Day 159: Exodus 9:13–16
13 And the Lord said unto Moses, “Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me”.
14 “For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that THERE is none like Me in all the earth.”
15 “For now I will stretch out My Hand, that I may smite thee with pestilence; and thou shall be cut off from the earth.”
16 “And in the very deed for this CAUSE have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee My power; and that My Name will be declared throughout all the earth.”
Jacob had moved his family to Egypt while a seven year drought was going on in Canaan, now Israel. The king of Egypt welcomed them because Jacob’s son, Joseph (whom his brothers sold as a slave into Egypt) was favored by this king. The descendants of Jacob lived there for 430 years in peace, until a new king turned them into slaves. God sends Moses to free them, but this ‘Pharaoh’ has a hardened heart and refuses to let them go.
Because of his hardened and controlling heart, God releases ten plagues on Egypt, killing crops, herds, and families. The Egyptians consider their king a god; the son of Ra, a powerful sun god. The drought ends, but Jacob’s family doesn’t leave, even though Jacob and his 12 sons have died. There are so many descendants that the king is concerned with the immigrants taking over, so he tries to break them down with cruel and hard labor. He hopes this will slow down the birth rate — population control, which doesn’t work.
Next he tries genocide, ordering midwives to kill all newborn boys, but they refuse to do it (prolifers?). So, the “final solution” (where have we heard those words before?) is for the Egyptians to show ‘patriotism’ by throwing any Israelite’s baby boys into the Nile river. Clean and simple, no funeral and no clean-up. Is all the killing and destruction we are seeing right now a supposedly false sense of ‘patriotism’? Let’s kill all the black people, let’s kill all the white people, let’s kill all the cops? Where does this end? Because children are being killed, yet where is the whole world’s outcry of that?
I see this being played out, today, but the plagues are somewhat different, though not all. I see planet earth as Egypt, and I see the Pharaoh as the powers that be, at least some think they are, in the same stubborn and hardened way, causing all of us to suffer under it’s rule. God takes care of His own.
The ten plagues actually follow a cycle of natural disasters, each one triggering the next one.
The ten plagues were:
- The Nile River turns to blood. Chapter 7:17–18 The scientific explanation could be this; Red Tide algae turns water red and kills fish by releasing toxins that paralyze the fish. More than 21 million fish have died off the Texas coast in 1998–99 in a modern day replay. While this typically happens at sea, it can occur where the rivers meet the sea. The Nile starts in central Africa.
- “If you refuse to let them go, I will send a plague of frogs across your entire land.” Chapter 8:2–3 Fish eat frog eggs, but without fish, the frog eggs hatch lots of frogs. But, the frogs leave the toxic river and move to the land. Communities are typically built along the coasts. The frogs infested their homes but they were most likely poisoned, as well, and they die off.
- And still he would not let them go, so God sent insects (lice) Chapter 8:16.
- And swarms of flies Chapter 8:21–22. The Stable fly can lay hundreds of eggs in decaying substances — like dead frogs. They look like house flies that has a piercing bite (deer flies, maybe?), feeds on blood, and can transmit many diseases.
- Chapter 9:3 claims the livestock with a grievous ‘murrain’, but it did not affect the livestock of the Children of Israel. Murrain is an ancient word that translates as ‘death’, and spreads quickly from animal to animal. There could be several causes, distemper, virus, etc. Because it came after the swarm of flies, it could have been caused by epizootic, whose germs were carried by the insects, like rinderpest, Anthrax could be another possibility, or bluetongue virus.
- Pharaoh, this stubborn king… just wouldn’t listen to God — fool. So, in Chapter 9:8–11 boils appeared. This could have been from Anthrax, or the Stable flies. If the people ate the infected livestock (mad cow disease?), they would become sick, and die. Glanders is a bacterial infection that can produce boils — burning pus-filled blisters.
- Stubborn Pharaoh still thought he had more power than God. God will always keep giving us chances to do the right thing, but when we DON’T, consequences follow, and innocent people get hurt. SO, the next plague was hail. Hail and fire (probably very destructive lightening causing fires) causing destruction to trees, plants, crops, etc. Chapters 9:23–25. Pharaoh pleaded for Moses to call on God to stop the destruction, and Moses did. God stopped the storm, and Pharaoh, being the bad boy that he was and STILL thinking he would get away with his false power, was hit again. So much for the son of Ra…
- To destroy what was left of any crops, swarms of locusts appeared. Millions have descended upon North Africa in 2004, and I do believe East Africa is being swarmed by them now, as I speak. They can multiply so quickly that they can stay in an area for years, or until the food is gone. A wind can carry a swarm for miles and miles. Chapter 10:13–15. Pharaoh, again begged Moses to have God call off the locusts, which He did. He created a huge wind that swept everyone of them into the sea.
- Pharaoh, being ‘Pharaoh’ AGAIN thought he could smite God. What a fool this man is. Consequences happen when you just won’t listen to God, as we can clearly see in our own world, today. Chapter 10:21–23 darkness swept over the land of Egypt for three days, except the Children of Israel had light in their dwellings. The Egyptians call a hot spring wind, Khamsin, that can blast the Sahara Desert. The air fills with sand from this strong wind, and it can block the sun for days. My guess is you would have a hard time breathing this in, also. Which may bring us to the last plague…
- This last plague is not necessarily from natural causes, but it DID finally change Pharaoh’s heart, not from kindness but from just wanting to get rid of the Children of Israel. He had finally had enough and knew the Power of God, and that God does exactly what He says He will do. He will ALWAYS win. Make no mistake. The last plague was the death of the first born sons of the Egyptians and the first born of the animals. A theory about the first born sons dying is that it was common place for the first born to get double portions of food. It is possible the remaining food may have been tainted from the above mentioned plagues. Doesn’t explain the animals, though, unless they simply killed them to eat meat. Who really knows why, other than God said He would do so. Chapter 11:5–6.
When the Children of Israel were finally freed of Egyptian rule, God said to Moses in Chapter 12:2, “This month shall be unto you the beginning of the months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.”
The Jewish calendar begins with Creation, and does not follow the Julian calendar (Julius Caesar). Julius Caesar ordered a calendar of twelve months about 45 B.C., based on a solar year. The Hebrew calendar is at 5780–81 for our current year of 2020. They are expecting the Messiah (Jesus Second Coming, to Christians) in their year of 6000. That’s still over 200 years away…I hope it’s sooner, so that our world can enter the 1000 year’s of peace.