Paganism Fourteen

(NOTE: Some of the themes of these articles may not be appropriate for young readers. Please keep that in mind when sharing this information).

It is written:

Exodus 18:11-Now I know that the LORD is greater than all the gods; for in the very thing in which they behaved proudly, He was above them.”

One of the greatest displays of God over the gods of the pagans was seen in the Ten Plagues.

When the Pharaoh of Egypt refused to let the Hebrew slaves go free, the Lord brought ten horrible plagues upon the Egyptians. Each of these plagues demonstrated the power of God over the gods and goddesses of Egypt in that particular realm.

“It is said that the Egyptians of this time worshipped over eighty different deities. They would have only been rivaled by India in their polytheism. Like the Indian’s, they worshipped a large number of animals and anthropomorphic beings as gods. The animals considered to be sacred included many insects like the scarab and locust; many mammals like the lion, ox, ram, wolf, dog, and cat; many fowls like the falcon, and vulture; many aquatic creatures like fish, frogs, and crocodiles; and very prominently we find the worship of the cobra…The cobra also represents the goddess Wadjet, one of the earliest of Egyptian deities….So here in this pre- plague encounter between Moses and Pharaoh we see that God Almighty, the LORD, Jehovah is showing Pharaoh that his goddess, Wadjet, the cobra, is not a god at all….Why would Pharaoh not even consider this plague? The pre- plague encounter was a challenge to the Egyptian god Wadjet but this first plague against the general population of Egypt was an attack upon multiple gods related to the worship of the Nile River…Khnum was one of the earliest of the Egyptian gods….Hapi is another of the Nile River gods. He was also said to be the god that provided the Nile River and the fish and birds of its marshes to the Egyptian people. He was also a fertility god bringing life to the land through the yearly flooding of the Nile River….Osiris is the god of the underworld who sees to it that the dead are judged. He is considered to be the god of the resurrection and of new life. He is closely associated with the changing of seasons. He was betrayed by friends and placed in a box which was cast into the Nile River. It was commonly believed that it was his blood that flowed in the Nile that brought life to Egypt. In Figure 4, Osiris is seen on a bier with wheat growing from him….Tauret is the goddess who is depicted as a pregnant hippopotamus. She is another fertility goddess symbolizing the rebirth and regeneration associated with the Nile River. In Figure 5, she is seen standing on her hind legs and holding the key of life….Nu is said to be the oldest of the ancient Egyptian gods. He is said to be the father of the sun god, Re…The purpose of this plague is the same as the former encounters between Pharaoh and Moses. This plague was meant to reveal to Pharaoh that the LORD Jehovah is the one true God. All that Pharaoh has been taught and all that he believes is being challenged by the message of the LORD. I believe that the message of the LORD has that same power today….The first plague was against the various gods and goddesses of the Nile River but this plague seems to be against one specific goddess named Heqet. She is depicted as being in the form of a frog or as a woman with a frog head. She is often associated with the god Khnum….She was also a goddess of childbirth. Many women would wear an amulet or bracelet with her depiction to protect them during their pregnancy. It is commonly believed that the midwives in ancient Egypt were called ministers of Heqet. But like the last plague the LORD showed that there is no God but Jehovah…This particular plague is generally thought to be against the Egyptian god of the earth named Geb. He was known as a fertility god and was thought to be in control of everything on, in, or under the earth…The Egyptians worshipped many gods and goddesses and it is commonly reported that one of those goddesses was named Uatchit. She was said to be depicted as a woman with a fly’s head…In Egypt the cattle, especially the bulls, were worshipped. Apis is the bull god (Figure 12, next page). A bull that matched specific markings would be selected from the herd and brought to the temple. This bull was given a harem of cows. When the bull died, it was mourned over as though a Pharaoh had died. These bulls would be buried in elaborate religious ceremonies….As with the other plagues, this plague strikes at the gods of the Egyptians. One of the few gods of the Egyptians that was actually a person was the god Imhotep (Figure 13). It is said that Imhotep was a very educated person that served a Pharaoh of the third dynasty (around 2700 BC). He was reported to be a priest, writer, a doctor, and a founder of the Egyptian studies of astronomy and architecture. Imhotep is associated with another god named Nefertem. This god was believed to help ease pain and suffering through medicine (Figure 14). Yet, as with the other gods of Egypt, Nefertem or Imhotep could not stand before the LORD Jehovah. The LORD has struck against the Nile River, the life line of Egypt. The Nile River’s waters turned to blood, it brought forth a multitude of frogs and the Scriptures say that the land stank. The LORD struck against the soil of Egypt, the fertile fields brought forth plagues of lice and flies, instead of produce. The LORD struck against the wealth of Egypt, killing millions upon millions of cattle, camels, horses, and other livestock. With this plague, the LORD has struck against the physical health of the Egyptians…This plague brings destruction and even death to men, animals, and crops of Egypt. The Egyptians worshipped gods of weather like Tefnut, the goddess of moisture (Figure 15) and Set, the god of weather who had a voice of thunder (Figure 16). The Egyptians also worshipped a god named Ami, who was the god of fire and Maahes, the god of storms. But the LORD God of the Hebrews is the only true and living God…Egypt had several gods and goddesses of agriculture that they believed protected the growing of the crops and the harvesting of the crops. Osiris and Isis (Figure 17) are two examples of these gods and goddesses…Isis is the sister wife of Osiris. She is credited with teaching women skills necessary to be a good wife including growing crops, grinding corn, and making bread. As in the other plagues, these gods and goddesses could not stand before the one true living God, the LORD God of the Hebrews…Perhaps the most powerful god in all of Egyptian mythology is Amen- Ra, the sun god (Figure 18). Amen- Ra represented light, warmth, and growth but for three days the LORD had rendered Amen- Ra to be powerless. There was no light, no warmth, and no growth. Once again, the LORD has demonstrated that He alone is the one true living God….Many of the gods and goddesses of Egypt had some connection to fertility but for this study we will consider just two of them. Bes is probably one of the most unusual of all of the Egyptian gods (Figure 19). His appearance is very much that of something other than an Egyptian. Adding to his uniqueness is that he is almost always depicted from a full front view rather than the normal profile view of most gods. It was believed that during the birth of a child, Bes would dance about the room to protect the child from evil gods. He was also believed to stay nearby the child to entertain them. Egyptians attributed Bes as being the cause of the laughter or smile of a baby. This final plague shows that indeed it is the LORD who is the one true living God. None of the gods or goddesses of Egypt could stand before Him.” (Ron Knapp, Jr. When I Smite Egypt: The Ten Plagues Of Egypt, 380-2085 (Kindle Edition))

Archaeology confirms that the Hebrews were in the land of Egypt at the time of the Ten Plagues, that the Ten Plagues took place, that the Hebrews suddenly departed from there, and that a great disaster took place which resulted in the destruction of a large army of Egyptians in the Red Sea.

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