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The chumash tells us that the magicians of Egypt were ale to replicate the plague of frogs:

Shemos 8:3

וַיַּעֲשׂוּ־כֵן הַחַרְטֻמִּים בְּלָטֵיהֶם וַיַּעֲלוּ אֶת־הַצְפַרְדְּעִים עַל־אֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם׃

"The sorcerers did likewise with their magic art, and made the frogs emerge upon the land of Egypt."

The next pasuk tells us that Pharaoh had requested Moshe to ask God to remove the frogs

Shemos 8:4

וַיִּקְרָא פַרְעֹה לְמֹשֶׁה וּלְאַהֲרֹן וַיֹּאמֶר הַעְתִּירוּ אֶל־יְהֹוָה וְיָסֵר הַצְפַרְדְּעִים מִמֶּנִּי וּמֵעַמִּי וַאֲשַׁלְּחָה אֶת־הָעָם וְיִזְבְּחוּ לַיהֹוָה׃

"Pharaoh called for Moshe and Aharon and said, “Pray to Adonoy, and let Him remove the frogs from me and from my people, and I will send the people to sacrifice to Adonoy.”

THE QUESTION: If the magicians of Egypt were able to replicate the plague of frogs, why was it necessary for Pharaoh to need God to remove them? Couldn't the magicians removed it the same way they (seemingly) made their replication go away.

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  • How do you know they removed their frogs?
    – magicker72
    May 10, 2023 at 11:55

1 Answer 1

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The Egyptian magicians were just illusionists. Many commentaries explain their limitations. For example, Sforno on Shemot 8:3 says they couldn't make ones that could reproduce. Midrash Lekach Tov on the same pasuk states they couldn't add or subtract from the frogs.

Basically, they couldn't really do this, it was some form of trick, and even if it was supernatural, they had no power to remove the frogs according to tradition.

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    Also note by blood the famous question why the fish had to die - which as to prove that what the mitzriyim were doing was only an illusion, whereas the makkah was real
    – Dov
    May 10, 2023 at 9:40
  • Yes @dov very good and also that Moshe asked Pharaoh when he should ask Hashem to remove the frogs so Pharaoh would know that it wasnt a coincidence or a time limit. Pharaoh chose the morning, a time when magic doesn't work to test this and Hashem, of course, passed his test
    – Rabbi Kaii
    May 10, 2023 at 10:00

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