Home / Commentary / Exodus / Exodus Chapter 7
This passage is the LORD’s response to the latest iteration of Moses using the excuse that he is not eloquent enough to talk to Pharaoh. The LORD accommodates him by restating His appointment of Aaron as his mouthpiece before Pharaoh. Moses will receive the LORD’s message and then tell Aaron to convey it to Pharaoh. The purpose of this was to not only deliver Israel from Egyptian slavery but also to demonstrate that He is the sovereign God all creation. The section concludes with a statement of complete obedience by Moses and Aaron and also the ages of the two men when all this took place.
Moses’ conflict with Pharaoh begins in verse 8. The first confrontation is in 7:18-23. Here, the LORD instructed Moses and Aaron concerning what to do when Pharaoh asked for a miracle. Moses had Aaron cast down his staff in Pharaoh’s presence, which became a serpent. Pharaoh’s sorcerers duplicated the miracle, resulting in Pharaoh’s heart being hardened. All this happened because the LORD planned it.
Since the account of the plagues upon Egypt begins here in verse 14 and extends to 12:32, it is useful to include a word of introduction.
The book of Exodus is the second book of the Torah (“law”). It continues the story of Genesis concerning the migration of the family of Jacob (the Israelites) to Egypt (Genesis 50). It describes the commissioning of Moses and Aaron as God’s representatives on earth to accomplish God’s deliverance of His people from slavery in Egypt and lead them to the Promised Land (the land of Canaan). It also relates the miraculous deliverance from Egypt beginning with the plagues on Egypt and the crossing of the Red Sea. It then describes the journey to Mount Sinai and the establishment of the Mosaic covenant with the Israelites. The last part of the book involves the specifications and building of the tabernacle – the place where the Lord Himself dwelt amongst His people.
In the book of Exodus, the focus shifts to the deliverance of God’s people.
Chapter 7 continues the dialog between Moses and the LORD concerning his fitness for the task set before him. He repeated the excuse of not being eloquent, to which the LORD answered (as with the other excuses Moses gave). It is the final step in preparing Moses to be the deliverer.
This chapter also has the story of Aaron’s staff being turned into a serpent when Pharaoh asked for a miracle. The sorcerers were able to replicate the miracle, so Pharaoh ignored Moses’ and Aaron’s request to leave Egypt.
This sets the stage for the ten plagues that come upon Egypt. The first one is described in chapter 7, and it involves the turning of water (including the Nile) into blood.
Chapter 7 can be outlined as follows: