Exodus 8

1 The LORD spoke to Moses, Go in to Pharaoh, and tell him, “This is what the LORD says, ‘Let my people go, that they may serve me. 2 If you refuse to let them go, behold, I will plague all your borders with frogs: 3 and the river shall swarm with frogs, which shall go up and come into your house, and into your bedroom, and on your bed, and into the house of your servants, and on your people, and into your ovens, and into your kneading troughs: 4 and the frogs shall come up both on you, and on your people, and on all your servants.’” 5 The LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your rod over the rivers, over the streams, and over the pools, and cause frogs to come up on the land of Egypt.’” 6 Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt. 7 The magicians did the same thing with their enchantments, and brought up frogs on the land of Egypt. 8 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, “Entreat the LORD, that he take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may sacrifice to the LORD.” 9 Moses said to Pharaoh, “I give you the honor of setting the time that I should pray for you, and for your servants, and for your people, that the frogs be destroyed from you and your houses, and remain in the river only.” 10 He said, “Tomorrow.” He said, “Be it according to your word, that you may know that there is no one like the LORD our God. 11 The frogs shall depart from you, and from your houses, and from your servants, and from your people. They shall remain in the river only.” 12 Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh, and Moses cried to the LORD concerning the frogs which he had brought on Pharaoh. 13 The LORD did according to the word of Moses, and the frogs died out of the houses, out of the courts, and out of the fields. 14 They gathered them together in heaps, and the land stank. 15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was a respite, he hardened his heart, and didn’t listen to them, as the LORD had spoken. 16 The LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Stretch out your rod, and strike the dust of the earth, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.’” 17 They did so; and Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and struck the dust of the earth, and there were lice on man, and on animal; all the dust of the earth became lice throughout all the land of Egypt. 18 The magicians tried with their enchantments to produce lice, but they couldn’t. There were lice on man, and on animal. 19 Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is God’s finger:” and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he didn’t listen to them; as the LORD had spoken. 20 The LORD said to Moses, “Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh; behold, he comes out to the water; and tell him, ‘This is what the LORD says, “Let my people go, that they may serve me. 21 Else, if you will not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies on you, and on your servants, and on your people, and into your houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are. 22 I will set apart in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end you may know that I am the LORD on the earth. 23 I will put a division between my people and your people: by tomorrow shall this sign be.”’” 24 The LORD did so; and there came grievous swarms of flies into the house of Pharaoh, and into his servants’ houses: and in all the land of Egypt the land was corrupted by reason of the swarms of flies. 25 Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God in the land!” 26 Moses said, “It isn’t appropriate to do so; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the LORD our God. Behold, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and won’t they stone us? 27 We will go three days’ journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to the LORD our God, as he shall command us.” 28 Pharaoh said, “I will let you go, that you may sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness, only you shall not go very far away. Pray for me.” 29 Moses said, “Behold, I go out from you, and I will pray to the LORD that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, tomorrow; only don’t let Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the LORD.” 30 Moses went out from Pharaoh, and prayed to the LORD. 31 The LORD did according to the word of Moses, and he removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people. There remained not one. 32 Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and he didn’t let the people go.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–15

Pharaoh is plagued with frogs; their vast numbers made them sore plagues to the Egyptians. God could have plagued Egypt with lions, or bears, or wolves, or with birds of prey, but he chose to do it by these despicable creatures. God, when he pleases, can arm the smallest parts of the creation against us. He thereby humbled Pharaoh. They should neither eat, nor drink, nor sleep in quiet; but wherever they were, they should be troubled by the frogs. God’s curse upon a man will pursue him wherever he goes, and lie heavy upon him whatever he does. Pharaoh gave way under this plague. He promises that he will let the people go. Those who bid defiance to God and prayer, first or last, will be made to see their need of both. But when Pharaoh saw there was respite, he hardened his heart. Till the heart is renewed by the grace of God, the thoughts made by affliction do not abide; the convictions wear off, and the promises that were given are forgotten. Till the state of the air is changed, what thaws in the sun will freeze again in the shade.

Verses 16–19

These lice were produced out of the dust of the earth; out of any part of the creation God can fetch a scourge, with which to correct those who rebel against him. Even the dust of the earth obeys him. These lice were very troublesome, as well as disgraceful to the Egyptians, whose priests were obliged to take much pains that no vermin ever should be found about them. All the plagues inflicted on the Egyptians, had reference to their national crimes, or were rendered particularly severe by their customs. The magicians attempted to imitate it, but they could not. It forced them to confess, This is the finger of God! The check and restraint put upon us, must needs be from a Divine power. Sooner or later God will force even his enemies to acknowledge his own power. Pharaoh, notwithstanding this, was more and more obstinate.

Verses 20–32

Pharaoh was early at his false devotions to the river; and shall we be for more sleep and more slumber, when any service to the Lord is to be done? The Egyptians and the Hebrews were to be marked in the plague of flies. The Lord knows them that are his, and will make it appear, perhaps in this world, certainly in the other, that he has set them apart for himself. Pharaoh unwillingly entered into a treaty with Moses and Aaron. He is content they should sacrifice to their God, provided they would do it in the land of Egypt. But it would be an abomination to God, should they offer the Egyptian sacrifices; and it would be an abomination to the Egyptians, should they offer to God the objects of the worship of the Egyptians, namely, their calves or oxen. Those who would offer acceptable sacrifice to God, must separate themselves from the wicked and profane. They must also retire from the world. Israel cannot keep the feast of the Lord, either among the brick-kilns or among the flesh-pots of Egypt. And they must sacrifice as God shall command, not otherwise. Though they were in slavery to Pharaoh, yet they must obey God’s commands. Pharaoh consents for them to go into the wilderness, provided they do not go so far but that he might fetch them back again. Thus, some sinners, in a pang of conviction, part with their sins, yet are loth they should go very far away; for when the fright is over, they will turn to them again. Moses promised the removal of this plague. But let not Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: if we think to cheat God by a sham repentance and a false surrender of ourselves to him, we shall put a fatal cheat upon our own souls. Pharaoh returned to his hardness. Reigning lusts break through the strongest bonds, and make men presume and go from their word. Many seem in earnest, but there is some reserve, some beloved, secret sin. They are unwilling to look upon themselves as in danger of everlasting misery. They will refrain from other sins; they do much, give much, and even punish themselves much. They will leave it off sometimes, and, as it were, let their sin depart a little way; but will not make up their minds to part with all and follow Christ, bearing the cross. Rather than that, they venture all. They are sorrowful, but depart from Christ, determined to keep the world at present, and they hope for some future season, when salvation may be had without such costly sacrifices; but, at length, the poor sinner is driven away in his wickedness, and left without hope to lament his folly.

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