How Pharaoh Got a Black Eye
The hidden pattern of the plagues
Bo (Come...)
Ex. 10:1-13:6

Photo by Photo by Tommy van Kessel on Unsplash

Does it drive you crazy when you know there's more to the Biblical text than you can grasp even with careful reading?  There's always more than our human minds can grasp because that's the way the text is designed.  Even "plain" truth can hide in plain sight; some detail that we've read a hundred times finally dawns on us, and we smack ourselves on the forehead (not too hard) and say, "Why didn't I ever see that before?"

If Scripture were easily mastered at every level of understanding, then it would be like the last conspiracy or fad diet book you've read that promised to unveil the secrets of the dark side or of life and good health.  You'd read it, underline a few things that tickled your fancy, and then it would gather dust until you threw it in the yard sale box with the rest of the snake oil that promised more than it delivered.

Scripture was inspired not by a master author, but the very Author of Creation, the One Who perfectly builds our faith according to His master designs of written Word and life experiences.  Instead of being frustrated with the never-ending pursuit of understanding and transformation required by the Creator, embrace it!  Revel in a simple mind!  The simpler the mind, the more fun to have learning the new, old Scriptures every day.  Imagine being time-transported from the 1800s to today and taking your first car, train, or plane ride.  Every day and every year is like that even though we read the same Torah portions repeatedly.  We can't imagine how rich that Scripture is until we reach that new "time."

So what is time anyway?  Sometimes the plagues are measured by days, such as seven days of blood or three days of darkness.  A day can be a number of things in Scripture, and sometimes it's just a time, an epoch, the duration of an event.  For instance, the Revelation assembly of Smyrna (2:10) is warned:

Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

Smyrna's root meaning is myrrh, even the Greek sharing the cognate meaning of bitterness to the Hebrew, maror, the bitter herbs eaten every Passover to recall the testing, hard labor, and ten plagues of Egypt:

STRONGS NT 4666:  σμύρνα

σμύρνα σμύρνης  Hebrew  מֹר מור myrrh,  a bitter gum and costly perfume which exudes from a certain tree or shrub in Arabia and Ethiopia, or is obtained by incisions made in the bark ; as an antiseptic it was used in embalming.

The "days" of testing can mean ten literal days or ten intervals or periods of time.  To understand how each of these seven assemblies of Revelation are related to the seven feasts of Israel, refer to the fourth section of Creation Gospel Workbook One.  The message to Smyrna concerning tribulation is to recall a tribulation and testing period that has gone before.  This will not be something unfamiliar, but that fabulous shared text of Israel, the Torah, which records ten plagues, or ten times of judgment that tested Israel and judged Egypt.  These ten beats of plagues have a structure that we examined in more detail in the online classes this week.

In summary, the plagues may be placed into a table that defines whether Moses was told to "Lekh" (Go!) to Pharaoh at his usual place in the Nile or to "Bo!" (Come) to Pharaoh, probably at his palace home in order to warn him of the impending plague.  Some of the plagues came without warning to Pharaoh at all:

Place of Warning
Group 1
Group 2
Group 3
Nile River
1 Blood
Wild Beasts
7 Hail 
Bo (Come!)
2 Frogs
5 Pestilence
8 Locusts (darkness)
3 Lice
6 Boils
9 Darkness
10 Death of firstborn 
(in darkness)

There are things to learn from the arrangement, whether from the groups of "Lekh" and "Bo" commands, or from the "Groups," but what can be understood in a short newsletter is the grouping of the last three plagues, each of which drew some kind of darkness over Egypt.  The darkness plagues begin with the plague of locusts, in which the locusts covered the whole eye of the earth:

For  if you refuse to let My people go, behold, tomorrow I will bring  locusts  into your territory.  They  shall cover the surface ["eye"] of the land, so that no one will be able to see the land. They will also eat the rest of what has escaped -what is left to you from the hail, and they will eat  every  tree  which sprouts for you out of the  field.  Ex (10:4-5) 

There had never been so many locusts, nor would there be so many again.  For  they covered the surface ["the whole eye"] of the whole land, so that the land was  darkened...(Ex 10:15)

While the judgment on the Nile and the early plagues were a judgment on Pharaoh's role as a demi-god among the pantheon of Egyptian gods, the final three judgments expose the impotency of the greatest gods of Egypt.  Both the Egyptians and the Hebrews; in fact, all nations, saw that the gods of Egypt were no gods at all.

The  Eye  of Horus w as a  symbol  of protection in ancient Egypt also known as the "Eye of Horus" and the "all seeing eye." The Eye  ensured safety and health and provided wisdom and prosperity. However, it was also known as the "Eye of Ra", a powerful destructive force linked with the fierce heat of the sun which was described as the "Daughter of Ra." 

Horus  was an ancient a sky god whose eyes were said to be the sun and the moon. An ancient myth relates the waxing and waning of the moon to the "resurrected eye" of the moon to Horus.   The restored eye became emblematic of the re-establishment of order from  chaos.  It was  a symbol of life and resurrection. 

According to one myth, Ra (who was at that point the actual Pharaoh of Egypt) decided to punish mankind by sending an aspect of  his daughter, the Eye of Ra He plucked her from the  royal serpent from the crown on his brow, and sent her to earth in the form of a lioness .

The darkness of locusts concealed the "eye" of the earth, but the judgment on those "eye" gods had started even before the black eye of locust, the palpable darkness of the 9th plague, or the dark night of the firstborn.  The Holy One of Israel was delivering repeated head and body shots long before the final bell sounded on the firstborn and Pharaoh.  

The plague of locusts was preceded by "wild beasts," which the Jewish sages identify as scorpions and snakes who attacked the Egyptians unprovoked. The plague of pestilence fell on the livestock of Egypt.  Boils covered the Egyptians' bodies.  According to the Jewish tradition, some of the plagues, like boils and lice, were designed simply to torment Pharaoh.

While Exodus gives a neat chronology of these events, in Revelation, John recounts their prophetic conclusion in a chronology of chaos that incorporates many plagues into one vision.

Then  out of the smoke came  locusts  upon the earth, and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power.  They  were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree , but 
only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads And  they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for five  months;  and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man (Rev .

Where and when  does  the Torah teach Israelites to have a sign on their hand and forehead?  Passover:

For  seven days you shall eat  unleavened bread , and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the LORD. Unleavened bread shall be eaten throughout the seven days; and nothing leavened shall be seen among you, nor shall any leaven be seen among you in all your borders. You shall tell your son on that day, saying, 'It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of  Egypt ... ' (Ex 13:6-10) And it shall be when your son asks you in time to come, saying, 'What is this?' then you shall say to him, 'With a powerful hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery. It came about, when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, that the LORD killed every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of beast. Therefore, I sacrifice to the LORD the males, the first offspring of every womb, but every firstborn of my sons I redeem.' So it shall serve as a sign on your hand and as phylacteries on your forehead, for with a powerful hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt."(Ex 13:14-16)

John is prophesying an old Torah portion to a new generation, but it is a Torah portion that is ever-new.  The "mark of the beast," has context.  Both man and beast were created on the same day, Day Six.  Does the family have the seal of Elohim, their Creator, evidenced by observing the Passover, or the mark of the beast, the most cunning beast of the field in Pharaoh's crown, the serpent?  Has the son been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, who stands "as if slain" against the plague of death?  Those who conform to the image of Elohim are sealed against the forces of darkness; those who conform to the image of the beast will suffer torment and darkness of eye.

The supernatural bugs of Revelation 9 arise from darkness of the bottomless pit:  "and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit." They  are outfitted like horses for battle as Pharaoh outfitted 600 choice chariots to run into his own death blow.  The "locusts" torture, but do not kill, which was what Adonai did with the "No Warning" plagues.  "And on their heads appeared to be crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. They had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions."  Instead of saving and healing the Egyptians, Ra's "Eye" was powerless, and their own myth credits his daughter, his "Eye" plucked from the serpent-crown, with slaughtering his people in the form of a lioness.

The gods of Egypt were impotent to help them; instead, belief in them was a source of torment and death.  It is as if The Holy One of Israel let the Egyptians choose their own torment and death by choosing where to put their faith.  Did they want to trust the eyes of sun and moon gods?

The fourth angel sounded, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were struck, so that a third of them would be darkened and the day would not shine for a third of it, and the night in the same way.   Then I looked, and I heard  an eagle flying in midheaven, saying with a loud voice, "Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth..." (Rev 8:12-13)

What eagle?  According to Rashi's commentary on Bo, the Israelites were transported instantly from Rameses to Sukkot in their exit from Egypt.  This was accomplished by transporting them on eagles' wings.  

The angel of the abyss in Revelation Nine is Abaddon, and Pharaoh's servants remind him that they are "dead men."  Next come the millions of plague-horses:

...and the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths proceed fire and smoke and brimstone. A third of mankind was killed by  these three plagues, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone  which proceeded out of their mouths.For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails;  for their tails are like serpents and have heads, and with them they do harm .   The rest of  mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk;  and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts. (Re 9:17-21)

The scorching heat of the fiery hail in Egypt was prefaced by the heat of boils. The Hebrew root of "boil" means scorching heat.  Those who trust in "chariots and horses" of their gods are plagued with Divinely-dispatched scorching sores and plagues of fire in Revelation, not by Ra's serpent-lioness daughter through her scorching heat.  Divine judgment and torture were to bring the Egyptians and the world to repentance.  The sorceries of Pharaoh's magicians were rendered impotent by the God of Israel, a lesson few in this generation have learned, for how many of them read the Torah portion each week?

Revelation 16:11 says, "and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they did not repent of their deeds."

Just as Pharaoh's magicians could not stand before Moses because of their boils, scabs, and tumors, but they did not repent of their sorceries, the blasphemers of John's Revelation do not repent.

The three plagues of darkness do their work:  "The Egyptians were urging the people on, in order to send them out of the land quickly, for they were saying, 'We are all dead !'" (Ex 12:33)  The plagues will not stop until all Israel is free to return to the Land of Promise.  Those who are alive will wish they were dead in the supernatural darkness as each of their gods are exposed as impotent:

We grope along the wall like blind men, we grope like those who have no eyes; we stumble at midday as in the twilight. Among those who are vigorous we are like dead men. (Is 59:10)

How to catch a ride with the eagles to Sukkot?  Believe.  Put your faith in the YHVH Elohim, the Creator, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Not governments, not presidents, prime ministers, political parties, or pharaohs. Not missiles, not tanks, not stealth fighters.  Not beauty, not a good job, or even your family.  Only the Holy One of Israel.  When you really believe, you act upon His commandments, and you are sealed against darkness.  You'll have light in all your dwellings.  You'll resurrect from exile and death:

Now after the Sabbath , as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men . (Mat  28:1-4 )

Those who are already "dead men" shake for fear when the miracle of  resurrection light  takes place .  The Hebrews left Egypt in the morning, when the Egyptian god Ra was supposedly at his strongest.  Egypt's "Eye" of resurrection was dead, but Israel lived and crossed over.   Mary is told of  Yeshua's  resurrection "after the Sabbath as it began to dawn."  

Unlike those with black eyes who merely shook like dead men among the living, Mary ran to tell the Good News of life and resurrection.  When others see darkness, see the Light, for the Lamp is the Lamb.

Yesterday, Breaking Israel News posted:

Want to read about the connections of the seven feasts to the seven "churches" of Revelation?  Start with Creation Gospel Workbook One: the Creation Foundation.

Or you can attend The Creation Gospel foundational seminar:

LaMalah Children's Centre

Here is the latest note from the Children's Centre in Limuru, Kenya:  

Shalom my sister:

       We hope and pray all is well with you all. All is well with our children as they prepare for school in a few days time. It has been a two month holiday and some visited their grandparents.  This is a just a note to say we are improving on the home. Internal washrooms are in place and painting is ongoing .
      Give our love to BD and the household of faith. Blessings.

If you would like to donate to the Children's Centre or other Torah-based orphanages through The Creation Gospel, click on the link below.  The story of LaMalah may be found at