By Richard Lodwick
Exodus 12:12 (KJV) For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.
To begin this last intro, look at Gen. 3:1-5. Now see Ex. 7:1. The idea of being a “god” has been around quite a while. Powerful leaders are the most prone to it. (look at what we deal with now, in this country!) Now move to Ex. 12:12. Now see 15:11, & 18:11. (Just for a moment, jump to 20:3). Num. 33:4 & Dt. 5:7 are also revealing here. What we are dealing with, with Pharaoh, is a runaway situation. They REALLY thought they were gods! As we see in the Gen. passage, it goes back to Lucifer/Satan. Imagine that!
Further, the belief system then was part totemism, part polytheistic (many gods), and part ancestor worship, all rolled into a maize. I count 30 primary or major gods & goddesses. Others have counted them up into the 2000 range. They were believed to have power over darkness, light, animals, the Nile river, cattle, sex, insects, reproduction, food, weather, life decisions (modern horoscopes), death, the sun, moon, and on and on. Remember these when we get to the plagues! They were divided up into major and minor, big and little. It was a “You Pick-em” deal and Israel was seeing all of this!
Now, hang on to this fact… their ornate temples were believed to be the dwelling places of their gods. Now let’s get a foundation in what a few of these false golden gods were said to look like.
Horus, the sky god had the head of a hawk & the body of a human. Others had bodies of lions, crocodiles, snakes, and bulls (calf) with the heads of humans, or vice versa. To wear jewelry that represented such animals, was to identify with them and carry them and their power and protection with you (remember the cobra snake bracelet Cleopatra wore?)! Whoa! Also, elaborate head dress was to do the same; Identify with or represent as the vicar of, that false deity! (some wore one like a fish head with the mouth open). My, my! Can that still be around today? Nah, it can’t be! Now a brief list:
Amun or Amen-Re (or Ra) King of the gods, ANET– lord of the Nile, Anuket– goddess of the Nile, ASTARTE– warrior goddess of Canaan, Aten– sun disc, later a god, Atum– the All-father, BAAL, god of thunder, Denwen– fiery serpent god, “The Ennead“- the 9 great Osirian gods, Fetket– the sun god’s butler, Gengen Wer– The Great Honker (I didn’t make that up, folks!), HAPI– god of the Nile, Hathor– goddess of music and dance, Hatmehyt- fish goddess,
HEQET– FROG GODDESS, Hetepes-Sekhus– An eye of Re (or Ra), HU-god of the spoken word (interesting to compare to Jn. 1:1), IHY-the child god, Imhotep- lord of science and thought, IPY (Opet)-mother of Osiris, ISIS– queen of the gods (also known as queen of heaven). Really? I’ve heard that one lately, how about you! Iuasaas-creator goddess, KEK & Kauket– deities of darkness, Kherty– ram-headed god, KHONSU-god of the moon, KHNUM-constructor/guard of the Nile, Menhit (a child god), lion-headed war goddess, MESKHENET– goddess of childbirth, Montu– Warrior & solar god, MUT-grandmother of the gods (Really?) Nefertem– god of the sunrise, NEHEBKAU– the god who joined the Ka to the body, Onuris- the war god, OSIRIS, lord of the dead, PTAH– the creator god (I thought we saw that one before? No wonder there were wars between the gods. (I did it…No I did it); RE (or RA) sun god (came from Nimrod, Tammuz, and Semiramis), SEKER– the resurrected Osiris, SEKHMET– The eye of Ra (look on the back of a dollar bill, folks), Sopedu- the border patrol god (they could use him… or her, in Arizona & Texas), TASENETNOFRET– the good sister god (I wonder if she wore black), YAH– another moon god. Additionally there were anthropomorphic gods; that is, men in the prime of life such as Amun, Atum, and Osiris. All of them fought with each other!!!! See any of this in other religions today? My, my, my!
I didn’t make up any of these. You can see what a mess their religious system was, AND what God called HIS people out OF! Hang on to this when we get into the Tabernacle series next. You can also see that their religious system was, and is, the hardest of all to systematize or analyze. These gods morphed into other cultures, by other names, including in Canaan, where The True and Living God was taking His people. They were in the Phoenician, Greek, and Roman cultures along with the Philistines. Dagon, the fish god was a big favorite! Old fish-head! Ashtoreth, Astarte, Baal, Molech, Milcom, etc. were other names in other cultures. They involved debauched religious rites which included baby sacrifice and sexual debauchery the likes of which Israel got into in Ex. 32:1-6. Remember where they learned that stuff! Egypt.
It must also be noted that their magicians, sorcerers, and wise men were aligned with these false gods. Look at 2Tim. 3:8. (J & J- Two Egyptian magicians) Lastly, to the people, Pharaoh was not just a ruler FOR god, he WAS god; begotten (Interesting) by Amon-Re, upon the queen mother (queen of heaven). All the plagues rendered Pharaoh impotent, both as a leader… and a god! Man, what a scene!