By Richard Lodwick
Exodus 9:8-12 (KJB) And the LORD said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh. 9 And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt. 10 And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast. 11 And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians. 12 And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had spoken unto Moses.
Note well Ex. 9:5-7. Don’t overlook the power of this. NONE of their gods could EVER do these things… or did, but they still kept their worship. Men are the same today. False gods do NOTHING; but on they go, worshiping idols & statues, and wearing the beads and emblems.
Note here the power of 9:11, too. How could Pharaoh NOT let Israel go? What was it going to take? As we know, a lot more!
Now, boils breaking forth in blains. I don’t know if you have ever had a boil, but I’m told they are extremely painful. They ooze puss and infection, and if they are all over your body, it is beyond description! Boils are the word Shachiyn; an inflamed eruption of infection through the outer skin. It is akin to leprosy in some ways. Blains is the word Ababuah, meaning blisters that swell from inside the skin. Remember Job had them… from Satan! (See also Dt. 28:27)
This plague defamed their gods Sekhmet (goddess of epidemics, Serapis, god of healing, & Imhotep, god of healing & medicine. Sekhmet was a lion-headed goddess, supposed to have the power to both cause and END epidemics. There was a special priesthood afforded her called the “sunu.” The “furnace.” Probably was a furnace used for smelting and melting metals or preparation of lime, OR the furnace used to make bricks (See Ex. 1:14, 5:7-19). That last one is the one I’m seeing! The ashes were cast towards heaven which was a sign that the True God was to see them and have His hand in the plague! But note they appeared here in both man and beast! Animal gods were affected, too. Are you seeing the totality of judgment here? The “breaking out” part also signifies the intensity of this plague. NOT just under the skin but breaking out THROUGH the skin, oozing all over. And THIS one was without warning! Oh my!
I believe that the magicians were called on all of these plagues. Here it is noted that they were not able to stand or be in the court, as some think it means. The impact of this cannot be underestimated. They were powerful folks! Their names were written in their history (2Tim. 3:8). God will deal with evil men as He wishes! How could people handle food at the markets with all this stuff oozing out? How could they work, or cook, etc? Note also V14. God says, there are more to come that I have not yet sent upon you. If you think it’s over… think again!!!
The inability of their gods to deal with this, as with the others, must have been a source of deep frustration. And the fact that the magicians had them, well that must have been deeper than words can describe.
But Pharaoh was unrepentant. You see, God wasn’t MAKING Pharaoh that way, Pharaoh was. The plagues revealed his heart! Note well, the actions of leaders brings judgment on the common people! God hasn’t changed. This still applies today. We get what we elect! Godly… or devils!