King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Exodus 7

Moses and Aaron encouraged. (1-7) The rods turned into serpents, Pharaoh’s heart is hardened. (8-13) The river is turned into blood, The distress of the Egyptians. (14-25)

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Moses and Aaron encouraged

1 And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.

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.

3 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt.

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.

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.

6 And Moses and Aaron did as the LORD commanded them, so did they.

7 And Moses was fourscore years old, and Aaron fourscore and three years old, when they spake unto Pharaoh.

The rods turned into serpents, Pharaoh’s heart is hardened

8 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,

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.

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.

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.

12 For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.

13 And he hardened Pharaoh’s heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.

The river is turned into blood, The distress of the Egyptians

14 And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh’s heart is hardened, he refuseth to let the people go.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

23 And Pharaoh turned and went into his house, neither did he set his heart to this also.

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.

25 And seven days were fulfilled, after that the LORD had smitten the river.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. The God of Pharao, viz. to be his Judge; and to exercise a divine power, as God’s instrument, over him and people. Ch. — Artapanus says, Moses was afterwards adored by the Egyptians. — Prophet, or interpreter. Thou shalt reveal my orders to him. C. — Moses participated in the divine nature, as judge, priest, prophet, &c. W.

Ver. 3. I shall harden, &c.; not by being the efficient cause of his hardness of heart, but by permitting it; and by withdrawing grace from him, in punishment of his malice; which alone was the proper cause of his being hardened. Ch. — He took occasion even from the miracles to become more obdurate. H. — Yet Pharao was less impious than Calvin, for he takes the sin to himself. C. ix. 27. T.

Ver. 10. Took, or “threw down,” as the Heb. and Sept. read.

Ver. 11. Magicians. Jannes and Mambres, or Jambres. 2 Tim. iii. 8. Ch. — The pagans represented Moses as the greatest of magicians. (Plin. xxx. 1. Justin xxxvi. — They also, &c. Heb. has three terms, “wise men, diviners, and magicians;” but the two last seem to be of the same import. “The enchanters did the like by their secret practices,” either by words or by actions. Some say these operations were real; others affirm they were only apparent, and mere delusions. C. — “Whoever believes that any thing can be made, or any creature changed or transmuted into another species or appearance, except by the Creator himself, is undoubtedly an infidel, and worse than a pagan.” Coun. of Orange. See S. Aug. q. 21, de Trin. iii. 7.; S. Tho. ii. 2. 9. 17. a 2. — The devil deceived the senses of the beholders; or brought real serpents, &c. thither. M.

Ver. 12. Devoured. Thus the superiority remained with Aaron. The rod was then restored to its pristine form, v. 15. H.

Ver. 17. My hand. The rod was in the hand of Moses, but he was God’s agent. M.

Ver. 18. River. The Samaritan copy repeats here the very words of God to Pharao, as the other speeches are also twice put at length. “Moses and Aaron went to meet Pharao, and said to him, ‘The Lord,’” &c. as v. 16. 18. See C. xi. 7. C. — This is very agreeable to the style of Homer; and Kennicott believes that the repetitions have been omitted in the Hebrew for brevity’s sake, (Diss. 1 Chron. p. 383,) and that before the Greek version had been made. H.

Ver. 21. All the land, even in that of Gessen, which belonged to the Egyptians; while the Hebrews had good water. M.

Ver. 22. Like. They got a small quantity of water, either from the sea, from Gessen, (Wisd. xi. 5,) or by digging wells, v. 24. C. — This plague lasted a full week, v. 25. The water which they found in the mean time in the wells was mixed with blood, Philo. S. Aug. in Ps. lxxvii. Wisdom xi. 7, thou gavest human blood to the unjust.