וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה רְאֵה נְתַתִּיךָ אֱלֹהִים לְפַרְעֹה וְאַהֲרֹן אָחִיךָ יִהְיֶה נְבִיאֶךָ 7:1
Exod. 7:1 And the Lord said to Moses, “Be aware, I have made you mighty against Pharoah, and Aaron, your brother, shall be your spokesman.”
אַתָּה תְדַבֵּר אֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר אֲצַוֶּךָּ וְאַהֲרֹן אָחִיךָ יְדַבֵּר אֶל־פַּרְעֹה וְשִׁלַּח אֶת־בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל מֵאַרְצֹו 7:2
Exod. 7:2 “You shall speak all that I shall command you, and Aaron, your brother, shall speak to Pharoah that he let the children of Israel go out of his land.”
וַאֲנִי אַקְשֶׁה אֶת־לֵב פַּרְעֹה וְהִרְבֵּיתִי אֶת־אֹתֹתַי וְאֶת־מֹופְתַי בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם 7:3
Exod. 7:3 “But I will harden the heart of Pharoah and I will multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt.”
וְלֹא־יִשְׁמַע אֲלֵכֶם פַּרְעֹה וְנָתַתִּי אֶת־יָדִי בְּמִצְרָיִם וְהֹוצֵאתִי אֶת־צִבְאֹתַי אֶת־עַמִּי בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל מֵאֶרֶץ 7:4
מִצְרַיִם בִּשְׁפָטִים גְּדֹלִים
Exod. 7:4 “So Pharoah will not listen to you. Then I will extend My hand in Egypt, and I will bring out My host, My people, the children of Israel, from the land of Egypt by great judgments.”
וְיָדְעוּ מִצְרַיִם כִּי־אֲנִי יְהוָה בִּנְטֹתִי אֶת־יָדִי עַל־מִצְרָיִם וְהֹוצֵאתִי אֶת־בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל מִתֹּוכָם 7:5
Exod. 7:5 “And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord with My stretching forth My hand upon Egypt when I will bring the children of Israel out from among them.”
וַיַּעַשׂ מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהוָה אֹתָם כֵּן עָשׂוּ 7:6
Exod. 7:6 And Moses did, and Aaron. As the Lord commanded them, so they did.
וּמֹשֶׁה בֶּן־שְׁמֹנִים שָׁנָה וְאַהֲרֹן בֶּן־שָׁלֹשׁ וּשְׁמֹנִים שָׁנָה בְּדַבְּרָם אֶל־פַּרְעֹה 7:7
Exod. 7:7 And Moses was eighty years of age and Aaron was eighty and three years of age at their speaking to Pharoah.
וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה וְאֶל־אַהֲרֹן לֵאמֹר 7:8
Exod. 7:8 And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron saying,
כִּי יְדַבֵּר אֲלֵכֶם פַּרְעֹה לֵאמֹר תְּנוּ לָכֶם מֹופֵת וְאָמַרְתָּ אֶל־אַהֲרֹן קַח אֶת־מַטְּךָ וְהַשְׁלֵךְ לִפְנֵי־פַרְעֹה 7:9
Exod. 7:9 “When Pharoah speaks to you saying, ‘Deliver a wonder of yours,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and cast it down before Pharoah.’ It will become as a serpent.”
וַיָּבֹא מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן אֶל־פַּרְעֹה וַיַּעַשׂוּ כֵן כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהוָה וַיַּשְׁלֵךְ אַהֲרֹן אֶת־מַטֵּהוּ לִפְנֵי פַרְעֹה וְלִפְנֵי 7:10
עֲבָדָיו וַיְהִי לְתַנִּין
Exod. 7:10 And Moses went, and Aaron, to Pharoah and they did just as the Lord had commanded, and Aaron cast down his staff before Pharoah and before his servants, and it became as a serpent.
וַיִּקְרָא גַּם־פַּרְעֹה לַחֲכָמִים וְלַמְכַשְּׁפִים וַיַּעֲשׂוּ גַם־הֵם חַרְטֻמֵּי מִצְרַיִם בְּלַהֲטֵיהֶם כֵּן 7:11
Exod. 7:11 Then Pharoah also called for the wise men and for the sorcerers, and the magicians of Egypt, they also did the same with their magic.
וַיַּשְׁלִיכוּ אִישׁ מַטֵּהוּ וַיִּהְיוּ לְתַנִּינִם וַיִּבְלַע מַטֵּה־אַהֲרֹן אֶת־מַטֹּתָם 7:12
Exod. 7:12 And they cast down, each his staff, and they became as serpents. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs.
וַיֶּחֱזַק לֵב פַּרְעֹה וְלֹא שָׁמַע אֲלֵהֶם כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהוָה 7:13
Exod. 7:13 But the heart of Pharoah was hardened so he did not listen to them, as the Lord had spoken.
וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה כָּבֵד לֵב פַּרְעֹה מֵאֵן לְשַׁלַּח הָעָם 7:14
Exod. 7:14 And the Lord said to Moses, “The heart of Pharoah is hardened. He refuses to let the people go.”
לֵךְ אֶל־פַּרְעֹה בַּבֹּקֶר הִנֵּה יֹצֵא הַמַּיְמָה וְנִצַּבְתָּ לִקְרָאתֹו עַל־שְׂפַת הַיְאֹר וְהַמַּטֶּה אֲשֶׁר־נֶהְפַּךְ 7:15
לְנָחָשׁ תִּקַּח בְּיָדֶךָ
Exod. 7:15 “Go to Pharoah in the morning. Behold, he will be going out to the water. And you shall stand to meet him by the shore of the river and you shall take in your hand the staff that changed to a serpent.”
וְאָמַרְתָּ אֵלָיו יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי הָעִבְרִים שְׁלָחַנִי אֵלֶיךָ לֵאמֹר שַׁלַּח אֶת־עַמִּי וְיַעַבְדֻנִי בַּמִּדְבָּר וְהִנֵּה 7:16
Exod. 7:16 “And you shall say to him, ‘The Lord, God of the Hebrews, has sent me to you saying, ‘Let My people go so they may serve Me in the wilderness,’ but behold, you do not understand this yet.’
כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה בְּזֹאת תֵּדַע כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָה הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי מַכֶּה בַּמַּטֶּה אֲשֶׁר־בְּיָדִי עַל־הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר בַּיְאֹר 7:17
Exod. 7:17 ‘Thus says the Lord: ‘By this you shall know that I am the Lord.’ Behold, I will be striking with the staff that is in my hand on the water that is in the river, and it shall turn to blood.’
וְהַדָּגָה אֲשֶׁר־בַּיְאֹר תָּמוּת וּבָאַשׁ הַיְאֹר וְנִלְאוּ מִצְרַיִם לִשְׁתֹּות מַיִם מִן־הַיְאֹר 7:18
Exod. 7:18 ‘And the fish that are in the river shall die and the river shall stink and Egyptians shall grieve to drink from the river.’”
וְעַל־אַגְמֵיהֶם וְעַל כָּל־מִקְוֵה מֵימֵיהֶם וְיִהְיוּ־דָם וְהָיָה דָם בְּכָל־אֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם וּבָעֵצִים וּבָאֲבָנִים
Exod. 7:19 And the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their streams, over their brooks, and over their pools, and over every pond of their water, that they shall become blood,’ and there shall be blood throughout the land of Egypt and in wooden vessels and in stone vessels.”
The seventh from last word in the verse, וְיִהְיוּ, translated as that they shall become, contains a non-inverting vav prefix. The verb is a third-person imperfect consequence of the preceding action, stretch out.
וַיַּעֲשׂוּ־כֵן מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהוָה וַיָּרֶם בַּמַּטֶּה וַיַּךְ אֶת־הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר בַּיְאֹר לְעֵינֵי פַרְעֹה 7:20
וּלְעֵינֵי עֲבָדָיו וַיֵּהָפְכוּ כָּל־הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר־בַּיְאֹר לְדָם
Exod. 7:20 And so Moses and Aaron did as the Lord commanded, and he lifted up with the staff and he struck the water that was in the river for the eyes of Pharoah and for the eyes of his servants, and all the water that was in the river turned to blood.
Observe that whoever wielded the staff disobeyed the Lord’s command. If it was Moses, then he disobeyed two instructions. It was Aaron who was to stretch out the staff over the waters of Egypt, not Moses. And if it was Aaron wielding the staff, then either Moses gave him the wrong instructions or Aaron disobeyed the command. Because the staff was not supposed to strike the water (see v. 7:19). [Return to Exod. 17:5]
וְהַדָּגָה אֲשֶׁר־בַּיְאֹר מֵתָה וַיִּבְאַשׁ הַיְאֹר וְלֹא־יָכְלוּ מִצְרַיִם לִשְׁתֹּות מַיִם מִן־הַיְאֹר וַיְהִי הַדָּם בְּכָל־ 7:21
Exod. 7:21 And the fish that were in the river died, and the river stank, and the Egyptians were not able to drink water from the river, and the blood was throughout the land of Egypt.
וַיַּעֲשׂוּ־כֵן חַרְטֻמֵּי מִצְרַיִם בְּלָטֵיהֶם וַיֶּחֱזַק לֵב־פַּרְעֹה וְלֹא־שָׁמַע אֲלֵהֶם כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהוָה 7:22
Exod. 7:22 And the magicians of Egypt did the same with their magic, so the heart of Pharoah would be hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had spoken.
I believe the scribe was so eager to explain how Pharoah’s heart was hardened – although he didn’t need to -- that he overlooked the consequence of the magicians repetition of Aaron’s “magic.” What did the magicians actually accomplish? Did they turn the blood into blood? That’s nonsense. Did they turn the blood back to water? That seems unlikely because of what follows in vss. 7:24 and 7:25. Perhaps, if the magicians turned the blood back to water, Aaron turned it back to blood again. This is also unlikely. So what did happen? Another possibility is suggested by the above-mentioned verses. Maybe what the magicians did was turn the blood in the other waters of the land back into water. Otherwise how could the Egyptians have survived for seven days without water? Maybe only those who had no access to other waters had to search around the river (v. 7:24).
The sixth word in the verse, qz:x/Y<w, translated as so ... would become hardened, contains a non-inverting vav prefix. The verb is a third-person imperfect consequence of the preceding action, did [the same].
וַיִּפֶן פַּרְעֹה וַיָּבֹא אֶל־בֵּיתֹו וְלֹא־שָׁת לִבֹּו גַּם־לָזֹאת 7:23
Exod. 7:23 And Pharoah turned and went in to his house and did not take any of this to his heart.
וַיַּחְפְּרוּ כָל־מִצְרַיִם סְבִיבֹת הַיְאֹר מַיִם לִשְׁתֹּות כִּי לֹא יָכְלוּ לִשְׁתֹּת מִמֵּימֵי הַיְאֹר 7:24
Exod. 7:24 And all the Egyptians searched around the river for water to drink, for they were not able to drink from the water of the river.
וַיִּמָּלֵא שִׁבְעַת יָמִים אַחֲרֵי הַכֹּות־יְהוָה אֶת־הַיְאֹר 7:25
Exod. 7:25 And seven days were completed after the Lord had smitten the river,
וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה בֹּא אֶל־פַּרְעֹה וְאָמַרְתָּ אֵלָיו כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה שַׁלַּח אֶת־עַמִּי וְיַעַבְדֻנִי 7:26
Exod. 7:26 when the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharoah and you shall say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: ‘Let My people go so they may worship Me.’
The last word in the verse, qz:x/Y<w, translated as so they may worship Me, contains a non-inverting vav prefix. The verb is a third-person imperfect consequence of the preceding action, Let ... go.
וְאִם־מָאֵן אַתָּה לְשַׁלֵּחַ הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי נֹגֵף אֶת־כָּל־גְּבוּלְךָ בַּצְפַרְדְּעִים 7:27
Exod. 7:27 ‘And if you refuse to let go, behold, I will be striking all your borders with frogs.’
וְשָׁרַץ הַיְאֹר צְפַרְדְּעִים וְעָלוּ וּבָאוּ בְּבֵיתֶךָ וּבַחֲדַר מִשְׁכָּבְךָ וְעַל־מִטָּתֶךָ וּבְבֵית עֲבָדֶיךָ וּבְעַמֶּךָ 7:28
Exod. 7:28 ‘And the river shall multiply frogs, and they shall go up and come into your house and into your bedchamber and onto your bed, and into the houses of your servants and of your people, and into your ovens and into your stores.’
וּבְכָה וּבְעַמְּךָ וּבְכָל־עֲבָדֶיךָ יַעֲלוּ הַצְפַרְדְּעִים 7:29
Exod. 7:29 ‘And the frogs will come up on you and on your people and on all your servants.’”