# אצבע אלוקים היא - *how* many? [duplicate]

We all know the part of the seder in which we talk about how many makot were part of an אצבע (10) and how many were part of a יד (50).

But wait a minute. The phrase אצבע אלוקים היא was not told at the end of the ten makot. It was used after only three makot. Worse, it was only told about the single most recent maka of kinim.

So why are we multiplying ten by five to get fifty plagues at the Red Sea? Shouldn't we have only five, or at best fifteen?

• the kining is a proof for the previous and next makot Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 19:05
• Welcome to Mi Yodeya Daniel! Thanks for sharing the question. IIRC this question was asked by great Rishonim. You are in good company! Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 19:07
• @kouty But at the time they used the phrase, they couldn't know in advance how many more makot there would be. What if God had stopped after just one or two more? Wouldn't all the calculations be different? Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 19:13
• @mevaqesh Thanks. Do you know which ones and where? I've been asking this question of my local rabbis for two decades and haven't gotten an answer. Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 19:13
• @DavidKenner In the Torah, "אצבע אלוקים היא" is used in reference to a single plague: kinim. The first two plagues were reproducible/explainable by Pharaoh's magicians, but not this third one. They admitted that this really was the "finger of God". The Hagada compares the "finger of God" in the context of the ten makot to the "hand of God" mentioned at the Red Sea. A hand has 5 fingers, so 10 plagues x 5 fingers = 50 Red Sea "plagues". But there had only been 3 makot so far when the "finger" phrase was used, and the phrase was referring to only 1 of those 3. So either 3x5=15 or 1x5=5. Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 21:54