Awesome Hands – part 54: “Darkness over the land of Egypt”


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Awesome Hands – part 54

“Darkness over the land of Egypt”

Jan. 22, 2013

In this study today, we are going to be looking at the ninth plague of the “great judgments” of God which are poured out from God on Egypt.

If we look at the meaning of words and particularly the meaning of the number nine, then we will know through study that this number represents God’s judgments, spiritually speaking. If you haven’t read them, please look over and read the “numbers in scripture” series posted on Is, was and will be.

Given we have been studying the various types and shadows contained in these plagues; I wanted to apply this same pattern to this plague of darkness.

“Darkness which may be felt”

Exo 10:20  But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go.
Exo 10:21  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.

The premise of this study, as has been mentioned many times in this series, is to see what admonitions and lessons we are being taught through the Lord working His hands in our lives and in the lives of the “enemies of the cross”.

Starting with the plague of hail (7th plague), the Lord has instructed Moses and Aaron to use their rods to bring forth things from the heavens. First it was hail, then it was locusts and now we see them being instructed to, “Stretch your hands toward heaven” to call darkness to the Pharaoh and Egypt.

In this, we can see a type and shadow of the progression of the intensity of what the Lord works in our lives as He works with us spiritually speaking.

First He works with the earthy and then He works with the spiritual (the heavens).

1Co 15:46  Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
1Co 15:47  The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
1Co 15:48  As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
1Co 15:49  And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

Being that we are discussing the ninth plague, we know that the tenth plague is just around the corner. The tenth plague ends the plagues with death.

We know that this is the death of the physical first born for the Egyptians, so what leads up to death? The simple answer is judgment leads to death.

Exo 10:22  And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days:
Exo 10:23  They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.

When we see very particular numbers or words used in scripture and then repeated two or three times in a very short time, it is then that we know we are being told to “listen up, he that has ears”.

The darkness that was sent to Egypt had to be something that was very impression on the minds of those it was sent to. Since the other plagues have all progressed in their intensity towards the Egyptians, we know that this plague too was nothing to sneeze at.

In English, the word translated as “thick” doesn’t fully convey the thought in the Greek, so I will attempt to get my shovel out and dig a little deeper to see if we can determine more precisely what the Holy Spirit inspired to be written.

Exo 10:22  And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick(H653) darkness in all the land of Egypt three days:

H653

‘ăphêlâh
af-ay-law’

Feminine of H651; duskiness, figuratively misfortune; concretely concealment: – dark, darkness, gloominess, X thick

H653
‘ăphêlâh
BDB Definition:

1) darkness, gloominess, calamity
2) wickedness (figuratively)

Part of Speech: noun feminine

A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: from H651

Same Word by TWOT Number: 145c

This word is from the root word H651, so what is that word?

H651

‘aphêl
aw-fale’

From an unused root meaning to set as the sun; dusky: – very dark.

H651
‘aphêl

BDB Definition:

1) gloomy, dark
Part of Speech: adjective

A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: from an unused root meaning to set as the sun

Same Word by TWOT Number: 145b

And where are these words used at?

H651

‘aphêl
Total KJV Occurrences: 2
dark, 1

Amo_5:20

very, 1

Amo_5:20 (2)

Amo 5:18  Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.
Amo 5:19  As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.
Amo 5:20  Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark (H651), and no brightness in it?

The “cruel wrath and fierce anger” of the day of the Lord is spoken about as not a very good thing for the old man.

Isa 13:9  Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.

Isa 34:8  For it is the day of the LORD’S vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion.

Joe 1:15  Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.

Joe 2:31  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.

Zep 1:18  Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

The thought is that there is darkness then there is VERY DARK. However, since this is the root, how is H653 actually used in comparison?

Joe 2:2  A day of darkness and of gloominess(H653), a day of clouds and of thick darkness(H6205 meaning to droop down), as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.

Zep 1:15  That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess(H653), a day of clouds and thick darkness,

I could list the six times it is also listed as simply “darkness” in Hebrew, but those times don’t really convey this adjective form of this type of darkness. What is important to take away from this is that this darkness happens at a very particular time.

The reason you know that there is a slight difference is that the same word “darkness” listed in Zep 1:15 is listed the same way in Exodus 10:21-22.

Exo 10:21  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.
Exo 10:22  And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days:

We see that there was a very gloomy darkness called to Egypt but it is also mentioned twice that they had this gloomy darkness with them for THREE days such that they didn’t see one another or get up from where they were contrasted with Israel having LIGHT in their dwellings.

Exo 10:23  They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.

So, what are we being told with this? Three is the number of the process of spiritual completion. We also know that what we are learning about are physical and very real things that happened to Egypt as admonitions for us in the spiritual lessons we can and are to take away from this story.

Given that this is the ninth plague (God’s judgment) and we see a process of 3 days happening, what then does this plague usher in? This is a type of the bringing of the death of the OLD MAN and the judgment that leads up to it!

The ninth plague is the very gloomy and ominous darkness which is so impactful that we can do nothing but “stay in place where we are.” This is to say that we know something deadly is on the horizon.

Egypt must have their firstborn sons die in order for the work of the judgments of the wrath of God to bring about the new man.

Hos 11:1  When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.

This is a very compelling look into why the Lord has brought these plagues on the Pharaoh and the Egyptians and why He brings this same judgment to us spiritually speaking.

Mat 2:13  And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
Mat 2:14  When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:
Mat 2:15  And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

Hosea in context had no idea that what was happening to Israel and the others was going to be an admonition that would be used to later speak about Christ.

Herod must DIE before “the young child Israel can be called out of Egypt”. Herod, the “old man” type in us all, must also suffer the same fate.

For all of Egypt, this event will happen after this ninth plague of darkness has been used to usher in this death of the firstborn i.e. the old man.

“Only let your flocks and herds be stayed”

Each and every time a plague becomes too grievous for the Pharaoh and his people, the Pharaoh sends for Moses and Aaron to try and reason with them to give them some of what the Lord has commanded but also to not give up EVERYTHING that the Lord has commanded.

The Pharaoh, the old man, the carnal mind and the flesh always want to keep a little something to not FULLY obey the Lord.

Exo 10:24  And Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said, Go ye, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed: let your little ones also go with you.
Exo 10:25  And Moses said, Thou must give us also sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice unto the LORD our God.
Exo 10:26  Our cattle also shall go with us; there shall not an hoof be left behind; for thereof must we take to serve the LORD our God; and we know not with what we must serve the LORD, until we come thither.
Exo 10:27  But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let them go.

You can also see this in how king Saul wanted to keep a little something back and not obey the commandments of the Lord which were delivered via Samuel.

1Sa 15:13  And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD.
1Sa 15:14  And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?

And a few verses later:

1Sa 15:18  And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.
1Sa 15:19  Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD?
1Sa 15:20  And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
1Sa 15:21  But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.
1Sa 15:22  And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

The Lord wants obedience and not our own way of sacrificing to Him what we think is appropriate.

When the Lord calls us out of Egypt, He does so commanding that we follow Him fully. Of course, none of us are up to this task initially and we still must be converted to His mind and via the Holy Spirit.

Still, this pattern must be followed because we see it all throughout the scripture. We must be told not to do something, then we break the commandments of the Lord and do what He says not to, then we are judged and then we are finally set on the right path Lord willing.

Mat 10:36  And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
Mat 10:37  He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Mat 10:38  And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
Mat 10:39  He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

I know that “a man’s foes shall be they of his own household” is speaking about those in our physical homes and families, but it is also speaking primarily about those foes in our own SPIRITUAL HOUSEHOLDS.

Mat 12:43  When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
Mat 12:44  Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
Mat 12:45  Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
Mat 12:46  While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.

Just like the Pharaoh is telling Moses he needs to “give something to Egypt”, that Moses needs to “leave something behind,” we too must in spirit answer in kind with Moses that we “shall not leave a hoof behind”.

Now, am I proclaiming that we WONT have a backsliding heart towards God and accurse Moses and want to go BACK to Egypt? No I am not, not at all.

What I am saying is that when we put our hand the plough we are not to look back. When we pick up the cross, we are not follow Christ a little bit to the cross until the burden becomes too heavy and then just drop the cross we picked up and run away back to where we have been called from.

Luk 9:61  And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
Luk 9:62  And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

We are told these things by Christ because He knows that when we are first called and chosen, we WILL look back.

Peter told Christ he would never betray Him, but as soon as the rubber hit the road Peter denied Christ to attempt to go back to what He knew he was before Christ came in the picture. In other words, Peter tried to escape what it truly meant to “die with Christ” as we all do.

When we do this denying of Christ, we are not fit for the Kingdom of God, but in our walk with Jesus we will come to the point where we are truly converted and will speak the Truth in love and with boldness, Lord willing. This is true for any and all elect.

For Pharaoh, this last insult to his flesh and rule of law will be too much for him to contain himself. Even after witnessing time and again the power of God in Moses and Aaron hands, he goes on to threaten Moses!

Exo 10:28  And Pharaoh said unto him, Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die.
Exo 10:29  And Moses said, Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more.

The flesh, in type the Pharaoh here in Exodus, will do and say anything for us to just “leave your flocks behind,” “leave something for your flesh to joy in,” don’t give EVERYTHING to God and put an end to  the reign of the old man.

In not so many words, this is the Steven Crook in me that wants something of Steven Crook to remain.

If you look at what happens with the Israelites as they are called up out of Egypt, you will see a very good examples of what we all do in our appointed time.

Exo 14:11  And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
Exo 14:12  Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.
Exo 14:13  And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.
Exo 14:14  The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
Exo 14:15  And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:
Exo 14:16  But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.

The death we think we are going to receive because of our obeying the Lord is not what ends up happening. Just like with the red sea, the Lord uses our fear of what we think will happen to show us His salvation.

We think we are certain to die at the red sea, but the Lord uses this type of baptism to bring forth life.

Sure the Egyptians die, but the Israelites REMAIN. There is one taken and one left as is said in the new testament.

The truth is that the death that is to follow is that of BAPTISM and not of physical death.

We see the firstborns die in Egypt then we see a later progression of this type happen to the Egyptians themselves by dying in the red sea.

This is all to show us that what happens in the ninth plague is the gloominess and the darkness which can be felt and it is that of despair and our utter lack of ability to do anything about it but doubt and fear.

Num 21:4  And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.
Num 21:5  And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.

The Lord will provide an escape by His power alone, but death must come first before life is reached on the “other side of the sea.”


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