1

R.Louis Ginzberg wrote in his book, Legends of the Jews 3:1:28-71

(40) ..... and I sent Moses and Aaron, My faithful messengers, to Pharaoh. When they came before the king of Egypt, they spake to him, 'Thus said the Lord, the God of Israel, Let My people go, that they may hold a feast unto Me in the wilderness.' In the presence of the kings of the East and of the West, the sinner began to boast, saying: 'Who is the Lord, that I should hearken unto His voice, to let Israel go? Why comes He not before me, like all the kings of the world, and why doth He not bring me a present like the others? This God of whom you speak, I know Him not at all. Wait and let me search my lists, and see whether I can find His Name.' But his servants said, 'We have heard that He is the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings.' Then Pharaoh asked My messengers, 'What are the works of this God?' and they replied, 'He is the God of gods, the Lord of lords, who created the heaven and the earth.' But Pharaoh doubted their words, and said, 'There is no God in all the world that can accomplish such works besides me, for I made myself, and I made the Nile river.

well, I read several midrash that mention that the pharaoh of Moses believed himself to be god. according to the passage of R.Louis Ginzberg, Pharaoh said: (There is no God in all the world that can accomplish such works" created the heaven and the earth" besides me, for I made myself)

Does anyone know where this specific Midrashic Passage can be found?

1

1 Answer 1

3

Midrash Tanchuma Vaera 5:

When they finally stood before Pharaoh, he said: “What do you desire?” Moses replied: The God of the Hebrews has sent me to you to say: Let My people go that they may serve Me (Exod. 7:16). He retorted angrily: “Who is the Lord, that I should hearken unto His voice? Does He not know enough to send me a crown? With reference to the matter concerning which you have come, I know not the Lord (ibid. 5:2).” R. Levi stated: He then took the list of gods and began to read: The god of Edom, the god of Moab, the god of Sidon, etc. And he said to them: “I have read the entire list, but the name of your God is not upon it.”

...

“Fool, these gods that you mentioned are all dead, but the Lord, the true God, is a living God, the King of the Universe.” Pharaoh asked them: “Is He young or old? How many cities has He captured? How many provinces has He humbled? How long has He been King?” They replied: “The strength and power of our God permeates the world. He was before the world was created, and He will be at the end of all worlds. He fashioned you and placed within you the breath of life.”

...

He said to them: “You have been speaking falsehood from the start! For I am the lord of the world, and I created myself and the Nile, as is written: The Nile is mine, I made it (Ezek. 29:3).” At that moment he gathered all the wise men of Egypt, and said to them: “Perhaps you have heard about the god of these?” They said to him: “We have heard that he is the son of wise men and the son of early kings.”

8
  • That's not exactly what the bolded text in the question is saying though?
    – setszu
    Jun 23, 2023 at 20:34
  • 1
    I would take that up with Rabbi Ginzberg.
    – shmosel
    Jun 23, 2023 at 20:38
  • Fair enough I guess
    – setszu
    Jun 23, 2023 at 20:42
  • If you mean "I made it" vs. "I made myself", it's translated both ways. The rest is probably interpretation.
    – shmosel
    Jun 23, 2023 at 20:42
  • Thank you. shmosel. let's assume then, that the words of R.Louis Ginzberg, paraphrase of M.Tanchuma. unless proved otherwise.
    – Ezra2020
    Jun 23, 2023 at 22:44

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .