Was it Biblical plagues or was it actually natural climate change? That is the question that scientist now have enough evidence to work with in explaining what might have happened 3500 years ago.
The Bible tells the story of Moses and the ten plagues over a small part of Egypt. These plagues did happen by natural climate change and were incorporated into biblical stories to give credence to Moses freeing his people from slavery and journey to another land east of Egypt. This article is based on the premise that every plague has a root cause and the consequences of that event will probably cause a subsequent event. That is; event#1 will cause event#2 will cause event#3, etc.
The first plague was when the Nile River turned red and the fish died. The death came from toxic red algae bloom caused by increased water temperature and a slow down in flow. Even today we still see the Red Tide off the coast of Florida and there is nothing we can do about it except to let it run its course – say 7 days before it dies off.
The second plague was those nasty frogs. The metamorphous of a tadpole into a frog is accelerated by stress. The lack of oxygen in the Nile from the red algae caused the over populated frogs to leave the wetlands and overrun the surrounding landscape.
The third and fourth plague was those pesky mosquitoes and small insects. Remember, fish and frogs eat insects for their diet and diseases spread among the livestock were from the flies.
The fifth and sixth plagues were directed at large animals and humans. Epizootic diseases exterminated the Egyptian livestock while skin diseases or pox affected the human population, mostly men. Again, the diseases were spread by the excessive insects.
These first six plagues can be explained for the demise of Pi Ramesse and its culture. There are existing documents (Ipuwer Papyrus) that pre-date the Old Testament and parallel the stories in the bible about the great plagues of this historical Nile region in Egypt. This text also describes how the simple people rebelled against the rich and the rulers.
After each plague, Moses told the Pharaoh to let my people go and Ramesse II continued to refuse. Was Moses also responsible for the next 4 plagues that overwhelmed Egypt? In 2003, a unique find gave new impetus to the investigation into the causes of the Biblical Plagues. Can the plagues be linked to the eruption of a huge volcano at around the same time period, and the subsequent disruption of weather and atmospheric conditions? Could this have been the root cause of the plagues?
The seventh plague: Oh hail, now what? Hail can come in many sizes and can be very damaging, even cause death. The great volcano Thera at Santorini (Greek Isles) created a giant plumb of ash (pumice) that has been chemically matched in Egypt, an area that has no volcanoes of it own.
The eighth plague was the locust that came from the east with the strong winds (high to low air pressure) as a result of atmospheric changes from the volcanic ash. High humidity and increased moisture caused the rapid increase in this breeding machines population. The west winds eventually blew them away after they completely destroyed all the vegetation.
The ninth plague was the darkest of all where the ash completely blocked out the sun light. The timelines between each plague can vary but the timing of the first plague was probably obtained by Carbon-14 date testing. For example, scientist determine the age of living material, an olive branch buried in the area around the original volcano in Greece during its many eruptions.
The tenth and final plague: the death of the Egyptian male first born. The first nine plagues can be rationalized as climate change that Moses took advantage of to free his people, but the tenth cannot be scientifically attributed to climate change directly. This is the event that ties all the previous sequential events to the word of God through Moses.
The power of story has transform mankind throughout history. According to the stories of Exodus, the Pharaoh, furious, saddened, and afraid that he would be killed next, eventually ordered the Israelites to leave, taking whatever they wanted, and asking Moses to bless him in the name of the Lord. But we all know that was not the end of the story.
Acid rains from the volcano could have started the entire sequential chain reaction of the plagues so beautifully decrypted in the Book of Exodus. The Bible is the greatest story ever told that described what probably happened historically. Actual records of the plague period were probably recorded by the Egyptians and stored at the Great Library of Alexandria.
That library is famous for having been burned down, resulting in the loss of many scrolls and books; its destruction has become a symbol for the loss of cultural knowledge. In the view of Islam the plagues were almost identical. In the Quran they happened as one event instead of ten separate events.
Climate change has always been and will always be. However, it is not realistic to be as stubborn as the Pharaoh and deny what is in front of you. Mankind has accelerated the exploitation of the earth resources and we should be concerned for future generations.