What is a description of the Ten Plagues of Egypt?


Quick Answer

The first five plagues of Egypt, according to the Bible, were blood water, frogs, gnats, flies and the death of livestock. The last five plagues were boils, storms, locusts, darkness and the death of firstborns.

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Full Answer

Aaron began the first plague by striking the Nile River with a rod, which miraculously converted the water to blood. This caused the Nile's fish to die in mass numbers, thus badly damaging Egypt's economy. The second plague involved large quantities of frogs to overrun the land, entering Egyptians' homes and bedrooms. After dying, the smell of the frogs' corpses permeated the entire country. The third plague involved the infestation of either lice or gnats, depending on the Bible translation used, in a way that Egyptian magicians were unable to duplicate.

The fourth plague involved swarms of flies attacking Egyptian territory, while passing over Israelite neighborhoods. The fifth plague was a pestilence that killed Egyptian livestock; Israelite livestock was immune to this disease. Moses initiated the sixth plague by throwing up ashes from a furnace, which induced boils on Egyptian men. The seventh plague was a thunderstorm with hail that damaged Egyptian crops.

The eighth plague was a swarm of locusts that consumed any crops left over from the previous plagues. The ninth plague was a thick darkness that enveloped Egypt for three days. The final plague was the death of the firstborn of every Egyptian family; Israelite families were spared only if their doors were marked with lamb's blood.

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