Afterward Moses and Aaron went in and told Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.’ ” Exodus 5:1
People, for some reason, just don’t want to believe in miracles…unless they are asking for a personal one, that is. Instead of taking God at His Word, people have tried to come up with rational explanations for the miracles in the Bible, including the ten plagues visited upon a stubborn pharaoh.
As if believing in miracles from the Creator and Supreme Ruler of the Universe is irrational. But I digress…
Relying again on Dr. Moller and his book, The Exodus Case, let’s look at some basic premises.
#1 – Pharaoh’s own magicians believed that the plagues were God’s doing: Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” Exodus 8:19
#2 – Everything that happened did so at God’s command. Natural ecological changes just don’t happen that fast.
#3 – The Nile turning to blood has been explained as an algae bloom that could change the color and taste of the water. However, the Egyptians had bloody water while the Israelites did not. They had settled in Goshen, which is downstream from the rest of Egypt in the delta near the Mediterranean. That would qualify as a miracle, algae bloom or not. The text says quite deliberately that the water became blood, not that it looked like blood.
#4 – Frogs. They live in and around the water, so the blood/water plague should have killed them. Instead, they infested all of Egypt, save Goshen. One day later they all died except for those in the Nile, which was no longer bloody. The land stank from the decaying corpses.
#5 – Swarms of mosquitos. The same problem exists here as for the frogs. The Nile became blood and killed everything, so where did they come from? And again, the Israelites in Goshen were unaffected.
#6 – Flies. They could arguably have come from the dead frogs, but again this all happened in quick succession…too quickly to be natural.
#7 – The cattle all die (except for the cattle in Goshen). If this was simply a disease, it would have affected the Israelites, and it would have taken longer than a day.
#8 – Boils and blisters on both animals and people. This is decidedly unnatural. Diseases do not normally jump between species. Again, we are dealing with the speed with which is happened and the fact that Goshen was protected.
What could it do to crops?
#9 – Hail. This is normally a springtime event, and the indications are that this was in the Egyptian spring, but again Goshen was unaffected. It fell everywhere else in Egypt. Without the benefit of The Weather Channel, Moses gave 24 hours’ notice so that Egyptians who feared God could instruct their servants to shelter all livestock and themselves under cover (Ex 9:20-21). Here is what happened next:
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt—on man, on beast, and on every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt.” 23 And Moses stretched out his rod toward heaven; and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and fire darted to the ground. And the Lord rained hail on the land of Egypt. 24 So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, so very heavy that there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. 25 And the hail struck throughout the whole land of Egypt, all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail struck every herb of the field and broke every tree of the field. 26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, there was no hail…29 So Moses said to him, “As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands to the Lord; the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, that you may know that the earth is the Lord’s. Exodus 9 selected verses
Moses lifted his hands and the hail came. He lifted his hands again to God, and it stopped.
#10 – Locusts. Locust swarms are not unusual. What was unusual here was how colossal the swarm was and how easily it was blown away into The Red Sea. The ground could not be seen for the multitude of the swarm. Something that huge does not get cleaned up so easily by wind, yet that is what the text tells us.
#11 – Darkness. This was not an eclipse, which brings the effect of twilight. This was “thick darkness” such that “They did not see one another; nor did anyone rise from his place for three days. But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.” Exodus 10:23
These plagues all came on fast. They all left as quickly. Insects, weather, and diseases might seem to be possible explanations except that none of these behaved in normal ways.
All this aside, just ask yourself one, simple question. If this was all coincidence, just smoke and mirrors…why did pharaoh let His people go?
NEXT – Did all of this really happen? Didn’t anyone else notice?