We are told that Moses turned all the water in Egypt into blood

Exodus 7:19 (NKJV)

19 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your rod and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their streams, over their rivers, over their ponds, and over all their pools of water, that they may become blood. And there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in buckets of wood and pitchers of stone.’ ”

But the magicians did likewise.

Exodus 7:22 (NKJV)

22 Then the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments; and Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, as the LORD had said.

Where did the water come from for them to perform the same miracle as Moses?

  • Please clarify your question. Your question appears to ask where the magicians get water that wasn't blood in order to turn into blood. Exodus 7:24 explains where the Egyptians were getting water to drink by digging shallow wells next to the Nile. What are you asking?
    – Perry Webb
    Commented Feb 16, 2018 at 19:56
  • @PerryWebb it just says that they dug there, but not necessarily that they found water there, as many of the commentaries note in order to harmonize that verse with "And there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in buckets of wood and pitchers of stone", which sounds like every source of water everywhere was blood. (Although I personally don't like that interpretation/harmonization.)
    – user22655
    Commented Feb 21, 2018 at 3:49

2 Answers 2


Really, the question revolves around the word כל. If we believe this term has always an absolute acceptation (meaning) this could trigger the paradox 'collen ndhlovu' enhances.

But, Are we obliged to apply an absolute acceptation (meaning) to the term כל, in this context? Not necessarily.

A parallel example will help us to understand. In Exo 9:25 this term is used in reference to the devastating effect of the hail (inside the divine 7th plague). We read, in fact, in Exo 9:25 the following: ויך הברד בכל־ארץ מצרים את כל־אשׁר בשׂדה מאדם ועד־בהמה ואת כל־עשׂב השׂדה הכה הברד ואת־כל־עץ השׂדה שׁבר, "All over Egypt the hail struck down everything [כל] in the fields, man and beast, and the hail beat down everything [כל] growing in the fields and shattered all [כל] the trees in the fields." (New Jerusalem Bible).

It seems that the hail destroyed everything, with a meaning of כל of absolute acceptation... outwardly...

If we reach now Exo 10:5, we find that existed (after the divine hail) something the hail did not destroyed, and this concept is repeated three times in this verse: a יתר (a 'rest', or 'leavings'), הפלטה (a 'remnant', or 'scraps'), and הנשׁארת ('what remains'), 'from the hail'.

In a similar way, the passage cited by 'Perry Webb', that is, Exo 7:24, tells us that not all (in absolute acceptation) the water of Egypt was turned to blood. So, also in this case the term כל wasn't used with an absolute acceptation mood.

(Sorry, but the Keelan's cited 'wayyiqtol forms' got nothing to do with the argument debated)

The term כל has two acceptations, an absolute one, and a relative one (like in Exo 9:25).

If we understand this difference, the paradox vanishes...


Where did the water come from for the magicians to perform like Moses in Exodus 7:22?

Verse 24 states that the Egyptians dug wells in the moist soil near the Nile River for water to drink, the magicians may have used some of this water to to do their magic, thus discouraging Pharaoh from letting the Israelites to leave.

Exodus 7:22-24 NASB

22 But the soothsayer priests of Egypt did the same with their secret arts; and Pharaoh’s heart was [a]hardened, and he did not listen to them, just as the Lord had said. 23 Then Pharaoh turned and went into his house [b]with no concern even for this. 24 So all the Egyptians dug around the Nile for water to drink, because they could not drink from the water of the Nile.

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