Devastating epidemic that OT writers understand to be sent by God (Exod 9:15; Jer 15:2; Hab 3:5; Amos 4:10), sometimes by means of a destroying angel (2 Sam 24:16; 1 Chron 21:15). God sent pestilence as punishment for persistent unbelief (Num 14:21) and failure to fulfill covenant obligations (Deut 28:21) as well as to encourage repentance (Amos 4:10). God withheld
pestilence from Egypt to allow for survivors to witness to His acts of liberation (Exod 9:16). Earnest prayer averted pestilence (1 King 8:37); fasting and sacrifice without repentance did not (Jer 14:12). Pestilence is often associated with war and siege conditions (Exod 5:3; Lev 26:25; Amos 4:10: Luke 21:11).