Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
God of Pharao, viz., to be his Judge; and to exercise a divine power, as God's instrument, over him and people. (Challoner) I shall harden, &c.; not by being the efficient cause of his hardness of heart, but by permitting it; and by withdrawing grace from him, in punishment of his malice; which alone was the proper cause of his being hardened. (Challoner) --- He took occasion even from the miracles to become more obdurate. (Haydock) --- Yet Pharao was less impious than Calvin, for he takes the sin to himself, chap. ix. 27. (Tirinus)
Took, or "threw down," as the Hebrew and Septuagint read.
Magicians. Jannes and Mambres, or Jambres, 2 Timothy iii. 8. (Challoner) --- The pagans represented Moses as the greatest of magicians. (Pliny, Natural History xxx. 1; Justin xxxvi.) --- They also, &c. Hebrew has three terms, "wise men, diviners, and magicians;" but the two last seem to be of the same import. "The enchanters did the like by their secret practices," either by words or by actions. Some say these operations were real; others affirm they were only apparent, and mere delusions. (Calmet) --- "Whoever believes that any thing can be made, or any creature changed or transmuted into another species or appearance, except by the Creator himself, is undoubtedly an infidel, and worse than a pagan." (Coun.[Council?] of Orange.) See St. Augustine, q. 21, de Trin. iii. 7; St. Thomas Aquinas, [Summa Theologiae] ii. 2, 9, 17, a 2. --- The devil deceived the senses of the beholders; or brought real serpents, &c., thither. (Menochius)
Devoured. Thus the superiority remained with Aaron. The rod was then restored to its pristine form, ver. 15. (Haydock)
My hand. The rod was in the hand of Moses, but he was God's agent. (Menochius)
River. The Samaritan copy repeats here the very words of God to Pharao, as the other speeches are also twice put at length. "Moses and Aaron went to meet Pharao, and said to him, 'The Lord,'" &c., as ver. 16, 18. See chap. xi. 7. (Calmet) --- This is very agreeable to the style of Homer; and Kennicott believes that the repetitions have been omitted in the Hebrew for brevity's sake, (Diss. 1 Chron. p. 383,) and that before the Greek version had been made. (Haydock)
All the land, even in that of Gessen, which belonged to the Egyptians; while the Hebrews had good water. (Menochius)
Like. They got a small quantity of water, either from the sea, from Gessen, (Wisdom xi. 5,) or by digging wells, ver. 24. (Calmet) --- This plague lasted a full week, ver. 25. The water which they found in the mean time in the wells was mixed with blood. (Philo; St. Augustine, in Psalm lxxvii.) Wisdom xi. 7, thou gavest human blood to the unjust.