I promised you frogs at the end of the last post, well you got frogs. Moses and Aaron made these things appear everywhere.
3The river shall swarm with frogs; they shall come up into your palace, into your bedchamber and your bed, and into the houses of your officials and of your people, and into your ovens and your kneading bowls. 4The frogs shall come up on you and on your people and on all your officials.’ ”Bibles, Harper . NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha (p. 145). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
See? Everywhere. If this happened today, they would be in the rice cooker, the air fryer, the toilet, everywhere. So they made it happen and it was apparently awful. However, the Pharaoh’s magicians were able to do it too, but Pharaoh called upon Moses and Aaron to get rid of the frogs.
I knew I had a problem in this rundown of plagues, but it wasn’t until commenter Classicjason pointed it out. If the magicians could replicate the tricks that Moses performed, why couldn’t they reverse them?
Anyway, back to the story. Pharaoh promised the dynamic duo that he would allow the Israelites go and worship if they would just make these frogs go away. So Moses cries out to God to lose the frogs, and so God strikes them dead everywhere except in the river. So there’s a bunch of frog carcasses laying around and they have to be gathered up and dumped. Oh, by the way, Pharaoh’s heart was hardened again, so they weren’t allowed to go worship.
So, Moses told Aaron to stretch out his staff and strike the dust of the earth. This caused gnats to appear out of the dust and they got everywhere. Pharaoh’s magicians tried this trick and they couldn’t perform it. They told Pharaoh that this was the finger of God, but of course Pharaoh’s heart was hardened so God could show off some more.
And again the same thing with the flies. I mean, really, this is tedious. Pharaoh tells Moses that they can worship within the land, but Moses say that it would be offensive to the Egyptians and they would be stoned (not in that way, potheads). They had to go three days journey from there, but Pharaoh’s heart was hardened again.
Next up: Dead cows, boils, and thunder and hail.
This time Moses threatened that a pestilence will strike the livestock of the Egyptians, but not the livestock of the Israelites. Sure enough, it happened as planned, but hardened heart…yada yada yada. Seriously, I could tell this story in three paragraphs.
Moses threw some soot from the kiln in front of Pharaoh and caused festering boils on humans and animals throughout the land. The magicians couldn’t stand before Moses because they were afflicted. Hardened heart…no go.
This time Moses told Pharaoh that he was going to make it hail and that he should really move all of his slaves and livestock under cover. Except, didn’t all of the livestock die due to the pestilence at the beginning of this chapter? CONTINUITY, PEOPLE! Anyway, let’s make believe that this story is all made up and what happened earlier doesn’t matter. So, the hail falls and the thunder booms and Pharaoh admits that he sinned and decides to finally, FINALLY let the Israelites go.
PSYCH! Nope, once he saw that the hail and thunder stopped, his heart was hardened again and he reneged. Seriously, this is just a power play for God. Pharaoh admitted that he had sinned, but now God just wants to torture him. Does anyone actually wonder why I don’t believe this book?
Guess what? More plagues because the God of Exodus is written as a sadistic monster. I’m sorry, but Pharaoh already admitted his and let the Israelites go, but God can’t let the opportunity for more torture go to waste.
3So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh, and said to him, “Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go, so that they may worship me…”Bibles, Harper . NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha (p. 149). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
Pharaoh did humble himself when he admitted his sin, but again, God hardened his heart. Pharaoh’s officials told him to let them go because the land is ruined, but Pharaoh and his heart were not budging. This time around, the brothers of destruction unleashed locusts to pretty much destroy everything that wasn’t destroyed before.
16Pharaoh hurriedly summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the LORD your God, and against you. 17Do forgive my sin just this once, and pray to the LORD your God that at the least he remove this deadly thing from me.”Bibles, Harper . NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha (p. 150). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
That seems pretty humble to me, but God doesn’t care. He hardens Pharaoh’s heart because I think he’s having fun. The ninth plague is a shroud of darkness such that the Egyptians cannot see one another or even move from where they are. Again, Pharaoh capitulates, but God has one more, disgusting, heinous atrocity up his sleeve.