Shemot 7

1 And Hashem said unto Moshe, See, I have made thee as Elohim to Pharaoh: and Aharon thy brother shall be thy navi.
2 Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aharon thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the Bnei Yisroel out of his land.
3 And I will harden the lev Pharaoh, and multiply My Otot and My Mofetim in Eretz Mitzrayim.
4 But Pharaoh shall not pay heed unto you, that I may lay My yad upon Mitzrayim, and bring forth Mine tzve’os, and My people the Bnei Yisroel, out of Eretz Mitzrayim by shefatim gedolim (great judgments).
5 And the Egyptians shall know that I am Hashem, when I stretch forth My yad upon Mitzrayim, bringing out Bnei Yisroel from among them.
6 And Moshe and Aharon did as Hashem commanded them, so did they.
7 And Moshe was fourscore years old, and Aharon fourscore three years, when they spoke unto Pharaoh.
8 And Hashem spoke unto Moshe and Aharon, saying,
9 When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Show a mofet (miracle) for you: then thou shalt say unto Aharon, Take thy matteh, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent.
10 And Moshe and Aharon went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as Hashem had commanded: and Aharon cast down his matteh before Pharaoh, and his avadim, and it became a serpent.
11 Then Pharaoh also called the chachamim and the mechashefim: now the kharetumei Mitzrayim, they also did in like manner with their secret lore.
12 For they cast down every man his matteh, and they became serpents: but the matteh Aharon swallowed up their mattot.
13 And He hardened lev Pharaoh, that he paid heed not unto them; as Hashem had said.
14 And Hashem said unto Moshe, the lev Pharaoh is hardened, he refuseth to let the people go.
15 Get thee unto Pharaoh in the boker; hinei, he goeth out unto the mayim; and thou shalt stand by the bank of the Nile to meet him; and the matteh which was turned to a nachash shalt thou take in thine yad.
16 And thou shalt say unto him, Hashem Elohei HaIvrim hath sent me unto thee, saying, Let My people go, that they may serve Me in the midbar: and, hinei, hitherto thou wouldest not hear.
17 Thus saith Hashem, In this thou shalt know that I am Hashem: hinei, I will strike with the matteh that is in Mine yad upon the mayim which are in the Nile, and they shall be turned to dahm.
18 And the dag (fish) that is in the Nile shall die, and the Nile shall stink; and the Egyptians shall loathe to drink of the mayim of the Nile.
19 And Hashem spoke unto Moshe, Say unto Aharon, Take thy matteh, and stretch out thine yad upon the mayim of Mitzrayim, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their mikveh of mayim, that they may become dahm; and that there may be dahm throughout kol Eretz Mitzrayim, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone.
20 And Moshe and Aharon did so, as Hashem commanded; and he lifted up the matteh, and smote the waters that were in the Nile, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his avadim; and all the mayim that were in the Nile were turned to dahm.
21 And the dag (fish) that was in the Nile died; and the Nile stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the mayim of the Nile; and there was dahm throughout kol Eretz Mitzrayim.
22 And the kharetumei Mitzrayim did so with their secret lore: and lev Pharaoh was hardened, neither did he pay heed unto them; as Hashem had said.
23 And Pharaoh turned and went into his bais, neither did he set his mind to this also.
24 And all the Egyptians dug around the Nile for mayim to drink; they could not drink of the mayim of the Nile.
25 And seven days came and went, after Hashem had struck the Nile.

Shemot 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.

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.

Shemot 7 Commentaries

The Orthodox Jewish Bible fourth edition, OJB. Copyright 2002,2003,2008,2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International. All rights reserved.