(Background Reading: Exodus 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9:1-7)

Psalm 105:5 Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth.

26 He sent Moses his servant; and Aaron whom he had chosen.

27 They shewed his signs among them, and wonders in the land of Ham.

Exodus 7:20 And Moses and Aaron did so, as the LORD commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood.

21 And the fish that was in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.

Exodus 8:6 And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt.

16 And the LORD said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.

17 And they did so; for Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and smote 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.

22 And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth.

23 And I will put a division between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be.

24 And the LORD did so; and there came a grievous swarm of flies into the house of Pharaoh, and into his servants’ houses, and into all the land of Egypt: the land was corrupted by reason of the swarm of flies.

Exodus 9:3 Behold, the hand of the LORD is upon thy cattle which is in the field, up- on the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain.

5 And the LORD appointed a set time, saying, To morrow the LORD shall do this thing in the land.

6 And the LORD did that thing on the morrow, and all the cattle of Egypt died: but of the cattle of the children of Israel died not one.

MEMORY VERSE: Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bond- age, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments. —Exodus 6:6

CENTRAL THOUGHT: The first five plagues upon Egypt: first, Moses smote the river and turned the water into blood; the second time God sent frogs, and thirdly, lice. The fourth was a swarm of flies only upon the Egyptians; the fifth was a disease upon only the Egyptians’ livestock and not those of the Israelites.


Psalm 105:27 “The land of Ham”: meaning Egypt, in which lived the descendants of Noah’s son, Ham, according to Genesis 10:6.

Exodus 8:16 “Lice”: an unclear meaning; could be lice; some translations have gnats. Exodus 9:3 “Grievous murrain”: pestilence; fatal disease.


When Moses heard God speaking to him out of the burning bush, calling him to go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt, Moses had questions. “Who am I?” and “What shall I say when they ask who sent me?”

God said, “Say, ‘I AM has sent me unto you.’” He promised that the king would not let them go, but that He would have to smite Egypt with “wonders.” Then the king would have to let them go, and the people would favor them and send them away with gifts of gold and silver.

Moses protested, “They will not believe that You sent me.” God showed him a miracle He would work with Moses’ rod. Moses argued again, this time kindling God’s anger. He promised him that Aaron would be his mouthpiece and speak for him. Sure enough, Aaron met him in the desert and the two of them went before the elders and the people. The people believed their words and the signs which the Lord did before them, and worshipped the Lord.

Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh, who responded, “Who is the Lord?” and ordered the Israelites to make as many bricks as before, only without furnishing them with straw. When they complained about the hardship, they were beaten and came to Moses and Aaron. Moses did what he would repeat many times in the future: he took his burden to the Lord. God answered, “Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh!” Although the Israelites were in such despair they didn’t listen to God’s words at this point, God sent him to speak to Pharaoh and have Aaron throw down his rod before Pharaoh. God miraculously turned it into a serpent. When Pharaoh’s magicians’ rods also became serpents, Aaron’s rod swallowed them up. At this, Pharaoh hardened his heart and God sent the plagues, beginning with turning the water of Egypt into blood. The magicians copied the plague of the blood and the frogs, but could not bring forth lice from the dust. “That is the finger of God,” they told Pharaoh, yet he hardened his heart again as before. Each time God sent a plague, Pharaoh would seem to relent, and begged them to pray to God for him. When God would stop the plague, then he did as Exodus 8:15 records: “But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.”

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


  1. The reading in Psalm 105 uses four different words to describe what God did in Egypt. What are they?
  2. Egypt was described as the “land of ________.” What does this mean?
  3. When God smote the river, it became ____________. Was the plague only confined to the river?
  4. Which wonders did Pharaoh’s magicians copy, and which were they unable to do?
  5. In which plagues did Aaron use his rod?


When we look at the plagues, five of which are described in this lesson, we can learn several things:

1. The reasons for the plagues. In Exodus 6:7 He says, “I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God…” In Exodus 7:5 He says, “And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD.” He not only wanted His people to know He was their God, He wanted the Egyptians to see clearly who was LORD.

2. Not only did God want them to know Him as LORD, He wanted to show Pharaoh there was none like Him in all the earth (Exodus 9:14). God isn’t a god among gods. He proved His uniqueness over and over by the ten plagues. The Egyptians worshipped a pantheon of gods. As we study, we will discover that many of the plagues seemed to target specific gods among the Egyptians and reveal Jehovah’s conquest over them. As Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, later stated, “Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods: for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly he was above them” (Exodus 18:11).

3. The reasons God used the plagues to bring deliverance. The first was because of His word and oath to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, to Moses and to the Israelites themselves. He had promised to show His judgments and wonders to deliver them. Additionally, God commanded Pharaoh to let His “son,” Israel, go out of Egypt. Because Pharaoh refused to do this, God smote the firstborn son of Pharaoh and of all Egypt.

4. We can learn many things about God’s character as we consider His dealings with Pharaoh. His mercy. His longsuffering. The way He mercifully warns of future catastrophes and gives a chance for repentance before He finally strikes. In the plagues of the flies and of the livestock murrain, God “appointed a set time.” He gave Pharaoh a night to contemplate and change his mind. “Thus God is known by his judgments: for in every operation of his hand his design is to enlighten the minds of men, to bring them from false dependencies to trust in himself alone; that, being saved from error and sin, they may become wise, holy, and happy. When his judgments are abroad in the earth, the inhabitants learn righteousness” (Clarke’s Commentary).

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


It has always been a puzzle as to why the Lord sent the plagues to the Egyptians when He knew it would only harden the heart of Pharaoh. However, the stubbornness of Pharaoh gave God opportunity to show himself strong on the behalf of His people and renounce the false gods that the Egyptians so highly revered and worshipped.

The Nile River was an important part of livelihood for the Egyptians. Its waters provided the irrigation for the fertile soil to grow food, and the water itself was considered of pristine quality when filtered. The first plague of the water turning to blood was a direct rebuttal against the highly revered Nile River and the river god Hapi.

The second plague was of the frogs coming out of the river Nile to invade the houses of the people. This was in renunciation of their fertility goddess, Heket, who was depicted with the head of a frog. The plague of the frogs was a loathsome disaster that only grew worse when the Lord allowed the frogs to rot in the land of Egypt rather than just disappear.

The plague of the dust turning to lice was the third plague visited upon the Egyptians. This plague could not be replicated by the Egyptian magicians. It was a direct denial against their false god named Geb, the god of earth and vegetation.

The fourth plague, the swarm of flies, appeared soon after the lice. Clark’s Commentary states it is probable that the swarm was a multitude of different kinds of insects and not just flies. This plague was in rejection of the god Khepri, who was depicted with a fly or scarab for a face.

The death of the Egyptian’s livestock was the fifth plague. This was a direct renunciation of their love goddess named Hathor. This goddess was depicted with horns or the face of a cow. Further proof was given as to the Lord’s favor over the children of Israel when “Pharaoh sent, and behold, there was not one of the cattle of the Israelites dead.”

Moses was very humble in his entreaty to the Lord regarding the plight of the Israelites. He was in an awesome place to be able to witness firsthand the power of God with each affliction given to the Egyptians. This was a fulfillment of the promise the Lord gave to Moses at the onset of the plagues: “And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them” (Exodus 7:5). When it was all finished, the Egyptians, as well as the Israelites, witnessed the power of God: the power of the great I AM!

—Sis. LaDawna Adams