It is one of the touchstones of faith in the Old Testament: a wrathful God caused the plagues that devastated the ancient city of Pi-Rameses on the Nile Delta and led to the Israelites leaving Egypt. Scientists believe that, rather than divine punishment, Pharaoh Rameses the Second fell victim to global warming.
The biblical story details ten plagues leading to the death of the first born sons:
Plague of Blood (דָם): Ex. 7:14–25
Plague of Frogs (צְּפַרְדֵּעַ): Ex. 7:25–8:11
Plague of Lice (כִּנִּים): Ex. 8:16–19
Plague of Flies (עָרוֹב): Ex. 8:20–32
Plague of Livestock Death (דֶּבֶר): Ex. 9:1–7
Plague of Boils (שְׁחִין): Ex. 9:8–12
Plague of Hail (בָּרָד): Ex. 9:13–35
Plague of Locusts (אַרְבֶּה): Ex. 10:1–20
Plague of Darkness (חוֹשֶך): Ex. 10:21–29
Death of the Firstborn (מַכַּת בְּכוֹרוֹת): Ex. 11:1–12:36
This led to Moses leading his people from Egypt and the Pharaoh’s demise. However, scientists now have a fairly complete record of massive climate changes that would have produced these same plagues. It is an interesting scientific study. The cascading problems began with the sudden start of a dry period in the region after about three decades of ample rain. That led to the drying up of the river Nile which became muddy and thick. That would have introduced the bacterium, known as Burgundy Blood algae or Oscillatoria rubescens, that was a problem 3000 years ago and still appears today. That algae would have easily triggered a massive increase in frogs, lice, and flies.
The exponential increase in pests would have caused the spreading of disease among livestock and boils among humans.
Another event then contributed to the plague: the eruption of a volcano hundreds of miles away, which could have caused further increases in locust as well as hail.
What is particularly interesting is a theory on the death of the first born children. Scientists believe a fungus would have resulted from these changes and was responsible for poisoning grain supplies. Since first male born children were routinely given first pickings and more food, they were likely more exposed to the fungus.
Of course, God could have put all of these natural causes into motion — preserving the Old Testament account. However, it does not read quite as dramatically to have God order warmer weather to cause the growth of Oscillatoria rubescens.
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20 thoughts on “Exodus According to Gore: Scientists Publish Report on the Natural Causes of the Ten Plagues of Egypt”
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You pun away. Illiterates can’t pun but E lites can.
Sounds more like normal cycle droughs and flood, etc. That’s where the 7 years of good and seven years of bad crop yeilds story comes from.
Our own dust bowl was mostly caused by a normal cycle of a couple of years of hot dry weather. The entire 1950’s were unusually dry and hot in Texas when I was a child.
Its not the same thing as “global” anything except we know that in the W. Hemisphere a lot of these temporary shifts in weather patterns are due to El Nino and La Nina which could become a hibitual pattern if the oceans are warming.
History in the making–a true video epic:
That tortoise wasn’t such an incredible racing machine as you suggest. He only one bye a hair.
Those who think Bible stories aren’t historical fact are mythtaken.
So sorry. I was in pun withdrawal rehab for several days–but it hasn’t helped!
A lot of people accept that Moses looked and talked just like Charlton Heston. They will take this as a personal assault.
Fox News will have a big time with this. They love to get their ‘Gore hate’ on. This must be more of the ‘snake oil science’ Sarah was telling us about.
The most interesting explanation for the plague of the firstborn i’ve heard suggested it could have been caused by an earthquake centered near the nile river that released a toxic miasma from gases trapped in the river sediment. The reason the firstborn were killed (according to the documentary) was that it was customary for the firstborn to sleep at the foot of the parents’ bed. Other children would have been further off the ground, above the gas.
The documentary cited this same thing happening in central Africa in the 1990’s. Small animals and young children were killed in a few villages when an earthquake triggered a similar miasma from a nearby lake.
Mike S., thanks for the insightful post.
mespo, you are not suggesting that the biblical story is a myth, are you? If you check out the site listed by The Creator Alpha and Omega, you will find that there is actual video evidence of these events. Plus, its contributors are endorsed by worldnetdaily. So poo on your cynical skepticism.
I am still anxiously awaiting scientific confirmation that a undiscovered protein catapulted a slow moving tortoise into an incredible racing machine capable of outdistancing every hare and most Tasmanian Devils.
I’m with Gyges on some of this. I have read a bit and come across many claims that the Egyptians have no record of having kept the Jews as slaves, or any record of theses cataclysmic events. While I admit not perusing the matter I have never seen any rebuttal let alone any documentation other than the OT – which, lets be honest has some problems when used as a history book.
WHile its a great tribal story I’m . . . oh, lets say skeptical, that it happened at all let alone that it happened as people recordede some 500 years after Mose’s death (the approx age of the earliest biblical documents)
A big part of the problem is that later religious bigwigs and supposed scholars took what was a metaphorical statement on how humans should live and treat each other and screwed it up by purporting it was exact history. Also messing with this was things like mis-translations, either purposeful, or through error. A common example of this is that the literal translation in the bible of the Red Sea is a “Sea of Reeds.” Going through a swamp certainly is different from the parting of an inland sea. Also too the identification of Ramses II is not at all certain and I have never been comfortable with the supporting suppositions.
If you look at the bare bones story of this, Joseph, a possible member of a tribe called “Hebiru” (Hebrew?) somehow got to Egypt and became a vizier for the Pharaoh and possibly helped out with a drought. There was a point two centuries or so before Ramses when the Hittites invaded and ran Egypt. They might be likely to have hired another outsider. Joseph’s large family followed his good fortune and after some time and the natural progression of human birth got pretty large, after attracting other tribe members. The Egyptians threw off Hittite reign and were none to friendly to those other tribes that assisted them and so enslaved them.
Moses, a clearly Egyptian name, might have been a social reformer, or he might have been a believer in Aton cult of monotheism. He could have led the enslaved Jews out of Egypt during a conveniently bleak Egyptian period of natural disasters.
This gives a lot of play to dating and to the identity of the biblical Pharaoh, but is yet another unproven theory. Archaeology has not as yet resolved very much of the historicity
of the slavery in Egypt. One must remember though two things about Archaeology. The first is that various theorists have devoted their careers to various beliefs and are not really open to new evidence. The second is that it is a relatively young science, that in its’ infancy has often put supposition out as fact. Before Schliemann Troy was considered a fantasy by all of the profession and he who was an un-degreed amateur was ridiculed.
While I am a Jewish Deist (go figure?) I celebrate Passover every year and follow its’ rituals. How that fits in with what I wrote above is easy. Passover is a celebration of the overthrow of slavery and the common cause of humanity, that has informed the best of Judaism for at least two millennium. That makes it a very emotional holiday for me personally and for many humane Jews.
Not at all related, but too cool looking not to share.
Come see what I left for you.
Is this the point where somebody points out that there’s no evidence that the events in Exodus happened? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, first we need to prove that there were actual plagues that need explaining.
Tea baggers are going to have yet another conniption … I can see the home made pro biblical Plague signs strapped to their lawn chairs … the entertainment just keeps on coming ……..
This appears to be a fairly sophisticated area at the time. And if the Bible was written in code, then Gore might have a point. But the land doth still exist. What say you Slarti the gammer?
“Domain of Ramesses II, Great in Victory” Although Pi-Ramesses was mentioned and named in the Bible, as a site where the Israelites were forced to work hard for the pharaoh, for more than 3,000 years it was lost and considered nothing more than a myth. For a time it was misidentified as being in Tanis, due to the amount of statuary and other material from Pi-Ramesses found there. But after 20 years of excavation, it was finally found in the eastern Delta. Its foundations lie hidden several feet beneath lush farmland. The colossal feet of the statue of Ramesses are almost all that remains above ground today, the rest is buried in the fields. The ancient city was dominated by huge temples and the king’s vast residential palace, complete with its own zoo. The city also had a massive chariot armoury, as described in the Bible.
The site of Pi-Ramesses, recorded as being located on the then easternmost branch of the Nile, was lost for more than 3,000 years and was long considered the “Holy Grail” of Egyptology. The ruins at Tanis were discovered in the 1930s by Pierre Montet and the buildings and monuments of Ramesses found led early archaeologists to erroneously identify Tanis as the site of Pi-Ramesses, based on the “masses of broken Ramesside stonework [which] were visible in the ruins of San el-Hagar (ie. Tanis). In the 1960s, Egyptologist Manfred Bietak traced all the former branches of the Nile and dated them by the pottery found on their former banks.
So if it was global warming then and we are experiencing global warming now, it’s a cycle. See there’s nothing to worry about. Frogs are a good, God is great.
Some addictions, on the other hand, can cause global warming.
The narrative had to do with slavery.
The Egyptians were practising slavery and as the story goes their God wanted them to be let free.
Repeated warnings preceded each punishment for not letting the slaves go free.
Finally the message “let my people go” got through and they were emancipated.
Slavery can cause civil wars, but I am not saying slavery causes global warming. 😉
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