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Exodus 8:6 So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land. 7But the magicians did the same things by their secret arts; they also made frogs come up on the land of Egypt.

8Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Pray to the Lord to take the frogs away from me and my people, and I will let your people go to offer sacrifices to the Lord.”

9Moses said to Pharaoh, “I leave to you the honor of setting the time for me to pray for you and your officials and your people that you and your houses may be rid of the frogs, except for those that remain in the Nile.”

10 “Tomorrow,” Pharaoh said.

Why didn't Pharaoh want to get rid of the frog right away? Why wait until tomorrow? Why suffered the night of frogs running around all over the place?

Pharaoh seemed to be deliberate and purposeful in his answer "Tomorrow". What was he thinking?

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I doubt anybody can answer the question, “What was he thinking?” but there may be a clue as to the significance of Pharaoh telling Moses to get rid of the frogs “tomorrow”. At the outset, let me confess that I’ve had to go to my NLT Study Bible Notes for insights.

The magicians were able to duplicate the plague [of frogs] in some sense, but Pharaoh did not ask them to rid the land of the frogs. Instead, he begged Moses to take them away. He already knew where the real power was.

In this instance, the evidence of God’s power was not in the event per se but in the timing. God could keep the frogs alive or he could end their lives. Pharaoh needed only to say when.

The Egyptian frog-headed goddess Heqet was the goddess of birth. Frogs were thought to be sacred and were not to be killed. That’s why Pharaoh could not ask his magicians to get rid of them. He was forced to seek help from Moses. Just to rub it in a bit more, Moses told Pharaoh to set the time. That forced Pharaoh to acknowledge that his goddess was impotent and that only Moses’ LORD God had the power to rescue his people.

Bear in mind that prior to the plague of frogs the Nile had been turned to blood, making it undrinkable and killing all the fish. For seven days the Egyptians suffered, but Pharaoh took refuge in his palace and put the whole thing out of his mind (Exodus 7:23-25). Then came the plague of frogs. This time, Pharaoh couldn’t escape. The frogs invaded his palace, even into his bedroom and onto his bed (Exodus 8:3-4). No wonder he begged Moses to intervene!

Why “tomorrow” and not “right now”? Because Pharaoh had already lost a great deal of face and (possibly) wanted to be seen by his court as being in charge of events. Speculating here, but he might have been in such a rage that he needed Moses to get out of his presence so he could calm down. What Pharaoh didn’t realise, of course, was that it was the LORD God who was in charge, and by demanding the removal of the frogs “tomorrow” he was actually playing into God’s hands.

This would demonstrate that the LORD God was able, not only to get rid of the frogs on the land, but also to accomplish it at a specific, pre-determined time – a time of Pharaoh’s choosing.

Of course, there may have been another simple reason for waiting till tomorrow. It might have already been late in the day when Moses and Pharaoh met. But that’s just speculation on my part.

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  • Very nicely worded. +1 I especially liked "Because Pharaoh had already lost a great deal of face and (possibly) wanted to be seen by his court as being in charge of events." I hadn't thought of it like that before.
    – agarza
    Feb 20, 2021 at 16:21
  • Men of power don't like to feel impotent - especially when they consider themselves to be divine. I imagine he was in a towering rage - but that's just speculation, again!
    – Lesley
    Feb 20, 2021 at 16:25
  • I have heard audio dramas of this account and Pharaoh is portrayed as being angry every time he has to speak with Moses and Aaron. That would be in line with your idea of Pharaoh not wanting to feel powerless.
    – agarza
    Feb 20, 2021 at 16:29
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God let Pharaoh to decide the time because then God can prove that it is God who did it. Otherwise Pharaoh may say again it is someone else who did it. So specific time was asked by Moses as then it is easy to prove the power of God.

Exodus 8:9 NIV

"Moses said to Pharaoh, "I leave to you the honour of setting the time...".

In order for Pharaoh to choose "Tomorrow" it was necessary for Moses to first give Pharaoh choice.

This put Moses' God as a greater power than Pharaoh. God was giving something to Pharaoh, and Pharaoh's repy was Pharaoh accepting something from God.

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    – C. Stroud
    Feb 27 at 13:42
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This never puzzled me, until I started listening to the Bema Podcast.

As I understood their teaching.

Pharaoh was interested in control-he wanted to choose the time and place. His god’s, although cyclical-he couldn’t control them.

How much does THIS god listen? Does he hear me? Testing God.

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