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Exodus Chapter 8
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Frogs: The Second Plague
8:1 God said to Moses, 'Tell Aaron to point the staff in his hand at the rivers, canals and reservoirs, and he will make frogs emerge upon Egypt.'
8:2 Aaron held his hand out over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs emerged, covering Egypt.
8:3 The master symbolists were able to produce the same effect with their hidden arts, making frogs emerge on Egyptian land.
8:4 Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron, and said, 'Pray to God! Let Him get the frogs away from me and my people. I will let the people leave and sacrifice to God.'
8:5 'Try and test me,' replied Moses. 'Exactly when shall I pray for you, your officials and your people? The frogs will [immediately] depart from you and your homes, remaining only in the Nile.'
8:6 'Tomorrow!' said [Pharaoh].

'As you say,' replied [Moses]. 'You will then know that there is none like God our Lord.

8:7 The frogs will depart from you, as well as from your houses, your officials and your people. They will remain only in the Nile.'
8:8 Moses and Aaron left Pharaoh, and Moses cried out to God concerning the frogs that He had brought upon Pharaoh.
8:9 God did just as Moses said, and the frogs in the houses, courtyards and fields died.
8:10 [The Egyptians] gathered them into great heaps, and the land stank.
8:11 When Pharaoh saw that there had been a respite, he hardened his heart and would not listen to them, just as God had predicted.

Lice: The Third Plague
8:12 God said to Moses, 'Tell Aaron to hold out his staff and strike the dust of the earth. It will turn into lice all over Egypt.'
8:13 They did this. Aaron held out his hand with his staff, and struck the dust of the earth. The lice appeared, attacking man and beast. Throughout all Egypt, the dust had turned into lice.
8:14 The master symbolists tried to produce lice with their hidden arts, but they could not. [Meanwhile], the lice were attacking man and beast alike.
8:15 'It is the finger of God,' said the master symbolists to Pharaoh. But Pharaoh remained obstinate and would not listen, just as God had predicted.

Harmful Creatures: The Fourth Plague
8:16 God said to Moses, 'Get up early in the morning, and confront Pharaoh when he goes out to the water. Say to him in My name, 'Let My people leave and serve Me.
8:17 If you do not let My people leave, I will send swarms of harmful creatures [to attack] you, your officials, your people, and your homes. The houses of Egypt, and even the ground upon which they stand, will be filled with these creatures.
8:18 'On that day, I will miraculously set apart the Goshen area, where My people remain, so that there will not be any harmful creatures there. You will then realize that I am God, right here on earth.
8:19 I will therefore make a distinction between My people and your people. This miraculous sign will take place tomorrow.' '
8:20 God did this, and huge throngs of creatures attacked the palaces of Pharaoh and his officials. Throughout all Egypt, the land was devastated by the creatures.
8:21 Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron. 'Go!' he said. '[You have permission to] sacrifice to your God here in [our] land.'
8:22 'That would hardly be suitable,' replied Moses. 'What we will sacrifice to God our Lord is sacred to the Egyptians. Could we sacrifice the sacred animal of the Egyptians before their very eyes and not have them stone us?
8:23 What we must do is make a three day journey into the desert. There we will be able to sacrifice to God our Lord, just as He told us.'
8:24 'I will let you leave,' said Pharaoh, 'as long as you do not go too far away. You can sacrifice to God your Lord in the desert. But pray for me!'
8:25 Moses answered, 'When I leave your presence, I will pray to God. Tomorrow, the creatures will go away from Pharaoh, his servants, and his people. But let Pharaoh never again deceive us, refusing to let the people sacrifice to God.'
8:26 Moses left Pharaoh's presence and prayed to God.
8:27 Doing as Moses requested, God caused the creatures to leave Pharaoh, his servants and his people. Not a single one remained.
8:28 But this time again, Pharaoh made himself obstinate, and he would not let the people leave.



Commentary:

Try and test me
  (Rashbam). Or, 'try and show off' (Targum Yonathan; Rashi); 'let me give you the honor,' (Sekhel Tov; Ibn Ezra); 'demonstrate your status to me' (Radak, Sherashim; cf. Targum); or 'give me the order' (Ibn Janach).

finger
  Etzba in Hebrew. In ancient Egyptian, the word etzba or tzeba also denotes a finger, but it also denotes retribution. The Egyptian occultists may have also been saying, 'It is God's retribution.'

in My name
  Literally, 'This is what God says:....'

harmful creatures
  Arov in Hebrew. In the Midrash there is a dispute. Rabbi Nechemia says that arov denotes flies, and Rabbi Yehudah states that it denotes a mixture of wild animals (Sh'moth Rabbah 11:4). Most Midrashim accept the interpretation that arov is wild animals, and this opinion is reflected in most later commentaries (Targum Yonathan; Rashi; Ibn Ezra; Radak, Sherashim; Ibn Janach; Josephus, Antiquities 2:14:3). This would take the verse, 'He sent the arov and it ate them' (Psalms 78:11) in its most literal sense. However, even here, some say that the animals only ate their food (Ralbag).

Still, there are many sources that interpret arov as flies (cf. Haggadah, Minhag Teiman 42; Midrash Or HaAfelah, quoted in Torah Sh'lemah 65). Some ancient sources identify the arov as dog-flies (Septuagint; Ethiopic edition of Yov'loth 48:5), or blood-suckers (Philo, De Vita Mosis 2:101). Another source states that it is a mixture of insects and snakes (Sefer HaYashar). It is also possible that the Hebrew arov is related to the ancient Egyptian a'ov, denoting beetles, specifically the scarab or dung beetle.

Other sources identify the arov as an invasion of a specific kind of animal, either wolves (Rashbam), panthers (Midrash Tehillim 78:45), eagles or other birds (Ibid.), or even giant squid (silonith in Hebrew; Ibid.; Sefer HaYashar p. 207; Sekhel Tov; Midrash Aggadah; Midrash VaYosha; see The Torah Anthology 4:254, note 18). See Wisdom of Solomon 11:15-18.

distinction
  (Rashbam; Ibn Ezra) Peduth in Hebrew, literally, 'redemption,' or 'sign of redemption.'

sacred
  (Targum Yonathan; Rashi). See notes of Genesis 39:6, 43:32. Others say that the sheep was disgusting to the Egyptians (Rashbam; cf. Ibn Ezra).

Pharaoh
  Since Pharaoh had shown respect for God, Moses uses the respectful third person.





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