Question of the week: Why was it necessary for God to send 10 plagues on Egypt? I understand the need for discipline, but why so much, and why so destructive?
My answer: Each plague targeted a false Egyptian god or a false doctrine. Each plague was designed to show the foolishness of depending on a false god and, therefore, to engender repentance of idolatry and to encourage worship of the One True God. Each plague resulted in a larger number of Egyptians allying themselves with the Hebrew people and the Hebrew God. The exodus of people who left Egypt for the promised land was largely composed of Egyptians and residents of the Egyptian empire, rather than blood descendants of Jacob. They had repented of worshipping false Egyptian gods and had become “Hebrews”—committed followers of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Exodus 12:38 declares that “many other people” went up with the descendants of Jacob into the exodus.