Exodus 7

1 The Lord said, "I am going to make you like God to the king, and your brother Aaron will speak to him as your prophet.
2 Tell Aaron everything I command you, and he will tell the king to let the Israelites leave his country.
3 But I will make the king stubborn, and he will not listen to you, no matter how many terrifying things I do in Egypt. Then I will bring severe punishment on Egypt and lead the tribes of my people out of the land. 1
5 The Egyptians will then know that I am the Lord, when I raise my hand against them and bring the Israelites out of their country."
6 Moses and Aaron did what the Lord commanded.
7 At the time when they spoke to the king, Moses was eighty years old, and Aaron was eighty-three.
8 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron,
9 "If the king demands that you prove yourselves by performing a miracle, tell Aaron to take his walking stick and throw it down in front of the king, and it will turn into a snake."
10 So Moses and Aaron went to the king and did as the Lord had commanded. Aaron threw his walking stick down in front of the king and his officers, and it turned into a snake.
11 Then the king called for his wise men and magicians, and by their magic they did the same thing.
12 They threw down their walking sticks, and the sticks turned into snakes. But Aaron's stick swallowed theirs.
13 The king, however, remained stubborn and, just as the Lord had said, the king would not listen to Moses and Aaron.
14 Then the Lord said to Moses, "The king is very stubborn and refuses to let the people go. 2
15 So go and meet him in the morning when he goes down to the Nile. Take with you the walking stick that was turned into a snake, and wait for him on the riverbank.
16 Then say to the king, "The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to tell you to let his people go, so that they can worship him in the desert. But until now you have not listened.
17 Now, Your Majesty, the Lord says that you will find out who he is by what he is going to do. Look, I am going to strike the surface of the river with this stick, and the water will be turned into blood. 3
18 The fish will die, and the river will stink so much that the Egyptians will not be able to drink from it.' "
19 The Lord said to Moses, "Tell Aaron to take his stick and hold it out over all the rivers, canals, and pools in Egypt. The water will become blood, and all over the land there will be blood, even in the wooden tubs and stone jars."
20 Then Moses and Aaron did as the Lord commanded. In the presence of the king and his officers, Aaron raised his stick and struck the surface of the river, and all the water in it was turned into blood.
21 The fish in the river died, and it smelled so bad that the Egyptians could not drink from it. There was blood everywhere in Egypt.
22 Then the king's magicians did the same thing by means of their magic, and the king was as stubborn as ever. Just as the Lord had said, the king refused to listen to Moses and Aaron.
23 Instead, he turned and went back to his palace without paying any attention even to this.
24 All the Egyptians dug along the bank of the river for drinking water, because they were not able to drink water from the river.
25 Seven days passed after the Lord struck the river.

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 3

  • 1. 7.3Acts 7.36.
  • 2. +27.14-24Wisdom 11.6-8.
  • 3. 7.17Revelation 16.4.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO EXODUS 7

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