Why does the Haggadah refer only to the 10th plague with "Makkat" and not by the other 9 plagues?

:אֵלּוּ עֶשֶׂר מַכּוֹת שֶׁהֵבִיא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא עַל־הַמִּצְרִים בְּמִצְרַיִם, וְאֵלוּ הֵן
דָּם, צְפַרְדֵּעַ, כִּנִּים, עָרוֹב, דֶּבֶר, שְׁחִין, בָּרָד, אַרְבֶּה, חשֶׁךְ,
מַכַּת בְּכוֹרוֹת

  • 2
    Perhaps some we refer to it differently.
    – Dr. Shmuel
    May 29, 2019 at 15:24
  • 2
    There's a Wikipedia page titled מכת דם so I'm not sure your premise is accurate
    – Double AA
    May 29, 2019 at 15:25
  • 1
    If you say "Bechorot" only, I guess it's hard to understand it is a plague. But saying Makkat Bechorot, everybody may understand it is quite bad.
    – Eli83
    May 29, 2019 at 15:32
  • 1
    @DoubleAA thus I refute thee youtube.com/watch?v=ZXp99kRUeIA
    – wfb
    May 29, 2019 at 16:02
  • 2
    @AlBerko In the hagada, for one place. It's a reasonable question, though the context could be made clearer.
    – Menachem
    May 29, 2019 at 23:26

2 Answers 2


The plague names are all for the substance of the plague. The plague came in the form of blood, frogs, etc. Bechorot would imply an infestation of firstborns.

  • 1
    I would change the last line into "BY firstborns themselves, not ON the firstborns."
    – Al Berko
    May 30, 2019 at 12:04

Another answer is based on a Gemara in Masechta Shabbos 87b - the Gemara there discusses exactly when the tenth plague began.

Tosafos brings a Midrash from Shemos Rabbah and notes the following:

כשלקחו פסחיהם באותה שבת נתקבצו בכורות אומות העולם אצל ישראל ושאלום למה היו עושין כך אמרו להן זבח פסח לה' שיהרוג בכורי מצרים הלכו אצל אבותיהם ואל פרעה לבקש ממנו שישלחו ישראל ולא רצו ועשו בכורות מלחמה והרגו מהן הרבה הה"ד למכה מצרים בבכוריהם

When they took their Pesachim, the firstborns of the nations gathered to Yisrael and asked what they were doing. They said, "It is a Pesach sacrifice to Hashem. He will kill the firstborns of Egypt". [The firstborns] went to their fathers and to Pharaoh, to ask him to send out Yisrael, and they did not want to. The firstborn made a war, and killed many [Egyptians]. The verse "l'Makeh Mitzrayim bi'Vchoreihem" (He strikes Mitzrayim through their firstborn) alludes to this.

So from Tosafos we see that it is called Makkas Bechoros because it specifically alludes to a civil war that went on that centred around the firstborns indicated by the word Makkah. Indeed refer to Rashi on Tehillim 136:10

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