Exodus 7

1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet.
2 You are to say everything I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of his country.
3 But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in Egypt,
4 he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites.
5 And the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.”
6 Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD commanded them.
7 Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh.

Aaron’s Staff Becomes a Snake

8 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron,
9 “When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Perform a miracle,’ then say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh,’ and it will become a snake.”
10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the LORD commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake.
11 Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts:
12 Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs.
13 Yet Pharaoh’s heart became hard and he would not listen to them, just as the LORD had said.

The Plague of Blood

14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is unyielding; he refuses to let the people go.
15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning as he goes out to the river. Confront him on the bank of the Nile, and take in your hand the staff that was changed into a snake.
16 Then say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the wilderness. But until now you have not listened.
17 This is what the LORD says: By this you will know that I am the LORD: With the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood.
18 The fish in the Nile will die, and the river will stink; the Egyptians will not be able to drink its water.’ ”
19 The LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt—over the streams and canals, over the ponds and all the reservoirs—and they will turn to blood.’ Blood will be everywhere in Egypt, even in vessels[a] of wood and stone.”
20 Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD had commanded. He raised his staff in the presence of Pharaoh and his officials and struck the water of the Nile, and all the water was changed into blood.
21 The fish in the Nile died, and the river smelled so bad that the Egyptians could not drink its water. Blood was everywhere in Egypt.
22 But the Egyptian magicians did the same things by their secret arts, and Pharaoh’s heart became hard; he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said.
23 Instead, he turned and went into his palace, and did not take even this to heart.
24 And all the Egyptians dug along the Nile to get drinking water, because they could not drink the water of the river.
25 Seven days passed after the LORD struck the Nile.

Exodus 7 Commentary

Chapter 7

Moses and Aaron encouraged. (1-7) The rods turned into serpents, Pharaoh's heart is hardened. (8-13) The river is turned into blood, The distress of the Egyptians. (14-25)

Verses 1-7 God glorifies himself. He makes people know that he is Jehovah. Israel is made to know it by the performance of his promises to them, and the Egyptians by the pouring out of his wrath upon them. Moses, as the ambassador of Jehovah, speaking in his name, laid commands upon Pharaoh, denounced threatenings against him, and called for judgments upon him. Pharaoh, proud and great as he was, could not resist. Moses stood not in awe of Pharaoh, but made him tremble. This seems to be meant in the words, Thou shalt be a god unto Pharaoh. At length Moses is delivered from his fears. He makes no more objections, but, being strengthened in faith, goes about his work with courage, and proceeds in it with perseverance.

Verses 8-13 What men dislike, because it opposes their pride and lusts, they will not be convinced of; but it is easy to cause them to believe things they wish to be true. God always sends with his word full proofs of its Divine authority; but when men are bent to disobey, and willing to object, he often permits a snare to be laid wherein they are entangled. The magicians were cheats, trying to copy the real miracles of Moses by secret sleights or jugglings, which to a small extent they succeeded in doing, so as to deceive the bystanders, but they were at length obliged to confess they could not any longer imitate the effects of Divine power. None assist more in the destruction of sinners, than such as resist the truth by amusing men with a counterfeit resemblance of it. Satan is most to be dreaded when transformed into an angel of light.

Verses 14-25 Here is the first of the ten plagues, the turning of the water into blood. It was a dreadful plague. The sight of such vast rolling streams of blood could not but strike horror. Nothing is more common than water: so wisely has Providence ordered it, and so kindly, that what is so needful and serviceable to the comfort of human life, should be cheap and almost every where to be had; but now the Egyptians must either drink blood, or die for thirst. Egypt was a pleasant land, but the dead fish and blood now rendered it very unpleasant. It was a righteous plague, and justly sent upon the Egyptians; for Nile, the river of Egypt, was their idol. That creature which we idolize, God justly takes from us, or makes bitter to us. They had stained the river with the blood of the Hebrews' children, and now God made that river all blood. Never any thirsted after blood, but sooner or later they had enough of it. It was a significant plague; Egypt had great dependence upon their river, ( Zechariah 14:18 ) ; so that in smiting the river, they were warned of the destruction of all the produce of their country. The love of Christ to his disciples changes all their common mercies into spiritual blessings; the anger of God towards his enemies, renders their most valued advantages a curse and a misery to them. Aaron is to summon the plague by smiting the river with his rod. It was done in the sight of Pharaoh and his attendants, for God's true miracles were not performed as Satan's lying wonders; truth seeks no corners. See the almighty power of God. Every creature is that to us which he makes it to be water or blood. See what changes we may meet with in the things of this world; what is always vain, may soon become vexatious. See what mischievous work sin makes. If the things that have been our comforts prove our crosses, we must thank ourselves. It is sin that turns our waters into blood. The plague continued seven days; and in all that time Pharaoh's proud heart would not let him desire Moses to pray for the removal of it. Thus the hypocrites in heart heap up wrath. No wonder that God's anger is not turned away, but that his hand is stretched out still.

Cross References 36

  • 1. S Exodus 4:16
  • 2. Exodus 4:15; Acts 14:12
  • 3. S Exodus 4:21; Exodus 11:9; Romans 9:18
  • 4. S Exodus 3:20; S Exodus 10:1; Acts 7:36
  • 5. ver 13,16,22; Exodus 8:15,19; Exodus 9:12; Exodus 11:9
  • 6. S Exodus 3:20; Exodus 6:6; Acts 7:36
  • 7. S Exodus 6:26
  • 8. S Exodus 6:2; ver 17; Exodus 8:19,22
  • 9. Exodus 3:20; Psalms 138:7; Ezekiel 6:14; Ezekiel 25:13
  • 10. ver 2,10,20; Genesis 6:22; ver 2
  • 11. Deuteronomy 31:2; Deuteronomy 34:7; Acts 7:23,30
  • 12. Deuteronomy 6:22; 2 Kings 19:29; Psalms 78:43; Psalms 86:17; Psalms 105:27; Psalms 135:9; Isaiah 7:11; Isaiah 37:30; Isaiah 38:7-8; Isaiah 55:13; S John 2:11; John 2:18
  • 13. Exodus 4:2-5
  • 14. Exodus 22:18; Deuteronomy 18:10; 1 Samuel 6:2; 2 Kings 21:6; Isaiah 2:6; Isaiah 47:12; Jeremiah 27:9; Malachi 3:5
  • 15. S Genesis 41:8; 2 Timothy 3:8
  • 16. ver 22; Exodus 8:7,18; S Matthew 24:24
  • 17. S Exodus 4:21
  • 18. S ver 4
  • 19. ver 22; Exodus 8:15,32; Exodus 9:7; Exodus 10:1,20,27
  • 20. Exodus 8:20
  • 21. S Genesis 41:1
  • 22. S Exodus 3:18; Exodus 5:1,3
  • 23. S ver 4
  • 24. S Exodus 6:2; Exodus 14:25; Exodus 5:2
  • 25. ver 19-21; Exodus 4:9; Revelation 11:6; Revelation 16:4
  • 26. Isaiah 19:6
  • 27. ver 21,24; Psalms 78:44
  • 28. S Exodus 4:2
  • 29. Ex 8:5-6,16; Exodus 9:22; Exodus 10:12,21; Exodus 14:21; 2 Kings 5:11
  • 30. S ver 6
  • 31. Exodus 17:5
  • 32. Psalms 78:44; Psalms 105:29; Psalms 114:3; Habakkuk 3:8
  • 33. S Genesis 41:8
  • 34. S ver 11; S Matthew 24:24
  • 35. ver 13,S 14; Exodus 8:19; Psalms 105:28
  • 36. S ver 18

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or "even on their idols"

Chapter Summary


Moses and Aaron are ordered to go to Pharaoh, and require the dismission of the people of Israel, but they are told before hand that Pharaoh's heart would be hardened, and would refuse to let them go, until the hand of the Lord was stretched out, and great judgments were brought down upon, Egypt, and then they should come forth, Ex 7:1-5, which orders Moses and Aaron obeyed, and their age is observed, when this was done, Ex 7:6,7 and they are bid to work a miracle, when Pharaoh should demand one, by turning a rod into a serpent, which they did; but Pharaoh's magicians doing the same in appearance, his heart was hardened, Ex 7:8-14 and then they are directed to meet him at the river, and require the same as before; and if he refused, to smite the waters of the river with the rod, and turn them into blood, which they did, Ex 7:15-21, but Pharaoh's magicians doing the same by enchantments, he did not regard it, though the plague lasted seven days, Ex 7:22-25.

Exodus 7 Commentaries

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