What was the time frame of the Egyptian plagues, first to last?


Exodus 7:20

ESV - 20 Moses and Aaron did as the Lord commanded. In the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants he lifted up the staff and struck the water in the Nile, and all the water in the Nile turned into blood.

Clarify Share Report Asked January 22 2018 Mini jim novak

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
Moses was eighty years old when he first appeared before Pharaoh after God had called him to lead Israel out of Egypt (Exodus 7:7). Israel spent forty years in the wilderness before entering Canaan (Numbers 14:33-34). Moses was 120 years old when he died (Deuteronomy 34:7). Therefore, the combined plagues must have consumed less than a year.

The Bible specifically records (Exodus 7:20-25) that seven days elapsed between the first plague (the Nile turning to blood) and the second plague (frogs). Pharaoh then asked Moses to take the frogs away "tomorrow" (Exodus 8:9). Other plagues, such as the plague of darkness, lasted a matter of a few days (Exodus 10:21). There is nothing in the narrative to suggest the passage of any significant amount of time between the plagues from first to last. The account reads as if God brought each succeeding plague as soon as Pharaoh hardened his heart following relief from the preceding plague. 

I would say that each plague would have lasted long enough for its effects to be felt by the Egyptians, but that the plagues from first to last would have also occurred in fairly rapid succession, in order to produce the maximum impression upon the Egyptians of God's power and control of events. (That is, a long interval between plagues might have caused the Egyptians both to somewhat recover from each one, and also to attribute their occurrence to chance, rather than to God's activity.)

If the mention of the one-week interval between the first and second plagues were to be taken as typical, the ten plagues would have consumed a total of between two and three months.

January 22 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Emilio 1992 Emo Tenorio Supporter Shomer
Great question, I humbly submit for your consideration: the time is uncertain a coin toss.

Scholars have estimated that it took several months, perhaps as many as nine. 
Based on various things, the flood stages of the Nile and it's growing season, etc. 
We do Know that the 10th and final plague was memorialized by the "Passover", which takes place in March/April on our Gregorian calendars. Working backward from this final time period an estimated starting date using these factors as a guide was done.

Still other rough calculations end up somewhere in the vicinity of 2 weeks to a month. But this does not account for the larger unmentioned time spans that could have occurred between other plagues. 

The Jewish view:
The Mishnah in Eduyot 2:10 records that "The judgement of the Egyptians lasted 12 months". Midrash Rabbah 9:12, however, records that there was a month's time between each plague: 3 weeks of Moshe [Moses] warning Pharaoh and one week of the plague itself.

Bottom Line: so it's still a coin toss at best
The Bible does not specify and it's difficult to tell exactly the time duration required for the ten plagues to run their course. The huge fact that the Exodus author does not tell us the time period this complete process took! May we then conclude and extrapolate that it probably was not their main focus and really did not matter that much to them? 
(Luke 8:10; Mark 4:11)

What the messenger of this passage is trying to communicate; is the awesome power of God [to do what He has spoken], God's promise of rescue [in time of trouble], and God's never ending glory. (Isaiah 46:10)

Friend to speculate or comment on things that scripture leaves unsaid; could lead to error and the possible placement of a stumbling block or speck in the eye of another. 
(1 Corinthians 10:23; 1 Corinthians 10:29; John 9:41)

In the Lord's freedom and amazing wonder...warrior on

January 22 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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