Exodus 8:18 MEANING

Exodus 8:18
(18) The magicians did so--i.e., tried to do so--took moist earth, and dried it, and pulverised it, and tried the effect of their magic charms upon it, but. failed to produce mosquitoes, as Aaron had done. Mosquitoes were things too delicate to be caught, and manipulated, and produced at a given moment by sleight-of-hand. The magicians tried to produce a counterfeit of the miracle, but could not. Then they excused themselves to their master with the words, "This is the finger of a god."

Verse 18. - The magicians did so with their enchantments. The magicians stretched out their rods over certain collections of dust, but no gnats were produced; which would be the natural result, if they had made no secret arrangements. No reason can be assigned why they should not have seemed to produce gnats, as easily as frogs, if they had employed all the arts of which they were masters in so doing. But events had convinced them that they could not cope with Moses and Aaron; and it would seem that they therefore declined further contest,

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.And the magicians did so with their enchantments, to bring forth lice,.... They made use of their magical art, and juggling tricks they were masters of, to produce the like sort of creatures, or at least to make such appear, or seem to appear, to the eyes of men:

but they could not; God would not suffer them to do it, to impose upon Pharaoh, and deceive him and the Egyptians any longer; and a stop is put to them, when such small and despicable creatures were produced, the more to put them to shame and confusion, and to show that what they did before was not real, and that what they did in appearance was only by divine permission:

so there were lice upon man and upon beast; these lay in great numbers on both, biting and distressing them in a most terrible manner; for as the magicians could not produce such creatures, it was not in their power to remove them.

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