Plagues – Before Passover

Plagues – Before Passover

Exodus 7:14 – I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites.

Since this is the week before Passover I am dealing with things that had to occur before that night.  As Christians, celebrating Easter, we don’t think much about the ten plagues that occurred to bring about the first Passover.  My guess is that before each of us had our personal “Passover” we had things going on in our life that opened our hearts to Him.

My purpose here is not to discuss the plagues in detail; I have lightly touched on them in The Wonders That Plagued Egypt, Reflections on the Judgments in Exodus, and Frogs in the Bible.   My focus is their connection to Passover.  I don’t think that it took more than a year to do all of these and God had a timetable to watch; He brought them out on the anniversary of their arrival – Exodus 12: 41.  This website was a good read on the subject: .

To me, it seems that the wonders that were done had to happen for two groups of people: the Egyptians and the Israelites.

Egyptians – Pharaoh was the primary target of the plagues.  The decision to release the people had to come through him, and he had an attitude problem.  The people had to be conditioned to WANT to give away their riches.  They gave away a lot of stuff.  Read about the quantities of materials that were needed to construct the Ark and the Tabernacle; they really did plunder Egypt.

Israelites – The community was affected by the first three plagues and could have been affected by the last one if they had not followed instructions; starting with the plague of the flies in Exodus 8:20 God did not bring the rest of the plagues on His people.  It seems like God was teaching His people about Himself and trying to build their faith in Him.  I know for sure that since they ushered in Passover and the Exodus, which was the turning point for them as a people, they were important.  The story is talked about in many other places in the Bible I put some of them in a post – The Exodus Story in Other Places.

pic from

The Wonders That Plagued Egypt

Before the Exodus of Israel God did eleven wonders against Pharaoh and Egypt.  I did not make a mistake Moses did eleven wonders, not ten.  The first wonder is in Exodus 7: 10 were Aaron threw down the “rod of God” and it became a snake, probably a cobra.  The court magicians threw down their staffs and they were/became snakes.  (The snakes were probably paralyzed so as to be walking sticks for the magicians.)  All eleven of these wonders/signs defeated an Egyptian god.  The cobra was a symbol of Pharaoh who considered himself a god.

The wonders of blood, frogs, and gnats happened to both the Egyptians and Israelites.  I think this had to happen because the People had gotten too much of Egypt in them and Father God had to get their attention.  These wonders are against water and land but also the attack of the frogs was wrapped up with beer and important food in Egypt.  The magicians could do the snake, blood, and frogs, but the gnats they proclaimed the “finger of God.”  (See Frogs in the Bible and Reflections on Judgments)

During ten of the wonders, Pharaoh hardened his heart and “would not listen” or “let the people go.”  This phrase is repeated many times and three different words are used for “hardened.”  I will look into these words in a separate post.

If you accept the snake as one of the wonders there is a pattern of 1, 3, 3, 3, 1 to the plagues (hard hits).  In the “second three” the stakes go up and only the Egyptians are affected (Exodus 8:22).  I know that people had to deal with dead fish and frogs but in this “three” livestock died, so a loss of food/income hits Egypt.  The plague of the livestock would also be the sixth wonder (six is the number of man) and it hits them in the pocketbook.

In the next three wonders (hail, locust, and darkness) God says he unleashes the “full force of the plagues” (9: 14, 16).  In the plague of hail, people die because some officials would not bring in their slaves and field workers.  This is the first time people died, before this, it has only been animals dying.  The hail would be the “eighth” wonder, eight is the number of new starts, and these last four plagues finally break Pharaoh and the Egyptians.  The People don’t get any of these plagues as God continues to show both sets of people that He is choosing one over the other.

The last “hard hit” of the firstborn is special in that it will purposely affect man and animals.  It also had the potential to affect the People of Israel and Egyptians alike.  If the firstborn of the People were not covered by the blood of the lamb they also would have died.

How about it?  Are you covered by the Blood?  If not please read the “Got Jesus” button at the top of the page.