What do you do when frogs attack?
Our text today is about the second plague that God struck upon the Egyptians. In my initial reading of the text, I noticed that there seems to be something missing. In the first half of this passage, God told Moses to go to Pharaoh again and warn him that if he would not let the Hebrew people go, God would send a plague of frogs. The second half is where God causes the frogs to cover the land. What is missing? Giving Pharaoh a chance.
Why was that not included? Perhaps it is assumed. After all, we are dealing with a text that is nearly 3300 years old. Storytelling conventions may have changed a little since then. One thing we do know about Hebrew writing is that repetition was used intentionally to provide emphasis. So what is repeated? God told Moses to give Pharaoh another chance and God made good on His promises when Pharaoh refused and unleashed the attack of the frogs.
Some quick internet research reveals that this passage is split between two chapters in the Hebrew translations of the Bible. Not the 3300 year old translations. Those did not have chapters or verses in them. One possibility is that the shift in the chapter occurred during the time of exile. During that time, the Old Testament was translated into Greek for the Jews living outside of Judea. What is in between those two chapters (7 and 8)? Our missing dialogue of Moses asking Pharaoh to let the people go, again.
Attacking with Frogs
Here again, as with the Nile River turned to blood, Pharaoh thought an appropriate response to the plague was to get his magicians to replicate it. He treated it as if it were showing off magic tricks.
Perhaps Pharaoh and God were not just showing off. In some ways, this resembled a kind of cultural/religious debate going on between the Egyptians and Hebrew people. The Hebrew people only had one god. The Egyptians had multiple gods. They had a god of the Nile. They also believed in a goddess of fertility, Heqet, who resembled a frog. Whoever controlled the reproduction of the frogs, was the true god. Pharaoh’s job was to keep Heqet in line and pleased. God showed more control over the frogs than either Pharaoh or Heqet.
How did creating more frogs help the situation? I don’t think it did.
Watch for more tomorrow!
What do you see here?
I’d love to hear what you see in this passage. You can comment below or send a text to 859-636-6965 for a faster response. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this text.