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The Plagues of Egypt, also referred to as the Ten Plagues, were inflicted upon the nation of Egypt after the Pharaoh of the time, whose heart was hardened by God possibly in retribution to how he did not accept his existence and power[1], refused to free the enslaved Hebrew people upon request from Moses and Aaron. The plagues occurred when God performed miracles through Moses. The Plagues of Egypt are documented primarily in the Book of Exodus, but are mentioned a few other times throughout the Bible.

As a result of the plagues, Egypt allowed the Hebrew Israelites to be freed from slavery, so they could leave and became an independent nation. In the process, the Israelites observed the first Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread in remembrance of the plagues which had caused Egypt to suffer greatly economically and culturally.


An ethnic group of the Hebrews, which would become the nation of Israel, was enslaved in the country of Egypt. After the descendants of the patriarch Israel had been enslaved for centuries, God saw their suffering[2] and resolved to rescue the Israelites[3] by the hand Moses[4]. Before Moses went to Egypt to plead with the Pharaoh, God foretold that Egypt would not release the Hebrews unless a powerful force compelled him to do so[5].

Therefore, God would perform miracles amongst the Egyptians and after that, the slaves would be released[6]. God also told Moses that he would make the Egyptians disposed in their favor, so the slaves would not have to leave without possessions[7]. God instructed Moses that in order to ensure this, all the women would need to ask the Egyptians for their valuables, such as gold, silver, and clothes; thereby plundering the Egyptians[8].

When Moses doubted that the Israelites would believe and follow him, God made his staff to turn into a snake[9]. God also foretold Moses the turning of the Nile River and other water in Egypt into blood[10].

Moses then went on to Egypt, on his way meeting his brother Aaron who agreed to speak for him to the Pharaoh. Aaron and Moses went to speak before the Pharaoh, though they were told that the Pharaoh would not listen, even after many miracles[11].

After the two pleaded for the Egyptian Monarch to release the Hebrew people by order of God (the Hebrew God Yahweh), the monarch asked them to prove their claim by performing a miracle[12]. They did just as they were told by God, and Aaron threw down his staff on the ground which became a snake[13][9]

Egyptian sorcerers came and did the same thing using magical practices[14], yet each of the sorcerer's snakes were eaten by Aaron's staff[15]. Despite this direct challenge to the Egyptian magic and to their idols, the Pharaoh still refused just as God had foretold[16].

The Plagues[]

Plague of Blood[]

God then spoke to Moses about Egypt's refusal to release His people[17], and gave him instructions on what to do. In the morning when the Pharaoh went out to bathe in the Nile, Moses confronted him[18], pleading for him to release the slaves[19]. Then Moses hit the Nile River with Aaron's staff and it was changed to blood in the presence of Pharaoh and his officials[20], killing all the fish and making the river smelly and undrinkable[21][22].

Then Aaron took his staff and raised his hands over every  body of water around (ponds, lakes, streams, bathing tubs) and turned them all to blood[23]. The Egyptian sorcerers once came again and did the same things, and the Pharaoh's heart was "hard"[24]. The Pharaoh simply returned to his palace, seemingly heartless to the situation[25]. The Egyptians soon began to dig along the banks of the nile, searching for reserves of water, because they could not drink any of the other water[26].

Plague of Frogs[]

Seven days passed after the Plague of Blood[27] before God sent Moses back to the Pharaoh[28]. Moses again pleaded with the Pharaoh and he refused. So God commanded Aaron to raise his staff[29] and out of the waters (mainly the Nile) frogs came and covered the land[30]. The frogs went everywhere in the land, from houses and bedrooms of the government officials[31], to the ovens and cooking devices[32]; being upon both the common people and the officials[33].

The sorcerers once again were able to do the same thing[34]. After the plague had gone on long enough for the Egyptians, the Pharaoh asked Moses to pray for His God Yahweh to end it in exchange for releasing the Hebrews[35]. After negotiating that the freedom would be granted the next day[36]. After Moses prayed, the plague was removed[37] and all the frogs dropped dead all over Egyptian land[38]. The frogs then were all piled up and the land began to reek from the strong smell of the death[39]. Pharaoh saw this as a relief, but decided not to let the Hebrews go[40].

Plague of Gnats[]

At the Pharaoh's obstinance, God told Aaron and Moses to take the staff and hit the dust on the ground and all the dust would become gnats[41]. They did this, and all the smallest bits of dirt became gnats that swarmed onto the people and animals[42]. When the sorcerers also tried to perform this miracle, they were unable to do so[43].

When even his own sorcerers told the Pharaoh that it was Yahweh God's doing, he refused to listen[44].

Plague of Flies[]

The LORD then told Moses to get up early in the morning and confront the Pharaoh by the river[45]. Once again, the people were not freed, and therefore a plague of flies was inflicted[46] upon the people of Egypt and the government officials[47]. This time, God made a distinction between the people of Israel and of Egypt[48] and the flies did not disturb the region of Goshen, were the Hebrews lived[49]. After this, the Pharaoh promised Moses that he and the Hebrews could go out in the wilderness and worship, and so God ended the plague of flies[50]. This promise was then broken and the Hebrews were not allowed to go[51].

Plague on Livestock[]


  1. Exodus 5:1-9 (Link)
  2. Exo 3:7,9 (Link)
  3. Exo 3:8 (Link)
  4. Exo 3:10 (Link)
  5. Exo 3:19 (Link)
  6. Exo 3:20 (Link)
  7. Exo 3:21 (Link)
  8. Exo 3:22 (Link)
  9. 9.0 9.1 Exo 4:1-5
  10. Exo 4:9 (Link)
  11. Exo 7:2-5 (Link)
  12. Exo 7:9 (Link)
  13. Exo 7:10 (Link)
  14. Exo 7:11 (Link)
  15. Exo 7:12 (Link)
  16. Exo 7:13 (Link)
  17. Exo 7:14 (Link)
  18. Exo 7:15 (Link)
  19. Exo 7:16 (Link)
  20. Exo 7:17,20 (Link)
  21. Exo 7:18,20 (Link)
  22. Psa 78:44, 105:29 (Link)
  23. Exo 7:19 (Link)
  24. Exo 7:22 (Link)
  25. Exo 7:22 (Link)
  26. Exo 7:24 (Link)
  27. Exo 7:25 (Link)
  28. Exo 8:2 (Link)
  29. Exo 8:6 (Link)
  30. Exo 8:2,6 (Link)
  31. Psa 105:30 (Link)
  32. Exo 8:3 (Link)
  33. Exo 8:4 (Link)
  34. Exo 8:7 (Link)
  35. Exo 8:8 (Link)
  36. Exo 8:9-10 (Link)
  37. Exo 8:11 (Link)
  38. Exo 8:13 (Link)
  39. Exo 8:14 (Link)
  40. Exo 8:15 (Link)
  41. Exo 8:16 (Link)
  42. Exo 8:17 (Link)
  43. Exo 8:18 (Link)
  44. Exo 8:19 (Link)
  45. Exo 8:20 (Link)
  46. Exo 8:21 (Link)
  47. Exo 8:24 (Link)
  48. Exo 8:23 (Link)
  49. Exo 8:22 (Link)
  50. Exo 8:25-31 (Link)
  51. Exo 8:32 (Link)