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FIRSTBOR 7'2m0f The link between passover and tenth plague

PHARAOH -- (enters, paces floor)

ADVISOR -- (enters, kneels) Oh, great Pharaoh, king of Egypt, 
may you live forever...

PHARAOH -- (impatient) ...yes, yes, get on with it. What did you 
find out?

ADVISOR -- (stands) Well, Your Majesty, we still haven't been 
able to figure out how he's done it, but in the nine plagues,
this man Moses seems to be systematically attacking everything 
we Egyptians hold sacred.

PHARAOH -- Yes, yes, of course! I've been so busy stepping over 
frogs and cleaning up locusts that I've failed to notice. He 
started with the River Nile. We worship the River Nile as a god.

ADVISOR -- Yes, Your Majesty, and the frogs and the gnats and 
the other animals that we Egyptians hold sacred.

PHARAOH -- (paces) But why? Why is Moses doing this?

ADVISOR -- So, that you will let his people go...

PHARAOH -- ... I know that! I'm not talking about that. Of all 
the things he could do to try to convince me to let his people 
leave Egypt, why pick on the things that we hold sacred?

ADVISOR -- It's not just that they're sacred that he chose them, 
but they're the things we Egyptians fear the most. Our folk lore 
is filled with references to the uncontrolled power of the river 
when it floods and the devastations of the previous plagues of 
frogs, gnats and locusts. This is why we worship them as gods, 
to appease them. This man Moses seems to know a great deal about 
our history and our folk lore.

PHARAOH -- (paces) Yes, yes, of course. There's nobody among the 
Jews who knows Egypt better than he does. If he hadn't run away 
to Midian forty years ago, HE would be king of Egypt today 
instead of me. (stops) But you still haven't explained what the 
Jews are up to. What's this business about the lambs?

ADVISOR -- The lambs, yes. Well, I can only tell you what has 
been told to me, Your Majesty. They're talking about another 
plague.

PHARAOH -- ANOTHER plague? What plague is left? Moses has 
exhausted the list of animals that we fear.

ADVISOR -- They're talking about a passover.

PHARAOH -- A passover. A passover of what? Birds? Bats? (paces) 
Yes, that's it. It must be birds or bats next. Or maybe both. 
It's just about the only plague he hasn't perpetrated upon us. 
But what do birds or bats have to do with lambs?

ADVISOR -- All we know is that every Jewish family has taken a 
young lamb to live in the house for the last week as a pet. 

PHARAOH -- A lamb as a pet?

ADVISOR -- Yes, but the last I heard from Goshen was that the 
head of each house is now slaughtering his family's lamb.

PHARAOH -- Slaughtering it?! But why? That makes no sense. Why 
become emotionally attached to the lamb and then kill it?

ADVISOR -- We're not sure. But fortunately for us, this religion 
of theirs always works in patterns. We think that this ritual is 
a repeat of a legend of one of their ancestors, a man named 
Abraham. He was commanded to sacrifice his first born son to 
their god, but at the last minute a wild ram was substituted for 
his first born son.

PHARAOH -- I don't see the connection.

ADVISOR -- We think there's going to be a sacrifice of first 
born sons again.

PHARAOH -- What?!

ADVISOR -- We think that by slaughtering a lamb in advance, they 
won't lose their first born sons in the passover.

PHARAOH -- There's that word again, passover. What is going to 
pass over? Is there anything in the legends of Abraham about 
birds or bats?

ADVISOR -- Not that we can find. 

PHARAOH -- (paces) We've got to find out what's going to 
pass over. 

ADVISOR -- Or who.

PHARAOH -- Who? Are you saying we may not be talking about birds 
or bats?

ADVISOR -- Well, in another legend about this ancestor of 
theirs, Abraham was involved with angels of death who passed 
over two sinful cities and rained down fire on them.

PHARAOH -- That was no legend. That really happened. The ashes 
of Sodom and Gomorrah are still reported by travelers from 
Caanan to this day. (paces) We have the strongest army in the 
world, but we have no defenses against fire from the sky. Can't 
we do something?

ADVISOR -- You could let the Jews leave Egypt.

PHARAOH -- (stops, points) No! Egypt is the greatest nation in 
the world. If we let our slaves tell us what to do, we will be a 
laughing stock for the world. No. We will not let them go. The 
Jews belong to Egypt.

ADVISOR -- But, what about the sacrifice of the first born sons 
to their god?

PHARAOH -- I am Pharaoh, king of Egypt. I am their God. They 
have no other god but me.

ADVISOR -- Yes, Your Majesty.

PHARAOH -- (whisks him away) Go! Take my family and put them in 
the wine cellar. There's no way fire from the sky will reach 
them down there. 

ADVISOR -- Yes, Your Majesty. (turns)

PHARAOH -- And put extra guards around my family, just in case 
the Jews try to kill my first born in the name of their god. Go!

ADVISOR -- (bows as he exits) Yes, Your Majesty.

PHARAOH -- (to self as he paces) We have survived nine plagues 
and Egypt is still the strongest nation on earth. We can survive 
the passover of a few birds. Those Jews will learn who their god 
really is. 

ADVISOR -- (enters, kneels) Oh, great Pharaoh, king of Egypt, 
may you live forever...

PHARAOH -- ...I thought I told you to go and fortify my family.

ADVISOR -- It's too late, you're majesty.

PHARAOH -- Too late? What do you mean it's too late?

ADVISOR -- The passover has already happened.

PHARAOH -- What do you mean it's already happened? I didn't hear 
any birds. I certainly didn't see any fire falling from the sky.

ADVISOR -- Nonetheless, Your Majesty, my first born son is dead.

PHARAOH -- Oh, I'm sorry.

ADVISOR -- And so is your son. 

PHARAOH -- My son. (sinks to knees) Oh, no. 

ADVISOR -- Every first born son in all of Egypt is dead.

PHARAOH -- My son, the heir to my throne is dead.

ADVISOR -- Yes. They're all dead.

PHARAOH -- What about the Jews?

ADVISOR -- I'm told that the reason they killed their pet lambs 
was so that they could smear the lamb's blood on the door 
frames.

PHARAOH -- I... I don't understand. How...

ADVISOR -- When the angel of death passed over, he spared the 
first born son in every house with lamb's blood on the door 
frame.

PHARAOH -- So, there really was an angel of death.

ADVISOR -- Yes. And if we had only known about the power of the 
blood of the lamb, our sons would be alive.

PHARAOH -- (whisks him away with his hand) Go. Tell the Jews 
they must leave egypt.

ADVISOR -- But you said...

PHARAOH -- (stands) ...I said I was a their god, but I am no 
match for the great God of Israel. Go! Tell them to leave my 
land. (exits)

ADVISOR -- (exits opposite bowing) Yes, Your Majesty.

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