Plagues of Egypt

CODEX Entry 6100: Plagues of Egypt

The ten plagues of Egypt, represent the escalating level of threats to Amenhotep IV, by Yahweh through his spokesperson Moses. The demand was for the release of the large Jewish community from their bonded contracts in building the new capital city, Armana. Each rejection of the terms was followed by another threat of economic violence.

Amenhotep IV had begun a program of enforced monotheism, where the people would only worship an amalgamation of the father, son, and grandson, Ra-Horus-Aten. These three gods have their Canaanite equivalence in El, Baal, and Marduk, and this coincided with modifications to the Enuma Elish during the 14th century BC, articulating a smooth transition of authority from Baal to Marduk. This process involved the banning of service to other gods, and large construction projects for new temples reflecting the consolidated entity. It is believed the Jews were at work on these large construction projects when Yahweh offered the opportunity for resettlement in Canaan to Moses, the leader of the Jewish community.

It was against this backdrop that Moses began these tense negotiations. The first plague was the turning of the Nile red, the sediment suffocating the fish. This was followed in quick succession by a plague of frogs, lice, flies, and locusts, and then livestock and many in the population falling ill. It is likely the first plague caused the next six, as putrid fish contaminated water supplies and fed insect infestations. The eighth and ninth plague were a terrible storm, with hail that damaged crops, and darkness. The tenth plague was the killing of the firstlings. The firstborn were allocated as temple priests for the temple, in this case the new temple for Ra-Horus-Aten, or El-Marduk-Baal.