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We read about a couple of "sorcery contests" between Moses and Egyptians, first turning the rods into serpents and then through the first plagues.

Some well known facts:

  1. Egypt was a land of idol worshipers, including Pharaoh himself. Many different views here on what exactly they worshiped (sun, Nile, rams), but the surely were idolaters.
  2. Egyptians were professional magicians. They did their magic with either spells or use of demons (שדים). See Rashi on place (Shmot 7,10).
  3. They realized very early the limits of their magic.
  4. There were Kohanim for idol worship (incl Itroh!) that specialized exactly in that.
  5. The plagues were devastating and Egyptians suffered a lot.

I couldn't find a moment, though, when they should supposedly turn to their gods to ask for some help - maybe a collective prayer, a ritual, a sacrifice - nothing.

How this was possible? Is the story missing something?

  • It's probably not so natural to ask your gods to save you at a time when they themselves are shackled/degraded by the One you want them to save you from. – Loewian Jan 14 '18 at 1:23
  • The story follows Pharaoh; not random Egyptians. More accurately it follows Moshe in his interactions with Pharaoh. Accordingly, why do you think the absence is at all telling? – mevaqesh Jan 14 '18 at 3:26
  • @mevaqesh It is another inconsistency in the story of Exodus. We do see turning to K'mosh and Ba'al and other deities to save (like in Eliyahoo @ Karmel) but strangely in this story Pharaoh turns to sorcerers and not Kohanim of Idolatry (like Isroh that tried them all). This is weird. Do I understand you also could not find mentioning of this problem? – Al Berko Jan 14 '18 at 21:44
  • @AlBerko There are no inconsistencies whatsoever. In the case of Eliyahu at Har HaCarmel, the prayers of the Baal worshipers are an integral part of the story as they interact with Moshe, so of course they are mentioned. In the case of the Egyptians, they may well have prayed to their gods, and there is no reason to assume they didn't, but there is no reason for the Torah to tell us about that. – mevaqesh Jan 15 '18 at 4:02
  • @mevaqesh You're probably too familiar with the Torah text to objectively judge it.Torah mentions Ehyptians Kohanim several times in the story of the famine, but they disappear through the story of Exodus. What happened? What did Isroh did in this year, for example? What side was he on? What did other Kohanim do? Was it respectful for Moses to compete with sorcerers and not Kohanim? – Al Berko Jan 15 '18 at 16:11

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