Were the 10 plagues real?iStock/lkphotographers
In the Hebrew Bible book of Exodus, Moses and Aaron try to convince Pharaoh that there is only one God, but Pharaoh counters that there are many Gods—and he refuses to free the Israelite slaves. The one true God proves his power by smiting Egypt with 10 plagues. But did God have help? Biblical scholar Ziony Zevit of American Jewish University posits, “The most sophisticated attempt to relate the Egyptian plagues to natural phenomena does so in terms of Egypt’s ecosystem. This ecological explanation of the plagues does not prove that the biblical account is true, but only that it may have some basis in reality.” Here is each of the 10 plagues, along with Zevit’s theory as to how it may have occurred (other than the obvious one: that God did it).
Plague: BloodiStock/Tomislav Stajduhar
All the water in Egypt—including the Nile—was turned to blood, which killed the fish. Natural explanation? The Ethiopian highlands are made up of red clay. So it was possible that torrential rains could have started a mud-red flood that turned the Nile red and choked out the fish, which got infected with anthrax.