Gawd beats the shit out of the Egyptians in Exodus.... WHY???
So why did God do it?
God starts planning the mass murder in Chapter 3 of Exodus, and he doesn't stop talking about it until he kills every Egyptian firstborn child (estimated to be about 1,000,000) and firstborn animal in Exodus 12.
It seems that he did it mostly just to show off.
To show off his signs and wonders:
I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders. Exodus 3:20
I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt ...
And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD. Exodus 7:5-7
Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him: Exodus 10:1
And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt. Exodus 11:9
To show what he can do:
Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh. Exodus 6:1
To show that there is nobody else on earth quite like him:
For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth. Exodus 9:14
To make himself famous (so that everyone will know his name):
That my name may be declared throughout all the earth. Exodus 9:16
To give us a story to tell our children and grandchildren:
That thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son's son, what things I have wrought in Egypt. Exodus 10:2
To show that the whole earth belongs to him:
That thou mayest know how that the earth is the LORD's. Exodus 9:29
To prove that he is God:
In this thou shalt know that I am the LORD. Exodus 7:17
That ye may know how that I am the LORD. Exodus 10:2
To show that he likes Israelites more than Egyptians:
That ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel. Exodus 11:7
But WHY he likes the Isrealites more than the Egyptians is never explained
And to punish the Egyptian Gods:
Against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment. Exodus 12:12
Well, I guess those motives are about as good as any for a mass murder.
In any case, God is clearly proud of this one. And it's no wonder. It wasn't all that easy to pull off, even for God.
God had to harden the Pharaoh's heart eight times (Exodus 4:21; 7:3, 13; 9:12; 10:1, 20, 27; 11:10) to make it all work out as planned.