Exodus 8:19 MEANING

Exodus 8:19
(19) The finger of God.--Rather, of a goal. The magicians meant to say, "This is beyond the power of man: it is supernatural; some god must be helping Moses and Aaron." They did not mean to profess a belief in One God.

Pharaoh's heart was hardened.--The mosquitoes did not impress Pharaoh as the frogs had done (Exodus 8:8-15). His heart remained hard. He had no need to harden it by an act of his will. Probably the visitation affected him but little, since he would possess mosquito curtains, and could inhabit the loftier parts of his palace, which would be above the height whereto the mosquito ascends (Herod, ii. 95).

Verse 19. - The magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God. Or "of a God." It is not probable that the magicians believed in a single God, or intended in what they said to express any monotheistic idea. All that they meant to say was - "This is beyond the power of man - it is supernatural - some god must be helping the Israelites." No doubt they had come to this conclusion by a careful scrutiny of all the miracles hitherto wrought by Aaron. He hearkened not unto them. The magicians were minded to resist no longer; but Pharaoh was otherwise minded. It is quite possible that the mosquito plague did not greatly annoy him. He would probably possess lofty apartments above the height to which the mosquito ascends (Herod. 2:95); or he may have guarded himself by mosquito curtains of the finest Egyptian muslin. His subjects would naturally suffer from such a plague far more than he. As the Lord had said. See the comment on the same phrase in ver. 11


8:16-19 These lice were produced out of the dust of the earth; out of any part of the creation God can fetch a scourge, with which to correct those who rebel against him. Even the dust of the earth obeys him. These lice were very troublesome, as well as disgraceful to the Egyptians, whose priests were obliged to take much pains that no vermin ever should be found about them. All the plagues inflicted on the Egyptians, had reference to their national crimes, or were rendered particularly severe by their customs. The magicians attempted to imitate it, but they could not. It forced them to confess, This is the finger of God! The check and restraint put upon us, must needs be from a Divine power. Sooner or later God will force even his enemies to acknowledge his own power. Pharaoh, notwithstanding this, was more and more obstinate.Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, this is the finger of God,.... This is to be ascribed to a power superior to human, to a divine power; so long as they could do something similar, or impose upon the senses of men, and make them believe they did the like, they would not acknowledge divine omnipotence; but when they no longer could deceive the sight of Pharaoh and the Egyptian, then they own the effects of a superior power: and this they did partly to detract from the power of Moses and Aaron, because they would not have them pass for more skilful persons in the magic art than themselves; and therefore suggest, that this was done not by virtue of any human skill and art, but by the power of the Supreme Being; and partly to detract from the honour of the God of Israel; for they do not say this is the finger of Jehovah, whom they accounted, as Dr. Lightfoot (g) observes, as a petty trivial god, but this is the finger of Elohim, the Supreme Deity. It is conjectured by some (h), that in memory of this plague the Egyptian priests scrape their whole bodies, lest there should be a louse or any unclean thing on them when they worship their gods, as Herodotus (i) relates:

and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; either not unto the magicians owning the hand of God, and his divine power in the plague inflicted; or to Moses and Aaron demanding the dismission of the people of Israel, which latter seems to be confirmed by the usual phrase, as follows:

as the Lord had said; see Exodus 7:4.

(g) Ut supra. (Works, vol. 1. p. 705, 706.) (h) Vid. Scheuchzer. Physica Sacra, vol. 1. p. 132. (i) Euterpe, sive, l. 2. c. 37.

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