Hashem told The Bnei Yisroel to ask the Egyptians for "silver and gold" in Shemos, Chapter 11, Verse 2:

Please, speak into the ears of the people, and let them borrow, each man from his friend and each woman from her friend, silver vessels and golden vessels."
דַּבֶּר נָא בְּאָזְנֵי הָעָם וְיִשְׁאֲלוּ אִישׁ | מֵאֵת רֵעֵהוּ וְאִשָּׁה מֵאֵת רְעוּתָהּ כְּלֵי כֶסֶף וּכְלֵי זָהָב

In Shemos Chapter 12, Verse 35 it says that in addition to asking for "silver and gold" they asked for "garments":

And the children of Israel did according to Moses' order, and they asked the Egyptians silver objects, golden objects, and garments.
וּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל עָשׂוּ כִּדְבַר משֶׁה וַיִּשְׁאֲלוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם כְּלֵי כֶסֶף וּכְלֵי זָהָב וּשְׂמָלֹת

Why did the Bnei Yisrael deviate from what Hashem told them?

What can we learn from the discrepancy?

Furthermore, in Shemos Chapter 3, Verse 22 Hashem tells Moshe that in the future the Bnei Yisroel will ask for gold, silver and garments. He reports what will happen. Yet he did not include the "garments" in his command to Moshe for the Bnei Yisroel.

As it says:

Each woman shall borrow from her neighbor and from the dweller in her house silver and gold objects and garments, and you shall put [them] on your sons and on your daughters, and you shall empty out Egypt."

וְשָׁאֲלָה אִשָּׁה מִשְּׁכֶנְתָּהּ וּמִגָּרַת בֵּיתָהּ כְּלֵי כֶסֶף וּכְלֵי זָהָב וּשְׂמָלֹת וְשַׂמְתֶּם עַל בְּנֵיכֶם וְעַל בְּנֹתֵיכֶם וְנִצַּלְתֶּם אֶת מִצְרָיִם

  • 2
    And furthermore, Bnei Yisrael got out of Egypt for not adopting Egyptian mode of dress - why do they now want the clothes? Commented Jan 25, 2015 at 4:33
  • The word שְׂמָלֹ means more than just clothing - it appears by Eishet Yefas To'ar where Chazal say it refers to all the adornments they wear - jewelry and the like. So here we're emphasizing not ONLY did they take gold and silver objects/vessels, but also gold and silver jewelry/wearable items. Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 14:26
  • @yEz see the end of my answer, acording to it they still had a difference from the goyim
    – hazoriz
    Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 0:00

2 Answers 2


Chassam Soffer in Toras Moshe addresses the discrepancies of the lack of the clothing and the word vayinatzilu. He points to Rashi in Vayishlach 35 2 where the clothing we suspect of being from avoda zara. As such, Hashem couldn't command the Bnei Yisroel to take clothing that had pictures of avoda zara. This would also preclude emptying out all their gold and silver being that these would also have had pictures of avoda zara. However, after Hashem performed judgement on the avoda zara, the prohibition would not apply, and therefore we find Bnei Yisroel taking these items. There is a footnote explaining that we should assume the Chassam Soffer means that after Hashem did shfatim to the avoda zara, the Egyptians were mivatel them in disgust, making them muttar. The Chassam Soffer ends off by saying that even though we find Hashem in 3:22 saying that Bnei Yisroel will ultimately leave with these items, that was not a command, rather just Him telling what the outcome would be.


Kli Yokor (by Shemois 3.22) (my imperfect summary) asks the same question that in shemois 3.22 and 12.35 it says clothing but by 11.2 it does not and why put it on the children.
He answers that since they took it after the plague of the first born (they did not need it before since they were not going yet) the Egyptians were happy to give it (they forced the Jews to take it Brochois 9b) to them even without them asking for it since the plague was considered an epidemic and it is dangerous to take clothing from a house that has a possibility of "air change" (infection) but on the children so that they can trust that nothing bad will happen to them

enter image description here.
See the Baal Haturim enter image description here

@IsaacMoses brought the abridged Sifsai Chachomim regarding this I brought it here so that it will not get lost.

A summary.
(The Jew's point of view) gold and silver compared to clothing is not important (to mention)
(The Egyptian's point of view) when you do not have clothing; gold and silver is not so important (but you must mention the clothing since it is).

He also brought Rashi it might have been this on 12.35.

And garments: These meant more to them than the silver and the gold, and [thus] whatever is mentioned later in the verse is more esteemed. — [from Mechilta]

The full Sifsai Chachomim (ע)
enter image description here

Interesting side point Rabbi Moshe Heinamann on minute 00:30 brings a source saying that the clothing was put on children because they were too short for the parents.

You must log in to answer this question.

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