“Pharaoh summoned his scholars and magicians. The necromancers were able to do the same thing with their magic tricks.” 7:11
- There is no such thing as magic. It is sleight of hand, something only foolish people believe in. – Rambam Hil. Avodas Kochavim 11:16, Moreh Nevuchim 3:37
- These were his astrologers. – Targum Yonasan 7:22
- It is possible for people to harness heavenly forces for profane purposes and override the laws of nature. This is how the Egyptians magicians and others whose feats are recorded in scripture, as well the false Jewish prophets, were able to deceive their followers into believing in the power of idols. – Ramban Devarim 18:9
Regardless of whether magic is real or not, its practice is strictly forbidden by the Torah [Shmos 22:7, Devarim 18:10] and was one of the primary reasons Hashem drove the Cannanites out of the Land of Israel in favor of the Jewish people who did not practice witchcraft. Idolaters rely on magic and sorcery to distract their followers from seeing G-d’s control over the forces of nature. This is the antithesis of mission of the Jewish people: to live lives that testify to G-d’s omnipotence [Devarim 18:13].