Plagues of Egypt

Boyd’s Bible Dictionary:

(blow). Pestilential disease (Lev. 13:2-8; 26:252When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising, a scab, or bright spot, and it be in the skin of his flesh like the plague of leprosy; then he shall be brought unto Aaron the priest, or unto one of his sons the priests: 3And the priest shall look on the plague in the skin of the flesh: and when the hair in the plague is turned white, and the plague in sight be deeper than the skin of his flesh, it is a plague of leprosy: and the priest shall look on him, and pronounce him unclean. 4If the bright spot be white in the skin of his flesh, and in sight be not deeper than the skin, and the hair thereof be not turned white; then the priest shall shut up him that hath the plague seven days: 5And the priest shall look on him the seventh day: and, behold, if the plague in his sight be at a stay, and the plague spread not in the skin; then the priest shall shut him up seven days more: 6And the priest shall look on him again the seventh day: and, behold, if the plague be somewhat dark, and the plague spread not in the skin, the priest shall pronounce him clean: it is but a scab: and he shall wash his clothes, and be clean. 7But if the scab spread much abroad in the skin, after that he hath been seen of the priest for his cleansing, he shall be seen of the priest again: 8And if the priest see that, behold, the scab spreadeth in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is a leprosy. (Leviticus 13:2‑8)
25And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy. (Leviticus 26:25)
). Any calamitous visitation (Mark 5:2929And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. (Mark 5:29); Luke 7:2121And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight. (Luke 7:21)). The judgments of God on Egypt are called plagues. They were (1) Nile changed to blood (Ex. 7:14-2514And the Lord said unto Moses, Pharaoh's heart is hardened, he refuseth to let the people go. 15Get thee unto Pharaoh in the morning; lo, he goeth out unto the water; and thou shalt stand by the river's brink against he come; and the rod which was turned to a serpent shalt thou take in thine hand. 16And thou shalt say unto him, The Lord God of the Hebrews hath sent me unto thee, saying, Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness: and, behold, hitherto thou wouldest not hear. 17Thus saith the Lord, In this thou shalt know that I am the Lord: behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood. 18And the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall lothe to drink of the water of the river. 19And the Lord spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone. 20And Moses and Aaron did so, as the Lord commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. 21And the fish that was in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt. 22And the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, neither did he hearken unto them; as the Lord had said. 23And Pharaoh turned and went into his house, neither did he set his heart to this also. 24And all the Egyptians digged round about the river for water to drink; for they could not drink of the water of the river. 25And seven days were fulfilled, after that the Lord had smitten the river. (Exodus 7:14‑25)). (2) Visitation of frogs (Ex. 8:1-151And the Lord spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Let my people go, that they may serve me. 2And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs: 3And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into thine house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneadingtroughs: 4And the frogs shall come up both on thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants. 5And the Lord spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch forth thine hand with thy rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come up upon the land of Egypt. 6And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt. 7And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt. 8Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, Entreat the Lord, that he may take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may do sacrifice unto the Lord. 9And Moses said unto Pharaoh, Glory over me: when shall I entreat for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people, to destroy the frogs from thee and thy houses, that they may remain in the river only? 10And he said, To morrow. And he said, Be it according to thy word: that thou mayest know that there is none like unto the Lord our God. 11And the frogs shall depart from thee, and from thy houses, and from thy servants, and from thy people; they shall remain in the river only. 12And Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh: and Moses cried unto the Lord because of the frogs which he had brought against Pharaoh. 13And the Lord did according to the word of Moses; and the frogs died out of the houses, out of the villages, and out of the fields. 14And they gathered them together upon heaps: and the land stank. 15But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said. (Exodus 8:1‑15)). (3) Lice (Ex. 8:16-1916And the Lord said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt. 17And they did so; for Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and smote the dust of the earth, and it became lice in man, and in beast; all the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt. 18And the magicians did so with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not: so there were lice upon man, and upon beast. 19Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said. (Exodus 8:16‑19)). (4) Flies (Ex. 8:20-3220And the Lord said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh; lo, he cometh forth to the water; and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Let my people go, that they may serve me. 21Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are. 22And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth. 23And I will put a division between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be. 24And the Lord did so; and there came a grievous swarm of flies into the house of Pharaoh, and into his servants' houses, and into all the land of Egypt: the land was corrupted by reason of the swarm of flies. 25And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land. 26And Moses said, It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the Lord our God: lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us? 27We will go three days' journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to the Lord our God, as he shall command us. 28And Pharaoh said, I will let you go, that ye may sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; only ye shall not go very far away: entreat for me. 29And Moses said, Behold, I go out from thee, and I will entreat the Lord that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, to morrow: but let not Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the Lord. 30And Moses went out from Pharaoh, and entreated the Lord. 31And the Lord did according to the word of Moses; and he removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people; there remained not one. 32And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go. (Exodus 8:20‑32)). (5) Murrain (Ex. 9:1-71Then the Lord said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh, and tell him, Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me. 2For if thou refuse to let them go, and wilt hold them still, 3Behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain. 4And the Lord shall sever between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt: and there shall nothing die of all that is the children's of Israel. 5And the Lord appointed a set time, saying, To morrow the Lord shall do this thing in the land. 6And the Lord did that thing on the morrow, and all the cattle of Egypt died: but of the cattle of the children of Israel died not one. 7And Pharaoh sent, and, behold, there was not one of the cattle of the Israelites dead. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people go. (Exodus 9:1‑7)). (6) Boils (Ex. 9:8-128And the Lord said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh. 9And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt. 10And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast. 11And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians. 12And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had spoken unto Moses. (Exodus 9:8‑12)). (7) Hail (Ex. 9:13-3513And the Lord said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me. 14For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth. 15For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth. 16And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to show in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth. 17As yet exaltest thou thyself against my people, that thou wilt not let them go? 18Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now. 19Send therefore now, and gather thy cattle, and all that thou hast in the field; for upon every man and beast which shall be found in the field, and shall not be brought home, the hail shall come down upon them, and they shall die. 20He that feared the word of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses: 21And he that regarded not the word of the Lord left his servants and his cattle in the field. 22And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt. 23And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt. 24So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. 25And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field. 26Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail. 27And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time: the Lord is righteous, and I and my people are wicked. 28Entreat the Lord (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail; and I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer. 29And Moses said unto him, As soon as I am gone out of the city, I will spread abroad my hands unto the Lord; and the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail; that thou mayest know how that the earth is the Lord's. 30But as for thee and thy servants, I know that ye will not yet fear the Lord God. 31And the flax and the barley was smitten: for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was bolled. 32But the wheat and the rie were not smitten: for they were not grown up. 33And Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh, and spread abroad his hands unto the Lord: and the thunders and hail ceased, and the rain was not poured upon the earth. 34And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants. 35And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go; as the Lord had spoken by Moses. (Exodus 9:13‑35)). (8) Locusts (Ex. 10:1-201And the Lord said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might show these my signs before him: 2And that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son's son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am the Lord. 3And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me. 4Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, to morrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast: 5And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth: and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field: 6And they shall fill thy houses, and the houses of all thy servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians; which neither thy fathers, nor thy fathers' fathers have seen, since the day that they were upon the earth unto this day. And he turned himself, and went out from Pharaoh. 7And Pharaoh's servants said unto him, How long shall this man be a snare unto us? let the men go, that they may serve the Lord their God: knowest thou not yet that Egypt is destroyed? 8And Moses and Aaron were brought again unto Pharaoh: and he said unto them, Go, serve the Lord your God: but who are they that shall go? 9And Moses said, We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast unto the Lord. 10And he said unto them, Let the Lord be so with you, as I will let you go, and your little ones: look to it; for evil is before you. 11Not so: go now ye that are men, and serve the Lord; for that ye did desire. And they were driven out from Pharaoh's presence. 12And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come up upon the land of Egypt, and eat every herb of the land, even all that the hail hath left. 13And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the Lord brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. 14And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt: very grievous were they; before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such. 15For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left: and there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field, through all the land of Egypt. 16Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste; and he said, I have sinned against the Lord your God, and against you. 17Now therefore forgive, I pray thee, my sin only this once, and entreat the Lord your God, that he may take away from me this death only. 18And he went out from Pharaoh, and entreated the Lord. 19And the Lord turned a mighty strong west wind, which took away the locusts, and cast them into the Red sea; there remained not one locust in all the coasts of Egypt. 20But the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go. (Exodus 10:1‑20)). (9) Darkness (Ex. 10:21-2821And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. 22And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days: 23They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings. 24And Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said, Go ye, serve the Lord; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed: let your little ones also go with you. 25And Moses said, Thou must give us also sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice unto the Lord our God. 26Our cattle also shall go with us; there shall not an hoof be left behind; for thereof must we take to serve the Lord our God; and we know not with what we must serve the Lord, until we come thither. 27But the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go. 28And Pharaoh said unto him, Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die. (Exodus 10:21‑28)). (10) Smiting of the firstborn (Ex. 12:29-3029And 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. 30And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. (Exodus 12:29‑30)).

Concise Bible Dictionary:

These were wrought by God to show to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians His great power, and that all the elements of creation were at His disposal (Ex. 7-12).
1. THE PLAGUE OF BLOOD. The water of the Nile and of the canals and pools was turned into blood. The water stank, and the fish died. This was a real punishment; for it was the water they all drank, and which was highly esteemed. The fish too was abundant: the Israelites in the wilderness could not forget the fish of which they had eaten freely, or “for nothing.” The magicians also were able to turn water into blood: where then was the great power of the God of Israel? Pharaoh hardened his heart.
2. FROGS. The land swarmed with them: they were in their bedchambers, their ovens, and their bread pans. The magicians also were able to bring up frogs on the land. The presence of the frogs was so insufferable that Pharaoh called for Moses, and begged him to entreat Jehovah for their removal, and he would let the people go. The frogs died and were gathered in heaps; but with the relief, Pharaoh hardened his heart, and would not let the people go.
3. LICE, ken, kinnam. The dust of the land became lice in man and in beast. It has been supposed that the word signifies gnats, because the LXX has σκνίφες, which some translate “mosquito-gnats.” But these may be included in the next plague. It is more probable that the louse or the tick is alluded to. It is described as being “in man and in beast.” The magicians could not imitate this; it was a communication of life. They acknowledged, “This is the finger of God.” Yet Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not let Israel go.
4. FLIES. In the AV the words “of flies” are added, and the “swarms” may refer to swarms of insects of different sorts. They were to come into the houses and also to corrupt the land. Gesenius gives “gad-fly” for arob, but in Psalm 78:4545He sent divers sorts of flies among them, which devoured them; and frogs, which destroyed them. (Psalm 78:45) and Psalm 105:3131He spake, and there came divers sorts of flies, and lice in all their coasts. (Psalm 105:31), the same word is translated “divers sorts of flies.” There is an insect that is exceedingly destructive to property, ruining the wood of a house in a short time. No doubt the common fly of Egypt is included: they are very troublesome; soon defiling food, and persistently attacking the body. One thing that characterizes this plague is that these pests were not sent into the land of Goshen, where the Israelites dwelt. The plague was felt so much that Pharaoh hastened to call Moses, and proposed that they should have their sacrifice, but have it in Egypt. To this Moses could not accede, for the Israelites would have to sacrifice the animals which the Egyptians worshipped. Pharaoh at length consented to their going; but they were not to go very far away. However no sooner was the plague removed than Pharaoh again refused to let Israel go.
5. MURRAIN OF BEASTS. It fell upon the cattle, horses, asses, camels, and sheep, that were in the fields, and all that were attacked died. Of the cattle of the children of Israel none were stricken. Pharaoh sent to certify this, and one would have thought that, finding they were all safe, it would have convinced him that it was the Almighty he was fighting against. But he would not let Israel go.
6. BOILS upon man and beast. The magicians were now smitten, so that they could not stand before Pharaoh as at other times. But Pharaoh hardened his heart, and refused to let the people go.
7. HAIL, with thunder and lightning. The fire ran along upon the ground. There had not been a storm of such violence since Egypt had been a nation. This also had not fallen upon Goshen. The king said, “I have sinned this time: Jehovah is righteous, and I and my people are wicked. Entreat Jehovah (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail; and I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer.” The hail and thunder ceased; but Pharaoh would not let Israel go.
8. LOCUSTS. Moses threatened these, and Pharaoh’s servants now begged him to let the people go. He called for Moses and Aaron, and said, “Go, serve the Lord your God: but who are they that shall go?” All must go, and the flocks and herds. Pharaoh again refused, but said the men might go. The devastation of the locusts was such that Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron “in haste,” confessed that he had sinned against Jehovah, and begged that “this death” might be removed. A west wind carried away the locusts; but Pharaoh’s heart was hardened; and he again refused.
9. DARKNESS. “They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.” It was a darkness that might be felt, and Pharaoh called for Moses, and bade the Israelites to depart with their wives and their little ones; but they must leave their flocks and herds behind. Moses could not agree: all must go: not a hoof must be left behind, it was God’s redemption. Pharaoh was angry, saying, “Take heed to thyself, see my face no more: for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die.” Moses replied, “Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more.” This is in Exodus 10:2929And Moses said, Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more. (Exodus 10:29); but in Exodus 11:4-84And Moses said, Thus saith the Lord, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: 5And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts. 6And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more. 7But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the Lord doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel. 8And all these thy servants shall come down unto me, and bow down themselves unto me, saying, Get thee out, and all the people that follow thee: and after that I will go out. And he went out from Pharaoh in a great anger. (Exodus 11:4‑8) it is clear that Moses told Pharaoh of the death of the firstborn, which might have been on the same occasion by a message direct from God. We read that Moses, though the meekest of men, went out from Pharaoh in great anger.
10. DEATH OF THE FIRSTBORN. “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.” The Israelites had prepared the paschal lamb, and had sprinkled its blood upon the lintel and doorposts, and the destroyer passed them by. This was typical of the precious blood of Christ, which is the testimony that judgment on man has been executed, and is the basis of all God’s subsequent dealings in grace. Moses and Aaron were called for, and told to depart with flocks and herds. The Egyptians were urgent upon them to make haste, exclaiming, “We be all dead men.” Thus did God bring His sore judgments upon Egypt, to let Pharaoh know that He was the mighty God, and to redeem His chosen people with a high hand.