Ten Plagues

Exodus 12:13

. . . and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.


1. Blood. Warned. Their god, the Nile.

2. Frogs. Warned. Frogs worshiped.

3. Lice. No warning. Made from dust.

4. Flies. Warned. The god, Beelzebub.

5. Murrain. Warned. Animals worshiped.

6. Boils. No warning. Made from ashes.

7. Hail. Warned. Gods, Isis and Osiris.

8. Locusts. Warned. Serapis impotent.

9. Darkness. No warning. Sand?

10. Death of firstborn. Warned. No hope left.

The above outline is condensed and embellished, based on that in the Companion Bible. The nine are aimed at the gods of Egypt and to show their inability to help. Nine is the number meaning Judgment.

The third plague is interesting. Lice (or maybe small mosquitoes) were made from dust, the same material as man.

The sixth is also interesting, for it is quite likely that Moses took the ashes from the furnace where human sacrifices were made. And the ashes were the cause of the boils.

The ninth plague was darkness, and it could be felt. It may be that it was a terrific sandstorm. If so, we have dust, ashes, and sand, the causes of the three unannounced plagues.

But all of the nine plagues were to show that the gods of Egypt were powerless and amounted to nothing. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt will I execute Judgment: I am Jehovah (Exo. 12:12).

There was a belief in Egypt that if at any time the gods would fail them, there was one supreme sacrifice they could make that would bring them out of any calamity. That was the sacrifice of the firstborn. So we see that after nine plagues were directed against the gods and they were powerless to prevent, the one and only hope that Egypt had left was taken away from them. The firstborn of every family died, from palace to hovel. Not only was any hope of a human sacrifice taken away, but the firstborn of all their animals died, too.

This helps us to see the awful despair there was in Egypt and their desire to get the Israelites out as soon as possible. Moses and Aaron had made their point. Their God was greater than all others.

The name Jehovah was made known with a special meaning to Moses at the burning bush. This knowledge was to be transmitted to Israel. Also, God determined to make His Name known among the Egyptians who had sunk into the grossest of idolatries, worshipping creeping things (Romans 1:23).

And further than this, God determined to make His Name (Jehovah) known among all the nations of that time. And this was accomplished, for when the spies (scouts) went to Jericho, the people were greatly afraid because of what had happened to Egypt. It is reported that even Tyre and Sidon sought help against the Habiru (Hebrews), who had left Egypt in ruins. A time is coming and maybe very near when the nations will again have to learn this lesson.

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