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My opinion of the meaning and purpose of the Ten Plagues follows: Plague according to NAVE (Nave’s Topical Bible) can be seen as a judgment on the Egyptians, Psalm 105; 135:8-9; Acts 7:36. God demonstrated that all the Egyptians’ so-called gods, supposed to be sources of life, were really sources of death apart from the life-giving power of the Lord (Exodus 12:12; 18:11 where Moses tells his father-in-law all that God had done, convincing him that the Lord was greater than any other god. Our relatives are often the hardest people to tell about God. Nevertheless, we should look for opportunities to tell them what God is doing in our lives because we can have an important influence.
A major purpose of the 10 plagues was to weaken Egypt sufficiently so that they would be unable to attack Israel in the Holy Land for many generations to come. This was made doubly certain when the Pharaoh lost his army at the parting of the Red Sea. The LORD made a permanent distinction between Egyptians and Israelites that apparently has lasted even up to today. The plagues constituted a judgment against Egypt and the Pharaoh because of their harsh oppression of the Israelites and other foreigners living in the land. God hardened Pharaoh's heart so that the plagues would be multiplied and considerably weaken Egypt much more than if the Pharaoh had been more compassionate about the slave labor performed by the Israelites and others.
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