Tanakh and Talmud
Old Testament

What were the ten plagues of Egypt?

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November 13, 2017 2:06AM

God brought ten plagues upon Pharaoh and the Egyptians, to persuade Pharaoh to let the Israelites leave Egypt:

  1. Blood (waters turned to blood) [Exodus 7:19-25]
  2. Frogs [Exodus 7:26-8:11]
  3. Lice/Flies [Exodus 8:12-15]
  4. Gnats [Exodus 8:16-28]
  5. Strange Unknown Illness that Killed the livestock and cattle of the Egyptians [Exodus 9:1-7]
  6. Boils [Exodus 9:8-12]
  7. Hail [Exodus: 22-35]
  8. Grasshoppers/ Locust[Exodus 10:12-20]
  9. Darkness (for three days) [Exodus 10:21-29]
  10. Death of the firstborn [Exodus 12:29-33]
After the tenth plague, Pharaoh agreed to let the Israelites leave.

It is to be noted that none of the plagues affected the Israelites.


1. Blood (דָם): Ex. 7:14-25

2. Frogs (צְּפַרְדֵּעַ): Ex. 7:25-8:11

3. Gnats (כִּנִּים): Ex. 8:12-15

4. Flies (עָרוֹב): Ex. 8:20-32

5. Pestilence (דֶּבֶר): Ex. 9:1-7

6. Boils (שְׁחִין): Ex. 9:8-12

7. Hail (בָּרָד): Ex. 9:13-35

8. Locusts (אַרְבֶּה): Ex. 10:1-20

9. Darkness (חוֹשֶך): Ex. 10:21-29

10. Death of the Firstborn (מַכַּת בְּכוֹרוֹת): Ex. 11:1-12:36

Jewish answer:

Exodus ch.7-12:

  1. The water in Egypt turned to blood
  2. Frogs swarmed over the land
  3. Lice (not "gnats") swarmed over the land
  4. A swarm of mixed animals (not just "flies") plagued the land
  5. The Egyptian livestock died of disease
  6. The Egyptians were afflicted with boils
  7. Crop-destroying hailstorms
  8. The land was overrun with locusts (not "grasshoppers")
  9. Three days of darkness
  10. Death of the Egyptian firstborn

(Exodus 7:19 - 12:30) Each of the plagues assaulted one of the gods of Egypt (Exodus 12:12). The first 3 plagues affected the Israelites too, but the rest were only on the Egyptians.

1. Blood. Turning the Nile(& all the waters of Egypt) into blood- disgraced the Nile god, Hapi, and when the fish died it slapped the Egyptian fish god.

2. Frogs, worshiped as the goddess Heqt brought disgrace to this goddess.

3. Gnats and

4. Gadflies invaded Egyptian homes , both discrediting the Egyptian god of Magic, Thoth, as the magic-practicing priests were unable to stop the influx

5. Plague on the livestock humiliated the cow goddess Hathor, Apis, and the sky goddess, Nut.

6. Boils plaguing the Egyptians disgraced "healing" gods such as Thoth, Isis, and Ptah.

7. Hail shamed the gods of nature, Reshpu, and again, Thoth, who was believed to have power over the thunder & rain.

8. Locust defeated the harvest gods, such as Min, who was believed to be a protector of crops.

9. Darkness humiliated the sun gods, Ra and Horus, and again, Thoth, who was thought to be the magical god of the sun, moon, and stars).

10. Death of the firstborn was the greatest humiliation for the Egyptian gods and goddesses, especially Pharaohs themselves, who felt that THEY were gods, sons of Ra (or Amon-Ra). The death of Pharoah's son, therefore, meant that one of their gods had actually died .