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

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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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? ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Was the fire within each hailstone or within the hailstorm?

Vaera 9:23–24: וַיֵּט משֶׁה אֶת מַטֵּהוּ עַל הַשָּׁמַיִם וַה׳ נָתַן קֹלֹת וּבָרָד וַתִּהֲלַךְ אֵשׁ אָרְצָה וַיַּמְטֵר ה׳ בָּרָד עַל אֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם׃ וַיְהִי בָרָד וְאֵשׁ מִתְלַקַּחַת ...
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Why do all of them say that there were 5 times more plagues at the sea, instead of 1.5 times?

In the Haggadah it says: (text from WikiSource) רַבִּי יוֹסֵי הַגְּלִילִי אוֹמֵר: מִנַּיִן אַתָּה אוֹמֵר שֶׁלָּקוּ הַמִּצְרִים בְּמִצְרַיִם עֶשֶׂר מַכּוֹת וְעַל הַיָּם לָקוּ חֲמִשִּׁים מַכּוֹת? ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Why there were exactly 10 plagues?

Why did G-d punish the Egyptians with exactly 10 plagues, not less, not more? What is the significance of 10?
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How should one respond after each plague is named during the seder?

In the Haggadah, the Ten Plagues are recited, and a drop of wine is spilled for each one. However, in the Tunisian tradition (and maybe others), after the reader chants each plague, the others ...
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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, ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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Exodus 11:5 Why the firstborn?

Moses said, "Thus says the LORD, 'About midnight I am going out into the midst of Egypt, and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of the Pharaoh who sits on his throne, ...
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What was wrong with Pharoah?

How מכה after מכה,‎ פרעה could just go and still deny בנ"י the right to leave is preposterous. And maybe you’ll say ה'‏ hardened his heart- but this is only after the last five מכות; the first ...
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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 ...
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Timeline of the 10 plagues in exodus?

Do we have a chronological timeline (with years) of the 10 plagues? I'm trying to recreate a full timeline of the הגדה של פסח for the upcoming holiday, going from the arrival of Jacob and his family ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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
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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 ...
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Cover the Earth and you will not see

Why by the Locusts does it use the repetitive language: I will cover the eye of the land and you will not see it, if it is covered of course you can not see it? וְכִסָּה אֶת עֵין הָאָרֶץ וְלֹא יוּכַל ...
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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 ...
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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).
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“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 ...
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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 ...
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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.
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100 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 ...
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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' ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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
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What was the Plague of the Sword?

In the Haggadah you will find the following exegesis of part of Deuteronomy 26:8: וּבִזְרֹעַ נְטוּיָה. זוֹ הַחֶרֶב, כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְחַרְבּוֹ שְׁלוּפָה בְּיָדוֹ, נְטוּיָה ...