Talk:Plagues of Egypt

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This section contains a number of unsupported broad claims:

"Historians assert that the plague stories are true" Historians, without any modifier implies all historians. This is not a statement of fact.

"Scientists claim" same problem

"Archaeologists now widely believe" really? define "widely." how can you cite that?

"Historians have suggested that the plagues are passed-down accounts" who? what are the counter-arguments?

This section also contains a more general problem, which is that a reader encountering this entry might well think that a preponderance of world historical, archeological and scientific opinion is in favor of the historic reality of the plagues. Personally, I doubt this is true. Certainly, in order to sustain such a statement in a neutral, secular encyclopedia, a much strong set of citations need to back a much more careful set of statements.

Ultimately, it weakens the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:C4AA:2810:F895:70A1:5605:AF8A (talk) 22:25, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

how to describe the last plague ?[edit]

I don't think "murder" is the appropriate English word.

"murder" is defined as "The unlawful killing of one human by another, especially ..." --

Since there is no human causing the deaths of the last plague, it was not murder.

Is there a more appropriate English word ? PleaseDiscuss. - (unsigned)

Exodus says the Lord said he would smite the first-born: perhaps "killing" is the word you're looking for? -- Nunh-huh

Murder is murder. no matter who commits it. How about mass-murder?-- 23:13, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

The entire "morality" section does not belong in this article as this is an entry about and describing the events of the plagues. God, as he is understood, is the architect of anything that happens in his creation and anything he does is for a reason. There is no moral issues to raise in this regard. Please edit out "morality" from this article.Fyrre 23:12, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

APRIL 3, 2008: I decided to make a change myself on that section. Correct, "morality" is not the right word here, so i just attempted to generalize it. A certain paragraph there was sounding like a debate/argument thing, even having a question mark, so I rewrote it for a more neutral and informational tone, editing out the inappropriate parts. I'm a bit sleepy though, "controversy" may not be the right word, it may still not look right, so i'm just putting a notice here for other to look at it and see if it looks ok. Sp3ctre18 (talk) 04:28, 3 April 2008 (UTC) well!?! what the hell would you do fi you were a slave?! HE IS GOD! he made those kids, so HE can take them! Duh!!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:04, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Re: "God hardened Pharaoh's heart so he would not relent and so God could use him as an object lesson in his power."(loosely) -So he basically set him up as an excuse for visiting untold horrors upon mankind, right? I am sorry, but I cannot worship such a god. The blame for the imprisonment of the tribes of Israel lay with the state of Egypt of that time, not with the people, much less the children of the land. And re: "God, as he is understood, is the architect of anything that happens in his creation and anything he does is for a reason." -Again, I cannot believe in a god that kills innocents, whatever his reasons. If a human commited what is described above, they would be condemned without hesitation and shown no sympathy. Why should a deity be worshiped for the same? By the cited rule, one could absolve any human criminal of guilt, as, apparently, god would have had a reason for that, too. In fact, everyone could abandon any morals whatsoever, as whatever you do, it was preordained by god anyway. That seem okay to you? To me, certainly, most firmly not. Saying "God has a reason" is an easy excuse. What's so hard about saying "it's wrong", or "such things should not happen"? Of course, then God would not be omnipotent, or at least would not directly manage everything, but so what? If he wanted to do that, what would he need sentient beings that make their own decisions for? To have someone to worship him? That would be extremely petty. That's my opinion, anyway.

Of course, I'd love to live in a world where bad things would not happen, e.g. because an omnipotent, omnipresent, infinitely good God would prevent it. Unfortunately, that is not the case. And since not everything is perfect in the world, we do have a responsibility to make our own moral judgments and choices, to try to make the world as good as possible. And please, don't argument with "original sin" - that the world was perfect, but that we forever forfeited that perfection when we desired knowledge. No modern penal system punishes descendants for ancestors' crimes (save for parents' responsibility for minors). And to want to know is no crime - unless someone would feel threatened by people knowing. Again, I cannot believe that a god would be so petty to commit the latter, and so cruel to commit the former. As far as science knows, the world has been like it is for several billion years, anyway, and we have the potential to make it better than ever. So far, we've done a lot, but some (I'd say, not-quite-)humans are still screwing things up big time.

Re: "well!?! what the hell would you do fi you were a slave?! HE IS GOD! he made those kids, so HE can take them! Duh!!!!" What a bleak view of existence, to believe we exist but at a whim of a callous and vengeful entity. I'd certainly rebel against that religion. Besides, the way kids are "made" is pretty well understood nowadays, and there's nothing to suggest any deity would be so important for it that it would give it absolute power over the life and death of those people later. What, dear sir or madam, is exactly, in your opinion, the point of existence if, pardon my language, god can off ya anytime for no reason? Huh?

Perhaps that's why Jesus became so popular at the turn of the calendar - he did away with this brutal persona of god, and instead taught that God is love, more or less. Historically speaking, of course Jesus became popular - the god in the early teachings of the Israelites was no less flawed than any of the pagan deities he replaced. God as he is understood in modern times, i.e. a singularly good force, is actually a considerable step forward in spiritual philosophy. And that's not meant to promote any religion over another. Few Jews today would consider the hard-line teachings of old palatable either, I am sure, especially considering the tragic history of their people over the last two millennia.

Btw: If any of you feel offended that I don't always capitalize God, His, etc., please notice that I am capitalizing God's name whenever I ascribe to Him the "modern", i.e. universally good, traits. I do not capitalize whenever I am criticising the ascription of traits that I, personally, would never consider worthy of worship.

Finally, please note that I am not a believer in the religious sense. (talk) 17:49, 14 September 2011 (UTC)


I noted on the main page that there were contradictions in the story, and my change was removed. Specifically, God kills the Egyptian livestock multiple times (killing all Egyptian livestock in the fifth plague, killing livestock in the fields in the seventh plague, and killing the firstborn of the livestock in the tenth plague), but Pharaoh pursues the Jews with chariots, horsemen, and his army in Exodus 14. Is this simply being removed because religious people find that fact unpleasant and want to bury it, or does someone want to discuss this fact? 07:08, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

In 5: "all" could refer to "all kinds". In 7 and 9: there is no indication that there entirety of all livestock of all kind is killed. Of note, but neglected in this entry, are the multitude of religious scholars who view the Exodus plagues as symbolic of a reversal of creation, with each plague undoing God's creation. To correspond with your "complaint", those plagues match non-overlapping ideas which have been missed by the article. Further evidence is the common interpretation that Egypt represents the "formless void" and is in all things a contradiction to God's creation (represented by Canaan). One common exegesis concludes that this passage is representative of the reason for the Hebrews leaving Egypt, and is seen as a type for Christ. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:15, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Also, an assumption is being made that the Egyptians couldn't replace livestock (ergo- buy). Scholars commonly hold that this series of plagues weren't back to back, but spanned over the course of months. After the death of all livestock the first time, Egypt could have easily bought new livestock or simply taken the livestock of the Hebrews, which was left untouched and would have been an easy steal since the Hebrews were slaves. Furthermore, killing the livestock of the fields and the firstborn would not have prevented Pharoah from using fully grown, warhorses which would not have fallen under either of those categories. (talk) 12:12, 22 January 2009 (UTC)Josh

Just wondering about a seeming contradiction in the plague of blood (chapter seven): verse 19 makes it clear that all of the water in Egypt was to be turned into blood. Where then did the Egyptian magicians find non-bloodied water when they performed the same transformation in verse 22? In the blood section of this article it claims that they had "other water resources"; is there any evidence for this, or is it an assertion? wagnj1 (talk) 21:57, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Hebrew transliteration[edit]

Okay, for the record, I'm not a fluent Hebrew speaker, but I can read the script well enough to know that:

  • עשר מכות מצריים

doesn't say Eser Ha-Makot, more like "Eser Makot Matzrayim".

Anyone know Hebrew enough to clarify this inconsistancy? Eric 21:44, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Since there are no other "Ten Plagues", both experssion are valid (and used interchangeably) to refer to the 10 Plauges of Egypt. However, what written in Hebrew above read "Eser Makot Matzrayim". (The Ten Plauges of Egypt). MathKnight 11:06, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Moved from The Ten Plagues talk page[edit]

Firstly, this article needs to make clear this is a piece of Christian doctrine and attribute clearly. However, I know that Christian churches differ widely on their interpretation of the Bible, so if there is divergence in interpretation that needs also to be made clear.

Secondly, as a stylistic point, I don't think using the convention in Christian writing of capitalizing "his" when referring to the Christian deity is appropriate for Wikipedia. --Robert Merkel 04:24, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Capitalizing "His" is POV. Also, this should be at Ten plagues of Egypt or something like that. Definitely not "The", definitely not upper case, definitely not without some idea of where the plagues were. RickK 06:17, Jun 8, 2004 (UTC)

Not true. Belief in the Ten Plagues is common to Jewish, Christian, and Muslim. It isn't a purely Christian "doctrine", nor is it doctrine, but Biblical history. (talk) 10:10, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
I think that The Ten Plagues become a proper noun in Bible and in Western Society. Rantaro 06:50, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)

The table which seeks to correlate each plague with an affront to an Egyption god is someone's clever work rather than a standard reading of the of the text. We need to find the name of the person who advanced this theory and include it.

I thank you to your idea. But please write in talk page.Rantaro 09:12, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Rantaro, you're correct that this should have been placed on the talk page, but could you please respond to the substantive point here. How much of this is a consensus interpretation of the Bible, and if bits aren't (such as the table), whose ideas are they? The neutral point of view requires that opinions must be attributed to the person or group of people who advocate it. --Robert Merkel 13:00, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I don't know what you mean. You mean this isn't consensus? Of course, this idea is mine.Rantaro 14:10, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)
If it's only your idea, it can hardly be consensus. One person can't have a consensus. I am reasonably certain that various Bible commentators have tried to draw a correlation between the plagues and the Egyptian gods, but they don't always agree which gods and sometimes must strain to make the correlation. I'll move the table here, then, and replace it with a simple list which makes no unattributed speculation. When we can find the name of those who have postulated the correlations we should return them to the article as their speculation or commentary rather than as fact...if as a table, one using simplified wikisyntax rather than html, as html is harder to edit. - Nunh-huh 21:29, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Plagues Description
1 Nile and other waters turned to blood. Nile-god Hapy disgraced
2 Frogs. Frog-goddess Heget powerless to prevent it
3 Dust turned to gnats. Thoth, lord of magic, could not help the Egyptian magicians
4 Gadflies on all Egypt except Goshen where Israel dwelt. No god was able to prevent it-not even Ptah, creator of the universe, or Thoth, lord of magic
5 Pestilence on livestock. Neither sacred cow-goddess Hathor nor Apis the bull could prevent this plague
6 Boils. Healer deities Thoth, Isis, and Ptah unable to help
7 Thunder and hail. Exposed the impotence of Reshpu, controller of lightning, and Thoth, god of rain and thunder
8 Locusts. This was a blow to the fertility-god Min, protector of crops
9 Three days of darkness. Ra, the preeminent sun-god, and Horus, a solar god, disgraced
10 Death of the firstborn including Pharaoh's, who was considered to be a god incarnate. Ra (Amon-Ra), sun-god and sometimes represented as a ram, was unable to impede it

I saw these ideas represented by a certain Rabbi Jeff (Yochanan) Kirschblum: the gods "disproved" by each plague were:

1. Osiris, 2. Nut/Sobek, 3. Ra, 4. Set, 5. Isis, 6. Nephythys, 7. Tefnut, 8. Geb, 9. Shu, 10. Pharaoh (who was served as a god) URL.

The fact that he arrives at a completely different list shouldn't surprise us - this is more an exercise of the mind, as the Jewish sources don't mention the names of the Egyptian gods. JFW | T@lk 10:09, 13 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Set is god of the desert, Osiris is god of death, so I don't see how (1) or (4) apply to them.

And it never mentions Apep, god of evil. Nor does it mention Neith, (by this time) god of creation. Thoth was not god of rain either, he was god of the moon, and wisdom.

  • Oh, and it doesn't take into account of the fact that an extremely heavily silted annual river would have caused almost all of the 10 "plagues" in sequence - the "blood red river" being the colour it goes when it is heavily silted - thats plague 1.
  • Frogs always happened in large numbers on the annual flood, if the river was silted there would have been more - that would have happened pretty much as soon as the flood - that is number 2.
  • Plague of gnats from dust - again, thats caused by the river silt - it makes the river a bit stagnant, which encourages gnat breeding, so we have number 3.
  • 4 - again insect breeding caused by change in river properties - which wouldn't affect anywhere away from the nile, e.g. Geshen.
  • So we move onto 5 - with too dry silted a river, there isnt much clean water, and with the stagnation and so forth, that such silt causes, partly by slowing the river down, disease is harder to keep under control, which would affect the cattle first, as they don't have as clean a food supply as humans do.
  • Eventually it would affect humans. N.b. boils can be caused by drinking stagnent water (which is much more likely to be full of disease). - plague 6.
  • Finally, after such a sultry environment, a storm occurs, just like meteorology requires, and happens every time the weather has been really warm but slightly moist, but without raining; high pressure zone - plague 7.
  • Now the weather is the perfect condition for locusts to attack.
  • Either the description of how bad the locusts were or a solar eclipse -plague 9.

Thats only one naturalistic explanation, and very very basic, and not professionally constructed, and it still explains things easily, doesnt require a highly unusual event, just bad weather.

Continuing Bias[edit]

As I noted above, there is a serious problem with the entire section on "natural" explanations for the plagues. It is little more than a (perhaps somewhat unintentional) biblical-literalist attempt to make secular and scientific perspectives on the ten plagues look far-fetched and ridiculous.

Various semi-absurd "natural explanations" are offered in great detail as "secular" or "scientific" views of the events in question, and then easily refuted and made to appear ridiculous. This neglects the reality that almost all secularists simply see the plague stories as allegorical, or handed-down accounts of various unrelated and separate disasters, largely fictionalized.

One obviously doesn't have to agree with that secular perspective, but to pretend that secular views on the Ten Plagues are limited to silly and wild "scientific explanations" of the exact account of the plagues given in the's not fair.

What you have here is a long, detailed "secular explanation" of the Plagues, provided by someone from the other side of the debate in order to make secular views appear absurd. Can't we come to an agreement wherein Christian literalist views are represented honestly and openly in their own section, while the secular perspective (which does not consist primarily of wild "scientific explanations") is not set up as such a preposterous strawman?

  • How about signing your name with the good ol' ~~~~ tildes, so that people "down here" can know who the heck you are, without having to wade through all the "upper" debates. IZAK 10:18, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

The section is quite bizarre. It's an exercise in how to accept the Biblical record without attributing the plagues to Divine intervention. This is quite dissonant to me: either you believe in God and the plagues were miracles, or you don't believe in Him and the Biblical account was probably made up by some people during the Second Temple period. Odd. JFW | T@lk 08:24, 31 May 2005 (UTC)

Why? It is normal for investigation of ancient myths and narratives: some of them may contain a grain of being factual, so such an analysis is fully justified. There's no point why at least some national spirit-cheering stories of the Israelites and other nations couldn't have been loosely based on facts. People in these times often interpreted natural events (especially disasters) as Divine intervention, either Divine support (when the enemies suffered) or punishment (when they themselves suffered). In short: the plagues might have been based on facts as natural events, and then mythologized and ascribed to the Israelite God. What is interesting for a historian is, how much probability does history give to the actuality of such events. Historian can't take any God into account, even if he's a believer. Academic investigation requires impartiality of scientific methods and its independence from one's beliefs. Critto (talk) 12:39, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

It's wikipedia. Bias in their middle name. Don't bother trying, the atheist squad will continue pushing their agenda here. -- (talk) 14:40, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Bias is the second name of many religionists out there, who are pushing for Creationism, Flood geology, Biblical literalism and other similiar Pseudoscience cloaked as "religious beliefs". Critto (talk) 12:39, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

One month later[edit]

I thought it would be nice to remove all those NPOV/totallydisputed tags. They're a defacement, and there is no debate. JFW | T@lk 30 June 2005 20:59 (UTC)

So you say! There is much debate, especially regarding the entire OT/Torah story possibly being a complete fabrication. --Tombombadil 20:21, 14 July 2005 (UTC)

Mythology debate[edit]

I think the problem is that adherents to the bible, both Jewish and Christian, differentiate between myth and belief when it comes to religious personages and events. So calling all of it "mythology" isn't going to fly.

I propose something along the lines of "tradition," in this case perhaps "Abrahamic tradition" or "Biblical tradition." I feel "tradition" has a sense of 'believing for believing sake' without the implied connotation of 'wrong' or 'unbelievable' that "mythology" carries. Grika 02:45, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

Hi Grika,

That is a very good suggestion, and numerous users as well as admins have come up with many similar suggestions and less offensive alternatives; but so far, not one of the suggested compromises has been able to appease the single intransigent user --who is seemingly determined at all costs to tag every page to do with the Christian, Jewish or Muslim faiths as "mythology", as if only his definitions are right, and everything else is wrong. See Category Talk:Christian mythology for the fullest discussion on this. Still, I wish you good luck in your efforts to reconcile the situation, and I shall add your excellent suggestion to the list of suggested compromises. Regards, Codex Sinaiticus 03:35, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

Just to clarify a few things, since good ol' codex is at his lies again, even though alternatives have been suggested, every single one has been shot down. Codex here is personally biased against any thing that does not portray the bible and his religion as absolute truth, even though the dictionary definition of mythology fits the topics accuratly. He likes to pretend to not be able to read a dictionary, or to understand one. He likes to generalize my actions and say that every topic concerning an abrahamic religion is getting categorized, when the truth is only those that fit the strict definition of "mythology" are. He refuses to offer an alternative, or compromise, since nothing less that implying his religion is fact appeases him. He has gone so far as to propose that the mythology categories be removed, which was resoundingly shot down. If you were to look back at the history of the changes he insits on lying to get his way. I am more than open to alternatives, as long as they are accurate and cover what needs covered. FestivalOfSouls 18:43, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

FestivalOfSouls, is your bias getting to your brain? Did you even read what you wrote? "Tradition" as was suggested above is quite neutral and is exactly what should be used or some form of it. You sticking to the "mythology" description makes you exactly what you accuse codex of. It's just sad. Something is wrong with you -- (talk) 14:45, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Why can't the term "tradition" be used to Greek mythology, Slavic mythology, Nordic mythology, or Celtic mythology, too?? Maybe because nobody, including those who profess faiths based on the old beliefs (eg. Neopagans following Asatru, Slavic native faith or Paganachd) don't find the term "mythology" as offensive? Neither did ancient Greeks who invented the term and used it to describe their sacred stories. It's only Abrahamic monotheists who find such term offensive because a lot of them still subscribe to the literal interpretation of their holy books, ie. The Bible, Quran, etc. And that's the point: some Christians, Jews or Muslims are offended with the term "myth" not because they don't understand its academic meaning (sacred story about the Gods, Heroes and events like Creation of the World), which they do understand, but because they are pushing for literal interpretation of their myths? Critto (talk) 12:45, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

mysterious artifact in Leiden[edit]


One artifact, now sitting in the Archeological Museum of Leiden, the Netherlands, describes an ancient Egyptian account of plagues that closely resembles the account found in the Book of Exodus.

because it's terribly vague. What is this artifact? Where in Egypt was it found? To what era is it dated? What, exactly, does it describe? How closely does its account resemble the Biblical account? Who thinks it does? Who thinks it doesn't? Without any kind of citation nobody can even begin to answer these relevant questions. —Charles P. (Mirv) 23:19, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

It's called the Ipu-Wer papyrus. It is a litany describing various disasters, some of which bearing uncanny resemblance to the Biblical events. JFW | T@lk 17:39, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
See Ipuwer papyrus. Says it all. JFW | T@lk 17:43, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

full descriptions[edit]

Please leave the full descriptions of the 10 plagues. I address this particularly to FDuffy who has recently tried to remove them a few times, justifying this in the name of conciseness. I think the descriptions are the most useful part of this page. The short, one line summaries are almost useless to those of us (like myself) who don't know the stories. Hayne 03:28, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

The point of an encyclopedia is not to regurgitate the text it is describing. An encyclopedia article is about subjects, not a rephrasing of them. For example, see how professional encyclopedias treat the topic. It should be also considered that there is a very large difference between an encyclopedia and a commentary. This is an encyclopedia. There is a bible commentary project at WikiBooks, which is sure to contain the detailed description (at least it aims to if it doesnt already). Or, alternatively, you can read the relevant parts of the Bible if you want the exact detail. --User talk:FDuffy 14:13, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

What I expect from an encyclopedia is a quick one-stop source of information on all topics. It doesn't have to be the definitive source of information on a topic. But it should be possible for someone who wants to know what the "Plagues of Egypt" are about to read the Wikipedia article and come away with the basic info. The rest of the "Plagues of Egypt" article is the commentary - discussion of whether these events were real in the historical sense, etc. That is useful but I think that the most important thing for a reader of this article is to know (at a reasonably detailed level) what people mean when they refer to the "Plagues of Egypt". It should not be necessary to refer to other sources or the Bible to get a sense of what was described in those biblical passages. In other words, I think it is quite reasonable that this article should have a "plot synopsis" akin to what is found in other articles on literature - e.g. that on Oliver Twist Hayne 00:26, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

Future plagues[edit]

"'Then Jesus and his Companions will pray to Allah, and He will send insects who will bite the people of Gog and Magog on their necks, so that in the morning they will all perish as one. Then Jesus and his Companions will come down and will not find any nook or cranny on earth which is free from their putrid stench. Jesus and his Companions will again pray to Allah, Who will send birds like the necks of camels; they will seize the bodies of Gog and Magog and throw them wherever Allah wills.

Then Allah will send rain which no house or tent will be able to keep out, and the earth will be cleansed, until it will look like a mirror. Then the earth will be told to bring forth its fruit and restore its blessing. On that day, a group of people will be able to eat from a single pomegranate and seek shelter under its skin (i.e. the fruit will be so large). A milch-camel will give so much milk that a whole party will be able to drink from it; a cow will give so much milk that a whole tribe will be able to drink from it; and a milch-sheep will give so much milk that a whole family will be able to drink from it.

At that time, Allah will send a pleasant wind which will soothe them even under their armpits, and will take the soul of every Muslim. Only the most wicked people will be left, and they will fornicate like asses; then the Last Hour will come upon them.' (It was related by Muslim)."

The above passage is some Islamic eschatological beliefs - seems a lot like the ten plagues...Should a reference to this be included? [Source]freestylefrappe 03:20, 23 November 2005 (UTC)


Frogs just hits me wrong, but I guess it is very commonly used. Rashi does not describe frogs, that is for sure. I would prefer reptiles, but the article isn't about my preferences. Comments, sources and cookies are gratefully accepted. PhatJew 10:14, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

Angel of Death?[edit]

The Torah describes God as actually passing through Egypt to kill all firstborn, but passing over (hence "Passover") houses which have the sign of lambs' blood on the doorpost. I don't read or speak Hebrew, so I can't vow for the Hebrew version, but it is at least a tradition that an angel of death killed the firstborn children, not God. It mentions this later on in the article. Is the italicised sentence worth changing? Especially when my NIV Bible has no mention of an Angel of Death anywhere in the story. El Pollo Diablo (Talk) 01:30, 21 April 2006 (UTC) The book Exodus continues to speak of the angel looking out the cloud at the Egyptians in the Red Sea. It is only logical to think the angel was regarded as being in the cloud from the time of its appearance. Angel (Greek) is messenger in Hebrew, could this cloud that was there in the morning to follow out of Egypt be regarded as the same angel as this funnel-cloud passed thru Egypt killing firstborn. Any angel or messenger of God is thus regarded as Jehovah himself (the creator of cause and effect), even the angel who stood as a man in front of Abram saying circumcision would get his wife pregnant and saying Sodom is going to erupt was called Jehovah by Abram in full faith it was truth being spoken to him. So the funnel-cloud is regarded as the angel of Jehovah causing death. Even the movie used a cloud passing thru Egypt, but it used a fog, while in reality it would seem more to be this vast circular funnel-cloud they followed out of Egypt and thru the sea, and followed for 40 years more in Sanai.

Hebrews = Hyksos?[edit]

All chronologies affiliate Hyksos intrusion in the year of Peleg's death the same year Unas Sakkara died. This varies as Year 740 or 768 after The Flood versus Moses saying 340. (Various years for that death are 2321 BC, 2207 BC, 2030 BC, 2009 BC, 1765 BC with explanation 2321 BC is a cycle of 3600 moons before 2030 BC, and 2207 BC is the 177-year kings of Ur, Reu Aanepada presumed to be king upon Peleg's death instead of upon Serug's birth), 2009 BC is Babel's Marduk mistaken as Ninus when Abram was 9 and is when UrNammu began rule of Ur III to compete, and 1765 BC is the advance of Hamurabi into Mari; all of these being reasons for unwanted migration). Peleg died in Year 339 (after Flood) when he was 239 and chronologies that use 740 claim it was Peleg who was 339. The Hyksos resided to their 518th year. Because the stretched chronology requires more than 518 years, the finer detail of Hyksos is added consecutively instead of subdivisions of the 517 years from Peleg's death to the Exodus. (WatchTower 2030-1513 BC) The immigration of unwanted Shemites from Chaldea and Hittites from Ararat occur in years 2030 BC (last year of dynasty 5), in 1991 BC when Shulgi began rule, then 1943 BC with Abram at death of Shulgi and rise of AmarPal (AmarSin), in 1728 BC the Israelites, in 1600 BC Hyksos left to avoid the slavery, Moses left in 1553 BC, and of 600,000 the Hyksos left as citizens of nation Israel in 1513 BC. After a 1514 BC Thoth 1 September 6 as 7th month, the 1513 BC March 9 lost its New Year status as Pamenot 1, and so March 4 became Pamenot 1. The Nisan moon of Pamenot could not begin until March 30 (Pamenot 27) as Nisan 1 extending into daytime March 31 Pamenot 28, thirteen days later Passover Eve being Nisan 14 being April 12 Parmuti 10 (on the 10th of the month as Genesis says), and daytime Nisan 14 April 13 Parmuti 11. They made it to the sea at sundown April 13 crossing the eve to morn of Nisan 15 (morn of Parmuti 12), or sundown April 14 (Gregorian April 1) crossing eve to morn Nisan 16 (morn of Parmuti 13). This cloud from heaven to earth was seen for 40 years, and it produced light at both equinoxes. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 23:29:46, August 18, 2007 (UTC)

This bit:

In an historical context, the greatest candidate for the Israelite presence in Egypt is that of the Hyksos. However, rather than being slaves who escaped, the Hyksos were rulers who were chased out of Egypt. The extreme resistance, in the story, of the unnamed Pharaoh to releasing them therefore, according to such an historical-critical view, serves to provide an explanation of why an Egyptian Pharaoh so angrily chased after the Israelites.

... is a bit in contradiction with the article on Hyksos; or at least, maybe it makes too strong a claim (I'm not sure about the "greatest candidate" bit. If someone whith a good knowledge of this stuff could help harmonize this article with Exodus and Hyksos ... Flammifer 06:42, 22 April 2006 (UTC)


Many ignorant people believe that the plague consisted of reptiles. These people are incorrect. It was frogs.

I am going to take this out. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Yolkavich (talkcontribs) 02:40, 11 December 2006 (UTC).

Frogs or Reptiles?[edit]

In the listing of the plagues, the second plague is shown to be reptiles. (Exodus 7:26-8:11) reptiles (commonly believed to be frogs)

However, when you reach the Plagues section, the article is shown to be frogs.

Frogs (8:1 - 8:11) צפרדע

The second plague of Egypt was frogs, not reptile, but in fact frogs. God commanded Aaron to stretch his staff over the water, and hordes of frogs came and overran Egypt. Pharaoh's sorcerers were also able to duplicate this plague with their magic. However, since they were unable to remove it, Pharaoh was forced to grant permission for the Hebrews to leave so that Moses would agree to remove the frogs. To prove that the plague was actually a divine punishment, Moses let Pharaoh choose the time that it would end. Pharaoh chose the following day, and all the frogs died the next day. Nevertheless, Pharaoh rescinded his permission, and the Israelites stayed in Egypt.

Someone should change this. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Yolkavich (talkcontribs) 02:42, 11 December 2006 (UTC).

Doesn't Rashi say it was reptiles?

King James says it was frogs. And if we can't trust the king, who can we trust? Reptiles? I think not. InedibleHulk (talk) 07:36, May 11, 2014 (UTC)

Immoral Massacre[edit]

I removed the word "immoral" massacre from the top of the main article as it made it a biased opinion. Fyrre 23:15, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

What makes it biased? Had a human commited those things, would you not condemn them utterly? (talk) 18:11, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

A human that brings about plagues? On what authority? Go educate yourself on the morality debate please. -- (talk) 14:47, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

What does authority have to do with anything? Mass murder of civilians is immoral, whether you do it with swords, guns, or biological weapons. I think it is you who needs the lesson in morality here. (talk) 02:50, 8 June 2012 (UTC)


the entire morality thing is very question based and not truly informational or pretaining an encyclopedia entry i dont think it should be read24.210.241.47 23:19, 26 March 2007 (UTC)


This page is like.... 4 pages wide. Anyone got an idea how to fix that? Ghostalker (talk) 09:31, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Controversy on justification of the 10th plague section POV?[edit]

A first line of one of the paragraphs says "Under this rationale, it can be seen that God is basically committing the same "evil" that Pharaoh intended to commit". First of all, that sentence is POV, and offensive frankly. And from this so-called "rationale" I don't see how one could come up with that. We don't want to violate the Good Faith policy, but why would someone write that? Either the writer of this sentence is serious or just wanted to blast God in this article. Anyway, I think that sentence should be removed - it's not for man to decide what God was trying to do anyway, but saying he committed evil is just a contrary statement. But it would be good to have a discussion on it - I don't want an edit war if I simply remove it. ~ GoldenGoose100 (talk) 00:33, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

You are free to rewrite the content in question. The observation that Pharaoh had a dose of his own medicine is not an empty one. JFW | T@lk 14:04, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Right, but saying God is committing evil is not the same as saying Pharaoh got a dose of his own medicine. It would be good if that part could be rewritten. I'm more of an editor (grammar mistakes, etc.) than a writer ~ GoldenGoose100 (talk) 16:12, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
I think it would make more sense to expose the entire controversy on the justification of all plagues, rather than fussing about details of the 10th only. Even before the first plague God says (more than once) that he will "harden Pharao's heart", in other words: he will suppress Pharao's free will in order to be able to "justify" the plagues that follow. Leave it to the reader to conclude if that is evil or not but the Bible is quite clear on this and it is most important reason why the plagues happened in the first place. If you take the Bible's word for it that is. AlexFekken (talk) 06:50, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
you could write an entire article (and probably should) about the controversial acts of god in the old testament. I.E. killing aaron's sons for wrong offering, slaying all the Ba'al worshipers, the entire book of Job etc. but here is not the place for it, it is wp: undue undue weight, this article should inform not pass judgements. Smitty1337 (talk) 14:04, 20 March 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. I was just trying to point out that the controversiality of God is not particularly linked to just the description of the 10th plague, just as you are pointing out that it isn't particularly linked only to the plagues either. I did this to imply that therefore any discussion of this should not be limited to the context of the 10th plague but consider the bigger issue. That this should happen elsewhere is a valid point but I think the bigger issue should be taken into account when having a more specific discussion here. AlexFekken (talk) 09:38, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

Tenth Plague[edit]

I saw something on the history channel years ago that pertained to the dying of the first born, something about how it was common for the teenage Egyptian male to lay on the floor while the rest of the family rested on raised platforms. It theorized that a gas, heavier than air, could have saturated the area. Since the gas was heavier than air, it tended to "hug" the Earth, only being dangerous if you were low to the ground. It seems to me to be a perfectly reasonable explanation, but I can't remember for the life of me the name of the gas or the source. Someone must know if these gases actually naturally occur. LikeHolyWater (talk) 04:29, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

The gas mentioned in the history channel program was Carbon Dioxide (CO2), which is produced in copious quantities by volcanoes, is heavier than air (so it would sink to the floor), and is fatal in high concentrations. 2607:FB90:BEEF:CAFE:0:5EFE:A53:1070 (talk) 20:55, 11 March 2013 (UTC)barryk

It is true the the First Born is usually the heir, in most cultures. That is not at all the same as being the decision makers! (talk) 10:11, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Hebrew in titles?[edit]

The use of a foreign language in article section titles is not permitted on the English Wikipedia, if I understand the policy correctly. This is nothing against Hebrew, foreign language, or the work someone did in adding it, but it has to be removed. Thanks -Zahd (talk) 06:29, 4 December 2008 (UTC) this is to long

The Fourth Plague: Insects or wild animals?[edit]

The vast majority of translations understand the Hebrew arov to mean swarming insects. This includes the English translation of the Jewish Torah but out by the Jewish Publication Society. Various commentaries also defend the choice of swarming insects. I'm not sure why the Wikipedia page had wild animals when the majority of scholars and translations today say flies or swarming insects. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:37, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Depends what majority you are referring to. The majority of Jewish sources seems to have wild animals. Please provide actual sources (names and page numbers) and cite BOTH versions. JFW | T@lk 00:48, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
If you are going to discount all English translations of the Bible, which read "swarms," and changing it to "wild animals," you are going to have to provide a source to justify the action. Which Jewish sources read "wild animals"? Kristamaranatha (talk) 21:54, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
Every Jewish source, for instance the Stone Edition Chumash, which is universally used by orthodox synagogues. Can we just stick to both translations for the sake of NPOV? JFW | T@lk 20:39, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
cite it with highly reliable sources saying it is mainstream accepted and you may have something there, but no, not with out a source im not contesting on a POV grounds im contesting on factual accuracy, i want to see a source or im removing it. Smitty1337 (talk) 21:01, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

I think every single Jewish source refers to various large animals, and that is factually correct because they do. The very widely used Stone Edition Chumash (1993) uses "wild beasts" without even mentioning flies ISBN 0-89906-014-5 (page 331). This seems to have entered Jewish translations through the Midrash (Shemoth Rabbah 11:2-3) as cited by prime commentator Rashi. I need to access the original Midrashic text before I can provide a full footnote, but please stop removing this translation! JFW | T@lk 23:33, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

The Pharaoh and Moses[edit]

Why is there even a dialogue between the Pharaoh and Moses? The Pharaoh could have just abolished Moses from his court and have him killed along with Aron for causing the plagues. Why is the Pharaoh negotiating with Moses? Davidmichell (talk) 12:21, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

The impression must be created that Pharao is responsible for the plagues, in other words the blame must be diverted towards him in a very clear way. That means that he must be warned every time and somebody must be doing the warning.
Unfortunately (for them), some overzealous Bible editors did not realise that other parts of the story actually show the Pharao's innocence in all this because God has made it impossible for him to act otherwise by hardening his heart even before the first plague is inflicted (see also my comment above in "Controversy on justification of the 10th plague section POV").
Perhaps you should simply accept that the Bible isn't as well written as some would claim it to be. AlexFekken (talk) 07:11, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Would you outright kill a man brandishing what is supposedly the power of God? Even today people and nations do this dance. You should go read up on the "hardening" part. I really doubt your understanding of it is accurate. The pharaoh had his will the entire time -- (talk) 14:51, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

"Would you outright kill a man brandishing what is supposedly the power of God?" No, not if I took him seriously. But of course then I would also give him what he asked for, instead of refusing it 9 times while suffering from the apparent evidence of his brandishing. Unless ... something beyond my control would prevent me from doing the obvious. Thanks for reinforcing my point. AlexFekken (talk) 10:35, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Somebody recently changed the section of the fourth plague to read "God hardened" instead of "Pharaoh hardened". But that is not what my old English version of the bible says. Now my version is very inconsistent about who is doing the hardening so perhaps somebody with access to the original (i.e. Hebrew) text can verify what the text in this particular section (and perhaps in other sections) says; perhaps the original itself is ambiguous?

But there is no need to falsify the evidence (if that is what happened) to see that, according to the bible story, the Pharaoh had no choice in this. AlexFekken (talk) 07:25, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

If i recall the midrash interpretation of this correctly. Pharoh hardened his own heart for the first 5 plagues, and then god hardened it for the last 5. The idea being that the sin was in ignoring him 5 times, and the punishment was to be forced to endure the next five. He hardened him so that he could not set israel free on plague 6 for instance, and thus stop the full wrath of the remaining plagues. I'll look up the details regarding this and see if i can source it appropriatly. Smitty1337 (talk) 07:46, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

I don't know how close that is to the (most) original texts but thanks for checking. It is probably also worth checking the very first mention of the hardening of the heart, before the first plague is even announced, when God talks to Moses. My version says "but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go", which does not seem to leave a lot of room for ambiguity about who will be doing the hardening. AlexFekken (talk) 08:28, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Opening bible verse, Bible version[edit]

The Opening has a verse from exodus quoted from the world english bible, which isnt even a finished translation (OT isnt finished yet). Such an important part of an article as the opening should have a highly recognizable version, since the most popular version is the New international ( I am changing it to that. Smitty1337 (talk) 02:26, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

controversy section[edit]

I removed this section on the grounds that it violates wp: or it is entirely unsupported by references. And even appears factually inaccurate in its claims about pharohs intention to kill the jewish firstborns and that god actions were retaliation to that intent. This isnt biblical its from the movie The Ten Commandments. The whole thing violates wp: npov, and attributes its claims to scholars.... which is Weasel words. Smitty1337 (talk) 08:49, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

Recognized as history - by who?[edit]

The paragraph "The Plagues of Egypt are recognized as history by many Jews, Christians, and Muslims" in the intro is highly misleading. First of all it would need a reference, but since the statement is probably as true, in a technical sense, as it is misleading that is not the most important issue.

The main issue is that it is giving undue weight. The "Historicity" section of the article indicates that only "some" archaeologists and science writers believe in the historicity of "the plagues", which means that most experts would not agree with the statement. Apart from that, "many" is not "most" and it is questionable that even among non-experts the statement reflects the majority opinion. This means that the statement should not be in a paragraph of its own without referring to what seems to be the majority view, at least among experts.

Rather than just removing the paragraph with a "nice try, please try again" attitude it is probably more effective and more permanent to put it in the context of a short statement that does reflect the majority view of experts and/or non-experts, possibly with a forward reference to "Historicity". But to do this without committing the same sin would require a reference, which I don't have and which may be as hard to get as references to research into the non-existence of Santa Clause. AlexFekken (talk) 09:10, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

I suggest "recognized as history by the holy scriptures of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam". That is true, since the scriptures are written from the "this-really-happened" point of view, i.e. they claim to be telling history, not fiction. Reference could likely easily be obtained in the scriptures themselves. Since religion does not require scientific proof, from a religious point of view, that is all the reference it needs (actually, a verse number is all the reference anything in life needs, some religious people seem to think). From the scientific point of view, a river turning to blood and every single firstborn in the land being struck down by a deity is bogus anyway.

So, just the line above, plus the verse numbers for reference. That should not incite religious/non-religious arguments, since both sides would be served: the religious people don't need proof if it's in the books, and the non-religious people will not believe it anyway.

As for my personal opinion: river of blood could be red algae infestation - much less dramatic, but such water would be just as non-potable as blood. Locusts and frogs (reptiles, whatever) were both probably common occurences. In fact, a climate shift could have caused these things to happen close to each other (probably, I'm no expert, but it seems non-absurd to allow that a series of warm and humid years could lead to the overpopulation of locusts, small vertebrates, and algae (would have to check with a biologist, but red algae are quite common in the Red Sea (hence the name), which is practically next door to the Nile, further, locusts are, if I'm not mistaken, commonly reported in ancient Egyptian writings, and reptiles/frogs were probably common in the area too). Darkness - an eclipse. Pretty common. Hail and thunder - why, we had it just last week where I live. More to the point, a tropical storm like those hurricanes that cause so much grief every other year these days would certainly rattle even people used to normal storms, as I'm sure the Egyptians were like anybody else who doesn't live in a desert (well, they did live in a desert, but in a fertile valley in the middle of one). Plague - that, unfortunately, happened not very scarcely in antiquity. And so on and so forth. Boils - overpopulated parasites or microbes. Lice, flies, wild animals - the same. Death of the firstborn - well, again, it is tragic, but during plagues children are often the most vulnerable. So, basically, a layman like me could feasibly ascribe the Ten Plagues to an environmental imbalance with tragic impacts, plus one eclipse. Possibly, if the storm cell was extensive, it could have qualified as darkness as well, removing the need for the astronomical occurence. Remember, legends tend to embellish. Of course, if religious people want to believe the traditional account, nothing's stopping them (though, again, I would never worship such a callous and cruel god). Like I said, religion does not require scientific proof. (talk) 18:37, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

That line isn't implying historicity,it's stating that to those three religious groups the events are believed to be history. It's not saying historians/scholars believe it. How is that any different then me saying "To most christians, Jesus was a real person"? It specifies the "by who?" right in the sentence. If you want a source for it, then cite the bible or something, it's not really a contentious issue since there is no weasel words in use, the "who" is clearly stated. If you like you could put a line in right after that which says, "Although most scholars refute the historicity of the biblical account" or some variation of that. Smitty1337 (talk) 21:53, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

I do not see a weight problem. Many people have never heard of or read the Bible. So they have no thoughts about this at all. Of those who read the bible, many believe it is historically reliable. I think it is more important to be clear that not all Jews believe it is historically reliable. As for the people who authored the book, I do not think we can say one way or another. If you simply read the Bible and Oliver Twist or Middlemarch - based solely on the evidence of the text - it is not possible to tell which is fact and which is fiction. I think all those who think the Bible is historically reliable will also believe that the authors of the Bible make it clear that it is historically reliable. But once you move beyond those people, and turn for example to critical Bible scholars, you find many scholars who do not believe that the Bible was originally written to be read as historical fact. So we need to be careful to avoid making such a controversial claim in the lead. Slrubenstein | Talk 19:05, 18 September 2011 (UTC)
I don't get the series, the Bible, Oliver Twist or Middlemarch. The latter two are unquestioned works of fiction, albeit realistic for their period, they're plain fiction. What's hard to tell? (talk) 23:36, 18 September 2011 (UTC)
You are making assumptions. Most people first learn about "fact" and "fiction" when as children they are taught about different parts of the library. As ways for dividing up books in the library they are very useful distinctions. But if you have read any really serious scholarship in history or in literary theory, you would know that in many cases the distinction is either arbitrary or simply not useufl to scholars - these two categories, along one dimension, fail to account for all the forms of texts scholars study. To account for all the forms of texts literature professors and historians study (and, why literature professors study what you might call "factual" work and historians may study what you call "fiction") one needs more than two categories, and more than one dimension.
If we are writing an encyclopedia article, and if we want to understand scholarly views, we need to set aside these assumptions, these categories we learned when we were eight years old. The question is: if the only evidence you had was whatever is in the text, and you read these three books, based on what you read how would you decide which to label fact and which to label fiction?
Let's say that a thousand years from now after two nuclear wars in a time when there are no more Jews or Christians or English speakers, fully recoverable texts of these works are discovered. A scholar reads them. At the same time, archeologists have dug around the Levant and have material evidence of a city called Jerusalem - it really existed! Archeologists have also found independent evidence that London and many parts of England named in Middlemarch and Oliver Twist existed too! Same question: on what evidence would you decide what is historically reliable? This is of course hypothetical but it is meant to explain to you how real scholars study texts. Many readers at WP start out assuming the Bible is history (fact). Other readers start out assuming it is literature (fiction). Good university professors don't start out with these assumptions. Usually the first step they take is: will they analyze the work solely on the basis of internal evidence or based on other evidence? People in English deparments more often make the first choice. But some make the second choice, as do most historians; they read the available trext and they ask what other texts do we have strong evidence were written at the same time and whether there is any other evidence about the time when the text in question was composed, and take it from there. And they are not asking whether the text should be classified as fact or fiction (unless a librarian asked, as these are library categories more than anything else). They (English professors and historians alike) might ask what historical value does the text have. So they assume it has some historical value. But this does not depend on the events within it having really happened. Didn't you ever study literature or history at university? Slrubenstein | Talk 09:52, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
I fully understand and agree with your point. However I must point out that this is not the subject of the sentence. We are not talking about Wikipedia's opinion about if it is history or fiction, nor are we talking about if historians and reliable biblical critics believe it is fact. The sentence in question is pretty specific in saying that to members of the relevant religion they believe it to be history. This is to distinguish it from the other possibility, I.e. that it is allegory. If i said to you this "Many Christians believe that Jesus rose from the dead and is the son of god. Most Historians think he was either a Jewish man that started a movement, or did not exist at all." that would be similar to the current debate. Stating that somebody or a group of people, hold a belief based on their religious views, is not Wikipedia endorsing that belief, merely stating that it is worth mentioning. Which in this case it is worth mentioning, since the plagues could easily be held to be an allegory, or perhaps a story told to teach certain points of theology much like the garden of Eden and Noah's flood could easily be interpreted in such a way. There is nothing wrong with stating that there are 3 very large and notable groups currently holding the belief that the subject of this article is historical fact, so long as we do not endorse that view, and we state the counter point to that view from a secular perspective (which we do that, there is a whole section on Historicity). I would not be opposed to mentioning the historicity in the lead however. Perhaps immediately following the sentence in question as a point + Counter point that leads the reader to read the rest of the article to see the fullness of that argument develop in the appropriate section.Smitty1337 (talk) 10:50, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks Smitty. I want to make sure we ar not talking past one another. I fully agree with you and fully support the lead of the article making clear what large numbers of traditional Jews, Christians, and others think. Their views are significant (so presenting them does not violate WEIGHT). I was arguing against another editor who seemed to want to add what the book itself thinks. It is only this that I object to. The views that we present are of people, not books. We can provide the view of the authors of books, and the views of readers of books, but books by themselves are objects. A book can say "I, Kurt Vonnegut, wrote this book" or "I, Kilgore Trout wrote this book" or "I, Ishmael, am telling you this story," or "This book was written by God" or (as in The Neverending Story "You, the reader, are actually authoring this book" or "No one wrote this book" or any number of other things. My point - not made to you but to - is that these statements are part of the text and can be interpreted any number of different ways, but they are not "views" in the sense of our policy, that Wikipedia does not present the truth but rather verifiable views. wanted the lead to say that the book itself has the view that it was written by God. I am arguing only against this claim. This is not the view of the book, this is the view that some readers have of the book. I certainly agree with you that we should include Jewish and Christian as well as non-religious views. Also, we need to distinguish between literalist and critical readings (this is not the same as religious versus secular - there are pious Jews and Christians who read the Bible critically, we cannot exclude their views either) Slrubenstein | Talk 12:51, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
I also think it bears reiterating that its somewhat misleading to speak of "three very large groups", implying "Christians, Jews and Muslims", when these groups are by no means homogenous in their belief about the historicity of the plagues, and, in fact, large parts of these groups either have not given a thought to the issue or indeed consider most biblical text as as parables only. Of course you can state this as "those Christians, Jews, and Muslims who believe in a literal reading of the Bible", but then it becomes rather tautological. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 21:32, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
As a side note to that statement. Which denominations hold the belief that its a Parable? If there are any notable sized groups that in itself may be worth mentioning as well. Or do you mean a significant number of individual people independently holding that belief, while maintaining affiliation with a larger body that generally does not hold the belief? That would, if verifiable, seem relevant enough to mention in the historicity section. Smitty1337 (talk) 02:01, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
Well, the Catholic Church, for one, has a flexible position: "The Bible is true in passages relating to human salvation, [...], but [...]: 'We should not expect total accuracy from the Bible in other, secular matters.'"[1] According to biblical inerrancy, the Anglicans have a similarly relaxed position. I'm sure you can find such statements for many other large groups. As ar as I know, biblical literalism has never been a feature of the Orthodox Churches. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 07:08, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
The point I was trying to make in my original post was that "many" in this context is probably interpreted as "a significant portion of" by most of us. However, since we are talking about billions of people when referring to Christians, Jews (and Muslims?), "many" could really mean something like "hundreds of thousands" and refer to a tiny minority. By being able to refer to a small minority, phrases like "many Christians" give undue weight unless they are quantified and the quantification shows otherwise. AlexFekken (talk) 10:26, 17 January 2012 (UTC)


There are no sources cited in reference to the Documentary Hypothesis. The article says there's a Jahwistic version of the plague narrative, but in the sources I've seen, there are only the Elohist and Priestly sources. Where is the information in this article from?-- (talk) 01:00, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Prince of Egypt[edit]

Is how a kids movie depicts the plagues really relevant to this article? --OpenFuture (talk) 08:14, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

Agree completely and am amazed it went unchallenged for so long. Tempted to delete the section myself but perhaps I'll wait for any counter-arguments. AndyI 07:59, 25 December 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aci20 (talkcontribs)
Totally irrelevant. Away with it! Awien (talk) 13:06, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

God hardens his heart?[edit]

Under the plague numbered 4 it states that God hardened his heart after the plague of flies or wild animals.

Shouldn't it be that it is the Pharoah that hardens his heart? He is the only one that is prompted to make a decision. God is awaiting a decision. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:28, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Exodus 4:21 "And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go."
I.e. God has already decided before the first plague that he will not allow the Pharaoh to make his own decisions. AlexFekken (talk) 10:19, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Section "In popular culture"[edit]

Gilabrand at 04:50, 20 April 2011 deleted this section. Where it has been decided? Who asked him? --Kasper2006 (talk) 15:15, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

As was explained in his edit summary, it was unsourced original research. If you wish to bring it back, in whole or in part, you would be advised to cite reliable secondary sources which clearly connect the work with the Plagues of the article. Elizium23 (talk) 23:12, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
I totally agree that the references to the 10 plagues in popular culture must to be sourced. But the fact is equally certain that the section should exist. --Kasper2006 (talk) 23:17, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
I think that "In popular culture" sections tend to be indiscriminate collections of trivia. The items are all miscellaneous and could be much better organized. For example, I think we could have a List of films featuring the Plagues of Egypt like we have List of films featuring diabetes or List of films featuring home invasions. A topic like film is a common ground, so it does not inanely jump from book to film to video game to quote to album, etc. Erik (talk | contribs) 12:32, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
Erik: Wikipedia:"In popular culture" content. ;-) --Kasper2006 (talk) 14:10, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that is what I was looking at. I've seen popular culture articles deleted because they look like this, such as with Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Fight Club in popular culture (2nd nomination). Nowadays we have Fight Club#Cultural impact that flows better and is less trivial. Erik (talk | contribs) 17:19, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
The crumminess is also exemplified here. Erik (talk | contribs) 17:39, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
It still seems that you do not make it clear speech: 1) The section in the article (a topic, a character, certainly not a film like Fight Club), MUST have. 2) In cases particularly important you put a "see also" and create the article is about as Frankenstein in popular culture. ;-) --Kasper2006 (talk) 05:45, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
You're right that this topic is broader than Fight Club. Still, the previous section was a list of trivia. Anything and everything is treated as noteworthy, such as a single line in a song. My approach to this has been to find secondary sources and to group the information accordingly. For example, there can be a paragraph about films that used the plagues; same goes for literature. As for music, I see in Google Books Search that New Statesman mentions Plague Songs as a challenge to come up with songs inspired by the plagues. That kind of information can be woven together into something that flows. Also, the Frankenstein article is pretty terrible too, as another list of trivia. It would benefit from a source like this. Erik (talk | contribs) 12:04, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
I was pleased to see that Kasper2006 (talk · contribs) has sourced the content. I have not watched most of the films, but my personal recollection is that The Mummy is not predominantly about the Plagues at all. I am worried about WP:V here, despite the sources that were added. Can we restrict ourselves to works of popular culture where the actual 10 plagues play a significant role (rather than being set in Egypt and having a minor allusion to the 10P in them). JFW | T@lk 21:01, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
I removed "The mummy". --Kasper2006 (talk) 22:22, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

I suggest adding "Plague Songs", a 2006 CD compilation of ten songs, each based on one of the plagues. Kathcarter (talk) 22:35, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Wild animals or flies[edit]

There is a longterm disagreement as to how to translate the fourth plague. I refer to a discussion above from 2009-2010 (#The Fourth Plague: Insects or wild animals?). Now there's been yet another bunch of edits to and fro. Can we come to an agreement that both interpretations should be mentioned in the header? JFW | T@lk 10:02, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

I just changed it to not say wild animals "or" flies. Not sure how I feel about the general header idea. Most translations say flies, a few say divers insects. I can't speak for Ancient Egypt, but I don't see a lot of flies walking on the ground in my world. Definitely not enough to become a nuisance worth mentioning, let alone a plague. As the Presidents of the United States of America once said, "Flies like to fly 'cause they don't like to stay." Simple as that, as far as my original research goes. InedibleHulk (talk) 03:18, November 7, 2014 (UTC)

God has no blood on His hands[edit]

A question on the Ref Desk led me around in a few circles, and eventually here.

Seems that God may have not been directly responsible for this mess, in the way described here. The bit of the Koran about this speaks in the Heavenly host's collective voice, and We claim responsibility. When a leader has his army do something, it often is attributed to him, rhetorically. We should make clear (or at least note that other books make clear) that God stayed on the Throne.

Yay? Nay? InedibleHulk (talk) 02:27, April 13, 2014 (UTC)

10th plague and terrorism[edit]

It should be pointed out that, if true, the magnitude (in sheer numbers of deaths of ordinary civilians) of the 10th plague would make it the greatest act of terrorism the world has ever known, to date. There is no doubt that it fits the definition of terrorism -- wholesale killing of ordinary civilians to coerce the decision of a collective or governing body/individual. It could be argued that it was not to coerce, but was rather just a wanton display of power, since God had to harden the pharaoh's heart in order to be able to be sure to get to that 10th plague -- but the motive, whether coercive or wanton, is beside the point, since terrorists can also be purely evil, without having any link to a set of goals they would like to achieve.AtomAnt (talk) 19:28, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

No, sir. The "coercion" part is key. The hardened heart couldn't be swayed, and since that was God's intent, it can't even be called attempted terrorism. Terrorism typically works from the bottom up, a smaller power looking for concessions from a bigger. As God made clear, Egypt was already completely under his foot. It had nothing to concede, and he didn't make any demands.
And, of course, terrorism is a human idea. We can't apply to it to a higher power, anymore than a family can apply its house rules to a country. Was the Black Death ever called terrorism? The South Pacific tsunami? Regular winter?
Also, there is no "the definition" of terrorism. Maybe you're right, by yours. In my books, God was just reminding people who was boss, like an angry dad. We're both free to think what we'd like, but neither of us can add our opinion to the article without a source. So we're really in WP:NOTAFORUM territory here. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:10, May 15, 2014 (UTC)
As far as your idea that "the hardened heart" couldn't be swayed, you need to read your Bible. It says clearly that God hardened the Pharaoh's heart precisely to make sure that it would not be swayed before the 10th plague. Read Exodus 11, verses 9 and 10: "And the Lord said unto Moses, Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt. And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land."
As to your question "Was the Black Death ever called terrorism? The South Pacific tsunami?" --It would be if "the Lord" came down one night, injected the bacteria into the sleeping bodies, and then watched them die. And a Tsunami would also be, if it were inflicted on purpose to coerce a decision from a political ruler. Especially if "the Lord" held the heads of the ordinary citizens of a particular nation under the water to make sure the drowned, and not a single one lived.
In terms of whether you can impute terrorism to a higher being, where is the sense to that? Good leaders always lead by example. Are you saying that God can rape, steal, plunder and murder at will, and no one can say that he did such a thing? It sounds like an arbitrary, made up notion, by someone who happens to worship an imperfect, immoral God. Doesn't God want us to worship him as a "Good" being? Can you impute evil to the devil? Can you impute Goodness to God? If not, why do the churches say he is good?
Why do you quibble about the definition of terrorism? This is an obvious case, the killing of ordinary citizens to coerce a decision from the political leader of a nation. You cannot define terrorism in a way that would exclude this act.
In short, nothing of what you have said stands to reason, and the point is a valid one: if true, this is the biggest act of terrorism, in the world to date. AtomAnt (talk) 19:36, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
Not sure we're disagreeing on the first point. Maybe you misread me. Or I misread you. God intended the heart to not be swayed, so he can't simultaneously intend to coerce.
As the post above this says, I don't think it was God himself, but his angels doing the work, on his orders from Heaven. Same deal as any other plague or "act of God", including those two. Nobody ever sees a large man-like entity physically doing the deed.
God's apparently all-loving and all-knowing. Assuming that, if he does something that humans can't see the goodness in, that's the fault of human limitations, rather than a broken system. If mice are eating your grain, and you need that grain to survive the winter, is it evil to loose a plague of cats on them? Depends whether you ask the cats, the mice or the farmer's wife. Even if you tried your best to explain it to the mice, they wouldn't grasp the wider concept (though they may say to themselves you did such-and-such a thing). Same deal with kids/parents, citizens/governments or freshmen/professors. God's age, experience and vantage point should convince you to accept that he's wiser than us, as far as right and wrong.
Churches say what they want to say, and you can, too. I don't mean to change your mind. If God's a terrorist in your books, that's cool. But if you could clarify the coercion vs hardened heart bit, I'd appreciate it. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:05, May 28, 2014 (UTC)
It's strange that you say that you do not believe that God came down that night to do it directly. You are right though, because although the Bible quotes Him as saying that He will do it, perhaps it is in the sense of sending an underling to carry out the actual act. But the point could be moot... are you implying that Bin Laden is not a terrorist simply because he sent underlings to strike down the WTC, and did not fly the planes personally?
About God being wiser, I would not say he is any wiser than the people who wrote the story. Although I refer to him by name, it is in the same vein that I refer to other fictional characters, like Oedipus or Hamlet. The writers of that story, at that time, wanted to worship a powerful being so powerful he could kill all the first-born of their enemies in a single night. Even so, his personality has a reality in our culture in that he continues to be revered by Jewish, Christians and Moslems alike. Hence the importance to point out how deep-rooted terrorism is in these cultures, being an attribute of the supreme being they read about in their holy books.
You ask about cats and rats and so forth, but even if you wish to suggest that this terrorism was ultimately a good thing, it is still terrorism, hence the continued pertinence of my original suggestion to include the point that, if true, this is the biggest terrorist act in human history to date .
In terms of your question about coercion and the heart-hardening, obviously, all the ten plagues were inflicted with the intent to coerce the pharaoh to let God's People go. And yet the passage in Exodus 11 also states clearly: "and the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land" --why? "...Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt." The idea could not be clearer. God was coercing the Pharaoh with these plagues, but in his omniscience saw that Pharaoh was going to relent before he could get to the 10th one. So He "hardened the pharaoh's heart," to make sure He would be able to carry on through all the way to the 10th plague, thereby "multiplying His wonders." Because the heart was hardened, political coercion is still involved, so it is still terrorism rather than a nonterroristic act of violence (as it would have been if the pharaoh had already relented). This heart-hardening aspect is relevant, since it is perhaps the only known case in history of a terrorist who actually enhanced the degree of resistance, with the express purpose of being able to inflict more damage. In other words, the intent is not about political goals, but of inflicting terrorism for its own sake.AtomAnt (talk) 19:25, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
Assuming Bin Laden planned 9/11, sure, he's just as responsible as the pilots. Same deal with contract killing. God seems certainly responsible for the plagues, but hierarchially, he's above the laws of man. Same deal as how bombing civilians to coerce a government isn't "terrorism" if a higher human power endorses it, but "shock and awe".
Assuming God created the world in a week, controls the weather and can raise the dead, it seems reasonable that he knows more than those who wrote that, or the others who have tried to play his role since. If he's a figment of man's imagination, rather than vice versa, the whole point's moot.
Much clearer on the coercion bit now, even if it was a bit "backwards". Thanks. Though still, the coercion to stay unswayed didn't result from the violence itself, but from some sort of magic. I'll concede that the tenth plague alone could be viewed as terrorism, if we allow the underclass to hold the ruling class accountable.
In my eyes, that disparity and the lack of political goals means it was terror for its own sake, but not an -ism. The distinction between the two words has been blurred to hell since 2001, more recently after the other 9/11. Hard to fault anyone for confusing the two, but that doesn't mean they're acceptable synonyms. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:34, June 1, 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 29 May 2014[edit] (talk) 22:23, 29 May 2014 (UTC)Spelling error .Plague No 5 ....Change "Deceased livestock" to "Diseased livestock" (talk) 22:23, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Thanks, Older and ... well older (talk) 05:42, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

First Plague[edit]

The discussion on natural origins for the first plague (blood in the Nile) refers to scientific assessment of algae / bacteria as potential factors, but does not refer to the possibility of an upstream battle resulting in deaths and polluting the river with blood. Is there any reason why this would not offer a valid natural explanation? BobKilcoyne (talk) 05:53, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Hard to see how this would have been a "miracle" in anyone's eyes considering a battle so large to cause a river to turn to blood would not have been a mystery to anyone. Also dubious considering the sheer volume of blood that would be required to mix with a large flowing river such as the Nile.
However this is all just speculation and neither of our opinions belong on the page. Ckruschke (talk) 17:02, 19 August 2014 (UTC)Ckruschke

This article is highly biased from the perspective of a believer. It is not in any way a scholarly presentation. The comment that historians believe the plagues are true and that "some historians" believe that they are allegorical incorrectly implies that the majority of historians believe that the plagues are true history. What is the basis for this statement? There is no evidence outside of the Bible for the Exodus, much less the 10 plagues. The article references the work of Albright, whose conclusions have been discredited, as possible archeological evidence for the plagues. The long discussion of posable natural causes is also out of balance and a bit silly. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Physbang (talkcontribs) 01:48, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

Scholarly interpretation[edit]

In the Scholarly interpretation section it is stated that the plagues narrative cannot have been written earlier than the 6th century BCE., due to reliance of the Deuteronomistic History. The source cited for this is John Van Seters. I think, however, that Van Seters' position is not a scholarly consensus. The older Documentary Hypothesis ideas are still as popular or more than Van Seters' approach. In the documentary model the plagues narrative is stitched together from either J or E (depending which scholar you ask), and P, and the J/E version is generally believed to be much older than the Deuteronomistic history. Some scholars (e.g. Friedman) also have stated that they believe J and P extend into the D history, but have been edited by Deuteronomistic editors. Such idea explains some similarities like the Red Sea/river Jordan crossings. Anyway, I think it is incorrect to say that the plagues could not be older than the 6th century. A least, there is no academic consensus on this statement. Does anyone agree? Arswann (talk) 13:53, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

Direction of cloud of sulfur acid aerosols[edit]

I think that there is one issue with Sito Trevisanato' theory stating that an aerosol cloud of sulfur acid reached Egypt following the Thera eruption in ~1610 BC. Indeed, being given that Walter Friedrich demonstrated that aerosols ejected by Thera were directed to the north, and pumice to the east and larger blocks to the south and south-east (read "The Minoan Eruption of Santorini around 1613 B. C.and its consequences", 2013 at ), how S.Trevisanato can he claims that the cloud of sulfur acid reached Egypt that is 1000 km in the opposite direction, which is in the heart of his theory ? We know that pumice and ashes can include some acid but not enough to validate the theory of Trevisanato...--luxorion — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:7E8:C9A0:D300:9DC7:BE58:E56C:5715 (talk) 16:12, 13 June 2017 (UTC)