The Ten Plagues of Egypt

The Old Testament tells us, in the book of Exodus, about the slavery that the Jews underwent in Egypt after the death of Joseph, son of Jacob. Thankfully, God heard their pleas and sent Moses to be their liberator and defender against the obstinacy and cruelty of the pharaoh. These 10 plagues were sent by God to Egypt to force the pharaoh to let his people leave. Read to find out what they were and how God used Moses and Aaron to free the Jewish people from the power of the pharaoh.

Moses and the Pharaoh: The Struggle for an Exodus

While the Israelites were enslaved by the Egyptians, God sent Moses and Aaron to the pharaoh, telling them to demand the freedom of his people. However, the pharaoh refused, angering God, who sent 10 disasters to his country to force him to release God’s people.

List of the Ten Plagues Sent to Egypt

Water Turned to Blood

“Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded. He raised his staff in the presence of Pharaoh and his officials and struck the water of the Nile, and all the water was changed into blood.” (Exodus 7:20)

The Frogs

“If you refuse to let them go, I will send a plague of frogs on your whole country.” [...] “After Moses and Aaron left Pharaoh, Moses cried out to the Lord about the frogs he had brought on Pharaoh. And the Lord did what Moses asked. The frogs died in the houses, in the courtyards and in the fields.” (Exodus 8:2; 12-13)

The Gnats

“They did this, and when Aaron stretched out his hand with the staff and struck the dust of the ground, gnats came on people and animals. All the dust throughout the land of Egypt became gnats.” (Exodus 8:17)

The Venomous Flies

And the Lord did this. Dense swarms of flies poured into Pharaoh’s palace and into the houses of his officials; throughout Egypt the land was ruined by the flies.  (Exodus 8:24)

The Deaths of Livestock

And the next day the Lord did it: All the livestock of the Egyptians died, but not one animal belonging to the Israelites died.” (Exodus 9:6)


“So they took soot from a furnace and stood before Pharaoh. Moses tossed it into the air, and festering boils broke out on people and animals.” (Exodus 9:10)

The Storm of Hail and Lightning

“When Moses stretched out his staff toward the sky, the LORD sent thunder and hail, and lightning flashed down to the ground. So the LORD rained hail on the land of Egypt; hail fell and lightning flashed back and forth. It was the worst storm in all the land of Egypt since it had become a nation.” (Exodus 9:23-24)

The Plague of Locusts

“So Moses stretched out his staff over Egypt, and the LORD made an east wind blow across the land all that day and all that night. By morning the wind had brought the locusts; they invaded all Egypt and settled down in every area of the country in great numbers. Never before had there been such a plague of locusts, nor will there ever be again.” (Exodus 10:13-14)

3 Days of Darkness

“So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days. No one could see anyone else or move about for three days. Yet all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived.” (Exodus 10:22-23)

The Deaths of the Firstborns

“At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well. Pharaoh and all his officials and all the Egyptians got up during the night, and there was loud wailing in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead.” (Exodus 12:29-30)

The Blood of the Lamb: The Sign of Freedom

The last sign, the one that allowed the escape to freedom, was the blood of the paschal lamb. This sign foreshadowed the sacrifice of Jesus, called the Lamb of God, for the liberation of those who were slaves to sin. Blood painted above door frames allowed the Israelites to be spared from death, just as the blood of Jesus spilled on the cross gives us victory over sin and death. Indeed, it is written: “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!” (Romans 5:9)