The Plague of Flies

A. T. Pierson gives the following illustration: Suppose you had a thousand-acre farm and someone offered to buy it. You agree to sell the land except for one acre right in the center which you want to keep for yourself. Did you know that in some areas the law would allow you to h … More


In the previous plagues, of turning water to blood and the frogs, the Egyptian magicians were able to imitate Moses. Today’s plague, however, of turning the dust into lice could not be imitated (vv.16-18). In fact, the magicians even told the king that God had done this but again he was too stubborn to listen (v. 19). The Egyptian priests, the temples, as well as the people, could not worship their gods unless they were spotlessly clean. Can you imagine the terrible blow the plague of the lice and flies were to them?

The Lord tells Moses to meet the king the next morning and tell Him that He commands him to let His people go and if he doesn’t He will send flies to cover everyone (vv. 20-21). In this passage God is showing a distinction between the Israelites and the Egyptians in marking His people for deliverance and the others for judgment (vv. 22-24). Pharaoh agreed again to let Israel go but gave them a compromise by requiring that they sacrifice in the land (v. 25). Then when that  was rejected he tried another compromise but Moses warned Pharaoh of deceiving them (vv. 26-29). Moses then left Pharaoh  believing  he might keep his word (v. 30). Moses prays and God takes away the swarms of flies until there was not one fly left in all the land (v. 31). But again Pharaoh’s heart is hard and he will not let the people go (v. 32).


Pharaoh agreed to let Israel go but requiring them to make their sacrifice in the land. This was not acceptable as God is not interested in compromise but in complete obedience. I must always give the Lord my complete obedience and never try to work out a compromise in what He asks me to do for Him.

Exodus 8:16-32 (English Standard Version)

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