Pharaoh- The Ultimate Power of Egypt
The Final Egyptian Plague – Death of the Firstborn (against Pharaoh, the Ultimate Power of Egypt)
Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, was worshipped by the Egyptians because he was considered to be the greatest Egyptian God of all. It was believed that he was actually the son of Ra himself, manifest in the flesh.
After the plague of darkness felt throughout the land was lifted, Pharaoh resumed his position of “bargaining with the Lord” and offered Moses another “deal.” Since virtually all of the Egyptian animals had been consumed by the judgments of the Lord, Pharaoh now consented to the request made, to let the people go, but they must leave their animals behind.
Now the Lord had said to Moses, “One more plague I will bring on Pharaoh and on Egypt; after that he will let you go from here. When he lets you go altogether, he will even drive away. (Exodus 11:1)
Exodus 11:1-8 is a summary of the events surrounding the last meeting with Pharaoh. Moses knew this when he was talking to Pharaoh, and that’s why he could answer with such confidence that Pharaoh would never see his face again. The Lord told Moses there would be one more plague. The word for plague is nega`, which means death blow, or stroke. However, this is a different word for plague than maggapheh, which was used to describe the nine plagues in Exodus 9:14. The words are synonyms. However, the phrase, “one more plague,” means one final plague. In other words, there were nine plagues … plus one final plague of a different kind. The final plague would be the death blow, the coup de grace, the judgment brought forth by a sin unto death.
The Lord told Moses that after this plague not only would Pharaoh let him go, but he would even pay to get rid of him. The Lord told Moses to speak to the people and tell them to ask for articles of silver and gold, e.g. ornaments, jewelry, and utensils.
2 “Speak now in the hearing of the people that each man ask from his neighbor and each woman from her neighbor for articles of silver and articles of gold.” 3 And the Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Furthermore, the man Moses himself was greatly esteemed in the land of Egypt, both in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants and in the sight of the people.
The Lord granted the people favor with the Egyptians, and Moses was also renowned. So the Israelites walked away from Egypt with a fortune – the spoils of victory. This is explained in the next chapter.
Exodus 12:35-36, NAS
35 Now the sons of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, for they had requested from the Egyptians articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; 36 and the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have their request. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.
According to the Ipuwer papyrus:
3:2 Gold and lapis lazuli, silver and malachite, carnelian and
bronze… are fastened on the neck of female slaves.
Death of the Firstborn
Exodus 11:4-6, NAS
4 And Moses said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘About midnight I am going out into the midst of Egypt, 5 and all the first-born in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first-born of the Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the first-born of the slave girl who is behind the millstones; all the first-born of the cattle as well. 6 ‘Moreover, there shall be a great cry in all the land of Egypt, such as there has not been before and such as shall never be again.
The Lord said that about midnight, He would go into the midst of Egypt. The “midnight” was not the day of Moses’ visit to Pharaoh during the Plague of Darkness because there would not have been sufficient time for preparation for the Passover, which took four days. The “midnight” was at a later date. The Lord would personally execute the last plague, whereas Moses and Aaron had been used to initiate all the other plagues. Death is a sovereign decision of God, who alone determines the time, the manner, and place of death. Thus, the responsibility for the death of the firstborn would not be shared with Moses or Aaron.
The plague would begin in the middle of Egypt, which means the center of the throne. It would strike every firstborn from the first born of Pharaoh to the meanest slave-girl grinding at the mill. “The captive who is in the dungeon” is substituted for “slave-girl,” or “maid,” in Exodus 12:29. Prisoners were often employed in hard labor. Even the first born of the cattle would die. There would be a great cry of grief throughout Egypt that would be unsurpassed in history.
According to the Ipuwer papyrus:
4:3 (5:6) Forsooth, the children of princes are dashed against the walls.
6:12 Forsooth, the children of princes are cast out in the streets.
6:3 The prison is ruined.
2:13 He who places his brother in the ground is everywhere.
3:14 It is groaning throughout the land, mingled with lamentations.
4:4, 6:14 Forsooth, those who were in the place of embossment are laid on the high ground.
2:8 Forsooth, the land turns round as does a potter’s wheel.
2:11 The towns are destroyed. Upper Egypt has become dry (wastes?).
3:13 All is ruin!
7:4 The residence is overturned in a minute.
4:2 . . . Years of noise. There is no end to noise.
6:1 Oh, that the earth would cease from noise, and tumult (uproar) be no more.
The description indicates that it was accomplished by means of an earthquake.
7 ‘But against any of the sons of Israel not a dog shall point its tongue, whether against man or beast, that you may understand how the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.’ 8 “And all these your servants will come down to me and bow themselves before me, saying, ‘Go out, you and all the people who follow you,’ and after that I will go out.” And he (Moses) went out from Pharaoh in burning anger.
During the plague of the death of the firstborn, Israel would be unscathed. The phrase, “not a dog shall point its tongue” is an idiom that means that no dog would growl or bite. The tongue of the dog refers to the sounds of the dog in growling or barking. Israel was on the right side of history and Egypt on the wrong side. After the death of the firstborn all the staff of Pharaoh would implore Moses to leave Egypt. After coming to Pharaoh with nothing but his stick and no support, Moses would be renowned in the eyes of Pharaoh’s staff and the world. Moses told Pharaoh all this, and they had their final falling out.
Pharaoh ordered Moses out, and Moses left in burning anger. Moses had shown restraint throughout the plagues, but now he showed anger because God’s mercy in dealing with Pharaoh had come to an end. Pharaoh and all Egypt with him were about to be punished with the worst wrath of human history since the Flood. They would not dedicate their babies to the Lord , and the Lord would kill their firstborn for living in the Kingdom of Darknessunder the power of Satan and his demons (such as Baal). The father is the head of the home, but if the father is in the Kingdom of Darkness, the rest of the family would be subject to the power of Satan and curse of God. Before a child reaches the age of accountability, it is at the mercy of God. The children who died in Egypt before reaching accountability went to Heaven, whereas their parents went to Hades (2 Samuel 12:15-23).
The Egyptians were very moral people and did not generally have the problems of illegitimate children, which is prevalent in the world today. However, when the parents rejected the authority of God, they brought down the severe punishment of child abuse upon their heads. Their children were killed in the sanctification of God, who delivered the Israelite children and killed the Egyptian children. And the children were blessed by dying because they went to Heaven, but the parents were cursed and suffered grief. However, not all the Egyptians were guilty. Some of the Egyptians were saved and left Egypt with Moses.
Pharaoh’s heart was yet again hardened according to the Plan of God.
9 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, so that My wonders will be multiplied in the land of Egypt.” 10 And Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh; yet the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the sons of Israel go out of his land.
The word for hardened is chazaq, which stresses the strength, or firmness of Pharaoh’s convictions against God.
Principles of Spiritual Warfare
There are several principles of Spiritual Warfare here. The Lord with His angels will execute judgments on the Satanicstronghold.s Egypt was a Satanic stronghold. The Spiritual Warrior must obey orders explicitly in the combat situation. After the judgments have destroyed the stronghold, the evil king must be destroyed. The war isn’t won until the king is destroyed. The battle with the evil king will require hand to hand combat. Moses had to face Pharaoh personally while the other Israelites were too weak to do so. The evil king may try to get the believer to compromise the requirements of the Lord. The Lord’s position is non-negotiable. When the evil king tries to kill the believer as Pharaoh did, the Lord will defend the believer and destroy the evil king. The evil king who attacks the believer will lose both his kingdom and his life.
Moses started out under God’s command with only a stick (his staff) and no support. As a leader he stood alone. Pharaoh, in contrast had the world. However, because of his hardness of heart, Pharaoh caused the destruction of his own life and the whole Egyptian empire. Moses became a man of renown, even among Pharaoh’s palace staff. The Lord provided the hearing. Moses started out with nothing and won everything. The Lord gave him everything in mercy and grace. Pharaoh started out with the world and lost it through his arrogance.