Reading through the Bible together
In this chapter, Moses again asks Pharaoh to let Israel go to worship in the wilderness. Even after the plagues of frogs, lice and flies, Pharaoh does not have any intention of letting the people go, even though his own magicians cannot any longer imitate the miracles God performs on behalf of his people.
In verse 9 & 10, a remarkable and all-too-human aspect of humanity is seen in Pharaoh’s response to Moses’ question: when shall I ask God to remove the frogs from your palaces, homes and kitchens? Pharaoh answers like the defiant sinner he is. “TOMORROW!” Can you believe it? Christians today (Pharaoh) would rather wallow in sin one more day than to ask God to remove the sin IMMEDIATELY! We should not be too hard on Pharaoh of old, when we are apt do the same thing he did.
Whether the idiom reads, God (9:12) or Pharaoh (8:15), “hardened his heart,” the result is still the same. Pharaoh chose to, and resisted the clear evidence of God’s control over Egypt and would not let Israel go.
Pharaoh’s magicians managed to imitate the snake from the rod, the water to blood, and the frogs from the river, but when it came to the third plague, they could not imitate the lice that came upon man and beast. Even knowing this was “the finger of God” did not change Pharaoh’s mind.
Kenneth Mathews, Jr.
Member of Archeology Board
Southern Adventist University