Welcome back to Time in the Word. Today, we embark on the third plague, the plague of lice. This third plague causes a bit of translation interpretation trouble. The trouble was whether or not this was lice, gnats, or mosquitoes. When I run into interpretive concerns, I go to my favorite Jewish websites and read what they have to say.
While researching various biblical things, I have to remind myself that I learned about the Bible through a Sunday School curriculum lens. Most children’s bible stories are shortened versions of a Bible passage, pulling out a single lesson to learn. As we get older and dig into the Bible more, we discover those children’s Bible stories were scratching the surface.
I liken my Sunday School experience to one of the teachers’ planting seeds that finally germinated in my late twenties. This is where I began to dig more into my faith and God’s word. The Bible is like a mansion with many doors, leading to many rooms. Waiting for me to open and discover the richness of their words and place in my life. I hope you have found this as well.
Plague Number Three: Lice
Scripture: Exodus 8:16-19– NIV, https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+8%3A16-19&version=NIV
If you jump between the NKJV and the NIV, you will find that the NIV says “gnats” and that the NKJV says “like lice”- but let’s not worry about whether or not it was lice or gnats, let’s focus on what God asked Aaron to do with the staff. God asked Moses to tell Aaron to “strike the dust of the ground”.
The third plague of lice affected both man and animals. Making everyday living very uncomfortable. I would think the constant annoyance of scratching your skin, along with feeling something crawling on you, would be enough to drive someone crazy.
Interestingly, the Egyptian magicians, using their secret arts, could NOT duplicate this plague. The magicians even told Pharaoh that this was “the finger of God”. I’m often curious why God let the magicians duplicate the first two plagues. What do you think?
True to God’s word, Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen.
Egyptian god or goddesses the plague confronted– Barnes Bible Chart pdf
- Seb-https://ancientegyptonline.co.uk/geb/, god of the earth, dust
Interesting notes and insights
- Moses and Aaron continued to be obedient to God. They did and said as instructed.
- Pharaoh’s magicians could NOT duplicate this plague. Why do you think they could not duplicate this plague?
- What purpose did the lice serve?
- Did this plague occur in Goshen as well? This is questionable, as the Bible does not DIRECTLY speak of it affecting Goshen, where the Israelites live. Many scholars feel the first three plagues affected Israel as a tool to chasten them for assimilating to Egyptian life and worship of their gods.
- What do you think is the significance of Aaron striking the dust? What does dust represent?
- This time, Pharaoh does not ask Moses to pray. Why do you think Pharaoh didn’t ask for prayer?
Interestingly, God chose lice. If you’ve ever had head lice or body lice, I’m sure you found them to be very pesky! Do you have “lice” in your life? What irritations are they causing you? Unlike Pharaoh, you can enlist prayer and ask God to help you identify the lice in your life. He will show you how to get rid of them.
Till next time. Thank you for joining me here today, in Time in the Word.
Michele Bruxvoort is sure to draw you in with her delightful sense of humor and love for living life. She enjoys reading, repurposing, as well as remodeling the family home with her husband. Drawing from her life experience as wife, mom, and follower of Jesus, Michele brings you a very honest and real perspective on life. When you don’t find her writing, you can find her mowing lawns, stocking shelves, taking care of her grandbaby and tackling her latest life adventure.
Wisconsin native and empty-nester, she now makes her home with her husband of 27 years in the South West Prairie plains of Minnesota.