The gods of Egypt and the Plagues
From the Fertile Crescent and the gods of the Mesopotamia, The House of Israel was ‘called out’ through Abraham from the Ur of Chaldees. The Covenant is made with Abraham, confirmed with Isaac and constructed with Jacob-Israel. The battle against polytheism is far from over for the Israelites as they go “from the frying pan into the fire”, from the Chaldeans to the Canaanites and into Egypt.
While it may appear on the surface that Egypt has a different set of gods and goddesses we will soon discover they are, in fact, the same concepts only having different names. And, we will see how YHWH destroys their claims to power one by one before the Exodus.
Hapi was the god of the annual flooding of the Nile. He was sometimes called ‘Lord of the Fishes and Birds of the Marshes’ or ‘Lord of the River Bringing Vegetation’. Hapi is typically depicted as an intersex person with a large belly and pendulous breasts, wearing a loincloth and ceremonial false beard. (note the similarity to Lamashtu)
Since this flooding provided fertile soil in an area that was otherwise desert, Hapi, as its patron, symbolized fertility. He had large female breasts because he was said to bring a rich and nourishing harvest. Due to his fertile nature he was sometimes considered the “father of the gods”, and was considered to be a caring father who helped to maintain the balance of the cosmos, the world or universe regarded as an orderly, harmonious system.
In the prior study we discovered Lamashtu who was depicted nursing a pig and a dog, representing fertility and the provision of sustenance. The same is shown in Hapi.
According to Donald A. MacKenzie (1922), the “whitish muddy Nile may have been identified with milk”. During the inundation flood, the Egyptians would throw offerings, amulets and other sacrifices into the Nile at certain places, sacred to Hapi. ~ http://www.thekeep.org
Exodus 7:20 “And Moses and Aaron did so, as the Lord commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood.”
Thus, YHWH overcame Hapi by turning the fertile waters supposedly in the god’s control into blood.
Heket was an Egyptian goddess of life and fertilityin the form of a frog. She was associated with the final stages of childbirth. The name is written as ḥqt with the determinative “frog”, or alternatively as ḥqtyt with the “egg” (goddess) determinative. Some say that—even though no ancient Egyptian term for “midwife” is known for certain—midwives often called themselves the Servants of Heqet, and that her priestesses were trained in midwifery. Perhaps it is frogs’ impressive fertility and association with water, so important for human life, that led Egyptians to see them as such potent and positive symbols. Either way, killing a frog was forbidden.
Exodus 8:5-6 “And the Lord spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch forth thine hand with thy rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come up upon the land of Egypt. And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt.”
Here YHWH proved Himself more powerful than Heket. While the frogs overtook even the Egyptians’ beds, they could do nothing, not even sweep them from their homes.
Geb was the Egyptian god of the Earth and later a member of the Ennead of Heliopolis. He had a snake around his head and was thus also considered the father of snakes. It was believed in ancient Egypt that Geb’s laughter created earthquakes and that he allowed crops to grow.
Exodus 7:8-12 “The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘When Pharaoh tells you, ‘Perform a miracle,’ tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh. It will become a serpent.’” So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord had commanded. Aaron threw down his staff before Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a serpent. But then Pharaoh called the wise men and sorcerers—the magicians of Egypt, and they also did the same thing by their occult practices. Each one threw down his staff, and it became a serpent. But Aaron’s staff swallowed their staffs.
YHWH proved himself more powerful than the snake god, Geb, in charge of the earth, crops and livestock (Exodus 9:22-29).
Khepri was connected with the scarab beetle (kheprer), because the scarab rolls balls of dung across the ground, an act that the Egyptians saw as a symbol of the forces that move the sun across the sky. Kheper, (or Xeper) is a transcription of an ancient Egyptian word meaning to come into being, to change, to occur, to happen, to exist, to bring about, to create, etc.
Again we see the gods equated with the solar system and considered to have control over creation. The destruction of plants, animals and humans came with warble flies. Warble fly is a name given to the genus Hypoderma, large flies which are parasitic on cattle, deer, horses, sheep, goats, and humans.
Exodus 8:24 “And the Lord did so; and there came a grievous swarm of flies into the house of Pharaoh, and into his servants’ houses, and into all the land of Egypt: the land was corrupted by reason of the swarm of flies.”
Thus, YHWH overtook the god Khepri.
Hathor is a goddess who personified the principles of joy, feminine love, and motherhood. In other roles, she was a goddess of music, dance, foreign lands, and fertility. The cult of Hathor predates the historic period, and the roots of devotion to her are therefore difficult to trace, though it may be a development of predynastic cults which venerated fertility, and nature in general, represented by cows. Hathor, along with the goddess Nut, was associated with the Milky Way during the third millennium B.C. when, during the fall and spring equinoxes, it aligned over and touched the earth where the sun rose and fell.
Exodus 10:21-23 “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand toward heaven, and there will be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness that can be felt.’ So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness throughout the land of Egypt for three days. One person could not see another, and for three days they did not move from where they were. Yet all the Israelites had light where they lived.”
Thus, YHWH proved himself ruler of day, night, light, darkness, and the cosmos.
In Egyptian mythology, Apis is a sacred bull worshipped in the Memphis region. Identified as the son of Hathor, a primary deity in the pantheon of Ancient Egypt. Initially, he was assigned a significant role in her worship, being sacrificed and reborn. Later, Apis also served as an intermediary between humans and other powerful deities (originally Ptah, later Osiris, then Atum).
Apis was identified with Serapis of the late Hellenistic period and may well be identical with him. This animal was chosen because it symbolized the courageous heart, great strength, and fighting spirit of the king. Apis came to being considered a manifestation of the king, as bulls were symbols of strength and fertility. [The bull was a representation of Nimrod.] At the temple, Apis was used as an oracle, his movements being interpreted as prophecies. His breath was believed to cure disease and his presence to bless those around with strength.
The pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk uses Apis as its logo.
Exodus 9:4-6 “And the Lord shall sever between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt: and there shall nothing die of all that is the children’s of Israel. And the Lord appointed a set time, saying, Tomorrow the Lord shall do this thing in the land. And the Lord did that thing on the morrow, and all the cattle of Egypt died: but of the cattle of the children of Israel died not one.”
Here YHWH proved himself more powerful than Apis.