The Shape Shifting was "fake news".


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Exodus 7:8 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.
Here's the link to the commentary.

Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a serpent: This was not exactly the same miracle that Moses experienced on Mount Sinai and performed before the elders of Israel (Exodus 4:2-5 and 4:29-30). That saw the rod of Moses turn into a serpent, but a different Hebrew word is used here — something like a crocodile, which was something of a symbol of Egypt itself.​
“When cast down it became a tannin (‘great serpent,’ ‘dragon,’ or ‘crocodile’)… The connection of the name tannin with the symbol of Egypt is clear from Psalm 74:13 and Ezekiel 29:3.” (Kaiser)​
So the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments: In the midst of an unmistakable miracle, Satan provided Pharaoh with a reason to doubt — and Pharaoh seized on the doubt and hardened his heart.​
“Magic was very prevalent in Egypt, and a number of papyri deal with the subject.” (Cole)​
For every man threw down his rod, and they became serpents: Apparently, this wasn’t mere magic; the enchantments of the Egyptian magicians were examples of dark, demonic power showing itself in what at least appeared to be miracles.​
Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods. And Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them: By showing God’s superior power regarding a symbol of Egypt (the crocodile or similar creature) was a clear message to Pharaoh and everyone else. It was a message that Pharaoh ignored, hardening his heart.​

I know it's complicated when the commentary is longer than the verses!

Pharaoh had to be right. After all, Pharaoh was a man's god... Pharaoh had to be perfect. His decisions were final so Pharaoh's decisions were never wrong.

Moses and Aaron were asking Pharaoh, who thought himself to be god, to reconsider his decision.

To show Pharaoh that God was involved, and Pharaoh should reconsider, Aaron showed of his staff skills.

One of the scenes in the movie "The Ten Commandments" that was terribly lacking in great CGI was the serpent scene.

Those snakes didn't look real.... not the magician's snakes, nor Aaron's snake. They really looked fake.

Apparently, according to the commentary, Aaron's staff looked more like a croc than a snake.

That makes sense... since they were not in Canaan... they were in Egypt... near the Nile... and the Nile is more inclined to show off its crocs than its serpents.

Whether it was a croc or a snake, Aaron's staff did not impress Pharaoh. Those snakes the magicians conjured up put just enough spin on the truth to let Pharaoh scream "fake news".

That let Pharaoh pound his chest and say "See, I am god and you can't best me!"

So, when it says Pharaoh's heart was hardened, it means Pharaoh got a big head. Pharaoh was so full of himself, not even a powerful croc would dim his self-serving big head.

I learned something new this morning. All this time I thought Moses' staff was the only one that could shape shift. Aaron's staff could do tricks too. I didn't get that the first few times through the Bible. I didn't get that from the movie either. I always gave Moses credit for the snake scene in the movie.... Turns out it's Aaron.

Pharaoh called it "fake news" and went on with the next thing on his godly agenda.

The shape shifting was "fake news".



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I'd read elsewhere that the magicians of Egypt had staffs that WERE in fact, snakes - subject to the cold, and which warmed up on the hot floor of Pharaoh's palace.

In the MOVIE it does something the other ones CAN'T - turn back into a staff. But it must have, because he continues to use it. Unless Moses speaks Parsel tongue, that snake turned back into a staff later on.


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Wow... that thing about the cold snakes makes a lot of sense. I wondered how those magicians pulled that off!!! Thanks Sam!