Wisdom's Corner
God Against Khepera

Pharaoh was still refusing to let the Israelites leave Egypt. So God had Moses meet Pharaoh early one morning. Moses told Pharaoh that God would bring flies upon all Egypt the next day. The entire land of Egypt would be filled with flies, except where the Israelites lived. The Israelites would be free of flies. This would show Pharaoh that they were God's people (Exodus 8:20-32).

The next day swarms of flies came upon all the land of Egypt. The word for swarms can mean "all kinds of" or "mixture". In Psalm 78:45, we are told that "divers sorts" came upon them. This means all kinds of flies and probably includes the dog-fly which is common there. The dog-fly bites any exposed skin and is painful. The bite usually swells and hurts. The horse-fly would also be included. It has a very painful bite. And it is very probable that the beetle is included in the word used for "fly". The ancient historian Josephus said that they were included.

This plague was aimed at the Egyptian god Khepera. Khepera was represented as a beetle headed human. He was worshipped as the god of the resurrection (rising from the dead to go to heaven). The plague was also against another part of the Egyptians' religious belief. They believed that flies were involved in the process of getting to heaven. They wore ornaments of human-headed flies. These were supposed to help them get to heaven. And their "Book of the Dead" gives honour to the bird fly who was supposed to be able to bring a man to heaven. The flies would also make the Egyptians impure for their religious services.

Pharaoh almost gives in to this plague. He tells Moses that the Israelites may sacrifice in the land of Egypt. Moses, of course, knows this is not possible. Pharaoh then tells him to take them just out of the land. Moses tells him not to go back on his word. The next day God takes the flies away but Pharaoh changes his mind and does not let the Israelites leave.

God showed Pharaoh that He is the One True God. Pharaoh at first admits this but as soon as the suffering is gone he changes his mind. He will not admit that God is the One True God. Many people today will do the same thing. While suffering they will go to God and ask for relief. They may make promises to God about what they will do for Him when the suffering ends. But then they change their mind.

Do not change your mind. Always do what God wants. Always admit that He is the One True God. Until next time, keep reading and studying your Bible. And if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.

Mark McWhorter

Copyright 1999

Published by The Old Paths Bible School