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Exodus 7:1 "And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. 2. Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land. 3. And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt. 4. But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. 5. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them."

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Now begins the battle between God and Egypt. This never was Moses and Aaron's fight. It never was about Israel vs. Egypt. This is God's war and no one in his right mind would fight against the God of Israel. Pharaoh must learn this the hard way. With each of the plagues we see God taunting Pharaoh, playing with Him. God knows what the outcome is going to be but He wants there to be no doubt in anyone's mind when His people leave Egypt that they were brought out by His hand. He is proving to the Egyptians once and for all that they are dealing with the only living God. Each one of the plagues can be directly linked to a god of Egypt. The Egyptians were a very superstitious people and worshipped many things.

God told Moses that he was going to be as a god to Pharaoh and Aaron would be a prophet, or spokesman. A prophet is simply one who speaks for God. As Moses and Aaron dealt with Pharaoh, he acquiesces to their request to leave and then rescinds his permission. God said He would harden Pharaoh's heart. Does this then mean that Pharaoh had no choice but to act the way he did? No! Everyone has a choice in how they behave. Pharaoh already had a greedy, possessive heart filled with deceit and disrespect for the God of Israel. He was an unbeliever who God planned to make into a believer. God was just giving him enough rope to hang himself with!

I read this account of Israel being brought out of Egypt often because it is so fascinating how God accomplishes His will. He could have wiped out the Egyptians with a single blow but He chose to bring them down through a series of ten plagues. He destroyed their crops, their livestock and then all their first-born. I don't believe God enjoyed the destruction He wrought but I do believe He enjoyed proving His power to Pharaoh!

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Exodus 7:10 "And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the Lord had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent. 11. Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. 12. For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods. 13. And he hardened Pharaoh's heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said."

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The Egyptians had deities to represent every function of life. Some Bible scholars believe the serpent here was actually a crocodile. I don't know about that. I have always believed it was a snake! For one thing, the Bible says Aarons rod swallowed up their rod and snakes are known to eat each other. In all fairness, I will tell you why some believe this was a crocodile. First of all, the word used here for serpent is used to represent dragon in Isaiah and Ezekiel and is satanic in meaning. Also, the Egyptians worshipped the crocodile. Their god, Sebak, was an evil deity with a crocodile head. Another god, Apepi, also appeared as a crocodile and was believed by the Egyptians to be the arch enemy of all the solar gods. Some believe that by Aaron's rod (a crocodile) swallowing up the Egyptian's rod (also a crocodile) it was as if God delivered a blow to the most prominate thing they worshipped. It is just really hard for me to envision Aaron picking up a big crocodile by the tail and it turning into a rod. But this was just a prelude to the next ten plagues, each one a little worse than the last. Here is a list of the plagues of Egypt listed in order. I encourage you to memorize them.

1. Water turned to blood.
2. Frogs
3. Lice
4. Flies
5. Murrain
6. Boils
7. Hail
8. Locusts
9. Darkeness
10. Death of the first born.

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Exodus 7:14 "And the Lord said unto Moses, Pharaoh's heart is hardened, he refuseth to let the people go. 15. Get thee unto Pharaoh in the morning; lo, he goeth out unto the water; and thou shalt stand by the river's brink against he come; and the rod which was turned to a serpent shalt thou take in thine hand. 16. And thou shalt say unto him, The Lord God of the Hebrews hath sent me unto thee, saying, Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness: and, behold, hitherto thou wouldest not hear. 17. Thus saith the Lord, In this thou shalt know that I am the Lord: behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood. 22. And the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, neither did he hearken unto them; as the Lord had said."

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WATER TURNED TO BLOOD

The first plague, the water turned to blood, was directed against Egypt's main source of water, the Nile River. The Nile was considered sacred by the Egyptians, it was the lifeblood of Egypt. Their god Hapi, a little fat man with the breasts of a woman, indicated the powers of fertility and nourishment the water held. A hymn they sang in the temple about the Nile has been translated as follows:

Thou waterest the fields which Ra created.
Thou art the bringer of food.
Creator of all good things.
Thou fillest the storehouses.
Thou hast cared for the poor and needy.


The first plague lasted 7 days but because the magicians duplicated it, Pharaoh hardened his heart. It is interesting, though, to note that even though Satan's powers allowed them to duplicate turning the water into blood, it did not allow them to turn it back into pure water!

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

What do you think about Moses and Aaron's rod? Do you think it was a snake or a crocodile?

Do you think Pharaoh had a choice in letting Israel go? Why do you think God hardened his heart?

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