Plagues of Frogs & Lice
One week after the Nile had been turned to blood, God instructed Moses to go back and speak with Pharaoh again. He was to deliver this message from the LORD:
"Let My people go, that they may serve Me. But if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all your territory with frogs. So the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into your house, into your bedroom, on your bed, into the houses of your servants, on your people, into your ovens, and into your kneading bowls. And the frogs shall come up on you, on your people, and on all your servants" (Exo. 8:1-4).

Although it is not recorded, the following verses imply that Pharaoh denied the request. Perhaps he trusted in the Egyptian goddess Hekt. She would prevent the catastrophe Moses described from taking place, right? She was always depicted with the head and body of a frog. She was the Egyptian goddess of birth. Some have recorded that slaughtering frogs in Egyptian culture could be punishable by death. They loved and respected frogs because of this goddess, but they're about to be overrun with the creatures! Aaron was instructed to stretch out his hand with his rod over the bodies of water, causing frogs to come up on the land of Egypt. He did so and "the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs on the land of Egypt" (8:6,7). The magicians are still able to pull off some neat tricks, but that's about to end. Their powers of deception can only go so far. More significantly, they were impotent to remove any plague from God, even if they could imitate them to a small degree.

It would seem this plague bothered Pharaoh more than the prior one, probably because he would have had access to other beverage choices besides water from the Nile, but in this case even he, an exalted ruler, couldn't escape the frogs. They were in his house, his bedroom, and all over him like they were for everyone else. He summoned Moses and Aaron and begged for mercy - "Entreat the LORD that He may take away the frogs from me and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may sacrifice to the LORD" (8:8). I can only imagine how hard it would have been for proud Pharaoh to ask for help. Here is Pharaoh's first promise, which he will soon break after he gets a little breathing room. He, like many sinners, is willing to say whatever it takes to get his way. Such behavior is shameful!

Moses replied - "Accept the honor of saying when I shall intercede for you, for your servants, and for your people, to destroy the frogs from you and your houses, that they may remain in the river only" (8:9). If it was me and I was suffering with the frogs, I believe I would have requested that they be removed immediately! But, stubborn Pharaoh chooses one more night with the frogs by asking for them to removed the next day! "And Moses cried out to the LORD concerning the frogs which He had brought against Pharaoh. So the LORD did according to the word of Moses. And the frogs died out of the houses, out of the courtyards, and out of the fields. They gathered them together in heaps, and the land stank" (8:12-14). I can only imagine the stench that would be produced from such high levels of dead, decaying frogs! "But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not heed them, as the LORD had said" (8:15). At any point, Pharaoh could have relented and let the Israelites go, but he simply would not do so.

"So the LORD said to Moses, 'Say to Aaron, "Stretch out your rod, and strike the dust of the land, so that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt."' And they did so. For Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod and struck the dust of the earth, and it became lice on man and beast. All the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt" (8:16,17). Some believe the lice may have been a type of gnat or flea. The root Hebrew word used here means "to dig", which may mean the insect in question would dig under an individual's skin. This would have been an embarrassment to Geb, the Egyptian god of the earth. Jehovah is afflicting Egypt by means of things they love and depend upon, namely, their water and soil.

"Now the magicians so worked with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not. So there were lice on man and beast. Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, 'This is the finger of God.' But Pharaoh's heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, just as the LORD had said" (8:18,19). Because they could not copy it, the magicians acknowledge that divine power was involved here (though they don't identify the source as Jehovah). This acknowledgement exposes them, however, for it implies that their former works of imitation were not from a divine source (i.e., they relied on trickery and deception).