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Published on Friday February 12th, 2021


וַיִּקְרָא֙ גַּם־פַּרְעֹ֔ה לַֽחֲכָמִ֖ים וְלַֽמְכַשְּׁפִ֑ים וַיַּֽעֲשׂ֨וּ גַם־הֵ֜ם חַרְטֻמֵּ֥י מִצְרַ֛יִם בְּלַהֲטֵיהֶ֖ם כֵּֽן׃(7:11)

Then Pharaoh, for his part, summoned the wise men and the sorcerers; and the Egyptian magicians, in turn, did the same with their spells;

  1. Who were Pharaoh’s chief magicians?

  • Pharaoh’s chief magicians were Janis and Jambres who were the sons of Bilaam. They were the ones who changed their staffs into snakes.

וַיֵּ֤ט אַהֲרֹן֙ אֶת־יָד֔וֹ עַ֖ל מֵימֵ֣י מִצְרָ֑יִם וַתַּ֙עַל֙ הַצְּפַרְדֵּ֔עַ וַתְּכַ֖ס אֶת־אֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם׃(8:2)

Aaron held out his arm over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt.

2. How did the frogs' punishment come about?

  • Note that the term “the frog” is written in the singular. We are taught that at first, only one frog emerged but when the Egyptians whacked it, it turned into two frogs. This continued time and time again: every frog that was whacked turned into 2 frogs thereby inundating the entire land with frogs. Some say, that one frog layed many eggs and filled the entire land of Egypt with frogs. Others say, that there was one frog that whistled to all the other frogs to come and join it.

וַיַּ֤עַשׂ ה֙ כֵּ֔ן וַיָּבֹא֙ עָרֹ֣ב כָּבֵ֔ד בֵּ֥יתָה פַרְעֹ֖ה וּבֵ֣ית עֲבָדָ֑יו וּבְכָל־אֶ֧רֶץ מִצְרַ֛יִם תִּשָּׁחֵ֥ת הָאָ֖רֶץ מִפְּנֵ֥י הֶעָרֹֽב׃(8:20)

And the LORD did so. Heavy swarms of insects invaded Pharaoh’s palace and the houses of his courtiers; throughout the country of Egypt, the land was ruined because of the swarms of insects.

3. How did the wild animals get into the Egyptians homes?

  • G'od sent a beast with human hands 10 amot long that would rip the roofs off of the Egyptian houses and unlock their doors so that the wild animals could enter. This beast was known as the “Silonit”.

הַעְתִּ֙ירוּ֙ אֶל־ה וְרַ֕ב מִֽהְיֹ֛ת קֹלֹ֥ת אֱלֹהִ֖ים וּבָרָ֑ד וַאֲשַׁלְּחָ֣ה אֶתְכֶ֔ם וְלֹ֥א תֹסִפ֖וּן לַעֲמֹֽד׃(9:28)

Plead with the LORD that there may be an end of G.od’s thunder and of hail. I will let you go; you need to stay no longer.”

4. How were these thunder and lightning different than normal?

  • We are taught that thunder, was created to cleanse wicked hearts. The thunder frightened the Egyptians the most. As soon as it ended, Pharaoh went back on his word.

  • The thunder and lightning occurred at the exact same time, and not the way it usually does, with a delay of a few seconds.

וַיֵּצֵ֨א מֹשֶׁ֜ה מֵעִ֤ם פַּרְעֹה֙ אֶת־הָעִ֔יר וַיִּפְרֹ֥שׂ כַּפָּ֖יו אֶל־ה וַֽיַּחְדְּל֤וּ הַקֹּלוֹת֙ וְהַבָּרָ֔ד וּמָטָ֖ר לֹא־נִתַּ֥ךְ אָֽרְצָה׃(9:33)

Leaving Pharaoh, Moses went outside the city and spread out his hands to the LORD: the thunder and the hail ceased, and no rain came pouring down upon the earth.

5. What happened to the hail when stopped by Moshe?

  • When Moshe prayed for the hail to stop, the hail that was in the midst of falling became suspended in the air. It never came down as rain, in order that it was not of benefit to the Egyptians.

Eytan Yéhouda DZIKOWSKI - © Torah-Box Account

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