16 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, so that it may become gnats in all the land of Egypt.’ ” 17 And they did so. Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff and struck the dust of the earth, and there were gnats on man and beast. All the dust of the earth became gnats in all the land of Egypt. 18 The magicians tried by their secret arts to produce gnats, but they could not. So there were gnats on man and beast. 19 Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.
Many have tried to pinpoint exactly what type of insect the Bible speaks of here. The Hebrew word here is KINNIM which literally means lice. We have the translation gnats in the ESV. Others have translated it as maggots because they were on the Egyptians and the language is more describing maggots. Others mosquitoes or fleas.
The extent of the infestation was so severe that these bugs/insects were so thick that they were getting in the ears and noses and being breathed in by the Egyptians. They were everywhere as thick as the sand and dust in Egypt.
So many today try to explain these plagues by natural means. They say, well the maggots came from all the rotting frogs. But that’s not what the Bible tells us. It says they came from the dust. All the plagues are divine miracles designed by God for a specific purpose. They were direct acts of divine intervention that superseded the causes of normal explanations.
Also, we should realize that there have been times in Egypt when some of these things happened before. The real issue is never had they happened with such intensity which went beyond the normal occurrence. Never were they accurately predicted and timed and never were there going away timed such as we saw the frog plague ending at a predetermined and announced time. Never were they discriminating such as we will see affecting only the Egyptians and not the Israelites. Never was there an orderliness to these occurrences such as the intensification until the last plague. Never before had there been moral purposes behind these catastrophes. Gods of the Nile, frog goddess and sun god all shown to be false gods with no power to overcome these plagues. Never had a disaster shown Pharoah that he is no god at all. Through these plagues God will reveal Himself as Judge and Savior.
In this plague there is no prior warning. In this plague, Moses and Aaron simply are told to carry it out unannounced. That may well be a sign of God’s divine reprisal against Pharaoh. Pharaoh lied to Him at the end of the second plague. Now God visits him with a third plague without evening warning him. Pharaoh changed his mind and broke his promise and now God visits him with another plague without announcement. We are told by two phrases in verse 17 that the scale of this plague is vast. Notice that it is going to affect every man and beast. Notice that it is described as the source of this plague being the dust of the earth.Read More
Truth Taught- Jesus has spoken His last words to Jerusalem and leaves them to go their own way
Our passage today, must be connected to the previous text and also connected to the text that follows if we are to understand it correctly. Context is vital when we seek to interpret the Bible and here is a very good example. If we pull these verses out of their setting, we won’t understand what Jesus is saying here.
If you remember from the last few weeks, our Lord has been exposing the Scribes and Pharisees as very dangerous false teachers. He’s been doing this directly since the beginning of Chapter 21. As our Lord entered His City as Messiah, they had been very strongly opposing Him. They did not like the imagery of Jesus riding the young colt into the city which was a direct fulfillment of…
Zechariah 9:9 (ESV)
9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
One very important piece of this event is what some of the people who had been following Jesus were saying as He entered…
Matthew 21:6–9 (ESV)
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. 8 Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
In shouting these words, they were ascribing Messiahship to Jesus, declaring that He is the One coming in the name of the Lord.
The Pharisees hated this. They hated that Jesus came in this way and that the people were slowly seeing the truth. They hated it when the children began to shout…
Exodus 7:25–8:15 (ESV)
1. The Theology of Frogs
25 Seven full days passed after the Lord had struck the Nile.
8 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Let my people go, that they may serve me. 2 But if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will plague all your country with frogs. 3 The Nile shall swarm with frogs that shall come up into your house and into your bedroom and on your bed and into the houses of your servants and your people, and into your ovens and your kneading bowls. 4 The frogs shall come up on you and on your people and on all your servants.” ’ ” 5 And the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your staff over the rivers, over the canals and over the pools, and make frogs come up on the land of Egypt!’ ” 6 So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. 7 But the magicians did the same by their secret arts and made frogs come up on the land of Egypt.
Seven days have passed
Here comes the frogs. How many here like frogs? I’m sure all the boys and some of the girls probably. I like frogs. I like to listen to them at night. I like to watch them jump into the water and swim out then bring their eyes up out of the water to watch what you’re doing in their pond. However, when I say I like frogs I’m thinking of one or two, not a thousand in your house. Now they’re not in their pond but my house…now I don’t like them at all.
For the Egyptians, frogs were loved, even worshipped. They liked to hear them at night as well. To them the frogs were a symbol of a good harvest; a good year with much produce. When the Nile River flooded about mid-September which was very good for their farming and then receded in December it would leave pools of water. These small ponds would soon be inhabited by frogs. Their croaking was the song of a promised good harvest that year.
To the Egyptians, the gods of the Nile were blessing them with fertile land. To them the frog was sort of a theophany; a visible picture of one of the gods. So, the frog became this symbol of worship. In Egyptian culture frogs were found on all types of jewelry. They wore these symbols as good luck and as a way of honoring the god of the Nile.
As we learned last time, these gods they worshipped and placed their trust in would be shown for what they truly are, false gods fueled by demonic powers.
Truth Taught- Jesus tells us that false teachers are very dangerous because they can lead us away from Christ who is the Key to the Kingdom of God
Last time we began to work our way through the woe judgements that Jesus declares on the Pharisees and Scribes, the false teachers of Judaism. If you remember from last week, we looked at the first three. Today, Lord willing, we will look at the last four.
Again, remember that the woe judgements are a promise of God’s wrath unless there is repentance. Sadly, there were not very many who repented. It seems that is typical of false teachers.
1. False Teachers Fail to See and Worship Jesus as the Messiah. They miss the Key to the Kingdom which is Jesus Christ. They have no interest in Christ and by their teaching, they shut the door for others.
2. False Teachers May Be Devout, but In Their Zeal, They Bring Great Harm to Others Their zeal is often the thing that will camouflage their evil. Their devotion makes their lies easier to believe. People see them and are often impressed and this dynamic makes their lies believable.
3. False Teachers Twist the Scriptures for Their Own Gain
They often sound good but will twist and misrepresent the Scripture for their own gain.Read More
The Nile River played a very significant role in Egyptian life. It was their water source, their mode of transportation, their food source, and sadly, it was a god they worshipped.
This first plague God strikes down the god they believe supplied all their needs. So, God strikes down the Nile River and makes it utterly worthless. Their god was rendered useless.
We must come to terms with the fact, as the Bible records it, that the Nile River became blood. It did not just turn red as some would want us to believe. The Bible means what it says and it clearly says blood.
Exodus 3:19–20 (ESV)
19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand. 20 So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all the wonders that I will do in it; after that he will let you go.
The ten plagues are judgements against Egypt and against Egypt’s gods. Basically, the Egyptians had many gods. Some estimate 80 or more major gods. These could all be categorized into god’s of the Nile River, the Land and the Sky. The first two plagues deal with the Nile River. The next four, against the gods of the Land, and the final four dealing a death blow to the gods of the sky. These culminate, of course in the death of the firstborn.
God shows His absolute superiority over these false gods of Egypt. Remember these false gods were really fueled by demonic activity that had set themselves against the true God of Scripture.Read More