The plagues in Egypt preceding the exodus therefrom, as recounted in Exodus and elsewhere

learn more… | top users | synonyms

17
votes
1answer
635 views

Critical Jewish analysis of the Ipuwer papyrus

I just stumbled across information about the Ipuwer papyrus, and I was wondering how many Jewish Egyptologists have had an opportunity to review and study it at length. Other than this very brief ...
15
votes
2answers
454 views

What was the Arov?

The fourth plague is Arov commonly translated as wild beasts. The word I think most literally translates to "a collection" or in this case, maybe along the lines of "a swarm" (consider the word ...
11
votes
4answers
291 views

Did hardening Paro's heart mean he wasn't really responsible?

As a child I often wondered how, if God kept hardening Paro's heart after each plague, it could really be Paro's fault. It sounds like God was setting him up to fail, and while that's God's ...
10
votes
3answers
867 views

After the first plague, where did Paro's magicians get water to turn to blood?

Sh'mot chapter 7 describes the first plague, with the Nile and all other water turning to blood (except the Israelites' water). Paro's magicians then turn water into blood, which convinces Paro that ...
10
votes
3answers
122 views

Why is every 3rd plague (of the 10 brought on Pharoah) unnanounced?

It seems like every plague was warned by Moshe to Paroah except for the 3rd - lice, 6th - boils and 9th - darkness. Why is that? Is there something special about these plagues?
9
votes
3answers
317 views

What were the 300 plagues of the Exodus?

The הגדה says: במצרים לקו חמשים מכות, ועל הים לקו חמשים ומאתים מכות In Egypt, they were struck with 50 plagues, and by the Sea [of Reeds], they were struck with 250 plagues What were ...
9
votes
3answers
173 views

Why did Moshe and Aaron need to use a staff in initiating the plagues?

Why did Moshe and Aaron need to use a staff in initiating the plagues? Such as in שמות פרק ז פסוק יט: יט. וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל משֶׁה אֱמֹר אֶל אַהֲרֹן קַח מַטְּךָ וּנְטֵה יָדְךָ עַל מֵימֵי ...
8
votes
3answers
198 views

Why did the Mitzryim turn water into blood rather than vice versa?

Why didn't the Mitzryim magic makers just take away the blood from the first makkah to prove to Moshe that he was just doing magic and Hashem had nothing to do with it: why did they add blood (Exodus ...
8
votes
3answers
428 views

Why only beginning with the fourth plague is the exemption of the Jews mentioned?

In Moshe's warning to Pharaoh (in Hashem's name) of the fourth plague, arov, he adds (Ex. 8:18-19): וְהִפְלֵיתִי בַיּוֹם הַהוּא אֶת-אֶרֶץ גֹּשֶׁן אֲשֶׁר עַמִּי עֹמֵד עָלֶיהָ לְבִלְתִּי הֱיוֹת-שָׁם ...
7
votes
4answers
185 views

Splitting the Makot

The splitting of the Parshiot usually make, at least, some sense. However, in the next two Parshiot the plagues are split up (7 in the first, 3 in the second). Are there sources on why this may be? ...
7
votes
2answers
772 views

Ten plagues of Egypt: hail and pestilence

According to Moses, the fifth plague of Egypt killed all livestock except that of Israel. If all were killed, then why did Moses warn the Pharaoh to bring his cattle to shelter before the hail? The ...
7
votes
3answers
138 views

Why the extra words “who sits on his throne”, “who is behind the millstone”?

In Parshas Bo, 11:5, the Torah says: "Every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, to the firstborn of the slave-woman who is behind the ...
7
votes
1answer
196 views

Origin of Spilling Wine by 10 Plagues

The custom among all Jews (as far as I know) is to spill a drip of wine for each of the plagues as they are mentioned in a list in the haggadah. This custom is not mentioned anywhere in the Talmud (as ...
6
votes
2answers
123 views

If Hashem brought about Macos Bechoros by himself, with out any angel, then what is the משחית?

If Hashem brought about Macos Bechoros by himself, with out any angel, then what is the משחית that would not harm the Bnei Yisroel mentioned in Shemot Chapter 12, Verse 23? Premises based on the ...
5
votes
1answer
551 views

What is considered to be “firstborn”?

This is probably a bit pedantic and beside-the-point, but here goes: in Exodus 12 (I am reading the Jewish Publication Society translation), we have: 12 For I will go through the land of Egypt in ...
5
votes
1answer
140 views

Could the destroyer in Egypt discriminate?

In Rashi's comment to Shemos 12:22 we read ואתם לא תצאו וגו': מגיד שמאחר שנתנה רשות למשחית לחבל אינו מבחין בין צדיק לרשע …once permission has been given to the משחית (destroyer) to ...
4
votes
2answers
462 views

Why is Moshe concerned what the Pharaoh's astrologers will think of him in Shemot 11:4?

In Shemot 11:4, Moshe tells Pharaoh that the plague of the 1st born will begin at approximately midnight. Rashi explains that the reason Moshe said "approximately" is that if Moshe said exactly at ...
4
votes
3answers
216 views

Is the wine spilled at the Seder “cursed”?

As I recall, my mother usually discards the wine that is spilled at the Seder during the listing of the plagues. But I think she does this because, well, just because it's spilled wine and it is not ...
4
votes
2answers
138 views

Did the Jews in Egypt gain monetary benefit from the miracle of the first plague?

There is a well known Medrash Rabbah that the Jews during the Plague of Blood sold water to the Egyptians for exorbitant amounts of money. The question is how was this allowed as we have a rule that ...
4
votes
3answers
128 views

Why does Rashi question only the Darkness

Why does Rashi ask why the plague of darkness was brought upon them, but did not ask the same by any of the other plagues? Text of Rashi 10:22: ולמה הביא עליהם חשך, שהיו בישראל באותו הדור רשעים, ...
4
votes
1answer
152 views

The Frogs Plague [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Moshe cried out” - really? For this plague, the posuk says Moshe left and "cried out" (tzoak) to God that the plague should stop. Why did this plague affect ...
4
votes
1answer
88 views

Why did Pharaoh not think Moshe and Aaron were magicians?

BSD In this week's Parsha - Shemot Chapter 8 (וָאֵרָא), Pharaoh stands by as Moshe and Aaron perform all of the rites and 'signs' to Pharaoh. After each miracle, the Torah speaks of how Pharaoh's ...
4
votes
1answer
33 views

Were there specific locusts in reserve for the 8th plague?

Hashem's instructions to Moshe to bring the locusts reads as follows: וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל משֶׁה נְטֵה יָדְךָ עַל אֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם בָּאַרְבֶּה וכו And Hashem said to Moses, "stretch out your ...
4
votes
0answers
25 views

Did Pharaoh attempt to kill Moses during the plagues

Given that Moses was a wanted fugitive (Ex.2:15) and that he was destroying the land of egypt with the plagues, and a general nuisance to Pharaoh were there attempts to kill him by Pharaoh. (by for ...
4
votes
0answers
52 views

Why is every commandment and action in regards to the 10 plagues repeated?

When we read about the 10 plagues everything is repeated twice: once when Hashem commands Moshe and a second time when Moshe executes the plague. The Torah could simply write "and he did so" after ...
3
votes
6answers
131 views

Mnemonic of Rebbi Yehuda

The Haggadah tells us that Rebbi Yehuda came up with a mnemonic for remembering the Ten Plagues: Dtzach Adash B'Achav Why was the mnemonic necessary? It doesn't seem to me to be that difficult to ...
3
votes
4answers
106 views

Why does Pharaoh refer to the Plague of Locusts as death?

Why does Pharaoh refer to the Plague of Locusts as death? וְעַתָּה שָׂא נָא חַטָּאתִי אַךְ הַפַּעַם וְהַעְתִּירוּ לַי־הֹוָ־ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם וְיָסֵר מֵעָלַי רַק אֶת הַמָּוֶת הַזֶּה
3
votes
1answer
81 views

Why are crocodiles more deadly than all wild beasts?

Concerning Tzphardea, Rabbi Hirsch 7 27 writes צפרדע can not mean crocodiles, otherwise there would have been no Egyptians left in the land. It is clear that they were only annoying creatures, not ...
3
votes
2answers
89 views

Did Paro have an older brother?

The final plague struck down all the first-born males in Egypt. Paro was not struck down this way, so does that mean he had an older brother? If so, what happened to him that Paro, not the older ...
3
votes
5answers
146 views

The Plague of Darkness

This is a two fold question 1)The plaque of darkness has considerable commentary, however I have yet to find a rabbi who speaks about what created the darkness. Therefore, What created the darkness ...
3
votes
2answers
74 views

Was there lightning during the plague of hail?

Shmot 9:23 uses the word "Kolot", which means "noises" or "voices". I'm assuming, therefore, that this means thunder as this is a "noise". Scientifically, there is no thunder without lightning, ...
3
votes
2answers
72 views

Why should God punish the firstborn of another nation that was in Egypt?

The Pasuk describes the victims of the plague of the firstborn as follows: It came to pass at midnight, and the Lord smote every firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who ...
3
votes
1answer
90 views

Why does God need Moshe to deliver the 10 plagues?

Why does Hashem command Moshe to perform each macah (plague)? Hashem can perform the Macot himself (by sending malachim).
3
votes
1answer
23 views

“bechor hashifcha” and “bechor hashvi” — why the change? (Shemos 11:5, 12:29)

During leining today, I noticed that the Torah changes its wording, when describing the breadth of Makkas Bechoros -- when Pharaoh is warned, in Shemot 11:5, we have: וּמֵת כָּל בְּכוֹר בְּאֶרֶץ ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

How did the plague of blood work?

Here's what I know, based on my education in day school, about the plague of blood in Egypt. All water was turned to blood The only way for the Egyptians to get clean water was to purchase it from ...
3
votes
1answer
103 views

Did Moshe know beforehand that there would be 10 plagues?

I was wondering whether, before the first time Moshe went to Pharaoh, he knew that there would be 10 plagues, and what they would be.
3
votes
1answer
91 views

Why doesn't the hagadah discuss miracles? [closed]

The hagadah (based on the discussion of Rav and Shmuel in pesachim) dedicates the bulk of maggid to expounded the verses of arami oved avi. But why is there very little discussion of the actual ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

Spilling wine for Detzach, Adash, Be'Achav

I understand that we spill wine for the plagues. People died, they went through hardship, and it was not their fault. But.... immediately after spilling wine for the plagues, we say that R' ...
2
votes
0answers
39 views

9 plagues in response to Pharaoh's denial of G-d?

I once heard a Shiur where the Rabbi said that originally there were not going to be 10 plagues, Just the threat of death of Egyptian firstborns should Pharaoh not listen. It was only once Pharaoh ...
1
vote
3answers
85 views

Why does the Haggadah interpret ביד חזקה as referring to דבר?

Why does the Haggadah interpret ביד חזקה (strong hand) as referring to the plague of דבר (pestilence)? Why don’t the other plagues demonstrate a strong hand?
1
vote
2answers
143 views

רַבִּי יְהוּדָה הָיָה נוֹתֵן בָּהֶם סִמָּנִים: דְּצַ“ךְ עַדַ”שׁ בְּאַחַ"ב

רַבִּי יְהוּדָה הָיָה נוֹתֵן בָּהֶם סִמָּנִים: דְּצַ"ךְ עַדַ"שׁ בְּאַחַ"ב. We call the last Makah "Makas Bechoros" - why didn't Rabbi Yehuda say בְּאַחַ"ם
0
votes
1answer
80 views

Plague of darkness: if he was standing, he was unable to sit?

Rashi on Shemot 10:22 states: ויהי חשך אפלה שלשת ימים וגו': חשך של אופל שלא ראו איש את אחיו אותן שלשת ימים. ועוד שלשת ימים אחרים חשך מוכפל על זה, שלא קמו איש מתחתיו. יושב אין יכול לעמוד, ועומד ...
0
votes
3answers
51 views

How did the plagues symbolize God's rule?

I once heard that the ten plagues were supposed to reveal how God rules over everything. Does anyone have a source that explains this in detail: how each plagues revealed one aspect of this?
0
votes
0answers
37 views

Animals in the plague of 'Arov'

Where is the source that wild animals even from different habitats came to Egypt to attack the locals? Is it a Medrash, if so, where?
0
votes
1answer
48 views

When did the plague of vermin stop?

The plague of vermin or lice is not said to have stopped in the verses, (Ex 8:12-15). When, if at all, did it stop?
-8
votes
3answers
177 views

If water can be turned into blood, do Jews believe in modern science?

Exodus 7:20 states that in a few seconds the water in the Nile was turned into blood. Modern science says that this is almost impossible based on how it was described in the torah. No chemicals were ...