Study Guide

Book of Exodus Chapter 8

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Chapter 8

Plagues 2, 3, and 4: Frogs & Bugs

  • God, Moses, and Aaron again team up to dump thousands and thousands of frogs onto the Egyptians. Pharaoh's magicians can reproduce the miracle, ironically only worsening the problem. Oops.
  • Moses and Aaron ask Pharaoh when he'd like the frogs removed, and Pharaoh lets them know he'd like the friendly amphibians gone by the following day. Moses and Aaron pray, and the frogs leave.
  • Pharaoh, happy that his bed is frog-free, decides to ignore the Israelites' requests for freedom.
  • Next plague. Gnats. Millions and billions and shmillions of gnats. Everywhere. On animals, people, the works.
  • This time, the magicians in Pharaoh's entourage can't replicate the miracle. They tell Pharaoh, "Look man. Even we can't do this. Maybe this God character has some skills." 
  • Pharaoh ignores them.
  • God tells Moses to go to Pharaoh as he washes himself in the river. This happens with pretty much every plague. Think of it as God's good-morning-TPS Report to Pharaoh.
  • As if gnats weren't enough, get ready for plague #4. Flies. Everywhere.
  • This time, God notes that he will ensure that the Israelites' homes are protected from the plague, just to make sure Pharaoh gets the message.
  • Weirdly, God says that he will set apart "the land of Goshen," where the Israelites live. The text is unclear with us here. Do the Israelites live among the Egyptians, or next to them? In 7:22, God mentions that Goshen shall be set apart, but in 7:25, Pharaoh tells the Israelites to stay "within the land," implying that they were in the land to begin with. It could be a writer's mistake, the result of two texts being melded together, or we just might not understand Goshen. Food for thought.
  • Pharaoh finally tells Moses to go take his people around the block for their little religious stroll. Moses reminds Pharaoh that it would be insensitive for the Israelites to worship near the Egyptians, and Pharaoh agrees. 
  • Moses asks God to lift the fly plague, and God does it. Pharaoh again "hardens his heart, and would not let the people go" (8:32).

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