...And Aaron threw his staff before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it turned into a serpent. Pharaoh summoned also [his] wise men and sorcerers... each cast his staff, and they turned into serpents; but Aaron's staff swallowed up their staffs...

The Torah emphasizes that it was Aaron's staff that consumed the serpent-staffs of the Egyptian sorcerers.

Our sages explain that since it is natural that a snake swallow another snake, G‑d made Aaron's staff swallow the others after it had reverted to its original, inanimate form, thereby demonstrating the impotence of Egypt's idols in a manifestly miraculous way.

But the miracle of the swallowing stick is more than a sign and warning to Pharaoh; there is also a lesson here, on how to confront the various "Pharaohs" we must deal with in the course of our lives.

The Torah's "ways are ways of pleasantness, and all its paths are peace" - our mission is to create light, not to battle darkness. Nevertheless, there are times when we are forced to resort to battle, when we must vanquish those who seek to vanquish us.

Thus Moses, the gentle shepherd of Israel, and Aaron, the epitomic man of peace, found themselves in the role of "judge and chastiser of Pharaoh" and the Egyptians, crushing their might and obliterating their icons and myths.

But even when he wages war, the Jew is not a warrior. Even when he consumes the serpents of the enemy, he is not a serpent himself, spewing poison and hate. His instrument of vengeance is as devoid of vengeful feeling as the stoic staff, as cold to the rage of war as a lifeless stick.

For more about Aron and his role in the exodus, see Aaron and G‑d’s presence through love.