Frogs aren’t painted in a positive light in The Bible. In the Old Testament dietary laws, frogs were considered unclean and detestable. The most well-known “frog” passage in The Bible occurs in the Old Testament when God poured out his judgment and displayed His power over the Egyptian nation via the ten plagues, including the plague of frogs.
Let’s find out more about this fascinating frog plague and what frogs symbolize in The Bible.
Frogs Were Special to the Ancient Egyptians
To the average person, frogs are just a noisy part of the animal kingdom. They have an interesting life cycle, are often dissected in high school, and in France, their legs are considered a tasty treat!
To the Ancient Egyptians, frogs had a special symbolism. The god Heqet, had the head of a frog and the body of a woman and was worshiped as a goddess of fertility and childbirth (despite the fact child abandonment was fairly common). And so, in Ancient Egypt, frogs were considered sacred, respected, and never killed.
Frogs in The Old Testament
We only see frogs mentioned specifically in relation to the plagues in Egypt. But there is also an implied reference to frogs when God gave His people His laws after the Exodus.
The Plague of Frogs
In Exodus 8, God called Moses to go before Pharaoh and demand he free the Israelites to go worship their God. In a series of ten plagues, God poured out his judgment on the Egyptians and reminded His own people, the Israelites, of His mighty power.
The first plague was the water in the land turning to blood. The second plague was the plague of frogs.
Exodus 8:1-5,8,13-15 (ESV) Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Let my people go, that they may serve me. But if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will plague all your country with frogs. The Nile shall swarm with frogs that shall come up into your house and into your bedroom and on your bed and into the houses of your servants and your people, and into your ovens and your kneading bowls. The frogs shall come up on you and on your people and on all your servants.”
Then Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron and said, “Plead with the Lord to take away the frogs from me and from my people, and I will let the people go to sacrifice to the Lord.”
And the Lord did according to the word of Moses. The frogs died out in the houses, in the reeds of river, the courtyards, and the fields. And they gathered them together in heaps, and the land stank. But when Pharaoh saw that there was a respite, he hardened his heart and would not listen to the voice of God, as the Lord had said.
A few times Pharaoh agreed to let the people go, but he hypocritically went back on his word.
After the cruelty Pharaoh had shown the Israelites by having their baby sons murdered in Exodus 1:16-22, it is fitting that God chose to curse the Egyptians with frogs, their very own symbol of offspring and birth.
This sacred symbol lay rotting in heaps, a physical display of the power and sovereignty of the one true God over the false gods of the Egyptians.
The Detestable Frog
Later, God gave His people the law, through Moses, detailing all the aspects of how they should live, before Moses’ death. When it came to food, God specifically forbade His people from eating frogs – they were considered unclean and loathsome according to the following scripture.
Leviticus 11:10-11 (ESV) But anything in the seas or the rivers that does not have fins and scales, of the swarming creatures in the waters and of the living creatures that are in the waters, is detestable to you. You shall regard them as detestable; you shall not eat any of their flesh, and you shall detest their carcasses.
No longer bound by these Old Testament laws (Romans 6:14), Christians are free to eat frogs should they choose to (frog legs aren’t too bad).
Frogs in The New Testament
There is only one specific mention of frogs in the New Testament, and we find it in the last book of The Bible, Revelation. This verse is a prophecy describing the Antichrist, the “unholy” trinity of Satan who is directly opposed to God. The fact that Satan’s spirit is likened to frogs emphasizes his vileness – he is detestable!
Revelation 16:13 (ESV) And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs.
F.R.O.G – Fully Rely on God
Christian, you don’t need to hate frogs but you do need to F.R.O.G. This popular acronym from the 90s stands for Fully Rely On God. This key truth stands. We can rely on the God who conquered the Egyptians. And we can certainly trust in the God who will conquer Satan at the end of the age!
Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV) Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.