Plagues of Locusts and Darkness

Exodus 10:1-28

God tells Moses to return once more to Pharaoh, for He has hardened his heart against the plagues and God wishes to send another one: locusts. Whatever grain was not destroyed by the plague of hail will now be consumed by the flying insects.


Pharaoh’s courtiers are moved by Moses’s threats, and ask Pharaoh to let the Hebrews serve their God as requested. Pharaoh acquiesces, but only on condition that the men go alone, leaving the women and children behind. Moses declines, and the swarms sweep through the country, devastating whatever is left of the agricultural crop.


Pharaoh begs for mercy, and is given a reprieve, as God sends a strong wind to blow the locusts away. Pharaoh does not free the slaves, however, so God sends a crippling darkness over the land. This time, to end his suffering, Pharaoh agrees to allow women and children to join in the sacrificial service, but asks that the cattle be left behind. Again Moses refuses those terms, and Pharaoh orders him out of his presence, never to return.


By the plague of locusts, God adds an interesting facet: until now, as the Israel Bible points out, God has said the plagues were intended to show Egypt (and the world) God’s power. Now, however, He adds another dimension: the Israelites are meant to recognize God through His plagues. This teaches us that even the faithful occasionally need a “spiritual boost”.


Virtual Classroom Discussion

The plagues have been getting progressively worse, from the nuisance of frogs and lice to the life-threatening hail, culminating in the deaths of all Egyptian firstborns. Yet the penultimate plague is darkness. What makes darkness so devastating that it would be the second-last plague? Why do you think God “saves” darkness for nearly the end?

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  • Marjorie Bradley

    Anyone who has been in a cave without light knows how terrifying it can be. God’s original act in creation was “Let there be light”. It was Gods light as the sun and stars had not been formed. This last plague would show the Egyptians that they are not supreme and show what their ultimate destination in eternity would be without faith in the true God

  • Brian Malinowski

    Elohim saved the plague of darkness to be the 9th plague because of what had to be done before the 10th and final plague. Prior to the final plague the blood of the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed and the blood applied to the doors of the homes. If we look ahead in Ex.12:48 we read that in order to keep the Passover, all the males had to be circumcised as commanded by Elohim. So in order to be circumcised and have a time of recovery, the land of Egypt was cloaked in darkness but not in Goshen were the Israelites lived. This time of darkness prevented everyone from working and allowed the men to heal up from their circumcisions without having to work. It was a time of recovery for all the men. The Egyptians would not be expecting anyone to be working since they could not see anything, so the Israelites were not compelled to report to work during this plague.

  • Paul Simpson Sr

    Because you cannot function in darkness, it causes you to stay in place and has the power to fill you with fear.
    Also Sin is the greatest darkness and worse than that it deceives us and we think it is ok to a certain part, but all the while it is destroying us.

  • Dobberpapa

    Havin6 gonly read first answer if these 28, thinking self, it means that absolute kind of darkness, we usually seldom experience unvoluntarily, is a symbol of devil, dead, the anti-light, G'ds Power to throw that.

  • Eve Uren

    I think Hashem was really warning them that darkness is what will happen to them if they reject Him, they will live Eternally in that darkness instead of enjoying the light that comes from Him

  • Shlomenu muendo

    the day of the wicked begins at night,proceeds to daylight and ends at midnight.Adonai knowing this so brought death of Nile creatures by bloody water first,then stench of dead frogs etc then a `day' of hail,locusts,and a night of darkness and death of firstborns.see also the Gregorian calender begins at the night a one day to the night of another

  • Garrett Soulen

    The plague of darkness brought upon Egypt was a dreadful plague. It was darkness which might be felt, so thick were the fogs. It astonished and terrified. Spiritual darkness is spiritual bondage; while Satan blinds men's eyes that they see not, he binds their hands and feet, that they work not for God, nor move toward heaven.

    They sit in darkness. It was righteous with God thus to punish. The blindness of their minds brought upon them this darkness of the air; never was mind so blinded as Pharaoh's, never was air so darkened as Egypt. Let us dread the consequences of sin; if three days of darkness were so dreadful, what will everlasting darkness be? The children of Israel, at the same time, had light in their dwellings. We must not think we share in common mercies as a matter of course, and therefore that we owe no thanks to God for them. It shows the particular favor He bears to His people. Wherever there is an Israelite in this dark world, there is light, there is a child of light. When God made this difference between the Israelites and the Egyptians, who would not have preferred the poor cottage of an Israelite to the fine palace of an Egyptian? There is a real difference between the house of the wicked, which is under a curse, and the habitation of the just, which is blessed.

  • Darkness is the culmination of those plagues. It means total dependency. There is not one reference point outside yourself. The significance of it is : outside the only true G-d of Israel there is no referencepoint in the world. HE is the only one true LIGHT of the world. All other so-called gods are fake. Do not trust them, they leave you in darkness. So this plague has a double meaning: total victory over the idols of Egypt and to show the Egyptian people that without HaShem you cannot do anything. Not even Pharoah the so-called “son of ra”, is able to bring light in this darkness. (Ra'm'ses)

    • A Special Message To The Public

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  • It was very interesting that the Egutptian sorcerers could not perform the miracle of mosquitoes? God is the one who controls the supernatual.

    • In Honor Of The Holy Gospels

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      Are the Three Angel Messages in Revelation God’s Final Warning?
      What is God trying to tell us through this text?
      The “three angels’ messages” is an interpretation of the messages given by three angels in Revelation 14:6-12. Seventh-day Adventists and many End Time theorists believe that the three angel messages in Revelation 14, and the ‘fourth’ angel of Revelation 18 contain God’s final warning and call of mercy to the world before the return of Jesus Christ.
      After John sees a vision of the 144,000 redeemed ones who “follow the Lamb wherever He goes” (Revelation 14:4), he sees three angels flying in midair The first one “had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth – to every nation, tribe, language and people” (Revelation 14:6). This is the only place in the Bible where the Gospel is described as the “everlasting Gospel” or the “eternal Gospel.”
      The vision we find in Revelation 14 in which the angel proclaims the everlasting Gospel is a prediction of something that will happen in the tribulation. Before the seven final judgments – the seven bowls of Revelation 15-16 – we are told in Scripture that God will give all of mankind one last opportunity to turn their sin and trust in Christ to receive His gift of everlasting life. We know from the Bible that no one is left out. Again, Revelation 14:6 says, “to every nation, tribe, language and people.” In verse 7, the angel calls out in a loud voice, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come. Worship Him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” After proclaiming the everlasting Gospel through an angel, God will finish His work of judgment.
      Revelation 14: 6-7 reveals the first angel’s message:”…And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” This angelic messenger is telling the world to fear God. We know from Proverbs 8:13 what that is supposed to look like. Proverbs 8:13 says, “To fear the LORD is to hate evil; pride, and arrogance, and the evil way…” To fear God is to love righteousness. This angel also tells us to give God glory. This is a call for us to reflect God in all things we do. Finally, this angel is telling us that the hour of judgment has come.
      The second angel’s message can be found in Revelation 14:8: “…And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” This is not the only time we see a warning of Babylon being fallen. We also see it in Revelation 18:2-3 which says, “And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of their delicacies.”
      The third angel’s message is revealed in Revelation 14:9-12:”…And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, if any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cop of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb; And the smoke of their torment ascendith up for ever and ever; and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosover receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. This is one of the most serious End Times warnings that we should take very seriously. It’s important that we turn away from man and position ourselves towards God to better understand this message. The only way we can do this is to ask God for guidance through prayer. This is a warning to Christians to turn to God, not the world, for every answer we may need.
      The three angels’ messages is a warning to all believers. It’s important that we pay attention to God’s prophetic messages so that we are better equipped and in tune with God’s plan for the future. What we can learn from their messages is that the Gospel is an everlasting message which means it never changes. The message of salvation through Jesus Christ is an important, eternal truth. Those who trust and believe in Jesus Christ will acquire those benefits.

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      Lesli White is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications and a concentration in print and online journalism. In college, she took a number of religious studies courses and harnessed her talent for storytelling. White has a rich faith background. Her father, a Lutheran pastor and life coach was a big influence in her faith life, helping her to see the value of sharing the message of Christ with others. She has served in the church from an early age. Some of these roles include assisting ministry, mutual ministry, worship and music ministry and church council.

  • Diana Brown

    It seems to me that all the signs and wonders that HaShem performed up until Parsha Bo was to let the Nations know that Israel’s G-d was a G-d who could work beyond the borders of the nation where His Name was placed. He could work in other nations. At that time, no other nation boasted that their god could work beyond their border. That is why some of the Egyptians began to plead with Pharaoh. They knew HaShem was greater than any god they had ever prayed to. Pharaoh’s heart was so hard that he thought he could make deals with G-d. Moses stood in the gap until Pharaoh sent him away.
    Now it’s Israel’s turn to know the greatness of their G-d. It would seem to me (if I were a Hebrew slave at that time) that one thing I would have known is the story of Joseph. Building on the things that happened in his life I would know when HaShem was allowed by Joseph to move in his life, he saved not only Joseph’s people but Egypt as well.
    So couldn’t the Hebrews see Joseph’s life going in reverse before their very eyes and the blessings of Egypt being removed with every change? The darkness would be the pit Joseph was thrown into. The final plague was reminiscent of when Jacob had his firstborn taken from him without a warning. HaShem did intervene and warn Pharaoh before the death of the firstborn because He wanted Egypt to learn of Him. He wants world restoration.

    • Diana, thank you for your insightful comments! There is definitely truth to the idea that God is ‘proving’ that He is The God, and He is not limited to borders! Also, I really like the analogy of the plagues being the life of Joseph in reverse. Though I’m not sure people living through it would have the ability to see it that way, as people reading the story after the fact-and knowing the beginning, middle and end of both stories, I can definitely see similarities.

  • Christine

    Thank you all so much for your comments, dreams and education.

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      Do you know what are the most misused, misunderstood and abused Bible verses on money? If not, we put in the work and compiled the list of verses and a little bit of background on each. Money is a very polarizing topic of discussion; therefore, a lot of truth can be lost in the over analyzation and dissection.
      Luke 12:34
      “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
      You’ve probably heard this one quoted in reverse – your heart will be where the treasure is. Still, it basically has the incorrect understanding. Luke 12:34 is telling us, if we look at our own budgets and review the transactions we spend on a regular basis, then we can identify where our heart is. For example, do pay it forward to charities, are you tithing to your church home, or are you spending money on materialistic items for yourself? The writing is on the wall.
      1 Timothy 6:10, NIV
      “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.”
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      Matthew 6:24
      “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
      This one is pretty clear, but oftentimes people view the verse as saying no one can worship God and be well off financially. However, Matthew 6:24 is saying you are serving God and not money. God will provide you with the necessary resources to generate money. But if you believe that you are serving God and money, you are wrong because you would not have the opportunities to make an income without God. Nonetheless, God should always be your priority – everything else will fall into place, if you put God before everything else.
      Proverbs 23:4-5
      “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.”
      When people incorrectly reference Proverbs 23:4-5, they generally state that no one can be wealthy in the long run. The verse is actually more of a warning to those who are willing to wear themselves out to be rich – which ultimately means the individual doesn’t have a healthy relationship with money. Get rich quick schemes never work and that is what the verse is actually saying. Hard work is rewarded, and it cannot be cheated. Quick money usually goes as quick as it came in. There are actual statistics to back this.
      Did you know a lottery winner is more likely to declare bankruptcy within three to five years than the average American? Data proves that one in three lottery winners go broke.
      Psalm 62:10
      “…if riches increase, do not set your heart on them.”
      This verse is usually seen as no one can depend on money. This is not true. Psalm 62:10 is saying, money alone cannot solve problems; however, if you have a mature relationship with money and a faithful relationship with God then anything is possible. Christians can invest their hearts on their riches, if they are doing Godly things with their wealth. For example, if someone is building their wealth while investing in others, so they too can reach their potential and serve, then they are a righteous in their actions.
      Jobs 36:11
      “If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment.”
      This one seems self-explanatory, but people frequently misunderstand the meaning of prosperity and contentment. When people hear the words prosperity, they often associate that with an abundance of money. However, prosperity doesn’t always translate to wealth in terms of dollar signs. Prosperity can mean that an individual or their family are healthy and thriving as human beings – you do not need to be rich to have a prosperous life. Furthermore, contentment doesn’t mean you’re so rich that you are content. Instead, contentment is being happy with the life you have because God has provided you with what you need.
      Instead of blaming God for what you don’t have, society must assess what they do have and exercise gratitude. God gives us all the tools, but it is up to His children to create the plan of action.
      Proverbs 13:11
      “Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.”
      Proverbs 13:11 is usually taken out of context without even being referenced. People judge others before they know the entire story. If someone has a big house, drives a nice vehicle, or dresses in named brand apparel the general public casts unfair judgement. In most cases, they do not know how that individual came into their wealth or if that person even actually has stable finances; however, opinions are derived.
      It’s important to forfeit the right to judge others and stay humble. It can be challenging, and we are all human beings guilty of sin, but it is crucial to put ourselves in constant check.
      There are a ton of other verses consistently misrepresented. As Christians, it is important to be mindful of the scripture being recited and reviewed. Always be willing to invest the time and energy into finding out the real answers.
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  • Drew

    I,m amazed how scripture links to scripture in ways we cant imagine. I am looking forward to the day when the spaces between the letters are explained.
    3 days of darkness linked to ”let there be light” which just happens to be verse 3.coincidence?…. Sure!!

    • It would take a million lifetimes to discover all the amazing meanings of each word, each letter, each space in the Torah, but we can (and must) at least begin. The Talmud teaches us that there is even a reason for each crown on each letter written in the Torah! (The Torah has a special and unique print, where some of the letters look fancy with ‘crowns’ on top).

  • Na'ahma

    One time I had a dream that I had died. I found myself in a place of horrific darkness. So thick and smothering and hopeless! And the whole time I was there, I knew G-d was there. I wanted desperately to see Him, to see His light but it was too late. I had made my choice. The darkness was made darker by my knowledge of His presence outside of it. And it was knowing I would spend eternity longing for that presence that made me scream for mercy. I woke up terrified. It was a very long time ago but I have never forgotten it. When I read in the Scriptures about the darkness that awaits unbelievers, I now have a point of reference.
    I share this dream quite a bit with those who doubt. And I am unafraid to say that The Word talks about such darkness and I ask, “What if you’re wrong?” I plant the seed. God brings it to fruition.
    Not sure how this fits in in this portion but I felt moved to share.

    • Drew

      There was an Aussie millionaire who died and came back. He said nothing to it it,s just darkness, dont think he realized it,s for eternity.
      Dan 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
      Everlasting life sounds great, not interested in other.

    • Na'ahma, in answering the plague of darkness as the second last plague, I am forced to link it to your explanation; darkness announces death which is eternal separation from Yahweh, it is a warning for those that are still alive that eternal separation is coming. It therefore announced the death of the Egyptian first born.

  • Ken2

    I am beginning to appreciate the reasons these nine plagues were sent by God were to address the false gods (beliefs) of Egypt. I need to study this more.

  • Kenneth

    The Egyptian’s worshiped the sun as the chief god. The sun light & what it brought to the Egyptian economy & way of life made the sun very important to them. But God who made the Sun & the Earth is able to shut out the light as and when He wants & was able to show the Egyptian peoples just that. Our God is the only true God & He controls the universe totally. Pharaoh, & his court needed to understand who the true God is; the sun that gives light & nourishment or the God who made the sun.

    • Kenneth

      I continually look to the Almighty to see His hand in the situation & what He is trying to achieve. There is only one true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob. We need to ensure that He takes the pinnacle of our existence & we revolve around Him & His works. The Almighty God shows just how powerful He is but in a small devastating way to the Egyptians & the Hebrew nation at that time

      • I’m really enjoying all these comments! As Kenneth pointed out, the plague of darkness can definitely be seen as an ‘attack’ against the Egyptian sun god. And as Ken mentioned, it is a wonderful exercise to see how each plague was a direct attack against the way the Egyptians, and other civilizations, perceived god and thought about how it is run. Through the ten plagues, God makes it clear that He is the one and only God, the one who created the world and therefore the one who controls ‘nature’.

    • I agree with you and with Drew that this was judgment on the Egyptian sun-god.

  • Drew

    The darkness conveyed a message to the Egyptians, for the sun was their supreme god. It,s daily rising seen as a triumph over the snake demon apophis, the embodiment of darkness.
    The midrash calls the the plague ”the darkness of hell/geihinnom” and connects it to the primordial darkness before God said ”let there be light”

    • Drew

      Prophecy is pattern. Look at v 16 ”Moses and Aaron”, v18 ”He” went out. Who? One stayed behind?
      Think back to Abraham and Isaac, both go up to sacrifice but only Abraham comes down. Obviously Isaac comes down but the text doesnt
      say so.
      One stayed behind!

      • Interesting observation. I think that since v. 18 is discussing how ‘he’ entreated the Lord, ie. Moses prayed for the plague to start, the verse is only referring to Moses. But I would assume that Aaron left as well-it just wasn’t his role to pray on behalf of Pharaoh for the end of the plague.

  • Kenneth

    Suggestion for the portion titles: please provide the Hebrew meaning
    The portion of Shemot (Names)
    The portion of Va’era
    The portion of Bo

    • Good suggestion. The truth is, the names for the portions are generally one of the first words in the opening verse. As you said, Shemot is names. Va’era is ‘and I appeared’ and Bo means ‘Go’. Wishing everyone a wonderful week of learning!

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