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the story of Moses and the plagues

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posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 12:12 AM
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I've been re-reading all the stories about Moses and the plagues on the Egyptians and I'm wondering if, in light of modern science, if the plagues were not some serial sequence of biological/ecological series of events that might necessarily follow each other as a course of nature.

The river was tainted in some way.
The frogs were a product of that.
The insect infestation followed as a natural course.
The boils were a product of this contamination.
The hail? I'm not sure.
The death of the first-born males could have been mis-reported as so many were dying due to the maladies from the previous events.
Etc.

So, I don't know. Could it have been nothing more than some sequence of naturally occuring sequential biological events?

One thing I can't glean from the stories is a good sense of the time-line - did this take days, weeks, months, years? Perhaps some of our scholars can help with this...

My sources, at present, are the OT and Josephus. Are there others?

Are the accounts that the Hebrews were not afflicted in any way believable?

I'm looking for historical and scientific accounts - not whether you are a biblical literalist.




posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 07:43 AM
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Some TV programproved that the locustscame in tofeed o the dead plants and animalswho died of mal- nutrition, thats about all thatI can remember



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 12:40 PM
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I don't really understand why this thread was sent to this part of ATS - it was in Conspiracies in Religion. Maybe I didn't do a good enough job expressing the conspiracy part but, I'm pretty sure that it really doesn't belong here.

I imagine it will just die, here.

OK, I'll try again but, meanwhile, if anybody wants to comment...



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 03:44 PM
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Yeah, threads get moved magically, ain't it great.

I would say that you are right, there was a physical event that occurred that resulted in many of the 'plagues'.

And although the Exodus is placed at 1400 BC, I think the evidence for a REAL event exist in the years between 1650 BC to 1618 BC, the 'Hyskos' invasion of Egypt (a cover up for the natural disasters that struck Egypt), the island of Thera totally destroyed, the downfall of Minoan civilization inexplicably.

Hail could be due to a volcano, but there seems to be an element about this that is 'heavenly', like something happened in the sky as well, perhaps some planets created a strong magnetic effect on the Earth resulting in increased earthquakes and eventually volcanic eruption (much as in our CURRENT times we are seeing a significant increase).

Conspiracy in religion alright.



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 09:01 PM
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Originally posted by Al Davison
I've been re-reading all the stories about Moses and the plagues on the Egyptians and I'm wondering if, in light of modern science, if the plagues were not some serial sequence of biological/ecological series of events that might necessarily follow each other as a course of nature...


One thing I can't glean from the stories is a good sense of the time-line - did this take days, weeks, months, years? Perhaps some of our scholars can help with this...

I'm looking for historical and scientific accounts - not whether you are a biblical literalist.
There is much scientific evidence that the sequence of events were they one after the other, were in fact due to a specific event, much as you have laid out. If the water was tainted, those relying on same including the marine inhabitants would die, therefore the blood. Dead and rotting flesh of any kind in that heat would attract plagues of insects, which would in turn attack human flesh and bring about disease etc.. The first born deaths then would be expected, although not just first born but the youngest and most susceptible.

To answer your other question, yes, it was over a period of time. Moses was supposedly 40 when called to 'save' the Israelites. They roamed the desert for 40 years, that makes him 80, but he died at 120. 3 sets of 40, one set unaccounted for, the period of his fighting with pharoah.

There are Egyptian stelae which speak to famine, desolation and plunder that do explain better the Biblcal account of Moses.



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 10:13 PM
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i dont belive that. i think that Moses created the plagues with God's help or power thing



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 11:35 PM
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Each of the plagues, represented a part of the Egyptian religious belief system.

Thats why part of them were battled by the egyptian "wizards". They were showing the power of the Israelites God (YHWH) dominance over that of the Egyptian idols.

This was deliberatly done, by God to show that he is greater than all others, and to establish his authority over any who doubted.

To reduce what is a spiritual action to that of mere scientific analysis, is to overlook the obvious and stated purpose of the plagues whilst focusing on the minutae in order to squeeze in some belief system that has no place. (Not seeing the forest for the trees, might be a better metaphor)

WooHoo!!!!


Just because you CAN find natural explanations for some of the events does not explain how they all happened at exactly the right time, in the correct sequence, just as Moses said.

Maybe some of them can be tied to each other if you want to draw lines, but the argument falls down at the Hail part, nad to accept the scientific explanation you have to ignore, deliberatly the extressed reason fo them happening.

The first plague - water turned to blood.
The second plague - frogs
The third plague - gnats
The fourth plague - flies
The fifth plague - death of livestock
The sixth plague - boils
The seventh plague - hail
The eighth plague - locusts
The ninth plague - darkness
The tenth plague - death of the firstborn

[edit on 12-6-2005 by Netchicken]



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 11:53 PM
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Originally posted by Netchicken
Each of the plagues, represented a part of the Egyptian religious belief system.

Thats why part of them were battled by the egyptian "wizards". They were showing the power of the Israelites God (YHWH) dominance over that of the Egyptian idols.

This was deliberatly done, by God to show that he is greater than all others, and to establish his authority over any who doubted.

To reduce what is a spiritual action to that of mere scientific analysis, is to overlook the obvious and stated purpose of the plagues whilst focusing on the minutae in order to squeeze in some belief system that has no place. (Not seeing the forest for the trees, might be a better metaphor)

WooHoo!!!!

Just because you CAN find natural explanations for some of the events does not explain how they all happened at exactly the right time, in the correct sequence, just as Moses said.

Maybe some of them can be tied to each other if you want to draw lines, but the argument falls down at the Hail part, nad to accept the scientific explanation you have to ignore, deliberatly the extressed reason fo them happening.

The first plague - water turned to blood.
The second plague - frogs
The third plague - gnats
The fourth plague - flies
The fifth plague - death of livestock
The sixth plague - boils
The seventh plague - hail
The eighth plague - locusts
The ninth plague - darkness
The tenth plague - death of the firstborn
Can you in fact demonstrate the 40 year differential in terms of these plagues and why they would take this length of time, or even account for the plague timeline and Moses' 40 years of something?

Appreciate it, thank you.

[edit on 6/12/05 by SomewhereinBetween]



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 11:53 PM
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I can accept the story, as written, as one possibility.

However, reading through the sequence of events and understanding that oral history and tradition has a way of going all "telephone game" on us, well...you gotta wonder.

Science is not my forte' - particularly not the biological/ecological/natural sciences. In fact, I think there is still some controversy amongst experts in these fields as to exactly what causes certain phenomenae.

It just seemed that there was a scientific link between something happening to the water and lots of deaths and then some frogs (connected to water and water quality) and more people died and so on, and so on.

I think the topic is well-worth exploring. It could very well be that what many people believe was God acting through Moses to bring these events to pass has been both understudied and over-hyped. I would not consider it unlikely that some of these plagues were "added" through the years in the telling of the story before it was written - or, at least, before the earliest writing that became the source for what comes off the presses today as shiney new bibles (both Christian and Jewish).

I'm not taking a stand, here. I'm saying that I've not seen this issue discussed in a serious manner. I'm not attacking the overall value of the bible, either. Bible literists - those who believe that every word (which can cause your head to spin when you get to the NT but, that's another thread) are a puzzlement to me when they want to stifle close examination of the stories in which they so fervently believe - where is their faith? Don't you believe that something this important to you can withstand a little scrutiny? Have faith! If you are correct, that will come out in the end and you'll be able to have the "I told you so" rights and privileges.


I defend everyone's right to say that "it's the bible so, it must be true and I believe it, so there!" - that's fine to say but it doesn't make much of a contribution to an historical examination of events where opinions and statements of faith are really just background noise.

Here's hoping some more serious scholars join in!

Edit ---> which they did before I finished my post! Thanks!
Yeah, the hail is the only one that I can't put into the "layman's logic" of how such a natural sequence could occur. That may have been an "add-in" in the oral tradition...or not.


[edit on 12-6-2005 by Al Davison]

[edit on 13-6-2005 by Al Davison]



posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 12:17 AM
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oh, one more important point - in the Jewish traditions (recounted by Josephus, at least) the water did not turn to blood. The water turned the color of blood. I'm thinking maybe "red tide"...but, I don't know if that particular natural phenomenon is possible in fresh water.



posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 03:24 AM
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Just to shed some light on this debate, I would like to offer some archeological evidence regarding the plagues. Over a century ago a peice of papyrus called Ipuwer Papyrus wsa found in egypt and is currently housed in a museum in Leiden Holland. The papyrus depicts an Egyptian account of the events surrounding the plagues. The papyrus was in horrible condition but some sections were readable.
Look it up in Google.
Opinions on this papyrus would be appreciated.



posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 03:30 AM
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And to offer a supporting theory in your mindset - the hail you mentioned can be a meteorite storm.



posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 05:35 AM
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I haven't read all the posts to this thread so this might have already been said... but i'm certain there was some huge volcanic eruption that could be heard around the world and in egypts case...could be seen. I also think that this could have blocked out the sun for a while...so the program said, and that could have been when i think...one of the plagues was egypt being plunged in to darkness. However, should we question if these plagues were mere natural occurances noted down and exagerrated in to a story...or should we be asking whether or not they even took place.

Certain parts could be natural like the frogs, insects or which were two swarms i think, animals dying, boils...that's prety much your day to day life in egypt.

I think perhaps these were written down by someone, found by somebody who felt like doing a spot of god-like writing and changed it in to a story, where moses saved his people and the power of the christian god was shown, hence reinforcing the beliefs in early christians.

It's exactly what they all are...stories to reinforce beliefs. Is god that hard to believe in that there has to be stories of world wide floods, plagues, parting of a river, setting a bush on fire, creating adam and eve, and the universe...although he couldn't drive a certain people out because they had chariots of iron...but he could create the universe...wierd.



posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 07:10 AM
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Shaunybaby's points are well-taken except the parts about the Christian God and the early Christians embellishing this story since this story "belongs" to the Jews and appears in the Jewish texts that pre-date Christianity.

Still, his basic premise is valid, I think - just without the Christianity part.

We don't find in this story any place where Moses predicts what will be the next plague to be visited on the Egyptians. I can't even find where the texts support any idea that Moses tells the Pharoh that "if you don't let us leave, God is going to send another plague". So, it's possible that Moses was reacting to the events and using them to further his cause by saying "see that? another really bad thing is happening to you so it's my God that is doing this to you because you won't let us leave and you keep breaking your promises".

I mean, as other writers have stated, the nature of man has not fundamentally changed in any significant way. We see contemporary examples of religious leaders using natural disasters as "signs from God" and interpreting them as warnings that people had better get religion or something even worse might happen, next time.



posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 07:10 AM
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Ehya,

Just wondering if the plagues bit of the Bible is mentioned in other writings, specifically, any other NON-religious writings? Is the Bible the only place it is dealt with?

Personally, I just don't think it transpired the way the book has been translated for us to believe as (ugh) literal (to de-rail any flames of that statement, as if I "don't know" anythng about it, my entire childhood and mid-teen years was of a HIGHLY religious doctrine atmosphere - eat, drink, breathe the Bible; and I still catch it during every talk with any family member .......... **rams finger down throat**).

Thanx

Misfit



posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 12:23 PM
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Josephus writes about them in his History of the Jews. Now, opinions vary regarding Josephus and, of course, he was not there so he is writing the "traditional" history of the Jews so...

Another poster here, provided another reference about which I am currently still learning. Now, was this an eye-witness account? Maybe...

Here's where I started: Ipuwer site
but I certainly won't limit myself to just this one web site.



posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 12:52 PM
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Originally posted by Al Davison
I'm thinking maybe "red tide"...but, I don't know if that particular natural phenomenon is possible in fresh water.

Apparently, there are rivers in greece that will sometimes run red, the ancients would say that it was zeus doing it. Its caused by red clay deposits that occasionally get washed out.



posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 07:32 PM
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Originally posted by Al DavisonAnother poster here, provided another reference about which I am currently still learning. Now, was this an eye-witness account? Maybe...

Here's where I started: Ipuwer site
but I certainly won't limit myself to just this one web site.
Here is another of several, the references should ring a few more bells with you.

www.perankhgroup.com...



posted on Jun, 14 2005 @ 02:32 PM
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There are lots of ecological factors that be linked together in the for of the plauges that savaged Egypt. even today most of Egypts population and economy is linked to the nile and it's Delta.

It is very possible there are linked events for the plauges. But back then msot of these were conciderend omens or of a divine nature. The fact that these acts were credited to the hebrew God was suppose to scare and finally forceably drive out the hebrews.



posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 03:26 PM
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still studying...finding sources that lead to more sources, etc.

I want to return to this topic with more information and theories but, meanwhile, thank you all for pointing me to some sources that I was not able to find on my own.



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