Concerning Tzphardea, Rabbi Hirsch 7 27 writes צפרדע can not mean crocodiles, otherwise there would have been no Egyptians left in the land. It is clear that they were only annoying creatures, not dangerous ones. Tradition has it that they were frogs.

How can he claim 'otherwise there would have been no Egyptians left in the land', they survived Arov, the mixed wild beasts? Is there any reason to assume they could survive Arov but not Tzphardea?

  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crocodile#Danger_to_humans seems relevant. – MTL Jan 12 '15 at 2:19
  • Read en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nile_crocodile#Hunting_and_diet, and you will find out why they are more dangerous than other predators. – Fred Jan 12 '15 at 2:23
  • @Fred i see nothing there that says crocs are more dangerous than lions and tigers and bears. This is from wiki apex predetor page Food chains are often far shorter on land, with the top of the food chain limited to the third trophic level, as where such predators as the big cats, crocodilians, hyenas, wolves, or giant constrictor snakes prey upon large herbivores. Apex predators do not need to be hypercarnivores. For example, humans[4] are both apex predators and omnivores.[5] – user6591 Jan 12 '15 at 2:44
  • @user6591 "The Nile crocodile is one of the most dangerous species of crocodile and is responsible for hundreds of deaths of humans every year... The attack is sudden and unpredictable... The immense bite force, which may be as high as 5,000 lbf (22,000 N) in large adults, ensures the prey item can't escape through the grip... Large adults sometimes take on larger prey such as giraffe, Cape buffalo, young hippos, and young elephants..." – Fred Jan 12 '15 at 2:50

The Pesukim tell us that the Tzefarde'a went into their homes, bedrooms, bodies and even ovens.

וְעָלוּ וּבָאוּ בְּבֵיתֶךָ וּבַחֲדַר מִשְׁכָּבְךָ וְעַל מִטָּתֶךָ וּבְבֵית עֲבָדֶיךָ וּבְעַמֶּךָ וּבְתַנּוּרֶיךָ וּבְמִשְׁאֲרוֹתֶיךָ

There was no place in Egypt to hide from them, hence "no Egyptians would have survived".

The Arov did not have as much access:

הִנְנִי מַשְׁלִיחַ בְּךָ וּבַעֲבָדֶיךָ וּבְעַמְּךָ וּבְבָתֶּיךָ אֶת הֶעָרֹב וּמָלְאוּ בָּתֵּי מִצְרַיִם אֶת הֶעָרֹב וְגַם הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר הֵם עָלֶיהָ

It seems the Egyptians were able to hide in their bedrooms and protect themselves from the Arov.


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