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Exodus 7:8-10

Unmasking Egypt’s Magicians

Now the magicians of Egypt....cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents. Exodus 7:11,12

When I was young, I often wondered how the magicians of Egypt could make snakes out of their rods in the presence of Pharaoh like Aaron had done. I knew God had divinely commissioned His ambassadors to perform a miracle, but were those on Satan’s side permitted special demonic power to do the same? Perhaps in reproducing some of the plagues they were, but I don’t think that was true in this case. Commentators say that serpents engraved on Egyptian monuments have the appearance of an Irish-thorn cane, with the head turned over the body as a handle. From this they conclude that the magicians knew how to paralyze a snake by putting pressure on the back of its neck so that it would become rigid. The sorcerers used these reptiles as walking sticks. The people would stare in amazement when they threw these ‘canes’ on the ground, for with the pressure released, the snakes would begin to crawl away. Then the magicians would seize the serpents and pinch their neck nerves, and they again became paralyzed and stiff.

Prior to the account in Exodus 7, Moses had been told to take his staff, which through God’s power had become a serpent, and hold it not by the neck but “by the tail” to turn it into a rod (Ex. 4:4). Assuming that Aaron did the same thing in Pharaoh’s presence, it would be obvious that his act was a true miracle and not trickery.

The devil’s followers are still using deception, and they counterfeit God’s power to gain attention. Because “many false prophets are gone out into the world” (I John 4:1), beware lest they trick you. -H.G.B.

O Let us learn from Thy blest Word
Base error to discern,
And by Thy Spirit’s light and help
From Satan’s snares to turn.

Bosch

THOT: Error often comes dressed in the garment of truth.

Our Daily Bread, Sunday, March 23.