Many have tried to explain what happened when the firstborns of Egypt were killed.
Actually, I will come out with a theory myself. My theory has its attachment in the 14th century Black Death. This plague started its mortal segertåg in Europe between 1347-1350 when people died en masse. There were people who got the plague but survived. Those then got immunity. Then there was a third category who did not get the disease at all. They could of course get it later. For instance, there were several more outburst of the plague, not least in the later 14th century. But what was conspicious about these later outbursts was the huge number of children who were affected. Why was that? Well, the people without immunity during those epidemics were those who had not been infected before, and of course the children born after the first and major plague in the mid 14th century.
At About Education, I read:
”Unfortunately, the course of the pandemic in Asia is not as thoroughly documented as it is for Europe.
However, the Black Death does appear in records from across Asia in the 1330s and 1340s. The disease spread terror and destruction wherever it arose.
Origins of the Black Death:
Many scholars believe that the Black Death began in north-western China, while others cite south-western China or the steppes of Central Asia. We do know that in 1331, an outbreak erupted in the Yuan Empire; it may have hastened the end of Mongol rule over China. In 1334, this disease killed 5 million people in Hebei Province – about 90% of the population.
As of 1200, China had a total population of more than 120 million, but a 1393 census found only 65 million Chinese surviving.
This gives us a starting date in the 1330s for triggering off the plague that prooved so catastrophic later on in Europe. But then I must ask: would there have been any volcanic cataclysms leading up to the Chinese disaster in the first place. Comparing to what happened in Egypt after the eruption of Thera circa 1628 BC? And comparing also to the aftermath of the volcanic 535 event bringing darkness, crop failures, starvation and the plague named the Justinian according to the contemporary writers in Constantinople.
Searching for a volcanic culprit before the 1330’s I cannot find any. That does not mean there weren’t any such eruption! Read at Eh-resources.org .
”But new research has suggested that the causes of the Black Death are more complicated and might be related to volcanism and the resulting atmospheric upheavals./…/
First of all there is a parallel with the 536 event: the outbreak of a plague epidemic. With the knowledge of this volcanic event there is the possibility that something similar happened during the 14th century. In recent research, medievalist Bruce Campbell of Queens University in Belfast, compared the chronologies of prices, wages, grain harvests and the corresponding chronologies of growing conditions and climactic variations, taking into consideration dendrochronology, the Greenland and Antarctic ice cores and episodes of the Black Death. Campbell comes to the startling and tentative conclusion that both the Great Famine and the Black Death might be related to a series of large volcanic eruptions that caused climate chaos, followed by famine and disease. The mechanisms between climatic disturbance and disease are not understood at present but the evidence is tentative because of the coincidence of volcanic events, climate disruption, famine and disease.3
Without the Great famine and Black Death the social and economic history of Europe would have been different. The European population was decimated by 50 per cent but the survivors experienced an increase of living standards and wages unparalleled until the Industrial Period. So, perhaps volcanoes triggered the Renaissance and the emergence of modern Europe”
And Nasa writes in year 2000: ”Although the Black Death of 1348 in Europe is a case in point, this major exception is practically unique.”
So either an abscence of volcanic eruptions before Black Death – or, as I presume – scientists have not yet identified the volcanic culprit!
According to Nasa:
”Louis Pasteur in the 19th century suggested that the cyclical agent of plague, whatever it was, might lie very low until suddenly reactivated by a change in the climate. As early as the 16th century, the poet Thomas Nashe in the midst of a British plague lamented, ”From winter, plague and pestilence, good Lord, deliver us!” In fact, it is now recognized that wet, chilly weather stimulates the reproduction of the deadly bacterium that causes bubonic and pneumonic plague. Yet, the origin of the historical cycles of plague has remained obscure.
By statistically examining the occurrences of widespread plague that have been recorded throughout Western history, a curious coincidence emerges. A large number of these pandemics occurred shortly after a volcano underwent a huge eruption, according to GISS scientist Richard Stothers.
Mount Vesuvius in repose. A potential trigger of future plague?
Volcanoes have been known to spew sulfurous gases into the stratosphere, where the sulfur combines with water vapor to form sulfuric acid aerosols. These aerosols screen out some of the radiation coming from the Sun and so cool off the Earth’s surface. They also change the circulation patterns of the atmosphere, such that the northern jet stream moves farther south, bringing cold polar air down into midlatitudes, where Europe and the Middle East lie. These areas are the main reporting regions throughout most of Western history.
Large volcanic eruptions that took place in early times beyond the Mediterranean basin have been detected, indirectly, by the heavy fallout of stratospheric aerosols onto the polar ice caps. There the aerosols are incorporated into the year’s snow accumulation, which later becomes compacted into ice and, as such, remains preserved like a fossil. After drilling an ice core, scientists count the annual layers downward to determine the ages of the layers with an exceptionally high sulfur content. By this means, or from direct visual reports of eruptions, we know that the seven largest volcanic eruptions of roughly the past two millennia occurred in 44 BC and in AD 536, 626, 934, 1258, 1783, and 1815.
All of these eruptions were followed by stratospheric dry fogs that dimmed the Sun’s light, chilled the atmosphere, and led to an increase in the amount of precipitation. In each case, many food crops failed and a fatal pandemic, originating from a focus in Asia or Africa, spread throughout the Mediterranean area within one to five years after the eruption. It is believed that in at least five instances the contagion responsible for the mass mortality was true plague.
Not all plague pandemics, however, can be traced to large volcanic eruptions. This is not surprising, since prolonged wet, chilly weather can arise from other natural causes. Although the Black Death of 1348 in Europe is a case in point, this major exception is practically unique.”
My idea of an interpretation begins with the interpretation of the …. and ………th plagues, ……………………………………….., to be an outburst of plague, or any other epidemic, When grownups and older people had died en masse, including young people, the survivors had not died, because they had immunity. But then,
The children of Israel were told by Moses to rub their doors’ posts and frames in blood from the sheep they had slaughtered on the 14th day of Adir, the first month of the Exodus year. When the Angel of Death would pass by and seeing the blood, he would think the firstborns in those houses were already dead. Anyway, this is my explanation for the blood painted door frames. Now, this is of interest, also because there are parallells. During the Black Death, people painted big red crosses on the doors where people had died. Not blood, but red markings anyhow!
My opinion is, also, that there was not only one Angel that slew the firstborns of Egypt. There probably were several. Because Egypt’s so vast! And I guess quite a few human men to help them too in their deed. And those are the reasons I’d like to propose for the infanticide of Egypt – the Tenth Plague:
Either 1. That the Egyptians sacrificed their firstborns, both human and livestock.
Or. 2. The first born children were attacked by another plague following upon the first plague described as plagues number Five: Disease of Livestock, and Six: Boils on Humans as well as on Beasts. (Read my theory on the order of the 10 plagues!)
Or 3. There could be a combination.