Passover – the Fifth Plague

Exodus 9:1  Then the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh, and tell him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
2  For if thou refuse to let them go, and wilt hold them still,
3  Behold, the hand of the LORD is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain.
4  And the LORD shall sever between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt: and there shall nothing die of all that is the children’s of Israel.
5  And the LORD appointed a set time, saying, To morrow the LORD shall do this thing in the land.
6  And the LORD did that thing on the morrow, and all the cattle of Egypt died: but of the cattle of the children of Israel died not one.
7  And Pharaoh sent, and, behold, there was not one of the cattle of the Israelites dead. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people go.

The Fifth Plague – death of cattle and livestock (against Hathor – Goddess of Love and Protection)

Usually this Egyptian Goddess was depicted with the head of a cow.

Moses once again demanded of Pharaoh, “Let my people go, that they may serve me”, revealing also the next Egytian plague to occur on the condition of continued disobedience to the request. This plague was given with an advance warning, allowing a period of repentance to occur, which went unheeded.

“Tomorrow” the hand of the Lord would be felt upon all the cattle and livestock, of only the Egyptians, as “grievous murrain.” Murrain is an archaic term covering a number of infectious diseases affecting cattle and sheep. It literally just means “death” and was used in the times to represent just that.  Murrain does not refer to any specific disease but was an umbrella term for a number of different diseases, including rinderpest, foot-and-mouth disease, and anthrax. The term murrain was also used generally to refer to an epidemic of such a disease. It was directly caused by the hand of the Lord (verse 3), else it would not have targetted cattle belonging to Egyptian farms only and fail to spread among cattle belonging to the children of Israel.

With the plague of murrain, disease and pestilence fell upon Egyptian livestock with such severe consequence that it caused them to die. This plague affected the Egyptians by creating a huge economic disaster, in areas of food, transportation, military supplies, farming, and goods that were produced by these livestock. Still Pharaohs heart remained hard and he would not listen to the Lord but remained faith to the Egytian gods and goddesses.
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