‘This is the finger of God’ 

Old Testament: Exo 8.16–19

To read the Bible in a year, read Exodus 7–8 on January 24, In the year of our Lord Christ 2022

By Don Ruhl 

Pharaoh had refused to release the children of Israel after two plagues. Would a third one change him? This time it was lice or gnats, depending upon the translation that you use: 

So the LORD said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, Stretch out your rod, and strike the dust of the land, so that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.” And they did so. For Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod and struck the dust of the earth, and it became lice on man and beast. All the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt. Now the magicians so worked with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not. So there were lice on man and beast. Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, just as the LORD had said.

– Exodus 8.16–19 

What would be more irritating than these little creatures in super abundance? With the first two plagues, the magicians of Pharaoh could duplicate the plagues, but they could not with this one and the subsequent ones, leading the magicians to confess that God was doing these things. 

However, Pharaoh did not soften his heart and that meant more suffering for the nation. 

Questions: 

  • From what were the lice or gnats made? 
  • Would not the magicians have been far more persuasive if they had made the first two plagues go away rather than adding to them? 

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