Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt…
The mode in which the magicians "withstood Moses" (see 2 Timothy 3:1-9) was simply by imitating, so far as they were able, whatever he did. From this we learn the solemn truth that the most Satanic resistance to God's testimony in the world is offered by those who, though they imitate the effects of the truth, have but "the form of godliness," and "deny the power thereof." Persons of this class can do the same things, adopt the same habits and forms, use the same phraseology, profess the same opinions, as others. How needful to understand this! How important to remember that "as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses," so do those self-loving, world-seeking, pleasure-hunting professors "resist the truth!" They would not be without "a form of godliness"; but while adopting "the form," because it is customary, they hate "the power," because it involves self-denial. "The power" of godliness involves the recognition of God's claims, the implanting of His kingdom in the heart, and the consequent exhibition thereof in the whole life and character; but the formalist knows nothing of this, nor does he desire to know it. He does not want his lusts subdued, his pleasures interfered with, his passions curbed, his affections governed, his heart purified. He wants just as much religion as will enable him " to make the best of both worlds."
(A. Nevin, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.