The plague of frogs
2 And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs:
Slimy, unclean, polluting and defiling. Yahweh gives plenty of warnings to people about what is coming, but like Pharaoh these are ignored, and like the ostrich bury their heads in the sand and mud of their own little lives.
The frog was worshipped in Egypt as the god Heqt, placed on the body of deceasd as a symbol of life. This was the thick black superstition and darkness of Egypt, like the vile superstitions that still prevail throughout out the earth today in pagan and popish countries.
Apocalyptic Rev. 16. 13. The sixth Vial sees an outpouring of the three frog like spirits going forth to the nations and the whole world. They are unclean and create a spirit of madness; breaking down society, sowing dissention and filthiness, overturning the established order.
These are the revolutionary humanistic spirits that corrupt and defile everywhere in human society today, which commenced with the French Revolution...fermenting nations into a state of war and bellicosity (Joel 3; Rev.16. 14-16).
The Apocalyptic Messenger, Feb 2019
6 And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt.
It was a miracle, but the miracle lay only in the rapid production. Slow production takes place every day.
God, who started the slow process at the beginning, can accelerate it when occasion requires; and the occasion required it, for God was proving His existence and power to Israel and all the earth, in the blows struck in the controversy raised about the liberation of Israel.Visible Hand of God Ch 11
7 And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt.
Nothing easier under the circumstances. There were frogs enough all about. They had but to collect and secrete, and suddenly liberate a sufficient number to convince Pharaoh that they also possessed the terrible power working with this man Moses.*
8 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, Intreat Yahweh, that he may take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may do sacrifice unto Yahweh.
Still the power of the magicians to add to the plague was not very reassuring to Pharaoh, in the absence of power on their part to rid the land of the plague. Moses and Aaron evidently had the greater power, and so he appealed to Moses and Aaron, and through them to the God in whose name they performed their wonders.*
*Visible Hand of God Ch 11
10 And he said, To morrow. And he said, Be it according to thy word: that thou mayest know that there is none like unto Yahweh our Elohim.
This fixing of the time for the stoppage of the plague would show how completely under Yahweh's control the forces at work were. Pharaoh fixes the time, "Tomorrow." Moses agrees, adding this remark [there is none like unto Yahweh our Elohim], which shows the nature of the effect aimed.
Visible Hand of God Ch 11
15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as Yahweh had said.
The manifest connection between the prayer of Moses and this cessation of the plague of frogs ought to have convinced Pharaoh that it was God who was at work in the case, and that it was futile and insane to continue his opposition. It would have had this effect had Pharaoh been of a reasonable and enlightened mind; but he was neither.
He was a small-minded, obstinate man, and his education had led him to recognise a multiplicity of gods, which made the plagues only a source of perplexity and embarrassment; for, admitting their genuineness in a divine sense, he had always the reserve thought that possibly there was a more powerful divinity whom the Egyptian priests might succeed in bringing to his aid.
These natural peculiarities in the constitution of his mind were aggravated by a divine hardening (itself a just retribution) which the exigencies of the situation, from a divine point of view, required. It was necessary that he should fight the battle out to the bitter and ruinous end for the exhibition of Yahweh's existence and power to Israel, the Egyptians, and the whole earth, then and for ages after. This point we have already considered.
Visible Hand of God Ch 12
19 Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of Elohim: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as Yahweh had said.
Lingering traces of the knowledge of Yahweh
There were everywhere the perverted remnants and dying memories of the law of God which had come through Noah from previous times. The very idolatries and ritualisms and sacrifices of the Egyptians, Hittites, and other nations were vestiges of the divine "way" which had again become corrupted in all the earth religion had degenerated from a thing of enlightenment and obedience to a system of tradition and slavish compliance.
The first promulgated revelation had spent its force, so far as man was concerned, and if the race was not again to be a failure (fit only to be swept away by a second flood), the divine work had to be placed on the basis of a national organism which would generate a sufficiently constraining influence to develop suitable individual units, though it might not thoroughly affect the mass.
Nothing was to be done with the national organizations extant. A new start had to be made: new ground cleared: a new nation made. This was done in the call of Abraham and his posterity. There was a necessary preliminary of 430 years, which gave scope not only for the multiplication of Abraham's descendants, but for the perfecting of prominent individuals among them for a part in the final and permanent upshot of the work (in the immortal age beyond) -- Luke 13:28.
Among those are Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Levi, and Moses, of whom we are expressly informed, and probably many others whose cases are not recorded. By faith were all these exercised and developed, but not to the exclusion of obedience, which has always been the corollary and test of acceptable faith. Of Abraham, the most distinguished of them all, James exclaims,
"Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?"
They were all of them obedient to the (unrepealed) "statutes and commandments and laws" which Abraham kept to God's well pleasing (Gen. 26:4-5).
"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off."
As regards the bulk of Abraham's posterity, by the time they had become numerous enough to be a nation for rescue from the Egyptians who enslaved them, they were in little better condition than the Egyptians themselves. We learn this from God's message to them by Ezekiel (chap. 20:8), from which it appears they were addicted to the worship of the idols of Egypt.
Law of Moses Ch 2
Lice were too small to be successfully dealt with. They might be coated with a substance to make them look like dust, but how could they be instantly liberated at a signal, so as to become obviously lice again? Besides, what heart could the manipulators have to conduct such an experiment, with the disgusting creatures crawling on them everywhere?
Visible Hand of God Ch 12
20 And Yahweh said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh; lo, he cometh forth to the water; and say unto him, Thus saith Yahweh, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
The plague of flies
Some suggest the scarab beetle which was worshipped as the god Khepera. Flies were also deified as Beelzebub their lord, the prince of devils.
This was the depths of superstition and darkness that prevailed and does prevail across the dark and degenerate world.
Swarms of flies arose everywhere seething and swanning into houses and palaces and every public space spreading disease and sickness. Flies lay their eggs on foodstuffs and help to break it down as the maggots go to work. The flies clean themselves when they land scrubbing their legs and bodies with their legs and thus shedding bacteria everywhere they land, defiling and polluting.
The Apocalyptic Messenger, Feb 2019
23 And I will put a division between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be.
It will tax the most brilliant imagination to conceive a more effective, a more unmistakable mode of showing the fact that God was at work-the isolating of a specified district from the operation of the plague: and the fixing of a time for its commencement.
25 And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, Go ye, sacrifice to your Elohim in the land.
Pharaoh could not stand it. He had reconciled himself to the lice after considerable repugnance; but to have his nostrils assailed with an evil odour in his very palace, and to have every pleasure and office of life corrupted and destroyed by this host of flies dead and flies living everywhere, was beyond the limits of human endurance.
His only escape was concession to this pestilent Moses and Aaron. He would make a little concession; not too much, enough to ease the plague, but not enough to loose his hold upon his useful serfs. He would let them hold the feast they wanted, but not outside of Egypt.
Moses could not accept this concession: but as Pharaoh was in a relenting mood, he adopted a conciliatory tone and argued the matter with him...
26 And Moses said, It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to Yahweh our Elohim: lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us?
Pharaoh seems to have been impressed with the force of this objection.
The Egyptians, like barbarians in general, had strong superstitions on the subject of animals, holding the crocodile and the cat sacred, and the sheep the other way. He seemed to foresee an increase in the public calamities by the result that might ensue among his own people in the presence of religious ceremonies using for holy purposes a creature they regarded otherwise. Moses urged...
27 We will go three days' journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to Yahweh our Elohim, as he shall command us.
This would meet the Egyptian "abomination" difficulty, and every other difficulty as well. Three days' ordinary journeying would take them to Sinai, and, once there, Moses knew he would be subject to divine direction only as to future proceedings. Pharaoh was willing to agree to the proposal so far. He did not like the distance proposed; still, on the whole, he consented, on the one urgent condition that the plague of flies should be taken away.
28 And Pharaoh said, I will let you go, that ye may sacrifice to Yahweh your Elohim in the wilderness; only ye shall not go very far away: intreat for me.
Moses promised compliance with this condition with all alacrity; for, indeed, it was on this that he wanted particularly to fix Pharaoh's attention-the proof that God was working for the exhibition of His name in the deliverance of His people.
32 And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go.
He possibly thought that with a little patience, the whole affair might pass off: the God of the Hebrews, like other gods, might change His mind, or something might arise to divert attention from the issue which had so far been pressed upon him with such a deadly pertinacity. At all events, he changed his mind:
"He would not let the people go."
Whether he officially or in any way notified the change to Moses is not stated; but Moses became aware of the fact. Left without further guidance, he would have been at his wit's end: for Pharaoh's permission was absolutely indispensable: how, otherwise, could he lead out of the country a mere mob of helpless people in the presence of a powerfully equipped army. But Moses was not without further guidance.
Visible Hand of God Ch 12