Ten Plagues


Ten Plagues (ten PLAYGZ) listen


  • n. God's punishments on the Egyptian people for enslaving the Israelites.

Example Sentences

  • "In years past, I would have attributed the Ten Plagues to dramatic, albeit sacred, storytelling by our ancient ancestors, who were describing their experience of then-unexplainable and uncontrollable acts of nature. As a person with modern education, I tended to rush past the plagues’ narration in search of the text’s deeper messages. However, given what we now understand about climate science, I see this text in a new light." (source)

Languages of Origin

  • English

Who Uses This

  • Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education


  • North America


  • The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).

Alternative Spellings

10 Plagues


  • "During the Pesach seder, which tells the story of the Exodus from Egypt, the Ten Plagues are recited. They are blood (dom), frogs (tzefardayah), bugs (kinim), wild beasts (arov), cattle disease (dever), sores or boils (shekhin), hail (barad), locusts (arbeh), darkness (hoshekh), and killing of the firstborn Egyptian sons (makat bekhorot). It is traditional to dip a finger into a wine glass and place a drop of wine on a napkin or plate as the name of each plague is recited. This is considered an expression of sorrow for the Egyptians, for the pain they suffered during the plagues. The English name of the holiday, Passover, comes from the fact that God 'passed over' the houses of the Israelites and spared their sons when the last terrible plague came." (JPS)

Edit     Something missing from this entry? Inaccurate? Feel free to suggest an edit.