Exodus 7:12

12 Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs.

Read Exodus 7:12 Using Other Translations

For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods.
For each man cast down his staff, and they became serpents. But Aaron's staff swallowed up their staffs.
They threw down their staffs, which also became serpents! But then Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs.

What does Exodus 7:12 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Exodus 7:12

For they cast down every man his rod, and they became
serpents
That is, they seemed to be so, as Josephus F26 expresses it, but not really, in which he is followed by many; though some think that the devil assisted in this affair, and in an instant, as soon as the rods were cast down, removed them and put real serpents in their room:

but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods;
that is, the serpent that Aaron's rod was turned into, swallowed up the rods of the magicians, which never were otherwise than rods only in appearance; or if real serpents were put in the room of them, these were devoured by his serpent called his rod, because it was before turned into a serpent, as Aben Ezra observes; though the Targums of Jonathan, Jarchi, and R. Jeshua, suppose this was done after the serpent became a rod again; which makes the miracle the greater and more wonderful, that a rod should devour other rods; and supposing them real serpents, this was what the magicians could not make their rods do, and in which they were outdone by Aaron.


FOOTNOTES:

F26 Antiqu. ut supra. (l. 2. c. 13 sect. 3.)
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