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longing to the Egyptians, but the boils (sixth plague), hail (seventh plague), and death of firstborn (tenth plague) were also supposed to affect all the livestock, which would not have happened if they were

all dead by the fifth plague.

Clearly the focus here is not on the historical truth, but on the deeper and more powerful biblical truths that arise from these series of stories. Namely that God intends to keep the promise to deliver God’s people to a better place than they are now. The end result is the acknowledgment that there is only one God at work here: Yah- weh, a God who knows no limits, no boundaries, and cannot be contained or controlled by humans. And because of that, in the final inning, God wins (and the crowd goes wild!).

(The commentary notes are based on Dianne Bergant, editor, The Collegeville Bible Commentary: Old Testament, pages 83–92.)


  • paper

  • markers or pens, one for each small group

Reflection and Discussion

1. Divide into small groups of four to six people, and give each group a sheet of paper and a marker. Instruct them to develop a top ten list made up of ten ways (that is, “plagues”) God might get a person’s attention today if his or her heart was hardened like Pharaoh’s. Encourage the groups to be both humorous and creative in their approach.

2. Invite each small group to share its list with the large group. Spend some time discussing what images of God these lists conjure up and if they accurately represent our current understanding of the nature of God.

1. Lead the group in a discussion of questions such as the ones that follow:

  • God spoke to Moses through a burning bush. In what ways do you hear, feel, see, or experience God speaking to you or others in the world today? What is God’s message?

The Exodus–Part 1


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