Monday, November 3, 2008

Don't have a cow!

After communion yersterday I was asked the following question:

"Where did the cattle come from in Exodus 11:5 if they all died in Exodus 9?"

What a fantastic question! I racked my brain over this one and then, when I could rack no longer, I consulted some of my commentaries. This is what I found:

  • All the livestock must mean “most” because livestock appear yet in the next two plagues (vv. 9, 10, 19, 22, 25). The Open Bible : New King James Version, Includes Indexes., electronic ed. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1998, c1997), Ex 9:6.

***We are going to have to disagree with the good folks at the Open Bible. It is easier to simply dismiss the clear claims of Scripture than to confront them.***

  • All the cattle of Egypt died refers to all the cattle left in the fields (vs. 3). This plague was a direct affront to the sacred bull, Apis, of the god Ptah and the cow goddess Hathor. KJV Bible Commentary (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997, c1994), 134.

  • Since the next plague affects livestock also, this phrase must designate either “all kinds of livestock” or all the livestock in the field (v. 5 note; cf. vv. 18–19). Luder G. Whitlock, R. C. Sproul, Bruce K. Waltke and Moisš Silva, Reformation Study Bible, the : Bringing the Light of the Reformation to Scripture : New King James Version, Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1995), Ex 9:6.

***Here is where we must agree. Scripture is clear and this understanding honors both the Author of Scripture and the Author's intent.***

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