Death angel

Why the tenth plague?

“Israel is My son, My firstborn son”

Exodus 4:22

My purpose in quoting this is to show what God thinks of Israel.

Pharaoh knew how God regarded Israel.
Israel is my son

“Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Israel is My son, My firstborn” Exodus 4: 22

When the tenth plague occurred it could be said that God was punishing Egypt for the way Egypt had treated His firstborn son over the centuries of their captivity.

  • How many slaves were beaten to death?
  • How many slaves were worked to death?
  • How much had the people suffered over the time of their captivity?

Remember Moses himself was a survivor of a former Pharaoh’s purge of Hebrew male babies in an attempt to thwart the purpose of God… to provide a deliverer at the appointed time.

That time was here.

And it came to pass, that at midnight, the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. Exodus 12: 29

From the highest in the land to the prisoner in the jail, if the person was firstborn, he died. So too did the firstborn of the animals.

In the depiction in the film, ‘The Ten Commandments’, the death that came on them was shown as a green mist. The Bible says the Angel of the Lord and the Destroyer. Much as I like Cecil B deMille’s movie there are some inaccuracies. I believe this was one of them.

Another, and more important one is that Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron that same night.

My problems with that –

  • After Moses had announced the tenth plague, when speaking to Pharaoh, he added “And all these your servants shall come down to me [in Goshen] and bow down to me, saying, ‘Get out, and all the people who follow you!‘ After that I will go out.”
  • Pharaoh himself had said he would not see Moses’ face again. Exodus 11: 28
  • And Moses said, “You have spoken well, I will never see your face again. “Exodus 11:29
  • God Himself had said And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning. Exodus 22:b

Death angelThe Israelites were in fear of God… in fear that it would happen to them and afraid to leave their houses. They were afraid of the Death Angel.

Many times I have heard the saying…. ‘Scripture cannot be broken’ and yet is seems a contradiction when Exodus 12: 31 is read.

Then he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, “Rise, go out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel. And go, serve the Lord as you have said. Exodus 12: 31

In the Ten Commandments movie, there is such a scene. (Another inaccuracy.)

Why the apparent contradiction? Again I turned to Adam Clarke’s commentary on this verse…

“Called for Moses and Aaron –

That is, he sent the message here mentioned to them; for it does not appear that he had any farther (sic) interview with Moses and Aaron, after what is mentioned Exodus 10:28, Exodus 10:29, and Exodus 11:8.

The time for the deliverance from captivity had arrived – but, in order to keep the command of God, none of them left their homes, sheltering under the protection of the blood of the lamb, until the daylight hours.”

The Israelites had been waiting for this for generations, some perhaps believing it was a myth. Then came Moses with his message from God.

Everything God said came true.

There is no mention of the first three plagues missing Goshen, but from the fourth plague onward they fell on the Egyptians but, not on the slaves in Goshen. Their faith and trust was being built. They had been given ample time and clear instruction as to their part on this night. They also knew they would leave when morning arrived.

They were ready!

Till next time – tread softly, you may be treading on someone’s dreams.



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