Kill Them Again! – Part 1
There’s nothing that the Bible likes better than a good, old fashioned, smiting. In fact, the Bible writers liked killing so much, that sometimes, they couldn’t restrain themselves from killing the same people several times over.
This undoubtedly felt so good at the time that they didn’t worry about the apologetic problems that would arise later. Over the next few Thursday’s, I will discuss some of the more obvious kill-me-agains that are mentioned in the Holey Bible.
Pharaoh’s Remarkable Horses
In response to Pharaoh’s hard heartedness in not letting the Israelites leave, God sent ten plagues upon Egypt. The fifth plague consisted of pestilence. In Exodus 9:6, the New English Bible describes it like this:
And Jehovah did this thing the next day, and all the Egyptians stock died, but of the stock that belonged to the sons of Israel, not one died.
So, there they go. All of the Egyptians livestock are now dead.
Unfortunately, the dead animals haven’t learned their lesson, therefore, when plague 10 rolls around, they get targeted again. Exodus 12:29 informs us:
And at midnight, Jehovah struck every first-born in Egypt, from the Pharaoh’s first-born, who was to sit on his throne, to the first-born of the prisoners of war in the dungeon, and all the first-born of cattle.
Notice that “every first-born in Egypt” is killed. This would mean every first-born of every family of humans and animals, right? For cattle are specifically listed, which means that the animals are included in God’s loving provision.
I wonder what the cattle did to deserve this ill fame? They always seem so unassuming. Damn cows. They must be plotting something.
Now, how is it that the first-born of animals are killed, when all of the animals had already been killed in plague 5? Please note that if every first-born is killed, that would also include horses. I bring this up because it becomes important in just a minute.
Going Three Times? Surely not?
Well, stubborn Pharaoh still hasn’t learned his lesson. After a momentary lapse where he lets the Israelites go, he changes his mind and chases after them. Exodus 14:9 points out:
And the Egyptians pursued them, and overtook them camping by the sea, all the Pharaoh’s chariot-ponies and cavalry horses and his troops, by Pi-Hahiroth, in front of Baal-Sephan.
The Israelites must have been moving slowly indeed, especially as Pharaoh overtook them on twice-dead ponies. In spite of the remarkable accomplishments of these dead steeds (Resident Evil beware!), they get it one more time. In Exodus 14:23, the Red Sea washes over the Egyptians, killing them, their ponies, and their cavalry horses.
It’s too bad these horses were so thoroughly killed. These remarkable animals would surely have made valuable breeding stock.
Stay tuned for next Thursday’s article, where we look at The Amalekites!