The Torah portions Shemoth, Wa’era, and Bo, all found in the book of Shemoth (Exodus – 1:1-6:1; 6:2 – 9:35; & 10:1 – 13:16 respectively) speak to us about the plight of the Hebrews in Mitsrayim (Egypt), the plagues and wonders of Mosheh and Aharon (Moses & Aaron), the Pesach & Matzot (Passover & Feast of Unleavened Bread), and the flight of Yisra’el to the wilderness. For a long time I felt a connection between the plagues of Egypt and the deities which they served, but had not the inspiration to dig up the truth. There may be other studies similar to this, but this is my inspired study from Yahweh -I hope that you are enriched and challenged by it.
Signs and Wonders as they occurred:
2.) Water – the River Nile and all water turned to blood (1st Plague)
4.) Frogs (2nd Plague)
5.) Gnats (3rd Plague)
6.) Flies (4th Plague)
7.) Pestilence (5th Plague)
8.) Boils and Sores (6th Plague)
9.) Thunder, Hail & Rain of Fire (7th Plague)
10.) Locust (8th Plague)
11.) 3 days of Darkness (9th Plague)
12.) Destroyer – Death of Firstborn of Mitsrayim (10th Plague)
Scripture and Assault on the Egyptian Deities:
Shemoth (Exodus) 7:9-12:
(9) “When Pharaoh speaks to you, saying, ‘Show a miracle for yourselves,’ then you shall say to Aharon, ‘Take your rod and throw it before Pharaoh and let it become a serpent.'”
(10) So Mosheh and Aharon went in to Pharaoh, and they did so, as Yahweh commanded. And Aharon threw his rod before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a serpent.
(11) But Pharaoh also called the wise men and the practisers of witchcraft. And they, the magicians of Mitsrayim, also did so with their magic.
(12) And they, each one, threw down his rod, and they became serpents. But the rod of Aharon swallowed up their rods.
– The Egyptian Mythological Deity Amduat is signified as a many coiled serpent from which Ra (the sun) and all creation arose. This was a direct and symbolic attack on the deity whom the peoples (of that time) placed above the true Creator of Heaven and Earth. Despite the magicians being able to replicate the wonder, it was the rod of Aharon that swallowed the others – Yahweh is superior to any other man-made deity under the heavens!
2.) Water – the Nile River and other waters turned to blood:
Shemoth (Exodus) 7:19-20:
(19) And Yahweh spoke to Mosheh, “Say to Aharon, ‘Take your rod and stretch out your hand over the waters of Mitsrayim, over their streams, over their rivers, over their ponds, and over all their pools of water, that they become blood. And their shall blood in all the land of Mitsrayim both in wooden and stone containers.
(20) And Mosheh and Aharon did so, as Yahweh commanded. And he lifted up the rod and struck the waters that were in the river, in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes if his servants. And all the waters that were in the rivers were turned to blood.
– Two deities were associated with the Nile River and the annual flooding of its banks bringing life supporting silt: Anuket and Hapi.
Anuket was the personification of the Nile River, usually symbolized by a woman with a headdress of reeds or of ostrich feathers. She was usually depicted as suckling the Pharaoh and/or later as a female deity of lust. She was later associated with cowry, that is the shell of a giant sea snail, which resembled a vagina and bestowing some semblance of fertility worship. She was known as a daughter of Ra, the sun deity, in the pantheon of Egyptian religious mythology.
Hapi was the patron deity of the annual flooding of the Nile River which allowed Egyptian farmers fertile soil to plant crops. He was a fertility deity often considered the “Father of all Egyptian Deities.”
– Despite the magicians repeating the wonder yet again, none of their magic could undo the wonders of Yahweh, as performed by Mosheh and Aharon. No fertility deity could save them from the thirst and death that was directly caused by Yahweh’s great hand.
Shemoth (Exodus) 7:18, 21:
(18) “and the fish in the river shall die . And the rivers shall stink, and the Mitsrites shall find it impossible to drink the waters of the river.”
(21) And the fish that were in the river died, and the river stank, and the Mitsrites were unable to drink the water of the river. And the blood was in all the land of Mitsrayim.
– This wonder was possibly directed at the Egyptian deity Hatmehit who is often depicted as a fish or as a woman with a fish emblem on her head – very much a deity of fertility, life, and protection. Could be related to Sumerian fertility deity Ashteroth, the very same deity the graces the side of a cup of coffee from Seattle (I’ll let you fill in the blanks on this one).
Shemoth (Exodus) 8:1-7:
(1) And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus said יהוה, “Let My people go, so that they serve Me.
(2) “But if you refuse to let them go, see, I am smiting all your border with frogs.
(3) “And the river shall swarm with frogs, which shall go up and shall come into your house, and into your bedroom, and on your bed, and into the houses of your servants, and on your people, and into your ovens, and into your kneading bowls,
(4) and the frogs shall come up on you and on your people and on all your servants.” ’ ”
(5) And יהוה said to Mosheh, “Say to Aharon, ‘Stretch out your hand with your rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come up on the land of Mitsrayim.’ ”
(6) So Aharon stretched out his hand over the waters of Mitsrayim, and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Mitsrayim.
(7) And the magicians did so with their magic, and brought up frogs on the land of Mitsrayim.
– The Egyptian deity Heqet was depicted as a frog or a woman with a frog headdress and an egg, was yet another Egyptian deity of fertility related to the annual flooding of the Nile River. The Father despises these fertility deities, hence using the image of the deity against the very same people who worship it. Once again, the magicians could replicated the feat, but could not remove the frogs, only by the prayer of Mosheh and Yahweh’s mighty right arm was the plague stopped.
Shemoth (Exodus) 8:16-19:
(16) And יהוה said to Mosheh, “Say to Aharon, ‘Stretch out your rod, and strike the dust of the land, so that it becomes gnats in all the land of Mitsrayim.’ ”
(17) And they did so, and Aharon stretched out his hand with his rod and struck the dust of the earth, and it became gnats on man and beast. All the dust of the land became gnats in all the land of Mitsrayim.
(18) And the magicians did similarly with their magic to bring forth gnats, but they were unable. And there were gnats on man and beast.
(19) The magicians then said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of Elohim!” But the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as יהוה had said.
– There are no Deities that have the body parts or depictions of gnats, however, there is the Egyptian Deity of pestilence Sekhmet, sometimes depicted as a scorpion, whom the Egyptian farmers would pray to in hope of an easing of pestilence. This also marked the first time that Pharaoh’s magicians could not replicate the wonder, causing them to fear the Elohim of Mosheh and Mosheh himself.
Shemoth (Exodus) 8:20-24:
(20) And יהוה said to Mosheh, “Rise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh as he comes out to the water, and say to him, ‘Thus said יהוה, “Let My people go, so that they serve Me.
(21) “Or else, if you do not let My people go, see, I am sending swarms of flies on you and your servants, and on your people and into your houses. And the houses of the Mitsrites shall be filled with swarms of flies, and also the ground on which they stand.
(22) “And in that day I shall separate the land of Goshen, in which My people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there, so that you know that I am יהוה in the midst of the land.
(23) “And I shall put a distinction between My people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall be.” ’ ”
(24) And יהוה did so, and thick swarms of flies came into the house of Pharaoh, and into his servants’ houses, and into all the land of Mitsrayim, and the land was ruined because of the swarms of flies.
– This could have also been directed against the Egyptian Deity Sekhmet and/or against the deity known as Kephri, the patron deity of creation and the movement of the sun, who was often depicted with the head of a fly! This was the first of the plagues that effected Egypt only and not Goshen, creating a visible distinction between the Egyptians and Yahweh’s chosen Yisra’el.
Shemoth (Exodus) 9:1-6:
(1) And יהוה said to Mosheh, “Go in to Pharaoh and speak to him, ‘Thus said יהוה Elohim of the Heḇrews, “Let My people go, so that they serve Me.
(2) “For if you refuse to let them go, and still hold them,
(3) see, the hand of יהוה is on your livestock in the field, on the horses, on the donkeys, on the camels, on the cattle, and on the sheep – a very grievous pestilence.
(4) “And יהוה shall separate between the livestock of Yisra’ĕl and the livestock of Mitsrayim, and let no matter die of all that belongs to the children of Yisra’ĕl.” ’ ”
(5) And יהוה set an appointed time, saying, “Tomorrow יהוה is going to do this word in the land.”
(6) And יהוה did this word on the next day, and all the livestock of Mitsrayim died, but of the livestock of the children of Yisra’ĕl, not one died.
– While this one could also be directed against the Egyptian Deity Sekhmet, for this instance I believe that it is most appropriately against the female deity Hathor, the patron deity of love and protection who was depicted as a woman with the head of a cow – a depiction also found with the deity Athos on the altar of the Golden Calf in Saudi Arabia.
8.) Boils and Sores:
Shemoth (Exodus) 9:8-11
(8) And יהוה said to Mosheh and Aharon, “Fill your hands with ashes from a furnace and let Mosheh scatter it toward the heavens before the eyes of Pharaoh.
(9) “And it shall become fine dust in all the land of Mitsrayim, and it shall cause boils that break out in sores on man and beast in all the land of Mitsrayim.”
(10) So they took ashes from the furnace and stood before Pharaoh, and Mosheh scattered them toward the heavens. And they caused boils, breaking out in sores on man and beast.
(11) And the magicians were unable to stand before Mosheh because of the boils, for the boils were on the magicians and on all the Mitsrites.
– This plague could have been directed against the female Egyptian deity Isis, the female deity of medicine and peace, for not even the magicians could stand before Mosheh. Unfortunately for the Egyptian people, Pharaoh’s heart was yet again hardened towards the Hebrews, furthering Yahweh’s wonders and afflictions upon Egypt.
9.) Thunder, Hail & Rain of Fire:
Shemoth (Exodus) 9:18-26:
(18) “See, tomorrow about this time I am causing very heavy hail to rain down, such as has not been in Mitsrayim, from the day of its founding until now.
(19) “And now send, bring your livestock to safety, and all that you have in the field, for the hail shall come down on every man and every beast which is found in the field and is not brought home, and they shall die.” ’ ”
(20) Those among the servants of Pharaoh who feared the word of יהוה made their servants and livestock flee to the houses.
(21) But those who did not set their heart on the word of יהוה left their servants and livestock in the field.
(22) Then יהוה said to Mosheh, “Stretch out your hand toward the heavens, and let there be hail in all the land of Mitsrayim – on man, and on beast, and on every plant of the field, throughout the land of Mitsrayim.”
(23) Then Mosheh stretched out his rod toward the heavens. And יהוה sent thunder and hail, and fire came down to the earth. And יהוה rained hail on the land of Mitsrayim.
(24) Thus there came to be hail, and fire flashing continually in the midst of the hail, very heavy, such as had not been in all the land of Mitsrayim since it became a nation.
(25) And the hail smote in all the land of Mitsrayim all that was in the field, both man and beast. And the hail smote every plant of the field and broke every tree of the field.
(26) Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Yisra’ĕl were, there was no hail.
– These wonders may have directed one of two possible deities – Baal and/or Seth. Baal was an adopted deity by way of the Ethiopians or peoples of the Middle East, the patron deity of thunder. Seth was the Egyptian deity of storms and disorder.
Shemoth (Exodus) 10:3-6:
(3) And Mosheh and Aharon came in to Pharaoh and said to him, “Thus said יהוה Elohim of the Heḇrews, ‘Till when shall you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Let My people go, so that they serve Me.
(4) ‘Or else, if you refuse to let My people go, see, tomorrow I am bringing locusts within your borders.
(5) ‘And they shall cover the surface of the land, so that no one is able to see the land. And they shall eat the rest of what has escaped, which remains to you from the hail, and they shall eat every tree which grows up for you out of the field.
(6) ‘And they shall fill your houses, and the houses of all your servants, and the houses of all the Mitsrites, which neither your fathers nor your fathers’ fathers have seen, since the day that they were on the earth to this day.’ ” Then he turned and went out from Pharaoh.
– This wonder was possible directed against the Egyptian deity Min, the deity protector of crops and agriculture. The Egyptian people would pray to this deity for protection from agricultural plagues, crop failures, and locust. What the hail did not destroy, the locust finished, much to the dismay of the people.
11.) 3 days of Darkness:
Shemoth (Exodus) 10:21-23:
(21) And יהוה said to Mosheh, “Stretch out your hand toward the heavens, and let there be darkness over the land of Mitsrayim, even a darkness which is felt.”
(22) And Mosheh stretched out his hand toward the heavens, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Mitsrayim for three days.
(23) They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days, while all the children of Yisra’ĕl had light in their dwellings.
– This one was directed against maybe the most powerful of the Egyptian Mythological Deities, the sun deity Ra. He was revered and esteemed as the chief deity of the Egyptian religion for the majority of Pharaoh dynasties (except Amenhotep who named Amen/Amun the chief deity). For three days there was no light at all, darkness so thick that it blinded the senses. It prepared the way for the final plague – the Destroyer!!
12.) Destroyer – Death of Firstborn of Mitsrayim:
Shemoth (Exodus) 11:4-6:
(4) And Mosheh said, “Thus said יהוה, ‘About midnight I am going out into the midst of Mitsrayim,
(5) and all the first-born in the land of Mitsrayim shall die, from the first-born of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the first-born of the female servant who is behind the handmill, and all the first-born of cattle.
(6) ‘And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Mitsrayim, such as has never been or ever be again.
– The final plague was directed against none other the Pharaoh himself. He was revered as a deity, as a physical manifestation of the sun deity Ra. The true destructive power of the death of the firstborn, was to cut off the might of Egypt and destroy the line of Pharaohs. Unless Pharaoh survived the crushing waves of the closing Reed Sea, the line of Pharaoh would have passed to a cousin or brother, possibly even His queen until a suitable relative could be crowned.
The plagues of Egypt were attacks directed at the very texture of reality of the Egyptians, on their people, culture, and religion. Above all things, one thing was proven to all people – Yahweh, Elohim of the Hebrews, is the Elohim and creator of all men and there is no other. The fruitless worship of deities of stone, gold, silver, wood, and carvings are just that – fruitless. I pray that this study has proven to be enlightening and a joyful addition to your spiritual knowledge. May Yahweh bless and keep you! Shalom Aleichem.