Exodus 7

1 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Behold, I have made thee a god to Pharao, and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.
2 And thou shalt say to him all things that I charge thee, and Aaron thy brother shall speak to Pharao, that he should send forth the children of Israel out of his land.
3 And I will harden the heart of Pharao, and I will multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt.
4 And Pharao will not hearken to you, and I will lay my hand upon Egypt; and will bring out my people the children of Israel with my power out of the land of Egypt with great vengeance.
5 And all the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, stretching out my hand upon Egypt, and I will bring out the children of Israel out of the midst of them.
6 And Moses and Aaron did as the Lord commanded them, so did they.
7 And Moses was eighty years old, and Aaron his brother was eighty-three years old, when he spoke to Pharao.
8 And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying,
9 Now if Pharao should speak to you, saying, Give us a sign or a wonder, then shalt thou say to thy brother Aaron, Take thy rod and cast it upon the ground before Pharao, and before his servants, and it shall become a serpent.
10 And Moses and Aaron went in before Pharao, and his servants, and they did so, as the Lord commanded them; and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharao, and before his servants, and it became a serpent.
11 But Pharao called together the wise men of Egypt, and the sorcerers, and the charmers also of the Egyptians did likewise with their sorceries.
12 And they cast down each his rod, and they became serpents, but the rod of Aaron swallowed up their rods.
13 and the heart of Pharao was hardened, and he hearkened not to them, as the Lord charged them.
14 and the Lord said to Moses, The heart of Pharao is made hard, so that he should not let the people go.
15 Go to Pharao early in the morning: behold, he goes forth to the water; and thou shalt meet him on the bank of the river, and thou shalt take in thine hand the rod that was turned into a serpent.
16 And thou shalt say to him, The Lord God of the Hebrews has sent me to thee, saying, Send my people away, that they may serve me in the wilderness, and, behold, hitherto thou hast not hearkened.
17 These things saith the Lord: Hereby shalt thou know that I am the Lord: behold, I strike with the rod that is in my hand on the water which is in the river, and it shall change it into blood.
18 And the fish that are in the river shall die, and the river shall stink thereupon, and the Egyptians shall not be able to drink water from the river.
19 And the Lord said to Moses, Say to thy brother Aaron, Take thy rod in thy hand, and stretch forth thy hand over the waters of Egypt, and over their rivers, and over their canals, and over their ponds, and over all their standing water, and it shall become blood: and there was blood in all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood and of stone.
20 and Moses and Aaron did so, as the Lord commanded them; and having lifted up with his rod, smote the water in the river before Pharao, and before his servants, and changed all the water in the river into blood.
21 And the fish in the river died, and the river stank thereupon; and the Egyptians could not drink water from the river, and the blood was in all the land of Egypt.
22 And the charmers also of the Egyptians did so with their sorceries; and the heart of Pharao was hardened, and he did not hearken to them, even as the Lord said.
23 And Pharao turned and entered into his house, nor did he fix his attention even on this thing.
24 And all the Egyptians dug round about the river, so as to drink water, for they could not drink water from the river.
25 and seven days were fulfilled after the Lord has smitten 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.

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. spokesman; for the use of this word in a wide sense, see Tit. 1. 12.
  • [b]. their.

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

The Brenton translation of the Septuagint is in the public domain.