The Seventh Plague - RR171N26

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Lesson[edit]

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: The Seventh Plague
Course: Course - Exodus; Unity of Law and Grace
Subject: Subject:Pentateuch
Lesson#: 26
Length: 0:31:56
TapeCode: RR171N26
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. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth. The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear Him. He also will hear their cry and will save them. Where two or three are gathered together in my name, saith the Lord Jesus Christ, there am I, in the midst of them. Let us pray.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we thank thee that according to thy promise thou art here. Thou art closer to each of us than we are to ourselves, and thy word unto us is grace, mercy, and truth. Empower us, by thy word and by thy spirit that we may, in Christ be more than conquerors. That we may do those things which are our duty to do, endure those things which are our lot, that we might in all things be thy people, faithful, joyful, and obedient. Bless us this day and always by thy word and by thy spirit, and make us strong according to thy purpose and to do thy will. In Christ’s name, Amen.

Our scripture lesson is from Exodus 9:13-35, the Seventh Plague. Exodus 9:13-35. “And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me. For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that they mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth. For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth. And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth. As yet exaltest thou thyself against my people, that thou wilt not let me go? Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now. Send therefore now, and gather thy cattle, and all that thou hast in the field; for upon every man and beast which shall be found in the field, and shall not be brought home, the hail shall come down upon them, and they shall die. He that feareth the word of the LORD among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses: And he that regarded not the word of the LORD left his servants and his cattle in the field. And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt. And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt. So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field. Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail. And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time: the LORD is righteous, and I and my people are wicked. Intreat the LORD (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail; and I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer. And Moses said unto him, As soon as I am gone out of the city, I will spread abroad my hands unto the LORD; and the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail; that thou mayest know how that the earth is the LORD's. But as for thee and thy servants, I know that ye will not yet fear the LORD God. And the flax and the barley was smitten: for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was bolled. But the wheat and the rie were not smitten: for they were not grown up. And Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh, and spread abroad his hands unto the LORD: and the thunders and hail ceased, and the rain was not poured upon the earth. And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go; as the LORD had spoken by Moses.” [00:06:27]

We are told by scholars like Kate that this storm and...[edit]

We are told by scholars like Kate that this storm and plague occurred in mid January, when the flax and barley were up, but while the wheat and the rye were still germinating. There is some debate as to whether it was rye or something else. Some differences occur in this particular plague. First, God declares that this plague will strike Pharaoh’s heart and the heart of his servants and people. The religious implications will come home to them. They will be compelled to acknowledge, to themselves at least, that they are at war with God. This means epistemological self-consciousness which always precedes judgment. Epistemological self-consciousness means that you know what you’re doing and you know why you are doing it. You fully comprehend the implications of it, and this proceeds judgment. Men normally disguise their war against God with moralistic language and noble purposes. After a certain point, their warfare becomes open, and their judgment becomes very near.

I was interested this past week to learn that a term that has become very common in scholarly circles, using CE, common era, instead of AD, the year of our Lord, anno domine, originated in occultist and Satanist circles, and this is an interesting fact. But evil, when it originates, no matter what the quarters, is picked up by men who are compromisers or who are evil.

Second, God tells Pharaoh, “And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.” God declares that Pharaoh is predestined to do what he does. Instead of being the proud lord he imagines himself to be, he is a creature of God, and God has ordained for him this course of evil. We face again the fact of God’s absolute predestination of all things, and yet, man’s responsibility. We cannot understand this but we can only reject it to our own devastation.

The world is bigger than we are capable of understanding, and how much greater is the Lord. Proud Pharaoh is here told that he is God’s creature and can do nothing outside of God. This is as great an affront to Pharaoh as the plague itself. [00:09:56]

Then third, those among the Egyptians who had come...[edit]

Then third, those among the Egyptians who had come to belief in God, had now an opportunity to protect themselves by placing their livestock under shelter, and they did so. Now, hail can be very destructive. It was only a few years ago, in the eighties, that I arrived in Helena, Montana after a hailstorm, and it was a startling sight to see cars, new and old, the fenders, the hood, and the roof dented, as if somebody had gone along with a sledge hammer and worked them over, and all this had happened because of a tremendous hailstorm, and all cars that were parked out in the open had been greatly damaged. Hailstorms can be very severe at times. I know that when I went to the western Shoshone Indian reservation, they had just previously had a severe hailstorm which had killed small animal, birds, and chickens. And people were hurt by it, they had welts all over their body, if they had not found refuge too quickly. But this one in Egypt, we are told, is without equal in all the history of that land. It was also accompanied by terrifying ground lightening, and lightening is not a pleasant thing to have striking near you. But if you’ve ever seen ground lightening which runs along the ground, that is even more terrifying. Those livestock and slaves which were in the fields were killed.

Then fourth, in verse 17, Moses says, literally, “God declares, ‘Do you raise yourself as an obstacle against my people?’” Therefore, God promises to break Pharaoh and Egypt. Pharaoh set out to break God’s people, therefore, God makes clear He will break Egypt. Egypt will not be an obstacle or a dam to hold back God’s purpose.

Then fifth, God makes clear that no rival claims or purposes are tolerated by Him, because the earth is the Lord’s. This statement in verse 29 is the premise of God’s indictment of all men, of all nations. No rival government law or will is tolerated by God. As against the human god, Pharaoh, the living God announces His purpose and judgment. The rarity of hailstorms in Egypt is a fact we must recognize, and it therefore emphasized the supernatural fact of this judgment, and we are told that no storm of like intensity had ever occurred in Egypt’s history. [00:13:58]

Sixth, as Honeycutt renders it, God, in verse ...[edit]

Sixth, as Honeycutt renders it, God, in verse 14 says, “There is none like me in all the earth,” declaring that there is an absence of a likeness to Me, anything that resembles me and my power, and my government and majesty in all the earth. God cannot be known by an analogy to man or anything in this world, but rather man can be known only as we know God, and as we know God, we then know ourselves better. Neither Pharaoh nor any other man will know the nature of God through anything on earth. Knowledge does not begin with an accumulation of data. Rather, the data is only understandable only when we know God.

The great library at Alexandria, which is regularly mourned by historians, when they write about its destruction, which was more by pagans than others although it was damaged once in a riot by Christians against what they were experiencing, was not much of a library. It was a big one, without equal in Antiquity, but it was like a lot of doctoral dissertations today. Masses of details about nothing without a focus. It was the accumulation of data, it was not wisdom. The data is only understandable when we know God. Until then, everything is brute factuality, that is, meaningless factuality. Meaningless and unrelated facts which men tie together by their self-willed creation of meaning, as though they are the creators. This statement then, that there is an absence of a likeness to me in all the earth, is not in conflict with Genesis 1:26-28, the creation of man in God’s image. Fallen man has a false image of himself, and therefore of God. This statement, when linked to verse 29, “That thou mayest know that the earth is the Lord’s,” tells us, as Honeycutt points out and I quote, “Such an assertion, when read against the background of divine kingship and the Egyptian view of the natural world and the gods, suggests an element of triumph. It is not Pharaoh who controls the earth. Not even the god’s of Egypt. Yahweh, God of Israel is Lord of creation. [00:17:21]

Then seventh, we’ve already seen what God says to Egypt...[edit]

Then seventh, we’ve already seen what God says to Egypt, that if they believe in Him and in His power, they should protect both men and animals by remaining under shelter on the morrow. This was not only for the welfare of those Egyptians who came to believe in God, but it was also spoken to Pharaoh and to all as an act of mercy, even in judgment. As David tells us concerning God and the forward or treacherous, in 2 Samuel 22:26-27, “With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful, and with the upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright. With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the forward [the treacherous] thou wilt shew thyself unsavory [or twisted.].

Then eighth, Pharaoh’s repentance is, of course, very shallow, although it is the first admission of wrong on his part. Moreover, all that Pharaoh says, “I have sinned this time.” He does not admit to the evil of his stand, but only that this disaster was a mistake on his part. Moses is not fooled by Pharaoh’s words, and he warns Pharaoh of his dishonestly. As Calvin said, and I quote, “Yet whosoever does not judge himself, and who does not frankly confess his sins is assuredly murmuring against the judgments of God.” Some scholars have translated the word “given” in English as rye, as spelt, or emmer. Two kinds of grain which we are not familiar with in the west. The branches of trees, we are told, were also broken by the storm. The reference in verse 14 to the fact that the plagues will now strike home means that this seventh plague and all successive ones will have a particular meaning and intensity. God’s judgments will now paralyze and destroy an evil generation.

This seventh plague is referred to three times in Revelation as typifying the devastation God brings on the enemies of Christ. Moreover, it sets forth their impenitence and their unwillingness to acknowledge God as the Lord. Thus, in Revelation 8:7, “The fifth angel sounded and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth, and the third part of the trees were burnt up and all green grass was burned up.” Then in Revelation 11:19, “And the temple of God was opened in heaven and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament, and there was lightenings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake and great hail.” And in Revelation 16:21 we read, “And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven. Every stone about the weight of a talent, and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, for the plague thereof was exceeding great.” In other words, what Revelation tells us is that the seven judgments, the seven vials, the seven bolls, are the last seven plagues of Exodus. Those fell, the first three, on Goshen and Egypt. The last seven struck the ungodly world. [00:22:15]

And God says when He cleans house, He will do so on...[edit]

And God says when He cleans house, He will do so on the ungodly. God’s mercy far exceeds the mercy of men. But His judgments also far exceed the judgments of Men. Let us pray.

Oh Lord our God, we thank thee that in judgment thou dost remember mercy. We thank thee that thou art He who didst break the power of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, and all the enemies of thy kingdom and people, over the generations and centuries, and thy power is unchanged still. We wait on thee, therefore, on these troubled times, for thy deliverance, thy judgment, thy so great salvation, Lord. We thank thee that thy promises onto us in Jesus Christ are yea and amen. Make us bold, therefore, as we face the future, confident in thee and in thy purpose and judgments. In Christ’s name, amen. Are there any questions now about the lesson? Yes?

[Audience] I have a question just a little bit off the subject but, Ecclesiastes 10:2 says, “The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.” And my question is why does God equate wisdom with the right, or I guess in some translations “the right hand,” and the fool to the left? That’s my first question, and my second question is what is the origin of our conceptions, our western conceptions of right and left, as a right-wing person or a left-wing person?

[Rushdoony] That was Ecclesiastes

[Audience] Ten two.

[Rushdoony] Ten two. Well, first of all, there’s a long, long history of right and left. The fact is the majority of people are right-handed, and as a result, you might say in a sense they are dependable, because you know what to expect from them. Now in Antiquity, since men fought in hand-to-hand combat with swords or with daggers, you knew what to expect from a man who was right-handed. As a result, a man who was a left-handed man had an advantage, until fairly modern times, because if he concealed the fact of his left-handedness, and normally acted ambidextrous it meant that, in a key position, he could suddenly switch and use his left hand and kill a man with far greater ease than anyone else. So, the very word for left-handed in English has a bad meaning; sinister. Sinister means left-handed. I’m a left-handed person, by the way, so I don’t necessarily like what I’m reporting. But it did mean that left-handed people very commonly rose to high position, militarily and politically, as kings, lords, and the like, because they did have an advantage, and people were afraid of a left-handed man, because a lefty very commonly concealed that fact, and cultivated an ambidextrous talent. So, that alone gave him an advantage. [00:27:12]

Well, as a result, when the terms were applied politically...[edit]

Well, as a result, when the terms were applied politically, the right was the trustworthy side, and the left was the dangerous side, politically. So, it goes back to the fact of being right and left-handed, and how men made use of it, and it was a distinct advantage which everyone else resented. Now, one of the things that, in the modern era, people have done because the prejudice has been very real, is to say that people who are left-handed, their brain composition involves a different use, so they’re less stable people. That was very common when I was a boy, that kind of thinking, and you’d have teachers who would forcibly compel children to switch to the right hand so they wouldn’t damage their brain and become criminal or some such thing. Well, it’s since been demonstrated to be not true, although I could have told you that before that. Incidentally, how many lefties are there here? Oh! Several of us! Good [laughter] Good. We’re in good company. Any… Yes?

[Audience] I can’t remember the source but I remember reading a university study that was made that shows that left-hand people, and this is fairly recent, within the last fifteen years or so, that left-hand people have higher intelligence per capita than people who are right-handed. And this is a supposedly scientific fact.

[Rushdoony] Thank you [laughs]

[Audience] The other thing that I wanted to mention is that is it possible that as far as political connotation of right or left, was this where the Whigs and Tories sat in Parliament, whether they were liberal or conservative, on the side of room that they…

[Rushdoony] I don’t know but that could well be the case. Yes?

[Audience] I was in the {?} general assembly…

[Rushdoony] Oh.

[Audience] In the time of the Revolution. The radicals sat on the left, conservatives on the right.

[Rushdoony] This is why the position on man’s right hand was a position of trust. Because you could grab a hold of his weapon arm, and kill him. Any other questions? Well, if not, let us bow our heads in prayer. [00:30:30]

Our Lord and our God, we thank thee that even as thou...[edit]

Our Lord and our God, we thank thee that even as thou didst work in Egypt, thou art at work here in our time. Thy power is not changed, nor thine arm shortened, and thy will shall be done in our midst as surely as it was done in Egypt. Give us grace, therefore, to walk in confidence, in hope, and in joy, knowing indeed that the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ. 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.