The Purpose of the Plagues – Part 2

June 15, 2011

Doctrine, Exodus, God, Scripture, Sin


In the previous post I addressed the first four plagues and how God used them to expose the reality of the false gods of Egypt. In doing so He exalted Himself above all other gods in a effort to draw all men, including the Egyptians, to Himself. This same pattern holds true as we look at the next four plagues.

Exodus 9:1-7: Death of the Egyptian’s cattle

Many of the deities of Egypt were represented by, or at least had the heads of, various livestock animals such as cows, bulls, and goats. Other idols such as Apis, a bull god, were direct deities of livestock. Idolatry of bulls in particular was so prevalent that the sacred bull of Heliopolis, Mnevis, was mummified and mourned across the country as if it were a beloved ruler upon its death. After the mourning period was over, a new sacred bull was chosen as the re-incarnation of Mnevis based upon unique markings on the hide. Bulls would be inspected across the country and the search would not stop until a suitable replacement was found.  By sending a pestilence among the Egyptian’s livestock, the Lord directly attacked each and every deity that was represented by a livestock animal. The death of these animals clearly placed these false gods in subjugation to the God of Israel.

Idols confronted: Apis, Mnevis, Hathor, Bat, Bata, Heryshaf, Banebdjedet

Exodus 9:8-17: Boils

The plague of boils was medically unique in that it affected both man and beast. The boils themselves were so severe that they completely incapacitated those who were suffering with them. Exodus 9:11 states that Pharaoh’s magicians could not stand before Moses because of the affliction of the boils. This would have been exceptionally damaging to the reputation of Imhotep, the Egyptian god of healing. The boils were also on all of the livestock which would have been yet another blow to the many idols associated with the worship of animals. Finally, the boils affected Pharaoh himself. Pharaoh was viewed as a descendent of the gods and was deified after death. To a certain extent, deific qualities were often attributed to Pharaohs even in life. The plague of boils not only attacked the deity of Pharaoh, it brought into question the power of Bastet, Sekhmet, and the many other false gods who were said to be the protectors of Pharaoh.

Idols confronted: All livestock deities, Imhotep, Bastet, Sekhmet, Horus, Nekhbet, Nephthys

Exodus 9:18-35: Plague of hail

God displayed His power in an undeniable fashion during the plague of hail. From a meteorological standpoint, this weather phenomenon would have been unheard of in a region that normally averages only a few inches of rainfall annually. Any livestock that had survived the pestilence and the boils but was left out in the hail would have been killed, bringing to attention yet again the Lords supremacy over the animal worship of the Egyptians. Crops were destroyed and any people caught in the hail were killed as well. During all of this, prayers to Nut, a very powerful deity of the sky, and Set, the god of storms went unanswered.

Idols confronted: All livestock deities, Nut, Set, Maahes, Neper, Tefnut

Exodus 10:1-20: Plague of Locusts

Whatever plants and crops were left to the Egyptians after the hail, were completely destroyed by the plague of locusts. Although the crop devastation due to the hail would have already caused some doubts as to the authority of the Egyptian deities assigned to the protection of crops, God directly confronts these idols with the plague of locusts. Where was Neper, the god of grain? What about Ash the god of the vineyards? Surely Geb, the god of the earth, must have been concerned when the produce of his domain was obliterated…right? All are impotent before the Lord.

Idols confronted: Neper, Geb, Ash

To Part 3 —>

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About Brandon Cantello

Husband to Nicole, Lover of God, Dependent on the Spirit, Passion for His Church. My name is Brandon. I love Jesus. For more visit My Blog

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Purpose of the Plagues – Part 1 | Brandon Cantello - June 15, 2011

    […] To Part 2 —> […]

  2. The Purpose of the Plagues – Part 3 | Brandon Cantello - June 17, 2011

    […] series on how God confronts idols so that He might be exalted high above false gods. In Part 1 and Part 2 I discussed how God directly confronts the idols of Egypt via plagues 1 through 8. Through plagues […]

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