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, if there had been a long interval between plagues, it might have both allowed the Egyptians to somewhat recover from each one, and also caused them 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 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Eced7a1f c81d 42f4 95ea 9d5719dce241 Singapore Moses Messenger of God, CEO in IT industry, Astronaut, Scientist
✿ Biblical estimation of Length of the Plagues

It is estimated between three to seven weeks for the ten plagues. Let us calculate: 

➊ One day to go before Pharaoh and perform the serpent miracle (Ex. 7:10-15) 
➋ Seven days for the miracle of the waters to blood (Ex. 7:15-25) 
➌ Several days for frogs to cover all Egypt and accomplish the purpose in making life unbearable (Ex. 8:1-8) 
➍ One day to destroy frogs (Ex. 8:10-15) 
➎ Several days for the lice plague to have the desired effect (Ex. 8:16-19) 
➏ Several days for the flies to plague all of Egypt. Two days are mentioned for bringing and removing them (Ex. 8:23,29) 
➐ Two days--one to announce and one to destroy the animals of Egypt, besides time for Pharaoh to harden his heart (Ex. 9:1,5,7) 
➑ Several days for boils to be upon the Egyptians (Ex. 9:8-12) 
➒ One day to announce the next plague (Ex. 9:13); one day for the plague (hail) to begin (Ex. 9:18); and one day for Moses to be called (Ex. 9:27) 
➓ Two days for locusts to cover Egypt (Ex. 10:4-6,13); one day for Moses to be called (Ex. 10:8-11); a day or so for the locusts to cause their destruction in Egypt (Ex. 10:12-17); and two days to remove them (Ex. 10:18-19 with Ex. 5:13)
⓫ Three days of darkness (Ex. 10:21-23) and one day to call Moses (Ex. 10:24-29) 
⓬ One day to ask of the Egyptians and to slay the passover (Ex. 11; 12:29-36)

Precisely Twenty-six days are named above, besides the time needed for certain plagues to become effective and perform what they were designed to do.

✿ My verdict:
On the basis of ten days for the first plague (Ex. 7:25) and the ninth plague (Ex. 10:22), and supposing that the other plagues lasted this long, at least fifty days were needed for the plagues

February 24 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Emilio 1992 Emo Tenorio 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

Motorcycle fuzzy head Voyle Glover
The plagues may have lasted 2 years. Here's why: (1) the 7th plague (hail & fire) destroyed all the crops. However, when the 8th plague hits, there are crops and greenery to destroy. I don't think there was the ability to replace crops in a few days. I believe the Jewish teaching of at least a year is plausible (more than mere weeks) and would not be surprised to know that it was in fact, 3 years, which would be a great part of the pattern (God uses patterns throughout the Bible) showing the resurrection - the rescue of His creation, the beginning of a new creation, the beginning of freedom from bondage. My inclination is to believe it took 3 years. - Voyle Glover

February 18 2023 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Don Nobinger
All of the answers reveal good information. What caused me to research the time frame for the plagues is what the scripture says about the livestock. According to Exodus 9:6 ALL the livestock of Egypt died in the 5th plague. However, according to Exodus 9:20 & 9:21 the Egyptians still had livestock at the 7th plague (HAIL). Furthermore, during the 10th plague (PASSOVER), the firstborn of the Egyptians livestock died (SEE EXODUS 12:29). The only way for this to be true is that ALL of the livestock of the Egyptians did NOT die during the 5th plague.

July 06 2023 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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