TEN MAKOT, MAKOT TEN

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Slide 2

Website: www.egyptologyonline.com/book_of_the_dead.htm. The first presentation underscored the power and awesomeness of the Egyptian empire, the fact that the pharaoh saw himself and made his people perceive him as all-mighty, and God’s ultimate emergence as the true Almighty. This presentation concerns itself with how God accomplishes the task of showing His power, awesomeness and hegemony over the world. He does so by attacking the Egyptian economy, but more so the religious/political beliefs of the Egyptian pharaohs and people.

Slide 3

One of the most important aspects of Egyptian life was magic. Here the popular Disney movie, Aladdin, makes use of the Arabian interest in magic and the occult, particularly in its figure of Jafar, the Sultan’s vizier. In this picture, Jafar uses his evil serpent staff to force the king do his bidding. The serpent staff and magician/courtier have their roots in ancient Egypt; Egypt was the land of magic, although the Babylonians as well practiced the occult. Pagan worship was all about activating, through magic, realms beyond the gods, so the natural world could partake in the larger cosmos. Contrast this to Judaism, whose God is not subject to powers beyond Him, as the pagan gods were, and who demands no magic in worship. Religious practice in Judaism is rooted in the natural world and makes man a part of that world and God in control of it. Peace, order and stability prevail in such a world. Let’s take a closer look, however, at the use of magic in Egypt.  

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Identification: Relief of Ptah holding Ankh and Djed. Egypt, provenance not known. Late Period or Ptolemaic Period (fourth–third century B.C.). Stucco. Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Ernest Erickson Foundation, 86.226.17 The artwork is of the god, Ptah, holding an ankh, symbol of life. Ptah was the deification of the primordial mound of earth from which the earth sprang, and the earth was said to have been called into being from Ptah’s first having dreamed creation in his heart and then speaking it. His name means opener, as in opener of the mouth. In art, Ptah is depicted as a bearded, mummified man, who often wears a skull cap and who holds in his hands the ankh, symbol of life; the was, symbol of power; and the djed, symbol of stability. The djed was said to be the spine of Osiris, a god who once ruled the earth. Like most pagans in the ancient Near East, ancient Egyptians didn’t differentiate between religion and magic. The Egyptians believed they could influence the world through the manipulation of written words, images and ritual that invoked a divinely created force known as Heqa. Heqa was the eldest son of the sun god, Atum, and had the role of controlling and sustaining the universe for the gods and solving problems of ordinary life for humans. Bibliography: http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/images/sized/Magic_m.jpg http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptah

Slide 5

The dwarf god Bes was a popular Egyptian deity who performed many roles, but who became especially loved for protecting women and children during childbirth. If a labor became particularly difficult, an image of Bes was placed near the mother and spells were said to ease her way. If a baby smiled or did something unexpected upon delivery, the Egyptians believed Bes was being comical.

Slide 8

In Shmot 4:1-9, God shows Moshe three signs Moshe can use to prove God is behind him: 1) God turns Moshe’s rod into a snake and then turns it back into a rod. 2) God tells Moshe to put his hand on his chest, whereby the hand becomes “encrusted with snowy scales.” God then returns the hand to normal. 3) God then tells Moshe about a third sign which can only be used in Egypt: Moshe should take water from the Nile and turn it into blood. Only the first part of the first sign is on the slide, but students can reference the rest in their texts. This sign is obviously related to many things we’ve learned about Egyptian culture: 1) The pharaohs and their might were associated with the snake goddess, Wadjet, whom the pharaohs would wear on their uraeus and who would attack enemies. God handily turns the goddess’ power back onto the Egyptians, as He will repeatedly with all the plagues, signs and wonders. 2) Rods were symbols of authority in ancient Egypt. We saw the rod that Tut had on his sarcophagus, a rod the pharaohs typically represented for themselves on their coffins. Again, God shows He is in charge of the rod. 3) The Egyptian magicians can duplicate this sign. Remember: Egypt is the land of magic. The trick is actually simple. In Egypt there is a snake that has a nerve on his neck that, when pressed, renders the snake stiff and immobile, like a stick. If one throws the snake on the ground after he is immobilized, the shock of the landing will make it move and slither away quickly. In the Torah, God’s tricks are real; the Egyptians’ are magic, and the episode with Moshe and Aharon in front of pharaoh ends with the unexpected occurrence of Aharon’s rod eating the Egyptians’ magicians’ rods, a foreshadowing of what’s to come and a sign for the magicians as well as for Moshe and Aharon, who are as surprised by the unplanned happening as Moshe is here in Exodus 4, that God is in control. Which brings us to the next point . . . Moshe and his response: 1) Moshe is not a “vizier” to God, as the viziers were to the pharaohs. Moshe is God’s instrument and is the agent through which God sends His messages, signs and wonders. A pharaoh’s viziers could actually do things the pharaoh could not, as they were the ones well versed in magic, charms and incantations. Here the Torah makes clear that God makes the sign. Look at how Moshe “recoils” from the snake; Moshe is surprised and unaware of what is going to happen. The Torah has led up to the moment skillfully. Do you think God needs to ask what it is that Moshe holds in his hand? We, as well as Moshe, benefit from the iteration of the obvious: Moshe, a shepherd, holds a simple rod. And then the rod’s transformation becomes all the more surprising, as we and Moshe have just confirmed for ourselves that it is only a rod. The next pasuk is more proof of Moshe’s position as God’s agent and not vizier (Nahum Sarna).

Slide 9

Given the tortoise-brain recipe and incantation and the dwarf-god Bes and all the other ancient Egyptian spells, recipes and hocus-pocus, this scene is a very important one. It establishes God as the one who speaks to make things happen and makes nonsense out of the Egyptian belief that they can activate some power in the cosmos to act in their favor. God is the maker of man and – as we recognize each morning – the one who gives him his powers of sight, speech, hearing. God’s choosing someone with some kind of speech impediment as His agent makes sense then. God ascertains, through His choice, once again, that He is in control and that His agent is merely that: a tool and not someone who operates with his own incantations.

Slide 10

Moshe understands exactly what his role is. Though he was raised in the pharaoh’s court, he sees God is not looking for a vizier, but for an instrument through which He will save His people. Though Moshe was raised among the self-aggrandizing pharaohs, he has not learned their arrogant ways (Nahum Sarna).

Slide 11

Of course, we know that Moshe is forced into accepting his role and he pleads before pharaoh unsuccessfully, so that God unleashes the ten plagues upon the Egyptians. The ten plagues is what I want to look at next, now that we see how important an impact these signs would have been in magic-loving Egypt and how clear God makes it that He, not His agent, Moshe, is in charge. After this statement, Moshe and Aharon turn the staff into a snake, the Egyptian magicians duplicate the trick and then Aharon’s staff swallows the serpents of the Egyptian magicians. Then the first two plagues hit, both of which the Egyptian courtiers can duplicate. It is only when we get to lice that the Egyptian magicians are eliminated from the race, and they recognize they are dealing with “etzbah elokim” (Exodus 8:15). But let’s take a look at the ways in which God attacks the Egyptians.

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Image 1 (far left):http://cache.eb.com/eb/image?id=82588&rendTypeId=4 Image 2:http://www.etravelphotos.com/egypt/photos/2002eg-005-23s-w.jpg Image 3 (far right):http://pagesperso-orange.fr/miltiade/Ramses_II_maitrisant_ses_ennemis.jpg

Slide 13

Photo credit: www.touregypt.net/magazine/mag05012001.nile7.jpg. Obviously there’s great poetic justice in God’s using the Nile, the very body of water into which Pharaoh wanted to drown the Israelite boys, as the site of the first plague. And the Nile is obviously the source of so much economic richness in Egypt. Egyptians considered their lives a gift from the Nile. Part of a priest’s task was to record inundation levels. Because the pagan world sought to appease the natural world so as to obtain prosperity, the Nile also had religious significance. First of all, the Nile itself was considered a kind of god, and, second, one of the most compelling (for the Egyptians, anyway) fertility gods was associated with it. Let’s take a look at the religious blow God deals the Egyptians when He attacks their sacred river.

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Source for Nile hymn: http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/geography/nile.htm Source for information on Hapy: http://maelstrom.itgo.com/photo4.html Identification: Sunk relief of Hapy, Temple of Ramses II, Abu Simbel, Egypt, Dynasty XIX, ca. 1290-1224 BCE. Sandstone. The location of this sunk relief of Hapy is Abu Simbel, the temple built by Ramses II which we saw in the last presentation. In sunken relief, “the artist cuts the design into the surface so that the highest projecting parts of the image are no higher than the surface itself” (ed. Kleiner, Fred S. Christin J. Mamiya. Gardner’s Art Through the Ages, twelfth edition. Thomson/Wadsworth Publishing: Belmont, 2005.). This sunken relief, located below one of the colossal statues of Ramses II, is of the river/fertility god, Hapy, depicted here in both of his incarnations, as the river god of both Upper and Lower Egypt. In fact, he is shown tying stems of plants around a hieroglyph that means “unite.” On the left, Hapy holds stems of the lotus, a symbol of Upper Egypt, and on the right, he holds stems of the papyrus, a symbol of Lower Egypt. These symbols also appear in Hapy’s crowns. Hapy is often depicted androgynously, perhaps a function of his role as a fertility god of the Nile. He is shown as a man with breasts and a swollen belly; these features suggest his role as the nourisher of the land of Egypt. Hapy ties the stems of the plants around a windpipe and lungs, which for the Egyptians spelled balance and order. Above the windpipe is a cartouche with the name of Ramses II. Regular hieroglyphs appear without the oval; names of pharaohs or other nobles appear in a cartouche. As god of the Nile, Hapy was thought to have complete control of it and he was worshipped strongly in Egypt as a result. Priests recorded the Nile’s height assiduously; too much water was as dangerous as too little. The record of the Nile’s water was a priestly task, as the priests were responsible for performing rituals that would keep the Nile full and consistent. It’s interesting to note that after the time of Ramses II – our possible pharaoh? – and during the remainder of the New Kingdom period, when Egyptian power was waning, there was insufficient flooding of the Nile (http://www.thebanmappingproject.com/resources/timeline_6.html).

Slide 16

Identification: Osiris and Atum, fresco in the tomb of Nefertari, Valley of the Queens, Thebes, Egypt, Dynasty XIX, New Kingdom, ca. 1290-1224 BCE. Fresco on limestone. Nefertari was the favorite wife of Ramses II, and her names means “the most beautiful of them all.” Her tomb actually is the most beautiful of all the tombs in the Valley of the Queens, which was used for burial of princes and queens during the 18th dynasty, but only for queens during the 19th, when Nefertari was buried there. Pictured here is a fresco from the tomb. The technique of fresco was used by the ancient Egyptians to create their beautifully colored wall paintings. The Egyptians used the dry fresco, or fresco secco, technique, which is when artists paint on dry plaster. True, or buon, fresco is when an artist paints on wet plaster and the pigment becomes more firmly attached to the base, as the result of its being applied when the base was wet. The paintings in Nefertari’s tomb were highly deteriorated, as rainwater and salt deposits leaked into the tomb. The paintings have had extensive restoration and conservation work done to them. This tomb is particularly appealing to discuss as Nefertari was the wife of our possible pharaoh. There are many beautiful rooms of paintings and hieroglyphs in the tomb, but the one of Osiris and Atum here is relevant to our discussion. Osiris is on the left, holding the crook and flagellum associated with the might and authority of the gods/pharaohs. Osiris wears an elaborate crown and is dressed in white, as he is commonly in pictures of him. His skin is often green, as he is a vegetative god and is therefore associated with fertility. Here is his story: The major god most closely connected with the Nile was Osiris. In myth Osiris was a king of Egypt who was killed by his brother Seth on the river bank and cast into it in a coffin. His corpse was cut into pieces. Later, his sister and widow Isis succeeded in reassembling his body and reviving it to conceive a posthumous son, Horus. 'Osirsis' death and revival were linked to the land's fertility. Osiris, however, did not return to this world but became king of the underworld. His death and revival were linked to the land's fertility. In a festival celebrated during the inundation, damp mud figures of Osiris were planted with barley, whose germination stood for the revival both of the god and of the land (http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/egyptians.images/nile_osiris.jpg). Thus we see that Osiris is associated both with the fertility and inundation of the Nile and the passage to the afterlife, where a person was resurrected. In fact, the Egyptians believed one could not pass into the afterlife without crossing the Nile, and this is why so many tomb paintings and/or reliefs depict the tomb’s occupant on a barge, sailing on the Nile. The painting/relief, as we’ve come to see in Egyptian art, was not only so the ka could sail in the afterlife, but also was a symbol of the soul’s safe passage to it. Atum, the god of the Two Lands, appears on the right, wearing the bowling-pin shaped crown of Upper Egypt and the red crown of Lower Egypt. He also holds an ankh, the symbol of eternal life. Since Osiris was such a prominent god for both the living and dead in Egypt and Atum is the “Lord of Two Lands,” they are both especially appropriate gods to be depicted in a queen’s tomb. The importance that Osiris had in ancient Egypt cannot be overstressed, and the idea of a resurrected god was a strong one in the ancient world. Tammuz, a god we recognize from Prophets, as the Israelites were often drawn to worshipping him, was the ancient Near Eastern resurrected god, and Adonis (whose name is the same as our “Adonai”) is the young, beautiful resurrected god of the ancient Greeks. When Christianity hit, the resurrection myth altered slightly and gave the world Jesus, the Christian resurrected god. We can now see how defeating the idea of Osiris was a necessary step for God to do on His way to freeing the Israelite people, and therefore first attacking the Nile and making it a place of death, instead of life, was an important psychological step in the Exodus story. In fact, the Nile was considered the backbone of Egypt (look at the map and see how it looks a bit like a backbone, with the Nile Delta being brain tendrils), as the Egyptians considered Osiris’ backbone to be a symbol of stability. He is often depicted with a djed, a column that looks like a tree that was a symbol of the stability he would bring to the worshiper. Egyptians had amulets of the djed as another way to ward off evil and retain stability. Website of image and some information: www.swarthmore.edu/Humanities/pschmid1/essays/Nefertari/osiris.atum.jpg.

Slide 17

Wall painting of fish from the tomb of Menna in Thebes. Website: www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/egyptians/images.nile01.shtml.

Slide 18

The first plague was midah k’neged midah against the Pharaoh’s decree that the Israelite boys be drowned in the Nile. The second plague is just as retributive. Let’s see how.

Slide 19

Photo credit: www.clevelandart.org/kids/egypt/animals/frog.html. Identification: Statue of Heqat, the Frog Goddess, Travertine, 6 1/8” high, Egypt, late Naqada III Period to early Dynasty I, 3000-2770 BCE. Cleveland Museum of Art. Frog qrr - The frog goddess Heqet was often shown as a frog-headed woman or as a frog. Because the Egyptians saw that there were many frogs, all appearing from the Nile, they associated the frog with fertility and resurrection, and so Heqet was a goddess of childbirth. The four male primeval gods of the Ogdoad - Nun (water), Amen (invisibility), Heh (infinity) and Kek (darkness) - were all frog gods (www.touregypt.net/featurestories/animalgods.htm). The Egyptian word for frog, qrr, was possibly meant to mimic the sound of a frog. Two kinds of frogs were depicted in Egyptian art: Bufo viridus, a “puffed-up toad-like” amphibian, and Rana mascareniensis, a more slender frog with an elongated face (www.clevelandart.org). The Egyptians would have liked the frog, as they admired and revered the beetle, as like the beetle, the frog undergoes a metamorphosis that mimics the life/death/rebirth cycle the Egyptians were so fond of. The tadpole represents the number 100,000 in hieroglyphs. Even in ancient times, though, frogs were often pests, as an inundation of them meant they would enter public and private arenas. Side point here on Khnum and Heqet as consorts: Why is it so important that Judaism God is the one who controls both the making of humans and their breath of life?

Slide 20

Identification: Title:Household AmuletsPeriod:New Kingdom-Late Period - various (1549-332 BC)Dimensions:H: 1.5 cm-6.8 cmProperties:FaienceWhere used:HouseholdDescription:These are amulets commonly worn in everyday life by the ancient Egyptians. The dancing dwarf was the god Bes, protector of children. The hippopotamus is the goddess Taweret, protector of pregnant women. Frogs are symbols of the goddess Heqat, a fertility goddess (www.egyptianmuseum.org/collection/detail/rc0300-bes_taurt-set.html). Faience was a popular medium for amulets. It is a clay that is glazed, often in bright colors, as you see in the amulet of bes on the topmost row, second from the left. Amulets were not necessarily worn; they could be used as votive offerings as well.

Slide 21

Photo credit: www.awakening-healing.com/Gods_Goddess/hathorseth.jpg. What makes the retribution against the Pharaoh’s decree, then, all the more complex and layered is the way the first two makot exploit not only the details of Egyptian pagan belief, but also the reasons why the Israelites proliferate despite the decree. A usual symbol of fertility, frogs, becomes negatively pestilential and harassing for the Egyptians. Meanwhile, the Israelites were saved partially because of the work of midwives who are God-fearing, not Pharoah-fearing, but the Egyptian midwife goddess, a fertility goddess, cannot midwife her people into safety. Note that this is the last of the two plagues that the Egyptian magicians can duplicate; once kinim hits, the magicians are stymied and say “etzbah Elokim hi” (Exodus 8:15). Notice also, however, that the magicians are not the ones who remove the frogs. The text is silent, but it is only once Moshe pleads with God that God makes the frogs die out in the homes, courtyards and fields. It should also be noted that a consequence of the Nile’s turning to blood and killing the fish would be a level of toxicity in the water that would cause the frogs to vacate it.

Slide 22

Kinnim, vermin.

Slide 23

Quotation from: www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk/compass/resources/image/large/k66060.jpg. Identification: Ivory inlaid wooden toilet box, Egyptian, 650-350 BCE. Website: www.sciencemuseum.org/uk/images/object_images/277X265/10284162.jpg. The priest class had to be physically clean before they could perform religious rituals, but cleanliness was extremely important to the Egyptians in general and was a symbol of moral refinement (cf the way Joseph is cleaned and shaven before he appears before pharaoh). The Egyptians were an extremely aesthetic and fastidious people. They shaved their bodies and heads and wore wigs, partially to prevent lice, which have been found in mummies’ hair. Aesthetic beauty for the Egyptians was a means of self-expression as well as a way of becoming spiritually refined, closer to the gods. The third plague hits the Egyptians’ religious practices – as the other two do – but also assaults the ancient Egyptian’s sense of self-worth.

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Website: www.reshafim.org/il/ad/egypt/timelines/topics/cosmetics.htm.

Slide 25

Image credit: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cc/Ramses_II_at_Kadesh.jpg Exodus 14:30-31 All the plagues then attack Egyptian life and religious belief. But in the first presentation we also said that B’nai Yisrael was going to have to be convinced. Here is an enslaved people who have only known the might of the pharaohs.

Slide 1

Ten Makot, Makot Ten The Mitzrim Were Punished Again and Again

Slide 2

What do the Plagues Undermine in Egyptian Society?

Slide 3

The Power of Magic in Egyptian Life

Slide 4

Word and Magic Egypt was the land of magic: The Egyptians greatly valued magic and believed in the power of incantations – spoken words that have magical effects.

Slide 5

Uses of Magic The Egyptians used magic to heal, to protect, to curse and to ensure the dead’s passage to the afterlife. The priests were the societal group to perform magical acts. The dwarf god, Bes. Egyptians thought he protected women during childbirth.

Slide 6

FORGET LASEK: WE’VE GOT TORTOISE BRAIN! Cure for cataracts: Mix brain-of-tortoise with honey. Place on the eye and say: There is a shouting from the sky darkness. There is an uproar in the northern sky. The Hall of Pillars falls into the waters. The crew of the sun god bent their oars so that the heads at his side fall into the water. Who leads hither what he finds? I lead forth what I find. I lead forth your heads. I lift up your necks. I fasten what has been cut from you in its place. I lead you forth to drive away the god of Fevers and all possible deadly arts. From Brier, Bob. Ancient Egyptian Magic. Quill Press: New York, 1981.

Slide 7

God Has a Plan: וַאֲנִי יָדַעְתִּי--כִּי לֹא-יִתֵּן אֶתְכֶם מֶלֶךְ מִצְרַיִם, לַהֲלֹךְ:  וְלֹא בְּיָד חֲזָקָה וְשָׁלַחְתִּי אֶת-יָדִי וְהִכֵּיתִי אֶת-מִצְרַיִם בְּכֹל נִפְלְאֹתַי אֲשֶׁר אֶעֱשֶׂה בְּקִרְבּוֹ; וְאַחֲרֵי-כֵן, יְשַׁלַּח אֶתְכֶם Yet I know that the king of Egypt will let you go only because of a greater might. So I will stretch out my hand and smite Egypt with various wonders which I will work upon them; after that he shall let you go. Exodus 3:19-20

Slide 8

Moshe is not convinced . . . וַיַּעַן מֹשֶׁה, וַיֹּאמֶר, וְהֵן לֹא-יַאֲמִינוּ לִי, וְלֹא יִשְׁמְעוּ בְּקֹלִי:  כִּי יֹאמְרוּ, לֹא-נִרְאָה אֵלֶיךָ יְהוָה וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו יְהוָה, מזה (מַה-זֶּה) בְיָדֶךָ; וַיֹּאמֶר, מַטֶּה וַיֹּאמֶר הַשְׁלִיכֵהוּ אַרְצָה, וַיַּשְׁלִכֵהוּ אַרְצָה וַיְהִי לְנָחָשׁ; וַיָּנָס מֹשֶׁה, מִפָּנָיו But Moshe spoke up and said, “What if they do not believe me and do not listen to me, but say: God did not appear to you?” God said to him, “What is that in your hand?” And he replied, “A rod.” He [God] said, “”Cast it on the ground.” He [Moshe] cast it on the ground and it became a snake; and Moshe recoiled from it. Exodus 4:1-3  

Slide 9

Moshe is still unsure: וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה אֶל-יְהוָה, בִּי אֲדֹנָי, לֹא אִישׁ דְּבָרִים אָנֹכִי גַּם מִתְּמוֹל גַּם מִשִּׁלְשֹׁם, גַּם מֵאָז דַּבֶּרְךָ אֶל-עַבְדֶּךָ:  כִּי כְבַד-פֶּה וּכְבַד לָשׁוֹן אָנֹכִי וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֵלָיו, מִי שָׂם פֶּה לָאָדָם אוֹ מִי-יָשׂוּם אִלֵּם, אוֹ חֵרֵשׁ אוֹ פִקֵּחַ אוֹ עִוֵּר--הֲלֹא אָנֹכִי, יְהוָה וְעַתָּה, לֵךְ; וְאָנֹכִי אֶהְיֶה עִם-פִּיךָ, וְהוֹרֵיתִיךָ אֲשֶׁר תְּדַבֵּר But Moshe said to God, “Please, God, I have never been a man of words, either in times past or now that You have spoken to Your servant; I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” And God said to him, “Who gives man speech? Who makes him dumb or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, God? Now go, and I will be with you as you speak and will instruct you what to say.” Exodus 4:10-12    

Slide 10

Moshe understands his role, but still does not want it: וַיֹּאמֶר בִּי אֲדֹנָי; שְׁלַח-נָא בְּיַד-תִּשְׁלָח But he [Moshe] said, “Please, God, make someone else your AGENT.” Exodus 4:13

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Uh-oh! You shouldn’t have said that! וְאַחַר, בָּאוּ מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן, וַיֹּאמְרוּ, אֶל-פַּרְעֹה:  כֹּה-אָמַר יְהוָה, אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, שַׁלַּח אֶת-עַמִּי, וְיָחֹגּוּ לִי בַּמִּדְבָּר וַיֹּאמֶר פַּרְעֹה--מִי יְהוָה אֲשֶׁר אֶשְׁמַע בְּקֹלוֹ, לְשַׁלַּח אֶת-יִשְׂרָאֵל:  לֹא יָדַעְתִּי אֶת-יְהוָה, וְגַם אֶת-יִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא אֲשַׁלֵּחַ Afterward, Moshe and Aharon went and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says Hashem, the God of Israel: Let My people go that they may celebrate a festival for Me in the wilderness.” But Pharaoh said, “Who is God that I should heed Him and let Israel go? I do not know God, nor will I let Israel go.” Exodus 5:1-2

Slide 12

לֹא יָדַעְתִּי אֶת-יְהוָה, וְגַם אֶת-יִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא אֲשַׁלֵּחַ How would you like to get to know God, Pharaoh? He’ll be happy to get acquainted with you.

Slide 13

First Plague: Blood in the Nile

Slide 14

The Nile Just a reminder that life in Egypt would have been impossible without the Nile. Where are all the cities situated? Photo credit: http://www.mideastweb.org/egypt_ancient_map.gif

Slide 15

Hapy: God of the Nile Hail to thee, O Nile! Who manifests thyself over this land, and comes to give life to Egypt! Mysterious is thy issuing forth from the darkness, on this day whereon it is celebrated! Watering the orchards created by Re, to cause all the cattle to live, you give the earth to drink, inexhaustible one! Path that descends from the sky, loving the bread of Seb and the first-fruits of Nepera, You cause the workshops of Ptah to prosper! Hymn to the Nile, ca. 2100 BCE Sunken relief of Hapy, god of the Nile

Slide 16

Osiris was the major god associated with the Nile Osiris is shown with green skin to suggest his role as a fertility god Osiris was considered the backbone of Egypt

Slide 17

  כֹּה, אָמַר יְהוָה, בְּזֹאת תֵּדַע, כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָה:  הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי מַכֶּה בַּמַּטֶּה אֲשֶׁר-בְּיָדִי עַל-הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר בַּיְאֹר-וְנֶהֶפְכוּ לְדָם   וְהַדָּגָה אֲשֶׁר-בַּיְאֹר תָּמוּת וּבָאַשׁ הַיְאֹר; וְנִלְאוּ מִצְרַיִם לִשְׁתּוֹת מַיִם מִן-הַיְאֹר Thus says the Lord, “By this you (the pharaoh) shall know that I am the Lord.” See, I shall strike the water in the Nile with the rod that is in my hand, and it will be turned into blood; and the fish in the Nile will die. The Nile will stink so that the Egyptians will find it impossible to drink in the Nile. Exodus 7:17-18

Slide 18

Second Plague: Frogs וְשָׁרַץ הַיְאֹר, צְפַרְדְּעִים, וְעָלוּ וּבָאוּ בְּבֵיתֶךָ, וּבַחֲדַר מִשְׁכָּבְךָ וְעַל-מִטָּתֶךָ; וּבְבֵית עֲבָדֶיךָ וּבְעַמֶּךָ, וּבְתַנּוּרֶיךָ וּבְמִשְׁאֲרוֹתֶיךָ The Nile shall swarm with frogs, and they shall come up and enter your palace, your bedchamber and your bed, the houses of your courtiers and your people, and your ovens and your kneading bowls. Exodus 7:28

Slide 19

The Frog Goddess, Heqet, was Another Fertility Goddess She was associated with the moon – as often goddesses in the ancient world were The moon was said to control the ebb and flow of the water and therefore the one who was associated with the moon was a fertility goddess She is one of the eight gods/goddesses associated with creation and is the consort of Khnum, the ram-headed god who molds beings out of clay Heqet’s job was to bring the clay mounds to life

Slide 20

Heqet as Fertility Goddess Heqet was one of the goddesses associated with pregnancy and childbirth. Taweret, the hippopotamus goddess, was the main protector of pregnant women and their newborn children. But Bes, the dancing dwarf, we saw was also associated with a safe labor and the protection of newborn children.

Slide 21

Heqet was the patron goddess of MIDWIVES! So what did Heqet do?

Slide 22

Plague the Third: Vermin וַיֵּט אַהֲרֹן אֶת-יָדוֹ בְמַטֵּהוּ וַיַּךְ אֶת-עֲפַר הָאָרֶץ, וַתְּהִי הַכִּנָּם, בָּאָדָם וּבַבְּהֵמָה:  כָּל-עֲפַר הָאָרֶץ הָיָה כִנִּים, בְּכָל-אֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם Aharon held out his arm with the rod and struck the dust of the earth, and vermin came upon man and beast; all the dust of the earth turned to lice throughout the land of Egypt. Exodus 8:13

Slide 23

“A man says this speech [for the Judgment of the Dead] when he is pure, clean, dressed in fresh clothes, shod in white sandals, painted with eye-paint, anointed with the finest oil of myrrh.” Chapter 125 of the Book of the Dead M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, Vol.2, p.131 Ancient Egyptian toilet box

Slide 24

Herodotus, the famous Greek historian, said of the Egyptians: “They are very careful to wear newly-washed linen all the time. They circumcise their children for the sake of cleanliness; they would rather be clean than better looking.” Barber shaving the head of a soldier Tomb of Userhat, 18th dynasty

Slide 25

ל  וַיּוֹשַׁע יְהוָה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא, אֶת-יִשְׂרָאֵל--מִיַּד מִצְרָיִם; וַיַּרְא יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת-מִצְרַיִם, מֵת עַל-שְׂפַת הַיָּם. לא  וַיַּרְא יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת-הַיָּד הַגְּדֹלָה, אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה יְהוָה בְּמִצְרַיִם, וַיִּירְאוּ הָעָם, אֶת-יְהוָה; וַיַּאֲמִינוּ, בַּיהוָה, וּבְמֹשֶׁה, עַבְדּוֹ. 

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