The Sorcerers of Egypt and their Magic Tricks: A Study in Contrasts

When Moses and Aaron stood before Pharaoh and performed the miracles God commanded them to do, it is written that Pharaoh’s sorcerers and magicians were doing precisely the same thing:

“Then the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Prove yourselves by
working a miracle,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and cast it down before Pharaoh, that it may become a serpent.’” So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the LORD commanded. Aaron cast down his staff before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts.” (Exodus 7:8-12)

So, if this is the case, what is the difference between Moses’ and Aaron’s miracles and those of Pharaoh’s sorcerers?

In the original Hebrew (and in the King James version) it is actually written:
“tnu la-chem mofet” {תנו לכם מופת} (“Give a sign/miracle for YOU”) and that is rather strange because logically it should have been written: “Give a sign/miracle for THEM.”

An interesting Midrash {מדרש} (ancient Jewish tradition) says that when a magician performs magic tricks everyone should be amazed except from the magician himself because he know how the trick works.

However, in Moses and Aaron case, when a sign/miracle from God was given everyone was amazed INCLUDING Moses and Aaron who performed the sign/miracle!

And that is the big difference between Moses and Aaron who were messengers of God and the magicians of Egypt.