Ten plagues of Egypt

Written by Felgr Pavel on .

The Lord sent ten plagues to Egypt before the Jews left it, the plagues should force the Pharaoh to release Israeli people. But the ruler didn't want to accept the unlimited power of the only God and he refused to release the elected people. The Pharaoh withdrew only after the tenth divine intervention, after his people went through many sufferings.

Moses was entrusted by the Lord with taking the Jews out of Egypt. The Lord wanted to save his people at any price, so he forced the Pharaoh to withdraw, when he sent ten plagues of Egypt down on his land – ten hard and merciless catastrophes. The scientists can't agree on who was the ruler at this time – some theories say it was Ramesses III, Merenptah or Seti I. The most likely theory is that Merenptah was the Pharaoh.

Plague of blood Ten plagues of Egypt – Plague of blood "Moses and Aaron did what they were told by the Lord. Aaron raised the staff and struck the water of the Nile in front of Pharaoh's eyes and his servants and it changed into blood. The fish died and the Nile began to stink and the Egyptians were not able to drink the Nile water. And blood was all over the Egypt." (Ex 7,20 and 21)

The water in Nile wasn't drinkable and the fish were dying for seven days. The catastrophe also struck brooks and still water, but the Pharaoh stayed impassive.
Plague of frogs Ten plagues of Egypt – Plague of frogs "Aaron raised his arm above the Egyptian water and frogs came out till they cover the land of Egypt." (Ex 8,2)

The frogs reproduced quickly, came out of Nile and other watercourses, flooded the dwellings of people. The Pharaoh asked Moses to intervene. The frogs perished, but their dead bodies raked togehter on piles flooded the air with smell. The Pharaoh figured, that Moses didn't fulfil his task and refused again to let the Jews go.
Plague of lice Ten plagues of Egypt - Plague of lice "All the dust throughout the land of Egypt became lice." (Ex 8,13)

The prophets of the Pharaoh were helpless and told the Pharaoh, that "it was the finger of God" (Ex 8,15). But he didn't listen to them.
Plague of flies Ten plagues of Egypt – Plague of flies "Intrusive flies got into the house of the Pharaoh, house of his servants and to the whole Egypt." (Ex 8,20)

The Pharaoh tried to negotiate with Moses, but the Pharaoh didn't release the sons of Israel this time as well. This fourth plague could be also credited to horseflies or small flies.
Plague of pestilence Ten plagues of Egypt – Plague of pestilence "The Lord told Moses: Go in front of the Pharaoh and tell him: the Lord, the Hebrew God says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me! If you refuse to let them go and continue to hold them back, the hand of the Lord will bring a terrible plague on your livestock in the field - on your horses and donkeys and camels and on your cattle and sheep and goats." (Ex 9,1-3)

And so was done... Furious Pharaoh ordered an investigation and found out, that Israeli herds stayed untouched. But he didn't retreat again. Pestilence was a usual disease, when there was little water in Nile.
Plague of boils Ten plagues of Egypt – Plague of boils "The Lord told Moses and Aaron: Take two handfuls of soot from a furnace and Moses will scatter it skyward in Pharaoh's presence. It will became powdering spread all over Egypt, which will induce festering eruptions on Egyptian man and livestock." (Ex 9,8 and 9)

The Egyptian sorcerers were afflicted along with everyone else, and were unable to heal themselves, much less the rest of Egypt. But the Pharaoh refused to release the Hebrews again.
Plague of hail Ten plagues of Egypt – Plague of hail "When Moses raised his staff to the sky, the Lord sent thunder and hail. Fire fell down on the ground. So the Lord sent the hailstorm on the land of Egypt. A hailstorm came and fire blazed in the middle of the hail. It was the worst hailstorm that has ever fallen on Egypt, from the day it was founded till now. The hail bruised all in fields in Egypt, people as well as livestock; the hail also bruised all field herbs and broke all trees in fields." (Ex 9,23-25)

Many people and animals died, the crop was ruined... The Pharaoh did public penitence for the sake of apperance this time. "I sinned again. The Lord is fair and me and my people as well were arbitrary," he told to Moses (Ex 9,27). As well as the hail left off, the Pharaoh hardened and didn't let the Hebrews go.
Plague of locusts Ten plagues of Egypt – Plague of locusts "The locusts arrived to Egypt, cover the whole land and there were so many of them than ever before of after. They cover the face of the ground so that it cannot be seen and they devoured herbs and fruit what were left after the hail, including every tree that was growing in the fields. Nothing green was left on trees of field herbs in the whole Egypt." (Ex 10,14 and 15).

The Pharaoh's servants asked him to release the Hebrews. "Release the men to serve the Lord, their God. Don't you realize that a downfall menace the Egypt?" The Pharaoh admit again sinning against the Lord in front of Moses, but he refused to submit, when he realized that the locusts were carried away by strong west wind to the Reed Sea (that surely means the Red Sea).
Plague of darkness Ten plagues of Egypt – Plague of darkness "A total darkness covered all Egypt for three days. No one could see anyone else or leave his place for three days." (Ex 10,22 and 23).

The Pharaoh finally decided to agree with Hebrews leaving, when he saw that whole land was paralysed. But they weren't allowed to take their sheep and cattle with them, so Moses refused and the Pharaoh expelled him.
Death of the firstborn Ten plagues of Egypt – Death of the firstborn "Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the slave girl, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well." (Ex 11,5).

The Israelites had to mark their doorposts on every door with bunch of Hyssop (perennial bush with blue blossoms) dipped into lamb's blood. They were also ordered to be prepared for leaving. The Lord massacred all firstborn about midnight then. The Pharaoh called Moses to him and withdrew finally. The Israelites set out to Sinai and to the Promised Land Canaan. Stubborn Pharaoh sent his soldieries to pursue them, but they escaped thanks to the intervention of the God, who let part the Red Sea water. The Pharaoh himself died there during their pursuing . Jews' exodus from Egypt is described on another website.


Message from the Nile

  • History of Czech institution of egyptology

    The Czech egyptology founder is Frantisek Lexa, the author of up to now evaluated work about ancient Egypt magic and Demotic grammar. Seminar for egyptology started thanks to him in Faculty of Philosophy and Arts of Charles University in Prague in 1925. Two years later Lexa became the first regular professor of egyptology in then Czechoslovakia.

  • Abusir - outstation of Czech egyptology expedition

    Abusir is an archaeological locality in Egypt named after nearby recent village Abusir. It is situated on western Nile bank on the edge of Libyan tableland approximately 20 kilometers to the south-west of Cairo. The name of this locality is derived from ancient Egypt god Osiris, from Per Usir (Busiris), "(cult) place of Osiris" (Busiris in Greek).

  • Researches in Western desert

    Czech egyptology is successful in researching not only on pyramidal fields in Abusir recently, but also in supporting and organizing smaller expeditions into egyptian Western desert. Czech expedition has been working even in slowly evanescent oasis El-Hajez since 2003, which is situated about 400 km to the south-west from Cairo.

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