8:3 The Nile will swarm 1 with frogs, and they will come up and go into your house, in your bedroom, and on your bed, and into the houses of your servants and your people, and into your ovens and your kneading troughs. 2
8:17 They did so; Aaron extended his hand with his staff, he struck the dust of the ground, and it became gnats on people 3 and on animals. All the dust of the ground became gnats throughout all the land of Egypt.
8:24 The Lord did so; a 4 thick 5 swarm of flies came into 6 Pharaoh’s house and into the houses 7 of his servants, and throughout the whole land of Egypt the land was ruined 8 because of the swarms of flies.
1 sn The choice of this verb שָׁרַץ (sharats) recalls its use in the creation account (Gen 1:20). The water would be swarming with frogs in abundance. There is a hint here of this being a creative work of God as well.
2 sn This verse lists places the frogs will go. The first three are for Pharaoh personally – they are going to touch his private life. Then the text mentions the servants and the people. Mention of the ovens and kneading bowls (or troughs) of the people indicates that food would be contaminated and that it would be impossible even to eat a meal in peace.
4 tn Heb “and there came a….”
5 tn Heb “heavy,” or “severe.”
6 tn Here, and in the next phrase, the word “house” has to be taken as an adverbial accusative of termination.
7 tn The Hebrew text has the singular here.
8 tc Concerning the connection of “the land was ruined” with the preceding, S. R. Driver (Exodus, 68) suggests reading with the LXX, Smr, and Peshitta; this would call for adding a conjunction before the last clause to make it read, “into the house of Pharaoh, and into his servants’ houses, and into all the land of Egypt; and the land was…”
tn The Hebrew word תִּשָּׁחֵת (tishakhet) is a strong word; it is the Niphal imperfect of שָׁחַת (shakhat) and is translated “ruined.” If the classification as imperfect stands, then it would have to be something like a progressive imperfect (the land was being ruined); otherwise, it may simply be a preterite without the vav (ו) consecutive. The verb describes utter devastation. This is the verb that is used in Gen 13:10 to describe how Yahweh destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Swarms of flies would disrupt life, contaminate everything, and bring disease.