Ten Plagues of Egypt: Lesson 5: The Plague of Frogs

Exodus 7.25–8.15

Why the frogs?

Frogs were considered gods and goddesses.

The goddess Heqt was a frog. The frog was one of many sacred animals. The image of a frog was often found on amulets and statues. The Egyptian’s worship of the frogs was so profound that if a person involuntarily slaughtered a frog, he was often punished with death.

Frogs were not considered loathsome.

African Pixie Frog

African Pixie Frog

The Egyptians valued frogs. Frogs represented fruitfulness, blessing, and their presence indicated a good harvest. The Nile would flood every year, leaving behind rich soil deposits and pools of water throughout the land of Egypt. These pools became breeding grounds for frogs. Therefore, every year, when the waters receded, the croaking of frogs increased. The Egyptians considered the croaking to be croaks of praise to the gods who controlled the Nile.


The plague of frogs made them loathsome, undesirable creatures. Consider the following description:

“Like a blanket of filth the slimy, wet monstrosities covered the land, until men sickened at the continued squashing crunch of the ghastly pavement they were forced to walk upon. If a man’s feet slipped on  the greasy mass of their crushed bodies, he fell into an indescribably offensive mass of putrid uncleanness, and when he sought water to cleanse himself, the water was so solid with frogs, he got no cleansing there.” (Harry Rimmer, Dead Men Tell Tales, cited by John Davis, Moses and the Gods of Egypt.)

How did the frogs get there?

First View: Some say the frogs were naturally forced on land since the Nile had become polluted by a thick red sediment or multiplication of plankton. The frogs eventually died off because of an anthrax bacteria called Bacillus anthracis found in the Nile algae. Proponents of this view further speculate that the death of the frogs with the receding pools of water provided a habitat that produced the biting insects (gnats) and flies. The in sects bit the livestock, which in turn transferred this bacteria to humans causing the boils.

Second View: The Bible says God miraculously caused the frogs to appear everywhere, in hoards.

Analysis: The second view carries no problems. The first view croaks. Besides having liberal tendencies, the extended hypothesis of the first view has many problems:

“Why weren’t the other land/water animals (crocodiles, snakes, hippos) forced from the Nile also?”

“How would the first view account for the frogs in the bed chambers and kneading troughs? Wouldn’t those places be closed off in normal daily life?”

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