Skip to main content
15 votes
Accepted

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

In my research over this Pesach, I have found some reasons why G-d chose the Ten Plagues specifically. Many of the answers come from the same source. The answer is middah k'neged middah (roughly ...
ezra's user avatar
  • 18.9k
11 votes

Question about Shemot, locusts

Rabbi Yosef Deutsch in Let My Nation Go, page 259, writes: The wind carried every single locust east to the sea so that not one locust remained in Egypt. The locusts would await the Egyptians by ...
DonielF's user avatar
  • 34.5k
10 votes

Why are the 10 plagues in this specific order?

Tanchuma Parshas Bo 4 explains the sequence (from Sefaria.org) by comparing the plagues to a siege upon an enemy City: נטה (את) ידך על השמים (שמות י כא). בטכסיס [מלך] בשר ודם הביא הקדוש ב"ה עליהם ...
user15464's user avatar
  • 11.5k
8 votes

How did they breathe during the plague of darkness?

I'll assume from your comments you will find the following a possible answer. Torah Temimah in chapter 10 #2 raises a few points. Chazzal said the darkness was as thick as a dinar. What can that ...
user6591's user avatar
  • 33.9k
8 votes
Accepted

Why did the last plague target only the firstborn?

A few answers: 1) Shemos Rabbah 15:27 - It underscored the value of firstborns The Torah writes (Shemos 4:22): וְאָמַרְתָּ֖ אֶל־פַּרְעֹ֑ה כֹּ֚ה אָמַ֣ר ה' בְּנִ֥י בְכֹרִ֖י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל Then you shall ...
Dov's user avatar
  • 33.7k
7 votes
Accepted

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

According to the Sforno on 8:7, the pasuk says that they will be removed from the houses but not from the whole country; on the contrary, they will die in the land and cause a stench, but in the ...
rosends's user avatar
  • 38.3k
7 votes

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

The plague names are all for the substance of the plague. The plague came in the form of blood, frogs, etc. Bechorot would imply an infestation of firstborns.
Heshy's user avatar
  • 9,235
7 votes

Plagues of Egypt mocking their gods

There are modern rabbis who have suggested this, likely following in the footsteps of academic biblical scholarship which holds this idea. I assume you're asking for classical sources on the subject. ...
Harel13's user avatar
  • 26k
6 votes

The Plague of Darkness

I have no backing for this novel idea, but here goes: Modern science of the past century has taught us that light consists of photons. These are packets of energy that act like particles in many ...
Yaabim's user avatar
  • 350
6 votes
Accepted

Connection of the 10 plagues to the 10 sayings used to create the world

As seen here, the parallel is first made by the Maharal (Gevurot Hashem: 57)
NJM's user avatar
  • 14.5k
6 votes

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

In addition to the considerations given by ezra realted to the treatment of the Hebrews by the Egyptians, each Plague was associated with one or more Egyptian deities. The Egyptians worshipped that ...
Paul Chernoch's user avatar
5 votes

What kind of blood did the Nile turn into?

The Daat zekeinim and Riva (Shmos 7:18) are of the opinion that it just looked like blood, but it tasted like regular water (still the Egyptians didn't drink from it because it stunk from the dead ...
Bach's user avatar
  • 2,783
5 votes

Who was first to show that the first nine of the ten plagues could be grouped into three groups of three?

According to many commentators (esp. Maharal), this was the intent of Rabbi Yehudah when he broke the plagues into three groups in his mnemonic: רַבִּי יְהוּדָה הָיָה נוֹתֵן בָּהֶם סִמָּנִים: דְּצַ&...
N.T.'s user avatar
  • 9,085
4 votes
Accepted

Why wasn't Pharoah allowed a chance to "repent" before the last plague (death of 1st born)?

The "tenth" plague was actually announced at the very beginning Shmos 4:23 So I say to you, 'Send out My son so that he will worship Me, but if you refuse to send him out, behold, I am going to ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
  • 43.3k
4 votes
Accepted

Why would Pharaoh's heart be made כבד by G-D?

Rav Ovadiah Seforno (on Shemos 9:35) suggests that Hashem "made his heart heavy" (heavy objects are hard to move) and "made his heart strong" (more literal translations of "הכבדתי" and "חזקתי" then "...
Micha Berger's user avatar
  • 9,746
4 votes

How did they breathe during the plague of darkness?

Well according to the Ralbag they really couldnt breathe: The Ralbag on Choshech quotes the Medrash about the darkness being a golden coin thick and explains that the darkness was tangible and so ...
sam's user avatar
  • 42.3k
4 votes

How did they breathe during the plague of darkness?

As usual, the Geonim and Rishonim contain the answer. Rashbam explains that the simple reading of the verse means that they were confined to their houses: מתחתיו - מביתו לפי פשוטו, שלא ידעו היכן ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
  • 35.8k
4 votes

Why did pharaoh not want the frogs to be immediately removed?

Va'eirah 8:5-6 And Moses said to Pharaoh, "Boast [of your superiority] over me. For when shall I entreat for you, for your servants, and for your people, to destroy the frogs from you and from ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
  • 43.3k
3 votes
Accepted

After makkas kinnim and makkas shchin, did the respective makkos revert to their original state?

Some thoughts: Rashi to Shemos 7:25 says that for Makkas Dam it took 7 days after the plague before it returned to what it had been like before, which sounds like that would be the case in other ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
3 votes

Why would Pharaoh's heart be made כבד by G-D?

Related question Did hardening Paro's heart mean he wasn't really responsible? There are a number of answers based on the different usages. For example, the Rambam brings up the point that ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
  • 43.3k
3 votes

If God is all powerful, why does he need the angel of death to carry out the tenth plague?

A better way to formulate your question is that one passuk (verse) says Hashem will do it (Shemos 12:12 - "And I [Hashem] will pass over Egypt...") and another has an internal contradiction whether ...
DonielF's user avatar
  • 34.5k
3 votes
Accepted

Why did G-d choose to punish Egypt with ten plagues, as opposed to another amount?

Rav Moshe Almushino 16th century explanation of Pirkei Avos 5:5 explains that the 10 Makos are to give punishment for the evil doing (i.e enslavement of the Jews) of sinners who are destroying Hashem'...
user15464's user avatar
  • 11.5k
3 votes
Accepted

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

Another answer is based on a Gemara in Masechta Shabbos 87b - the Gemara there discusses exactly when the tenth plague began. Tosafos brings a Midrash from Shemos Rabbah and notes the following: ...
Dov's user avatar
  • 33.7k
2 votes

The Plague of Darkness

Notwithstanding some semi-recent archaeological findings which support the naturalistic interpretations of other meforshim, I am attracted by the explanations of R. Eleazar of Brody and the Rebbe ...
SAH's user avatar
  • 20.1k
2 votes

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

This can be explained with the interpretation of R. Yosef Bechor Shor. In his commentary to Exodus 7:20 he writes as follows: נראה לי שלא נעשה היאור דם אך אותה שעה ובאותה שעה שנקרש ונעשה דם מתה הדגה ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.8k
2 votes

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

Ritva asks this question in his commentary to the Haggada: רבי יוסי הגלילי אומר וכו' אמור מעתה במצרים לקו עשר מכות ועל הים לקו חמשים מכות. כי היד יש בו חמש אצבעות, וכל אצבע עשר, הרי חמשים, וכן ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
  • 35.8k
2 votes

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

Rabbeinu Bachya/Bechaye to Shemos 7:22 offers a number of approaches, some of which he rejects: Only the Yeor/Nile turned to blood Only water aboveground turned to blood (see ibn Ezra in answer above)...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
2 votes

Why were the Bechorim punished?

There are several answers: Shemos Rabbah 15:27 - It writes in Shemos 4:22: וְאָמַרְתָּ֖ אֶל־פַּרְעֹ֑ה כֹּ֚ה אָמַ֣ר ה' בְּנִ֥י בְכֹרִ֖י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says Hashem: ...
Dov's user avatar
  • 33.7k
2 votes

Why were the Bechorim punished?

I just read this Chabad article and it says that the Egyptions regarded firstborns as gods, in the passuk it says: I will pass through the land of Egypt on this night, and I will smite every ...
Mijmij's user avatar
  • 197
2 votes
Accepted

Paroh Refuses in Different Words

Rav Hirsch on Va'Eirah 7:3 explains the differences between the three languages of hardness. a) קשה to be hard altogether, not to receive impressions, to let everything pass over one without ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
  • 43.3k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible