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"Let My People Go"

"Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, "Thus says The Lord, the God of Israel, 'Let My people go, that they may hold a Feast to Me in the wilderness." But Pharaoh said, "Who is The Lord, that I should heed His voice and let Israel go? I do not know The Lord, and moreover I will not let Israel go." Then they said, "The God of the Hebrews has met with us; let us go, we pray, a three days' journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to The Lord our God, lest He fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword." But the king of Egypt said to them, "Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people away from their work? Get to your burdens." (Exodus 5:1-4 RSV)

Waters Turned To Blood The Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt were not accustomed to receiving commands from others, particularly from such "lowly" people as Moses (a dusty old shepherd who had just spent 40 years out in the Sinai with Jethro) and Aaron (one the Pharaoh's Israelite slaves). Their message came directly from The God Of Creation, but the Pharaoh (see Who Was The Exodus Pharaoh?) was of no mind to listen. The Pharaohs didn't believe in the True God - their "gods" were various idols, and such natural things as bulls and reptiles and the Nile River. They worshiped created things, rather than The Creator - perhaps the primary reason that God targeted a number of Egypt's "gods" directly with The Ten Plagues.

  • The First Plague (Exodus 7:14-24)
    All of the water in Egypt - right from water already in buckets and jars, to ponds, canals, streams, even the Nile River - turned to blood. Then all of the fish of the river died, causing a terrible stench.

  • The Second Plague (Exodus 8:1-15)
    Frogs miraculously multiplied in number, so many that the land was infested with the normally aquatic creatures. Even people's houses had them inside.

  • The Third Plague (Exodus 8:16-19)
    Vast swarms of gnats tormented people and animals.

  • The Fourth Plague (Exodus 8:20-32)
    Vast swarms of flies through the land, spreading disease.

  • The Fifth Plague (Exodus 9:1-7)
    Disease on the livestock - horses, donkeys, camels, cattle, sheep and goats - but those of the Israelites were unharmed.

  • The Sixth Plague (Exodus 9:8-12)
    Festering boils on people and animals through the land.

  • The Seventh Plague (Exodus 9:13-35)
    Powerful hail storms that destroyed the standing crops. The hail stones were so big that any people or animals caught outside in the storm were killed.

  • The Eighth Plague (Exodus 10:1-20)
    Locusts in such great numbers that the ground was covered with them. They devoured everything that survived the hail storm.

  • The Ninth Plague (Exodus 10:21-29)
    Darkness over the entire land for three days - but the Israelites had light in Goshen.

  • The Tenth Plague (Exodus 11:1-10, 12:1-42)
    Death of the firstborn. The Passover. Pharaoh let the Israelites go. The Wilderness Journey began.

Fact Finder: Who actually did the speaking in their appearances before Pharaoh - Moses or Aaron? Why?
Exodus 4:10-16

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This Week's Bible Quiz

Of the twelve sons of Jacob / Israel, who became the progenitors of the Twelve Tribes:

1. Who was the firstborn?

2. Who was the youngest, and the only son of Jacob born in what is today Israel?

3. Who was sold by his brothers and taken to Egypt?

4. Who was the ancestor of Jesus Christ?

5. Who was the ancestor of Aaron and the priesthood?

6. Who had a name starting with the letter A?

7. Who had a name starting with the letter Z?

8. Who had a name starting with the letter N?

9. Who had a name starting with the letter S?

10. Who had a name starting with the letter G?

For the answers to this March 26 2002 quiz, see the Bible Quiz Answers Page

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