The Biblical Plagues
Few stories in the Bible are as deeply ingrained in our collective memory as the description of the Ten Plagues. But are these Ten Plagues merely legend, or historical fact? Using the Scriptures as a historical source, scientists, historians and theologians can now prove that the account of the Plagues was based on actual events. Their trailblazing scientific research yields startling new theories and sheds new light on the Bible.
S01:E01 - Duel on the Nile
In the first episode of the three-part series, The Biblical Plagues, scholars deal with the first six natural disasters. In the Nile, scientists discovered deadly microorganisms that caused the fish to die and a stress situation among the frog population. They also found conclusive explanations for the enormous swarms of insects, the disease rampant among the livestock, and the dangerous boils afflicting all life forms.
S01:E02 - Darkness over Egypt
For a long time, scientists have tried to prove that nine of the Ten Plagues described in the Old Testament point to a serious breakdown of the climate, triggering an ecological chain reaction. Apart from theological considerations, scholars all over the world have studied individual phenomena, trying to explain the causes of this Biblical disaster. There is no doubt in their minds that Natures rage must have reached terrifying proportions. Ancient papyri testify to this horrific scenario, which shook the very foundations of Egypts economy and engrained itself deep in the memory of the people. The authors of the Old Testament were also familiar with the plague stories told in their neighboring country, since Canaan and the kingdom of the pharaohs had by then been in close contact over many centuries. In the Book of Exodus, these events were depicted as the wrath of God, forming the prelude for the actual exodus of the Israelites from Egypt to their new homeland.
S01:E03 - Flight from Egypt
Although nine disastrous plagues had already devastated the land along the Nile, Pharaoh remained stubborn and would not release Moses and his people from slavery. And so their God, Yahweh, planned his final assault: At midnight, he sent death over Egypt all the firstborn, Man or beats, had to die there was no escape. To protect the Israelites from this massacre, they were supposed to paint their doorposts with the blood of a freshly slaughtered lamb, eat all of its meat, together with unleavened bread and bitter herbs, and dress for the journey to the Promised Land. And indeed, after this incomprehensible tragedy that came over his people, the ruler finally released the foreign workers. With a graphic account of the tenth and worst punishment, the chain of Plagues in the Book of Exodus comes to an end.
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