The Stack Overflow podcast is back! Listen to an interview with our new CEO.

Questions tagged [plagues-makkos]

The plagues in Egypt preceding the exodus therefrom, as recounted in Exodus and elsewhere

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
19
votes
1answer
831 views

Critical Jewish analysis of the Ipuwer papyrus

I just stumbled across information about the Ipuwer papyrus, and I was wondering how many Jewish Egyptologists have had an opportunity to review and study it at length. Other than this very brief ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

What was the Arov?

The fourth plague is Arov commonly translated as wild beasts. The word I think most literally translates to "a collection" or in this case, maybe along the lines of "a swarm" (consider the word "...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

After the first plague, where did Paro's magicians get water to turn to blood?

Sh'mot chapter 7 describes the first plague, with the Nile and all other water turning to blood (except the Israelites' water). Paro's magicians then turn water into blood, which convinces Paro that ...
14
votes
3answers
407 views

Why is every 3rd plague (of the 10 brought on Pharoah) unannounced?

It seems like Moshe warned Pharoah of every plague except the 3rd (lice), 6th (boils) and 9th (darkness). Why is that? Is there something special about these plagues?
13
votes
4answers
447 views

Did hardening Paro's heart mean he wasn't really responsible?

As a child I often wondered how, if God kept hardening Paro's heart after each plague, it could really be Paro's fault. It sounds like God was setting him up to fail, and while that's God's ...
13
votes
1answer
437 views

2.4 million killed according to Rashi in B'shalach. Why does no one talk about it?

In the begining of Parshat B'shalach, Rashi says that one p'shat for "Vachamushim" means one fifth, because during Makas Choshech, 4 out of 5 were killed out, and it happened during the time it was ...
10
votes
4answers
291 views

Why did the Mitzryim turn water into blood rather than vice versa?

Why didn't the Mitzryim magic makers just take away the blood from the first makkah to prove to Moshe that he was just doing magic and Hashem had nothing to do with it: why did they add blood (Exodus ...
10
votes
3answers
909 views

What were the 300 plagues of the Exodus?

The הגדה says: במצרים לקו חמשים מכות, ועל הים לקו חמשים ומאתים מכות In Egypt, they were struck with 50 plagues, and by the Sea [of Reeds], they were struck with 250 plagues What were ...
10
votes
3answers
292 views

Why did Moshe and Aaron need to use a staff in initiating the plagues?

Why did Moshe and Aaron need to use a staff in initiating the plagues? Such as in שמות פרק ז פסוק יט: יט. וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל משֶׁה אֱמֹר אֶל אַהֲרֹן קַח מַטְּךָ וּנְטֵה יָדְךָ עַל מֵימֵי ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Why the Ten Plagues (blood, frogs, lice, etc.) specifically?

Why did G-d specifically choose to punish the Egyptians with the plagues of blood, frogs, lice, wild animals, pestilence, boils, locusts, hail, darkness, and the death of all firstborns?
9
votes
1answer
97 views

Why are the 10 plagues in this specific order?

Is there a specific reason for the sequence of the plagues? Why the plague of blood is followed by the plague of frogs, for example?
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Ten plagues of Egypt: hail and pestilence

According to Moses, the fifth plague of Egypt killed all livestock except that of Israel. If all were killed, then why did Moses warn the Pharaoh to bring his cattle to shelter before the hail? The ...
8
votes
3answers
173 views

Why the extra words “who sits on his throne”, “who is behind the millstone”?

In Parshas Bo, 11:5, the Torah says: "Every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, to the firstborn of the slave-woman who is behind the ...
8
votes
2answers
212 views

If Hashem brought about Macos Bechoros by himself, with out any angel, then what is the משחית?

If Hashem brought about Macos Bechoros by himself, with out any angel, then what is the משחית that would not harm the Bnei Yisroel mentioned in Shemot Chapter 12, Verse 23? Premises based on the ...
8
votes
1answer
577 views

Origin of Spilling Wine by 10 Plagues

The custom among all Jews (as far as I know) is to spill a drip of wine for each of the plagues as they are mentioned in a list in the haggadah. This custom is not mentioned anywhere in the Talmud (as ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Why only beginning with the fourth plague is the exemption of the Jews mentioned?

In Moshe's warning to Pharaoh (in Hashem's name) of the fourth plague, arov, he adds (Ex. 8:18-19): וְהִפְלֵיתִי בַיּוֹם הַהוּא אֶת-אֶרֶץ גֹּשֶׁן אֲשֶׁר עַמִּי עֹמֵד עָלֶיהָ לְבִלְתִּי הֱיוֹת-שָׁם ...
8
votes
1answer
108 views

How did the messengers to Moshe and Aharon manage to get to them through the hail?

During the plague of hailstones, Paroh calls Moshe and Aharon. Shmos 9 (27). וַיִּשְׁלַ֣ח פַּרְעֹ֗ה וַיִּקְרָא֙ לְמֹשֶׁ֣ה וּֽלְאַהֲרֹ֔ן וַיֹּ֥אמֶר אֲלֵהֶ֖ם חָטָ֣אתִי הַפָּ֑עַם ה׳ הַצַּדִּ֔יק ...
7
votes
4answers
438 views

Splitting the Makot

The splitting of the Parshiot usually make, at least, some sense. However, in the next two Parshiot the plagues are split up (7 in the first, 3 in the second). Are there sources on why this may be? ...
7
votes
1answer
277 views

Question about Shemot, locusts

I have a question that I've asked to multiple rabbis but that remains unanswered: Dear Rabbi:  Question about Parasha. In Exodus 10:19 the locusts enter the Red Sea. What is the connection ...
7
votes
2answers
738 views

What is considered to be “firstborn”?

This is probably a bit pedantic and beside-the-point, but here goes: in Exodus 12 (I am reading the Jewish Publication Society translation), we have: 12 For I will go through the land of Egypt in ...
7
votes
3answers
147 views

Why do all of them say that there were 5 times more plagues at the sea, instead of 1.5 times?

In the Haggadah it says: (text from WikiSource) רַבִּי יוֹסֵי הַגְּלִילִי אוֹמֵר: מִנַּיִן אַתָּה אוֹמֵר שֶׁלָּקוּ הַמִּצְרִים בְּמִצְרַיִם עֶשֶׂר מַכּוֹת וְעַל הַיָּם לָקוּ חֲמִשִּׁים מַכּוֹת? ...
7
votes
1answer
53 views

Why is the word “Makkat” added to 10th plague of Bechorot?

Why does the Haggadah refer only to the 10th plague with "Makkat" and not by the other 9 plagues? :אֵלּוּ עֶשֶׂר מַכּוֹת שֶׁהֵבִיא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא עַל־הַמִּצְרִים בְּמִצְרַיִם, וְאֵלוּ הֵן ...
7
votes
2answers
250 views

Could the destroyer in Egypt discriminate?

In Rashi's comment to Shemos 12:22 we read ואתם לא תצאו וגו': מגיד שמאחר שנתנה רשות למשחית לחבל אינו מבחין בין צדיק לרשע …once permission has been given to the משחית (destroyer) to damage, ...
6
votes
10answers
633 views

The Plague of Darkness

This is a two fold question 1)The plaque of darkness has considerable commentary, however I have yet to find a rabbi who speaks about what created the darkness. Therefore, What created the darkness ...
6
votes
1answer
168 views

What kind of blood did the Nile turn into?

One of the ten plagues that Moses unleashes on Egypt in the Book of Exodus is to make the Nile river run red with blood (Exodus 7:20). My question is, is there any information, either in the Torah ...
6
votes
1answer
87 views

What happened to the Nile in the week following the first plague?

According to the tosafist R' Yosef Bechor Shor, as cited in answers here and here, the Nile turned to blood only long enough to kill all the fish and then it turned back to water (which was now fouled ...
5
votes
2answers
245 views

Was the fire within each hailstone or within the hailstorm?

Vaera 9:23–24: וַיֵּט משֶׁה אֶת מַטֵּהוּ עַל הַשָּׁמַיִם וַה׳ נָתַן קֹלֹת וּבָרָד וַתִּהֲלַךְ אֵשׁ אָרְצָה וַיַּמְטֵר ה׳ בָּרָד עַל אֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם׃ וַיְהִי בָרָד וְאֵשׁ מִתְלַקַּחַת בְּתוֹךְ ...
5
votes
2answers
131 views

what does the first word of shemot 8:7 mean?

Sh'mot 8:7: וְסָרוּ הַצְפַרְדְּעִים, מִמְּךָ וּמִבָּתֶּיךָ, וּמֵעֲבָדֶיךָ, וּמֵעַמֶּךָ: רַק בַּיְאֹר, תִּשָּׁאַרְנָה. Artscroll says it means "depart", implying the frogs will hop away. A few p'...
5
votes
2answers
155 views

Were Children of Israel killed in the plague of the firstborn?

We know from Torah that all B'nai Israel who: Ate the Passover lamb Did not eat leavening (bread and beer) Were inside at midnight (and stayed inside until morning) Were in a house whose doorposts ...
5
votes
1answer
173 views

Why did Pharaoh not think Moshe and Aaron were magicians?

BSD In this week's Parsha - Shemot Chapter 8 (וָאֵרָא), Pharaoh stands by as Moshe and Aaron perform all of the rites and 'signs' to Pharaoh. After each miracle, the Torah speaks of how Pharaoh's ...
5
votes
3answers
117 views

Why is every commandment and action in regards to the 10 plagues repeated?

When we read about the 10 plagues everything is repeated twice: once when Hashem commands Moshe and a second time when Moshe executes the plague. The Torah could simply write "and he did so" after ...
5
votes
1answer
62 views

What was wrong with Pharoah?

How מכה after מכה,‎ פרעה could just go and still deny בנ"י the right to leave is preposterous. And maybe you’ll say ה'‏ hardened his heart- but this is only after the last five מכות; the first ...
5
votes
0answers
196 views

Did Pharaoh attempt to kill Moses during the plagues

Given that Moses was a wanted fugitive (Ex.2:15) and that he was destroying the land of egypt with the plagues, and a general nuisance to Pharaoh were there attempts to kill him by Pharaoh. (by for ...
4
votes
2answers
507 views

Why is Moshe concerned what the Pharaoh's astrologers will think of him in Shemot 11:4?

In Shemot 11:4, Moshe tells Pharaoh that the plague of the 1st born will begin at approximately midnight. Rashi explains that the reason Moshe said "approximately" is that if Moshe said exactly at ...
4
votes
3answers
436 views

Is the wine spilled at the Seder “cursed”?

As I recall, my mother usually discards the wine that is spilled at the Seder during the listing of the plagues. But I think she does this because, well, just because it's spilled wine and it is not ...
4
votes
2answers
138 views

Why should God punish the firstborn of another nation that was in Egypt?

The Pasuk describes the victims of the plague of the firstborn as follows: It came to pass at midnight, and the Lord smote every firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who ...
4
votes
1answer
144 views

Why are crocodiles more deadly than all wild beasts?

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
253 views

Why there were exactly 10 plagues?

Why did G-d punish the Egyptians with exactly 10 plagues, not less, not more? What is the significance of 10?
4
votes
1answer
101 views

How should one respond after each plague is named during the seder?

In the Haggadah, the Ten Plagues are recited, and a drop of wine is spilled for each one. However, in the Tunisian tradition (and maybe others), after the reader chants each plague, the others ...
4
votes
2answers
98 views

Was there lightning during the plague of hail?

Shmot 9:23 uses the word "Kolot", which means "noises" or "voices". I'm assuming, therefore, that this means thunder as this is a "noise". Scientifically, there is no thunder without lightning, first....
4
votes
3answers
179 views

Why does Rashi question only the Darkness

Why does Rashi ask why the plague of darkness was brought upon them, but did not ask the same by any of the other plagues? Text of Rashi 10:22: ולמה הביא עליהם חשך, שהיו בישראל באותו הדור רשעים, ...
4
votes
1answer
196 views

The Frogs Plague [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Moshe cried out” - really? For this plague, the posuk says Moshe left and "cried out" (tzoak) to God that the plague should stop. Why did this plague affect the ...
4
votes
1answer
121 views

Locusts don't damage Egypt. Really?

Rabenu Chanan'el, in his commentary to Bo 10:19, writes, in part: מעת עתרת משה רבינו עד עכשיו אין ארבה מפסיד בכל גבול מצרים ואם יפול בארץ ישראל ויבא ומכנס בגבול מצרים אינו אוכל מכל יבול הארץ כלום ...
4
votes
2answers
54 views

How was Moshe protected by the sand in Egypt?

Moshe does not enact the third plague. Rashi explains that, לֹא הָיָה הֶעָפָר כְּדַאי לִלְקוֹת עַ"יְ מֹשֶׁה, לְפִי שֶׁהֵגֵן עָלָיו כְּשֶׁהָרַג אֶת הַמִּצְרִי וַיִּטְמְנֵהוּ בַּחוֹל, That the dirt ...
4
votes
1answer
137 views

Exodus 11:5 Why the firstborn?

Moses said, "Thus says the LORD, 'About midnight I am going out into the midst of Egypt, and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of the Pharaoh who sits on his throne, ...
4
votes
1answer
75 views

Were there specific locusts in reserve for the 8th plague?

Hashem's instructions to Moshe to bring the locusts reads as follows: וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל משֶׁה נְטֵה יָדְךָ עַל אֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם בָּאַרְבֶּה וכו And Hashem said to Moses, "stretch out your ...
4
votes
0answers
332 views

Timeline of the 10 plagues in exodus?

Do we have a chronological timeline (with years) of the 10 plagues? I'm trying to recreate a full timeline of the הגדה של פסח for the upcoming holiday, going from the arrival of Jacob and his family ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

How did they breathe during the plague of darkness?

Despite some great answers to The Plague of Darkness and Plague of darkness: if he was standing, he was unable to sit? I still have a question. If the darkness was so thick that they couldn't move, ...
3
votes
6answers
495 views

Mnemonic of Rebbi Yehuda

The Haggadah tells us that Rebbi Yehuda came up with a mnemonic for remembering the Ten Plagues: Dtzach Adash B'Achav Why was the mnemonic necessary? It doesn't seem to me to be that difficult to ...
3
votes
3answers
126 views

Why does the Haggadah interpret ביד חזקה as referring to דבר?

Why does the Haggadah interpret ביד חזקה (strong hand) as referring to the plague of דבר (pestilence)? Why don’t the other plagues demonstrate a strong hand?