3: Subjecting Egypt to Ten Plagues
Egypt, as anyone who has ever been on holiday there will know, is a hot place, filled with geographical wonders, but still: hot place. Despite this, a lot of important people seem to have come from there in the past, and chief among those was Moses. Moses, in the words of Ron Burgundy, is a pretty big deal. He’s basically the saviour of his people, the Israelites, who are God’s favourite people. Once he finds out that he is the saviour of the people (he was told so by a burning bush, typically) he asks the Pharaoh of Egypt permission to take his people out of the country, where they are used as slaves, so they can observe a religious holiday. Pharaoh turns them down, apparently all too happy to continue letting the Israelites build some pyramids and fancy crap for him. Moses complains to God, who decides that he’s going to get involved personally.
So What Did God Do?
God sent down ten plagues to Egypt in order to convince the Pharaoh to “let his people go!” He starts off by turning all the water into blood, which kills all the fishes that were quite happily swimming around in the nearby lakes, not to mention makes the town smell a bit yucky. God then continues to plague the place, sending in frogs, lice, and flies into Egypt in order to really freak out the people who live there. It’s probably worth noting at this point that God doesn’t make any concessions with his plagues – the first three all hit the Israelites as hard as they do the Egyptians. And also: the Egyptians aren’t actually doing much wrong, here. They tolerate slavery, but on the other hand slavery isn’t abolished from most of the world for another few thousand years, so you can’t really blame them for that. To compare this to modern times, imagine God making all our livestock diseased because of Tony Blair’s agenda in Iraq. It doesn’t affect Tony that much, but it sure as hell annoys the living tar out of everyone else! Oh wait, mad cow disease. Hmm.
God, of course, is not finished yet. He plagues the Egyptians (finally realising that perhaps hurting the Israelites isn’t helping his cause much) with boils, and then drops hail/firebombs on them, before following up with some locusts. To finish things off, he plunges the town into darkness, which presumably didn’t help their tourism industry. But why didn’t the Pharaoh give in? Well, there’s evidence within the Torah (and perhaps the Bible, but who in their right mind would ever read that clichéd trash?) that God hardens Pharaoh's heart so that he cannot feel any emotion for his people. You heard that right – God purposely makes it so that nobody will stop his plagues, because he wants to show off his power. I’m not even taking that out of context. And then, of course, he goes a little too far and kills off the first-born son of all the Egyptians.
What do you bloody think? Pharaoh lets the Israelites go! Although having been played around by God, he then gets mad and chases after them, only to be drowned when God drops a sea on him. Sucks to be you, dude.