Read Exodus Chapter 9. After you have read the chapter, read the passages below to help you dive deeper into the Chapter. Conclude in Prayer.
THE EPIDEMIC PLAGUE AGAINST LIVESTOCK - "The Egyptians used to believe that certain animals are holy, as for instance the calf ‘Ebis’, believed to embrace the spirit of their god ‘Osiris’. So by that plague, they would realize the futility of their beliefs. St. Augustine believes that such a plague was intended to let man control the animal lust in him and to lead a more pure life.” - Fr. Tadros Y. Malaty
GODS IN THE FORM OF ANIMALS - In the fifth place, Egypt is struck with the slaughter of animals or cattle. Frenzy is demonstrated here, and the stupidity of men who, like irrational animals, gave worship and the name of god to figures carved in wood or stone, figures not only of men but of animals, too. They worshiped Jupiter Ammon in a ram, Anubis in a dog, and Apis in a bull, and others, too, which Egypt admired as symbols of its gods. They believed that the divine splendor was present in these forms and offered pathetic acts of worship to them.” - ISIDORE OF SEVILLE
THE PLAGUE OF BOILS- "The Egyptians used to have several gods, to whom, it was believed, they offered human sacrifices - most probably some Hebrews whom they used to burn on a high altar, and then scattered their ashes in the air to come down as blessings. That is why Moses took handfuls of ashes from a furnace, and scattered it towards the heavens, to become fine dust that caused boils that broke out in sores on priests, people, and beasts throughout all the land of Egypt. The magicians could not stand before Moses because the boils were on them (Ex. 9: 12). It was as though God intended to proclaim that after so long suffering, He would avenge those whom they have burnt. - Fr. Tadros Y. Malaty
SIGNS OF PRIDE AND RAGE - "After these plagues came rotten and swollen cysts, along with fever, as the sixth plague. In the ulcers the troubled and purulent evil of this age is signified; in the cysts swollen and inflated pride; in the fevers anger and the madness of rage. Up to this point such punishments as were inflicted on the world were tempered, insofar as its errors were represented by signs.” - ISIDORE OF SEVILLE
THE PLAGUE OF THUNDER, HAIL AND FIRE- "That was a hard plague to bear, as the Egyptians were not used to such extreme weather phenomena. We saw that the sound of thunder refers to God’s proclamations and warnings; the hail, to the destruction of the weeds, sown in the heart by the enemy, and the fire, to the burning of the thorns that choke the soul, to let the heart become aflame with the love of God. St. Augustine believes that hail refers to the sin of unjust confiscation of what belong to others; and that fire refers to the sin of anger, that flares in the heart, and leads to murder.” - Fr. Tadros Y. Malaty
REPROACHES AND DIVINE REBUKES - "After these plagues come blows from on high: voices, thunder and hail, and flashing fire. Thunder means reproaches and divine rebukes, because it does not strike in silence. It makes sounds and sends its teaching down from heaven. By its teaching the world is castigated and can acknowledge its guilt. And he sends hail, which destroys the young vices that are still tender. He sends fire, too, knowing that there are thorns and spiny plants which that fire might feed on. The Lord says of them, ―I came to cast fire on the earth. This fire consumes the incentives to pleasure and lust.” - ISIDORE OF SEVILLE
PHARAOH CONFESSES HIS SIN - "Pharaoh said to Moses, ―This time I have sinned.‖ And the previous times he hardened his heart, did he not sin? And even if he sinned the previous times, he did not sin the way he did this time. [The Lord] warned him to bring in the cattle, but he was not persuaded. This is why his offense was more serious in this plague than in all the [other] plagues.” - EPHREM THE SYRIAN
GOD WORKS TO EDUCATE PHARAOH - "See whether it is for this reason that God hardens the heart of Pharaoh, so that at a moment when he was not hardened he could say, ―The Lord is just: I and my people are wicked.‖8 His heart has to be hardened further, and he has to suffer more, that he may not, because he has been freed of his hardheartedness too quickly, think too lightly of that hardheartedness and so may have to have his heart hardened over and over again.” - ORIGEN
PHARAOH CONFESSED THAT GOD IS JUST - "Moreover, as we are wont to sing in the hymn, ―God is faithful, without deceit. For this reason, as I mentioned above, we should believe without any doubt concerning Pharaoh that he became hardened because of God‘s patience rather than his power. This fact we know clearly from his own admission, for when he was being punished he confessed in this way as justice compelled him: ―The Lord is just; it is I and my subjects who are at fault. With what feelings then does a Christian complain that God is unjust, when even a wicked king admits that he is just?” - CAESARIUS OF ARLES
Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your justice. Even Pharoah could see, in the midst of the plagues that You dealt with him justly, as You do with me. I pray Lord, that unlike Pharoah, I not give in to the hardness of my heart. I know Lord that You sent the plagues to the Egyptians, seeking to turn their hearts from the falseness of the world to the Truth in You. You O God, who are rich in mercy, because of Your great love with which You love us, even when we are dead in our trespasses, make us alive together with Christ and raise us up together, and make us sit together in the heavenly places in your Son, Christ Jesus. Amen.
Posted on Sat, December 10, 2016
by Mathew Shehata