Click here to read Exodus 7:1-10:29

Today’s passage is one of the most well known stories in the Bible—the first 9 signs and wonders that God performs on Egypt.  More commonly these are referred to as plagues (and they certainly are), but I’ve chosen to use “signs” in the title because it focuses on the reason God performed them rather than simply the afflictions caused.  That and because God introduces them to Moses as “miraculous signs and wonders.”

Before any of the plagues begin, before Moses and Aaron even talk to Pharaoh for a second time, God explains what will happen and why.  He reveals that the plagues are a judgment on Egypt and that He will deliver Israel from Egypt’s oppression.  And even more important is that God states that the signs and wonders will be a demonstration to Egypt so that they will know that He is God.

The signs/plagues have a power to them not just because they show God is powerful (He is) and that the plagues are terrible (they are), but because each plague demonstrates how God is better and more powerful than an important part of the Egyptian culture and religion.  (To see what this means for each specific plague, please see the chart in the Interesting Fact section).  And even though the Egyptian magicians are able to duplicate the plagues on a smaller scale, they quickly realize God’s superiority when only He is able to remove them. God also shows them that the people of Israel are His chosen people when the plagues begin to only afflict the Egyptians (flies, livestock, hail, and darkness).

And what’s more is that through these plagues the people of Israel are reminded of God’s superiority, power, and that they are His people.  This will also serve as a future reminder to Israel as they recount the stories of how God punished Egypt and delivered Israel from her oppression.  The result of these plagues is that everyone involved will know who God is and who He chosen people are.

Tomorrow we will read about the final plague and the institution of the Jewish holiday of Passover.

Names Places
Major  

God – God

Moses – baby drawn from water and saved

Pharaoh – ruler of Egypt

Aaron – Moses’ brother, a Levite

Major 

Egypt – where the sons of Jacob/Israel lived

Nile – sacred river of Egypt

Goshen – region of Egypt where the Israelites lived

Minor

Egyptians

 

Egyptian wise men, sorcerers and magicians

Pharaoh’s officials

Israelites

Minor  

Red Sea – where the locusts ended up

Interesting facts:

The Egyptians had their own set of gods and they believed that these gods were in control of every aspect of their life.  Through the plagues on Egypt God shows that He is superior to these gods—specifically targeting gods and sacred things that would have been of major importance to the Egyptian religion.  The chart below is taken from the Bible Knowledge Commentary and does a very nice job of organizing all of the information of how these correlations work!

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