Why did G-d punish the Egyptians with exactly 10 plagues, not less, not more? What is the significance of 10?


The Maharal in chapter 57 of Gevuros Hashem writes, in one approach, that the plagues were meant to correspond, and in a sense undo in Egypt, the 10 statements with which the world was created (Pirkei Avos 5:1). He goes through the correspondence and how each plague was removing one aspect of creation. So the significance of 10 was its correspondence to the 10 statement with which the world was created.

  • Can you source the Maharal? – Yehoshua Apr 1 '16 at 1:23
  • @sabbahillel in the future it would be appreciated to not make such edits without consulting the OP – Y     e     z Apr 1 '16 at 2:46
  • @Yehoshua Done. – Y     e     z Apr 1 '16 at 2:46
  • 1
    Possible addition: The Sefas Emes (beginning of Yisro) says that the 10 makos are the conduits through which the 10 statements (maamaros) of creation are turned into the 10 "commandments" (Torah: devarim / Chazal: diberos). It gave the material creation (olam gashmi) a reality/permanence (qiyum) by making it spiritual (ruchani). Also, R Eliezer Kitov (Sefer haParshios) actually lines up each set of 10. See summary table at chabad.org/media/pdf/378/Inyj3780757.pdf – Micha Berger Apr 1 '16 at 14:15

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