Problem: The Egyptians gave pursuit on dead horses
Verses: Exodus 9:3-6, Exodus 14:7-9;
In the fifth plague upon the Egyptians, God sends a plague which kills all the Egyptians' livestock. And we are specifically told that this includes horses. This is Exodus 9:3-6:
behold, the hand of the LORD will fall with a very severe plague upon your livestock that are in the field, the horses
, the donkeys, the camels, the herds, and the flocks. But the LORD will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, so that nothing of all that belongs to the people of Israel shall die."'" And the LORD set a time, saying, "Tomorrow the LORD will do this thing in the land." And the next day the LORD did this thing. All the livestock of the Egyptians died
, but not one of the livestock of the people of Israel died. (ESV
Yet later on, Pharoah is able to assemble an army including both horsemen and hundreds of chariots (which are pulled by horses). This is Exodus 14:7-9:
he [Pharoah] took six hundred chosen chariots and all the other chariots of Egypt
with officers over all of them. And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the people of Israel while the people of Israel were going out defiantly. The Egyptians pursued them, all Pharaoh's horses and chariots and his horsemen
and his army, and overtook them encamped at the sea, by Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon. (ESV
As far as I know, chariots require at least two horses each, so we seem to have a 4-figure number of horses involved here - when it seems all the horses are already dead.
You sometimes see the claim that the "livestock" didn't included horses, but verse 9:3 specifically mentions them. A more sensible reply is that only horses "in the field" were killed, which left any number of horses left alive in stables. Perhaps some support for this view comes from Exodus 9:17-19 where we are told of another plague which only affected people and animals that were outdoors at the time.
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