And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh
Into the palace of Pharaoh boldly, and with intrepidity, clothed with such power and authority, and assured of success;
and they did as the Lord had commanded;
they demanded in his name the dismission of the children of Israel, and upon his requiring a miracle to confirm their mission, wrought one as follows:
and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and it became a serpent:
or a "dragon", as the Septuagint version; this word is sometimes used of great whales, ( Genesis 1:21 ) and of the crocodile, ( Ezekiel 29:3 ) and it is very likely the crocodile is meant here, as Dr. Lightfoot F17 thinks; since this was frequent in the Nile, the river of Egypt, where the Hebrew infants had been cast, and into whose devouring jaws they fell, and which also was an Egyptian deity F18. Though no mention is made of Pharaoh's demanding a miracle, yet no doubt he did, as the Lord had intimated he would, and without which it can hardly be thought it would be done; and Artapanus F19, an Heathen writer, expressly asserts it; for he says,
``when the king required of Moses to do some sign or wonder, the rod which he had he cast down, and it became a serpent, to the amazement of all, and then took it by its tail and it be came a rod again;''which is a testimony from an Heathen of the truth of this miracle.
F17 Works, vol. 1. p. 702.
F18 Crocodylen adorat, Juvenal, Sat. 15.
F19 Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 27. p. 435.