This chapter is about the plagues of frogs, gnats, & flies. There are some out there who think that all of the plagues can be scientifically explained. For example, the plague of blood (see Exodus 7:14-22) was really red algae. Like a crimson tide deal. And then it was just a cause & effect kind of a thing. Because of the red algae in the water, it caused the frog plague (the algae forced the frogs out of the water.), which in turn caused the gnat plague, which in turn caused the fly plague, & so on. I hope y’all enjoy the read!
A week passed after God plagued the Nile. God then told Moses to go to Pharaoh & tell him: If Pharaoh didn’t let the Israelites go, that he (God) would bring a plague of frogs to Egypt. And the frogs will be everywhere, palaces, ovens. Plus, by the way, tell Aaron to stretch out his hand with the staff in it over the bodies of water to make the frogs come out.
So Aaron did. Frogs came & covered all of Egypt. But Pharaoh’s magicians/seers could do the same thing. Pharaoh summons Moses & Aaron. Pharaoh tells the brothers to pray to God to make the frogs away, then he’ll let the Israelites go. After Moses & Aaron left Pharaoh, Moses cried out to God about the frogs He had brought to Pharaoh & the Egyptians. God answered Moses & did what he asked. The frogs died where they were at, people’s houses, fields, courtyards, etc. (This is where the plague of gnats & flies comes in on a scientific level. Because of the dead frog bodies everywhere, of course that’s gonna attract all kinds of lovely creepy insects.) The frog bodies were piled up in mounds & the land reeked because of them. But when Pharaoh saw that there was some kind of relief from the plague(s), he hardened his heart & wouldn’t listen to Aaron & Moses.
Then God told Moses to tell Aaron (I’ve always felt like this was a giant game of telephone.) to stretch out his staff & hit the “dust of the ground.” That the dust would become gnats throughout Egypt. They did this & gnats came on men & animals. The Pharaoh’s magicians tried to produce the gnats & they couldn’t do it this time. Pharaoh’s magicians told Pharaoh that this was the finger of God. (I’m assuming that this was a turn of phrase, like the hand of God.) But Pharaoh’s heart was still hardened & wouldn’t listen to anyone or anything else.
God then told Moses to get up early in the morning & confront Pharaoh as he goes to the water. God told Moses to then tell Pharaoh to let his people go. If Pharaoh didn’t, then God would send a swarm of flies to come & they would cover everything & be on everything, even on the ground. God also said that this time he would “deal differently” with Goshen. (This is where the Israelites had settled. Goshen was like a suburb of Egypt.) No flies would be in Goshen, that this would be a sign & a distinction between the Israelites & the Egyptians. God also said that this would happen the next day.
God did it. There were dense swarms of flies that went into Pharaoh’s palace & throughout Egypt. Egypt was ruined by the flies, there was so many. Pharaoh calls for the 2 brothers, telling them to go & sacrifice to their god in Egypt. Moses tells Pharaoh that he (Moses) doesn’t think so, because the Egyptians would find the sacrifices they made to their God “detestable.” Moses then said if the Egyptians saw them making sacrifices that the Egyptians didn’t like, wouldn’t the Egyptians stone them to death? Moses then told Pharaoh that the Israelites had to make a 3-day trek into the desert to make their sacrifices.
Pharaoh finally caves in. Pharaoh tells Moses that they (the Israelites) may go but not to go very far & to pray for him. Moses answers Pharaoh telling him that as soon as he (Moses) leaves him (Pharaoh) that he’ll (Moses) will pray to God & that tomorrow the flies will leave Egypt, making sure that Pharaoh isn’t deceitful again.
Moses left Pharaoh & prayed to God. God did what Moses asked: the flies left Egypt, no fly remained there. But again, Pharaoh broke his word & didn’t let the Israelites go.