Isis was worshipped as the ideal mother and wife as well as the patroness of nature and magic. She was friend to slaves, sinners, artisans and the downtrodden, but also listened to the prayers of the wealthy, maidens, aristocrats and rulers. Isis is still widely worshiped by many pagans today in diverse religions; including a number of distinctly pagan religions, the modern Goddess movement, and interfaith organizations such as the Fellowship of Isis.
The name Isis means “Throne” and her headdress is a throne. As the personification of the throne, she was an important representation of the pharaoh’s power. The pharaoh was depicted as her child, who sat on the throne she provided. History records her birth on the fourth intercalary day, better known as a leap year. The popular depiction of Isis suckling her son Horus, continues in Christian paintings and sculptures as the popular image of Mary suckling her infant son Jesus from the fifth century onward. This is the same “Queen of Heaven” or “Madonna and Child” which links Isis with the goddess Inanna.
Exodus 9:8-11 “And the Lord said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh. And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt. And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast. And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians.”
Cleanliness being paramount in the Egyptian society, this plague pronounced the people “unclean.” The magicians are unable to perform ceremonially rituals to their Egyptian gods and goddesses in this unclean state. They cannot even stand before Pharaoh and are seen no more in the scriptural account.
Set is the god of the desert, storms, disorder, violence and foreigners. Set is portrayed as a beast resembling no known creature, although it could be seen as a composite of an aardvark, a donkey, a jackal or a fennec fox. Set has also been classed as a trickster deity who, as a god of disorder, resorts to deception to achieve bad ends.
Exodus 9:22-24 “And the Lord said unto Moses, ‘Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt.’ And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt. So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.”
Thus, YHWH proved himself more powerful than Set.
The cult of Serapis was introduced during the 3rd century BC by Egypt’s Ptolemy I as a means to unify the Greeks and Egyptians under his rule. The statue depicted a figure resembling Hades or Pluto, both being kings of the Greek underworld, enthroned with the modius, a basket/grain-measure, on his head, since it was a Greek symbol for the land of the dead.
Grains were, and still are, the life source for the majority of people. Serapis was worshipped as the benevolent provider of the harvest in direct association with the people’s worship. While another god Neper was especially associated with the most used types of grain, namely barley and emmer wheat. His name simply means lord of the mouth, a reference to the function of grain as sustenance.
Exodus 10:13-15 “And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the Lord brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. And the locust went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt: very grievous were they; before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such. For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left: and there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field, through all the land of Egypt.”
And, YHWH judged the god Serapis and found him false.
Ra is the ancient Egyptian sun god. By the Fifth Dynasty in the 25th and 24th centuries B.C.E., he had become a major god in ancient Egyptian religion, identified primarily with the noon sun. He was believed to rule in all parts of the created world: the sky, the earth, and the underworld. He was associated with the falcon or hawk. Ra was worshipped as the Creator god among some ancient Egyptians, specifically followers of his cult at Heliopolis. It was believed that Ra wept, and from his tears came man. Montu was an ancient god, his name meaning nomad, originally a manifestation of the scorching effect of the sun, Ra, resulting in the epithet Montu-Ra.
Exodus 10:21-22 “And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days:”
YHWH judged not only Hathor and Nut, but Ra, as well.
Bes is an Ancient Egyptian deity worshipped as a protector of households, and in particular, of mothers and children and childbirth. Bes later came to be regarded as the defender of everything good and the enemy of all that is bad. While Iat is minor goddess of milk and, by association, of nurturing and childbirth. Meskhenet, was also a goddess of childbirth and the creator of each child’s Ka, a part of the soul, which she breathed into them at the moment of birth. She was worshipped from the earliest of times by Egyptians.
The final plague of Egypt is found in Exodus 11:4-6 “Thus saith the Lord, ‘About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first born of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts. And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it anymore.’”
After YHWH completed his judgment of Egypt’s gods and goddesses, the political powerhouse that was Egypt would never be as great again.
Much like the flood of Noah, these plagues laid bare the ineptitude of Egypt’s false gods and the all-powerful kingship of YHWH who is alone worthy to be worshipped. Yet, the following kingdoms of Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greeks and Romans perpetuated the same worship despite its proven lack of power.