How did Pharaoh prevent people from seeing him use the Bathroom at the Nile?

We know he went early morning, but what prevented others from seeing him?

A source for this information would be Highly appreciated.

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    I am under the Belief that he made a law not allowing people out in the morning I need a conformation or Denial. – Y.Stahl Dec 31 '10 at 5:16
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    Your question could be improved with the addition of the basis for your belief that Pharaoh didn't let people see him going to the bathroom. Can you quote a midrash? – Isaac Moses Dec 31 '10 at 5:21
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    The question could also be improved by sourcing the assertion that Paro relieved himself at the Nile (rather than, say, in an actually-private place with walls). – Monica Cellio Dec 11 '12 at 16:27

According to the midrash to which you allude (Sh'mos Raba 9:8), Par'o was intentionally hiding from people in order to lead them to the false conclusion that he was a deity. If so, I would assume he looked around to make sure there was nobody there before proceeding. He was looking for them but they were not looking for him. Moshe, on the other hand, had the advantage of having been told by Hashem that he could find Par'o at that place and time and therefore could more easily have snuck up on him.

Da'as Mikra actually goes a different route to explain why Par'o was out there in the morning, namely that he was just on a leisurely royal riverside stroll (in keeping with the Ibn Ezra and others), but emphasizes the ominous sneaking up nonetheless. It says that when Hashem instructed Moshe using the word "הנה יצא המימה" He was pointing to the spot by the river where Moshe should stand, implying that Moshe actually got there earlier in the morning than Par'o in order to stand threateningly with staff outstretched.

  • sounds interesting can you post the text or a Link? – SimchasTorah Dec 31 '10 at 6:27
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    I'll see what I can do. In the meantime, כל הקודם זוכה. – WAF Dec 31 '10 at 13:09

I heard a shi'ur that cited the Pa'ne'ach Raza giving three answers to this question:

  1. He actually wanted people to see him there because they would see him acting toward the river in a degrading way and treat him rather than it as a deity.
  2. Par'o enacted a law that no person should go outside before a defined hour in order to conceal his morning activities.
  3. He was actually out by the river for birding purposes - as is customary for kings - and therefore was sequestered in a kingly birding spot where most people didn't go.

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