8:14 The Egyptians 1 piled them in countless heaps, 2 and the land stank.
8:24 The Lord did so; a 3 thick 4 swarm of flies came into 5 Pharaoh’s house and into the houses 6 of his servants, and throughout the whole land of Egypt the land was ruined 7 because of the swarms of flies.
1 tn Heb “and they piled them.” For clarity the translation supplies the referent “the Egyptians” as the ones who were piling the frogs.
2 tn The word “heaps” is repeated: חֳמָרִם הֳמָרִם (khomarim khomarim). The repetition serves to intensify the idea to the highest degree – “countless heaps” (see GKC 396 §123.e).
3 tn Heb “and there came a….”
4 tn Heb “heavy,” or “severe.”
5 tn Here, and in the next phrase, the word “house” has to be taken as an adverbial accusative of termination.
6 tn The Hebrew text has the singular here.
7 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.