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Scriptural Encouragement

Tingo! The forgotten plague on Egypt

by Theodore Wright.
 

Where in the Scriptures does it say there were only ten plagues coming upon the Egyptians? What I find is that there were eleven plagues. This additional plague is not normally counted as a plague. Yet God said that He would bring “one more plague”. There is a plague between the usually counted ninth plague and commonly spoken of tenth plague upon the Egyptians that the Holy Bible speaks about. This plague is commonly counted as part of the tenth plague yet it is as a unique plague. I refer to this as the “pre-tenth plague”. Let us read the Biblical mention of this often excluded plague…
 

And the Lord said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will surely drive you out of here altogether. Speak now in the hearing of the people, and let every man ask from his neighbor and every woman from her neighbor, articles of silver and articles of gold.” – Exodus 11:1-2 (NKJV)

 

NO!  The plague after the darkness that came upon Egypt was not simply the death of the firstborn of the Egyptians. It was the “borrowing” of silver and gold jewelry from the Egyptians. Have you never read this before? How did you miss it? It is said in the passage that God told the Jews to borrow this jewelry. Well, did they? What you find is that the Jews did borrow the jewelry but they never returned to Egypt to return what they borrowed. There is a term describing such borrowing of items from someone’s house and not returning them. The term is “Tingo”.
 

TINGO

According to Adam Jacot de Boinod, the author of the book “The Meaning of Tingo”, we read…
 

“It’s called ‘The Meaning of Tingo’ and it’s about all the world’s most extraordinary, telling, thought-provoking, culturally informative, funny, wacky and bizarre words. TINGO itself is from Easter Island, and it means to borrow objects from a friend’s home one-by-one until there is nothing left.”

 

Sounds like a game now doesn’t it? Like Bingo! Yet, it was no game for the Egyptians. Still, the Jews certainly found it fun! Wouldn’t you? Still, I cannot say that the Jews did everything God told them to do about this. They never returned what they borrowed, did they now? With the laws of inheritance disrupted by the death of the Egyptian firstborn this could have become complicated for restitution.
 

I am only speaking about what is actually written or not written in the Bible. I see what can be called a “pre-tenth plague” coming upon the Egyptians in Scripture but I do not see a mention in the Bible that there were only ten plagues. Perhaps it is that when God said that he would “bring one more plague” that He meant a plague after this “plague of the borrowing”.
 

However, what I see is that when God said He would bring “one more plague”, that He would bring an additional plague besides the other ten, namely, the financial plague of the borrowing. Pharaoh thrusted the Israelites out of Egypt after the plague of the borrowing and during the time of the plague of the slaying of the firstborn. This is not necessarily the case but is another way of seeing it.
 

And the Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants and in the sight of the people. – Exodus 11:3 (NKJV)

 

The Jews received from the Egyptians the silver and gold. Yet, what kind of plague upon Egypt was “Tingo”? It was a financial plague. You never heard of a financial plague in the Bible before? Read Revelation 18:8-19 (NKJV) of another financial plague…
 

8 Therefore her plagues will come in one day—death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her. 9 “The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning, 10 standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’ 11 “And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore: 12 merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet, every kind of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble; 13 and cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and bodies and souls of men. 14 The fruit that your soul longed for has gone from you, and all the things which are rich and splendid have gone from you, and you shall find them no more at all. 15 The merchants of these things, who became rich by her, will stand at a distance for fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, 16 and saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls! 17 For in one hour such great riches came to nothing.’ Every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance 18 and cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What is like this great city?’ 19 “They threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and wailing, and saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth! For in one hour she is made desolate.’

 

I am not adding to the word of God by citing about the command of God for the Jews to “borrow” from the Egyptians. This is mentioned in Scripture and it is among the plagues that came upon Egypt. What is being sought here is to reveal the whole testimony of the Word of God. This is to address issues like when there is a list of the Ten Commandments. How often we need to quote what the Roman Catholic Church commonly leaves out, namely, Exodus 20:4-6…

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

 


We see, therefore, that the financial plague of the “borrowing” of the riches of the Egyptians by the Jews was commanded by God and was a plague counted together with the 10th plague upon Egypt during the time of Moses. It maybe referred together with the tenth plague yet acts as plague of its own and frequently unmentioned. Certainly not referred to as a plague, though perhaps should be.
 

During the Passover Seder, this plague is not spoken. Should you attend a Jewish Passover, as you mention each plague as you spill a small drop of wine, just before you all mention the tenth plague, saying “death of the firstborn”, shout “TINGO!”


 

 

 

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