Ezekiel 29:3:

"Speak these words: Thus said the Sovereign GOD:
I am going to deal with you, O Pharaoh king of Egypt,
Mighty monster, sprawling in your channels,
Who said,
My Nile is my own;
I made it for myself."

According to Bereshit Rabbah 100:1, The pharaoh referred to, is the pharaoh of the Exodus!

“Know that the Lord is God” (Psalms 100:3) – Rabbi Yehuda bar Simon and Rabbi Aḥa, Rabbi Yehuda bar Simon said: “Know that the Lord is God, He made us, and we did not [velo]” (Psalms 100:3) create ourselves, unlike Pharaoh, who said: “My river is mine and I made myself” (Ezekiel 29:3). Rabbi Aḥa said: “Know that the Lord is God, He made us and to Him [velo]” we devote ourselves.

This is repeated in other midrash as well. e.g.,

Midrash Tanchuma Buber, Vaera 8:1:

Another interpretation (of Exod. 7:1) SEE, I HAVE SET YOU AS A GOD TO PHARAOH. The Holy One said: Because he made himself into a god, they informed him that he was nothing in the world. See, I have made you a god over him. And where is it shown that Pharaoh made himself into a god? Where it is stated (of Pharaoh in Ezek. 29:3): {BECAUSE HE} [WHO] SAID {THE} [MY] NILE IS MY OWN, AND I MADE MYSELF. I am the one who created myself.

As well as: Mekhilta DeRabbi Yishmael, Tractate Amalek 3:40; Mekhilta DeRabbi Shimon Ben Yochai...etc.

Why did the Rabbis refer to the pharaoh of Ezekiel as the pharaoh of Exodus?

  • See judaism.stackexchange.com/a/13656/18471.
    – Meir
    Commented May 2 at 14:45
  • @Meir. thank you for sharing the page. so, the midrash lumps the Pharaoh's characteristic of Ezekiel, and says that the Pharaoh of Exodus, represents this idea ( yet the midrash never applied this typology on other pharaohs except the one of the Exodus). any other examples where the midrash imported characteristics of other pharaohs outside the exodus, and applied them to the pharaoh of the Exodus?
    – Saul57
    Commented May 2 at 15:24
  • What Meir is saying is correct. There are angelic agents over each of the gentile nations. The beginning of this chapter states that the Prophet is to focus his prophetic vision on this specific angel. This concept is a big part of the text called Perek Shirah attributed to either King David or his son, King Solomon. Commented May 2 at 18:52

1 Answer 1


Meir has brought an answer that has all the information you need to answer the question.

Firstly, the Bereshit Rabbah doesn't seem to mention anything about the Exodus? Just want to get that out of the way.

However the other midrash does, but that's because when the Torah doesn't give a name, it is telling us a unified idea (based on Zohar II, 34a). In this case, it is the idea that the Pharaohs of Egypt represent the concept of supreme arrogance, to the point of feeling they are disconnected from Hashem, and indeed made themselves, and Ezekiel is Hashem's response to this.

It doesn't matter which Pharoah you pick, but we do have a lot of material on the Pharaoh of Egypt, so the midrash draws information to substantiate and expand on its lesson.

This is what midrash does. It isn't necessarily saying "the Pharaoh in Ezekiel 29 is the one from the Exodus" as some sort of historical fact, but as a "drash", i.e. an interprative lesson.

Interestingly, the Pharaohs didn't refer to themselves as such, but rather as "kings", which supports this interpration. The Torah is viewed as the main reason we call them such in today's day. Much of what we know from historical data about the Pharaohs of this time corroborates this Zohar that the Pharaohs viewed themselves as gods.

  • If you check the profile, you will see this is apparently another Christian missionary. There have been a rash of them lately at MiYodeya. My suggestion would be to ignore the urge to answer. The question is likely disingenuous. Commented May 2 at 18:43
  • @YaacovDeane I have had a discussion with Saul and am taking him at face value for now.
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented May 2 at 18:47
  • Do you understand my comment to the question? That this is dealing with the angelic agent appointed over that particular gentile nation. Looking at the preceding and following chapters, it is obvious. Commented May 2 at 18:58
  • @YaacovDeane I will look into it bn, thank you
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented May 2 at 19:10
  • 1
    @Rabbi Kaii. ِ In fact I'm not a Christian missionary, I'm seeking help against Christian missionaries.
    – Saul57
    Commented May 2 at 20:51

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