: a "stroke" of affliction, or disease. Sent as a divine chastisement (Numbers 11:33; 14:37; 16:46-49; 2 Samuel 24:21). Painful afflictions or diseases, (Leviticus 13:3,5,30; 1 Kings 8:37), or severe calamity (Mark 5:29; Luke 7:21), or the judgment of God, so called (Exodus 9:14). Plagues of Egypt were ten in number.
- The river Nile was turned into blood, and the fish died, and the river stank, so that the Egyptians loathed to drink of the river (Exodus 7:14-25).
- The plague of frogs (Exodus 8:1-15).
- The plague of lice (Heb. kinnim, properly gnats or mosquitoes; comp. Psalm 78:45; 105:31), "out of the dust of the land" (Exodus 8:16-19).
- The plague of flies (Heb. arob, rendered by the LXX. dog-fly), Exodus 8:21-24.
- The murrain (Ex.9:1-7), or epidemic pestilence which carried off vast numbers of cattle in the field. Warning was given of its coming.
- The sixth plague, of "boils and blains," like the third, was sent without warning (Ex.9:8-12). It is called (Deuteronomy 28:27) "the botch of Egypt," A.V.; but in R.V., "the boil of Egypt." "The magicians could not stand before Moses" because of it.
- The plague of hail, with fire and thunder (Exodus 9:13-33). Warning was given of its coming. (Comp. Psalm 18:13; 105:32,33).
- The plague of locusts, which covered the whole face of the earth, so that the land was darkened with them (Exodus 10:12-15). The Hebrew name of this insect, arbeh, points to the "multitudinous" character of this visitation. Warning was given before this plague came.
- After a short interval the plague of darkness succeeded that of the locusts; and it came without any special warning (Exodus 10:21-29). The darkness covered "all the land of Egypt" to such an extent that "they saw not one another." It did not, however, extend to the land of Goshen.
- The last and most fearful of these plagues was the death of the first-born of man and of beast (Exodus 11:4,5; 12:29,30). The exact time of the visitation was announced, "about midnight", which would add to the horror of the infliction. Its extent also is specified, from the first-born of the king to the first-born of the humblest slave, and all the first-born of beasts. But from this plague the Hebrews were completely exempted. The Lord "put a difference" between them and the Egyptians. (See PASSOVER.)