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What are the various opinions regarding the efficacy of the magician's in the Exodus story?

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As you've probably heard, some indicate that they had real power; others that it was all sleight-of-hand. I believe Maimonides (Rambam) among others have the latter view, with the former view more traditional based on the literal reading (and various Aggada statements as well).

This is still debated by later commentaries as well.

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thanks....can anyone point me to the sources where these views are expressed? – Matthew Miller Nov 29 '10 at 16:51

See Masheches Sanhedrin 67b which discusses this.

There is an opinion which holds they did slight of hand(a form of kisuf) and the other makkos they used sheidim to gather items. See it inside for more info.

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