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7

My favorite commentator when it comes to understanding the differences of meanings between words (that may seem like synonyms) is the Malbim. He has some wonderful and minute distinctions between such pairs, and he holds to them throughout his commentary on the Tanach. These small differences can open a wide world of new understandings. Luckily, he does ...


1

Far from a complete answer but perhaps "heavy" is not the best translation contextually of כבד which suggests instead more Pharaoh's incredible hubris (כבוד). That root seems to only appear in the initial stages of the confrontations, when direct divine intervention was not yet as necessary in order to incite his arrogant stubbornness.


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A possible way to understand the different usage is to look to the Targum Onkelos. In the examples you cite, Shemot 14:17 and Shemot 14:25: וַאֲנִ֗י הִנְנִ֤י מְחַזֵּק֙ אֶת־לֵ֣ב מִצְרַ֔יִם וְיָבֹ֖אוּ אַחֲרֵיהֶ֑ם וְאִכָּבְדָ֤ה בְּפַרְעֹה֙ וּבְכָל־חֵיל֔וֹ בְּרִכְבּ֖וֹ וּבְפָרָשָֽׁיו׃ וַיָּ֗סַר אֵ֚ת אֹפַ֣ן מַרְכְּבֹתָ֔יו וַֽיְנַהֲגֵ֖הוּ בִּכְבֵדֻ֑ת ...



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