A-Z: Famous stories from the Bible: The plagues

Definition

Moses returned to Egypt and asked Pharaoh to let the Moses speaks to PharaohIsraelites go into the desert to worship God. But Pharaoh refused. To keep the slaves under control, he ordered that they should make the same number of bricks each day for his building projects as previously, yet also had to gather their own straw from which to make the bricks. The Israelite foremen were furious with Moses: they now had even more work to do.

God said to Moses,

‘Tell the people that I will rescue them!’

Then God sent a series of plagues on the Egyptians to persuade them to let his people go.

  • First, God turned all the water in Egypt into blood
  • Then swarms of frogs covered the land
  • Next, gnats filled the air
  • Flies settled everywhere
  • The Egyptians’ livestock died – but no Israelite animal
  • Boils erupted on the Egyptians’ bodies
  • Hail flattened the crops
  • Then locusts ate all that was left
  • Darkness covered the Egyptians – but the Israelites enjoyed normal daylight.

Several times, Pharaoh said the Israelites could go, but each time he refused once the plague was over.

So God sent the final plague. 

The story illustrates:

  • The belief that God is omnipotent, able to use natural forces to speak to human beings
  • God’s willingness to give Pharaoh many chances to obey him.

Bible References

Exodus 5:1-23, Exodus 6:1-30, Exodus 7:1-24, Exodus 8:1-32, Exodus 9:1-35
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