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Two plague perspectives

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Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2017 1:06 pm

Va’eira, Exodus 6:2-9:35

There’s no question that the Ten Plagues were miraculous events. But there is a school of thought among biblical commentaries that says that in spite of their inherently miraculous nature, the plagues came about in only the most plausible fashion. Arbarbanel (1437-1508) explains that their sequence followed a logic of cause and effect. The waters first became bloody and ruined, which caused the proliferation, in the second plague, of frogs (probably because their normal aquatic habitat was no longer hospitable). The third plague of lice was due to the reduced personal hygiene brought about by the contaminated water supply which was not usable for bathing and washing clothing. The lice and filthy water then in turn infected the wildlife with rabies and other diseases causing the plague of wild beasts, eventually resulting in their death in the plague of pestilence. This human and animal health crisis finally resulted in the sores and dermatological problems in the plague of boils. These were all miracles since they came at Moshe’s command but their sequence was, largely, within the natural order.

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