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. (Exodus 12:12-13)
Why did God send the ten plagues to Egypt?
In the Contemporary English Version of Exodus 12:12,
it was clearly written:
By attacking the gods of Egypt, God broke the
spiritual powers and principalities over the land of Egypt, which
were established by the Egyptian gods. These ten plagues also
dethroned Pharaoh, who was claimed to be the divine king bearing the
name "Son of Ra."
Pharaoh's arrogance in questioning God: "Who
is the LORD, that I should heed His voice" (Exodus 5:2) - was
answered by the very "hand of God," an idiom meaning in ancient
Egyptian language, "a plague."
In fact, the magicians said to Pharaoh, "This
is the finger of God." But Pharaoh's heart was hard and he would not
listen, just as the LORD had said. (Exodus 8:19)
the god of River
the toad goddess,
the god of the
the god of insects,
the bull god, Apis
the god of medicine,
7. Hail & Fire
the sky goddess, Nut
the god of the
the sun god, Ra
10. Death of
The First Plague: Blood (Exodus 7:14-24)
This was an attack on Hapi, the father of
the gods, who was the god of the Nile. The Nile's waters
nourished the land, and determined the welfare of all the
people. Hapi was worshipped as the one who brought water to all
Egypt for life. He was responsible for watering the meadows, and
for bringing the dew. But most importantly, he brought floods
through the rising of the Nile. As a fertility god, he was
associated with Osiris.
The Nile was considered the link from this
life to the next. The waters of the Nile was considered the
blood of Osiris. The Egyptians thirsted after blood when they
slaughtered the Hebrews children, and now God gave them blood to
Now the source that brought the Egyptians
life brought death instead. The Egyptians worshipped their
sacred river. But when its waters turned to blood, the Egyptians
became terrified. This first plague caused them much confusion.
It also brought great shame to their god, Hapi. Other deities
connected with the Nile were Amon, and Khnum who was the
guardian of the Nile.
Second Plague: Frogs (Exodus 8:1-15)
This was a direct attack on Heka, the toad
goddess, the wife of Khnum. She had the head of a toad. She was
the goddess of the land, and was also the goddess of the
resurrection and procreative power.
Frogs were consecrated to Osiris, and were
the symbol of inspiration. As frogs came out of the sacred Nile,
they were being worshipped. They were held as sacred objects in
Egypt, much like cows in India today. They could not be killed
or interfered with. This was a real problem for the Egyptians.
If someone killed a frog, even unintentionally, the person was
punishable by death.
The Third Plague: Lice (Exodus
This was an attack on Geb, the god of the
earth or vegetation, as well as the guide to heaven. He was the
father of Osiris, and was married to Nut, who was the goddess of
the daytime sky, a place where the clouds were formed.
When the dust of the earth became lice, it
brought great embarrassment to those Egyptians who gave
offerings or paid tribute to their god of the earth.
The Fourth Plague: Flies (Exodus
This was an attack on Khepfi, the god of
insects and dung beetles. These dung beetles were called
scarabs. They were symbols of Amon-Ra, who had the head of a
dung beetle. He was therefore called "lord of the flies - prince
of dung." These swarms of scarabs were again sacred to the
Egyptians, and were not to be interfered with.
The scarabs (representing the lust of the
eyes) became an embarrassment to the Egyptians as they watched
them chewing and destroying everything they had worked for.
These hungry insects couldn't be satisfied.
The Fifth Plague: Livestock (Exodus 9:1-7)
This was an attack on Apis, who was the bull god.
He was the god of fertility, and his counterpart, the cow-headed
goddess Hathor was the goddess of love, happiness, dance, music
and protector of women.
The Egyptians held many beasts as their idols of
worship. The lion, wolf, dog, cat and ape were sacred to them.
They especially held the bull as well as the goat, ram and cow
as very sacred since the souls of their gods were believed to
reside in these animals. The soul of their god Osiris was
believed to reside in the body of the bull, Apis.
These animals and livestock were beasts of burdens. The plague
was a contagious disease upon them. This indicated that God was
against their soulish and burdensome acts, the lust of the
Sixth Plague: Boils (Exodus 9:8-12)
This was an attack on Thoth, the god of
medicine and wisdom.
The Egyptians had several medical deities,
to whom, on special occasions, they sacrificed humans. They were
burnt alive on a high altar, and their ashes were cast into the
air. With every scattered ash, a blessing might descend upon the
But Moses took ashes from the furnace, and
cast them into the air. The ashes were scattered by the wind
descending upon all the priests, people, and beasts as boils,
thus shaming their god Thoth.
Instead of blessings, they received boils.
Instead of being wise, they were actually fools in the sight of
God. Their pride of life was shattered.
Seventh Plague: Hail And Fire (Exodus 9:13-35)
This was an attack on Nut, who was the sky
goddess. She was the one who gave the Egyptians their harvest
time, the time of plenty.
God attacked and destroyed her crops, the
same way He did to her husband, Geb. She was the mother of
Osiris. Thus, this was also an attack on Isis, the goddess of
life, and Seth, the protector of crops.
This plague was also against the Egyptian
god Shu, who was the god of the wind, storm and violence from
the sky or any natural phenomenon. He held the ladder to heaven.
This was a battle between gods and God!
The One Who answered by fire is God!
"Then you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the
name of the LORD; and the God Who answers by fire, He is God."
(1 Kings 18:24)
Eighth Plague: Locusts (Exodus 10:1-20)
This was an attack on Anubis, who was the
god of the fields, especially cemeteries. This plague finished
up the work that was done by the hail and fire. They devoured
every herb of the land and fruit of the trees.
Again, this plague was an attack on Isis,
the protector against locusts, and Seth, the protector of crops.
"Where, O death, is your
victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" (1 Corinthians
Ninth Plague: Darkness (Exodus 10:21-29)
This was an attack on Ra, the sun god.
Darkness was considered a creation of Seth, the evil principle
destroyer of Osiris. This plague would seem to the Egyptians
that Ra, their sun god, was dead; and that Seth had killed him.
This plague was so terrible that the
darkness could actually be felt! While the Egyptians were
suffering darkness, the Israelites were enjoying light.
Ra was believed to be the physical father
of all Pharaohs. And Pharaoh was the king of all gods.
Tenth Plague: Death Of The Firstborn (Exodus 11, 12)
This was an attack on Pharaoh, who was the
god-king. Pharaoh was considered a god, and so was his firstborn
son, who would succeed him on the throne.
In fact, first-born people and animals
were often worshipped. Pharaoh was considered an incarnation of
Ra, the sun god, and Osiris, the giver of life. Because
Pharaoh's son was considered a god, a god of Egypt actually
In this last plague, God humbled the
Egyptians for the cruel ways that they had treated His people.
The Egyptians had enslaved the Jews, and had murdered their male
children, their firstborns.
God stroke back with an awful vengeance. His
righteous anger was made known upon every house that was not covered
with the blood of the lamb. When God saw the blood on the doorpost,
He passed over.
you ever wondered why God destroyed the gods of Egypt? I believe
that God, besides delivering His people, also desires the Egyptians
to believe in Him, and be called His people too. This is clearly
day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land
of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD at its border. And it
will be for a sign and for a witness to the LORD of hosts in the
land of Egypt; for they will cry to the LORD because of the
oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Mighty One, and
He will deliver them.
LORD will be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the
LORD in that day, and will make sacrifice and offering; yes,
they will make a vow to the LORD and perform it. And the LORD
will strike Egypt, He will strike and heal it; they will return
to the LORD, and He will be entreated by them and heal them.
In that day
there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian
will come into Egypt and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the
Egyptians will serve with the Assyrians.
In that day
Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria--a blessing
in the midst of the land, whom the LORD of hosts shall bless,
saying, "Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work
of My hands, and Israel My inheritance."