Light and Dark– Exodus 10
Dark and light here are part of the plagues before Passover. In Wonders that Plagued Egypt and Reflections on Judgement I cover some of the plagues but there is so much to learn and see. In studying this time, I noticed that Moses was directed to confront Pharaoh early in the morning. This darkness was special – it could be felt! Ra, their sun god, had bowed before the God of Israel. (I have been in dark places that set your nerves on edge, but I have never felt darkness.) When Moses started asking for physical possessions I am sure Egypt was ready to give them anything to get rid of the People.
Three– It stayed dark for three days. These three days speak to the time Jesus was in the grave. I hope that I am not squeezing this to fit my ideas, but you need to think before these days fit into the tomb. Israel was in the light, Egypt was in darkness. Jesus was in His glorified body walking through hell getting the keys back, the disciples were in the “dark” about what really happened to Jesus!
End and Start – There are several things that are happening here, so there are multiple endings and starts. I see this as God ending His “playing nice” with Pharaoh. I think the people of Egypt had had enough and wanted the People gone. What started was God’s direct attack on Pharaoh and his son. Ra was the sun god and major deity for Egypt, and the pharaoh was his son and physical form on earth. It is also the second time (? – the plague of gnats 8: 16) that God did not tell Moses to go to Pharaoh to warn him of what was coming. Pharaoh had to call for Moses, then he was warned of the last plague. (Khepri was the gnat god and the god of creation, moving the sun, and rebirth.) Slavery was ending and freedom about to begin. Worshipping Egypt ended and worshipping Jehovah was beginning.
FURTHER THOUGHT– What gods do you need to leave in the dark so you can live, better, in the light of Jesus.
When God purposed to remove His children from Egypt He had to show Himself and His power to Israel. Since they had been in Egypt several hundred years they knew Egyptian gods very well. His “attack” on the polytheistic belief system started on the human connection with the gods – Pharaoh. He was the mediator between the gods
and the people and the cobra was his protection. It was sculpted into a uraeus (the hood flared cobra) which pharaoh wore on his head. This all deals with one of their creation stories. Pharaoh set the tone for the beliefs of the nation and the swallowing of his symbol and that of the magicians set the tone for the rest of the Exodus.
Many documentaries have been made tying all of the Plagues together but I noticed an interesting connection between the first three (see Start to Out of Egypt). The Nile River was not only their source of water but also the major trade route. Several gods/goddess served as water deities so this judgment was also a major sign for the children of Israel. The third plague was on the land and again several deities are recognized as soil/sand/desert gods. It is interesting that plague number two was frogs/toads as they are amphibians and live in or on both water and land. The frog/toad binds the first and third plague together. There was an animal (besides man) that was affected with each of the first three plagues (1st fish, 2nd frogs, 3rd gnats/mosquitoes with the livestock). The Hebrew word associated with plague three could have been fleas, gnats, mosquitoes, or lice. There are logical connections for Plagues One through Four because bad water and dead fish would have contributed to frogs then mosquitoes and the piles of dead frogs would have supplied meat for the flies. As I said in my post Frogs, beer was important to Egyptians and a favorite type of beer was “red as human blood.”
Plague Three the magicians could not reproduce the plague and finally had to admit that God was stronger than they were. I did find it notable that they only attributed this plague as being the “finger of God” and not the hand or arm. Maybe they at least realized that it could get a lot worse.
In studying this I have wondered how long the Nile stayed polluted? Was it just seven days? It does not say but if God were also teaching Israel about the weakness of Egyptian gods making them work to get their water would have been major! So the first three plagues “defeated” the gods of Pharaoh, water, fish, frogs (beer/bread), and land.