Exodus 8:18-19

18 But when the magicians tried to produce gnats by their secret arts, they could not. Since the gnats were on people and animals everywhere,
19 the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not listen, just as the LORD had said.

Exodus 8:18-19 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO EXODUS 8

In this chapter Pharaoh is threatened with the plague of frogs, in case he refused to let Israel go, which accordingly was brought upon him, Ex 8:1-6 and though the magicians did something similar to it, yet these were so troublesome to Pharaoh, that he promised to let the people go, and sacrifice to God, if they removed; and a time being fixed for the removal of them, it was accordingly done at the entreaty of Moses and Aaron, Ex 8:7-14 but there being a respite, Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and the plague of lice is ordered, and which was executed; and though this the magicians essayed to do, and could not, but owned it to be the finger of God, yet Pharaoh's heart was hardened, Ex 8:15-19 wherefore he is threatened with a swarm of flies, which should not infest Goshen, only the places where the Egyptians dwelt, and it was so, Ex 8:20-24 upon which Pharaoh called for Moses, and declared himself willing the people would sacrifice in the land; but this not being satisfactory, he agreed they should go into the wilderness, but not so far; and on the account of the entreaty of Moses, the plague was removed; but still Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he would not let the people go, Ex 8:25-32.

Exodus 8:18-19 In-Context

16 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the ground,’ and throughout the land of Egypt the dust will become gnats.”
17 They did this, and when Aaron stretched out his hand with the staff and struck the dust of the ground, gnats came on people and animals. All the dust throughout the land of Egypt became gnats.
18 But when the magicians tried to produce gnats by their secret arts, they could not. Since the gnats were on people and animals everywhere,
19 the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not listen, just as the LORD had said.
20 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and confront Pharaoh as he goes to the river and say to him, ‘This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me.
21 If you do not let my people go, I will send swarms of flies on you and your officials, on your people and into your houses. The houses of the Egyptians will be full of flies; even the ground will be covered with them.

Cross References 5

  • 1. Exodus 9:11; Daniel 5:8
  • 2. S Exodus 7:11
  • 3. Exodus 7:5; Exodus 10:7; Exodus 12:33; Exodus 31:18; 1 Samuel 6:9; Nehemiah 9:6; Psalms 8:3; Psalms 33:6; Luke 11:20
  • 4. S Exodus 7:22
  • 5. S Exodus 7:4