In my Haggadah,1 I see the following text, in the section expounding Arami Oved Avi:

וָרָב. כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: רְבָבָה כְּצֶמַח הַשָּׂדֶה נְתַתִּיךְ, וַתִּרְבִּי וַתִּגְדְּלִי וַתָּבֹאִי בַּעֲדִי עֲדָיִים, שָׁדַיִם נָכֹנוּ וּשְׂעָרֵךְ צִמֵּחַ, וְאַתְּ עֵרֹם וְעֶרְיָה. וָאֶעֱבֹר עָלַיִךְ וָאֶרְאֵךְ מִתְבּוֹסֶסֶת בְּדָמָיִךְ, וָאֹמַר לָךְ בְּדָמַיִךְ חֲיִי, וָאֹמַר לָךְ בְּדָמַיִךְ חֲיִי.

"And many," as it says, "Plentiful like the grass of the field have I placed you, and you grew up and reached maturity, firm breasts and sprouting hair, yet you were naked and bare. And I passed over you and saw you wallowing in your blood, and I said to you, 'In your blood you will live,' and I said to you, 'In your blood you will live.'"

These pesukim are taken from Yechezkel 16:6-7, but the order of the pesukim is swapped: "Plentiful like the grass" is v. 7, while "And I passed over you" is v. 6.

  1. Why does the Haggadah (and the Midrashim from which it's quoting) quote these Pesukim backwards?
  2. The Haggadah is trying to prove that the Jews were plentiful in Mitzraim. What does v. 6 add to this? Just quote "Plentiful like the grass of the field," and its point will be made; why does it quote "And I passed over you"?

1 Your edition may vary; I'm using the text found in Oz Vehadar's Mesivta Haggadah, Artscroll's Youth Haggadah, Sefaria's Haggadah, and Sefaria's Edos HaMizrach Haggadah.

  • They became a great nation but were void of mitzvos, then they got the blood of milah and pesach
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 20:26
  • @Dr.Shmuel Then perhaps the question should be the other way: why doesn't v. 6 appear after v. 7 in the original text? Anyway, your explanation doesn't answer my second question.
    – DonielF
    Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 20:29
  • because this is not only to discuss that they were plentiful in mitzrayim, but also that they were redeemed through this blood process of mitzvos
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 20:33
  • The time of redemption arrived but they were void of mitzvos, so god gave them pesach and mila on 14th (Kol bo)
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 20:34
  • @Dr.Shmuel What does the dam milah and dam Pesach have anything to do with ורב? I understand the simple meaning of the words and to what the metaphor refers; what does that have anything to do with the topic at hand?
    – DonielF
    Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 20:35

1 Answer 1


Yaavetz writes that the second part wasn’t necessarily originally there.1

לכן היה מנהגו של אבי מורי הגאון ז״ל לומר כאן ואעבר עליך ואראך מתבוססת בדמיך ואומר לך בדמיך חיי ואומר לך בדמייך חיי וכך אנו נוהגין אחריו מכל מקום לא העמדנוהו בפנים באשר לא ראיתיו עד הנה כתוב על ספר ושלא לא ליתן פתחון פה לבעל דין לחלוק בהיותו שלא כסדר הכתובים.

  1. Rambam’s text equally excludes 16:6.
  • This is exactly why I said in the OP that "your edition may vary." I knew someone was going to find a text sooner or later that avoids the question by not including v. 6, which is why I ask specifically according to this text.
    – DonielF
    Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 21:00
  • Is seems obvious that it was added in for the reasons stated above in the comments although it does not have much to do particularly with be physically big it is in nice tune with the nights theme
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 21:03
  • עיקר חסר מן הספר?
    – DonielF
    Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 21:03
  • I will say an additional thought. It seems none of the rishonim I am looking at had it, however they mention (or cite) it because it is so relevant thematically
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 21:05
  • As for the ‘backwardsness” of the pesukim - it not, V 6 is in its place based on the order of the perek, and v7 is only the beginning of the rest of the recounting in the perek. Read some of the commentaries perhaps for more insight.
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 21:11

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