“Thus says Hashem, ‘By this you shall know that I am Hashem.’ See, I shall strike the water in the Nile with the rod that is in my hand, and it will be turned into blood.” Exodus 7:17 (The Israel Bible™)
A graphic reminder of the Biblical plagues that struck Egypt suddenly appeared on Monday in Indonesia when the normally pristine Bah Bolon River, a source of life-giving water for irrigation and drinking, turned bright blood-red. The river, normally teeming with life, became choked with dead fish.
Interestingly, the Bah Bolon is known to locals as “the King’s Bathhouse”. The river meanders through the city of Pematangsiantar before flowing through the outlying village where the people build their houses directly on its banks. The river is their life and their livelihood, as it waters their fields, provides fish, and is a popular tourist site for rafting. The residents build pools on the edges of the river in which to catch fish. The sudden, deadly change in the river has turned their once idyllic existence into a living hell.
“King’s Bathhouse” Turns Blood-Red
The seemingly inexplicable plague conforms exactly to the description of God’s punishment of Egypt in Exodus, which tells of the Nile turning to poison, killing all sea life.
And the fish in the Nile will die. The Nile will stink so that the Egyptians will find it impossible to drink the water of the Nile. Exodus 7:18
Some residents blame a yet-to-be-discovered source of industrial waste, but no one is really sure yet what caused this change. Another possible natural cause could be an algal bloom which occurs when specific conditions lead to uncontrolled growth of deadly forms of algae.
This disturbing phenomenon has appeared before, though in a totally different part of the world. The last reported occurrence was in September 2016 when the Daldykan River located in Russia above the Arctic Circle turned bright red. This instance was attributed to a chemical leak from a nearby metallurgical plant.
In April 2016, just before the holiday of Passover commemorating the plagues, special effects turned the Nile bright red in a photograph taken from space for a scientific study of the region.The significance was so obvious that even scientists remarked on it.
For the religious, the image of a blood-red river evokes a stark message. The Egyptians and Pharaoh worshiped the Nile as a god. Striking at the Egyptian River God was an irrefutable reminder to the Egyptians and to Pharaoh that no matter how advanced or powerful Man is, he will always be dependent and subservient to on his Creator.
For those seeking a more divine and Biblical source for the current dilemma, it cannot be attributed to Indonesian President Joko Widodo refusing to release his Hebrew slaves from the world’s largest Muslim majority nation, as the country is virtually Jew-free. There are estimated to be 20 Jews in the country of 260 million, not even enough to build the smallest of pyramids. Judaism is not recognized as one of the six officially sanctioned religions and Jews are forced to register as Christians.