Ex. 7:1 And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.
Ex. 7:2 Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land.
Ex. 7:3 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt.
Ex. 7:4 But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments.
Ex. 7:5 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them.
Ex. 7:6 And Moses and Aaron did as the LORD commanded them, so did they.
Ex. 7:7 And Moses was fourscore years old, and Aaron fourscore and three years old, when they spake unto Pharaoh.
God tells Moses that Moses will become like a god to Pharaoh and Aaron will function as his prophet, his spokesman. Moses is to speak all that God has commanded him to say, and Aaron will tell it to Pharaoh. He again warns Moses that Pharaoh’s heart will be hardened and he will not listen, even though he is shown miraculous signs. So God will place His hand of judgment on Egypt and will free the Israelites. The Egyptians will “know that I am the LORD” when I stretch out my hand against Egypt to free my people. Then we are told that Moses and Aaron did just as they were commanded by God. Moses was 80 and Aaron was 83 when they went in to speak to Pharaoh. (I think this is the first mention of Moses’ age since he was a baby. He has lived a full life from our current perspective and is just now beginning the work that God had planned for him.)
Ex. 7:8 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
Ex. 7:9 When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent.
Ex. 7:10 And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent.
Ex. 7:11 Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.
Ex. 7:12 For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.
Ex. 7:13 And he hardened Pharaoh’s heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.
The LORD gives Moses a cue for Aaron when they meet with Pharaoh; he is going to tell them to perform a miracle. Then Aaron is to throw down Moses’ rod before Pharaoh, and it will become a snake. Events unfolded as God said, and they obeyed God’s commands. When the rod became a snake, Pharaoh summoned his own wise men and sorcerers. The Egyptian magicians were able to do the same thing. BUT, when their rods became snakes, Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods. Pharaoh wasn’t impressed. His heart was hard, and he would not listen—just as God had said.
The scary thing is that the magicians were able to perform the same miracle. It tells me that Satan must have some pretty special powers at his disposal and doesn’t hesitate to empower some humans if it helps keep them and others “unimpressed” with the things of God. I know that God has ultimate control so that His plan is not thwarted, but He chose to “allow” Satan great latitude as prince of this world in using his powers.
Also, we see emphasized over and over again in the scripture—What God says will happen, happens!
I can’t help but wonder what Moses and Aaron thought when the magicians performed their magic. We aren’t told whether God had warned them it would happen. Whatever, they are ready to obey at God’s next command.
Ex. 7:14 And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh’s heart is hardened, he refuseth to let the people go.
Ex. 7:15 Get thee unto Pharaoh in the morning; lo, he goeth out unto the water; and thou shalt stand by the river’s brink against he come; and the rod which was turned to a serpent shalt thou take in thine hand.
Ex. 7:16 And thou shalt say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath sent me unto thee, saying, Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness: and, behold, hitherto thou wouldest not hear.
Ex. 7:17 Thus saith the LORD, In this thou shalt know that I am the LORD: behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood.
Ex. 7:18 And the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall lothe to drink of the water of the river.
Ex. 7:19 And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone.
In verse 14 God reiterates to Moses that Pharaoh’s heart is unyielding; he refuses to let the people go. Evidently, Pharaoh had a morning ritual of going to the Nile. God tells Moses to meet him at the bank of the river the next morning. He is to take his special rod and again tell Pharaoh that “The LORD God of the Hebrews” says to “Let my people go” so that they can worship Him in the wilderness. He basically says, “Since you haven’t listened to my command, I am going to turn the water of the Nile into blood; and all the fish in the river will die, and it will stink.” (The Creator of life will strike at the source of life in Egypt; the Living Water will take away their life-giving water.) Then Aaron is to take the rod and stretch out his hands over the other water supplies in Egypt, and they will all turn to blood. Blood will be everywhere there is water.
Ex. 7:20 And Moses and Aaron did so, as the LORD commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood.
Ex. 7:21 And the fish that was in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.
Ex. 7:22 And the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments: and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, neither did he hearken unto them; as the LORD had said.
Ex. 7:23 And Pharaoh turned and went into his house, neither did he set his heart to this also.
Ex. 7:24 And all the Egyptians digged round about the river for water to drink; for they could not drink of the water of the river.
Moses and Aaron obeyed God, and it all came down just as He had said. Again, the Egyptians did the same thing, and Pharaoh’s heart hardened and he refused to listen to Moses and Aaron. (This is a bit perplexing since it would seem that Moses and Aaron had already affected ALL the water in Egypt.) Then we are told that the Egyptians were able to dig along the Nile to get drinking water because they could not drink the water of the river. Maybe this infers that only the water from which the visible Nile was the source (wherever it was to be found in Egypt) was affected and other water sources were not. This would explain how the magicians found water to show their power and what made the people think they could dig and find possible drinking water. It would seem that the underground water sources were not affected.