In Exodus 7:21 (NASB)

Then the fish that were in the Nile died, and the Nile stank, so that the Egyptians could not drink water from the Nile. And the blood was through all the land of Egypt.

Does that mean the Israelites could still drink from the water?

  • 1
    Just to say that a few verses earlier it reads, "And the fish in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall lothe to drink of the water of the river" (v.18). It does not say the Hebrews as well. Then, regarding blood being through all the land of Egypt, v.19 specifies that water in vessels of wood and stone would have blood in them - no doubt the water in them having been turned to blood as well. Finally v.24 says that when the Egyptians dug around the river for water, that was undrinkable too but it doesn't say the location where the Hebrews lived was so affected.
    – Anne
    Jan 23, 2021 at 8:32
  • Thank you for sharing @Anne Jan 23, 2021 at 8:34

1 Answer 1


The Hebrews dwelt in Goshen and probably drank from a different river, either a tributary or a distributary of the Nile, rather than from the Nile itself.

If from a tributary, then that water would have not been affected by the state of the main river into which the tributary flowed.

If from a distributary then divine providence may have caused the water to be clean downstream from the contamination.

In 1885 Édouard Naville identified Goshen as the 20th nome of Egypt, located in the eastern Delta, and known as "Gesem" or "Kesem" during the Twenty-sixth dynasty of Egypt (672–525 BC). It covered the western end of the Wadi Tumilat.

Wikipedia - Land of Goshen

Wadi Tumilat (Old Egyptian Tjeku/Tscheku/Tju/Tschu) is the 50-kilometre-long (31 mi) dry river valley (wadi) to the east of the Nile Delta. In prehistory, it was a distributary of the Nile. It starts from the area of modern Ismaïlia and continues from there to the west.

Wikipedia - Wadi Tumilat

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