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Verse 11

Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers ,.... The cunning men and wizards, a sort of jugglers and deceivers, who pretended to great knowledge of things, to discover secrets, tell fortunes, and predict things to come, and by legerdemain tricks, and casting a mist before people's eyes, pretended to do very wonderful and amazing things; and therefore Pharaoh sent for these, to exercise their art and cunning, and see if they could not vie with Moses and Aaron:

now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments ; or by their secret wiles and juggles, making things seem to appear to the sight when they did not really, but by dazzling the eyes of men by their wicked and diabolical art, they fancied they saw things which they did not; for the word has the signification of flames of fire, or of a flaming sword, or lance, which being brandished to and fro dazzles the sight. The Targum of Jonathan gives the names of two of these magicians, whom he calls Jannes and Jambres, as does the apostle; see Gill on 2 Timothy 3:8 . Josephus F20 Antiqu. l. 2. c. 13. sect. 3. calls these magicians of Egypt priests, and Artapanus F21 Apud Euseb. ut supra. (Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 27. p. 435.) says, they were priests that lived about Memphis. According to the Arabs F23 Arab. Geograph. Climat. 2. par. 4. lin. 21. , the name of the place where they lived was Ausana, a city very ancient and pleasant, called the city of the magicians, which lay to the east of the Nile: their name in the Hebrew language is either from a word which signifies a style, or greying tool, as Fuller F24 Miscell. Sacr. l. 5. c. 11. thinks, because in their enchantments they used superstitious characters and figures; or, as Saadiah Gaon F25 Comment. in Dan. i. 20. , from two words, the one signifying a "hole", and the other "stopped"; because they bored a hole in a tree to put witchcrafts into it, and stopped it up, and then declared what should be, or they had to say.

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