The plagues were plagues of revelation. G-d manifested Himself to Pharaoh, to the Egyptians, to the Hebrews, and throughout the world. This is a paradigm of what is going to happen at the end of this age (Book of Revelation)
v14: The word translated “hard” here would be better translated “heavy” (dull or insensitive). His heart is not responsive (in the same way that a stone is not responsive – unable to shape it, mould it etc). Pharaoh’s heart is not being changed/conformed to the revelation of G-d (Luke 21:34).
v15: Morning is associated with light/illumination.
· This word for “stand” is a unique one in the Hebrew. G-d was calling Moses to obediently position himself – “take a stand”. This shows a contrast between Pharaoh and Moses. They both receive revelation from G-d. Pharaoh refuses it. Moses submits to it.
· G-d’s instruction/revelation/commandments positioned Moses (us) to carry out the purposes of G-d.
v16: The word “serve” is also the word for worship. G-d wanted to take the Hebrews into a place where they were dependant on Him. With that spirit of trust and dependence they were going to worship G-d. We cannot be pleasing to G-d unless we are worshiping Him.
· Would not hear: G-d had given Pharaoh revelation, but he did not respond obediently.
v17: In 5v2 Pharaoh asked, “Who is the L-rd?” G-d is answering his question by giving evidence or testimony of who He is.
· Strike – normally a word associated with punishment. G-d is going to begin to punish Pharaoh for a lack of response. How do we respond to G-d’s revelations?
· Again: the staff represents G-d’s authority. All authority which G-d gives is always restricted only to His will and purposes. His authority is never given to us to utilise for our own thoughts or desires.
· Blood which is visible shows impurity. Pharaoh is bringing impurity into the land of Egypt as he is rejecting G-d’s truth. Impurity is an invitation for G-d’s judgement.
v18: Fish represent blessing. It is going to become a foul smell in their nostrils.
· Water is synonymous with life and is able to revive the weary. Egypt is going to be in a position where it cannot be revived. This foreshadows destruction.
v19: It wasn’t only the Nile water that was struck. Even the stored water was affected. In Egypt people were not living according to the purity of the will of G-d.
v20: Moses and Aaron obeyed and did what G-d had commanded.
v21: G-d spoke, His servants acted, and G-d brought about a change/a result. This is reminiscent of creation – G-d is doing something new and is bringing about a change to His creation.
v22: This word for hard, in the Hebrew, is not the word for heavy (as it was previously). This now is the word better translated: “powerful/strong” ie: Stubborn, set in his ways, committed to his ways. G-d had given revelation, but these men had also given revelation– although theirs was inferior. Pharaoh chose to go with them, rather than with G-d.
v23: Pharaoh turned: He went in the wrong direction, turned away from G-d.
· Neither was his heart moved: He never gave it any further thought or consideration. He was not interested in the revelation of G-d. When we are uninterested in G-d’s revelation our hearts are going to become hardened. This is a spiritual law.
v24: Everyone was affected by this revelation from G-d. It impacted the lives of every person.
v25: Seven is a number of holiness. G-d’s desire was to bring holiness into Egypt. He was revealing Himself to these people so that they would have an opportunity to turn away from their impurity, turn away from following Pharaoh and turn, in repentance and obedience, toward G-d. G-d gave them time to change!