THE PLAGUES OF EGYPT

The greatest news story of all time, the destruction of Egypt, demonstrated the miraculous power of God against one of the world's greatest empires at the height of its glory.  Israel was delivered from Egypt by means of devastating plagues to demonstrate God's wonders as the supreme Lord of creation, to fulfill the Abrahamic Covenant,  and to evangelize the world.

Contents


The Birth of Moses

Moses

The Israelites who followed Joseph into Egypt were a vigorous people.  After Joseph died, their population exploded.  The Egyptians were frightened at their large numbers, and put them to forced labor.  They appointed harsh taskmasters over them and forced them to make brick.  They also demanded that all male babies be thrown into the Nile.

Nearly 400 years after the Israelites (family of Jacob) entered Egypt, Moses was born.  He was a handsome child with a magnificent destiny.  He is called in the Hebrew, tob, which means handsome (good-looking) (Exodus 2:2).  The word should not be translated, beautiful, as the translators have done.  The word in the Greek is ajstei'o" (asteios), which means well-pleasing, or exceptional.  In Acts 7:20 the word is followed by the dative of advantage of God, which indicates a favorable relationship with God, i.e. a divine destiny.  In Hebrews 11:23, Moses' parents noticed his exceptional appearance and royal destiny.  Parents should recognize the destiny of their children.  How else can they give them the right training?

Moses' parents defied Pharaoh's edict of killing the male babies, which is an example of obedience to divine authority in lieu of an evil ruler under the power of Cosmos Diabolicus.  They kept Moses out of sight for three months and then put him in a wicker basket on the Nile where Pharaoh's daughter performed her morning ritual.  This was not a wild gamble.  Pharaoh's daughter went down to the Nile every day to bathe, or skinny dip.  This was her daily ritual of worshiping the god of the Nile, i.e. Ecumenical Babylon.  Women usually have an affinity for babies, and she was no exception.

NefureHowever, there was more to it than just an act of compassion.  About this time, there was a problem of succession to the throne.  The likely reason Pharaoh's daughter is mentioned without any references to Pharaoh's son is because Pharaoh had daughters but no sons.  When this happened in Egyptian history, it presented a problem of succession.  There were only two ways to ascend to the throne of Egypt.  Either the crown prince had to be the son of a Pharaoh, or the son of the wife of a Pharaoh.  Thus, there is a logical explanation of how Moses became the crown prince.  Since Pharaoh had no son, then the Queen had to procure a son from the gods.  If the Queen could procure a son from the gods, then that son would be qualified to be the crown prince.2  This is just like the story of Semiramis, who had an illegitimate son and told everyone that she got him from the gods.  Pharaoh had no sons, and his daughter procured one for him.  She found Moses on the Nile and claimed that she got him from the gods.  The Queen who adopted Moses was probably Hatshepsut.

Moses became the crown prince of Egypt as he distinguished himself.  He was well qualified and known to be a genius in five different areas of life:  Military, government administration, literature, music, and architecture.  Moses was also a believer and through faith, developed a personal sense of destiny.  At age 40, when he was crown prince, he left the throne of Egypt behind and fled into the desert (Hebrews 11:24-26; Exodus 2:15).  By faith Moses chose his spiritual destiny in lieu of worldly promotion.  In the Bible, Egypt is a symbol of the world (Cosmic System).

Principle:  You aren't promoted unless God promotes you.

Birth of Israel

Moses lived in Midian for 40 years as he prepared spiritually for his prophetic destiny as leader of the exodus.  During this time he married Zipporah and had a son, Gershom (Exodus 2:21-22).  Similarly, the nation of Israel was like a baby in the womb in Egypt ready to be born.  God promised Abraham a great nation and foretold Israel's slavery for 400 years, the punishment, and deliverance from Egypt (Genesis 15:13-14).  Israel lived in Egypt 430 years (Exodus 12:40-41 cf. Galatians 3:17).  The number 400 is the round number, which means weakness, and 430 is the exact number, where 43 means to be fulfilled.

Galatians 3:17 points out that Abraham was promised a seed, singular.  The word is singular bothe in the Greek, sperma (Galatians 3:17) and in the Hebrew,  zera` (Genesis 22:18).  The seed (singular) was Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ was heir of the promise to Abraham; and the Church, which is in Christ through Positional Sanctification, is also heir.  So, the deliverance from Egyptian bondage was necessary for the birth of Christ, the Savior of the world.  And Jesus Christ as a descendant of Abraham provided the blessings of Abraham to members of the Church, since they are positionally in union with Christ.

Israel in Egypt was like a baby in the womb.  The metaphor occurred when Rebekah was pregnant with the twins, Jacob and Esau (Genesis 25:21-23), whom the Lord called two nations.  There was such a ruckus in Rebekah's womb that she inquired of the Lord about what was going on down there.  The Lord informed her that she had womb mates.  Isaiah continued the metaphor:

"Listen to Me, O house of Jacob,
And all the remnant of the house of Israel,
Who have been carried out from the womb
And have been carried out from the uterus; (Isaiah 46:3)
The metaphor is that the Lord carried Israel like a baby through the wilderness wanderings.  Jacob refers to apostate descedants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob like those who died in the wilderness, while Israel refers to descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who are believers with Bible Doctrine.  There are two words for carrying in the verse and two words for womb.  The first word for carry is the Hebrew  sm^u* (`amas), which means to carry a load, and the next one is Hebrew ac*n*(nasa'), which means to lift up and carry along.  The first word for womb is Hebrew ÷/f#b# (beten), which means belly, or womb.  The next word for womb is Hebrew !<j^r^ (racham), which is the technical word for womb, or uterus.  Both words for womb are preceded by the preposition in Hebrew /m! (min), which means out from.  "Out from the womb" recognizes the principle that human soul life is given by the Lord outside the womb.  There may be biological life inside the womb, but not soul life.  Human soul life is the spark of life (Hebrew hm*v*n+, neshamah) (Genesis 2:7; 1 Corinthians 15:45).  The Bible never says that human soul life exists inside the womb.3
Burning Bush
When it was time for the nation of Israel to be born, they were screaming in Egypt like a woman in labor.  God heard the groaning of the people and remembered the Abrahamic Covenant (Exodus 2:23-25; Numbers 20:14-16).  The Lord Jesus Christ as the Angel of Jehovah appeared to Moses at the burning bush and explained His Plan for delivering the congregation of Israel from Egyptian bondage and giving them the Promised Land (Exodus 3:1-17).  At the burning bush Moses was given the Enduement of the Holy Spirit to empower Him to perform his special mission.  Moses was to ask Pharaoh for permission to go three days into the wilderness to worship the Lord God with sacrifices.  However, the Lord told Moses that Pharaoh would not let the people go except under compulsion (Exodus 3:18-19).  So, the Lord would strike Egypt with His hand.  The hand of God is a sign of punishment.  He would strike Egypt with His supernatural acts.  The word in Hebrew  al*P* (pala') means supernatural, extraordinary acts, or wonders.  It is often translated miracles or wonders (Exodus 3:20).  Further the Israelites were to ask for gifts from the Egyptians before leaving, and the Lord would give them spoils for 400 years of back wages (Exodus 3:21-22).

Moses Confronts Pharaoh

First Meeting with Pharaoh

PharaohMoses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and relayed the Lord's command, "Let My people (nation) go that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness" (Exodus 5:1).  They were telling Pharaoh that God had commanded him to let the people go and worship.  This was not a request but an imperative of command.  Pharaoh, however, neither knew God, nor respected freedom of religion.  He refused, and in so doing, expressed negative volition toward God.
But Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and besides, I will not let Israel go.” (Exodus 5:2, NAS)
Pharaoh was an unbeliever.  He did not know God.  Through the plagues of Egypt Pharaoh was get every opportunity to believe in the Lord and be saved.  Moses and Aaron appealed to Pharaoh again.
Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please, let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God, lest He fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.” (Exodus 5:3, NAS)
The word, Hebrew, is the Hebrew yr!b+u! (`iberi), which means one from beyond, the other side of (e.g. beyond the Euphrates or Jordan).  Abram was first called a Hebrew (Genesis 14:13) because he lived on the other side of the Euphrates and the Jordan.  Moses and Aaron tried to explain their need to worship and fear of God in a way Pharaoh would understand.  They explained that if they didn't sacrifice to God, He might punish them with pestilence or "the sword," a symbol of military or criminal cursing.
But the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you draw the people away from their work? Get back to your labors!” (Exodus 5:4, NAS)

Harsh Treatment

Pharaoh rejected the appeal on the basis of the authority of the Laws of Establishment, i.e. the people needed to be at work.  He expressed his disapproval even further with vindictiveness and tyranny (Exodus 5:5-14).  He gave them no straw to make brick.  His harsh treatment brought an appeal to Pharaoh from the labor leaders of Israel (Exodus 5:15-19).  Pharaoh rejected their appeal, however.  He said they were lazy because they wanted to "go and sacrifice to the Lord."  Thus, he made it clear that he was punishing them for their religious beliefs.  This was an authoritarian management style where the manager punishes the workers as a parent disciplining children.  Government and business management are not parents and have no right to treat employees, or subjects, as children.  Managing adults with authority is not the same as raising children.

After leaving Pharaoh, the Hebrew foremen met with Moses and Aaron, whom they blamed for their crisis.

Exodus 5:20-21
20 They met Moses and Aaron, who were waiting to meet them as they came out from presence of Pharaoh. 21 And they said to them, “Let the LORD look upon you and judge (punish) you because you have caused our smell to stink in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to kill us.”
The translation has been corrected to bring out more of the literal meaning.  Moses and Aaron were waiting outside to hear the results of the meeting of the foremen with Pharaoh.  The foremen accused Moses and Aaron of causing a stink.  They said that Moses and Aaron made them smell bad from Pharaoh's perspective.  They further expressed their wish for the Lord to judge (i.e. punish) Moses and Aaron for ruining their relationship with Pharaoh, a worldly dictator.  In scar tissue of the soul,4 they got their wires crossed.  They got good and evil reversed.  They said Pharaoh's servants were ready to kill them.

The foremen demonstrated their lack of faith just like Pharaoh.  This demonstrates the rebellion of a congregation against their Spiritual leaders.  It left Moses and Aaron all alone with only the Lord to defend them, which is a common test of leadership.  The people who are holding the USA together today have been isolated from the immature and apostate crowd just as Moses and Aaron were isolated from the immature believers of Israel.  This was another one of God's teaching aids.  The immature Israelites proved they didn't really have the faith to believe Moses in the first place.  At first, they simply went along with him because he had a good sales pitch.  These were the fair-weather believers.  As soon as the difficulty arose, however, they were quick to give up.

By rejecting Moses and fearing the Egyptians, the Israelites had isolated themselves in the Cosmic System.  Their lack of faith led them into the Cosmic System where they had no friends.  They were alienated from the world, and Satan, who is anti-Semitic, hated them.  This arrogance toward true authority and paranoia toward the world can lead to mental illness, such as psychopathy or sociopathic behavior.  This is how Satan makes a person into a mass murderer.

Since the Israelites in Egypt did not have enough metabolized Bible Doctrine to believe Moses, the Lord punished them so they could learn their lesson by responding to punishment.  However, the workers complained to the foremen and the foremen complained to Pharaoh.  Complainers are losers.  Complainers can't take their punishment.  The Israelites would have been glad to get three days off work to go worship, but if they were going to be punished for their faith, they wanted none of it.  They flunked the test, missed the point, went into denial, and projected their problems first on Pharaoh and then on Moses.

They were typical government workers surviving in the bureaucracy before Moses came along and reminded them of their Spiritual heritage.  As soon as they took their first step of faith, they were tested.  This was the verification test that comes after doctrine is transferred by faith to the Right Lobe (reference metabolization).  They flunked verification.  God knew they were wimps, but history needed to know the truth about them.

Moses' Dilemma

Moses and Aaron were faced with the true test of leadership.  The authority of the leader does not come from the consent of the people but from the grace of God.  The leader must have the faith to trust God for his support even when the people turn against him.  At this point Moses was all alone.  Pharaoh had rejected him, and the people of Israel had rejected him.  Moses was a leader without a congregation.  The Lord provides the hearers.  After meeting with the foremen, Moses went off to meet the Lord alone.
Exodus 5:22-23, NAS
22 Then Moses returned to the LORD and said, “O Lord, why hast Thou brought harm to this people? Why didst Thou ever send me? 23 “Ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Thy name, he has done harm to this people; and Thou hast not delivered Thy people at all.”
Moses was now in a helpless situation and was, therefore, a candidate for grace.  He faced a dilemma.  The Lord had commanded him to do something, and it had failed.  Had the Lord failed?  Had Moses failed?  The answer is no in both cases.  This was simply the first round of tactical advance.  There was nothing wrong with the overall strategic plan. However, the strategy can only be accomplished by winning the tactical battles, and Moses appears to have lost the first battle.  So, he presented his questions to the Lord to get the answers as to why.

There are two words for Lord in verse 22.  The first is Jehovah, which is translated, "LORD," and refers to one, single member of the Trinity.  Sometimes it refers to the LORD God and sometimes to the LORD, the Son (Jesus Christ).  Moses prayed to God the Father and spoke face-to-face with the Lord Jehovah, the Son.  The second word, "Lord," is the Hebrew yn^oda^ ('adona or 'adonay), which simply means lord.  Moses asked two questions:  Why are you doing harm (literally evil) to the people, and why did you send me in the first place?  This was summarized as:  Why isn't the Plan working?  Or where the grace?  Moses has been brought into a helpless situation to make it clear that success depends on the Lord.  If everything has gone smoothly, there might have been some doubt about whether Moses or God won the victory.  With Moses helpless in the beginning there will be no doubt that success depends on the Lord.  In the Cycles of Personal Blessing which will be explained later, this is a test of grace like Paul suffering from the thorn demon and the Lord telling him, "My grace is sufficient for you."

The Lord's commands are the Lord's enablings.
Moses never got an answer to the why's, though he did get straightened out.  To ask why is a sign of arrogance (Romans 9:19-21), for there are two sources for why:  God or Satan.  Inferior creatures in a system cannot understand the reasons why the creators of the system did a thing.

God's Strategic Plan

Authority

God gave Moses His Strategic Plan for deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage (Exodus 6:1-13, 28-30; 7:1-7).  He began,
The Lord said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand he shall let them go, and with a strong hand he shall drive them out of his land.” (Exodus 6:1)
The Lord told Moses, "Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh."  By this the Lord committed Himself as the authority over the plan to deliver Israel from Egypt.  He will not only authorize the plan but He will also implement it.  The phrase translated, "under compulsion," is literally, "with a strong hand."  The hand of God is a sign of cursing.  This was the crux of the implementation plan. Under compulsion, Pharaoh would eventually drive Israel out of the land.  The Egyptians would literally pay them to leave.

All plans should begin with recognition of authority.  Ultimately, there are only two sources of authority for all plans in this life:  (1) God, or (2) Satan.  Only God can provide true authority.  God will support the plans He authorizes, and He will oppose the plans under the power of Satan.  What about people?  All people are either under the authority of God or the power of Satan's Cosmic System.  When a business or institution operates under the authority of God under the Laws of Establishment, God will bless.  However, projects under the power of Satan will be doomed to the trash heaps of history like weeds and thorns that have to be plowed under.  Egypt is the greatest example of the latter.  When Egypt operated under God's authority under the leadership of Joseph, it prospered even during famine.  However, when Egypt became anti-Semitic, it was destroyed.

Purpose

In verses 2-5, God defined the purpose for His Strategic Plan of deliverance of Israel from Egypt.  He recalled the Abrahamic Covenant, which promised Abraham a Savior, a great nation, and the land of Canaan.  The Abrahamic Covenant is a good reason why God must free Israel from bondage in Egypt.  He promised Abraham they would be freed after 400 years.  Further, He pointed out that Abraham knew Him as only as 'El Shaddai (God Almighty), but now He would be known as Jehovah (LORD).  The name, Jehovah, refers to the Right Man of Israel - i.e. the Marriage Culture analogy.  There was never anyone like Moses, who spoke face-to-face with the LORD (Jehovah).

Scope

In verses 6-8, God defined the scope of His Strategic Plan.  God sent Moses to tell the people of Israel that He would free them from slavery in Egypt and give them the Promised Land.  The scope of the Plan covered deliverance from the nation of Egypt and giving the Promised Land.  He promised to deliver them with the "outstretched arm," a sign of more strength than the hand.
‘Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. (Exodus 6:7, NAS)
Verse 7 is a continuation of the Marriage Culture analogy of the LORD as the Right Man of Israel.  Everyone will know that the Lord brought them out of slavery in Egypt.  This is one of the reasons Moses had to be rejected and left alone as a leader without a congregation.  There must be no doubt that Israel was delivered by the grace of God.

Personnel Policy - Grace

God's policy toward mankind never compromises His absolute Righteousness, perfect Justice, or gracious Love.  His policy is always grace.  Grace means that God does the work, and He will accept no substitute.  God cannot compromise His Integrity (Holiness).  He is objective and impartial.  What the Righteousness of God demands, the Justice of God judges through the Love of God - always by the Grace of God.  Personnel must comply with management policy.  God's policy is always grace.
Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses because of their lack of endurance and cruel bondage. (Exodus 6:9)
Those who reject the Grace Policy of God will be punished, but always in the Love of God.  When Moses went back and told the people what God had said, they would not listen, i.e. they refused to believe Bible Doctrine, the Word of the Lord.  Two reasons are given, which both amount to the same thing:  They could not take their punishment.  First, it says, literally, that they were out of breath (Hebrew j^Wr rx#Q) , qotser rucha).  This means they lacked endurance to take their punishment.  This is the same meaning as Christians who faint in the soul under punishment.
And so, you have forgotten the doctrinal principle of encouragement which teaches you as sons:  My son, stop despising the punishment of the Lord; and stop fainting when you are being punished by Him; (Hebrews 12:5)
Fainting in the soul means reacting to divine punishment and sinning so that the Filling of the Holy Spirit is lost.  Fainting means the Old Sin Nature controls the soul rather than the Holy Spirit.
Exodus 6:10-12, NAS
10 Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 11 “Go, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the sons of Israel go out of his land.” 12 But Moses spoke before the Lord, saying, “Behold, the sons of Israel have not listened to me; how then will Pharaoh listen to me, for I am unskilled in speech?”
When the Lord told Moses to go tell Pharaoh to let the nation of Israel go, Moses said the assignment was too difficult because he was "unskilled in speech."  The phrase, "unskilled in speech," is the translation of "uncircumcised in speech."  Moses was not confident in his ability to convince Pharaoh to let the people go; so the Lord carefully explained the Strategic Plan to Moses and Aaron.

Organization

Then the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, and gave them a mandate directed toward the sons of Israel and to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt. (Exodus 6:13)
Moses and Aaron were given leadership positions to accomplish the Strategic Plan of God.
Exodus 7:1-2, NAS
1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I make you as God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. 2 “You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall speak to Pharaoh that he let the sons of Israel go out of his land.
Moses was appointed leader of the nation of Israel.  Since he complained about his inability to speak, God appointed his brother, Aaron, as the prophet to do the talking.  The irony is that Aaron was a wimp, but it didn't matter because Grace was the policy.  God could even accomplish the task with Aaron doing the talking.  The organization was the beginning of a Theocracy with God as the highest authority, Moses the national leader, and Aaron, the prophet-spokesman.  God's preferred form of government was to appoint the leaders Himself.

Implementation Methodology

A plan must have an implementation methodology.  God's method was:
“But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart that I may multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt.  (Exodus 7:3, NAS)
First, God was going to harden Pharaoh's heart, which appears to be counterproductive.  Whereas, Pharaoh's heart will be described as hardened throughout the Nine Plagues, this word only occurs here and during the Passover (Exodus 13:15).  The word is the Hebrew qashah, which means to harden in the sense of to be difficult, stubborn, or recalcitrant.  The word is in the Hiph'il, the Hebrew causative stem.  Thus, it means that God caused Pharaoh's heart to be hardened.  He did this by giving him scar tissue of the soul.  Pharaoh retained his own volition, but with scar tissue, he was inclined to be difficult to manage and stubborn.  The use of qashah before the Nine Plagues and during the Passover means the same implementation methodology will be used for both.  It further indicates that the Nine Plagues and Passover should be counted separately - not called ten plagues.

God could have softened Pharaoh's heart, but He chose in His Sovereignty to harden it. Hardening Pharaoh's heart means that Pharaoh will be given scar tissue of the soul, which will make him oppose the will of God for the deliverance of Israel.  Pharaoh did not harden his heart.  God did.  This is explained in Romans 9:15-21.  God raised Pharaoh up to be arrogant and hardened so that he would resist the will of God.  Just as the potter can make of the lump of clay whatever he wishes, so God can make people with the characteristics to play the required roles on the Stage of Life.  God does this without compromising man's volition.  Pharaoh had been building up scar tissue for years.  Pharaoh's resistance gave God the opportunity to demonstrate His great power and make a news story so great that it was used for evangelizing the entire world.  Rahab, a prostitute in Jericho, heard about the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea and got saved.

Pharaoh's hardness of heart will give God the opportunity to administer multiple strokes of punishment to Egypt, which is one of the world's most evil strongholds of Satan.  The implementation methodology of the Plan of deliverance will include signs and wonders.  Signs (Hebrew toa, 'oth) refer to symbols of divine punishment - a new vocabulary that future generations can use to interpret the works of God in current events.  The signs included the symbols of the Nine Plagues.  For example, blood, frogs, hail, and locusts were signs.  Wonders (Hebrew tp@om, mopheth) refers to special displays of God power, for example:  turning the water of the Nile River to blood, bombing Egypt with fire balls of lightning and blockbuster hail.  The signs and wonders would make news stories that would be told to all future generations.

“When Pharaoh will not listen to you, then I will lay My hand on Egypt, and bring out My hosts, My people the sons of Israel, from the land of Egypt by great judgments. (Exodus 7:4, NAS)
God will apply His hand to Egypt when Pharaoh will not listen.  The hand of God is a symbol of cursing.  So God is going to harden Pharaoh's heart to get him to resist the will of God; then He will punish Pharaoh and Egypt for resisting.  All this will be accomplished without compromising Pharaoh's volition.  Pharaoh was always free to choose.  The method for bringing the nation of Israel out of Egypt would be through "great judgments."  Israel would not have to raise an army or negotiate a peace deal to gain their freedom.  God in His Grace would do it all.
 “And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the sons of Israel from their midst.” (Exodus 7:5, NAS)
The Lord would reveal Himself to the Egyptians, who were worshippers of demons.  He would prove to them that He was more powerful than their demons.  They would know that He was the Lord; so they could believe in Him for Eternal Life.  The punishment of Egypt would be used to evangelize Egypt as well as to deliver Israel.
Exodus 7:6-7, NAS
6 So Moses and Aaron did it; as the Lord commanded them, thus they did. 7 And Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three, when they spoke to Pharaoh.
Moses and Aaron obeyed the Lord's authority.  Moses was 80, a number for strength.  He had spent the last 40 years in the desert preparing for His spiritual calling, and he would spend the next 40 years leading Israel in the desert.  The number 40 means maximum divine discipline.  Aaron was 83, the number for a High Priest.  There were 83 high priests in Israel, and Aaron was the first.

Serpent Miracles

SerpentStaff

Serpents for Pharaoh

After the Lord explained His entire Strategic Plan to Moses ana Aaron, He proceeded to tell them precisely how they should implement it.  As with most projects, the planning phase is followed by the development, or implementation, phase.  The overall life cyle of a project may be simplified into three phases:  (1)  Planning, (2) development (or implementation), and (3) operations.  God's project for deliverance from Egypt has now advanced from the Planning Phase to the Implementation Phase.  In the Implementation Phase, the Lord will again give specific orders for each step to be taken.  He did the same thing when He told Noah how to build the Ark.
Principle:  The Lord reveals the Plan and the Lord directs the Implementation.Staff
Exodus 7:8-9, NAS
8 Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 9 “When Pharaoh speaks to you, saying, ‘Work a miracle,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh, that it may become a serpent.’”
The Lord understood Satan's power over the hearts and minds of the Egyptians; so He directed Moses and Aaron to perform the snake miracle.  Moses had been trained to perform the snake miracle at the burning bush (Exodus 4:2-5).  He knew that Pharaoh would expect to see a supernatural act to lend credibility to the testimony of Moses and Aaron.  The word, "miracle," in verse 9 is the same as the word for wonder (Hebrew tp@om, mopheth), which refers to special displays of God's power.  Pharaoh, however, did not believe in God.  He believed in Satan and the demons of Egypt.  To get through to Pharaoh, God would have to demonstrate superior power to the demons of Egypt.

Snake Miracle

The snake miracle was the first demonstration.  The magicians of Egypt were able to do a similar miracle under demon power.  The could make a snake become rigid.  Snakes are symbols of Satan, and angels have power over animals.  So it is conceivable that demons could cause a snake to become rigid like a staff.
Exodus 7:10-12, NAS
10 So Moses and Aaron came to Pharaoh, and thus they did just as the Lord had commanded; and Aaron threw his staff down before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. 11 Then Pharaoh also called for the wise men and the sorcerers, and they also, the magicians of Egypt, did the same with their secret arts. 12 For each one threw down his staff and they turned into serpents. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs.
When Moses and Aaron performed the snake miracle for Pharaoh, the members of Pharaoh's staff (wise men, sorcerers, and magicians) emulated the miracle through demon powers.  However, Aaron's staff swallowed up their staffs.  Aaron's staff was Moses' staff, which Aaron used to perform the miracle.  Thus, the war against Egypt was demon warfare from the beginning.  Satan had taken over the throne of Egypt, which in the Bible is a symbol of the world, or Cosmic System.  The Egyptians were advanced in magic arts like the Babylonians, and Pharaoh's staff were skilled in conjuring the support of demon powers.

Three classes of evil workers on Pharaoh's staff are mentioned:

  1. Wise men (chakam) - professors educated in human or divine wisdom.
  2. Sorcerers (kashaph) - diviners and astrologers; used for Jezebel (2 Kings 9:22).
  3. Magicians (charetam) - engravers or writers of the occult, astrologers, enchanters; belonging to the priestly caste (Genesis 41:8).
Magic arts and tricks have been used throughout history as Satan's calling cards to evangelize the naive.  The magic that was practiced openly before the Flood went underground after the Flood and was available only to those who possessed the secrets.  These secrets were know to the Babylonians, Egyptians, Canaanites, Greeks, and Romans.  Even today there are those in Client Nation USA who are famous for magic and magic kingdoms.  Such people talk about fairies, which are demons, talking animals (like the serpent in the Garden), and magic.

Pharaoh's Hardened Heart

Pharaoh's heart was still hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the LORD had specified. (Exodus 7:13)
After being given an opportunity to believe in the Lord and be saved, Pharaoh rejected the Lord's presentation as given by Moses and Aaron.  After seeing the power of God, Pharaoh used his volition to reject God.  Consequently, after the presentation, his heart was still hardened.  He had not changed his mind about God.  The word for hardened this time is different.  It is chazaq, a verb which stresses the strength, or firmness of Pharaoh's convictions against God and his arrogance.   He would not listen to the request of Moses and Aaron on behalf of the congregation of Israel.  All this was just as the Lord had specified earlier (Exodus 3:19; 6:1).  The word, "specified," is the Hebrew dabar, which means to state specifically, not just to say.

NextNext

References

1.  David M. Rohl.  Pharaohs and Kings, a Biblical Quest,  (New York:  Crown Publishers, Inc., 201 East 50th Street, New York, NY 10022), 1995.
2.  "Who Was the Pharaoh of the Exodus?,"  The British-Israel Church of God.  http://www.british-israel.net/who_was_the_pharaoh_of_the_exodu.htm
3.  Deleted.
4.  Larry Wood.  "Scar Tissue of the Soul," September 1999.   http://www.Biblenews1.com/scartis/scartiss.htm
5.  Pharaoh Photo:  "The Egyptian's Home Page,"  http://elaroussi.simplenet.com/


Released December 9, 1999 - Revised September 28, 2011

Author: Larry Wood
Top Author Comments Home