THE LIFE OF MOSES – LESSON 14
THE PLAGUE OF FLIES
Following the third plague, the lice, some changes occurred. The magicians told Pharaoh that this was the hand of God, and they were helpless to intervene. This surely caught Pharaoh’s attention knowing he could no longer get help from the magicians or their gods.
There was a change in how the plagues came. No longer would Aaron strike anything with his rod. Moses would now simply speak it to Pharaoh, and it would happen the next day. Why the next day? So that Pharaoh would know it was directly from God as Moses spoke it.
Another change starting with the fourth plague was that the Hebrews would be unaffected by the plagues. Goshen, where they lived, would be free from the plagues as the God of the Hebrews protects them.
Moses arose up early in the morning so he could be at the river when Pharaoh arrived there as was his daily custom. He told the king that there would be a grievous swarm of flies, but that Jehovah was going to give Pharaoh a unique sign that would show a clear separation between the Hebrews and the Egyptians. The sign would be that no Hebrews would have to deal with the flies as the plague would be upon Egyptians only.
The flies came in swarms to all Egyptians. They filled their houses and corrupting everything. Corrupting? Yes! Where there are flies, there are maggots. The flies lay eggs which hatch into maggots that spoiled their food supplies. The flies themselves were a terrible nuisance, besides the maggots.
Pharaoh calls in Moses and Aaron in Exodus 8:25 and said, “Go ye, sacrifice to your God (Elohiym) in the land.” Yes, he said “Elohiym” the generic form, and not “Jehovah” the personal Hebrew form of God.” He also said “in the land” which meant there in Egypt, not in the wilderness as requested. He was trying to compromise with Moses.
Moses told him that if they did it in the land, the Egyptians would see it as an abomination to their gods and they would stone the Hebrews. Pharaoh relented and said they could go just a little way into the wilderness, not the three days for which Moses asked.
Another difference was that this time Pharaoh asked Moses to pray for him in verse 28 where it said, “intreat for me.” It seems he may be beginning to believe in the power of this Hebrew God.
Moses intreated God and all the flies (and maggots) immediately disappeared. As soon as they were gone Pharaoh again reneged on his word.
What Egyptian god was defamed as being shown powerless to intervene over the flies? It was Khepri, the Egyptian god that had the head of a fly. Khepri was also seen as a god of creation, the movement of the sun, and rebirth, yet was powerless to control the flies. Note: Egyptian gods often were credited with multiple functions.
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