The Second Plague - RR171L21

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: The Second Plague
Course: Course - Exodus; Unity of Law and Grace
Subject: Subject:Pentateuch
Lesson#: 21
Length: 0:33:13
TapeCode: RR171L21
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Exodus Unity of Law and Grace.jpg

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission.

Let us worship God. Serve the Lord with gladness, come before His presence with singing. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, into His courts with praise. Be thankful unto Him and bless His name. For the Lord is good, His mercy is everlasting and His truth endureth to all generations. Let us pray.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we come unto thy presence again, rejoicing in thy blessings. Rejoicing that, in a world where evil so often threatens, it is thy will that shall prevail, and thy will that that shall be done. Not the kingdom of man, but thy kingdom which shall come, and so our Father, we rejoice in these things and we praise thee. Bless us now by thy word and by thy spirit, and grant that indeed we grow by thy word and in thy spirit. In Christ’s name, Amen.

Our scripture is Exodus 8:1-15, and our subject: The Second Plague. Exodus 8:1-15. “And the LORD spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go, that they may serve me. And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs: And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into thine house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneading troughs: And the frogs shall come up both on thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants. And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Pharaoh, Stretch forth thine hand with thy rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come up upon the land of Egypt. And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt. And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt. Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, Intreat the LORD, that he may take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may do sacrifice unto the LORD. And Moses said unto Pharaoh, Glory over me [or have this honor over or before me]: when shall I intreat for thee [and for thy people], and for thy servants, to destroy the frogs from thee and thy houses, that they may remain in the river only? And he said, To morrow. And he said, Be it according to thy word: that thou mayest know that there is none like unto the LORD our God. And the frogs shall depart from thee, and from thy houses, and from thy servants, and from thy people; they shall remain in the river only. And Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh: and Moses cried unto the LORD because of the frogs which he had brought against Pharaoh. And the LORD did according to the word of Moses; and the frogs died out of the houses, out of the villages, and out of the fields. And they gathered them together upon heaps: and the land stank. But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.” [00:04:38]

Now the modern mind is so schooled in the fictions...[edit]

Now the modern mind is so schooled in the fictions of naturalism, that it rejects at once everything that contradicts these myths. When in the 1940’s, I worked among the Peyote and Shoshone Indians in northeastern Nevada, I was confronted by things I could not understand. The older Shoshone medicine man had a knowledge of the properties of plant, which was amazing. They were good herbalists. But they also had recourse at times the things which I could not account for. There was no way, naturalistically, that you could say those things occurred, and yet they did in the presence of many, and they were no fiction{?}. And it was slowly, having had only recently a thorough schooling at Berkley, that I came to recognize these things as supernormal and demonic.

Modern man has pushed such phenomena out of his world, only to have it recur among his children with the rise of occultism and Satanism. Now the Egyptian world had a kind of resemblance of this, although it was a curious one. A naturalistic worldview is compatible with occultism and Satanism, because such people do not see power from above, power from God, as real. They only see power as coming from below, and hence, they are alert to subterranean powers. This is why, earlier in this century, Kenneth Burke, editor then of the New Republic and one of the leading radicals in this country, nonetheless on one occasions predicted that we would, before the century was over, see the greatest rise of occultism and demonic forces that we had ever known, because he said men want power, and if it does not exist above they will seek it below.

Now this is especially congenial to naturalistic theories, to evolution, because power comes out of the abyss of nothing. The volcano of power, in other words, is below, and it’s human expression is the apex of its power, and that apex is the expression of the underworld of power. There is no understanding the world of antiquity apart from this. [00:08:14]

In the second plague, frogs, we have again the fact...[edit]

In the second plague, frogs, we have again the fact of warfare by God against Egypt and its faith. Frogs were associated with the Goddess Heket, or Hekt, who helped women in childbirth, and these goddesses and gods were the personifications of naturalistic forces. Frogs were a symbol of natural fertility. Regularly and normally, frogs bred each year in abundance, and their role in th4e ecology of the earth was recognized and honored by the Egyptians. The Goddess Heket was portrayed as a woman with the frog’s head, who gave life to her husband’s progeny which had been fashioned out of the dust of the earth. The worship of fertility was basic to the religions of antiquity. It has been a persistent undercurrent in all of history, and it has been linked with a belief that out of nothingness things have evolved, out of the abyss, out of chaos. And hence, you have the cults of chaos which invoked chaos regularly in Saturnalias and like things, in order to revitalize society.

Now in terms of this faith, the meaning of life is seen not in God, but in children. Not in children, but in the animal world, and not in the animal world but in natural forces. The kind of thing that Van Til described so aptly as integration forever downward. As against this of course, the will to death becomes a hatred of fertility, and we see it today expressed in abortion, in homosexuality, and euthanasia. So, in the one instance, as in Egypt, personal fertility replaces God as the focus of life, and in the other, the war against God becomes suicidal and murderous, and we’ve had these two forces alternating in history, and only one force pushing them back, the force of our faith. [00:11:13]

At the command of Moses, the rod of Aaron deluged Egypt...[edit]

At the command of Moses, the rod of Aaron deluged Egypt with frogs. Frogs in their homes, in their beds, climbing up their legs and leaping into their food. The Egyptian wise men were able to produce more frogs in limited numbers, but they could not cause any to disappear. They were at the end of their ability at conjuring. Pharaoh was thus compelled to turn to Moses and Aaron, and beg for relief. Moses then prayed to God and the frogs all died the next day. Egypt stank with their smell, so that men had to collect and dispose of them. But with this relief, however, Pharaoh’s stubborn impenitence again took over and he refused to listen to Moses. {?} Guike said of this, “With the Egyptians, the Nile was in the strictest sense regarded as divine, and was worshiped under a variety of names. As the beautiful Osirus, and under many other divine names, the Nile was the beneficent god of Egypt, the representative of all that was good. Evil, however, also had its god, the deadly enemy of Osirus, the hated Typhon, the source of all that was cruel, violent, and wicked. With this abhorred being, the touch or sight of blood was associated with Typhon. He himself was represented as blood-red. Red oxen and even red-haired men were sacrificed to him, and blood as his symbol remained unclean to all who came near it. To turn the Nile waters into blood was thus, to defile the sacred river, to make Typhon triumphant over Osirus, and to dishonor the religion of the land in one of its most supremest expressions.”

Egypt’s greatest asset, the natural order, had now become its curse. The Nile was first turned into blood and then produced a plague of frogs. Ailer’s{?} comment on the plagues is very important in this context because he said, and I quote, “The order of their succession stands in close association with the natural course of the Egyptian year from the time of the first swelling of the Nile, which generally happened in June, to the spring of the following year. But partly the severity of the plagues, and partly their connection with the word of Moses made them signs of Jehovah’s power. In them, the triumph of the true God over the gods over the land, is shown, and thus, they serve as a pledge of the triumph of the divine kingdom over heathenism. Even in the heathen accounts of the departure of Israel from Egypt by Manetho, it comes undeniably that there was a great religious struggle.” [00:15:05]

Now it is true, as Ailer says, that the plagues resembled...[edit]

Now it is true, as Ailer says, that the plagues resembled a natural succession of the year, but they also defied it. The first two plagues alone witnessed to that fact. After the river had been turned into blood, how could any frog have survived and bred in it. Later plagues similarly defy a naturalistic logic.

The Nile is a source of life to Egypt, and less than three centuries ago, let us remember, that scientists used the Nile regularly in proving spontaneous generation, which was a scientific idea, based on ancient Greek evolutionary concepts. One writer asked disbelievers in spontaneous generation, and I quote, “Go to Egypt and there you will find the fields swarming with mice begot of the muds of the Nile to the great calamity of the inhabitants.”

The frogs entered the houses, they polluted the food, they invaded the beds, and they climbed onto the legs of people. The Egyptians saw the frogs as a symbol of the fertility of their land, but not as anything to fond over. No more than present day champions of rattlesnakes want them in their homes or yards did the Egyptians want contact with frogs. The ancient Egyptians were remarkable for their emphasis on cleanliness, and this plague was distressing for all of them. Sleep had also been difficult with frogs hopping onto your bed and onto your face. The Egyptian frog is known to science as rona mosaica, which is interesting. It has been given the name of Moses, and it is described by one writer as peculiarly repulsive and peculiarly noisy. So, the Egyptians were obviously miserable and resentful, and Pharaoh impotent in his anger. [00:17:56]

Now, it is very important to remember that the plagues...[edit]

Now, it is very important to remember that the plagues on Egypt were followed by God’s judgments on Israel in the wilderness and later. To receive God’s blessing and deliverance and then to be ungrateful is to invoke judgment. Now this is an important fact, because both Judaism and Christianity insisted on seeing these plagues as something in ancient history, but the scripture tells us that they also occurred in differing forms, judgments, patterned after these plagues on Israel, and they are to occur again, so that the church is not immune to them nor the nations. Revelation uses again and again the symbol of the seven plagues, the seven vows, the seven trumpets, the last seven plagues which hit Egypt alone.

Asaph in Psalm 78:34-57, a long passage, but very important, makes this point with regard to Israel. He says, “When he slew them, then they sought him: and they returned and enquired early after God. And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer. Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant. But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath. For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again. How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert! Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. They remembered not his hand, nor the day when he delivered them from the enemy. How he had wrought his signs in Egypt, and his wonders in the field of Zoan. And had turned their rivers into blood; and their floods, that they could not drink. He sent divers sorts of flies among them, which devoured them; and frogs, which destroyed them. He gave also their increase unto the caterpiller, and their labour unto the locust. He destroyed their vines with hail, and their sycamore trees with frost. He gave up their cattle also to the hail, and their flocks to hot thunderbolts. He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them. He made a way to his anger; he spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence; And smote all the firstborn in Egypt; the chief of their strength in the tabernacles of Ham: But made his own people to go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock. And he led them on safely, so that they feared not: but the sea overwhelmed their enemies. And he brought them to the border of his sanctuary, even to this mountain, which his right hand had purchased. He cast out the heathen also before them, and divided them an inheritance by line, and made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents. Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God, and kept not his testimonies: But turned back, and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers: they were turned aside like a deceitful bow.” [00:22:30]

Similarly, today churches and nations expect God’s...[edit]

Similarly, today churches and nations expect God’s providential care to continue as in the past, despite their covenant-breaking ways. But what does God say? “Judgment shall begin at the house of God.” This is what Peter declared, “Judgment shall begin at the house of God.” One of the things that Sam Blumenfeld said yesterday at the barbeque was that with the beginning of Chalcedon and its work, the day of brain-dead Christianity was over. Well, that’s what Peter was saying. God will judge the brain dead churches. Judgment begins at the house of God.

Now the frog, as we have seen, was regarded as a symbol of fertility of regeneration. Animals or insects which changed form, that is from eggs to tadpole to frog, or the butterfly from a cocoon, and so on, were common symbols in antiquity of regeneration. Now this symbol of regeneration had become a curse and a mark of degeneration. There is a grim irony in these plagues. Our Lord declares, “For where you treasure is there will your heart be also.” God strikes at the false securities and treasures of men with His judgments. Let us pray.

Our Lord and our God, we thank thee for thy word. We thank thee that thou art He who dost deliver thy people, who art the judge, the ruler, the all wise counselor. We pray for thy deliverance, oh Lord, from the hands of the ungodly, from false believers and false churches, into the freedom of thy kingdom. Bless us this day and always in thy service. In Christ’s name, Amen.

Are there any questions now about our lesson? Yes?

[Audience] I was reading a booklet last week that, about illegal narcotics that’s put out by the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s office, and I can’t help but think of a parallel with what you’re just talking about. One of the hallucinatory drugs makes people think that they’ve got frogs and all kinds of insects and bugs crawling all over them, so {?} plague. [00:26:00]

[Rushdoony] Yes, and to think that they pay out a lot...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Yes, and to think that they pay out a lot of money for that sort of hallucinatory drug. Well, among the Indians of the West, the Peyote has been very popular for generations, and it can induce the most frightening hallucinations of all kinds of imaginary figures, and yet it is taken as a part of their religion. The peyote cult is a very powerful one, and it is because the see power as coming from below, and they know that if they have the least tension, the least problem on their mind when they take peyote, they will be in total terror, screaming. But they still take it because they feel that power does come from below, and this is the way to have visions. It kills a lot of them. Yes?

[Audience] That’s really Freud {?} and also when they first developed LSD, the physicians here thought that it was a great breakthrough because it could induce schizophrenia, and other psychotic states on a temporary basis and it would enable them to study and decipher these. They thought it was a wonderful thing and they fed it to various guinea pigs, two-legged guinea pigs and sent some of them into permanent insanity.

[Rushdoony] Well, it is important to remember something that is generally not spoken about, that Freud began by hailing, I believe it was cocaine, as …

[Audience] Opium.

[Rushdoony] Opium as the great wonder drug, and then went onto psychoanalysis to the unconscious. Again, it’s looking for power from below, looking to the subterranean realms for power, and no age that embarks on that can turn back from total death because it is the road to oblivion, apart from Christianity. And, of course, the Islamic world, through hashish, has been in oblivion for centuries as far as most of the population is concerned. [00:29:27]

[Audience] Iran, you know, opium was legal up to the...[edit]

[Audience] Iran, you know, opium was legal up to the World War 2 period, I don’t know what precise state it’s in today, but it was the source of world{?} opium, it was their biggest export.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Audience] Before oil.

[Rushdoony] Well, power from below is the basic religious faith of modern man. I dealt with this some years ago in The Religion of Revolution, which will be reprinted in forthcoming journal, sometime later this year, early next year. But, it is basic to the whole revolutionary era, to see power in chaos, just as say the Roman cult invoked chaos in Saturnalia when all the rules were broken. So, revolution seeks the regeneration of society through total chaos.

[Audience] Well that is part of the political pattern today where political power is sought through personality, instead of through principle.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, the cults of chaos, the Saturnalian cults had an essential relation to the French Revolution because of the Phrygian Cap, the liberty cap. Now that went back to the Phrygian versions of the Adagarsis {?} cult, which were especially bad.

[Audience] Well also there’s the leveling, the first name.

[Rushdoony] We fail to realize how intensely religious the forces of revolution have been, and the connection of Marx with occultism and Satanism is not spoken about in polite company, and the Soviet Union that has all his unpublished works is not translating or publishing those. Well, if there are no further comments, let’s conclude now with prayer. [afterwards] [00:32:13]

Our Lord and our God, we give thanks unto thee that...[edit]

Our Lord and our God, we give thanks unto thee that thou art on the throne, and that from Egypt to our day, it is thy will that is done, and thy kingdom that shall prevail. How great and marvelous thou art and we praise thee. And now go in peace. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost bless you and keep you, guide and protect you this day and always. Amen.

End of tape.