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What were the Ten Plagues?

by Mrs. Nechama D. Kumer

  

Library » History » Egypt | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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1. Blood: All water turned to blood, including both river water (and killed all the river fish) and water in a cup. An Egyptian could only obtain water by buying it from a Jewish person.1

2. Frogs: These amphibious friends made their way into every nook and cranny of the Egyptians’ homes, croaking cacophony until they themselves croaked, leaving a rotting stench in their wake. So valiant were the frogs in their mission, they would even jump to their demise into a hot oven in their determination to ruin the Egyptians’ baking bread.2

3. Lice: these tiny insects were itching to bug the Egyptians. This was the first plague that the black magicians could not duplicate, proving that the plagues were G-d’s doing and not Moses’ fancy magic tricks.3

4. Mixture of Beasts: Lions, tigers and bears (and a lot more wild things) attacked the Egyptians.4

5. Pestilence: All Egyptian owned animals that were outdoors bit the dust.5

6. Boils: The Egyptians and their animals broke out in boils.6

7. Hail: Fire and ice came together in monster sized hailstones, killing any Egyptian who ventured outdoors and destroying much of their crops.7  

8. Locusts: The locust of all shapes and sizes consumed anything they could get their pincers on that remained after the hail did its part. Then, G-d had the wind blow every last locust into the sea, so they wouldn’t then become the Egyptians’ soup de jour for lack of much else to eat.8

9. Darkness: At first it was really, really, really dark...and then the darkness became so thick that the Egyptians could not even move, remaining frozen until the plague passed.9

10. Smiting of the First Born: At the stroke of midnight, every firstborn male person and animal died. No household was spared, and most lost several members. The only one who was spared, was...Pharaoh himself, but boy was he scared...and don’t say we didn’t warn you...10

For the most part, the plagues only affected the Egyptians while the Jews remained plague-less.

Footnotes

  • 1. Exodus 7:17-24 and Rashi on these verses
  • 2. Exodus 7:27-8:10 and Rashi on these verses
  • 3. Exodus 8:13-14 and Rashi on these verses
  • 4. Exodus 8:17-27 and Rashi on these verses
  • 5. Exodus 9:3-7 and Rashi on these verses
  • 6. Exodus 9:8-11 and Rashi on these verses
  • 7. Exodus 9:18-33 and Rashi on these verses
  • 8. Exodus 10:12-19 and Rashi on these verses
  • 9. Exodus 10:21-23 and Rashi on these verses
  • 10. Exodus 11:4-6 and 12:29-30 and Rashi on these verses

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Moses
[Hebrew pronunciation: Moshe] Greatest prophet to ever live. Led the Jews out of Egyptian bondage amidst awesome miracles; brought down the Tablets from Mount Sinai; and transmitted to us word-for-word the Torah he heard from G-d's mouth. Died in the year 1272 BCE.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.