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Beginning in chapter seven is a discussion between God and Aaron about the Israelites in Egypt. God tells Moses that Aaron was to take his staff and hurl it down before Pharaoh, and it would change into a serpent, in the event that Pharaoh demanded a miracle. They carried out God's instructions exactly when they went to Pharaoh. The same miracle, meanwhile, was accomplished when Pharaoh instructed his sorceress to do the same (Exodus 7-11). The heart of Pharaoh hardened. He would not pay attention to what God had instructed Moses and Aaron to say. It was due to the Pharaoh’s stubbornness to release the Israelites that God ordered for the start of the ten plagues.
God told Moses to scratch the waters of Egypt using the staff to make it turn into blood. Moses did exactly what God had told him, and the Nile turned into blood (Exodus 7-11). When it happen to the river, the fish died. The river smelled so bad that the Egyptians could not drink water from the river. The Egyptians magicians did the same miracle, and Pharaoh’s heart became harder. The second plague was the plague of frogs. The frogs moved everywhere in Egypt, but this could not change Pharaoh’s heart on releasing the children of Israel.
God then told Moses to get his staff and struck the dust. Consequently, dust would change into gnats throughout Egypt. When the Egyptian magicians tried to perform a similar miracle, they failed. However, Pharaohs could not soften his stance (Exodus 7-11). The next plague entailed swarms of flies pouring into houses across Egypt. The flies affected the Egyptian’s harvests. Moses, however, prayed to God, and after that the flies left. God then instructed for a plague of livestock, which left all of the Egyptian’s livestock dead. In both plagues, however, Pharaoh was resistant in allowing the Israelites to leave Egypt.
The plague of boils, according to chapter nine, left the Egyptians in pain, but Pharaoh failed to soften again. This then forced to God to send the plague of hails, which ended up destroying the Egyptians crops and property. Moses, however, sympathized with the Egyptians, and both the hails and thunder stopped. After the end of the hails and thunder, Pharaoh maintained on his stance of not letting the Israelites leave Egypt (Exodus 7-11). God then sent the plague of Locust that left most of the Egyptians crops destroyed. When that plague could not work, God sent for the plague of darkness. During this time of darkness, all the Israelites had to light at their places.
The last plague was the plague of the first born. The death of the Egyptian’s firstborn sons threatened Pharaoh. And just as God had told Aaron and Moses, there was wailing across Egypt, forcing Pharaoh to release the Israelites. The last plague proved to Pharaoh that God was a powerful creature. As it is well-known, the Israelites were ultimately to walk out of Egypt where they had been treated as slaves for many years. During that time, Moses was 80 years, while Aaron was 83 years.
Exodus 7-11. The Jewish Study Bible, Oxford University Press, 2004
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