Bible study 57 – Exodus 7

God raises the stakes: now Moses and Aaron are to ask Pharaoh to let the Israelites out of Egypt permanently. In order to persuade him (which of course is pointless, since God has intentionally hardened his heart), Aaron does the staff-into-a-snake trick again. But alas, Pharaoh is not impressed, as his own magicians are able to do the same thing. (Wait a second, you don’t have to be God to do magic?? Then why would the Israelites be impressed in the first place? Aaron might as well have been a magician – which, given the quality of his tricks, I probably would have assumed him to be, had I seen him live.)

So God has Aaron try harder: he skips the skin-diseased-hand trick and goes straight to the water-to-blood trick, only this time he transforms the entire Nile into blood. This has exactly the kind of disastrous consequences you would think, with Egyptians (and presumably Israelites) desperately digging alternative wells for drinking water. The Pharaoh’s sorcerers don’t want to look any less impressive than Aaron the Magician, so they helpfully transform whatever water is left into blood, and the Pharaoh is left unimpressed.

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