The Ten Plagues: Earth, Air, Fire and Water

Moses was the Harry Potter of Egypt. He was a prince of Egypt; he was brought up in the royal family and received the best education available in the known world. He studied at ‘The Hogwarts’ of Egypt and was provided with all the knowledge of spiritual matters and magic for which Ancient Egypt was and is still famous. It extrapolating this concept further, one could associate Moses’ staff with which he induced most of the plagues, as his ‘wand’. He had complete understanding of the spiritual and natural world of the universe and was in fact a magician or wizard in the best sense of the word, as we see in many of the rituals of purification and miracles introduced during the course of their travels in the desert. In comparison to the Children of Israel Moses was like a white man in Darkest Africa.

The plagues were based upon the four elements: Earth Air, Fire and Water – except those which were enacted by God (plagues nos. 4, 5 and 10). A fundamental difference between Moses and the other magicians of Egyptian was that in addition to the four elements, he had a fifth element on his side – that of God Himself.

The first two plagues: water turning to blood and frogs from the Nile used the element water and which the Egyptian magicians were also able simulate. The Egyptian magicians ‘knew’ about water. Water was their life stream. The Nile was their core to existence. It was for this reason that they threw the Hebrew babies into the River, rather than kill them by the sword (Exodus 1:22) (See hyperlink killing of the Hebrew babies). But the other elements Earth, Fire and Air were less familiar to them and they could not re-enact the plagues brought about by Moses. Hence the third plague, Lice, brought about by striking the dust of the ground, could not be re-enacted by the Egyptian magicians.

And they did so; for Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and struck the dust of the earth, and it became lice in man, and in beast; all the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt: And the magicians did likewise with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not; so there were lice upon man, and upon beast:(Exodus 8:13-14).

Similarly the 6th plague, Boils, was even more complex utilizing the combined elements - Fire and Air.

And they took ashes from the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became boils breaking out with sores upon man, and upon beast: (Exodus 9:10)

The 7th plague, Hail, was further complex using all the four elements Air, Fire, Earth and Water, but primarily using the mix of Fire and Water {1}.

And Moses stretched out his rod toward heaven (Air); and the Lord sent thunder and hail (Water), and the fire (Fire) ran along upon the ground (Earth); and the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt: So there was hail, and fire mixed with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation: (Exodus 9:23-24).

The 8th plague, locusts, used the element Earth and Air.

And Moses stretched out his rod over the land of Egypt, and the Lord brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts: (Exodus 10:13) {2}.

The 9th plague, darkness, was brought about by Moses raising his staff to the heaven (Air) and brought about 3 days of darkness.

And Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days: (Exodus 10:22).

One remarkable aspect of the ten plagues of Egypt is that as much as they brought about disaster in Egypt, and with the exception of the 10th plague, no one died (unless they ventured out of their houses at the time of the hail in the 7th plague). The plagues were not in order punish the Egyptian for their evilness. Rather they had a dual purpose: to bring the Egyptians to recognize that there is only one true God and to bring the Children of Israel to rediscover their identity as a people.

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{1} In accord with the ancient Chinese book, the I Ching, Hexagram 63 , if water is over fire and if the fire is too strong the water will boil and will evaporate so there will be no more water, or the water will boil over the pot and put out the fire. Hence, if the combination of fire and water is strong it will cause the phenomenal world to be destroyed.

{2} A similar instance occurred in Chinese history in the legend of ‘The Three Kingdoms’ (220-280 AD), by a famous military advisor, Zhu Ge Liang, of whom it was said, could tap into the occult arts. By offering prayers and a sacrifice he was able to generate an easterly wind when only north-westerly winds were common in that season. He thereby was able to set on fire invading ships of Cao Cao’s invading army causing a most humiliating defeat to Cao Cao’s army without a single loss of life on Zhu Ge Liang’s side.

 

 

 
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