The Third Plague – Gnats/Lice

The Third Plague – Gnats/Lice


(13) When Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff and struck the dust of the earth, there were gnats on men and animals. All the dust of the earth became gnats throughout all the land of Egypt. (14) When the magicians attempted the same with their secret arts to bring forth gnats, they could not. There were gnats on men and animals.

Exodus 8:13-14, TLV

I am certain that in a dry land, such as Egypt, the dust of the earth is an ever present reality. The Egyptian god, Get, was the god over the dust of the earth. HaShem overcame the false god and changed it into a source of torment to the people of the land.

Interestingly this is the first plague that the Magicians of Egypt were unable to recreate in any form. The previous miracles they had been able to come up with an inferior, counterfeit version. This time they were unable and told Pharaoh that his was in fact the “finger of G-d”. What an interesting picture that makes. The very best that the Magicians could come up with was surpassed by just the finger of G-d. Their gods—that they had seen as so mighty—didn’t even compete with a tiny portion of the Almighty.

When Pharaoh could point to the counterfeit blood and counterfeit frogs, he was able to rationalize his refusal to acknowledge the Almighty. But the counterfeit has a limit that HaShem does not. It was at this point, when the power of HaShem over Pharaoh’s gods was obvious, that Pharaoh’s heart was hardened. He could choose repentance or hardening… and he chose hardening.

Questions to ponder: The magicians were able to come up with counterfeit blood and frogs. Are there places in my life where I have allowed the counterfeit to sit with the real? What are the things in my life where I have rationalized and now I have the choice of repentance and hardening?