Plagues 2,3,4 – Frogs, Lice, Flies

Plagues 2-4

Seven days were fulfilled, after that the Lord turned the river to blood. (Exodus 7:25)

Frogs:

The Lord (to Moses): Go to Pharaoh, and say to him, the Lord says this, Let my people go, that they may serve me. And if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all your borders with frogs. And the river will bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into your house, and into your bedchamber, and on your bed, and into the house of your servants, and on your people, and into your ovens, and into your kneading troughs. And the frogs shall come up both on you and on your people and on all your servants.

The Lord (continued): 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.

And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt. And the magicians brought up frogs on the land of Egypt with their enchantments.

Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron.

Pharaoh: Entreat the Lord, that he may take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may make sacrifice to the Lord.

Moses: Command me. When shall I entreat the Lord for you, and for your servants, and for your people, to destroy the frogs from you and your houses, that they may remain in the river only?

Pharaoh: Tomorrow.

Note: I heard a preacher say Pharaoh’s wife had to be pretty mad when he told her he was able to choose when the frogs would be gone, and he said tomorrow. Why didn’t he say TODAY or IMMEDIATELY?

Moses: Be it according to your word: that you may know that there is none like the Lord our God. And the frogs shall depart from you, and from your houses, and from your servants, and from your people; they shall remain in the river only.

And Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh.

Moses cried to the Lord because of the frogs which he had brought against Pharaoh.

The Lord did according to the word of Moses; and the frogs died out of the houses, the villages and the fields. And the Egyptians gathered the frogs together in heaps: and the land stank.

But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and did not listen to Moses and Aaron; as the Lord had said.

Lice:

The Lord (to Moses): Say to Aaron, Stretch out your rod and strike the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.

And they did so; for Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod and struck 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.

And the magicians tried to bring forth lice with their enchantments, but they could not. So there were lice on man and beast.

Note: This is the first plague the magicians could not duplicate.

The magicians (to Pharaoh): This is the finger of God.

Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to Moses and Aaron; as the Lord had said.

Flies:

The Lord (to Moses): Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh. He comes to the water; and say to him, the Lord says this, Let my people go, that they may serve me. Else, if you will not let my people go, I will send swarms of flies on you, and on your servants, and on your people, and into your houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground where they are. And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, 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. And I will put a division between my people and your people: tomorrow shall this sign be.

And the Lord did so; and there came a grievous swarm of flies into the house of Pharaoh, and into his servants’ houses, and into all the land of Egypt. The land was corrupted by reason of the swarm of flies.

And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron.

Pharaoh: Sacrifice to your God in the land.

Note: Pharaoh was saying, sacrifice here in Egypt. Don’t travel away.

Moses: It is not appropriate to do so; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the Lord our God. Shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us? We will go three days’ journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to the Lord our God, as he shall command us.

Pharaoh: I will let you go, that ye may sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; only you shall not go very far away. Entreat for me.

Moses: I go out from you, and I will entreat the Lord that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, tomorrow: but do not let Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the Lord.

Moses went out from Pharaoh, and entreated the Lord.

The Lord did according to the word of Moses; and he removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people. There remained not one fly.

Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also and would not let the people go.

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Moses Goes to Egypt

After an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush appeared to Moses in the wilderness of mount Sinai, Moses returned to Jethro his father-in-law. Forty years have passed since Moses came to Jethro in Midian. (Acts 7:30)

Moses (to Jethro): Let me go and return to my brethren who are in Egypt, and see whether they are yet alive.

Jethro (to Moses): Go in peace.

The Lord (to Moses in Midian): Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead who sought your life.

And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them on a donkey. And Moses returned to the land of Egypt with the rod of God in his hand.

The Lord: When you return into Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go. And you shall say to Pharaoh, the Lord said, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: And I say to you, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if you refuse to let him go, I will slay your son, even your firstborn.

On the Way

In an inn, the Lord met Moses and sought to kill him.

Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at Moses’ feet.

Zipporah: Surely a bloody husband you are to me.

She said this because of the circumcision.

So God let Moses go.

Pulpit Commentary says of this passage:

Moses was seized with a sudden and dangerous illness, which he rightly regarded, as a God-inflicted punishment, sent to chastise his sin of not circumcising his son. Zipporah understood the matter in the same way; and, as her husband was too ill to perform the rite, she herself with her own hand cut off her boy’s foreskin, and, still indignant at what she had been forced to do, cast it at her husband’s feet, with the reproach – “Surely a bloody husband you are to me.” Once the rite was performed, however reluctantly, God’s anger was appeased. He allowed Moses to recover his health and to pursue his journey.

The Lord (to Aaron): Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.

And Aaron went, and met Moses in the mount of God, and kissed him.

And Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord who had sent him, and all the signs which he had commanded him.

And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel: And Aaron spake all the words which the Lord had spoken to Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. And the people believed: and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked on their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.

The Waters Turn to Blood

Exodus 7

Moses was 80 years old, and Aaron 83 years old, when they spoke to Pharaoh.

The Lord (to Moses): I have made you a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron your brother shall be your prophet. You shall speak all that I command you, and Aaron your brother shall speak to Pharaoh, (and tell him) that he send the children of Israel out of his land. And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt. But Pharaoh shall not listen to you, that I may lay my hand on Egypt, and bring my armies and my people the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out my hand on Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them.

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Bible Tools Commentary

I have made you a god – Moses was to act in this business as God’s representative, to act and speak in His name and to perform things beyond the ordinary course of nature.

Aaron your brother shall be your prophet – that is, “interpreter” or “spokesman.” Moses was to be the representative of God, and Aaron was considered the speaker throughout all the upcoming scenes, even though his name is not always expressly mentioned.

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Moses and Aaron did as the Lord commanded them.

The Lord (to Moses and to Aaron): When Pharaoh says to you, “Show a miracle,” then you shall say to Aaron, Take your rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent.

Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh, and they did as the Lord had commanded. Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a serpent.

Then Pharaoh called the wise men and the sorcerers. The magicians of Egypt also make rods turn into serpents with their enchantments. Every one of them cast down his rod, and they became serpents.

But Aaron’s serpent swallowed up their serpents.

God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not listen to Moses and Aaron; as the Lord had said.

The Lord (to Moses): Pharaoh’s heart is hardened, he refuses to let the people go. Go to Pharaoh in the morning. He goes out to the water, and you shall stand by the river’s brink where he comes. You shall take in your hand the rod which was turned to a serpent. And you shall say to Pharaoh, The Lord God of the Hebrews has sent me to you, saying, Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness: and, before you would not hear. The Lord says this, In this you shall know that I am the Lord: I will strike with the rod that is in my hand on the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood. And the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall loathe to drink of the water of the river.

Note: I’ve heard that Pharaoh went to the river every morning to worship the river god.

The Lord (to Moses): Say to Aaron, Take your rod, and stretch out your hand on the waters of Egypt, on their streams, on their rivers, and on their ponds, and on all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, even in their vessels of wood and stone.

Moses and Aaron did as the Lord commanded. Aaron lifted up the rod and struck the water in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. And the fish that were in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.

And the magicians of Egypt changed water to blood with their enchantments. And Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to Moses and Aaron; as the Lord had said.

Pharaoh turned and went into his house, and he did not take this to heart.

Note: God knew beforehand that the magicians of Egypt could duplicate these signs. He knew that Pharaoh would not believe in His power after the magicians repeated the signs.

And all the Egyptians dug around the river for water to drink; because they could not drink of the water of the river.

And seven days were fulfilled, after that the Lord had struck the river.

This is the first of ten plagues on Egypt.

The Lord Speaks to Moses

Exodus 6

The Lord (to Moses): Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh: for he shall let them go because of my strong hand, and he shall drive them out of his land because of my strong hand. (HCSB) I am the Lord. And I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name Jehovah I was not known to them. And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers. And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant. Therefore say to the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm, and with great judgments: And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, which brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you into the land, which I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it to you for an heritage: I am the Lord.

Moses spoke so to the children of Israel. But they did not listen to Moses for anguish of spirit and for cruel bondage.

The Lord (to Moses): Go in and speak to Pharaoh king of Egypt, that he let the children of Israel go out of his land.

Moses (to the Lord): Look, the children of Israel have not listened to me. How then shall Pharaoh hear me, who am of stammering lips?

The Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron and gave them instructions for the children of Israel and for Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.

No Straw

As Chapter 4 ended: When Aaron told the elders of the children of Israel all that the Lord had spoken to Moses and did the signs in the sight of the people, the people believed. When they heard that the Lord had visited them and had looked on their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshipped. (Exodus 4:30-31)

Exodus 5

Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh.

Moses and Aaron: The Lord God of Israel says, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast for me in the wilderness.

Pharaoh: Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.

Moses and Aaron: The God of the Hebrews has met with us: let us go three days’ journey into the desert, and sacrifice to the Lord our God, lest he fall on us with pestilence, or with the sword.

Pharaoh: Why do you, Moses and Aaron, let the people rest their works? Get to your burdens. The people of the land are now many, and you make them rest from their burdens.

Pharaoh (to the taskmasters of the people and their officers): You shall no longer give the people straw to make brick, as you have done until now. Let them go and gather straw for themselves. And the tally of bricks, which they made before, you shall require of them. You shall not diminish it, because they are idle. Therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God. Let more work be laid on the men, that they may labor in it. And let them not regard vain words.

The taskmasters of the people and their officers went out and spoke to the people.

The taskmasters of the people and their officers: Pharaoh says, I will not give you straw. Go, get straw where you can find it, yet none of your work shall be diminished.

So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw.

And the taskmasters hurried them.

The taskmasters: Fulfill your work, your daily tasks, as when straw was provided for you.

And the officers of the children of Israel, which Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, were beaten and questioned.

The taskmasters (to the officers): Why have you not fulfilled your task in making brick both yesterday and today, as before?

Then the officers of the children of Israel came to Pharaoh.

The officers of the children of Israel (to Pharaoh): Why do you deal with your servants in this way? No straw is given to your servants, and they say to us, Make brick: and we are beaten; but the fault is in your own people.

Pharaoh: You are idle, you are idle, therefore you say, Let us go and make sacrifice to the Lord. Go therefore now, and work; for no straw shall be given you, yet you shall deliver the tally of bricks.

The officers of the children of Israel saw that they were in evil case, after it was said, You shall not diminish any from the bricks of your daily task.

The officers of the children of Israel met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the path, as they came from Pharaoh.

The officers of the children of Israel (to Moses and Aaron): The Lord look on you and judge, because you have made our savor to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us.

Moses returned to the Lord.

Moses: Lord, why have you so evil entreated this people? Why is it that you have sent me? Since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people. And you have not delivered your people at all.

Moses: Slow of Speech

Exodus 4:10-18

Moses: My Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before, nor since you have spoken to your servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

The Lord: Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Is it not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth, and teach you what you shall say.

Moses: My Lord, please send someone else. (ESV)

The anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses.

The Lord: Isn’t Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And he comes now to meet you. And when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. And you shall speak to him, and put words in his mouth. And I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and I will teach you what you shall do. And he shall be your spokesman to the people: and he shall be to you as a mouth, and you shall be to him as God. And you shall take this rod in your hand, with which you shall do signs.

Signs that God Sent Moses

Genesis 4:1-9

Moses: But they will not believe me, nor listen to my voice: for they will say, The Lord has not appeared to you.

The Lord: What is that in your hand?

Moses: A rod.

The Lord: Cast it on the ground.

Moses cast his rod on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it.

The Lord: Put out your hand and take the serpent by the tail.

Moses put forth his hand, and caught the serpent by the tail, and it became a rod in his hand.

The Lord: That they may believe that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you. Now put your hand into your bosom.

Moses put his hand into his bosom, and when he took it out his hand was leprous as snow.

The Lord: Put your hand into your bosom again.

Moses put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and it was turned again as his other flesh.

The Lord: If they will not believe you, nor listen to the voice of the first sign, they will believe the voice of the latter sign. And if they will not believe also these two signs, nor listen to your voice, you shall take of the water of the river, and pour it on the dry land: and the water which you take out of the river shall become blood on the dry land.

Moses and Jesus

At the end of Genesis, Joseph brought his father, brothers and their families to Egypt because of the famine. Joseph was about 40 years old at that time, and he lived to be 110 (Genesis 50:26). But then years passed and Joseph was forgotten, and the Egyptians made the Israelites their slaves.

After 400 years of slavery (Genesis 15:13), God provided a deliverer. Moses spent 40 years in the palace of pharaoh (Acts 7:23) and 40 years as a shepherd in Midian (Acts 7:30). Then God spoke to him from a burning bush and sent him to Egypt to free the Israelites from slavery (Exodus 3-4).

Moses is a picture of Christ. Moses delivered the people from physical bondage in Egypt, and Christ delivers us from the spiritual bondage of sin.

The law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:17)

If you want to read more about Moses and Jesus, here are a few passages.

A new covenant in Christ (2 Corinthians 3:7-18)

Jesus is greater than Moses (Hebrews 3:1-6)

Salvation through faith in Christ, not through obeying the law (Romans 3:1-11)

Burning Bush

Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. (Called Reuel in Exodus 2)

Moses was forty years old when he left Egypt and the palace of Pharaoh. (Acts 7:23) And he had been in the land of Midian forty years. (Acts 7:30) Now he is eighty years old.

Moses led the flock to the backside of the desert and came to Horeb the mountain of God. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. And he looked, and saw that the bush burned with fire, and yet the bush was not consumed.

Moses: I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.

And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the midst of the bush.

God: Moses, Moses.

Moses: Here am I.

God: Do not come near here: put off your shoes from off your feet, for the place on which you stand is holy ground. I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.

And Moses hid his face; because he was afraid to look on God.

The Lord: I have seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt. I have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good land and a large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey; to the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. The cry of the children of Israel is come to me: and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Comes and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.

Moses: Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?

God: Certainly I will be with you; and this shall be a token for you, that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.

Moses: When I come to the children of Israel, and shall say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? What shall I say to them?

God: I Am that I Am: You shall say this to the children of Israel, I Am has sent me to you. You shall say this to the children of Israel, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial to all generations. Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared to me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt: And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, to a land flowing with milk and honey. And they shall listen to your voice: and you shall come, you and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt, and you shall say to him, The Lord God of the Hebrews has met with us: and now let us go, we beseech you, three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God. And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand. And I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the middle of it. After that he will let you go. And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians: and when you go, you shall not go empty: But every woman shall borrow of her neighbor, and of her that sojourns in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and garments. And you shall put them on your sons, and on your daughters; and you shall spoil the Egyptians.

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