I got to wondering the other day about the proper retribution for an absurd lawsuit? The Lord says that, "vengeance is mine," but if I'm not mistaken, that was before he got a little weary on the sixth day and made his first sniveling weasel.
So what's this lawsuit that is being considered? An Egyptian journalist wants to sue Israel for damages incurred during the 10 plagues of Egypt. He claims that because of their presence in Egypt as slaves, God inflicted curses on this guy's ancestors over some 3,000 years ago. He goes on to state that the plagues should have targeted the pharoah, because he was the bad guy, not this guy's relatives.
Give me a break. These plagues weren't really all that bad. Did they have to deal with the polar vortex like we just did and still are? Huh? If anybody needs compensation it is us who still have remnants of icicles dangling from our nose.
I'll agree that the pharoah was a bit of a knucklehead. All he had to do was let the Israelites go back to their promised land and things would've been blue skies with just a 10 percent chance of rain. But no, he decided to put on his Vladimir Putin face and flex his magnificent pecs. It was his Mr. Universe pose that brought on the plagues.
The first time he refused the Israelites their freedom, God told the brother of Moses to take his rod and touch the waters of the Nile. Actually he told Aaron to smite the river. I like that word. Today we just hit golf balls. It would sound much more impressive to say that Tiger smit a beautiful drive right down the center of the fairway.
The number one plague was admittedly a nuisance but, come on, the river Nile turning to blood was a tourist attraction just begging to be exploited. So, Egypt would need to bring in a lot of bottled water for a week, but tourist's dollars would have covered that cost and more.
I don't think the blood river plague was equal to what happened to the rebels led by Korah, Dathan and Abiram. They were tired of Moses and Aaron as their leaders so these three guys challenged their failure to get them to the Promised Land. So what did God do to defend Moses and Aaron? He opened the earth beneath the rebels tents, swallowed them and their families and closed the earth over them. If that wasn't enough, He sent fire from heaven and toasted 250 other rebel supporters. Thus proving to all in attendance who His preferred leaders were. Compared to a river of blood, that would tend to be a little nasty.
The river of blood incident did not set the Israelites free, so God proceeded to fill the land with frogs. This happened when Aaron pointed his rod in all directions without smiting anything. Frogs were everywhere but it might have been worse. Our house is plagued with spiders. They use our place as a honeymoon suite, a family residence and a retirement home with assisted living resources. But, you don't see me suing God.
The frogs plague got pretty bad from all accounts. They were even ending up in people's beds. But let's get real. How many women throughout history have slept with a frog? Billions. Right now, we have a perfect example of that as V. Striviano darkens the image of Donald Sterling. So, what's our Egyptian friend going to get for this plague? A couple bucks at most.
When Aaron struck (I assume he smote) the ground after the frogs left, Egypt was inundated with bugs of various kinds. This was plague number three. Bugs, big deal. So they got to itching and suffered some untold misery. But compare this with the incident in the Book of Numbers, 21 which had nothing to do with the Egyptians who got off easy.
The Israelites were complaining again about their menu, so God sent them what is described as "fiery serpents" that killed many. As far as I'm concerned, serpents who are not expelling fire have my undivided attention and it doesn't have to be a multitude, one serpent is enough. Even a garter snake with bad breath has me watching him quite carefully. And if he's breathing fire, believe me I'm shouting, "feet don't fail me now," as I high-tail it toward Belgium.
Another plague sent to the Egyptians sounds like a source of discomfort. Moses sprinkled some furnace soot toward the heavens which brought on the pharoah's people a plague of boils. Ouch. No doubt there were a lot of hurting folks walking around with open sores but this wasn't as nasty as what happened to the Ashodites in 1 Samuel.
These guys made the mistake of stealing the Ark of the Covenant, so God inflicted (smote) the men, young and old, with an epidemic of hemorrhoids. God was thinking if the Ashodites were going to sit around and look at the Ark that they stole, I'm going to make it tough for you to sit.
After the boils didn't free the Israelites, God hit Egypt with a plague of hail. If only somebody would have agreed to impeach the pharoah and remove him from office, their problems would've been solved and all this smiting would come to an end. But no, so down came the hail which wasn't a problem for the Egyptians if they had just stayed indoors. Apparently, they didn't have weathermen giving out hail watches and warnings. Come on, it doesn't take a "rocket surgeon" to figure out that when you see hail, you go into your pyramid.
The hail plague wasn't as bad as what happened to the Israelites when one of their young men married a Midianite woman. Do you know what that little wedding party cost the Israelites? A total of 24,000 died because one guy brought home the wrong hybrid bride.
Compare that to the Egyptians being sent a plague of locusts. Alright, one has to admit that flying grasshoppers with a solid set of choppers eating everything green in sight is pretty scary, but once again, just stay in doors and don't open the windows to watch the harvest.
We know the locusts didn't persuade the pharoah to allow Israel's freedom so what came upon Egypt next was a total blackout; several days of darkness. Big deal. So, you turn on some lights, sit at home with the kids who have a school dark day and work on your new collection of locust carcasses.
Compare that darkness plague to this non-Egyptian event. There was a man named Elisha who was a bald prophet of the Lord. He was traveling one day to a city named Bethel when a group of smarty-pants kids mocked him. They said, "go up thou bald head, go up bald head." That seemed kind of harmless fun at the expense of Elisha but it was not so. Elisha got a bit annoyed and called on the Lord to do something about it. So, it seems as though God had a bit of a soft spot for the hair-challenged Elisha and sent two she-bears who came out of the woods and treated the 42 smart-mouthed kids as an hors' d'oeuvres tray. Good, serves them right.
As for our Egyptian journalist and his plagues lawsuit goes, I can see where a perfect judgment for the plaintiff would include the following. Give him a couple bucks and introduce him to a she-bear.
Nin Privitera is a Fredonia resident. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org