Tag Archives: God’s Plagues

Exodus Chapters 6-10

Chapter 6

After Moses had brought his people’s latest complaint to God, God tells him that the pharaoh will not only let the Israelites go, but that he will force them to leave. (6:1)

God then tells Moses that he is God; that his name is Jehovah; that he made promises to his followers and that now he intends to keep them. (6:2-5)

Then God rehashes the story to this point about how he is God and will free his people with the help of Moses and Aaron, and how the pharaoh is being a douche. (6:6-13)

Abraham to Moses (1)Now that God has brought us up to date on his story a couple of times, we get a rundown on the family line of Moses from Jacob’s son Levi.  In this family tree we learn that Moses’ and Aaron’s Dad married his aunt, so Moses’ mom is also his great-aunt (6:14-26) I have included a diagram at right to illustrate the family line from Abraham to Moses.

Then the author rehashes the Exodus story to this point for the second time in one chapter. (6:27-30)

Chapter 7

This chapter begins by rehashing the Exodus story, in case we forgot after being told several times before including the two times in the last chapter. (7:1-7)  When the author finally starts on new material, God tells Moses that when the pharaoh asks for a miracle he is to tell Aaron to throw down Moses’ magic wand and it will turn into a snake. (7:8-9)  Why God decided to have Aaron do a magic trick when he had stated earlier that Moses would be doing all of them is never explained.

385px-Figures_The_Rods_of_Moses_and_the_Magicians_Turned_into_SerpentsSo Aaron does as instructed and sure enough, his wand turns into a snake.  The pharaoh has his court magicians turn their wands into snakes, but Aaron’s wand eats their wands. (7:10-12)

So God makes the pharaoh unwilling to cooperate, and then tells Moses that the pharaoh is unwilling to cooperate (7:13-14)

God tells Moses to meet the pharaoh down by the river the next day with Aaron’s magic wand.  When the pharaoh arrives Moses is supposed to tell the pharaoh that God has sent him to free his people and to prove it he is going to smack the river which will then turn into a river of blood which will stink and kill all of the fish. Then he is to give Aaron his wand back and have him do what Moses had just said that he was going to do. Which will cause all of the water in Egypt to turn into blood. This last part of the plan involving lying about who was going to smack the river is presumably meant to confuse the pharaoh. (7:15-19) Why God changed who was to talk and who was to do the magic tricks is not explained.

So, Moses and Aaron do things according to the revised plan.  The pharaoh’s magicians tried to reverse the spell, but were unable to do so, and as a result, the Egyptians and all their animals went without water in the desert for seven days. How they survived is not explained. The pharaoh still refuses to cooperate. (7:20-25)

800px-Plague_of_FrogsChapter 8

After the water returns to normal.  Moses asks the pharaoh to cooperate saying that if the pharaoh doesn’t he will cause a frog plague.  The pharaoh refuses again, so Moses has Aaron use his magic wand to cause frogs to come out of the river and swarm all over the place instead of doing it himself as he told the pharaoh he would.  The magicians join in on the fun and there are frogs everywhere. (8:1-7)

The pharaoh calls Moses in and says that if he will get rid of the frogs, his people will be free to go.  So, Moses tells God about the deal, and the next day God kills all of the frogs, which are then gathered up into big stinky piles of rotting amphibians.  Once the frogs are dead, the pharaoh decides to take back his offer, so God has Moses have Aaron turn all the dust in Egypt into lice which afflict the Egyptians.  The pharaoh’s magicians try to rid Egypt of the lice but can’t so they try to convince the pharaoh to cooperate, but he won’t. (8:8-19)

Tissot_The_Plague_of_FliesThe next day God has Moses tell the pharaoh that if he doesn’t cooperate that the following day God will send a plague of flies to bother everyone except for his own people. Which God then does without any help from Aaron’s magic wand. (8:20-24)

The pharaoh tells Moses that his people will be free to go do their sacrifices if they don’t go too far.  So, Moses has God get rid of the flies.  Once again, the pharaoh goes back on his word. No mention is made of the lice problem. (8:25-32)

Chapter 9

Since the pharaoh is still uncooperative, God has Moses tell him that if he doesn’t cooperate that all of his domestic animals will get a disease, but the Israelites’ animals won’t.  Then God plagues all of the Egyptian animals, which kills all of their cattle, but leaves the Israelite cattle alone. (9:1-6)

The pharaoh still refuses to cooperate, so God has Moses sprinkle ashes into the air which turns into magic dust that causes boils on everybody and all of the remaining animals.  The pharaoh’s magicians can’t do anything about the magic dust, and God makes the pharaoh refuse to cooperate. (9:7-12)

The next day Moses tells the pharaoh that God has done all of these horrible things as a way to show off so that everybody will know how special he is.  Moses then tells the pharaoh that if he doesn’t cooperate that God will send the worst hail storm that they have ever seen, and that the Egyptians should take all of their cattle which were dead from the previous plague, and other animals indoors before the storm, because anything left outside, man or animal, will die in the storm. (9:13-19)  Why God wanted the Egyptians to drag their dead cattle indoors is not explained.

The Egyptians who are scared of God drag their dead cattle, and their servants indoors.  The Egyptians who aren’t scared, leave their dead cattle and servants outside. (9:20-21)

Martin,_John_-_The_Seventh_Plague_-_1823Moses points his magic wand at the sky, and God causes hail and fire to rain down everywhere in Egypt except for Goshen. This hail/fire storm destroys crops, trees, and anyone/anything outside, including the already dead cattle. (9:22-26)

The pharaoh calls Moses and Aaron in, and he admits that he and his people have been naughty, but that this time, if God will stop the storm, he will let the Israelites go. Moses doesn’t believe the pharaoh but has God stop the storm anyway as a way for God to show off some more.  Sure enough, the pharaoh retracts his offer. (9:27-35)

Chapter 10

God admits to Moses that the pharaoh is refusing to cooperate, because he is making him do so as a way to show off so that his followers will be scared of him, then Moses and the pharaoh start their negotiations again. (10:1-3)

800px-Holman_The_Plague_of_LocustsMoses brings Locusts with his magic wand, then God sends them away and makes the pharaoh refuse to cooperate (10:4-20)  Then God has Moses makes the light go away for three days everywhere except for Israelite houses, then God makes the pharaoh refuse to cooperate again, and tell Moses to go away and not come back.  Moses says he won’t come back anymore. (10:21-29)

Next time: we get to see how God kills children, and babies then the Israelites head into the desert.

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Genesis Chapters 12-15

Genesis 12-15

In this post we follow Abram/Abraham and Lot around the Middle East, Witness God’s first plague, see Abraham the Liar in action, watch Lot’s and Abraham’s relationship change in the blink of an eye, see Abraham the Warlord in action, and discover that God can’t read a compass

Chapter 12

For the next few chapters of Genesis we follow the life of Abram or as he will be called later, Abraham.  At the beginning of this chapter we fade in on Abram as God tells him to take Sarai his wife, Lot his nephew, all their possessions and slaves, and leave Haran on a journey to Canaan, which Abram promptly does in 1963 BC at the age of 75 (Gen 12:1-5)

Abraham_Journeying_into_the_Land_of_CanaanSince we learned at the end of chapter 11 that Haran was in the land of Canaan, Abram and his posse basically journeyed from Canaan to Canaan, or to put it another way, they walked in a big circle. And settled on “the plain of Moreh (tree)” (Gen 12:6) in modern Day Israel, not to be confused with Moria which was not in Canaan, but rather in the Misty Mountains.

God appears to Abram by the tree, and gives him the land around it, Abram builds an altar, says “thanks” and heads south. (Gen 12:7-9)

Abram then finds out that there is a famine in the south, so he heads for Egypt. (Gen 12:10)

While on the way to Egypt, Abram tells Sarai that since she is so hot the Egyptians will kill him and take her if they think she’s his wife, so she should pretend to be his sister. (Gen 12:11-13)  Had the Egyptians known about Abram’s family’s history of incest, they would have killed him anyway thinking that sister would also mean wife.  Sure enough, when they get into Egypt, the Egyptians see the hottie with Abram and take her to the Pharaoh who gives Abram some animals and slaves for her while under the impression that she’s his sister but not wife. (Gen 12:14-16)  Apparently sisters were worth drought animals and slaves back then.  Abram seems to be OK with his wife living with the Pharaoh, after all he got new slaves and camels, but God doesn’t approve.

God sees what is going on and sends his very first plague down on the Pharaoh and his family (Gen 12:17) thus beginning God’s habit of hurting children to get his way. There is no mention by Egyptians of any plagues during Senusret 1’s reign, but they may have been embarrassed about the whole sister/wife mix up and told everybody in the Middle East who could write to ignore it.

Pharoah goes to Abram and asks him why he lied about Sarai being his sister, and thus getting him in trouble with the plague god, then tells Abram to take his hot wife, and all his stuff and leave.  Abram does as he’s asked and leaves along with all the new stuff he had gotten for pimping out his wife. (Gen:18-20)

Chapter 13

So, having been ejected from Egypt, Abram and his posse take all their stuff and go to Bethel. (Gen 13:1-4)  13:1 says that they headed south, but Bethel is north-east of Egypt in modern-day Israel.  So, either Abram circumnavigated the globe going south to north, the poles have changed since then, or the divinely inspired word of God or God himself has problems with a compass.  The latter would explain the whole walking in circles thing earlier.

It seems that Lot had been doing quite well for himself also, because we learn that Lot went along with Abram, but they each had so many sheep and goats, that the cowhands of the two of them started getting into fights.(Gen 13:5-7)

So Abram and Lot have a meeting to sort hings out.  Abram tells Lot that with all the land around them, that there shouldn’t be any reason to fight, and told Lot that he could pick half and Abram would take the other half. (Gen 13:8-9)

792px-Wenceslas_Hollar_-_Abraham_and_Lot_separating_(State_1)So, Lot looked around and decided that he liked the “plain of Jordan”, and headed east toward Jordan where the wicked city of Sodom was. (Gen 13:10-13)  Lot, it seems, could read a compass and went the right way.

After Lot left, God told Abram to stand in the place where he lived:  now face north, east, west, and south, and that all of the land he could see would belong to him and his descendants forever. (Gen 13:14-17)  So, having figured out a compass, Abram packed up and moved to Hebron which ironically, is in the land now called the West Bank or Palestinian territories, where he built another altar. (Gen 13:18)

Chapter 14

As it turns out, Lot hadn’t made a very good choice about where to live.  It seems that war was rampant in the area, and eventually Lot ended up being captured along with all of his stuff, by the kings who defeated the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah. (Gen 14: 1-12)

393px-Figures_014_Abram_Rescues_Lot,_the_Women,_and_GoodsOne guy escaped from the whole mess and went and told Abram what had happened. (Gen 14:13)  When Abram heard what had happened to Lot (who was now suddenly his brother, and not his nephew) he armed his servants and they went and smote the bad guys and rescued Lot and his lot, as well as the other people who had been captured in Sodom and Gomorrah. (Gen 14:14-16)

Why God had decided to make Lot, Abram’s brother is not explained.  It’s possible that he was trying to correct the mess with Lot’s uncle also being his brother-in-law.  Though this made it worse, because now his brother was also his brother-in-law.  Well, as the old saying goes: incest is best, put your sister to the test.

766px-Abraham_meets_Melchisedech_(San_Marco)So, when Abram got back from his smoteing trip, the King of Sodom who had been stuck in a slime pit since 14:10, came out to meet him.  He heaped a bunch of flattery on Abram and then said that he could keep the spoils looted from his kingdom, if Abram would just give his subjects back to him. (Gen 14:17-21)  Seems like a nice enough offer.

Abram got a little holier-than-thou with the king and said that he wouldn’t keep a dime of the spoils other than what his men had already eaten or taken, so that the king wouldn’t be able to say that Abram was rich because of him. (Gen 14:22-24)

Chapter 15

So, after the smoteing, God came to Abram in a dream and took credit for everything that Abram had accomplished.  Abram whined about not having any kids, and God promised him that he would eventually have lots of kids, and Abram took his word for it. (Gen 15:1-6)

Then Abram asked for another dream, so God told him to get a three-year old heifer, a three-year old “she goat”, a three-year old ram, a turtle-dove and a young pigeon as an offering (Gen 15:7-9)

380px-Figures_016_A_Deep_Sleep_Fell_Upon_Abram_and_a_Horror_Seized_HimSo Abram got the animals, cut the cow and goats in half, placed butchered animals side by side with the birds on top like cherries.  He kept the vultures off of the carcasses, and when it got dark fell asleep and had a nightmare. (Gen 15:10-12)

In his nightmare, God told Abram that his descendants would end up slaves for 400 years in a foreign land, but, with God’s help, would come out with “great substance”, and that Abram himself would die peacefully of old age. Then, four generations after Abram dies, his descendants would come back to the land he was in and win a war with the Amorites who would by then deserve it. (Gen 15:13-17)

The same day, God gave Abram all the land between the Nile and the Euphrates. (Gen 15:18-21)  Apparently, nobody told the Egyptians about this, because there is no record of the Egyptians losing half their kingdom during the 12th Dynasty.  In fact it is one of the more stable periods in their history.  But, God’s divine authors seem to overlook reality quite a bit, so why be historically accurate at this point.

So, next time we continue on with the stories of Abraham when he starts having bastard children, he and his wife get name changes, guys start losing foreskin to the knife, and God spots sin in Sodom.  Sounds like a lot of fun, see you then.  Ron