Scientist prove the Ten Plagues of Egypt really did happen...

plagues_egypt_hiGrowing up, we have all heard of the Ten Plagues of Egypt- the wrath of God upon Pharaoh' Egypt after he refused Moses' offer to lead the Jews out of bondage peacefully.  But, with the exception of the most dogmatic believers- none of us ever thought them to be real; the fantastic "God" twist put in the Exodus story to illustrate the "Hand of God" in the lives of the Jews.

Water to blood, frogs, lice, flies, boils, darkness, and death were all told to be brought to Egypt.  But up until now, no one of consequence ever thought the events described in the Book of Exodus to be anything more than just a fantastic tale... until now. 

Scientists and archeologists believe they may have figured out not just when and  where these plagues are said to have taken place, but they also believe they may even figured out why...

The When and the Where...

Ramses IIArcheologists believe that the mythical ten plagues occurred in the ancient city of Pi-Ramses, an Egyptian city on the Nile delta which served as the Egyptian capital during the reign of Ramses the second as Pharaoh (from 1279 BC- 1213 BC).  According to evidence found on the site, Archeologists have noted that about 3000 years ago the prosperous capital city was mysteriously abandoned, believing that the happenings of these ten plagues might have been the reason for the sudden abandoning of the city.

But how did these plagues come about.  Was the work of the Vengeful Jewish God indeed determined to free His people?  Or is the tale of the Ten Plagues nothing more than a series of unfortunate events capitalized on by a crafty leader (Moses) in an effort to free the Jews...

... And Why...

moes-ramsesWere the plagues of Egypt brought about by God's hand or just the dealing of an increasingly bad hand of Fate to the Egyptian people?  According to the story, God sent the plagues to Egypt, one at a time, in order to try and persuade Ramses to let the Jewish slaves go from Egypt.  These plagues, increasing in severity, were to serve as a chastisement for the stubborn Ramses, and as a proof of the power of the Hebrew God.  But could these things not be "Acts of God" in the manner of a curse, but rather "Acts of god" as an insurance company would regard it- an unforeseen event hand-of-godbrought about by a spontaneous natural occurrence.  A bunch of scientists really seem to think so...

 

Climatologists studying the ancient climate at the time have discovered a dramatic shift in the climate in the area occurred towards the end of Ramses the Second's reign.

By studying stalagmites in Egyptian caves they have been able to rebuild a record of the weather patterns using traces of radioactive elements contained within the rock.

They found that Ramses reign coincided with a warm, wet climate, but then the climate switched to a dry period.

Professor Augusto Magini, a paleoclimatologist at Heidelberg University's institute for environmental physics, said "Pharaoh Ramses II reigned during a very favorable climatic period.  There was plenty of rain and his country flourished. However, this wet period only lasted a few decades. After Ramses' reign, the climate curve goes sharply downwards.  There is a dry period which would certainly have had serious consequences."

The scientists believe this switch in the climate was the trigger for the first of the plagues, the turning of water to blood.

The rising temperatures would have slowed the flow of the Nile River significantly, turning the life giving water way of ancient Egypt into muddy shell of itself.  The bloody look is theorized to have been aided along by the appearance of Oscillatoria- or Burgundy Blood Algae, toxic fresh water algae known to exist in those times which thrive in slow moving muddy waters.

pharaoh-frogsThese algae, according to scientists would have also brought forth the frogs, lice, and flies- plagues 2, 3, and 4 if you're scoring at home.

How, you ask???

The development from a tadpole to a frog is governed by the release of certain hormones within the tadpoles, a process that can be accelerated should the tadpole become stressed in its environment.  And the appearance of the life choking algae would have been just such a stress factor, speeding up the frog production in order to get the little frogs out of the contaminated river as quickly as possible. 

The overload of frogs means an eventual overload of dead frogs (as starvation and extermination would have killed a large amount of frogs in a short period of time).  Lots and lots of dead frogs (as well as a river full of toxins) is the perfect breeding ground for all sorts of pestilence, including flies and lice.

 

Which also brings in plagues 5 and 6 by the hand; death of livestock and boils...

Professor Werner Kloas, a biologist at the Leibniz Institute, said: "We know insects often carry diseases like malaria, so the next step in the chain reaction is the outbreak of epidemics, causing the human population to fall ill."

Makes sense so far, right...

locustBut all of these are your day to day plagues... things that any amount of critical thinking form an educated mind might have been able to have deciphered them.  What about the more fantastic 7, 8, and 9 plagues: Hail, Locus, and Darkness...

Another major natural disaster more than 400 miles away is now also thought to be responsible for triggering the seventh, eighth and ninth plagues that bring hail, locusts and darkness to Egypt.

volcano-eruption1One of the biggest volcanic eruptions in human history occurred when Thera, a volcano that was part of the Mediterranean islands of Santorini, just north of Crete, exploded around 3,500 year ago, spewing billions of tons of volcanic ash into the atmosphere.  Nadine von Blohm, from the Institute for Atmospheric Physics in Germany, has been conducting experiments on how hailstorms form and believes that the volcanic ash could have clashed with thunderstorms above Egypt to produce dramatic hail storms.

Dr Siro Trevisanato, a Canadian biologist who has written a book about the plagues, said the locusts could also be explained by the volcanic fallout from the ash.  He said "The ash fall out caused weather anomalies, which translates into higher precipitations, higher humidity. And that's exactly what fosters the presence of the locusts."

The volcanic ash could also have blocked out the sunlight causing the stories of a plague of darkness.

Scientists have found pumice, stone made from cooled volcanic lava, during excavations of Egyptian ruins despite there not being any volcanoes in Egypt.  Analysis of the rock shows that it came from the Santorini volcano, providing physical evidence that the ash fallout from the eruption at Santorini reached Egyptian shores.

 

This leaves just the tenth and final plague to make sense of... the one so horrific it is said to have broken the resolve of the hard hearted Ramses... the Death of the first Born...

The cause of the final plague, the death of the first borns of Egypt, has been suggested as being caused by a fungus that may have poisoned the grain supplies, of which male first born would have had first pickings and so been first to fall victim.

Final thoughts on the matter...

If the plagues were brought about by the Hand of God, then the stories from the Exodus are true and God himself removed exoverviewthe Jews from the bondage of slavery. But what if science really has proven the cause of the plagues to be nothing more than natural occurring phenomenon presented to Ramses by a very skilled performer?  Might Moses have been nothing more than the televangelist of his day, shucking and jiving about claiming to have brought about the suffering of the Egyptian people?  Does this change the course of history?  The Jews were still removed from their shackles of bondage and went on to settle in the land promised to them.  Even if the plagues were brought about by naturally occurring events, does it invalidate the existence of a God merely because he used conventional means to get his point across.

Like my mother always said...

The Lord works in mysterious ways...

the-hand-of-god-iphone-wallpaper

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