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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Lesson # 54

Smoky Mountain Bible Institute
Lesson #54
            Break out your maps and histories as we travel again in our time machine to examine history & geography through a Biblical worldview. We have come to the infamous plagues on the land of Egypt
in 1446 BC. Let’s examine this turn of events.

            When did these plagues take place, and what is their significance? The answer to the first question would be during the first months of 1446 BC from Shebat to Nisan (which for us would start in late January / early February and end in late March / early April). The timing and significance of each of the plagues is interesting so let's look at each of them.

            1. Turning of the Nile to Blood. This would have taken place before the spring swelling of the Nile. According to Ancient Egyptian mythology, the Nile was supposed to be the life-blood of the god Osiris providing life to all other beings, but instead it brought bloody death, even to their god Hatmehyt, represented by a fish.

            2. Frogs. Every place the Egyptians went, there were frogs, even in their beds. Here, God embarrassed their goddess of fertility, Heqt (represented by a frog), showing that even she could not keep in check this severe over-production of frogs. After they had been chased out of the bloody Nile, and with not enough to eat or drink, these frogs would soon have been in large rotting piles of carcasses.

            3. Lice. The whole land of Egypt (which was supposed to be clean and holy because of the Egyptian gods) was crawling with insects associated with filth and dirtiness. Pharaoh’s holy men at this point acknowledge that this is the finger of God (a common Egyptian phrase when speaking of acts of their gods).

            4. Flies. The Hebrew word here could better be translated as swarming bugs. Included in such a broad definition could be beetles, which also represented their god Khepera. (Another of Egypt's gods shamed.)

            5. Deceased Livestock. Apis the bull god and Hathor the cow god, added to the list of shamed gods.

            6. Boils. The Egyptians prided themselves on cleanliness, but this plague had Pharaoh’s holy men in so much pain and shame that they could not appear in the throne room to support their king when he next spoke with Moses.

            7 & 8. Hail & Locusts. These two plagues were particularly destructive and shameful to their gods. The gods Reshpu and Ketesh were supposed to be in control of the elements, as was the sky goddess, Nut. The destructive hail would have destroyed all their winter crops, depleting food and linen sources. On top of that, locusts (which represented the god Senehem) would finish off anything left by the hail that was green and able to recover from the hail.

            9. Darkness. In this plague, the god Horus (symbolized by an eye) was blinded, and the sun god, Ra, was darkened. These were two of their most important gods. Interesting to note this darkness was over Egypt only the land of Goshen, where the people of the true God lived was bathed in light This lays the groundwork for the final plague.                        

            10. Death of the First-Born. As I mentioned in lesson #52, this Pharaoh must not have been a first-born son or he too would have died. However, his own first-born son did die, and this would have been the final slap in the face of all the Egyptian gods, as the Pharaohs were seen as gods on Earth.

            Last month we covered 80 years, and this month we covered 3 months! We will see what next month brings as we pick things up on 14 Nisan (March and April did not exist yet) 1446 BC.

Blessed Lent,

Pastor Portier

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