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Shemot – The Three Signs: Pharaoh’s Perspective

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The first sign is Moses’s – or Aaron’s – staff turning into a snake and back into a staff. It is important to note that snakes were a symbol of magic and protection in Egypt. More specific to Moses’ sign, it was common for Egyptian gods to be depicted holding snake-wands. For example, a statuette found by archaeologists in the Ramasseum in Egypt depicts a female sau, a type of sorceress, who could provide magical protection. This statuette holds a snake-wand in each hand. The snake-wand was a sign of magical power and protection in Egypt. Perhaps Aaron’s staff turning into a snake served to mock the powers of Egyptian sorcery. This point is emphasized by Aaron’s staff then devouring the staff-snakes of the magicians of Egypt (Exodus 7:12). By performing this sign before Pharaoh, Moses was saying, in effect, “I do not believe in your gods and yet, not only is my staff a snake and vice versa, but my staff-snake can even devour yours. What of your protective and magical powers now?” Moses and Aaron were demonstrating that the power of God was greater than the power of Egyptian sorcery… (READ MORE)

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