The Frogs Went WHERE?
I bet this isn't in your English Bible...
Vaera (and appeared)
There are two kinds of ascent that relate to our Torah portion. First, there is the continuous thread of resurrection from both exile and death expressed through Hebrew words such as
. The second kind is the ascent of demonic beings from Sheol, which John verifies in Revelation. The same words may describe the ascent of demons to Egypt; for instance, Moses prophesied that the frogs would ascend
) from the Nile.
, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit.
Then out of the smoke came locusts
upon the earth, and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power...
They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon
The locusts, which Revelation Nine describes as the supernatural bug from Sheol called the
tzirah in Deuteronomy Seven, are so supernatural that John struggles to describe them, calling them by various descriptions. Our reading of the plagues tends to be natural, physical, for those are the only kinds of locusts, frogs, and snakes we know.
Although we read the Torah very literally, it is packed with prophecy and hints to spiritual realms. For instance, in Exodus 7:24, we read:
All of the Egyptians dug roundabout (
savivot) the River for water to drink (
The Egyptians didn't just dig on the banks, but "around" the River. The first mention of the action "
savav" is in relation to the River of Eden in Genesis Two. The Pishon and Gichon Rivers circled, or
savav, the Garden of Eden. The Gichon of Eden was likened to the Tigris in the fallen earth, and the Pishon is likened to the Nile because of its
pishton, or the flax that grew along its banks. The
pishton, or flax of Egypt's seductive linen, was destroyed with the hail-fire plague, demonstrating the distinction between the holy linen that would be worn by Israel's priests and Levites, and the sexually enticing linen of the Egyptians.
No matter how long the Egyptians dug "around" the Pishon, or Nile, it could only yield blood, or death, for they had sacrificed the Hebrew boys and their own boys to Pharaoh in it. In the spiritual realm, they could never find living water in the River, for Yeshua was that living water:
Now on the
of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "
If anyone is thirsty,
let him come to Me to drink (lishtot)." (Jn 7:27)
The Nile River (Pishon), when viewed on the menorah* represents the full circle of Passover and Sukkot. Moses was the type of Yeshua, and if hearers did not heed his words, they would be thirsty and remain thirsty. This passage's hints back to the Garden invite the reader's scrutiny, for what will follow is something most English Bibles neglect to translate literally because it just doesn't make sense, especially if one believes that demon possession was a new thing in the New Testament Gospels.
In fact, compare your English Bible to a TANAKH. The arrangement of chapter and verse is even disparate, as if the translators are helping us to focus on the plague of frogs.** The Rivers of Eden are for those who cross over, Hebrews, with the salvation of Yeshua, typified by Moses to the Hebrews. Without the testimony of Yeshua and obedience to the commandments of God, the River will kill.
The next plague is the frogs, frogs so incredible that the translators usually decline to state what is apparent in Hebrew. They ascended from the River, but which river? There are rivers in the Upper Garden that flow from beneath the Throne to "give drink" to the Lower Garden (which is still a little higher than Earth), but there are also wicked counterparts in Sheol where Death and the king of Abaddon (lost, destroyed) abide. Yeshua rescues his own from the king of Abaddon and his demonic, frog-filled river.
Here is the verse that describes the frogs as more than natural, physical beings:
into you and your people and all your servants will the frogs ascend [
ya-alu]." (Ex 7:29 Hebrew Bibles)
The Jewish sages say that the frogs entered the Egyptians and croaked! Okay, yes, this is funny, but it's very serious when someone croaks.
John verifies that it was more than physical frogs who ascended from Sheol and its bloody river to torment the Egyptians. It was demons, the powers by which Pharaoh's magicians performed their own duplicate plagues up until the plague of lice. Frogs invaded the homes, ovens, kneading bowls, and beds of the Egyptians, and frog-spirits even entered their bodies.
I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean
spirits like frogs
they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world
, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty.
The plague of frogs merely hardened Pharaoh's heart and lured him one plague closer to his own destruction in the Sea of Reeds. Likewise, when Egypt is revealed as a type of the whole world in Revelation, the frog demons draw the kings of the whole world one plague closer to their destruction when the Holy One of Israel dries up the Euphrates for them to cross.
Notice in Revelation 16 that there is a similarity to the precise Hebrew description of the frogs. Exodus 8:2 says it is first a frog [ha-tzfardea], singular, and then it multiplied into swarms:
The three entities of John's vision, the dragon, beast, and false prophet each release one frog, and those three frog-spirits multiply into swarms who perform signs to the kings of the whole world.
The Hebrew text is not errant or random. Just these two examples reassure the reader that the Holy One inspired every letter to teach us that His Word, every letter of the Torah, is prophetic. Don't be fooled by any croakers who claim to teach prophecy without firmly grounding the teaching in the Torah. They will be able to perform miraculous signs, but test the power by which they do so.
**Who added chapters and verses and when they added them is a college course all its own. Please don't turn to the internet for a short answer. A complete, scholarly course in Canon of Scripture cannot be replaced by websites.
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The word "Pharisee" in modern use means a hypocrite. Bible students rarely challenge this stereotype, but a closer reading of the gospel texts and First Century history bring new insights into the role of the Pharisees and their relationship to Yeshua (Jesus).
A brief overview of the Jewish sects and cultural dynamics opens up the dialogues among Yeshua and his audiences, adding depth perception impossible when the Pharisees are dismissed as the arch-enemies of Yeshua. By comparing the Pharisees' own view of hypocrites and greed, Yeshua's corrections are understood as intra-faith discussion, not a Jesus-versus-the-Jews polemic.
The most important legacy of the Pharisee is the formulation of a resurrection doctrine that most Christian readers take for granted. The First Century world, however, was not completely convinced. The timing of a Messiah preaching resurrection was perfectly cued to the Pharisees' short appearance in religious history, especially a zealous Jew named Paul.
In explaining the "synagogue of Satan" in its First Century context, John's expressions in the Book of Revelation are understood in the original context, comparing the two schools of Pharisees and their treatment of Gentile converts.