Exodus 7:8 – 25

The signs and wonders begin.  God shows his strength, but Pharaoh’s sorcerers are able to copy what God has done.  As Pharaoh’s heart is hardened it is not without reason.  Why should the Pharaoh give up such a bountiful supply of free labour?  Why should the Pharaoh renounce his own deity?  After all the God of Moses is not all that distant in power from himself and his sorcerers.  God allows Pharaoh to be stubborn.  In fact he does not overwhelm him with a transcendant display of his power.  He lures Pharaoh into displaying more and more of the stubborn, hard, strength of his resolve.  As Pharaoh looks to himself God will eventually overwhelm him.  However, God wants to display his holiness in a way that will not easily be forgotten.

Are you stubborn?  Do you persist in decisions that are unwise?  What will it take for God to overwhelm you?

Exodus 7:8 – 25

 8 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 9 “When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Perform a miracle,’ then say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh,’ and it will become a snake.”

 10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the LORD commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. 11 Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: 12 Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. 13 Yet Pharaoh’s heart became hard and he would not listen to them, just as the LORD had said.

The Plague of Blood

 14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is unyielding; he refuses to let the people go. 15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning as he goes out to the water. Wait on the bank of the Nile to meet him, and take in your hand the staff that was changed into a snake. 16 Then say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the desert. But until now you have not listened. 17 This is what the LORD says: By this you will know that I am the LORD : With the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood. 18 The fish in the Nile will die, and the river will stink; the Egyptians will not be able to drink its water.’ ”

 19 The LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt—over the streams and canals, over the ponds and all the reservoirs’-and they will turn to blood. Blood will be everywhere in Egypt, even in the wooden buckets and stone jars.”

 20 Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD had commanded. He raised his staff in the presence of Pharaoh and his officials and struck the water of the Nile, and all the water was changed into blood. 21 The fish in the Nile died, and the river smelled so bad that the Egyptians could not drink its water. Blood was everywhere in Egypt.

 22 But the Egyptian magicians did the same things by their secret arts, and Pharaoh’s heart became hard; he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said. 23 Instead, he turned and went into his palace, and did not take even this to heart. 24 And all the Egyptians dug along the Nile to get drinking water, because they could not drink the water of the river.


  1. What is the first sign that God performs using a staff?
  2. How do the sorcerers copy the first sign?
  3. What is the second wonder that God performs?
  4. How does this strike a basic need?
  5. How is God’s strength today revealed by some people’s stubborn attitude?

Going Deeper


  • What happened to the sorcerers’ staffs in the end?
  • Who had said Pharaoh’s heart would be hardened?
  • What died as a result of striking the water of the Nile?
  • What other water sources did Moses stretch his hand over?
  • What did the Egyptians do to find drinking water?


  • Why were God’s wonders able to be copied?
  • What is a Pharaoh’s relationship to the Nile?
  • How would both food and water become more scarce?
  • How is a stubborn, hard heart sometimes confused as strength in kings or leaders?
  • How did the ground filter the water to make it clean?


  • Do you believe these miracles really happened?  Does it matter?
  • How is your view of God shaped by his changing a staff to a serpent and changing water to blood?
  • How has God worked in ways that you would like him not to work?
  • How could you choose to be stubborn or submissive to God?
  • How do you find ways to get around the hardships that are a result of your own poor choices?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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