Partners, Plagues, Passover (Part 1)
Some partnerships are warm. Some partnerships are cold. Some partnerships are balanced. Some partnerships are off balance. Some partnerships flourish. Some flounder. Some partnerships are loving and friendly with a working atmosphere of love and respect. And other partnerships are like master and slave of domination and submission.
(How do You differentiate and how do you know: let it go?! or make your exodus?! Many partnerships are plagued or troubled by something. Sovereignty? Who reigns? Who concedes?)
Which reminds me of the “timely” ancient history of the Egyptians and the Israelites. (There is much for us to learn as modern partners from ancient partnerships.)
I’ve highlighted the following points read:
“As Professor J. A. Wilson states: “A warning should be issued about the precise historical value of Egyptian inscriptions. That was a world of . . . divine myths and miracles.” Then after suggesting that the scribes were not above juggling the chronology of events to add praise to the particular monarch in power, he says: “The historian will accept his data at face value, unless there is a clear reason for distrust; but he must be ready to modify his acceptance as soon as new materials put the previous interpretation in a new light.”—The World History of the Jewish People, 1964, Vol. 1, pp. 280, 281.
Please read on! This “quick” (in-depth) ancient history lesson has modern-day application for Partners and Others.
I will “try” to sum up as concisely as I am able. (THANKS for bearing with me and my abilities; though painfully limited.) You will takeaway points of value for application/practice for wellness. (Please read the forthcoming Part 2 as well!)
When Egypt Ruled the East says that to the Egyptians, he [Pharaoh] was greater than any other earthly creature “in wisdom and power.”
The pharaoh ruling at the time of the Exodus is not named in the Bible; hence, efforts to identify him are based on conjecture. This partly explains why modern historians’ calculations of the date of the Exodus vary from 1441 to 1225 B.C.E., a difference of over 200 years. ~Insight on Scriptures, 1988, Chronology, Vol. 1, pp. 451.
History Trustworthy?? Sure. Depends on the objectivity, honesty level of who’s recording/documenting it:
Regarding the Genesis narrative about Joseph, a son of the patriarch Jacob, as well as the Bible book of Exodus, J. Garrow Duncan says in his book New Light on Hebrew Origins: “[The Bible writer] was thoroughly well acquainted with the Egyptian language, customs, beliefs, court life, and etiquette and officialdom.” He adds: “[The writer] employs the correct title in use and exactly as it was used at the period referred to. . . . In fact, nothing more convincingly proves the intimate knowledge of things Egyptian in the Old Testament, and the reliability of the writers, than the use of the word Pharaoh at different periods.” Duncan also states: “When [the writer] brings his characters into the presence of Pharaoh, he makes them observe the correct court etiquette and use the correct language.” ~A Book You Can Trust–Part 1
Encyclopædia Britannica (1959, Vol. 8, p. 56) comments: “When [the Egyptian] confessed he did not say ‘I am guilty’; he said ‘I am not guilty.’ His confession was negative, and the onus probandi [the burden of proof] lay on his judges, who, according to the funerary papyri, always gave the verdict in his favour—or at any rate it was hoped and expected that they would do so.” Ancient Egypt’s religion appears to have been mainly a matter of ceremonies and spells, designed to achieve certain desired results through the providence of one or more of their numerous gods.
Modern-day and ancient-day religions interconnecting?!…hmmm:
J. Garnier writes: “Not merely Egyptians, Chaldeans, Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans, but also the Hindus, the Buddhists of China and of Thibet, the Goths, Anglo-Saxons, Druids, Mexicans and Peruvians, the Aborigines of Australia, […], must have all derived their religious ideas from a common source and a common centre. Everywhere we find the most startling coincidences in rites, ceremonies, customs, traditions, and in the names and relations of their respective gods and goddesses.”—The Worship of the Dead, London, 1904, p. 3.
So, with me?..Pharaoh considers himself a “God” and so do the Egyptians. They worship him along with multiple gods. The Israelites do not feel this way about oppressive Pharaoh, he is a man. A powerful ruler, yet still helpless dust in comparison to their god. They worship 1 God, the Almighty Creator, the True God: Hebrew name: “Yahweh.”
For many years, the sons of Israel lived in Egypt, prospering and multiplying. However, a new Pharaoh rose up. This ruler did not know Joseph. A vicious tyrant who feared the Israelites’ growing numbers, he turned them into slaves and ordered that all their newborn males be drowned in the Nile River. But one brave mother protected her infant son, hiding him in a basket among the reeds. Pharaoh’s daughter discovered the baby, named him Moses, and raised him among Egyptian royalty. ~excerpted God Delivers the Sons of Israel
So, the issue between the Egyptians and the Israelites is basically 1 thing: sovereignty. Who do they follow?? Pharaoh or Yahweh?? Who is the “true” god or who is truly divine? Who is the “false” god? Who enslaves and who liberates? Who loves and who hates? Who is compassionate? Who isn’t? Who deserves worship/obedience/respect/reverence and who doesn’t? Who is the ultimate sovereign?
Moses via burning bush is assigned a job of leading Israelites out of bondage…for some context see post: Nurturing Seedlings 3
A quick summary:
Moses and Aaron appear before Pharaoh, asking that the Israelites be permitted to celebrate a festival to [Yahweh] in the wilderness. The Egyptian ruler defiantly refuses. Yahweh uses Moses to bring about one telling blow after another. Only after the tenth plague does Pharaoh let the Israelites go. Soon, however, he and his military forces are in hot pursuit. But Yahweh opens an escape corridor through the Red Sea and delivers his people. The pursuing Egyptians drown as the sea closes in on them. ~excerpted from article: Highlights from the Book of Exodus
“Quick” account of the 10 plagues” or “troubles” and their significant meanings:
(Reference material: Insight on Scriptures, Gods and Goddess, 1988, Vol. 1, p. 976; The 10 Plagues p. 32; Exodus chapters 7-12)
1. Nile river into blood: (Exodus 7:19-21) “The first plague, the turning of the Nile and all the waters of Egypt into blood, brought disgrace to the Nile-god Hapi. The death of the fish in the Nile was also a blow to Egypt’s religion, for certain kinds of fish were actually venerated and even mummified.”
2. Frogs come up out of the Nile. The frogs are everywhere in everything. When they die and piled up in huge heaps, the land stinks. “The frog, regarded as a symbol of fertility and the Egyptian concept of resurrection, was considered sacred to the frog-goddess Heqt. Hence, the plague of frogs brought disgrace to this goddess.” (Exodus 8:5-14)
3. Gnats. Swarms of small, flying, biting bugs biting everyone. “Then Aaron hit the ground with his stick, and the dust turned into gnats.” ~ The 10 Plagues (BTW: Aaron is Moses brother.) “The third plague saw the magic-practicing priests acknowledging defeat when they proved to be unable by means of their secret arts to turn dust into gnats. (Exodus 8:16-19) The god Thoth was credited with the invention of magic or secret arts, but even this god could not help the magic-practicing priests to duplicate the third plague.”
4. Big Flies….gadflies. “While swarms of gadflies invaded the homes of the Egyptians, the Israelites in the land of Goshen were not affected.” (Exodus 8:23, 24) This plague and subsequent plagues served as the line of demarcation between Egyptians and Israelites.
5. Cattle, Sheep, etc. of the Egyptians die…”the pestilence upon the livestock, humiliated such deities as the cow-goddess Hathor, Apis, and the sky-goddess Nut, who was conceived of as a cow having the stars affixed to her belly.” (Exodus 9:1-6)
6. Boils/Sores…”Moses and Aaron took some ashes and threw them into the air. They caused bad sores on the people and the animals.””The plague of boils brought disgrace to the gods and goddesses regarded as possessing healing abilities, such as Thoth, Isis, and Ptah.” (Exodus 9:8-11)
7. Hailstorm. Worse ever experienced by Egyptians. ” The severe hailstorm put to shame the gods who were considered to have control of the natural elements; for example, Reshpu, who, it appears, was believed to control lightning, and Thoth, who was said to have power over the rain and thunder.” (Exodus 9:22-26)
8. Locusts. What the hailstorm did not destroy the locusts ate. “The locust plague spelled defeat for the gods thought to ensure a bountiful harvest, one of these being the fertility god Min, who was viewed as a protector of the crops.” (Exodus 10:12-15)
9. Darkness for 3 days for the Egyptians. The Israelites had light. “Among the deities disgraced by the plague of darkness were sun-gods, such as Ra and Horus, and also Thoth the god of the moon and believed to be the systematizer of sun, moon, and stars.” (Exodus 10:21-23).
10. Death of Firstborn. This was a big blow/biggest humiliation to Pharaoh and all the Egyptian gods. “The rulers of Egypt actually styled themselves as gods, the sons of Ra, or Amon-Ra. It was claimed that Ra, or Amon-Ra, had intercourse with the queen. The son born was, therefore, viewed as a god incarnate and was dedicated to Ra, or Amon-Ra, at his temple. Hence, the death of Pharaoh’s firstborn, in effect, actually meant the death of a god. (Exodus 12:29) This in itself would have been a severe blow to Egypt’s religion, and the complete impotence of all the deities was manifested in their being unable to save the firstborn of the Egyptians from death.”
“Finally, the tenth plague brought death to all the firstborn in the land—except in families who obeyed [Yahweh] by marking their doorposts with the blood of a sacrificed lamb. God’s angel of destruction passed over those households. The Israelites thereafter commemorated this marvelous rescue by means of an annual celebration called the Passover.” ~excerpted Bible’s Message: God Delivers the Sons of Israel, section 7, p. 10
Please join me for: Partners, Plagues, Passover (Part 2) THANKS!:)
photo–d-green-cubes-with-letters-makes-passover available at Shutterstock
Winifred, J. (2014). Partners, Plagues, Passover (Part 1). Psych Central. Retrieved on February 20, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/wellness/2014/04/partners-plagues-passover-part-1/