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Now we arrive at the sequence of the Ten Plagues. Each cycle begins with God telling Moses to request a few days of religious leave for the Hebrews, and if the religious leave is not granted, Moses will do something with his wizard’s staff to change Pharaoh’s mind. More often than not, Pharaoh’s court wizards are able to duplicate the plague on a small scale, so Pharaoh is not impressed and denies the religious leave.

Before the good stuff started, Moses did various magic tricks with his staff, such as turning it into a snake, but Pharaoh’s own magicians were able to match him trick for trick.

Now God had purchased ten very expensive plagues from the plague stand, and it wouldn’t do to have Pharaoh just let the Israelites take their leave before God had a chance to light all of them off. So he interfered with Pharaoh’s free will, and hardened his heart, which is to say, he used mind control to make Pharaoh refuse to relent.

The first plague was to turn the Nile River into blood, forcing the people to dig wells nigh to the river to drink. Pharaoh’s magicians were able to turn a bit of water into blood as well, so Pharaoh did not give in.

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Strangers In Paradise