The Hebrews (Israelites) had been enslaved by the Egyptians for about 400 years. God sent Moses to demand for their release, but Pharaoh's heart was hardened and he refused to let them go. Each time, Moses went before Pharaoh with God's message: "This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: 'Let my people go, so that they may worship me.'" Exodus 9:1
God sent 10 different plagues upon the land of Egypt. Ultimately, it was the last plague that prompted Pharaoh to let the Hebrews (Israelites) go.
Pharaoh finally let them go. During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the Lord as you have requested." Exodus 12:31
It interesting to note that the Egyptians themselves did not appear to support Pharaoh in his willingness to defy God. Exodus 11:3
The Ten Plagues:
Blood (Exodus 7:14-24) "This is what the Lord says: By this you will know that I am the Lord: With the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood." Exodus 7:17
Frogs (Exodus 7:25-8:15) "The Nile will teem with frogs. They will come up into your palace and your bedroom and onto your bed, into the houses of your officials and on your people, and into your ovens and kneading troughs. The frogs will go up on you and your people and all your officials." Exodus 8:3-4
Gnats (Exodus 8:16-19) "Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the ground,’ and throughout the land of Egypt the dust will become gnats.” Exodus 8:16
Flies (Exodus 8:20-30) "If you do not let my people go, I will send swarms of flies on you and your officials, on your people and into your houses. The houses of the Egyptians will be full of flies, and even the ground where they are." Exodus 8:21
Livestock (Exodus 9:1-7) "And the next day the Lord did it: All the livestock of the Egyptians died, but not one animal belonging to the Israelites died." Exodus 9:6
Boils (Exodus 9:8-12) "It will become fine dust over the whole land of Egypt, and festering boils will break out on men and animals throughout the land.” Exodus 9:9
Hail (Exodus 9:13-35) "Throughout Egypt hail struck everything in the fields—both men and animals; it beat down everything growing in the fields and stripped every tree. The only place it did not hail was the land of Goshen, where the Israelites were." Exodus 9:25-26
Locusts (Exodus 10:1-20) "So Moses stretched out his staff over Egypt, and the Lord made an east wind blow across the land all that day and all that night. By morning the wind had brought the locusts; they invaded all Egypt and settled down in every area of the country in great numbers. Never before had there been such a plague of locusts, nor will there ever be again. They covered all the ground until it was black. They devoured all that was left after the hail—everything growing in the fields and the fruit on the trees. Nothing green remained on tree or plant in all the land of Egypt." Exodus 1-:13-15
Darkness (Exodus 10:21-29) "So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days. No one could see anyone else or leave his place for three days. Yet all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived." Exodus 10:22-23
Firstborn (Exodus 11:1-10) "So Moses said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the slave girl, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well." Exodus 11:4-5 No doubt, this was God's judgment on the Egyptians for killing the baby Israelite boys during the time Moses was born (see Exodus 1).
Ask them if they like bugs and reptiles. Especially if they answer yes, ask them if they would like bugs and frogs to cover every inch of their bedroom!
We are going to learn about a time in the Bible when that actually happened!
All of the activities on the lesson are structured a little bit differently. The activities are intended to be used as you go though the story. Each reinforcement activity has the plagues listed before the title. Your lesson will take up more of your class time, but will be broken up with a short activity to reinforce each plague and what occurred. For example, begin telling the students the story. Tell them about the first plague of the Nile river turning to blood. Fill the cup with water and watch it turn red, as you are talking. Then move on to the next plague and another reinforcement activity. It might be a good idea to write each plague on a large sheet of paper or chalkboard, as you go along, to keep their thoughts organized.
Give a brief account for what happened leading up to the plagues. (Exodus 4-7:13) (Do not focus too much on the passover during this lesson. It will be discussed in more detail in the next lesson. It is being included as a separate lesson due to the significance of this celebration throughout the rest of the Bible).
Give students a hand signal to call out “Let my people go!” during the story, each time a plague is introduced.
Make sure you do not go into the Passover story, as that is reserved for the next lesson (it is so important to the story of redemption, it deserves its own lesson!)
Scripture for Kids to Read Aloud Exodus 7:14-18, 11:3
First, ask the children if they have any questions about the story. What to do if you don't know the answer?