Bites from these flies could have led to the boils that occurred later on in the story, according to that study. The fifth plague called down on Egypt was a mysterious and highly contagious disease that swiftly killed off the Egyptians' livestock. This biblical scourge is reminiscent of a real plague known as rinderpest, an infectious and lethal viral disease that decimated populations of cattle and other ruminants across Africa and Europe from the 18th through the late 19th centuries.
The Science of the 10 Plagues
Rinderpest was caused by a virus in the same family as canine distemper and measles; infected animals developed a high fever, diarrhea and ulcers in their mouths and noses, according to a manual diagnosing rinderpest, produced by the Food and Agriculture Association of the United Nations. The disease is thought to have originated in Asia, and traveled to Egypt 5, years ago along prehistoric trading routes, the New York Times reported in Its mortality rate was exceptionally high, often exceeding 80 percent.
It killed an estimated million cattle in the 18th century, according to a study published in the journal Medical History in , and when rinderpest emerged in Africa in the 19th century, it killed 5. Rinderpest was last diagnosed in Kenya in , and was declared completely eradicated in , according to the New York Times. Shortly after the Egyptians' livestock died off, they were distracted by the sixth plague — an extremely uncomfortable plague of boils that covered their bodies.
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Boils are painful bumps usually surrounded by red, swollen skin, and are typically caused by Staphylococcus aureus, a type of bacteria commonly found on the skin's surface, according to the Mayo Clinic. An outbreak of the highly infectious disease smallpox, which caused distinctive raised blisters, could result in a large number of people simultaneously coming down with rashes and welts.
10 Things You Should Know about the Exodus | Crossway Articles
Smallpox is thought to have affected communities in Egypt at least 3, years ago, based on evidence of smallpox scars found on several mummies dating back to that period — including the mummy of Pharaoh Ramses V, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The seventh plague brought a heavy hail accompanied by thunder and streaming fire. The chaotic weather struck down people, livestock and trees, although the area of Goshen, where the Israelites lived, was spared, according to the book "Tanakh, A New Translation of The Holy Scriptures" The Jewish Publication Society, A nearby volcanic eruption about 3, years ago on Santorini, an island north of Crete in the Aegean Sea, may explain this plague, as well as others.
When the Pharaoh once again refuses to let the Jewish people go, hungry locusts descend as the eighth plague. Moses warns the Pharaoh: "They shall cover the surface of the land, so that no one will be able to see the land. The volcanic eruption on Santorini may have created favorable conditions for the locusts, said Siro Trevisanato, a Canadian molecular biologist and author of "The Plagues of Egypt: Archaeology, History and Science Look at the Bible" Gorgias Press, Moses and the people had come to what looked like a dead end, but God was with them.
Through a great miracle, God spread the waters of the Red Sea so that Israel could walk across on dry land. When the Egyptians tried to walk across the parted sea, God released the waves, drowning the Egyptian army. After God saved his people from Egyptian bondage, he began to prepare the world for a salvation from greater slavery. The Messiah would come to save the world from sin, death, and the devil.
This, Jesus did. Exodus shapes both Jewish and Christian identity. Its themes are a major part of the Psalms and the Old Testament prophetical books. Exodus is a book about salvation from slavery. Slavery exists in many forms. Some slavery is imposed from the outside; other slavery is within our hearts. Exodus answers both.
Exodus gives words of hope to people suffering from injustice and to those suffering from their own demons. One way to think about slavery existing on the inside—within the heart—is through the lens of addiction. I have seen drug addiction up close and personal. No one ever plans to become addicted. If anything, people begin with a desire to escape life. After a while, the addiction becomes a harsh master, and the one addicted becomes a slave. An addict may even begin to steal from friends and family to support the habit—to obey the master.
The very thing one uses to find salvation becomes the bondage from which they need saving. It shows how ugly life can be. All people desire happiness. The problem is that life is filled with misery.
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We are victims of our own warped desires, and we are victimizers of other human beings. We need an escape. We need salvation. Chapter God gives manna from heaven and emphasizes the test commandment of the Sabbath. Chapter God provides water from a rock, and Israel fights with the Amalekites. Chapters God gives instructions and plans for the tabernacle and the consecration of Aaron and his sons. Chapter 31 also gives the Sabbath covenant. Chapter The people turn from God and dedicate a golden calf; about 3, idol worshippers are killed.
Chapters The renewal of the covenant is discussed. He destroyed the most powerful army in existence at that time without the Israelites having to take up arms. Each person has a choice whether to obey God or reject His way of life. God brought Israel out of Egypt through mighty signs and wonders, and led them by a pillar of cloud by day and by a pillar of fire by night. He miraculously parted the Red Sea and provided them with food and water in the wilderness. God led His people out of Egypt into the Promised Land with many great signs and wonders.
These are recorded so we can appreciate His power and trust in Him. Exodus 20 records the 10 Commandments. The first four define our relationship with God—how we should properly love, deeply respect and please our Creator. How do we love Him? And His commandments are not burdensome.
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The other six commandments describe the fundamental standards leading to a right and proper relationship with each other, and how all peoples and nations should live together in peace and harmony. What should love for each other be based on? One definition of sin is found in 4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. If people everywhere would accept all the commandments of God as guiding principles in their lives, the world would be a much better and more peaceful place.
No one is good but One, that is, God.