Exodus Chapter 7 Verses 8-13

:8 “And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, 9 When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Show a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent. 10 And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent. 11 Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. 12 For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods. 13 And he hardened Pharaoh's heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.” 

The rod in the scriptures is a symbol of the authority and commandment of God.  Every time that Moses or Aaron stretched forth the rod it was in obedience to the authority and commandment of God.  The rod cast down is like the authority of God cast down.  When the authority of God is cast down it represents sin and the serpent represents sin.   

A rod becoming a serpent surely shows the miraculous power of God.  However, we notice that the magicians of Egypt used their magic to make it appear that their rods had also become serpents.  It is interesting that even when the authority or commandment of God is broken it still has more power than the false authorities of men.  Aaron’s rod that became a serpent swallowed up the serpents the magicians had brought forth.   

As God told Moses, when Pharaoh saw the miracle of God and the serpent swallowing up the serpents of the magicians he hardened his heart in resistance to the authority and commandment of God.   

7 Verses 14-18

:14 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh's heart is hardened, he refuseth to let the people go. 15 Get thee unto Pharaoh in the morning; lo, he goeth out unto the water; and thou shalt stand by the river's brink against he come; and the rod which was turned to a serpent shalt thou take in thine hand. 16 And thou shalt say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath sent me unto thee, saying, Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness: and, behold, hitherto thou wouldest not hear. 17 Thus saith the LORD, In this thou shalt know that I am the LORD: behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood. 18 And the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall loathe to drink of the water of the river.” 

God’s omniscience (knowledge of all things past, present and future) is manifest in this passage of scripture.  God told Moses, the present condition of Pharaoh’s heart, which, of course, man could not look into and see, but God alone.  Next, God told Moses what would happen in the future that Pharaoh would go the next morning to the water at the river’s brink.  Only God who can foresee all future events could know what Pharaoh would do the next morning and where he would go.   

Next, Moses was instructed where to go and what to say.  He also told Moses what the outcome would be.   

In this pronounced judgment, death is once again depicted as a consequence of sin.  Waters* in the scripture are sometimes used as a symbol of all humanity.  However, even more often waters in the scriptures are used as an instrument of God’s judgment.  In the above we see a picture of God bringing forth the judgment of God turning the waters (all humanity) into blood (a depiction of death).  Fish** are sometimes used in the scriptures to represent God’s people.  Here we see that God’s people are also under the judgment of death due to sin as all the fish in the river died.  As a consequence the river stank.  Since the river of humanity is under the law of sin and death and all humanity by nature is dead in trespasses and sins, so we all have the stench of our flesh nature to deal with.   

*Ps. 29:3 “The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters.”

  Isa. 8:7 “Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks:”

  Isa. 17:12 “Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters! 13 The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.”

  Jer. 47:2 “Thus saith the LORD; Behold, waters rise up out of the north, and shall be an overflowing flood, and shall overflow the land, and all that is therein; the city, and them that dwell therein: then the men shall cry, and all the inhabitants of the land shall howl.”

  Jer. 51:13 “O thou that dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures, thine end is come, and the measure of thy covetousness.”

  Rev. 14:2 “And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:”

  Rev. 17:1 “And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:”

  Rev. 17:15 “And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” 

**Mat. 4:19 “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

  Mark 1:17 “And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.”

  John 21:11 “Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.”