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Pharaoh (Old Testament)

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Pharaoh (Commonly called Rameses, although his name does not appear in the bible), is known for his enslavement of the Israelites in the story of Moses. He is responsible in the Old Testament for bringing God's wrath onto Egypt in the form of the Ten Plagues due to his refusal to obey God's commandment (via his messenger Moses) to free the slaves and let them go on the now famous Exodus.

The Ten Plagues

According to the Old Testament, God appears to Moses in the form of a burning bush and commands him to tell Pharaoh to let his people (the Israelites) go. Moses tries to tell Pharaoh, but is unsuccessful. God then commands Moses to try again, lest he release a plague upon Egypt. This cycle happens ten times, where each time Pharaoh refuses and a plague comes upon Egypt. This leads up to the most well known tenth plague- the death of the first-born.

  • First Plague: Water into blood

God turns all the water of Egypt into blood, thus killing all the fish, creating a stench, and making the water undrinkable.

  • Second Plague: Frogs

God releases hordes of frogs that overrun Egypt.

  • Third Plague: Gnats

God releases swarms of gnats that also overrun Egypt

  • Fourth Plague: Flies

God releases hordes of flies that would harm livestock and people, but left the Israelites alone.

  • Fifth Plague: Pestilence

God releases and epidemic onto Egypt that kills all livestock but the Israelites'.

  • Sixth Plague: Boils

God spreads boils onto people and livestock.

  • Seventh Plague: Hailfire

God unleashes a supernatural storm onto Egypt in the form of hail intermixed with fire.

  • Eighth Plague: Locusts

Gods unleashes swarms of locusts onto Egypt that blacken out the sky and leave no crop or plant standing.

  • Ninth Plague: Darkness

God released a darkness on Egypt so heavy that one could physically feel it.

  • Tenth Plague: Death of the Firstborn

Beforehand, God ordered Moses to tell the Israelites to spread lamb's blood on their doorposts, as to know who would be spared. At nightfall, the Angel of Death took the life of every firstborn- from the lowest servant to Pharaoh's own son. Even livestock were not spared. This was the plague that finally caused Pharaoh to submit and release the Israelites.

Splitting of the Red Sea

When Pharaoh had realized what he had done, he ordered his soldiers to chase after Moses and the Israelites. When they reach the Red Sea, God commands Moses to stretch his hand over the water. Moses does so, and the water divides into two walls, allowing dry passage for the Israelites. When the Egyptians make it halfway through the Red Sea, God commands Moses to bring the waters back down. Moses does so, drowning Pharaoh and the Egyptians under an immense amount of water.


  • The Pharaoh has been popularly called Rameses II and his predecessor Pharaoh, Seti I since it is believe that he was the Pharaoh of Moses' time since according to early discoveries of archaeologists saying that Seti I and Rameses II are the unnamed Pharaohs of Moses' time. A new discovery says that the Pharaoh was Thutmosis.

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