abomination of Egypt to Yehovah our Gods! Behold, we will sacrifice the abomination of Egypt to their eyes, and he won’t stone us? 23 [8:27, KJV] We will walk a way of three days into the desert. And we will sacrifice to Yehovah our Gods just as He said unto us.” 24 [8:28, KJV] And Pharaoh said, “I, I am sending you! And ye shall sacrifice to Yehovah your gods in the desert! Only making distance, ye shall not make distance to walk! Entreat ye for my sake!” 25 [8:29, KJV] And Moshe said, “Behold, I am exiting from thy people. And I will entreat unto Yehovah. And He will turn-away the swarm from Pharaoh, from his slaves and from his people tomorrow. Only, Pharaoh shall not again keep-hanging to not send the people to sacrifice to Yehovah!” 26 [8:30, KJV] And Moshe exited from with Pharaoh. And he entreated unto Yehovah.
27 [8:31, KJV] And Yehovah did according to the speech of Moshe. And He expelled the swarm from Pharaoh, from his slaves and from his people. One did not remain. 28 [8:32, KJV] And Pharaoh also weighted his heart in this stroke. And he didn’t send the people.
I. Frog Threat (verses 1-4)
Yehovah commanded Moshe to come unto Pharaoh and to say unto him, “So said Yehovah! ‘Send my people! And he has served me!’” This was a command; it wasn’t a suggestion.
Yehovah continued, “And if thou art refusing to send, behold I am scourging all thy border via frogs! And the canal shall swarm frogs. And they shall ascend. And they shall come into thine house and into the chamber of thy bed and upon thy recliner and into the house of thy slaves and into thy people and into thine ovens and into thy kneadingtroughs! And the frogs will ascend into thee and into thy people and into all thy slaves. The frogs shall ascend!”
1. Why does Yehovah say to Moshe, “Come unto Pharaoh,” instead of, “Go unto Pharaoh”? Yehovah is already there!
2. Could Pharaoh have sent the Israelis so that they could serve Yehovah, and then have them come back? Pharaoh could have tried this, but he never would. Thus, this option will never be known.
3. What did Yehovah desire the Israelis to do in order to serve Him? He desired the Israelis to obey Him. The first commands included doing a sacrifice to Him.
4. Frogs in Hebrew are tzfardeem. One frog is called a tzfardaya. Why is this such a good name for a frog? If this is properly pronounced, it sounds like the sounds that a frog makes: tzfarday-a, tzfarday-a, tzfarday-a… This word is onomatopoetic, meaning that it sounds like what it describes! English words that are onomatopoetic include crash, smash, pop, crunch, and screech.
5. What is the name of this canal (verse 3, KJV)? The canal is either the Nile River itself or a tributary (that is, a small section of the main river that goes in a different direction away from the river or to the river). The description gave me the impression that it is a side-waterway that connects to the Nile.
6. How will the canal swarm frogs? Frogs produce tadpoles. Most of the tadpoles become dinner for fish and other creatures. If Yehovah caused nearly all the tadpoles to survive, the number of frogs would very great! That is one way that the canal will swarm frogs. If Yehovah desired, He could easily create the huge number of frogs in the river.
7. To where will they ascend (go up)? They will ascend (go up) the banks of the canal, and will continue going up so that they can fill the entire land of Egypt!
8. List all the places where all the frogs will come. They will come:
- into Pharaoh’s house
- into Pharaoh’s bedchamber
- upon Pharaoh’s recliner
- into the house of Pharaoh’s slaves
- into Pharaoh’s people
- into Pharaoh’s ovens
- into Pharaoh’s kneadingtroughs
9. How will the frogs come into Pharaoh’s people? A people is a group. The frogs will become part of the group that makes up all the Egyptians! They will have frogs everywhere!
10. What will happen when the frogs come into Pharaoh’s ovens? Bakers will find dead, cooked frogs in the ovens when they had no plans to cook frogs! The burnt frog smells will ruin the foods that they were cooking, and the bodies of dead, burnt frogs will be found in the foods that they are cooking!
11. What are kneadingtroughs? They are shallow boxes used for hand-mixing dough with other ingredients for making breads and cakes so that the dough won’t get dirt and other unwanted items mixed in. The following is a picture of a kneading trough:
12. How would you feel about being totally surrounded by hopping, loud frogs day and night? (Answers will vary.)
II. Aharon’s Function (verses 5-7)
Yehovah next commanded Moshe to say unto Aharon to “Stretch thine hand via thy rod upon the rivers, upon the canals and upon the pools. And make the frogs ascend upon the land of Egypt!” Aharon did this, and the frog ascended. She was everywhere, covering the land of Egypt!
Pharaoh’s diviners did the very same thing using their flames: they made frogs ascend upon the land of Egypt.
1. Who was assigned to use the rod to bring up the frogs? Yehovah assigned Aharon to do this! Thus, Aharon will be Moshe’s ‘magician!’
2. Who caused the frogs to ascend, according to this text? Aharon did! Yehovah told Moshe to tell Aharon to make the frogs ascend using the rod! Thus, Yehovah gave credit to Aharon for doing this, since he was obedient!
3. Why does the text in verse 2 refer to the Tzfardaya—to the frog, as if there is only one frog? In Biblical Hebrew, often when the numbers become huge, the use of the singular, as if the masses are just one creature, is used! It is as if there was one giant frog over the entire land of Egypt!
4. Why is the frog feminine in gender (referring to, “And she covered the land of Egypt”)? Yehovah assigned the feminine gender to this particular creature. Every type of creature is either masculine or feminine in Hebrew. The human is masculine; the being of every human is always feminine!
5. What did the diviners do in response to Aharon’s miracle? They did the very same thing; they used their flames and their powers to make more frogs ascend from the waters! Thus, they helped Moshe and Aharon by causing Egypt more trouble!
6. What didn’t the diviners do? They didn’t make the frogs go away!
III. Tomorrow (verses 8-12)
Pharaoh now called to Moshe and Aharon. He said, “Entreat unto Yehovah, and He has turned-away the frogs from me and from my people!” (Apparently his diviners had the power to bring the frogs on, but not to stop them!)
Pharaoh continued, “And I will send the people. And they have sacrificed to Yehovah.”
Moshe responded to Pharaoh: “Make thyself bright concerning me! When shall I entreat for thee and for thy slaves and for thy people to cut-off the frogs from thee and from thy houses? They will remain only in the canal.”
Pharaoh’s answer was: “Tomorrow!” Moshe said, “According to thy speech so that thou shalt know that there isn’t as Yehovah our Gods! And the frogs shall turn-away from thee and from thine houses and from thy slaves and from thy people. They will remain only in the canal.”
Moshe then exited from being with Pharaoh, along with Aharon.
1. Pharaoh called to Moshe and to Aharon. How long was this after the frogs came? I don’t see where the text gives this information. It could have been several days; it could have been several weeks! It was long enough that the frogs did terrible damage to the land, and the frogs also did some damage to the mental health of the Egyptians and the Israelis! (They truly got on their nerves!)
2. Why didn’t Pharaoh call to his diviners to stop the frogs? While the text doesn’t say whether he did or not, I am personally convinced that he did, and that they weren’t able to do anything.
3. Did Pharaoh show faith in Yehovah when he said, “Entreat unto Yehovah, and He has turned away the frogs from me and from my people”? Though it sounds like he now had faith in Yehovah, he didn’t! He was beginning to believe in the powers of Aharon and Moshe!
4. Did Pharaoh now agree to send the people of Israel to sacrifice to Yehovah? He did! He agreed to this!
5. What did Moshe mean by, “Make thyself bright concerning me”? I propose that this means that Pharaoh can cheer up on account of Moshe, since Moshe will relieve Pharaoh and all of Egypt from the frogs, their noise, and their destructivity.
6. Why did Moshe ask Pharaoh when Moshe should entreat for him, for his slaves and for his people, the Egyptians? Another miracle will occur if Moshe can say exactly when the frogs will leave! Since the Egyptians worshipped the frog god, this will show that Moshe is a god greater than the frog god! (It will also show that Yehovah is certainly stronger than the frog god.)
7. Why did Moshe add, “They will remain only in the canal”? He needed to say this lest some Egyptian later claimed that Moshe truly didn’t remove all the frogs from the land; the frogs just retreated into the waters on their own.
8. Why did Pharaoh answer, “Tomorrow!” instead of, “In an hour!”? I have wondered this. I propose that Pharaoh was trying to show to Moshe and Aharon that the frogs didn’t humble him, but that he was asking Moshe and Aharon to do a favour for Pharaoh’s slaves and his people.
9. What was the purpose of being so specific about when the frogs would leave, according to verse 10, KJV? This way, Moshe was doing according to Pharaoh’s speech! Pharaoh could know from this that there isn’t any god as Yehovah our Gods!
10. Who is our in, “there isn’t any god as Yehovah our Gods”? Our refers to the Israelis! They have the greatest Gods of all!
11. Why is Gods plural? Yehovah is all the Gods there are! He is even God over frogs!
IV. Moshe’s Shout (verses 12-14)
Moshe then shouted unto Yehovah regarding the issue of the frogs that Yehovah had put to Pharaoh. Yehovah did just as Moshe had said that He would, and the frogs that were in the houses, courtyards and fields died. The Egyptians and the Israelis heaped them into piles. They rotted, bubbling and bubbling. The land of Egypt stank!
1. Why did Moshe shout unto Yehovah? The frogs were so noisy, that he had to shout to even hear himself!
2. What did Yehovah ‘put’ to Pharaoh? He ‘put’ to Pharaoh the speech of the frogs—Yehovah caused the frogs to speak to Pharaoh. Since the frog was one of the gods of the Egyptians, Yehovah caused a huge number of them to speak at the same time! (Rivet—uh, I mean, Tzfardaya!)
3. The text states, “And Yehovah did according to the speech of Moshe.” What did Yehovah do? Yehovah removed the frogs from the land the next day.
4. Why did Yehovah cause the frogs to die instead of causing them to return back to the waters and just leave? Yehovah wanted their gods to stink so that they would not worship those gods any more. He also wanted the Israelis (who suffered with the same frog troubles) to quit using the Egyptian gods. Had the frogs just disappeared, the Egyptians and Israelis might have worshipped them even more, fearing their return. By having them die and just stink, the Egyptians and the Israelis would realize that Yehovah must have killed the frogs. (Frogs don’t die all at once like that.)
Yehovah also brought the terrible smell into the land because the Egyptians were focused on great beauty and excellent smells as part of their culture. Thus, Yehovah gave them a smell that they never forgot while they lived!
5. Why did they heap the frogs? They had to remove them from their homes, from their beds, from their ovens, etc., and put them somewhere. They didn’t have time or energy to bury them because there were too many. They collected them and threw them into huge piles.
6. What does their bubbling, their bubbling mean? This means that the frogs in huge piles rotted, liquefied, gave off terrible-smelling gasses, and produced huge bubbles—like soap bubbles, but terrible-smelling!
7. Where could the Egyptians and Israelis go to avoid the terrible smell? They would have had to leave the land of Egypt and go many miles away!
V. Pharaoh’s Breather (verse 15)
Pharaoh saw that there was a breather. He weighted his own heart! He didn’t hearken to Moshe and Aharon, which was exactly what Yehovah had said would happen.
1. What does “And Pharaoh saw that the breather was” mean? A breather is a time to take a breath. Yehovah kept hitting the land of Egypt with these terrible attacks. Now, Yehovah have Pharaoh and Egypt a little time to recuperate. Pharaoh saw this as a time to get back to normalcy, as if he were catching his breath.
2. Did Pharaoh use this ‘breather’ time to believe and to learn to fear Yehovah? No! Instead, he “weighted his heart!”
3. What does weighted his heart mean? Since the heart is the mind, and since heaviness of mind has to do with worrying and being anxious about things, Pharaoh used this time to worry and be anxious about how Egypt would survive without the Israelis. He figured that Egypt wouldn’t survive. These thoughts were so strong in his mind, that he again didn’t hearken unto Moshe, Aharon and Yehovah.
VI. Dusty Louse (verses 16-19)
Yehovah next commanded Moshe to say unto Aharon, “Stretch thy rod! And smite dust of the land. And he will become to their louse in all the land of Egypt.” Moshe and Aharon did as Yehovah said. Aharon stretched his hand by means of his rod, and he smote dust of the land. The dust turned into Moshe’s and Aharon’s louse in man and in animal! All the dust of the land of Egypt became lice in all the land of Egypt!
Pharaoh’s diviners also struck the dust of the land using their flames in order to send out lice, and they weren’t able to do this!
Moshe’s and Aharon’s louse became in man and animal. The diviners said unto Pharaoh, “He is the finger of gods!” Pharaoh’s heart gripped! He refused to hearken unto Moshe and to Aharon, which is what Yehovah had said would happen.
1. How can someone smite dust of the land with a rod? The person takes the rod and hits the ground very hard!
2. What is a louse?
(Picture from web.sssd.k12.ar.us/northside/headliceinfo.shtml, showing adult and nymph lice)
It is a small, wingless, flat insect that is a parasite that likes to live on the human scalp, and makes the head itch. It sucks blood. Once it finds a human scalp as a good home, it is very catchy and not very easily removed. The plural form of louse is lice!
3. What did Yehovah say would become lice? He said that all the dust of the land would become lice! That means that everywhere humans and animals walked, they would stir up huge numbers of lice that would get on their skin and would start sucking blood!
4. Why would Aharon want to do this? Wouldn’t Aharon also be attacked by the lice? I suspect that Aharon and Moshe also were attacked by the lice! I suspect that they suffered with all the Israelis and Egyptians. Yet, they knew that they must obey in order to free the Israelis from slavery. Sometimes, doing right for others will mean suffering!
5. Why weren’t the diviners able to send out the lice? Yehovah did not give them the power to imitate this miracle. He now began to limit them so that they would know that Yehovah is the greatest of all the gods.
6. Where Yehovah and the diviners holding a competition? Yes, they were! Yehovah designed it this way! That is why He gave the diviners power to do the same things at first. Yehovah doesn’t mind it if humans compare Him to their gods; that is one way that humans can come to Truth, if they are willing!
7. What was the response of the diviners to their inability to do the same miracle? They told Pharaoh, “He is the finger of gods!”
8. What did they mean by, “He is the finger of gods”? He referred to the miracle of the lice. They told Pharaoh that this miracle was the finger of gods to warn him that this was small compared to what the gods could do. If this was the finger, what would the entire hand of gods be like? If the hand was much worse, what would the arm of gods be like?
9. Did the diviners now believe in Yehovah? They didn’t believe in Yehovah in a way that did them or anyone else any good. They saw these things as being from ‘gods,’ and not from Yehovah. Had they said, “He is the finger of Yehovah,” that would have been different.
10. To what did Pharaoh’s heart (mind) grip? His mind gripped to the idea of holding on to the Israeli slaves! He couldn’t bring himself to send them out of the land of Egypt.
VII. The Swarm, and Segregation (verses 20-24)
Now, Yehovah gave Moshe another assignment: “Early-rise in the morning. And position-thyself to the faces of Pharaoh. Behold he will exit to the water.”
Yehovah told Moshe to say to Pharaoh while Pharaoh was at the water in the morning, “So said Yehovah, ‘Send my people, and he has served me! For if thou aren’t sending my people, behold I am sending the swarm into thee and into thy slaves and into thy people and into thy houses! And they shall fill the houses of Egypt with the swarm, and also the soil that they are upon her!’”
Yehovah added one new and different part to this threat: “And in that day, I will segregate the land of Goshen upon which my people is standing so that the swarm is not being there, so that thou wilt know that I am Yehovah in the midst of the land! And I will put a redemption between my people and between thy people! This sign shall be tomorrow!”
Yehovah did exactly as He threatened. A heavy swarm came toward the house of Pharaoh and the house of his slaves, and in all the land of Egypt. This resulted in the ruination of the land of Egypt as the swarm faced every part of the land!
1. Why did Yehovah tell Moshe to say to Pharaoh, “Send my people, and he has served me” instead of something like this: “Thou hard-headed fool, send my people this time, and he has served me”? Yehovah used calm repetition instead of insults in order to terrorize Pharaoh and the Egyptians! Had He told Moshe to use harsh words, those words might have prodded Pharaoh and the Egyptians to attack Moshe, Aharon and the Israelis out of anger and vengeance. Instead, He commanded soft but commanding words to bring terror.
2. What is this swarm? It is a very large group of creatures (usually insects, as in this case) that act as one creature! A swarm seems to have one brain even if the swarm gets split up!
3. Where will this swarm be located? It will fill the houses of Egypt and will be over all the soil!
4. What problems will this cause? No matter where the Egyptians go, they won’t be able to get away from this swarm of insects! When they move, the insects will be right there around them!
5. Will this swarm attack humans that move through it? It don’t get the impression that the swarm stung; that would kill the Egyptians. My impression is that the swarm was just everywhere so that the Egyptians stepped on these bugs, crushing some onto the floors and making them slippery, they ended up eating some of the bugs because they were on their food, they found them in their clothing and under their clothing, they found them in their beds and in their mouths if they slept with their mouths open, they found them in their drinks when they went to drink, they found them on the waters when they went to bathe, they found them in and on everything! This had to be more frightening than being attacked by birds!
6. Yehovah said that He would segregate the land of Goshen so that the swarm won’t be there. What is segregation, and does Yehovah practice segregation? Segregation is the separation or isolation of any group for special or bad treatment from another group. Thus, segregation can be bad (as it often is), or it can be good (when special treatment doesn’t do harm, but only benefits and does good). Your Sunday School class is segregated from other Sunday School classes in the same church.
Yehovah always practices segregation, showing special treatment to one group over another; He segregates the group of those who fear Him from the groups that don’t fear Him. He also commands segregation—that the group that He owns and/or that fears Him must be separate from the groups that don’t fear Him and that He doesn’t own. That separation is so that the segregated group can serve Yehovah and the other groups! He segregated Israel from all other races so that Israel will serve (slave for) the other races to benefit them! Thus, the segregation isn’t physical—that is, the Israelis won’t live as separated from the other races; the separation will be in faith and in righteousness! They will instead live among the other races and cultures, working with them as they work, but teaching them the ways of the Gods of Avraham, Isaac and Jacob! For example, when the Israelis live among the Chinese who grow rice in water-filled fields and who weed with their feet and toes, the Israelis who are with them will likewise weed with their feet and toes while teaching them the character, ways and righteousnesses of Yehovah. The Israelis who live with tribes in Africa that make beautiful and complex baskets for transporting goods will work with them weaving the baskets while teaching them the same things about Yehovah, speaking in their languages and working within their cultures. Every different cultural group will have expertise in some area or areas. The Israelis will live among them, participating both in work and in instruction in righteousness.
7. What is the purpose of this segregation that keeps the swarm out of the land of Goshen where the Israelis (Hebrews) are located? The purpose is so that Pharaoh will know that He is Yehovah (Who is causing these miracles) in the midst of the land! This will also stop the Israelis from suffering with the rest of the plagues!
8. Yehovah said, “I will put a redemption between my people and between thy people.” What is a redemption, and what did He mean? Hebrew has two different words for redemption, each having a different meaning. The one not used here means to rescue from captivity by paying a ransom. The one that is used here means to rescue from captivity by force.
Since Yehovah will put a redemption between His people and the Egyptians, Yehovah will force a rescue of the Israelis from captivity to the plagues, and eventually from captivity to the Egyptians!
9. What did the swarm do to the land of Egypt? It ruined the land! All those insects ate the crops and stopped the Egyptians from doing any work or enjoying any leisure! The Egyptians couldn’t get any rest or sleep. They must have been terrorized, not knowing when this would end!
10. Could the Egyptians go anywhere to get away from the swarm? Yes! They could go into Goshen where the Israelis were located! No swarms were there! If an Egyptian had moved into Goshen, the Egyptian would not have been plagued by the swarm!
11. Suppose that a man stood twelve inches within the border of the land of Goshen, and another man stood twelve inches outside of the land of Goshen in Egypt. Would one have been attacked by the swarm, and the other have been unbothered? That is what would have happened! The swarm would have obeyed the commands of Yehovah, and wouldn’t have gone over the border!
12. If an Israeli had gone out of Goshen and into Egypt, would he have been attacked by the swarm? Yehovah put a redemption (by force) between the Egyptians and the Israelis. I propose that this would have kept the Israeli from being bothered by the swarm, though the swarm would have been in the rest of Egypt.
13. Over what period of time did these devastating signs occur? They had to be separated by enough time for the land to almost fully recover. This way, the next sign (plague, destruction) would be more convincing to all involved! If they were too close together, Egypt would have been destroyed. If they were too far apart, they wouldn’t have been as convincing!
14. Were the Israelis still slaves during this time, having to go and obtain straw to make bricks? They were still slaves, but these devastations were so distracting, that I propose that the taskmasters and the Egyptian leaders were not so concerned about brick making. They also began to really fear the God of the Israelis who was tearing up their land!
VIII. Concession and Abomination (verses 25-30)
Pharaoh called unto Moshe and Aharon. He said to them, “Walk ye! Sacrifice ye to your gods in the land!”
Moshe replied, “Not established to do so! For we will sacrifice the abomination of Egypt to Yehovah our Gods! Behold, we will sacrifice the abomination of Egypt to their eyes, and he won’t stone us?”
Moshe had a counterproposal: “We will walk a way of three days into the desert. And we will sacrifice to Yehovah our Gods just as He said unto us.”
Pharaoh now stated, “I, I am sending you! And ye shall sacrifice to Yehovah your gods in the desert! Only making distance, ye shall not make distance to walk! Entreat for my sake!”
This wasn’t what Moshe had proposed. Moshe responded: “Behold, I am exiting from thy people. And I will entreat unto Yehovah. And He will turn-away the swarm from Pharaoh, from his slaves and from his people tomorrow. Only, Pharaoh shall not again keep-hanging to not send the people to sacrifice to Yehovah!” Moshe knew that Pharaoh’s counterproposal was a refusal.
Moshe then exited from Pharaoh, and he entreated unto Yehovah.
1. When Pharaoh said, “Walk ye! Sacrifice ye to your gods in the land,” was he finally doing what Yehovah told him to do? No. Pharaoh said, “in the land.” Yehovah insisted that the Hebrews go out of the land a three-days-journey.
2. What did Moshe mean by, “Not established to do so”? Moshe knew that this was not permitted in Egypt! He explained why in the next statement. The Egyptians didn’t permit sacrificing an animal that is an abomination in their land. (Sheep were considered abominations.) Moshe knew that Pharaoh was setting a trap by telling the Israelis to sacrifice in the land, after which the Egyptians would attack all who participated in that sacrifice.
3. Who is he in, “and he won’t stone us?” He refers to Egypt! The entire people of Egypt will come together to stone the Israelis for such a sacrifice.
4. After Moshe said, “We will walk a way of three days into the desert. And we will sacrifice to Yehovah our Gods just as He said unto us,” Pharaoh said, “I, I am sending you!” What did he mean? Pharaoh meant that he was finally sending the Israelis to do the sacrifice. No one would harm the Israelis if they do this sacrifice in Pharaoh’s way.
5. Did Pharaoh finally give them permission to walk and do the sacrifice? He gave them permission on one condition: that they won’t make distance. That means that they cannot go the three-days journey; they can only go a short distance.
6. What did Pharaoh then command Moshe and Aharon to do? He commanded them to entreat (to urgently request) for Pharaoh’s sake (so that this swarm will go away).
7. Did Moshe agree to this deal? No! He agreed to entreat unto Yehovah, and he guaranteed that Yehovah will turn away the swarm from Pharaoh, his slaves and his people tomorrow, but that is all that he agreed to do.
8. What did Moshe mean by, “Only, Pharaoh shall not again keep-hanging to not send the people to sacrifice to Yehovah”? To keep handing is to keep in suspense. Pharaoh kept everyone in suspense while he went back and forth (vacillated) between sending and not sending the Israelis to sacrifice to Yehovah.
9. How did Moshe feel when he left Pharaoh? He was angry at Pharaoh.
10. Why did Moshe entreat Yehovah regardless of how he felt? Moshe knew that the Egyptians greatly suffered under these plagues. He was not hardened against the Egyptians, and he wasn’t bitter against them.
IX. Pharaoh Lied (verses 31-32)
Yehovah did exactly what Moshe said Yehovah would do. He expelled the swarm from Pharaoh, from his slaves and from his people. Not a single bug from the swarm remained.
Pharaoh also weighted his heart ‘in this stroke’—during this time. He didn’t send the people.
1. How many of the creatures that made up the swarm remained in the land of Egypt the next day? Not even one of them remained!
2. Why did Pharaoh keep weighting down his heart (mind)? Did Yehovah cause him to do this? He kept doing this because he didn’t want to send the Israelis! He had his fears and expectations, and he was the leader of Egypt. He didn’t want to go down in history as the one who sent an entire slave population out of Egypt to the ruin of the entire Egyptian country. He was also a proud man, thinking more of himself than what was true. He had many reasons for a heavy mind and for refusing to change, just as many others do today.
Yehovah never caused him to weigh down his mind and refuse to change. Yehovah doesn’t do that. If Yehovah had done that, Pharaoh would have been completely innocent!
3. Is Pharaoh an example of a rare type of individual who refuses the truth in the obvious face of the truth, or is Pharaoh a common type of person? Are there any among modern Christians who are like Pharaoh? The type of person Pharaoh was is common today all over the world! Most folks believe what they want to believe, and many promise to change without fulfilling their promises.
Modern Christians include a majority of folks who are just like Pharaoh. They claim faith in the God of the Bible, but they believe what they want to believe, picking and choosing from the Bible as if the Bible is a restaurant menu. They won’t change their minds and do what the Bible really says, always weighing down their minds with reasons why they can’t and won’t.