Pharaoh and the magicians
So pharaoh has been shown the signs given by Allah to Musa, He calls his inner cabinet together and seeks their advice.
قَالُوٓاْ أَرۡجِهۡ وَأَخَاهُ وَٱبۡعَثۡ فِى ٱلۡمَدَآٮِٕنِ حَـٰشِرِينَ (٣٦
Qaloo arjih waakhahu waibAAath fee almada-ini hashireena
36 They answered, ‘Delay him and his brother for a while, and send messengers to all the cities
The word arjih (from rajalah) implies to hold something (with the teeth), rattle it and not let it go. Like you have a tooth pick in your mouth for hours without letting it go. It also carries the meaning of shaking it with the teeth.
The chiefs are basically telling pharaoh to let musa go but they should keep a close eye on him. Maybe they would have a security detail on him or someone to follow musa around, watching every one of his moves. They should also shake him up and weaken him up. This could be by spreading propaganda about musa or whatever…
At the same time, send messengers to all of the cities . They have multiple cities with different magicians, send the messengers to all the cities…
يَأۡتُوكَ بِڪُلِّ سَحَّارٍ عَلِيمٍ۬ (٣٧
37. Ya/tooka bikulli sahharin AAaleemin
They will easily bring you all kinds of accomplished magicians
It is not a big deal, the messengers would easily get you all kinds of really powerful magicians.
Ayah 38, 39 and 40
يَأۡتُوكَ بِڪُلِّ سَحَّارٍ عَلِيمٍ۬ (٣٧) فَجُمِعَ ٱلسَّحَرَةُ لِمِيقَـٰتِ يَوۡمٍ۬ مَّعۡلُومٍ۬ (٣٨) وَقِيلَ لِلنَّاسِ هَلۡ أَنتُم مُّجۡتَمِعُونَ (٣٩) لَعَلَّنَا نَتَّبِعُ ٱلسَّحَرَةَ إِن كَانُواْ هُمُ ٱلۡغَـٰلِبِينَ (٤٠
38. FajumiAAa alssaharatu limeeqati yawmin maAAloomin
39. Waqeela lilnnasi hal antum mujtamiAAoona
40. LaAAallana nattabiAAu alssaharata in kanoo humu alghalibeena
38. The sorcerers were [to be] assembled at the appointed time on a certain day
39 and the people were asked,
40 ‘Are you all coming? We may follow the sorcerers if they win!’
A date was set. In Surah Taha, we see that it was the day of festival. The people were told: Are you coming out or not?? …. People were not just handed flyers, they were grabbed my soldiers and told: Are you going to come? Pharaoh wanted this to be a public humiliation for Musa (alayhi salam).
Musa (alayhi salam) is not on vacation as these events are taking place, He is talking to the people. We learn in Surah Taha that Musa (alayhi salam) was speaking to the people… People are told to come so that a huge crowd would witness the public destruction of Musa.
The day of the festival is a day when national spirit is revived, just like we have our national holidays… Remember, Pharaoh has made this a matter of national unity against the enemy. Pharaoh presents this as the cause for the nation, so basically: If you love your country, you are against musa.
The sorcerers are now presented as the heroes of the nation against this national threat, The sorcerers are becoming popular. Victory for the magicians would mean national support.Pharaoh is advertising the magicians to the people.
Now the magicians are aware of this, They realize that they are so influential that a crazy thought enters their mind. ‘We should get paid for this’… we should get some compensation..
They are playing it smart, they realise that pharaoh has little choice, they are popular amongst the people. He has been advertising them to the people… The event is coming, Time is running out, Pharaoh can’t kill them, he can’t touch them He wants to win this challenge.
If there was ever a time to squeeze pharaoh for money, this was the time. This was their time to get rich. These are smart guys…
So they go to pharaoh:
فَلَمَّا جَآءَ ٱلسَّحَرَةُ قَالُواْ لِفِرۡعَوۡنَ أَٮِٕنَّ لَنَا لَأَجۡرًا إِن كُنَّا نَحۡنُ ٱلۡغَـٰلِبِينَ (٤١
41. Falamma jaa alssaharatu qaloo lifirAAawna a-inna lana laajran in kunna nahnu alghalibeena
When the sorcerers came, they said to Pharaoh, ‘ We are definitely getting paid if we win, right?’
The language suggests that a number of them came, they came with strength and confidence. Pharaoh would grant them audience because these are his forces representing the nation.
They are basically telling pharaoh, ‘if we win , we are definitely going to get paid right?… ( because if we do not get paid, we might not be so motivated to win’)… grin …crooks!,, They are squeezing pharaoh for money. If we are going to win, we need some motivation.
But pharaoh is smart as well … Evil genius… The magicians are getting popular amongst the people. Pharaoh realises that as people get famous, they are two desires, 1. Money 2. Power…
Right now, the magicians have expressed the desire for money but not for power. But they are getting popular amongst the people, so if they have money and the people love them, they might start thinking about power.
Before they get that into their head, pharaoh offers them positions… So they never start think about his own position.
So not only does he say yes, he adds something else..
قَالَ نَعَمۡ وَإِنَّكُمۡ إِذً۬ا لَّمِنَ ٱلۡمُقَرَّبِينَ (٤٢
42. Qala naAAam wa-innakum ithan lamina almuqarrabeena
and he said, ‘Yes, and you will join my inner court.’
Genius, Pharaoh says: If you win, you will be of those that are brought close.. This also means that pharaoh can keep a close eye on them.. If anyone is getting too ambitious, he can be taken care of. Pharaoh preempts their potential future ambitions and ensures he is in control.
Pharaoh is a politician, we see this happen in modern politics today. The leader woos popular people into his cabinet and snuffs out their political ambitions. At least, they will not be a threat to him.
NEXT UP: THE DAY OF THE FESTIVAL WILL BE POSTED TOMORROW…