A proud and stubborn man, Pharaoh fought God all the way through the plagues. To this point in the post they were…
- The Nile River turns to blood
- Livestock disease
After this Josephus records in Chapter 14 bk 2 of his Antiquities of the Jews…
“One would think the beforementioned calamities might have been sufficient for one that was only foolish, without wickedness… But Pharaoh, led not so much by his folly as by his wickedness, even when he saw the cause of his miseries, he still contest with God…”
And in his contesting with God, brought on himself, his land and his people, the ninth plague.
They had lost crops, cattle, suffered from the boils, hail had ruined or killed what was left of their livestock, then locusts came and devoured their crops. Well they said “You cannot resist the power of his (Moses’) God.”There was a part in the Ten Commandments movie that sticks in my mind, so my husband and I played the second disk again. (I have a great husband!) In that scene, Moses warned Pharaoh “If there is one more plague on Egypt it is by your word that God will bring it. There will be such a great cry throughout the land.” In the movie, after Moses left Pharaoh announced to his advisors, “There shall be one more plague, and it will come upon the slaves in Goshen. The firstborn of each house shall die – beginning with the son of Moses. Later, when Moses hears what Pharaoh had pronounced, he says “Out of his own mouth…”
I hunted through the Bible and Josephus but this section seems to have been an invention for the movie.
The fact there was a 10th plague was no invention though…
Death of the First Born
“And the Lord said to Moses, “I will bring yet one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will surely drive you out of here altogether.” Exodus 11: 1
So the tenth plague was pronounced, and pronounced by God not Pharaoh.
Remember, before they were Hebrew slaves they were the twelve tribes of Israel (Jacob).
To God, Israel was His firstborn.
He told Abram
“… Know certainly that your descendents will be strangers on a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions.” Genesis 15: 13,14
The four hundred years were almost up. God’s judgement had been upon them, and was drawing to its final conclusion.
Whatever God says will be fulfilled… and He had said plainly “… And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions”
God did not forget. He told Moses
“Speak now in the hearing of the people, and let every man ask from his neighbour, articles of silver and articles of gold. And the Lord gave the people favour in the sigh of the Egyptians’.” Exodus 11:2,3a
This was spoken almost exactly four hundred years before that promise had been made. But think about it… slaves asking their masters for silver and gold!”
Could this be the reason…
“Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants and in the sight of the people.” Exodus 11: 3b
Moses was very great in their sight? All who remembered his former position had died. He came back as a shepherd. He was not dressed as someone to respect. But he had come in the power of the Almighty God.
And that is the reason… God was with him.
There is much to learn from that statement… God was with him. Something to ponder on.
Next time… the first Passover.
Tread softly, you may be treading on someone’s dreams.