Mimicking the Plague of Darkness
The opposite of daytime is nighttime, the Hebrew word layil. A simple word. Nothing overtly negative here. But, the Ninth Plague in Egypt, the Plague of Darkness, was not layil. This darkness was choshek.
Choshek is a word which surfaces early in the Bible. It is the darkness over the face of deep in Genesis 1:2. This darkness accompanied chaos and disorder. It was akin to adversity, despair, ignorance, sadness, wickedness, and death.
Egypt experienced this type of darkness. Mitzrayim, the Hebrew name for Egypt, reinforces the idea of chaos and disorder. This word comes from the root tzarah, which means distress. Tzarayim – which we find in the name Mitzrayim – signifies more than one. Multiple distresses plagued Egypt in the Ninth Plague.
This plague terrified the Egyptians more than any other plague. It brought darkness by day, wreaking havoc with their religious beliefs. The darkness brought the power of Pharaoh himself into question.
Egypt’s principal deity was Ra. Ra was the divine source of light and life. When the unrelenting darkness continued far beyond normal limits, the Egyptians panicked. Exodus 12:33 reveals their anxiety. “Now the Egyptians urged the people, sending them out of the land quickly, for they thought, “We will all be dead!”
Unyielding darkness could only mean that the sun god Ra was no longer present. If Ra was dethroned, all life would be extinguished. In their understanding, the Great Serpent had encircled the earth and plunged it into eternal night.
During three days of darkness, Elohim distinguished the Israelites. He provided light inside the dwellings of His people. Yom Adonai, the future Day of the Lord, will resemble the Ninth Plague. During that dark time, the people of the Most High will have the light.