THE PLAGUES ON EGYPT
Yahweh had sent Moses and Aaron to the Pharaoh, king of Egypt, to have him free the Israelites so they could go back to their home land in Canaan.
Moses asked Yahweh, "How will the Israelites know that I'm sent from Elohim?"
Moses thought he was a poor speaker and felt that the king of Egypt would not listen to him.
Yahweh told Moses He was going to send his brother Aaron with him so Aaron could do the speaking for Moses. Yahweh told Moses to tell Aaron everything that He had told him, and tell the king to let the Israelites leave Egypt. But Yahweh said He would make the king stubborn and, "He will not listen to you, no matter how many terrifying things I do in Egypt."
Yahweh said, "I will bring severe punishment on Egypt, and lead the tribes of my people out of the land. The Egyptians will then know that I am the Elohim, when I raise my hand against them and bring the Israelites out of their country."
Moses and Aaron did just what Yahweh commanded. Moses was eighty years old and Aaron was eighty-three years old when they went to see the king of Egypt.
Elohim said to Moses and Aaron, "If the king demands that you prove yourselves by performing a miracle, tell Aaron to take his walking stick and throw it down in front of the king. It will turn into a snake."
Moses and Aaron went to the king and did as Yahweh had commanded them to do. Aaron threw down his stick in front of the king and his officers. His stick turned into a snake! The king called for his wise men and magicians and by their magic, they did the same thing. They threw down their sticks and their sticks turned into snakes also. The king told Moses and Aaron what they did was no big thing because his magicians could do the same thing. But, then Aaron's rod swallowed up the magician's rods. The king still remained stubborn and, just as Yahweh had said, he would not let the people go.
Yahweh said to Moses, "The king is very stubborn and refuses to let the people go. So go and meet him in the morning when the king goes down to the Nile to bathe. Take with you the rod that was turned into a snake, and wait for him on the riverbank. Then say to the king, 'Yahweh, the Elohim of the Hebrews, sent me to tell you to let His people go, so that they can worship their Elohim in the desert; but until now you have not listened. By this you will know who He is. I am going to strike the surface of the river with this rod and the water will be turned into blood. The fish will die, and the river will stink so much that the Egyptians will not be able to drink from it.'"
The king still would not listen.
Yahweh said to Moses, "Tell Aaron to take his rod and hold it out over all the rivers, canals and pools in Egypt The waters will become blood and all over the land there will be blood, even in the wooden tubs and the stone jars."
Because the king would not do as Yahweh had told him to, Moses and Aaron did as Yahweh commanded them. Aaron raised his rod and struck the surface of the river and all the water in it was turned into blood (Exodus 7:19-20). The fish in the river died and it smelled so bad that the Egyptians could not drink from it. There was blood in the waters all over Egypt. People could not even take a bath because the water was all blood. The king called his magicians and they did the same thing with their magic. The king was as stubborn as ever, just as Yahweh had said he would be. He refused to listen to Moses and Aaron. Instead, he turned and went back to his palace without paying any attention even to this. The Egyptians dug along the bank of the river to find water to drink.
Seven days passed after Yahweh had made the waters into blood. Yahweh said to Moses, "Go to the king and tell him that Elohim said, 'Let my people go so that they may worship me. If you refuse, I will punish your country by covering it with frogs. The Nile will be so full of frogs that they will leave it and go into your palace, in your bedrooms, your bed, the houses of your officials and your people, and even into your ovens and your baking pans, on top of your tables, on your plates when you try to eat. They will jump up on you and your people and all your officials.'"
The king still would not let the people go.
Yahweh said to Moses, "Tell Aaron to hold out his rod over the rivers, the canals and the pools, and make the frogs come up and cover the land of Egypt."
So Aaron held his rod out over the waters and the frogs came out and covered the land.
Every time Yahweh caused a plague to come on Egypt, He had warned the king what would happen if he would not let His people go. The king called his magicians and they used their magic, and they also made frogs come up on the land.
The king got tired of the frogs so he called Moses and Aaron and said to them, "Go to your Elohim and pray to him that Yahweh will take away these frogs, and I will let your people go."
Moses said, "I will pray for you as you ask, and then you will know that there is no other Elohim like Yahweh our Elohim. You, your officials and your people will be rid of the frogs, and there will be none left except in the Nile."
Then Moses and Aaron left the king and Moses prayed to Yahweh to take away the frogs which He had brought on the king. Yahweh did as Moses asked, and the frogs in the houses, the courtyards and the fields all died. The Egyptians piled them up in great heaps, until the land stunk with them. When the king saw that the frogs were dead, he became stubborn again just as Yahweh had said. The king would not listen to Moses and Aaron.
Yahweh said to Moses, "Say to Aaron, 'Stretch out your rod, and strike the dust of the earth, that it may become full of lice throughout all the land of Egypt.'"
Aaron did as Moses told him; he stretched out his hand with the rod, and struck the dust of the earth and lice covered the people and the animals. The lice were in the people's hair, in their food and even in their beds. If you have ever had a pet that has had fleas, you have seen them scratch and bite at the fleas. Can you imagine how your pet would be if he had fleas all over his body? Lice are like fleas, they bite and make you itch. Think how the people must have felt to have these lice all over their bodies. The lice were in their beds and all over their houses.
There were lice everywhere. The king's magicians tried to use their magic to make lice appear to show that it was just a magic trick, but this time they could not do it. The magicians went to the king and told him that this was from Elohim. But the king was stubborn and, just as Yahweh had said, the king would not listen to Moses and Aaron.
Yahweh said to Moses, "Early tomorrow morning go and meet the king as he goes to the river, and tell him that Yahweh said, 'Let my people go, so that they can worship me.' Tell him that I have warned him and that if he refuses, I will punish him by sending flies on him and his officials and his people. The houses of the Egyptians will be full of flies, and the ground will be covered with them. But I will spare the region of Goshen where my people live, so that you will know that I, the Elohim of the people, is at work in the land. I will make a distinction between my people and your people."
Yahweh sent great swarms of flies into the king's palace and the houses of his officials. The whole land of Egypt was brought to ruin by the flies.
The king said, "I will let you go to sacrifice to your Elohim in the desert, if you make these flies go away."
Moses left the king and prayed to Yahweh, and the flies left the king, his officials and his people. Not one fly remained. But even this time the king became stubborn, and again he would not let the people go.
Yahweh said to Moses, "Because the king has still been stubborn I will bring still another plague on the king."
Yahweh told Moses to go to the king and tell him to let His people go. If he refuses to let them go, to tell him He would punish him by sending a terrible disease on all of his animals: on his donkeys, camels, cattle, sheep and goats. But the animals of Yahweh's people would be saved from this. He would cause only the king's animals to die.
The next day Yahweh did as He had said, and all the animals of the Egyptians died. The king asked what had happened and was told that none of the Israelites' animals died. But he was still stubborn and would not let the people go.
Then Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron, "Take a few handfuls of ashes from a furnace: Moses is to throw them into the air in front of the king. They will spread out like fine dust all over the land of Egypt, and everywhere they will produce boils that become open sores on the people and the animals."
So they got some ashes and stood before the king; Moses threw them into the air and they produced boils that became open sores on the people and the animals. The king's magicians were not able to come to the king because they, too, were covered with the boils like all other Egyptians. But Yahweh made the king stubborn and, just as Yahweh had said, the king would not listen to Moses and Aaron. Boils hurt a great deal! The people having them all over their bodies would not be able to lie down or sit because they would hurt too much.
Yahweh then said to Moses, "Early tomorrow morning meet with the king and tell him that the Elohim of the Hebrews says, 'Let me people go.' Tell him, 'This time I will punish not only your officials and your people, but I will punish you as well, so that you may know that there is no one like me in all the world. If I had raised my hand to strike you and your people with disease, you would have been completely destroyed.
"But to show you my power, I have let you live. Yet you still refuse to let my people go. This time tomorrow I will cause a heavy hailstorm, such as Egypt has never known in all its history.'"
Some of the king's officials were afraid because of what Yahweh had said, and they brought their slaves and animals indoors for shelter. Others, however, paid no attention to Yahweh's warning and left their slaves and animals out in the open.
Then Yahweh said to Moses, "Raise your hand toward the sky, and hail will fall over the whole land of Egypt; on the people, the animals and all the plants in the fields."
So, Moses raised his stick toward the sky and hail and lightning struck the ground. Yahweh sent a heavy hail storm, with lightning flashing back and forth. It was the worst storm that Egypt had ever known in all of its history. All over Egypt the hail struck down everything that was out in the open, including people and animals. It beat down all the plants in the fields and broke all the trees. Only in the places where the Israelites lived there was no hail.
The king sent for Moses and Aaron and said, "Pray to Yahweh. We have had enough of the thunder and hail! I promise to let your people go."
Moses left the king and went out of the city and lifted up his hands in prayer to Yahweh. The thunder, the hail and the rain all stopped.
When the king saw what had happened, he sinned again. He and his officials remained as stubborn as ever. Just as Yahweh had told Moses, the king would not let the Israelites go.
Then Yahweh said to Moses, "Go and see the king. I have made him and his officials stubborn in order that all of you will know that I am Yahweh."
So Moses and Aaron went to the king and said to him, "Yahweh, the Elohim of the Hebrews, says, 'How much longer will you refuse to submit to me? Let my people go so that they may worship me. If you keep on refusing, then I will bring locusts into your country tomorrow. There will be so many that they will completely cover the ground. They will eat everything that the hail did not destroy, even the trees that are left. They will fill your palaces and the houses of all your officials and all your people. They will be worse than anything your ancestors ever saw.'"
The king just turned and left.
The king's officials were getting tired of all the plagues by now and they said to the king, "How long is this man going to give us trouble? Let the Israelite men go so that they can worship their Elohim. Don't you realize that Egypt is ruined?"
The king called Moses and Aaron back to him and said to them, "You may go and worship Yahweh. But, exactly who will go with you?"
Moses answered, "We will all go, our children, our old people, our sons and daughters, our sheep and goats and our cattle, because we must hold a festival to honor Yahweh."
The king said, "I will never let you take your women and children because you are planning to take over my kingdom. You can only take the men to go to worship!"
With that, Moses and Aaron were driven out of the king's presence.
Then Yahweh said to Moses, "Raise your hand over the land of Egypt to bring the locusts."
So, Moses did as Yahweh had said and Yahweh caused a wind from the east to blow on the land all that day and all that night. By morning it had brought the locusts. They came in swarms and settled over the whole country. It was the largest swarm of locusts that had ever been seen or that would ever be seen again. They covered the ground until it was black with them. They ate everything that the hail had left, including all the fruit on the trees. Not a green thing was left on any tree or plant in all the land of Egypt.
The king hurriedly called Moses and Aaron and said, "Forgive my sin this one time and pray to Yahweh to take this punishment from me."
Yahweh took the locusts away and blew them into the Gulf of Suez. Not one locust was left in all of Egypt. But Yahweh made the king stubborn, and he did not let the Israelites go.
Yahweh then said to Moses, "Raise your hand toward the sky, and a darkness thick enough to be felt will cover the land of Egypt."
Moses did as Yahweh had told him to do and there was total darkness throughout Egypt for three days. The Egyptians could not see each other and no one left his house during that time. But the Israelites had light where they were living.
The king called Moses and said, "You may go and worship Yahweh, even your women and children may go with you. But your sheep, goats and cattle must stay here."
Moses answered, "You will have to give us animals for sacrifices and burnt offerings. We shall take our animals with us, not one will be left behind."
Yahweh made the king stubborn and he would not let them go.
The king said to Moses, "Get out of my sight! Don't let me ever see you again. On the day I see you, you will die!"
Moses answered, "You are right, you will never see me again."
Then Yahweh said to Moses, "I will send only one more punishment on the king of Egypt and his people. After that he will let you leave. In fact, he will drive all of you out of here. Now go and speak to the people of Israel and tell all of them to ask their neighbors for gold and silver jewelry."
Yahweh made the Egyptians respect the Israelites.
The Egyptian officials and all the people considered Moses to be a very great man.
Let's do some activities and take a Quiz to see what you learned before going to the next lesson!
PICTURE TO COLOR
Who do you think the people are in the picture and what COULD they possibly be talking about or to?
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A CROSSWORD PUZZLE
Here's your clues:
1. Land to which Moses fled (Exodus 2:15).
2. Religious observance commemorating the death of the first-born in Egypt (Exodus 12:11-12).
3. What Moses' rod turned into (KJV; Exodus 7:10).
8. Material Moses' basket was made of (KJV; Exodus 2:3).
9. Moses had to remove these in the presence of Yahweh (KJV;Exodus 3:5).
10. Moses' wife's name (Exodus 2:21).
4. Pharaoh told these women to kill newborn sons (Exodus 1:16).
5. Man appointed to speak for Moses (Exodus 4:14).
6. Nationality of man Moses killed (Exodus 2:12).
7. Object Yahweh spoke to Moses from (Exodus 3:2,3).
11. Used to mark doors so Hebrew first-born would not be harmed (Exodus 12:13).
12. What Yahweh sent because of Pharaoh's stubbornness (Exodus 7:20-10:29).
13. Yahweh parted this body of water so the Israelites could pass through (Exodus 14:21, 22).
14. This relative of Pharaoh found baby Moses (Exodus 2:5).
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QUIZ - What have you learned?
This is a "thinking" quiz. Some of the questions could have different answers and that is why it is very important to think about the question before answering it and then have your Mom or Dad review it with you.
- What did Aaron's rod turn into?
- Why did Yahweh make Pharaoh's heart hard?
- Why didn't Moses want to speak?
- Did the Israelites suffer the plagues?
- Why did Pharaoh want the women and children to stay?
- What happened when Pharaoh went down to the river?
- Name three plagues.
- Was the thunder and hail the worst ever?
- What did the locusts eat?
- Where did Yahweh blow the locusts?
What is going on here?
Memory verse: Exodus 8:1
Then Yahweh said to Moses,
"Go in to the King and tell him that
Yahweh says, 'Let my people go
that they may worship me!'"
Now, click here to go to Lesson 5.