Read Exodus Chapter 8. After you have read the chapter, read the passages below to help you dive deeper into the Chapter. Conclude in Prayer.
THE PLAGUE OF FROGS - “Frogs used to be dedicated to the god ‘Osiris’. Their swelling was claimed to be a divine inspiration. So, God allowed frogs to increase in abundance and to become a plague to the Egyptians. St. Augustine believes that frogs refer to incessant and fruitless talk. The scholar Origen believes them to refer to the songs of poets, which resembles the useless and disturbing croaking of frogs. A believer should through the cross of the Lord Christ, rid himself of such vain and unfruitful talk. If Pharaoh made the children of Israel work in mud, he was severely punished by having frogs jump on him from mud, with their ugly forms, repulsive smell, and disturbing voice. “To go up and come into his house, into his bedchamber, on his bed, into the houses of his people, into their ovens and into their kneading bowls” (Ex. 8: 3). Their life of Egyptians turned into mud and dirt. It was done to them as they did unto others.” - Fr. Tadros Y. Malaty. “Exodus.”
GOD HUMILIATED THE EGYPTIANS WITH FROGS - "For what reason do you puff yourself up with human pride? A man insulted you, and you swelled up and were angered. Rid yourself of the fleas that you may sleep. Find out who you are! For that you may know, brothers, that these things which would bother us were created to enable us to control our pride [remember], God could have tamed the proud people of Pharaoh with bears, with lions or with snakes; he sent flies and frogs upon them that their pride might be tamed by the most ignoble of things. - AUGUSTINE
PHARAOH WAS NOT EAGER FOR DELIVERANCE - "Take the example of Pharaoh, a man given to vain, empty thoughts. His land of Egypt was afflicted with a plague of frogs. They gave forth a surfeit of sound, meaningless and senseless. Moses said to Pharaoh, Set me a time when I shall pray for you and for your servants and for your people that the Lord may exterminate the frogs. Pharaoh, who because of his plight should have besought him to offer prayer, replied, ―Tomorrow, thus showing himself indifferent to the punishment that the delay would bring, although he was still intent on saving Egypt from the plague. And so, when his prayer was finally granted, he was unmindful of gratitude. Being puffed up in heart, he forgot God.” - AMBROSE
THE PLAGUE OF GNATS (LICE) - "As the priests in ancient Egypt used to care very much for cleanliness, and against getting defiled by gnats and lice, they were struck by gnats, insects that their magicians could not get rid of, so they admitted before Pharaoh, saying, “This is the finger of God” (Ex. 8: 19) What is the meaning of “The finger of God? ” According to St. Augustine, “The Psalmist says, ‘When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers’ (Psalm 8: 3). And we read that the Law was written by the finger of God (Ex. 31: 18; 34: 28; Deuteronomy 9: 10), and given through Moses, His blessed servant. Here many understand that the finger of God is the Holy Spirit. The scholar Origen sees in the plague of gnats a reference to the fruitless sweet words that deceive man who, unknowingly, falls because he does not feel or see them. Here St. Augustine wonders, “Why does God allow man to be chastised through these feeble insects? He answers saying: Why would we get evil from a creation of God? Because we antagonize Him! Do the angels suffer such thing?! If we live as they do, there would be nothing we may be afraid of. Because of our pride and arrogance, God allows such tiny despised creatures to torture us...” - Fr. Tadros Y. Malaty
GNATS ARE HERETICS - "After these plagues, gnats are brought forth. This animal flies through the air suspended on wings. But it is so subtle and minute that it escapes being seen by the eye unless one looks closely. But when it lands on the body it drills in with a sharp sting. If anyone cannot see it flying, he still feels its sting immediately. This sort of animal can be compared with the subtlety of heretics, who drill into souls with the subtle stings of their words. They attack with such cunning that one who is deceived neither sees nor understands the source of his deception. At the third sign the magicians yielded and said, ―The finger of God is here. Those magicians stand for heretics and their animosity. The apostle states this when he says, ―Just as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so too these men resisted the truth. They are corrupt in mind and reprobate in matters of faith. But they will not advance any further. Their madness will be manifested to everyone, just as Jannes‘ and Jambres‘ was. The minds of the Egyptian magicians were disquieted by their own corruption, and their power failed at the third sign. They confessed that the Holy Spirit was against them, for the Spirit was in Moses. The Holy Spirit is put in the third place, and he is the finger of God. Thus the magicians failed at the third sign and said, ―The finger of God is here. The Holy Spirit, well disposed and favorable, gives rest to the meek and humble of heart but, when he is opposed, stirs up disquiet against the merciless and the proud. Those tiny gnats signified this disquiet, at which Pharaoh‘s magicians failed and said, ―The finger of God is here." - ISIDORE OF SEVILLE
THE FINGER OF GOD IS THE HOLY SPIRIT - "Isn‘t the finger of God to be understood as being the Holy Spirit? Read the Gospel, and see that where one Evangelist has the Lord saying, ―If I with the Spirit of God cast out demons, another says, ―If I with the finger of God cast out demons. So if that law too was written by the finger of God, that is, by the Spirit of God, the Spirit by which Pharaoh‘s magicians were defeated, so they said, ―This is the finger of God, … why can it not be said of it, ―For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has delivered you from the law of sin and death” - AUGUSTINE
THE PLAGUE OF FLIES -The Egyptians used to worship some gods who were supposed to protect them from flies, so God intended to uncover the helplessness of these gods.” Fr. Tadros Y. Malaty
FLIES ARE CARNAL LUST - "In the fourth place, Egypt is struck with flies. The fly is an insolent and restless animal. What does it stand for except the arrogant concerns of carnal desires? Egypt is struck with flies because the hearts of those who love this world are battered by the disquiet of their desires. The translators of the Septuagint put cynomyia here, which means ―dog fly. This word meant the habits of a dog, in which the pleasures of the mind and the indulgence of the flesh are constantly expressed. By dog fly this passage can also mean the eloquence of lawyers, which they use to tear at one another like dogs.” - ISIDORE OF SEVILLE
THE EGYPTIANS DESPISED THE SHEPHERD AND THE FLOCK - "You wrote to me that you were disturbed by what you read: ―Let us sacrifice the abominations of the Egyptians to God. But you had the means to explain it: that in Genesis it is written, ―The Egyptians abominated the shepherd of flocks. This was certainly not because of the man, but because of the sheep. For the Egyptians cultivated the earth with the plow; Abraham and Jacob, and later Moses and David, were shepherds and bestowed a certain royal discipline upon this occupation. Thus the Egyptians hated pure sacrifices, that is, zeal complete and perfect for virtue and discipline. For what wicked men hate is pure and pious among good men. The indulgent man hates the labor of virtue; the glutton shrinks back from it. And so the Egyptian body, because it loves allurements, turns away from the virtues of the soul. It hates authority, and shrinks from the discipline of the virtues and all labors of this sort. The Egyptian, then flees these things; he is an Egyptian and not a man. You have knowledge of human nature; you will understand this. But reject what they follow and choose, since these two—prudence and folly—cannot be in accord with one another. And so, just as the virtues of prudence and continence exclude whatever belongs in any way to imprudence and intemperance, so every foolish man and every incontinent man has no part in what good men have or in the inheritance of the wise and continent man.” - AMBROSE
Heavenly Father, truly you are the protector of Your people. You seek to save Your people from false gods, false teachers and the deceipt of the flesh. I ask O Lord that You forgive me and help me to put away the deeds of the old man; anger, wrath, malice, fornication and evil desire. Help me O Lord to seek those things which are above and to put on the new man through kindness, humility, meekness, long suffering and most especially love for you and my neighbor. Please Lord, do not let my heart harden in the face of all you seek to accomplish in me. Amen.
Posted on Fri, December 9, 2016
by Mathew Shehata