I wish that I could read Hebrew. It's very interesting to note that, in Chapter 7, it says that God hardened Pharaoh's heart but here in Chapter 8 it says that Pharaoh hardened his own heart. I would like to better understand that distinction.
I believe that God has the power to step in and harden someone's heart, just as His love can soften someone's heart. I do not say this in a Calvinist fashion but rather just simply from the fact that I do believe God has that power. However, to me, Exodus is saying more that God allowed Pharaoh's heart to be hardened ... He allowed Pharaoh to stay in his natural humanistic state.
But I am in way over my head on this one already at this point.
In the meantime, yes, I have been at it again -- playing with my Legos. Here is a scene of the second plague from Exodus 8 -- FROGS!
Okay, actually, I have found the source of these Lego pictures and it is here: The Brick Testament
Rev. Brendan Powell Smith put a lot of time into creating all of these scenes from Legos. I am undoubtedly in violation of his copyright by posting his pictures here so I will not do that any more. However, I will invite you to visit his site and check them out for yourself. It really is pretty cool.
(I have gone on now and done some further research into the Pharaoh's hardened heart situation. Apparently, I have stumbled onto something that is subject to much debate and discussion. The more I read, though, the more I wondered if it isn't much ado about nothing. The Pharaoh was selfish in his response to the plagues, the Israelites continued to suffer, and Moses continued to hit roadblocks. The real story here is what is going on between God and Moses, not debate about the source of Pharaoh's response.)