Posts Tagged ‘plagues on Egypt’

Parashah 15: Bo (Go)

Exodus 10:1-13:16

“Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Go to Pharaoh, for I have made him and his servants hardhearted, so that I can demonstrate these signs of mine among them, so that you can tell your son and grandson about what I did to Egypt and about my signs that I demonstrated among them, and so that you will all know that I am Adonai.’ Moshe and Aharon went in to Pharaoh and said to him, ‘Here is what Adonai, God of the Hebrews, says: How much longer will you refuse to submit to me? Let my people go, so that they can worship me’” (Exodus 10:1-3).

This parashah is entitled Bo.  In Hebrew, bo has two meanings: ‘Go’ and ‘Come.’  As Adonai continues to judge Egypt, He is bringing Pharaoh to the point where he tells the Hebrews to ‘Go’ while also preparing the Israelites to ‘Come’ to Him.   This parashah describes the last three judgments on Egypt and ends with Passover.

Locusts, Locusts, Locusts – Plague 8

“Moshe and Aharon went into Pharaoh and said to him, ‘Here is what Adonai God of the Hebrews says, How much longer will you refuse to submit to me?  Let my people go, so that they can worship me.  Otherwise, if you refuse to let my people go, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your territory.  One won’t be able to see the ground, so completely will the locusts cover it.  They will eat anything that you still have that escaped the hail, including every tree you have growing in the field.  They will fill your houses and those of your servants and all the Egyptians’” (Exodus 10:3-6).

The judgment of the seventh plague is against three of Egypt’s gods: Set, Anubis, and Osiris. Set, the god of storms and disorder was depicted as an animal with a curved snout, long, rectangular ears, a forked tail, and dog-like body.  He held a scepter which set him apart as a ruler over Egypt, except that he had no power over the eastern wind that brought locusts and disorder to the land.

Anubis,  the jackal-headed god associated with death and embalming, weighed the heart of a deceased person using an ostrich feather to determine its place in the afterlife.  He also protected the fields.  Under his watch, every fruit tree along with its fruit was devoured.  His power had been quenched by ‘I Am.’   Anubis’ authority over the ‘heart’ of man was challenged by the ability of ‘I Am’ to harden Pharaoh’s heart.  Pharaoh’s servants, not Anubis, began to weigh their leader’s heart and found it lacking when it came to the lives of his people and his nation.

Osiris, the central figure in the ‘Order of the Morning Star,’ was the god of the afterlife, underworld, and the dead.  He was depicted with green skin, a beard, and legs partially wrapped like a mummy.   He wore a crown with two large ostrich feathers and held a crook and flail.  With no green thing left in Egypt, it became clear that Osiris had been defeated by ‘I Am.’ 

The day after the plague of hail and fire, Pharaoh learns that locusts will cover his land.  There will be so many locusts that they will eat what the hail and fire have not destroyed. They will fill the houses from Pharaoh’s palace to the poorest Egyptian.  With the prospect of this plague, Pharaoh’s servants begin to rebel against him.

“Let the people go and worship Adonai their God.  Don’t you understand yet that Egypt is being destroyed?” (Exodus 10:7)  

Pharaoh considers what his servants say and calls Moshe and Aaron.  He tells them they may go worship Adonai; however, he wants to know who is actually leaving with them.  Moshe explains that the Hebrews will take everyone, their young and old, their sons and daughters, and their flocks and herds.

Pharaoh’s response: “Adonai will certainly be with you if I ever let you go with your children.  It’s clear that you are up to no good. Nothing doing!  Just the men among you may go and worship Adonai” (Exodus 10:10-11).

The plague arrives by an east wind that blows on Egypt all day and night.  In the morning, the locusts invade more severely than ever before or would ever again.  They completely cover the ground so that it looks black.  They eat every plant growing from the ground and all the fruit on the trees left by hail.  Nothing green remains, not a tree nor a plant in the fields in the land of Egypt.

Pharaoh’s response: ”I have sinned against Adonai your God and against you.  Now, therefore, please forgive my sin just this once; and intercede with Adonai your God, so that he will at least take away from me this deadly plague!” (Exodus 10:17)

Pharaoh calls Moshe and Aaron and confesses he has sinned against Adonai. He asks Moshe to intercede for him as his gods have no power. ‘I Am’ reverses the wind and it blows from the west so forcefully that it drives the locusts into the Mediterranean Sea –– not one locust remained on Egyptian soil.

“But Adonai made Pharaoh hardhearted, and he didn’t let the people of Isra’el go” (Exodus 10:20).

Darkness, Darkness, Darkness – Plague 9

“Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Reach out your hand toward the sky, and there will be darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness so thick it can be felt!’” (Exodus 10:21)

The judgment of the eighth plague is against Ra, the Egyptian god of the sun. He was depicted as a man with the head of a hawk and had a sun disc or halo over his head with a coiled serpent. It is from Ra that catholicism puts halos or shooting rays of the sun on the heads of their saint-gods. Ra was worshiped by the Egyptians as the supreme creator.

Adonai proves the sun god is no match for the deep darkness in the souls of the Egyptians. They spend three days and three nights in the tomb of death’s abyss of darkness.

Pharaoh receives no warning for this judgment. As soon as Pharaoh’s heart is hardened, ‘I Am’ tells Moshe to reach out his hand to the sky.  A darkness that could be felt covers the entire land of Egypt for three days. It is so dark that the Egyptians couldn’t see anything. No one could go anywhere for three days.  In Goshen, however, all of the Hebrews had light in their homes.

Pharaoh’s response: “Go, worship Adonai, only leave your flocks and herds behind – take your children with you” (Exodus 10:24).

Pharaoh permits the Hebrews to leave and take their children with them; however, they must leave their flocks and herds behind.  This is not a sufficient response for Moshe who reminds Pharaoh that in order to worship Adonai they will need their animals for sacrifice.

Pharaoh responds prophetically, not realizing that his own words will return to him.

“But Adonai made Pharaoh hardhearted, and he would not let them go.  Pharaoh said to them, ‘Get away from me!  And you have better not see my face again, because the day you see my face, you will die!’” (Exodus 10:27-28)

Moshe answers: “Well spoken!  I will see your face no more!” (Exodus 10:29)

Death of the Firstborn – Plague 10

“Moshe said, ‘Here is what Adonai says: About midnight I will go out into Egypt, and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt will die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh sitting on his throne to the firstborn of the slave-girl at the hand mill, and all the firstborn of the livestock. There will be a horrendous wailing throughout all the land of Egypt — there has never been another like it, and there never will be again. But not even a dog’s growl will be heard against any of the people of Isra’el, neither against people nor against animals. In this way you will realize that Adonai distinguishes between Egyptians and Isra’el. All your servants will come down to me, will prostrate themselves before me and say, Get out! — You and all the people who follow you!’ and after that, I will go out!’ And he went out from Pharaoh in the heat of anger’” (Exodus 11:4-8)

The tenth and final judgment is against Pharaoh, the god-king of Egypt. He is given a prophetic warning about what is going to happen to his land, his people, and his own family. From the firstborn of Pharaoh to the firstborn of the slave girl to the firstborn of all the livestock, all the firstborn in Egypt will die.

To understand the seriousness of the final plague, it is important understand the hierarchy in Egypt. The firstborn had absolute power within the family unit. Pharaoh was the firstborn of a firstborn who was the firstborn of a firstborn and so on, and through this birthright, he came into power. The judgment against the firstborn was a judgment against a cultural system where the oldest ruled over the youngest and the lower class needed slaves to control and dominate.

Selah
Moshe leaves Pharaoh’s presence “hot with anger.”

The Destroyer

The focus switches from Pharaoh and Egypt to Adonai’s people.  Moshe and Aaron are no longer messengers to Pharaoh, but prophets to the Hebrews. Through them Adonai prepares His people for His Passover and their deliverance from Egypt. He begins by sanctifying time.

“You are to begin your calendar with this month; it will be the first month of the year for you” (Exodus 12:1).

Beginning with the new moon, Adonai’s calendar would begin. There are some who teach the timing of this new moon coincides with the barley being ripe or aviv; however, all of the barley had been destroyed in Egypt and would not have been a credible marker. Along with the moon, Elohim set the stars in the heavens to mark His mo’edim. As an agricultural community, the Hebrews would have understood the new month began with the first new moon when the proper spring constellations were in place. Once the new month was established, they could begin counting the days, sunset to sunset, until the tenth day of the month.

“Speak to all the assembly of Isra’el and say, ‘On the tenth day of this month, each man is to take a lamb or kid for his family, one per household — except that if the household is too small for a whole lamb or kid, then he and his next-door neighbor should share one, dividing it in proportion to the number of people eating it’” (Exodus 12:3-4).

Each family is to take a lamb from their flock and keep the animal until the fourteenth day of the month when the entire community will slaughter it at dusk. They are to take some of the blood and smear it with hyssop on the sides and top of the door frame at the entrance to the house where the family would eat the lamb. It is to be roasted in the fire and served with matzah (unleavened bread) and maror (bitter herbs). Nothing is to remain until morning; leftovers are to be burned up (Exodus 4:6-10).

ח

By smearing blood on the two sides of the door and the top of the door frame, they created the Hebrew letter chet. The Hebrew Word Picture is a ‘fence’ and symbolizes ‘protection in the inner chamber.’ Chet is also the first letter in the word chaim meaning ‘life.’

Hebrew Word Pictures
Life or chai – חי – chet, yod
– protect the finished work

“Sprinkle me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:9).

Hyssop, sometimes translated as oregano, is a Biblical herb that is part of the mint family. It is used for cleansing holy places and objects.  It comes from the Hebrew word ezob which means ‘holy herb.‘ Moshe uses hyssop to sprinkle the ‘blood of the covenant’ on the book of Torah (Exodus 24:8). Hyssop is used to bring vinegar to Yeshua’s mouth when he is on the cross (John 19:29). Today, hyssop grows wild between the stones on the Western Wall in Jerusalem. This same herb is used to spread the lamb’s blood on the doorposts and lintel of individual Hebrew homes, symbolizing a cleansing from all the filth and defilement they encountered while slaves in Egypt.

The Hebrews are also told how to eat the meal and what to wear. They are to have their belt fastened, shoes on their feet, and their staff in hand. They are to eat the meal quickly.

“For that night, I will pass through the land of Egypt and kill all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both men and animals, and I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt.  I am Adonai.  The blood will serve you as a sign marking the houses where you are; when I see the blood, I will pass over you–when I strike the land of Egypt, the death blow will not strike you” (Exodus 10:12-13).

In the movie, The Ten Commandments, the ‘angel of death‘ passes over Egypt.  However, Adonai is the one going to execute the judgment of death.  It won’t be an angel, but the Destroyer or mashkhit. This is not a person, but an attribute of Adonai’s power and the essence of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh. It is actually a verb form, not a noun, and means ‘that which causes destruction.’ Mashkhit is also used for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as well as in reference to the “lion who would destroy the nations” (Jeremiah 4:7). When the mashkhit sees the blood on the house, ‘that which causes destruction’ will pass over that house because it has the ‘fence’ of blood protection.

There are several reasons for Adonai’s Pesach. He wants to once and for all time judge the gods of Egypt and prove their impotence.   He wants to reveal His power over life and death to the Hebrews so they will trust Him as their Deliverer. And, He wants a memorial for their children who would ask questions about the meal and pass on His great deliverance to the next generation.

“When your children ask you, ‘What do you mean by this ceremony? Say, ‘It is the sacrifice of Adonai’s Pesach because Adonai passed over the houses of the people of Isra’el in Egypt, when he killed the Egyptians but spared our houses. The people bowed their heads and worshiped.  Then the people of Isra’el went and did as Adonai had commanded Moshe and Aaron–that is what they did” (Exodus 12:26-28). 

“On that day you are to tell your son, ‘It is because of what Adonai did for me when I left Egypt. Moreover it will serve as a sign on your hand and as a reminder between your eyes, so that Adonai’s Torah may be on your lips, because with a strong hand Adonai brought you out of Egypt.  Therefore, you are to observe this regulation at its proper time, year after year’” (Exodus 13:8-11).

The traditional Passover meal was developed to ensure the authenticity of the memorial celebration. Within the haggadah (Telling) booklet, a child asks four questions about the night and why it’s different from all other nights.  The father answers each question by explaining what Adonai did when He delivered their ancestors out of Egypt. Each of the items on the seder (Order) plate are a sensory reminder of the events for the eyes, nose, and mouth.

Adonai’s Pesach was about more than just delivering the Hebrews from a culture of death. It was about redemption, buying back His treasured possession from Egypt.  Though the sign of the blood kept the firstborn of the Hebrews alive, the Pesach ended the prophecy –– to the exact day –– given to Abraham of Elohim delivering his descendants from oppression and slavery and bringing them back to the Land of Promise.

At midnight on the 14th day of the month, by the light of the full moon, mashkhit kills all the firstborn of Egypt –– from the firstborn of Pharaoh to the firstborn of the prisoner in the dungeon to the firstborn of the livestock.  Pharaoh is awakened by horrendous wailing as every house in Egypt has a family member die, including Pharaoh’s firstborn son, his heir. Reeling from the cloud of death, the Egyptians want the Hebrews out of their land as quickly as possible.  They don’t want Adonai to kill them too.

Pharaoh’s response: “Bo.”

“Up and leave my people, both you and the people of Isra’el; and go, serve Adonai as you said.  Take both your flocks and your herds, as you said; and get out of here!  But bless me, too!”
(Exodus 12:31-32)

Blessings are only bestowed upon the obedient, and Pharaoh has not been obedient. He does not admit his sin nor does he repent. He has hardened his heart against Adonai. He has not listened to the cries of his own people or the wisdom of his servants. He has not accepted his humanity in presence of the Adonai. He has not willingly submitted to Adonai’s command to let His people go. Only because of his sorrow at the loss of his firstborn, he relents. However, soon after the Hebrews leave Egypt, he is arrogantly chasing them down.  He has cursed Abraham’s children and has brought the curse upon himself, his family, and his nation. 

The First Mo’ed – Pesach

“This Pesach will be a day for you to remember and celebrate as a festival to Adonai from generation to generation you are to celebrate it by a perpetual regulation” (Exodus 12:14).

The Hebrews have hope for the first time in centuries.  They have been given a calendar created by Adonai Himself.   On this calendar,  two dates are circled: one for bringing an animal into their house and another for slaughtering and eating it.  Though the Pesach will be a one-time deliverance from Egypt, it will be remembered annually.  They aren’t going to remain as slaves or be destroyed by Pharaoh; they will become and remain for all time, through all their generations, Adonai’s chosen people, the nation of Isra’el (Jeremiah 33:19-22). 

“This is the regulation for the Pesach lamb; no foreigner [non-Jew] is to eat it.  But if anyone has a slave he bought for money, when you have circumcised him, he may eat it.  Neither a traveler nor a hired servant may eat it.  It is to be eaten in one house.  You are not to take any of the meat outside the house , and you are not to break any of its bones.  The whole community of Isra’el is to keep it.  If a foreigner staying with you wants to observe Adonai’s Pesach, all his males must be circumcised.  Then he may take part and observe it; he will be like a citizen of the land.  But not uncircumcised person is to eat it.  The same teaching is to apply equally to the citizen and to the foreigner living among you” (Exodus 12:43-49).

Adonai gives Pesach instructions for foreigners who desire to take part in the memorial, as many Egyptians have become god-fearers through the judgments. Any foreigner living among the Hebrews must become a citizen of Isra’el through circumcision of the flesh.   No uncircumcised person may take part in Pesach, even uncircumcised Hebrews.

According to Adonai, circumcision and the faith it symbolizes is necessary for becoming a citizen of Isra’el. This wasn’t about converting to Judaism as Judaism didn’t exist at this time. It wasn’t about a conversion process as was the problem in Galatia. Circumcision in Egypt allowed the foreigner to take part in Adonai’s mo’ed with His chosen people, as one adopted into His family. For Adonai, circumcision is not a religious act,  it is a sign of joining the faith covenant He made with Abraham. ‘Signs’ are very important to Adonai; the ‘sign’ of the lamb’s blood on the doorpost and lintel made the difference between life and death.

Yeshua and Pesach

On the night of Judas’ betrayal, Yeshua celebrates a Pesach seder with his disciples.   The evening begins as every seder does with a memorial to the Hebrews’ deliverance from Egypt.  However, as his seder progresses, Yeshua uses two of the cups of wine and the matzah to renew the marriage covenant that had been broken by the Israelites in the wilderness. The disciples share the first cup of wine, the Cup of Sanctification, setting them apart as Yeshua’s betrothed bride.  As with every Jewish marriage betrothal, there is a bride price. Yeshua takes the second cup of wine, the Cup of Redemption and a piece of matzah and explains the payment for his bride will be his broken body and blood –– his very life (Luke 22:17-20).

With anti-semitism infiltrating the community of believers in the first centuries, the Pesach seder was reduced to ‘communion.’   It is no longer used to teach children about Adonai’s deliverance of the Hebrews from slavery.  It has even lost the fullness of what Yeshua offered those who would trust in Him: a betrothal,  a bride price, and the marriage feast in the coming Kingdom. To understand the prophetic vision of Pesach, it is important to keep it as Adonai commanded, whether an Israelite or a foreigner.  It was to be a perpetual memorial throughout all the generations of Isra’el –– not just until the Messiah came.

Sha’ul, the apostle to the foreigners to the covenant, tells the Corinthians, a gentile congregation, to “celebrate the Pesach seder” (1 Corinthians 5:8). It is the way followers of Yeshua remember his death until he comes again, not that his death ended the celebration. A proper and complete Pesach seder celebrated in truth as a memorial to Yeshua’s work on the cross will unveil the eyes of the Jewish people and renew their covenant relationship with HaShem.

“Get rid of the old chametz [leaven], so that you can be a new batch of dough, because in reality you are unleavened. For our Pesach lamb, the Messiah, has been sacrificed. So let us celebrate the [Pesach] Seder not with leftover chametz [leaven], the chametz of wickedness and evil, but with the matzah of purity and truth” (1 Corinthians 5:7-8). 

The Second Mo’ed – Matzah

“You are to observe the festival of matzah, for on this very day I brought your divisions out of the land of Egypt. Therefore, you are to observe this day from generation to generation by a perpetual regulation” (Exodus 12:17-18).

Pesach is bound to Matzah (Unleavened Bread) through the exodus from Egypt.  Both memorials include the removal of chametz from the house and eating bread without leaven. Chametz literally means ‘soured dough.’  In ancient times, leavening was done through a starter dough called chamtez.  Some of this starter dough or ‘soured dough’ was mixed with flour creating a leavened dough. Leavening a loaf of bread with ‘soured dough’ is a process that takes about 24 hours. The Hebrews didn’t have that much time so Matzah would remind them how quickly they left Egypt. During the seven days of Matzah, the Israelites were to eat only unleavened bread.  

By removing the chametz from their homes, the Israelites were literally throwing away the ‘lump of dough’ and had to eat unleavened bread for seven days until a new started could be created ((1 Corinthians 5:7).

“They baked matzah loaves from the dough they had brought out of Egypt, since it was unleavened; because they had been driven out of Egypt without time to prepare supplies for themselves” (Exodus 12:39).

Like Pesach, Matzah is a perpetual regulation to be celebrated from generation to generation because it is the memorial to the exact day the Hebrews were set free from Egyptian slavery.  Matzah marked the end of the prophecy that Abraham’s descendants would be oppressed and enslaved for four generations. It is also the exact day, 400 years later, of Isaac’s ‘weaning’ and the start of the oppression suffered beginning with Ishmael and Esau. Through the blessing of Adonai, the nation of 70 that entered Egypt had grown to 600,000 men, not including women and children.

“All the people of Isra’el did just as Adonai had ordered Moshe and Aharon. On that very day, Adonai brought the people of Isra’el out of the land of Egypt by their divisions” (Exodus 12:50-51).

Pidyon Ha-ben – Redemption of the Firstborn

“Set aside for me all the firstborn.  Whatever is firstborn from the womb among the people of Isra’el, both of humans and of animals belongs to me…. When Adonai brings you into the land of Canaan, and gives it to you, you are to set apart for Adonai everything that is first from the womb.  Every firstborn male animal will belong to Adonai.  Every firstborn from a donkey, you are to redeem with a lamb, but if you choose not to redeem it, you must break its neck.  But from people, you are to redeem every firstborn son” (Exodus 13:1,11-13).

Because Adonai protected the firstborn of the Hebrews, they became His possession and needed to be redeemed back to their families.  Firstborn sons of the Hebrews were redeemed with a lamb. In the wilderness, Adonai takes possession of the Tribe of Levi in place of the Israelites’ firstborn sons. The difference between the number of Israelite firstborns and the Levites were ‘bought back’ for five shekels of silver each (Numbers 3:40-51).

“With a strong hand Adonai brought us out of Egypt, out of the abode of slavery.  When Pharaoh was unwilling to let us go, Adonai killed all the firstborn males in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of humans and the firstborn of animals.  That is why I sacrifice to Adonai any male that is first from the womb of an animal, but all the firstborn of my sons, I redeem.  This will serve as a sign on your hand and at the front of a headband around your forehead that with a strong hand Adonai brought us out of Egypt” (Exodus 13:14-16).

Yeshua, the Firstborn

“He will call to me, ‘You are my father, my God, the Rock of my salvation.’ I will give him the position of firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth. I will keep my grace for him forever, and in my covenant be faithful with him” (Psalm 89:27-29).

“When the time came for their purification according to the Torah of Moshe, they took him up to Yerushalayim to present him to Adonai (as it is written in the Torah of Adonai, ‘Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to Adonai’) and also to offer a sacrifice of a pair of doves or two young pigeons, as required by the Torah of Adonai” (Luke 2:22-24).

“Grace and shalom to you from the One who is, who was and who is coming; from the sevenfold Spirit before his throne; and from Yeshua the Messiah, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead and the ruler of the earth’s kings” (Revelation 1:5).

“Also he [Yeshua] is head of the Body, the Messianic Community — he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might hold first place in everything. For it pleased God to have his full being live in his Son and through his Son to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace through him, through having his Son shed his blood by being executed on a stake” (Colossians 1:18-20).

©2018 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this Torah portion, the weekly readings of the Prophets and New Testament, and springboard for midrash, please purchase Open My Eyes: Wonders of Torah.

Parashah 14: Va’era (I appeared)

Exodus 6:2-9:35

“God spoke to Moshe; he said to him, ‘I am Adonai. I appeared to Avraham, Yitz’ak and Ya’akov as El Shaddai’” (Exodus 6:2-3).

Though Elohim appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, He did not make Himself known to them by His name, yod-hey-vav-hey, as He did to Moshe.  Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob knew Elohim only as El Shaddai.

In the previous parashah, Pharaoh asks, “Who is Adonai, that I should obey when he says to let Isra’el go?  I don’t know Adonai, and I also won’t let Isra’el go” (Exodus 5:2-3).  In this parashah and the next, Pharaoh and Egypt along with Moshe, Aaron, and the Hebrews will learn exactly who ‘I am’ is, the greatness of His power, and His faithfulness to the covenants He made with the patriarchs.

Deliverance for the Hebrews

There are four ways in which ‘I Am’ is going to deliver the Hebrews from Egypt.  These four ways are central to the Passover and the Pesach seder meal. These four ways of Adonai’s redemption from Egypt are a ‘shadow’ of Messiah Yeshua and our deliverance from sin and its enslavement.

“I will free you from the forced labor of the Egyptians and rescue you from their oppression” (Exodus 6:6a).

The definition of ‘oppression’ is ‘cruel or unjust treatment.’ It is from the forced labor and cruel treatment of the Egyptians that Adonai will rescue the Hebrews.  Their physical deliverance is the most obvious, but there has also been spiritual oppression.

Under the command of Pharaoh to kill their infant boys, the Hebrews have endured the despicable act of murdering their newborn sons. This infanticide could be regarded as child sacrifices to another god –– Pharaoh.  They have been surrounded by a pantheon of Egyptian gods and goddesses. They have been immersed in Egypt’s culture of death, the dead traveling to the underworld, gods of the dead, and the religious ideology from the “Book of the Dead.”

• “I will redeem you with an outstretched arm” (Exodus 6:6b).

Though forced labor is difficult and the Hebrews need to be rescued, they also need to be redeemed.  Redemption means to regain the possession of something in exchange for payment.  Adonai is going to buy back the Hebrews so they can worship Him on His holy mountain. “The arm of the LORD” is found numerous times in Scripture.

“Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear to dull to hear” (Isaiah 59:1). 

“Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him” (Psalm 98:1).  

Selah
“Adonai is my light and my salvation [yeshua]” (Psalm 27:1). When the Israelites saw the ‘arm of Adonai’ work salvation for them in Egypt, they were seeing Yeshua. When Adonai’s ‘right hand’ worked salvation for Isra’el and the nations, the world saw it in the person of Yeshua.

• “I will take you as my people and I will be your God” (Exodus 6:7).

Adonai is choosing Isra’el as His people, His treasured possession, His priesthood, His wife.  He wants a nation that will glorify Him, and His choice out of all the nations of the world is Isra’el.

“I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people” (Leviticus 26:12).

“For you are a people holy to Adonai your God. Adonai your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession” (Deuteronomy 7:6).

“For your Maker is your husband—Adonai Tzva’ot is his name— the Holy One of Isra’el is your Redeemer; He is called the God of all the earth” (Isaiah 54:5).

• “I will bring you into the land I promised to Avraham, Yitz’ak, and Ya’akov and give it to you as your inheritance” (Exodus 6:8).

El Shaddai promised Abraham land for as far as he could see from east to west, north to south. This Land of Promise was on both sides of the Jordan River from the Euphrates to the Sinai Peninsula –– much larger than modern state of Isra’el. Each tribe descending from the sons of Isra’el received a land inheritance, though not in its complete fullness until Yeshua returns and the Millennial Kingdom begins.

Moshe told the Hebrews everything ‘I Am’ was going to do for them; however, they wouldn’t listen. Their oppression was so great that they were discouraged.

The Levitical Lineage of Moshe and Aaron

The genealogy of Moshe and Aaron is written so there is no confusion about the brothers who went before Pharaoh and led the Hebrews out of Egypt. Within the genealogy is the root of the Levite tribe where eventually the Levitical priesthood through Aaron comes.

Moshe as the Witness of ‘I Am’

“I have put you in the place of God to Pharaoh and Aharon your brother will be your prophet”
(Exodus 7:1). 

Moshe will be like Adonai to Pharaoh. Adonai is making Moshe like Yeshua in the sense that he is the mediator between Adonai and Egypt. Aaron will be his prophet; Aaron will speak for the ‘one like God’ to Pharaoh. The witness of ‘I Am’ begins.

Aaron places his staff onto the palace floor and it turns into a snake.  Pharaoh calls his magicians into his presence.  The magicians of Egypt turn their staffs into snakes.  ‘I Am’ isn’t finished showing who is the Sovereign Elohim; Aaron’s staff consumes the staffs of the magicians.

Though Pharaoh needs to be humbled before the Creator, Adonai is also strengthening the faith of Moshe and the Hebrews. They must learn that ‘I Am’ rules over the gods of Egypt. He begins with the snake goddess Wadjet who protected the land of Egypt. When Aaron’s staff swallows those of the magicians, ‘I Am’ proves that He alone is the One and only Elohim, higher in divine authority than Pharaoh and his snake goddess.

“Yet Pharaoh’s heart became hard and he would not listen to them, just as Adonai had said”
(Exodus 7:13).

Let the Judgments Begin

Ten plagues are going to come upon Egypt. Ten symbolizes the Creator’s divine power which is complete and perfect in judgment. His love and light will be experienced by the Hebrews. While Elohim is going to use the plagues to judge Egypt’s gods and goddesses, He will also use the plagues to heal the sons of Jacob from their centuries of suffering. He is the Deliverer who will transform them from slaves into a free and holy nation.

Ten is also the number of Isis and Osiris, the two supreme gods of Egypt. Osiris was believed to be sovereign over the Underworld and the Judge of the Dead; his sister and wife, Isis, ruled over nature.

With the first three judgments, everyone in Egypt will suffer the consequences of the plagues, including the Hebrews. With the next five, Goshen is spared in order that Adonai’s power is revealed and the Hebrews’ faith is strengthened. The Egyptians will suffer enormously because of Pharaoh’s hard heart while the Hebrews will receive Adonai’s mercy and compassion. With the final and tenth plague, every head of family, whether Egyptian or Hebrew, will have to make a decision about who Elohim is: Pharaoh or Adonai.

Blood, Blood, Blood – Plague 1

“Adonai, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you to say: ‘Let my people go, so that they can worship me in the desert.’ But until now you haven’t listened; so Adonai says, ‘This will let you know that I am Adonai: I will take the staff in my hand and strike the water in the river, and it will be turned into blood” (Exodus 7:16-17).

The judgment of the first plague is against Hapi, the Egyptian god of the Nile. Hapi had a beard with pendulous breasts and a large belly.  He was blue or green representing water.  In Lower Egypt, he was adorned with papyrus plants and attended by frogs.

Moshe is told to warn Pharaoh of the impending plague when he goes down to the river in the morning. Adonai wants Pharaoh to understand with whom he is dealing. But, Pharaoh doesn’t listen. Moshe takes his staff and reaches his hand out over the waters of Egypt, and they turn to blood.

Turning the water of the Nile River into blood was not only a judgment on the god of the Nile, but a sign to Egypt that ‘I Am’ controls their water supply, their lifeline. He also shows both the Hebrews and the Egyptians that Hapi is not capable of protecting Egypt’s water from the Creator of the Universe.

The Nile River is the source of life for Egypt.  When its water turns to blood, everything in the river died. The fish died, the river stank, and the Egyptians became thirsty.  All rivers, canals, ponds, reservoirs, wooden buckets, and stone jars had blood in them.  Even digging around the banks of the Nile did not produce fresh drinking water.   The account says that the Egyptian magicians were also able to turn the water into blood, but it is only ‘I Am’ who is able to turn the water of blood back into living water.

Pharaoh’s response: “He just turned and went back to his palace, without taking any of this to heart” (Exodus 7:23).

Frogs, Frogs, Frogs – Plague 2

“Go into Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Here is what Adonai says, “Let my people go, so that they can worship me.  If you refuse to let them go, I will strike all your territory with frogs””
(Exodus 7:26).

The judgment of the second plague is against Heket, the Egyptian goddess of fertility and renewal. Heket, a frog goddess, had a woman’s body with a frog head.  She was associated with the germination of corn after the Nile flooded. Frogs were a symbol of fertility in Egypt since millions of them were born after the annual flooding of the Nile that made the land fertile.

Seven days after the water turns to blood, Moshe goes to Pharaoh and gives him another warning.  Pharaoh still will not relent and allow the Hebrews to leave and worship Adonai. Moshe reaches out with his staff and frogs come up on the land. They enter the palace and go into bedrooms and onto the beds.  They are in the ovens and kneading bowls of the servants.  Frogs climb all over the people including the servants of Pharaoh.  To prove their power equal, the Egyptian magicians do the same thing.

Pharaoh’s response: “‘Intercede with Adonai to take the frogs away from me and my people, and I will let the people go and sacrifice to Adonai….’ But when Pharaoh saw that he had been given some relief, he made himself hardhearted and would not listen to them” (Exodus 8:11).

Lice, Lice, Lice – Plague 3

 “Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Say to Aharon, Reach out with your staff and strike the dust of the ground and it will become lice throughout all the land of Egypt’” (Exodus 8:12).

The judgment of the third plague is against Geb, the Egyptian god of the earth. The dust of the earth bringing forth lice was an affront to him.  As god of the earth, the ground formed his body and was called the ‘House of Geb.’  Represented by a man who wore a white crown with a goose, Geb was often portrayed lying on his side on the ground painted green with plants springing from his body.  This plague was an embarrassment to the Egyptians because they gave offerings Geb for the bounty of the soil.

This plague was sent on Egypt without warning.  ‘I Am’ told Moshe what instructions to give Aaron.  When the dust of the ground becomes lice throughout the whole land of Egypt, people and animals are infested and experience physical suffering. The magicians tried to produce lice, but they couldn’t and tell Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.”

Pharaoh’s response: “But Pharaoh was made hardhearted, so that he didn’t listen to them, just as Adonai had said would happen” (Exodus 8:15).

With the completion of the first three plagues, Adonai has shown Pharaoh who He is.  The magicians even proclaim the judgments are the working of ‘I Am.’ However, knowing the truth isn’t always enough to change a person’s heart, and Pharaoh’s heart remained hard.

Selah
The magicians imitate the first two judgments and try to create lice. As blood, frogs, and lice plague Egypt from the hand of Elohim, the magicians are so arrogant they want to copy the judgments of Adonai inflicting more plagues on their own land and people.

Swarms, Swarms, Swarms – Plague 4

“Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Get up early in the morning, stand before Pharaoh when he goes out to the water and say to him, Here is what Adonai says, Let my people go, so that they can worship me.  Otherwise, if you won’t let my people go, I will send swarms of insects on you, your servants and your people and your houses. BUT I will set apart the land of Goshen, where My people live–no swarms of insects will be there – so that you can realize that I am Adonai, right here in the land.  I will distinguish between my people and your people and this sign will happen tomorrow’” (Exodus 8:16-19). 

The judgment of the fourth plague is against Khepri, the Egyptian god of rebirth. In the original Hebrew, the fourth plague is arob or ‘swarm’ implying incessant buzzing or motion.  Kephri was the deified scarab or dung beetle. It is about the size of a nickel and lays its young in a ball of dung. It rolls the ball around until its young are born. More destructive than termites, the scarab has a mouth that can saw through wood and caused great distress for the Egyptians. Because the beetles were considered ‘little gods,’ they could not be killed.

‘I Am’ is going to judge Egypt, its land, and its people. However, He is now going to distinguish between the Egyptians and His people. The swarms of dung beetle ruined the whole land of Egypt except for Goshen where the sons of Jacob lived.

Pharaoh’s response: “Go, and sacrifice to your God here in the land” (Exodus 8:21).

Moshe explains that worshiping Adonai in Egypt would be inappropriate because their sacrifice of cattle would be an abomination to the Egyptians; they would want to stone the Hebrews. Moshe says they will go three days’ journey into the desert to worship Adonai as He commands them to do.

Pharaoh says, “I will let you go, so that you can sacrifice to Adonai your God in the desert. Only you are not to go very far away. Intercede on my behalf” (Exodus 8:24).

Moshe prays to Adonai and He answers Moshe’s prayer. The swarms leave and not a beetle remains.

Pharaoh’s response: “But this time, too, Pharaoh made himself stubborn and didn’t let the people go” (Exodus 8:28).

Cattle Disease, Cattle Disease, Cattle Disease – Plague 5

“Adonai says to Moshe, ‘Go to Pharaoh and tell him, “Here is what Adonai, the God of the Hebrews, says, ‘Let my people go, so that they can worship me.  If you refuse to let them go and persist in holding on to them, the hand of Adonai is on your livestock in the field–on the horses, donkeys, camels, cattle and flocks–and will make them suffer a devastating illness.  But Adonai will distinguish between Egypt’s and Isra’el’s livestock – nothing belonging to the people of Isra’el will die”” (Exodus 9:1-4).

The judgment of the fifth plague is against Apis, the bull god and the cow-headed Hathor, the Egyptian goddess of love and protection. Apis was considered the intercessor between man and Osiris.  Their worship was so extensive that even the Hebrews had begun to worship them. It was Apis, the image of the golden calf, they dedicated to Elohim at the foot of Mount Sinai.  The disease that killed Egypt’s livestock also killed their sacred bulls and cows for their temple sacrifice taking away any hope of Osiris intervening between Egypt and Adonai.

Moshe warns Pharaoh of the impending judgment that will be against their sacred animals while keeping the Hebrews’ livestock alive.  With the disease that kills all of their livestock, ‘I Am’ shows Egypt that nothing can be protected from His judgments, except His people.   With this plague, He breaks Egypt’s religious pride and causes them to submit to His authority.

Pharaoh’s response: “Pharaoh investigated and found that not even one of the animals of the people of Isra’el had died.  Nevertheless, Pharaoh’s heart remained stubborn and he didn’t let the people go” (Exodus 9:7).

Boils, Boils, Boils – Plague 6

“Adonai said to Moshe and Aharon, ‘Take handfuls of ashes from the kiln and throw it into the air before Pharaoh’s eyes.  They will turn into a fine dust all over the land of Egypt and become infected sores on men and animals in the land of Egypt’” (Exodus 9:8-9).

The judgment of the sixth plague is against Thoth, the ibis-headed Egyptian god of medicine and theology. This plague in Hebrew is called shechiyn or inflamed spots –– the root of the word for ‘burning.’ There was so much physical suffering with this judgment that the Egyptians called on this god to cure their pain; however, Thoth’s healing powers could not override the judgment of ‘I Am.’
Even the magicians cannot escape the skin disease and become so infected that they could not carry out the priestly duties. They were responsible for taking the ashes of human sacrifices and casting them into the air. Floating human ashes in the wind over the people of Egypt was considered a blessing. Now, the ash remains of human sacrifice burn the flesh of the Egyptians –– including their cats and dogs.

Pharaoh’s response: “But Adonai made Pharaoh hardhearted so that he didn’t listen to them” (Exodus 9:12).

With the completion of the second set of three plagues,  Adonai reveals to the Egypt that He makes a distinction between souls: the sin-darkened stubborn souls of the Egyptians and the souls of His chosen people.  As ‘I Am’ reveals Himself to Pharaoh as Judge; He proves Himself the Protector of Isra’el.

Selah
The plagues have a two-fold purpose: to ‘smite Egypt’ and draw Elohim’s people closer.

“Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Get up early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh and say to him, “Here is what Adonai says; ‘Let my people go so that they can worship me.  For this time I will inflict my plagues on you, yourself, and on your officials and your people; so that you will realize that I am without equal in all the earth.  By now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with such severe plagues that you would have been wiped off the earth.  But it is for this very reason that I have kept you alive – to show you my power, and so that my name may resound throughout the whole earth”” (Exodus 9:13-16).  

The next three plagues prove Adonai’s power over the heavens as the Creator. There is no other god equal to him in the heavens above or the earth below. These judgments will be experienced not only by people of Egypt, but also by Pharaoh and everyone in his palace. Adonai could actually just wipe the Egyptians off the earth, but He wants His power and His Name to resound in Pharaoh’s ears and throughout the whole earth.

Hail, Hail, Hail – Plague 7

“I will cause a hailstorm so heavy that Egypt has had nothing like it from the day it was founded until now.  …Every human being and animal left in the field that hasn’t been brought home … will die. … Moshe reached out with his staff toward the sky, and Adonai sent thunder and hail, and fire ran down to the earth…. It hailed and fire flashed up with the hail…. But in the land of Goshen, where the people of Isra’el were, there was no hail” (Exodus 9:17-19).

The judgment of the seventh plague is against Nut, the Egyptian goddess of the sky and heavenly bodies. Depicted as wearing a dress covered with stars, her body arched over the sky protecting earth. She was given credit for bringing order out of chaos in the heavens. As the hail and fire beat the earth, she has no power to protect Egypt from the chaos coming from the skies.

Some Egyptians begin fearing ‘I Am’ and bring their slaves and whatever livestock remains into their homes for protection. The hail and the fire ruin the ripe barley and budding flax. Wheat and buckwheat are not affected because they are harvested later. This is the first time there is a season implied for a judgment. The barley is Aviv or ‘green ears’ which occurs in the springtime, while the wheat harvest occurs 50 days later. Both of these harvest cycles coincide with the Biblical holy days of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Feast of Weeks.

Pharaoh’s response: “Then Pharaoh summoned Moshe and Aaron. ‘This time I have sinned,’ he said to them. ‘Adonai is in the right, and I and my people are in the wrong.  Pray to Adonai, for we have had enough thunder and hail. I will let you go; you don’t have to stay any longer’” (Exodus 9:27-28).

When the hail with fire stops, Pharaoh’s response:

“When Pharaoh saw that the rain, hail and thunder had ended, he sinned still more my making himself hardhearted, he and his servants.  Pharaoh was made hardhearted, and he didn’t let the people of Isra’el go” (Exodus 9:34).

Yeshua and the Plagues of Elohim

“Then I saw another sign in heaven, a great and wonderful one—seven angels with the seven plagues that are the final ones; because with them, God’s fury is finished…. After this I looked, and the sanctuary (that is, the Tent of Witness in heaven) was opened, and out of the sanctuary came the seven angels with the seven plagues. They were dressed in clean bright linen and had gold belts around their chests. One of the four living beings gave to the seven angels seven gold bowls filled with the fury of God, who lives forever and ever. Then the sanctuary was filled with smoke from God’s Sh’khinah, that is, from his power; and no one could enter the sanctuary until the seven plagues of the seven angels had accomplished their purpose” (Revelation 15:1-8).

The Seven Plagues of Elohim’s Fury
Plague on the earth: Ugly and painful sores broke out on those who had the mark of the beast and worshiped his image (Revelation 16:2).

“So it [the beast] opened its mouth in blasphemies against God to insult his name and his Sh’khinah, and those living in heaven; it was allowed to make war on God’s holy people and to defeat them; and it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. Everyone living on earth will worship it [the beast] except those whose names are written in the Book of Life belonging to the Lamb slaughtered before the world was founded” (Revelation 13:6-8).
Plague on the sea: The sea turned into blood like that of a dead person and every living thing in it died (Revelation 16:3).

Plague on the rivers and springs: All living water turned to blood (Revelation 16:4).

“O HaKadosh, the One who is and was, you are just in these judgments of yours. They poured out the blood of your people and your prophets, so you have made them drink blood. They deserve it!” (Revelation 16:5)

Plague of the sun: The sun was given power to scorch people with fire. They were burned by the intense heat and cursed Elohim who had control over the plagues, but refused to repent from their sins and glorify Him (Revelation 16:8-9).

Plague on throne of the beast: The kingdom of the beast was plunged into darkness. Men gnawed their tongues in agony and cursed Elohim because of their pains and sores, but did not turn from their sinful behavior (Revelation 16:10-11).

Plague on the Euphrates River: The river dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the east. Three ‘unclean’ spirits that looked like frogs came from the mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. These frog-demons worked miracles and went out into the whole world preparing the kings of the nations to gather for war on the Day of Elohim in Har Megiddo (Revelation 16:12-16).

Plague on the air:  “A loud voice came out of the Temple from the throne, saying, “It is done!” There were flashes of lightning, voices and peals of thunder; and there was a massive earthquake, such as has never occurred since mankind has been on earth, so violent was the earthquake. The great city was split into three parts, the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Bavel the Great and made her drink the wine from the cup of his raging fury. Every island fled, and no mountains were to be found. And huge seventy-pound hailstones fell on people from the sky. But the people cursed God for the plague of hail, that it was such a terrible plague” (Revelation 16:17-21).

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