Croak, Croak!

Exodus 8:1-15

I was not able to find a picture of the Egyptians goddess Hekhet to show you all, but she takes the losing stage in this plague. Hekhet was the goddess of fertility. She was usually depicted as a female with a frog’s head. “Hekhet also had the responsibility of controlling the multiplication of frogs in ancient Egypt by protecting the frog-eating crocodiles” (Currid, pg. 173). So, when the frogs over-run Egypt, Hekhet has obviously lost her power to protect the land. In fact, “images” of Hekhet, in the form of frogs, have completely over-run Egypt. It is rather ironic that the very goddess supposed to protect the land from frogs, has herself been multiplied to the point of being a curse. It is rather fitting that the Egyptians, who worshiped many different gods, would have images of this goddess multiply: if they wanted more gods, they could have them!

From another perspective, Egypt, being a form of humanity, is cursed with a reversal of creation. The text says that the frogs “swarmed,” the same word used in Genesis 1 to describe the swarms of creeping things on the earth. Instead of man having dominion over the creation, the creation had dominion over man. Of course, this did not render the frogs outside the control of God. That much is plain by the fact that the instant God gave the word, they all died out (or returned to the Nile).

What is amazing about this plague is that the frogs come out of the Nile which had just been rendered unfit for any marine life by being turned into blood. And yet, here come all these frogs! This gives the lie to any naturalistic interpretation. 

Pharaoh is now starting to know this Yahweh, whom he said he didn’t know (5:2). He doesn’t know Yahweh well enough to repent of his sins, and turn to Him for salvation. However, God’s purposes in raising Pharaoh up are being fulfilled (see Romans 9:17).

The whole point of the plagues in general is given to us in verse 1: God wants the people to serve Him, not Pharaoh. Of course, at this point in the story they are still serving Pharaoh. Therefore, verse 1 is a direct challenge to Pharaoh (Currid, pg. 172).

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6 Comments

  1. Anne Ivy said,

    January 17, 2007 at 10:15 am

    That’s interesting about the Egyptian goddess with the frog’s head! I didn’t know that. You’re right, the frogs “swarming” as they did would doubtless have really rattled the Egyptians’ cages.

  2. theologian said,

    January 17, 2007 at 11:15 am

    Here’s a little picture of Hekhet…

  3. Thomas Twitchell said,

    January 17, 2007 at 5:53 pm

    Here is another picture. Look ma, no lips! What is that tree? And who is that man? Is that what they meant when as kids we were told that kissing girls wil give you warts?

    Are each of the plagues reflected eschatologically? The “frogs” show up in Revelation. Is there any connection?

    Are there other places in Scripture where the symbols are connected to other revelations, “The revelation of Jesus Christ is the Spirit of prophecy?” You mentioned the blood. Is there a connection between the Lord’s Cup and the blood of the first plague? At the wedding of Cana water becomes blood. What about the cup of abominations? Or the mixed cup in Proverbs and in the Prophets?

    Are frogs symbolic of uncleaness and the flooding of them on the land a look at the flood of evil at the removal of the one who holds back the coming of the evil one and his minions?

    You mentioned the plagues were grouped in threes. It appears that the same is the case in Revelations.

    The first three plagues of the trumpets talk of water and blood. The second three signs of the heavens, the earth and men. The next three are all of one in the Last Trumpet; Three, Three, (the intermissionary of the “one” testimony of the two witnesses) then the one Last that is three . There are six plagues and in the sixth there are the three in one, the frogs. Then there is the seventh and it is one. Three, Three, one that is three, and one equals ten.

    One question then. In the Exodus the first three fall on Israel and Eqypt alike. In Revelation, it appears that the first seven fall on the Church and the world together, then the witness (Jews and Gentiles? Zech 4). When is the rapture?
    The seventh Trumpet signals a final death of the Church in the eyes of the world, but is in reality a blessing of resurrection and signals the final doom of the world in the last three judgements.

    I have another question that is more relevant to the current times. How do these plagues in Egypt relate to the topic of salvation. Should we be warning of the wrath to come as part of our Elijah (Moses was an Elijah type) ministry in the proclamation of the Gospel of repentance? Does each have a significant type in the Gospel scheme?

    I am thinking here about the water and blood as you have already mentioned and the passover, their connections with the gospels. The wedding of Cana begins John, the water into (wine) blood Exodus’ plagues (by the way, the new born Moses, the blood line of the promise was immersed in the water. But, curiously the passover is not portrayed in John like it is in the Synoptics. Here, fellow-care is the last thing the Lord teaches before the crucifixion and it is the last thing that Jesus charges Peter before the ascension. Ephesians also stresses the preparation for the Day. It is also interesting that the Last Supper, happens before the true sacrifice. What does this tell us about the fate of the Church, if now we are taking the symbol, what is it that we will partake of in the morning of the days of the last exodus?

  4. Thomas Twitchell said,

    January 17, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    Further notes on Heket.

    It seems that there is more of a connection here than first appears. He name is also spelled Heka, which means magic. She was the patron and the source of power of the magicians.

    She was known as the frog god because they came up out of the water signifying renewal, that is deliverance, and fertility the idea of a life to come. In some she promises deliverance from bondage of death by birth into a new life perpetually. Moses also comes out of the water as the deliverer. He is the type of Christ, she is the type of anti-christ (see Revelation). She is the one who would not have the children die in child birth and even in the world of evil that is the cult of the midwife, the child Moses is delivered in to the land of Egypt (as it is written, what men purposed for evil, God had prepurposed for good). The word in Exodus 1.17 for God is elohim, the gods. It should not go unnoticed that at this time the children of Israel were worshipping the gods of Eqypt.

    Heket assumes the position of the god of gods possessing attributes of the various dieties and being exalted to the pinnacle of the pantheon in the myths. She is depicted as the fertility goddess. But she is also known as the daughter of Ra and wife of Horus the elder. She is at once the mother of Ra and his offspring. She was known as the goddess of childbirth and patron goddess of midwives. She is the god of water and of blood (birth fluids), and of the breath of life of the newborn. She was the alleviater of birth pain and protector against death of the newborn. She was also the goddess of death as the briar bearer. She was, then, the beginning and the end. She was the source of life, giver of water, and of grain (giver of bread, the lord) the protector from death and the one who bears the deceased into the resurrection. Thus she becomes the mother of all gods and the creator as she forms out of clay mankind. She is a trinity, the one god who is father of the father of all the offsping of her own creation and the spirit that gives life, the first among the gods, the progenitor of the son who eternally proceeds from her (she is depicted as a phallus with a frog on top), the generative principal within him (semen, the water, see Genesis 1, the term is used for water is also that of the watery fluied), and the receiver of his seed for the propogation of life. She is the essence of all that is for by her, for her and through are all things.

    Water and blood are emblematic of birth and symbols that belong to her. Though she comes out of the Nile she is the giver of the Nile, its source and though she is the harbinger of life she is also the habinger of the plague of death. As the cyclic goddess though, she is also the promise of renewal, the goddes of the resurrection.

    There is a striking resemblence of the declension of this kind of economy of spiritism in Romans. It also reflects the usurping of authority that is found in Genesis where the wife ascends above the husband, and also above her father, becomes god and the dominatrix of the pantheon. There is a parallel to this in Er, where Abraham was a worshiper of the gods of the people as well as the One True God. It seems that in the pantheos there is the idea that there is but one god, with different manifested attributes and yet, the polytheistic mytery religions are essentially, monotheistic.

  5. greenbaggins said,

    January 18, 2007 at 10:09 am

    Lots of helpful stuff here, Thomas. Thanks. I had meant to include the reference to the plague in Revelation, but it slipped my mind. There is certainly a strong connection there.

    Ryken takes the plague in the direction of idolatry of reproductive techniques. For instance, wanting to control everything about birth, from the number and timing of birth even to the gender of the child. In such ways do we worship Heket. So the salvation message revolves around recognizes our idolatry, and turning from it to Jesus for forgiveness, recognizing that He is the One with the power, anyway.

    Question about Heket. You said that she is Ra’s daughter, but also Ra’s mother? Is this what you meant to say, or did the Egyptians actually believe that? Further, I am used to thinking of the Egyptians pantheon as shifting in its allegiances. Sometimes Ra was the god of gods, sometimes Osiris, sometimes Horus. Which group thought of Heket as god of gods?

  6. Thomas Twitchell said,

    January 19, 2007 at 3:52 pm

    I’ll have to go back and look. In part I was extrapolating. The “myths” are wide and as shifting as the sands of Egypt. My logic took me through typologcal connections. When I find out which tradition it was I will get back to you, but there was a lot of information to sift through and I did not make notes. Some of what I found are of course the interpretations of researchers and may not be the actual beliefs of the cult or tradions that are actually the reality of their systems of belief.

    I found it curious tho, how closely the typology mirrored the revelation of Scripture.


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