Exodus 7

Sunday Morning Bible Study

December 30, 2007


Moses has made his first appearance before Pharaoh making his famous demand, “Let my people go”.  But instead of letting the people go, Pharaoh responded by making things harder for the Israelites.

The people have now begun to complain to Moses for causing things to get worse instead of better.

And when God tells Moses to go back to Pharaoh and repeat the demand, Moses responds with,

(Exo 6:30)  …"Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh heed me?"

Exodus 7

:1-7 Aaron is the spokesman

:1 So the LORD said to Moses: "See, I have made you as God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother shall be your prophet.

:2 "You shall speak all that I command you. And Aaron your brother shall speak to Pharaoh to send the children of Israel out of his land.

God often speaks to people through a prophet.  Instead of Moses speaking directly to Pharaoh, he would give his message to Aaron, and Aaron would be the one speaking to Pharaoh.

:3 "And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt.

Some have trouble with God hardening Pharaoh’s heart.  It seems as if Pharaoh doesn’t have any choice in what it going to happen.  Ten times the Bible mentions God hardening Pharaoh’s heart (4:21; 7:3; 9:12; 10:1, 20, 27; 11:10; 14:4, 8, 17).  But pay attention because the actual hardening of Pharaoh’s heart begins with Pharaoh hardening his own heart ten times (7:13, 14, 22; 8:15, 19, 32; 9:7, 34, 35; 13:15).

:4 "But Pharaoh will not heed you, so 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.

One of the purposes of allowing Pharaoh’s heart to get harder and harder will be for God to demonstrate His awesome power.  If Pharaoh let the people go on the first request, then the world wouldn’t have any idea as to Yahweh’s power in comparison with the Egyptian gods.

judgmentsshephet – judgment, act of judgment; from shaphat – to judge, govern, vindicate, punish

The judgment would be on Egypt’s gods…

(Exo 12:12 NKJV) …and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.

The Egyptians had MANY gods.  One website I went to listed 114 Egyptian gods.  You could say that the Egyptians were very religious. From the British Museum, a few examples:


Amun – a man with a ram head, considered the “king of the gods” at one point.

Anubis – a man with a jackal head, the god of embalming and the dead

Hapy – a man with a pot belly, he was connected with the Nile, the god connected with the yearly flooding of the Nile that was so important to Egyptian farming and prosperity.

Horus – a man with a hawk head, the god of the sky, considered the protector of the ruler of Egypt, the pharaoh was considered the “living Horus”.

Isis – a woman with a headdress shaped like a throne.  She was the mother of Horus, and important since each pharaoh was considered the “living Horus”.  She was known for powerful magical spells to help people.

Khnum – a man with the head of a curly horned ram, guardian of the Nile, a creator god, connected with the yearly flooding of the Nile.

Osiris – a mummified man with a white cone-head, he was god of the dead, ruler of the underworld, god of resurrection, and fertility.  It was thought that the Nile was the life blood of Osiris.

Ra – a man with a hawk head and a headdress shaped like the sun, the “sun god”, the most important god of the ancient Egyptians, he was swallowed every night by the sky goddess “Nut”.

Ra-Horakhty – a combination of the gods Ra and Horus, the god of the rising sun

Sobek – a man with a crocodile head, one of the gods of the Nile and protector of pharaoh, his temples had pools with live crocodiles.

:5 "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."

What we’re going to see through the plagues that Moses calls down upon Egypt is a judgment against many of the Egyptian gods.  Yahweh is going to show His people the Israelites, as well as the Egyptians, just who is boss.


God is bigger

It seems to me that one of the big lessons from Exodus is that deliverance, freedom, comes when I understand that God is bigger than my problem.
One of the steps away from addiction is to learn that I am powerless over my addiction.  But that alone only leads to hopelessness.
Deliverance comes when I understand that God is bigger than the things that I am enslaved to.


The witness to Egypt

When we are in difficult situations, we cry for God to deliver us.  We want everything to be fixed NOW.
And then God allows it to go on just a bit longer.
Sometimes the reason isn’t because of me, but because of the people around me who are watching me.
They may not be that impressed if I win the Lottery.  But they watch how I handle life when I’m under the same boss that they hate so much…
It seems that a young man named Saul was acquainted with the Christian known as Stephen.  He probably had heard Stephen give brilliant arguments in the synagogue about how Jesus was the Messiah.  But it seems that the thing that impressed Saul the most about Stephen was when he watched him be stoned and hear Stephen cry out, "Lord, do not charge them with this sin." (Acts 7:60)

:6 Then Moses and Aaron did so; just as the LORD commanded them, so they did.

:7 And Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three years old when they spoke to Pharaoh.

Not bad for a bunch of old guys.

Getting old is kind of tough.


A golden anniversary party was thrown for an elderly couple. The husband was moved by the occasion and wanted to tell his wife just how he felt about her. She was very hard of hearing, however, and often misunderstood what he said. With many family members and friends gathered around, he toasted her: "My dear wife, after fifty years I've found you tried and true!" Everyone smiled approval, but his wife said, "Eh?" He repeated louder, "AFTER FIFTY YEARS I'VE FOUND YOU TRIED AND TRUE!" His wife harumped and shot back, "Well, let me tell you something--after fifty years I'm tired of you, too!"

But getting old doesn’t mean you have to quit.  Maybe there’s still more for you to do.


Her name was Anna Mary Robertson Moses, affectionately known as Grandma Moses.  She was born on a farm in Washington Co., NY.
Without formal art training and largely self-educated, she began to paint rural scenes at the age of seventy-eight.  Her work was discovered in 1939 by Louis Caldor, a New York engineer, who first saw her paintings exhibited in a drugstore window at Hoosick Falls, NY. In 1939 three of her landscapes were displayed in a private showing to members at the New York Museum of Modern Art among other works by contemporary unknown painters. In 1940 the Galerie St. Etienne in New York City presented her first one-woman show.  Thereafter Grandma Moses had more than one hundred exhibits throughout the United States, over half of which were confined exclusively to her work.  Since 1950 her paintings have been exhibited in Europe as well.
Amazingly she lived to be 101!  I guess you're never too old to begin your life's most important work.

:8-13 Aaron’s rod

:8 Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying,

:9 "When Pharaoh speaks to you, saying, 'Show a miracle for yourselves,' then you shall say to Aaron, 'Take your rod and cast it before Pharaoh, and let it become a serpent.'"

When Moses was reluctant to answer God’s call to deliver the Israelites, one of Moses’ objections was that the people might not believe that God had sent Moses.  God’s response was to give Moses three “signs” or miracles to perform in front of the people.  The first “sign” involved Moses’ rod becoming a serpent.

(Exo 4:2-3 NKJV)  So the LORD said to him, "What is that in your hand?" He said, "A rod." {3} And He said, "Cast it on the ground." So he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it.

Now this sign is going to be performed by Aaron and his rod in front of Pharaoh.

serpenttanniyn – dragon (21/28 in AV), serpent, sea monster; dinosaur; The word used for “serpent” back in Ex. 4:3 was a different word, nachash, serpent, snake.  Some have suggested that this “serpent” in Ex. 7 was a bigger snake.

:10 So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh, and they did so, just as the LORD commanded. And Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a serpent.

:11 But Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers; so the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.

How did these magicians copy the miracle?

Over the years there have been a couple of suggestions:

1.     Some think that it was “slight of hand”, like a card trick.
2.     Others have suggested that the magicians might have been trained at handling snakes.  Some types of cobras can be made to be stiff as a board if you press the right spot under their head.
3.     Some have suggested that this was nothing other than demonic power at work.

We know the names of at least two of these magicians, Jannes and Jambres (2Tim. 3:8)


The world has it’s tricks

God is not the only one who is powerful.
There is a prince of the power of the air.
When the antichrist comes, he will perform miracles.
(2 Th 2:9-10 NKJV)  The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, {10} and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

:12 For every man threw down his rod, and they became serpents. But Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods.

:13 And Pharaoh's heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, as the LORD had said.

Even though Aaron’s rod swallowed the other snakes, Pharaoh’s heart held on to the fact that his magicians were able to copy Aaron’s miracle to some extent, and he did not listen to God.

:14-25 The First Plague:  Blood

After the battle of the snake-rods, we begin the process of the Ten Plagues.  There are some interesting things about these judgments.

They seem to be grouped in threes:

The 1st, 4th, and 7th judgments, at the beginning of each cycle of three, are introduced by the words, “in the morning” (7:15; 8:20; 9:13).
In plagues 1-3 Aaron used his staff (7:19; 8:5-6, 16-17), no staff was used in plagues 4-6, and in plagues 7-9 Moses used his staff (9:22-23; 10:12-13, 21-22; though 10:21-22 mentions only Moses’ hand, the staff may have been included).
The 3rd plague ends with the defeat of the magicians (8:19), the 6th with their inability to stand before Moses (9:11), and the 9th with the separation of Moses and Pharaoh (10:28).

It seems likely that the plagues take place over a period of nine months.  The first plague of turning the Nile into blood taking place in August when the annual flooding of the Nile took place, the 7th plague is mentioned as taking place when barley ripens (January), and the final plague of the death of the first born taking place in April, the time of the Passover.

:14 So the LORD said to Moses: "Pharaoh's heart is hard; he refuses to let the people go.

:15 "Go to Pharaoh in the morning, when he goes out to the water, and you shall stand by the river's bank to meet him; and the rod which was turned to a serpent you shall take in your hand.

Archaeologists suggest that Pharaoh was at one of the many temples along the banks of the Nile, perhaps performing the annual rituals to the Nile gods with the coming of the annual floods that were a blessing to the Egyptian farmers.

:16 "And you shall say to him, 'The LORD God of the Hebrews has sent me to you, saying, "Let My people go, that they may serve Me in the wilderness"; but indeed, until now you would not hear!

:17 'Thus says the LORD: "By this you shall know that I am the LORD. Behold, I will strike the waters which are in the river with the rod that is in my hand, and they shall be turned to blood.

This was going to be a parallel of the third sign that Moses was to give the Israelites. 

(Exo 4:9 NKJV)  "And it shall be, if they do not believe even these two signs, or listen to your voice, that you shall take water from the river and pour it on the dry land. And the water which you take from the river will become blood on the dry land."

Now it is going to be used with Pharoah, to challenge his unbelief.

:18 "And the fish that are in the river shall die, the river shall stink, and the Egyptians will loathe to drink the water of the river."' "

:17 turned to blood – some have suggested that what would take place was caused by “red silting”, dirt in the river, not an uncommon thing to happen in the Nile.  But the problem is that this natural phenomena does not result in the death of the fish of the Nile.

Whether this was actual blood, or just the appearance of red blood, something devastating was about to happen to the Nile.

:19 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, "Say to Aaron, 'Take your rod and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their streams, over their rivers, over their ponds, and over all their pools of water, that they may become blood. And there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in buckets of wood and pitchers of stone.'"

This miracle wasn’t just going to affect a little part of the Nile.  It was going to affect all the tributaries as well as water that had been stored in buckets and pitchers.

:20 And Moses and Aaron did so, just as the LORD commanded. So he lifted up the rod and struck the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants. And all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood.

:21 The fish that were in the river died, the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink the water of the river. So there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.

We see God having brought a judgment against the gods of the Nile, including the gods Hapy, Khnum, Sobek, and Osiris.  These “gods” who were supposedly the ones who brought life to Egypt are now bringing a big stink.

One of the steps of deliverance comes when those things you’ve been addicted to become so loathsome that they make you sick, sick enough to give them up.

:22 Then the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments; and Pharaoh's heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, as the LORD had said.

:23 And Pharaoh turned and went into his house. Neither was his heart moved by this.

(Exo 7:23 NLT)  Pharaoh returned to his palace and put the whole thing out of his mind.

:24 So all the Egyptians dug all around the river for water to drink, because they could not drink the water of the river.

The people will be digging wells to find good water.  It appears that the magicians take some of this water and are able to pull off turning water into blood.

Apparently this little trick is enough to make Pharaoh think he can write off this judgment as just another trick.

What I’d like to know is, if these magicians are all that powerful, wouldn’t it be more impressive if they turned all the blood back into water?

:25 And seven days passed after the LORD had struck the river.

It seems this might mean that the blood in the river lasted seven days, or it might be a reference between the time the Nile turned to blood and when God next speaks to Moses in Exodus 8:1.


Don’t resist the truth

(2 Tim 3 NKJV)  But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
Paul is going to give a description of life in the last days.  Does any of this sound familiar?
{2} For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, {3} unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, {4} traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, {5} having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! {6} For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts,
Not all TV preachers are crooks.  But there are some who are only in the ministry to make a buck.  I often think of these fellows when I read this passage, how they take advantage of people with their sweet-talk.
{7} always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Our world is swimming in knowledge.  But somehow truth gets obscured, the truth about God, the truth about Jesus.
{8} Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; {9} but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.
The “magicians” were resisting the truth.  Their little “tricks” were keeping them and the Egyptians from paying attention to the true God.
You may be tired of hearing those Christians talk about how they can’t live without Jesus.  You’ve learned to get along quite well without Jesus.

You are only deceiving yourself.

{10} But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, {11} persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. {12} Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
This isn’t a promise we like to claim.  But all who follow Jesus will go through difficult times.
{13} But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. {14} But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, {15} and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. {16} All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, {17} that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
We have a choice to either “resist” the truth, or walk in the truth.  It seems to me the choice is based on what we do with the Scriptures.
Saying “no” to God only makes it harder for you.
The judgments on Egypt and the deliverance of Israel will progress from difficult to impossible because Pharaoh will continue to resist what God is wanting to do.
What’s the truth?
You need Jesus.  He loves you.  He died for you.  He wants to forgive you.  He can deliver you.