Did the magicians know in advance what Moses planned to do?


Dear sir,

I read the article above. I wanted to know why the Egyptian magicians added to the problem of frogs rather than removed them. You said they could not remove them, but have given no logical explanation why they could not. In regard to the snakes you said and I quote “ All it would take is a collapsible cane being switched by sleight of hand with a cataleptic snake to accomplish this apparent miracle.” "Sleight of hand," I think, assumes the magicians knew before hand what Moses was going to do. They would have needed to practice this to pull it off. The Bible doesn’t tell us that Moses discussed his plans with anyone other than God.

What say ye?


Consider that it is God who knew in advance what the Egyptian magicians' favorite tricks were like. God instructs Moses to conduct a true miracle in front of these magicians that looked similar to their own (Exodus 7:8-13). Of course, when Moses threw down the staff and it became a snake, the magicians took that as a challenge and performed their own trick. But then Moses' snake swallows all of their snakes! And in the end, Moses picks up his snake by its tail (the wrong way to pick up any snake if you don't wish to be bitten) and it returns to being a staff. The Egyptian magicians were bested by God at their own trick, but it was close enough to one that Pharaoh had seen before that he was able to dismiss it, which was what God wanted Pharaoh to do. God was aiming to prove to the world that He alone was God and He desired Pharaoh to be stubborn and unbelieving in the face of the progressive demonstrations of God's power and complete control.

Also, notice that while it is tempting to read this account as everything happening immediately, Exodus 7:11 says that after Moses' staff becomes a serpent that Pharaoh sent for his wise men and sorcerers, implying that they weren't present at that moment. They, in turn, sent for the magicians who then did their trick. There was time for them to gather up their equipment.

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