Hebrews – Chapter Eleven XLVII

by Ed Urzi

“It was by faith that Moses commanded the people of Israel to keep the Passover and to sprinkle blood on the doorposts so that the angel of death would not kill their firstborn sons” (Hebrews 11:28 NLT).

When Moses approached Pharaoh to request a national three day leave-of-absence to offer sacrifices to the Lord, the Egyptian monarch responded just as God predicted: ”’Who is the Lord?’ the king demanded. ‘Why should I listen to him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord; and I will not let Israel go'” (Exodus 5:2 GNT). Although Pharaoh did not realize it, this represented the beginning of the end of Israel’s servitude in Egypt…

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh. I will use my great power against him, and he will let my people go. He will be so ready for them to leave that he will force them to go'” (Exodus 6:1 ERV).

That led to a series of ten judgments that were designed to compel Pharaoh into obedience. Those judgments took the form of the following plagues…

  • All the waters of Egypt, including the beloved Nile River, turned to blood.
  • Frogs overran the land.
  • Gnats (or lice) infested the land of Egypt to the point where they “…covered everyone, people and animals alike” Exodus 8:18 NLT). This brought Pharaoh’s occultic advisors to the following conclusion: “…’This is something only God could do!'”(Exodus 8:19 CEB).
  • Swarms of flies descended upon the homes of the Egyptians, including Pharaoh’s residence. But no flies entered the region of Goshen where the people of Israel dwelled.
  • A severe pestilence decimated the nation’s livestock, including their cattle, horses, donkeys, camels, oxen, and sheep.
  • Boils and sores broke out on the people and the remaining animals.
  • Hailstones destroyed Egypt’s agricultural production, along with whatever replacement livestock the Egyptians had been able to procure. Nevertheless, God graciously offered the following counsel in advance: “‘Tomorrow at this time I’ll cause the heaviest hail to fall on Egypt that has ever fallen from the day Egypt was founded until now. So bring under shelter your livestock and all that belongs to you that is out in the open. Every person or animal that is out in the open field and isn’t brought inside will die when the hail rains down on them.’ Some of Pharaoh’s officials who took the Lord’s word seriously rushed to bring their servants and livestock inside for shelter. Others who didn’t take the Lord’s word to heart left their servants and livestock out in the open field” (Exodus 9:18-21 CEB).
  • Any plant that wasn’t completely annihilated by the hail was subsequently devoured by locusts.
  • Thick darkness then covered the land for three days.

The final plague -the deaths of all firstborn- was directly associated with the Passover referenced here in Hebrews 11:28 and facilitated Israel’s subsequent departure from Egypt.