This painting, “He turned their waters into blood,” by the 19th-century American folk painter Erastus Salisbury Field (1805–1900), depicts the first of the Biblical plagues inflicted on the Egyptians.
One understanding of the Egyptian plagues explains them as expressions of natural events.
A second view of the Biblical plagues sees them as attacks on the pantheon of Egyptian gods.
The Book of Exodus in the Bible describes ten Egyptian plagues that bring suffering to the land of pharaoh. In the following article, “Three Ways to Look at the Ten Plagues,” Ziony Zevit looks at these Biblical plagues from various vantage points.
There’s something unique about these Egyptian plagues as presented in Exodus in the Bible.
They’re different from the curses to Israelites as mentioned in Leviticus.
And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.
And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.
Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you.And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever.Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land.And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning.And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual.