Ten Plagues of Egypt
Recently J.D. Farag noted that the rapture was like the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt. It took ten plagues for Pharaoh to let the people go. But the children of Israel did not want to go! The plagues were for them as well—-to make them willing to go!
The Corona Virus Lockdown could be Plague #1? Nine more to go?
Jesus Christ in Complete Control.
Egypt = a type of the world
Pharaoh = a type of the god of this world
Moses = a type of Christ
Assyria = "Lawlessness"
Babylon= "Religious Confusion" (balal)
It is said by one school of theology that the plagues sent by God upon the Egyptians were aimed at many of their gods. The purpose was to show how impotent the gods of Egypt were and to force the Pharaoh to let God’s people go. In ten separate cosmic events God humbled Pharaoh AND simultaneously persuaded the children of Israel that they ought to follow their leader Moses, who was eminently qualified to save them.
Were the specific gods of pagan Egypt targeted. Some think not. But this model has been deeply embedded in the evangelical wing of the church of Jesus Christ. For the sake of completeness here is that view:
1. Exodus 7:14-24 describes how the river Nile was changed into blood, also affecting the streams, canals, ponds and all the reservoirs. The fish died and the water was undrinkable. This, the first plague, was directed at Apis, the god of the Nile, Isis, the goddess of the Nile, and Khnum, guardian of the Nile. The Egyptians believed the Nile was the bloodstream of Osiris, who was reborn each year when the river flooded.
2. The second plague was delivered seven days later, and is described in Exodus 8:1-15. The plague of frogs (which came from the Nile), was a judgment against Heqet, the frog-headed goddess of birth. Frogs were thought to be sacred. After the frogs died, their stinking bodies were heaped up in offensive piles all through the land (Exodus 8:13–14).
3. The third plague of gnats was a judgment on Set, the god of the desert. Unlike the previous plagues, the Egyptian magicians were unable to duplicate this one and said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God” (Exodus 8:19).
4. Exodus 8:20-32 describes how the fourth plague, swarms of flies, afflicted only the Egyptians. God’s people, who lived in Goshen, were excluded. This was a judgment on Uatchit, the fly god.
5. The fifth plague, the death of livestock, was a judgment on the goddess Hathor and the god Apis, who were both depicted as cattle. Exodus 9:1-7 describes how God’s people were unaffected.
6. The sixth plague, boils, as described in Exodus 9:8-12, was a judgment against Sekhmet, Sunu, and Isis who were ascribed with powers to prevent disease.
7. There followed a spectacular and dramatic seventh plague, of thunder, hail and lightning. This plague was directed against Nut, the sky goddess, Osiris, the crop fertility god, and Set, the storm god. Exodus 9:13-35 describes the utter devastation of crops, men and beasts, and trees. But no hail fell in the land of Goshen, where the Israelites were. God wasn’t done with Nut (the sky goddess), Osiris (the crop fertility god) and Set (the storm god).
8. Exodus 10:12-20 describes how a plague of locusts devoured the remaining crops of wheat and rye, ensuring there would be no harvest in Egypt that year.
9.The ninth plague is described in Exodus 10:21-29. The three days of darkness was aimed at the sun-god, Ra (or Re), one of the chief deities of Egypt. Ra was symbolized by Pharaoh himself.
10. Exodus chapter 11 describes the tenth and last plague, the death of the firstborn Egyptian males, which was a judgment on Isis, the protector of children. This was the ultimate disaster since all the plans and dreams of a father were bound up in his firstborn son. The New International Study Bible notes explain how the first, the fourth and seventh plagues were introduced by a warning, delivered to the Pharaoh in the morning as he went out to the Nile. He and his gods were powerless in the face of the creator, who exposed those false gods as impotent. Sources: https://www.gotquestions.org/ten-plagues-Egypt.html, https://carm.org/what-type-god-would-kill-firstborn-egypt, https://answersfromthebook.org/2011/02/28/the-living-god-vs-the-gods-of-egypt/) See also: Yahweh vs. the gods of Egypt, Greek and Egyptian gods compared
A good friend of ours, an Egyptologist (whom I've known for 30+ years), sent my his immediate reactions to first draft of this article: "It's all wrong. This buys into a longstanding evangelical myth that each of the Ten Plagues can be neatly identified with a specific Egyptian god (one often sees tables in commentaries as if that can prove anything). Nothing in the Bible says each Plague was directed at a specific Egyptian god, instead of the Egyptian gods in general and as a whole. In fact, the strangely little-quoted Exodus 12:12 verse seems to indicate that it was the 10th Plague, Death of the Firstborn, that constituted God's judgment executed on (all) the gods of Egypt, and arguably nothing more specific than that. When Exodus 12:12 is quoted, it is only the part about executing judgment and omits the part indicating that the Plague on the Firstborn is the judgment and not necessarily all 10 Plagues.
This is an evangelical academic myth concocted to look clever but is sheer nonsense based on no actual evidence instead of invention -- notice how no actual Egyptian hieroglyphic documents are ever quoted and few if any Egyptology publications are ever cited. It is a sleazy effort to bamboozle the masses, the vast crowd of ignorant and gullible Christians. There is no methodology, no rigor, no real evidence, just glitzy baseless assertions.
And it amounts to a corrupt evangelical evasion of any and all responsibility to do even a simple literature search to find the hundreds of professional Egyptology, archaeology and Biblical scholarship publications since 1844 pointing to Egyptian records, documents, and back-references to the Exodus as an actual event. This is the elephant in the room ignored by incompetent or dishonest evangelical "scholars." I'm frankly sick and tired of it, it is shameful and despicable.
If each Plague is a specific "judgment" against a specific Egyptian god, shouldn't the "judgment" as in a court of law NAME the specific defendant being "judged" and exactly which count of the indictment is being applied to that NAMED defendant?? Specificity is a double-edged sword, it cuts both ways, and again the Bible never says anything about a specificity (except of course to the extent that Exodus 12:12 is directed through the specific 10th Plague but not naming specific gods). This one-to-one specificity claim is made up out of whole cloth -- again as if trying to evade the powerful and striking evidence of actual Egyptian records of the Exodus, a much more important fact than any purported one-to-one deity judgment.
This stock claim of conservative evangelical literature is tendentious and amounts to one huge hand waving argument based on far fetched, stretched or outright false assertions that cannot be found in Egyptological evidence. Except for Ra, who really was the Egyptian sun-god (and there is abundant evidence for it), and more importantly Ra was the chief deity of the Egyptian pantheon, hence a good argument can be made that the 9th Plague, of Darkness, was directed at blacking out Ra and his sunlight, but it is still just an argument and an interpretation not stated specifically in the Bible. A counterargument can be made that this Anti-Ra Plague against Egypt's No. 1 god should have been the 1st Plague or the last and ultimate, 10th Plague, not the 9th, if Ra was No 1.
A weaker argument could be made that the 5th Plague, on Livestock, was directed at Apis and Hathor, who were loosely identified with cattle. But the 6th Plague, of Boils / Skin Disease, and the 7th / Hail & Fire, also afflicted cattle, thus weakening the whole argument about the 5th Plague being specifically targeted at supposed "cattle gods." Heqet was not a god of frogs just because she was sometimes depicted with a frog head, but was a goddess of magic and childbirth.
But there were no Egyptian "gods" of gnats, skin, hail or locusts -- as often tacitly admitted by evangelical commentators through their silence or their skipping over of these plagues with no gods being named. The efforts of the remaining commentators to try to force these onto various alleged Egyptian gods of dust and sky are pathetically hollow and vacuous, and again without evidence.
By the way, there was no "lightning" stated in the 7th Plague, the Plague of Hail and Fire (NOT Lightning). The Hebrew in Exodus 9:23-24 clearly states it was hail mingled with "fire" (Heb. aish or 'esh) NOT "lightning" (barak), two totally different Hebrew words.
Lightning does not "walk" (halak) along the ground (!!) (Exodus 9:23) but evangelical "scholars" don't care about science or Scripture. For God's sake the pagan Egyptian hieroglyphic records confirm there was strange "fire" burning up and going forth in the land in the Exodus, not lightning! We have Egyptian eyewitness color pictures of the red pillar of fire at the Parting of the (Fiery) Red Sea (Egyptian "Yam Nesret") and they blamed this fiery entity, in the Egyptian hieroglyphic caption to the striking picture, for the opening of the corridor through the "knife-cut" sea!
This is just another longstanding bogus evangelical argument reaching into outright fraudulent "modern" mistranslation of the Word of God, whose sacredness apparently doesn't mean much to them. These bogus "conservative" so-called Christian "scholars" who don't do any actual "scholarship," are blatantly compromising with anti-supernatural naturalism, to reduce the miraculous to natural phenomena (they openly admit this and try to justify it!).
Thus they willfully mistranslate "fire" as naturalistic "lightning" in our Bibles and deliberately ignore the scriptural evidence in the very same verse testifying to the "fire" walking along the ground, which lightning cannot do, and thus refutes their dishonest naturalistic compromise. In fact I have seen some deliberately omit the Words of God, the part about fire "walking" along the ground (completely omitted in Living Bible and Message Bible without even a phony mistranslated substitute like "struck the ground," or "flashed down to," or "came down on," or "fell to," etc.), apparently because that would refute the fraudulent anti-supernaturalist "lightning" mistranslation.
"Proving" the supernatural with the natural is what they are doing, they say, without putting it quite so blatantly: They say that if they can show a Plague-like natural phenomenon actually occurs in Egypt then this "supports" the Bible's account, without mentioning of course that it destroys the miraculousness of the Plague or that it thereby disproves the inerrancy of Scripture (a few try to spin doctor the "translation" to "save" inerrancy, in a forced-fit exercise).
They started heavily in the 19th century then accelerated with Greta Hort's pseudo-scientific pack of lies in 1957 claiming that two (nonexistent in Egypt) so-scientifically and authoritatively named species of purportedly red algae (they are green not red) caused the Plague of Blood, after The Ten Commandments movie in 1956 had the "Pharaoh" (Yul Brynner) suggest the "blood" was a natural phenomenon of "red mud" (no such thing in the Nile) or vaguely something (the red mud? or something else?) that may have "poisoned" the water (as a disease?) or later killed fish and frogs that spread "disease."
So the "scholarly" world especially "evangelical scholars" took their cue from Hollywood fiction and transformed it -- dishonestly without crediting the movie but covering up that fact -- into "science." Actual science shows (in research I published in 2004-5) that no such algae species have ever been found in Egypt, the Nile, or East Africa, and they cannot possibly survive in the rushing tropical Nile river as they are fragile subarctic algae only found barely able to survive in stagnant, unmoving high-latitude alpine lakes -- nothing like the warm, high flow-rate, high volume Nile habitat in the second greatest river on the planet. And the two algae species, Haematococcus pluvialis and Euglena sanguinea, are not actually red but green (one has a tiny red spot in a huge green cell). So much for evangelical "science."
Another good friend of mine for more than three decades is Bryce Self, a Bible scholar whom I lean on regularly. Bryce sorta agrees:
Yes, we’ve discussed this previously — it is specifically in the instructions given regarding preparation for the passover event that the Lord says in Exodus 12:12 (NKJV), "For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.” That is the only time it is mentioned through the entire account.
The judgment is upon the gods of the Egyptians collectively as a pantheon, and particularly only (or most pointedly) through the plague of the firstborn. There is no historical or mythological basis outside of Scripture to suggest a one-to-one correspondence of the entire series of plagues, each to be coordinated to a particular pagan deity. And as our colleague says, it is a scholarly confection and affectation with no exegetical foundation in the Scriptural narrative itself.
All the world empires throughout history (including our own) are subsumed into in the ravenous and beastly-natured creatures of the four empires of Daniel’s visions. Only the coming Son of Man can name and subdue the beasts of this howling wilderness, as the first man did in the garden.
Back in the '70's I was privileged to make thirteen trips to Egypt. Three times I led a team to apply Modern Geophysical Technology to the Service of Egyptology there. Back then I got acquainted with the above-mentioned friend's groundbreaking work establishing the historicity of the Exodus--and the correct date of the Exodus.
In 1983 we were able to take our equipment to Israel for some grand adventures there. That first trip to Israel led to far more than we expected, including our geophysical work on the Temple Mount. A separate web site on the Temple Mount came online in 1975 and is still alive and well. I am no scholar!
Biblical Archaeology 101
with Ted Wright
If you know nothing about Biblical Archaeology or Ancient History the above video is required
if you expect to graduate with Honors at the Judgment Seat of Christ,
Tom Constable's Commentaries on the Bible are Five Star. Here is what he says about the confrontation between Moses and Pharaoh:
This section with footnotes is also from Dr, Constable commenting on the summary verses of 11:9-10, and encapulating the entire processs.
"God's method of dealing with individuals was by providing opportunities and choices. We can see this most easily in God's dealing with the two major characters in Exodus: Moses and Pharaoh. God's method of dealing with both men was the same, but their responses were different and, consequently, so were their fates.
Pharaoh was a strong, worldly-wise leader who acted wholly by sight rather than by faith in Yahweh. He is typical of people of the world. God's method of dealing with him was to give him opportunities to make the right choices, and so experience the blessing of God. Pharaoh chose not to trust God, and his disobedience resulted in personal tragedy for himself and national tragedy for Egypt, which he led.
Moses, on the other hand, was also a strong, wise leader, but he acted by faith rather than by sight—eventually (Heb. 11:27). God's method of dealing with him, in Exodus, was the same as His method of dealing with Pharaoh. That is, He gave Moses opportunities to make the right choices, and so experience God's blessing. Moses chose to trust and obey God, and his life is a story of personal triumph and national triumph for Israel, which he led.
In both cases, God patiently worked with these representative individuals, and gently encouraged them to do His will. Moses developed into a noble character, because he chose to submit to God's government, even though he was faulty, fearful, and failing. Pharaoh was a more "admirable" person in some worldly respects, but he sank into destruction, because he chose to refuse to submit to God's government (authoritative rule)."
11:9-10: "These two verses are considered by many commentators as redundant or misplaced. But they can easily be explained as a summary and epilogue of the Section of the Plagues.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.” Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh, and the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the people of Israel go out of his land.
"In the following section not only the course of events will change, but also the background and the dramatis personae. Till now the central theme was the negotiations conducted by Moses and Aaron on the one hand, and Pharaoh and his servants on the other, in Pharaoh's palace or its environs. But henceforth the principal hero of the drama will be the people of Israel in its totality, and the perspective will be enlarged. Moses and Aaron will no longer be sent to Pharaoh but to the Israelites, in order to prepare them for the exodus and to implement it; nor will they be enjoined again to perform acts for the purpose of bringing the plagues, for the last plague will take place of its own accord, through the instrumentality of the angel of the Lord. Since the episode about to be narrated represents a new theme, and one, moreover, of fundamental importance, it is desirable [sic] that before reading this account we should look back for a moment, and review generally the events that have taken place thus far, as well as the situation obtaining at the conclusion of those events. This review is provided for us in the verses under consideration."
The theological lesson that Pharaoh and the Egyptians were to learn from this plague, was that Yahweh would destroy the "gods" that the Egyptians' gods supposedly procreated (i.e., all their firstborn sons). Pharaoh was a supposed "god," and so was his firstborn son who would succeed him. The Egyptians attributed the power to procreate to various gods. Fertility was a "power" for which the Egyptians, as well as all ancient peoples, depended on their gods. By killing the firstborn, Yahweh was demonstrating His sovereignty once again. However, this plague had more far-reaching consequences, and was therefore more significant than all the previous plagues combined.
"Possibly no land in antiquity was more obsessed with death than Egypt. The real power of the priesthood lay in its alleged ability to guarantee the dead a safe passage to the 'Western World' under the benign rule of Osiris. This terrible visitation which defied and defies all rational explanation, showed that Yahweh was not only lord of the forces of nature, but also of life and death."
"… it is by means of the account of the last plague that the author is able to introduce into the Exodus narrative in a clear and precise way the notion of redemption from sin and death. The idea of salvation from slavery and deliverance from Egypt is manifest throughout the early chapters of Exodus. The idea of redemption and salvation from death, however, is the particular contribution of the last plague, especially as the last plague is worked into the narrative by the author. …
"By means of the last plague, then, the writer is able to bring the Exodus narratives into the larger framework of the whole Pentateuch and particularly that of the early chapters of Genesis. In the midst of the judgment of death, God provided a way of salvation for the promised seed (Ge 3:15). Like Enoch (5:22-24), Noah (6:9), and Lot (19:16-19), those who walk in God's way will be saved from death and destruction."
This tenth plague brought Yahweh's concentrated "education" of both the Egyptians and the Israelites to a climactic conclusion.
"In short, therefore, what were the essential purposes of these ten plagues? First of all, they were certainly designed to free the people of God. Second, they were a punishment upon Egypt for her portion in the long oppression of the Hebrews [cf. Gen. 15:13]. Third, they were designed to demonstrate the foolishness of idolatry. They were a supreme example both for the Egyptians and for Israel. It was by these that Jehovah revealed His uniqueness in a way that had never before been revealed (6:3; cf. 10:2). Finally, the plagues clearly demonstrated the awesome, sovereign power of God. In the Book of Genesis, God is described as the Creator of the heavens and the earth and all the laws of nature. In the Book of Exodus the exercise of that creative power is revealed as it leads to the accomplishment of divine goals. God's sovereignty is not only exercised over the forces of nature, but is also revealed against evil nations and their rulers."
"They [the plagues] touched every phase of nature: mineral, animal, vegetable, human. They affected persons and property, and included all, from the highest to the lowest."
"A few clues exist for determining the length of time between the first and last plagues. While no certain conclusion can be reached, the probable time is just under six months."
These plagues came upon Egypt when this nation was at the apex of its imperial supremacy, under Amenhotep II. Interestingly, several of the judgments in the Great Tribulation, especially the bowl judgments (Rev. 16), are similar to these plagues in Egypt. God will again do similar acts of judgment and demonstrate His sovereignty in the future, but on a worldwide scale.
The following catena of citations about Pharoah’s heart-hardening demonstrates that throughout the narrative, the point is always the confrontation between Moses as the Lord’s representative and the king, himself worshipped as a deity, as embodiment of Epypt and its pantheon. That is the only sense in which the plagues as an entire series were directed asgainst the gods of the land. The pagan gods are only mentioned in connection with the unique and climactic plague of the firstborn—the one which finally impacts the Pharaoh personally and prompts him to allow the Hebrews to depart at last.
And, as noted in the citations, the process of contfrontation with the king does not end with the people’s exit from Egypt. It continues with his subsequent pursuit of them, only now Moses no longer acts as mediator and the God of the Hebrews confronts Pharaoh directly—with the entirely predictable outcome of the king and his army being obliterated. As Dr. Constable says, it is all about being Pharoah being confronted with personal choices, in which he hardens his heart during each of the first five plagues, before the Lord progressively enhances that hardening through the final five plagues— before the issue is settled at last in the waters of the Red Sea.
From Bryce Self: Foreseen and told to Moses at the burning bush...
Exodus 3:19-20 (NKJV) But I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not even by a mighty hand. So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in its midst; and after that he will let you go.
Later dispatch of Moses from Midian to Egypt, hardening foretold again, emphasis on final plague of firstborn...
Exodus 4:21-23 (NKJV) And the LORD said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Israel is My son, My firstborn. 23 I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go, indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn.
Moses’ complains about initial rejection & added demands on Israel, focus is on Pharaoh (not the gods)…
Exodus 6:1 (NKJV) Then the LORD said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh. For with a strong hand he will let them go, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land.”
Aaron & Moses sent back again, knowing Pharaoh will say no, wonders upon the Egyptians (not their gods)… Exodus 7:3-5 (NKJV)
And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt. But Pharaoh will not heed you, so that I may lay My hand on Egypt and bring My armies and My people, the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the children of Israel from among them.”
At the initial sign of Aaron’s rod, Pharaoh hardens his heart, first plague is the consequence…
Exodus 7:13-15 (NKJV) And Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, as the LORD had said. So the LORD said to Moses: “Pharaoh’s heart is hard; he refuses to let the people go. Go to Pharaoh in the morning, when he goes out to the water, and you shall stand by the river’s bank to meet him…
First Plague - Water Turned to Blood, Pharaoh’s Response… Exodus 7:22-23 (NKJV)
Then the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments; and Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, as the LORD had said. And Pharaoh turned and went into his house. Neither was his heart moved by this.
Second Plague - Frogs, Relieved by Moses’ intercession, Pharaoh’s response…
Exodus 8:15 (NKJV) But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not heed them, as the LORD had said.
Third Plague - Lice, Magician’s failure, Pharaoh’s response…
Exodus 8:19 (NKJV) Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, just as the LORD had said.
(Note, this is the same “finger of God” Jesus says He exercised among the Jewish people in miracles that brought judgment on hardening hearts, see Luke 11:20)
Fourth Plague - Flies. Moses Intercedes again, Pharaoh hardens his heart again…
Exodus 8:31-32 (NKJV) And the LORD did according to the word of Moses; He removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people. Not one remained. 32 But Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also; neither would he let the people go.
Fifth Plague - Murrain, Cattle of only the Egyptians die, Pharaoh’s response… Exodus 9:7 (NKJV)
Then Pharaoh sent, and indeed, not even one of the livestock of the Israelites was dead. But the heart of Pharaoh became hard, and he did not let the people go.
Sixth Plague - Boils, Change from Pharaoh hardening his own heart to God doing it… Exodus 9:12 (NKJV) But the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh; and he did not heed them, just as the LORD had spoken to Moses.
Seventh Plague - Hail, Purpose statement for this judgment, relief to come as a sign to Pharaoh (not his gods), Pharaoh’s response to harden his heart yet more, and that is reinforced by God...
Exodus 9:16-17 (NKJV) But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth. As yet you exalt yourself against My people in that you will not let them go.
Exodus 9:29 (NKJV) So Moses said to him, “As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands to the LORD; the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, that you may know that the earth is the LORD’s.
Exodus 9:34-35 (NKJV) And when Pharaoh saw that the rain, the hail, and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet more; and he hardened his heart, he and his servants. So the heart of Pharaoh was hard; neither would he let the children of Israel go, as the LORD had spoken by Moses.
Eighth Plague - Locusts, God’s hardening Pharaoh in order to show His own power, relief again with Moses’ intercession, and God again hardens Pharaoh’s heart...
Exodus 10:1-2 (NKJV) Now the LORD said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his servants, that I may show these signs of Mine before him, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and your son’s son the mighty things I have done in Egypt, and My signs which I have done among them, that you may know that I am the LORD.”
Exodus 10:19-20 (NKJV) And the LORD turned a very strong west wind, which took the locusts away and blew them into the Red Sea. There remained not one locust in all the territory of Egypt. 20 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go.
Ninth Plague - Darkness, Third hardening by God alone, end of interviews and the series of only nine plagues (the Passover is not counted among the number of the plagues due to its special character)…
Exodus 10:27-29 (NKJV) But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let them go. Then Pharaoh said to him, “Get away from me! Take heed to yourself and see my face no more! For in the day you see my face you shall die!” So Moses said, “You have spoken well. I will never see your face again.”
The Unique & Separate Plague - death of the Egypt’s firstborn & Israel’s Passover, end of final interview, and summary statement of the entire process...
Exodus 11:1 (NKJV) And the LORD said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will surely drive you out of here altogether.
Exodus 11:8-10 (NKJV) Then he went out from Pharaoh in great anger. But the LORD said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not heed you, so that My wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.” So Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh; and the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go out of his land.
Instructions for the Passover, this is the ONLY statement of the intention of judgment on the gods of Egypt, and it is given to the ISRAELITES not to Pharaoh and the Egyptians — so the significance of the Egyptian deities being judged was as a demonstration to God's own people, not to the pagans…
Exodus 12:12-13 (NKJV) For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
Commemoration of the First Passover, and dedication of the Firstborn is instructed, specifically recalling Pharaoh’s hardness, with no mention of his gods or judgment on them…
Exodus 13:14-15 (NKJV) So it shall be, when your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is this?’ that you shall say to him, By strength of hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. And it came to pass, when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, that the LORD killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of beast.
Pharaoh’s hardening of heart continues BEYOND THE PLAGUES, his pursuit of Israel into the wilderness brought the final judgment of death upon him in the Red Sea with his army. HE was the god of Egypt being judged through it all, and now all his chief servants join him in hardness of heart...
Exodus 14:2-5 (NKJV) “Speak to the children of Israel, that they turn and camp before Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, opposite Baal Zephon; you shall camp before it by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are bewildered by the land; the wilderness has closed them in.’ Then I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, so that he will pursue them; and I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD.” And they did so. Now it was told the king of Egypt that the people had fled, and the heart of Pharaoh and his servants was turned against the people; and they said, “Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?
God hardens the hearts of the Egyptians (Pharaoh and his army) to destroy thenm in the sea, the Lord is glorified in their deaths )not over the gods of Egypt)…
Exodus 14:16-18 (NKJV) But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. And I indeed will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them. So I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, his chariots, and his horsemen. Then the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gained honor for Myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”
The result is for the Israelites to believe in God and His prophet Moses, and triumph over Pharoah and the Egyptian army (not Egypt’s Gods) is the gist of the Song of Moses and Miriam that follows…
Exodus 14:30-31 (NKJV) So the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Thus Israel saw the great work which the LORD had done in Egypt; so the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD and His servant Moses.
Exodus 15:1 (NKJV) Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the LORD, and spoke, saying:
“I will sing to the LORD,
For He has triumphed gloriously!
The horse and its rider
He has thrown into the sea!
And in the later narrative recounting, plus the Psalms, it is the victory over Pharaoh that is celebrated, not the gods of Egypt.
My friend of many years, Derek Gilbert, sent the following comments related to the above notes:
Your analysis here is right on. In fact, I referred to it for guidance when I analyzed the plagues of Egypt during my study before writing The Great Inception a few years ago and realized that the gods of Egypt during the sojourn, and for a couple of hundred years after the Exodus, were not exclusively Egyptian gods.
It is known by archaeologists that Semitic deities such as Baal, Qedesh (Astarte/Ishtar), and Resheph were venerated by pharaohs as late as Ramesses II, who erected the 400 Year Stela to honor his father, Seti I. The inscription shows Seti presenting an offering to Set, who is depicted in the form of the Syrian weather-god (i.e., human), not as the anteater-headed entity known from inscriptions carved about a thousand years later.
Douglas Petrovich authored a convincing paper more than a decade ago identifying Amenhotep II as the pharaoh of the Exodus. Amenhotep is known to have adopted Resheph, a plague-god and protector of chariot warriors, as his personal deity. I believe this is why God chose a series of plagues to compel Amenhotep to let Israel go. Furthermore, God directed Moses and Joshua to go to Mount Ebal and Mount Gerazim to set up an altar and proclaim His blessings and curses. Those hills overlook Shechem. A text from ancient Ebla reveals that Shechem was one of the cities sacred to Resheph. (Also, the oak of Moreh overlooks the city, where God appeared to Abram and where Jacob buried the teraphim Rachel stole from Laban.)
Also, the location of the Red Sea crossing, in front of Baal-zephon, is significant. Baal’s sacred mountain was Zaphon, near Antioch, and he was the patron deity of sailors due to his victory over the sea-god Yamm in their struggle for supremacy in the Amorite pantheon. Yahweh demonstrated His power over this lesser elohim in front of a place sacred to Baal, and by subduing, in spectacular fashion, what was supposed to be Baal’s domain.
I would suggest that the seventh plague was more supernatural than we’ve been taught. Fire was no doubt involved, but the account in Psalm 78 opens some fascinating speculation:
Psalm 78:48 He gave over their cattle to the hail and their flocks to thunderbolts. 49 He let loose on them his burning anger, wrath, indignation, and distress, a company of destroying angels. 50 He made a path for his anger; he did not spare them from death, but gave their lives over to the plague.The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ps 78:48–50). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
Coming Soon: Exodus Series by Bryce Self
Extra Credit: History of Disputes about the Exodus by Alan Montgomery
Towards a Biblically Inerrant Chronology, by Alan Montgomery
Other Papers by Alan Montgomery
We may have slipped into now the “the dispensation of the fullness of times.” More
“...In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.“ (Ephesians 1:7-10)
The Left Hand of God
Intervention from a Higher Power
When a Nation Dies
The Antichrist: Coming Leader of the World
The Management of the Universe
Glimpses of Jesus
The Face of God
The Near Future of Planet Earth
Times and Seasons
A Joint in Time
Lambert Dolphin's Place
January 28, 2021, January 30, 2021. February 5, 2021
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