Va'eira

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To be distinguished from Vayeira.
The Seventh Plague (1823 painting by John Martin)

Va'eira, Va'era, or Vaera (וָאֵרָאHebrew for "and I appeared" the first word that God speaks in the parashah, in Exodus 6:3) is the fourteenth weekly Torah portion (פָּרָשָׁה, parashah) in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading and the second in the Book of Exodus. It constitutes Exodus 6:2–9:35.. The parashah tells of the first seven Plagues of Egypt.

It is made up of 6,701 Hebrew letters, 1,748 Hebrew words, and 121 verses, and can occupy about 222 lines in a Torah Scroll (סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה, Sefer Torah).[1] Jews read it the fourteenth Shabbat after Simchat Torah, generally in January.

Readings[edit]

In traditional Sabbath Torah reading, the parashah is divided into seven readings, or עליות, aliyot. In the Masoretic Text of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), Parashah Va'eira has nine "open portion" (פתוחה, petuchah) divisions (roughly equivalent to paragraphs, often abbreviated with the Hebrew letter פ (peh)). Parashah Va'eira has seven further subdivisions, called "closed portion" (סתומה, setumah) divisions (abbreviated with the Hebrew letter ס (samekh)) within the open portion (פתוחה, petuchah) divisions. The first and second open portion (פתוחה, petuchah) divisions divide the first reading (עליה, aliyah). The third open portion (פתוחה, petuchah) covers the balance of the first and part of the second readings (עליות, aliyot). The fourth open portion (פתוחה, petuchah) covers the balance of the second reading (עליה, aliyah). The fifth open portion (פתוחה, petuchah) divides the fourth reading (עליה, aliyah). The sixth open portion (פתוחה, petuchah) covers the balance of the fourth, all of the fifth, and part of the sixth readings (עליות, aliyot). The seventh open portion (פתוחה, petuchah) separates part of the sixth reading (עליה, aliyah). The eighth open portion (פתוחה, petuchah) covers the balance of the sixth and part of the seventh readings (עליות, aliyot). And the ninth open portion (פתוחה, petuchah) covers the balance of the seventh reading (עליה, aliyah). Closed portion (סתומה, setumah) divisions separate the first and second readings (עליות, aliyot), separate the second and third readings (עליות, aliyot), and divide the fourth, fifth, and sixth readings (עליות, aliyot).[2]

Moses (watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot)

First reading — Exodus 6:2–13[edit]

In the first reading (עליה, aliyah), God spoke to Moses, identified God’s Self as the God of the Patriarchs, and acknowledged hearing the moaning of the Israelites.[3] God instructed Moses to tell the Israelites that God would free them, make them God’s people, and bring them to the Promised Land.[4] But the Israelites would not listen because of their distress and hard labor.[5] The first open portion (פתוחה, petuchah) ends here.[6]

In the continuation of the reading (עליה, aliyah), God told Moses to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go, but Moses complained that Pharaoh would not heed him, a man of impeded speech.[7] The second open portion (פתוחה, petuchah) ends here.[8]

In the continuation of the reading (עליה, aliyah), God commanded Moses and Aaron to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. The first reading (עליה, aliyah) and a closed portion (סתומה, setumah) end here.[9]

Second reading — Exodus 6:14–28[edit]

The second reading (עליה, aliyah) interjects a partial genealogy of Reuben, Simeon, and Levi, including Moses and his family.[10]

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Levi
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gershon
 
Kohath
 
Merari
 
Jochebed
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Amram
 
Izhar
 
Hebron
 
Uzziel
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Miriam
 
Aaron
 
Moses
 
 
 

The second reading (עליה, aliyah) and a closed portion (סתומה, setumah) end with the genealogy.[11]

Aaron Cast His Rod Before Pharaoh and It Became a Serpent (woodcut by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld from the 1860 Die Bibel in Bildern)

Third reading — Exodus 6:29–7:7[edit]

In the third reading (עליה, aliyah), God instructed Moses to tell Pharaoh all that God would tell Moses, but Moses protested that he had a speech impediment.[12] The third open portion (פתוחה, petuchah) ends here.[11]

In the continuation of the reading (עליה, aliyah), God placed Aaron in the role of Moses’ prophet, to speak to Pharaoh.[13] God intended to harden Pharaoh’s heart, so that God might show signs and marvels, so that the Egyptians would know that the Lord was God.[14] Moses and Aaron did as God commanded.[15] Moses was 80 years old, and Aaron 83 years old, when they spoke to Pharaoh.[16] The third reading (עליה, aliyah) and the fourth open portion (פתוחה, petuchah) end here.[17]

Water Is Changed into Blood (watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot)

Fourth reading — Exodus 7:8–8:6[edit]

In the fourth reading (עליה, aliyah), God told how Aaron could cast down his rod and it would turn into a snake, and Aaron did so before Pharaoh.[18] Pharaoh caused his magicians to do the same, but Aaron’s rod swallowed their rods.[19] Pharaoh’s heart stiffened.[20] A closed portion (סתומה, setumah) ends here.[21]

In the continuation of the reading (עליה, aliyah), God began visiting ten plagues on Egypt. God told Moses to go to Pharaoh at his morning bath, demand of him to let the Israelites go to worship in the wilderness, and have Aaron strike the Nile with his rod and turn it into blood.[22] A closed portion (סתומה, setumah) ends here.[23]

In the continuation of the reading (עליה, aliyah), God told Moses to tell Aaron to stretch his rod over the waters of Egypt and turn them into blood.[24] Moses and Aaron did so, and the fish died and the Nile stank.[25] But when the Egyptian magicians did the same, Pharaoh’s heart stiffened.[26] Seven days passed.[27] The fifth open portion (פתוחה, petuchah) ends here.[28]

As the reading (עליה, aliyah) continues, God told Moses to have Aaron hold his arm with the rod over the river and bring up frogs, and they did so.[29] The magicians did the same.[30] Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron to plead with God to remove the frogs and said he would let the Israelites go[31] Moses asked Pharaoh when Moses should ask God, Pharaoh replied the next day, and Moses said that he would do so the next day, so that Pharaoh would know that there is none like God.[32] The fourth reading (עליה, aliyah) ends here.[33]

Aaron Struck the Ground with His Staff (1984 illustration by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Sweet Publishing)

Fifth reading — Exodus 8:7–18[edit]

In the fifth reading (עליה, aliyah), the frogs departed, but Pharaoh became stubborn and did not let the Israelites leave.[34] A closed portion (סתומה, setumah) ends here.[35]

In the continuation of the reading (עליה, aliyah), God told Moses to have Aaron strike the dust with his rod, to turn it to lice throughout the land, and they did so.[36] The magicians tried to do the same, but they could not.[37] The magicians told Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God!” But Pharaoh’s heart stiffened.[38] A closed portion (סתומה, setumah) ends here.[39]

In the continuation of the reading (עליה, aliyah), God told Moses to rise early and stand before Pharaoh as he came to the water and tell him that God said, “Let My people go,” or else God would send swarms of flies on Egypt, but not on Goshen.[40] The fifth reading (עליה, aliyah) ends here.[41]

The Plague of Flies (watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot)

Sixth reading — Exodus 8:19–9:16[edit]

In the sixth reading (עליה, aliyah), God loosed swarms of insects against the Egyptians, but not Goshen, where the Israelites dwelt.[42] Pharaoh told Moses and Aaron to go sacrifice to God within Egypt, but Moses insisted on going three days into the wilderness.[43] Pharaoh agreed, in exchange for Moses’ prayer to lift the plague.[44] But when God removed the insects, Pharaoh became stubborn again.[45] The sixth open portion (פתוחה, petuchah) ends here with the end of chapter 8.[46]

As the reading (עליה, aliyah) continues with chapter 9, God struck the Egyptian’s livestock with a pestilence, sparing the Israelites’ livestock.[47] But Pharaoh remained stubborn.[48] The seventh open portion (פתוחה, petuchah) ends here.[49]

In the continuation of the reading (עליה, aliyah), God told Moses to take handfuls of soot from the kiln and throw it toward the sky, so that it would become a fine dust, causing boils on man and beast throughout Egypt, and he did so.[50] But God stiffened Pharaoh’s heart.[51] A closed portion (סתומה, setumah) ends here.[52]

In the continuation of the reading (עליה, aliyah), God told Moses to rise early and tell Pharaoh that God said, “Let My people go,” or this time God would send all God’s plagues upon Pharaoh and his people to demonstrate God’s power.[53] The sixth reading (עליה, aliyah) ends here,[54]

Moses Before Pharaoh (1984 illustration by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Sweet Publishing)

Seventh reading — Exodus 9:17–35[edit]

In the seventh reading (עליה, aliyah), God instructed Moses to threaten hail such as Egypt had never seen, and to instruct the Egyptians to bring their cattle in from the field so that they would not die.[55] Those who feared God’s word brought their slaves and livestock indoors, and those who did not fear God’s word left them in the field.[56] The eighth open portion (פתוחה, petuchah) ends here.[57]

In the continuation of the reading (עליה, aliyah), God told Moses to stretch out his hand, and God sent thunder and hail, which struck down all exposed in Egypt, but did not strike Goshen.[58] Pharaoh confessed his wrong, agreed to let the Israelites go, and asked Moses and Aaron to pray to end the hail.[59] Moses told Pharaoh that he would do so, and the hail would end so that Pharaoh would know that the earth is God’s, but Moses knew that Pharaoh and his servants would not yet fear God.[60] The hail had destroyed the flax and the barley, but not the wheat and the spelt, which ripened later.[61]

In the maftir (מפטיר) reading that concludes the parashah,[62] Moses spread forth his hands to God, and the thunders and hail ceased, but when Pharaoh saw, he hardened his heart and did not let the Israelites go.[63] The seventh reading (עליה, aliyah), the ninth open portion (פתוחה, petuchah), and the parashah end here with the end of chapter 9.[64]

Readings according to the triennial cycle[edit]

Jews who read the Torah according to the triennial cycle of Torah reading read the parashah according to the following schedule:[65]

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
2013, 2016, 2019, 2022 . . . 2014, 2017, 2020, 2023 . . . 2015, 2018, 2021, 2024 . . .
Reading 6:2–7:7 7:8–8:15 8:16–9:35
1 6:2–5 7:8–13 8:16–23
2 6:6–9 7:14–18 8:24–28
3 6:10–13 7:19–25 9:1–7
4 6:14–19 7:26–29 9:8–16
5 6:20–25 8:1–6 9:17–21
6 6:26–28 8:7–11 9:22–26
7 6:29–7:7 8:12–15 9:27–35
Maftir 7:5–7 8:12–15 9:33–35

In inner-biblical interpretation[edit]

The parashah has parallels or is discussed in these Biblical sources:[66]

Egyptian Bondage (1984 illustration by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Sweet Publishing)

Exodus chapter 6[edit]

In Exodus 2:24 and 6:5–6, God remembered God’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to deliver the Israelites from Egyptian bondage. Similarly, God remembered Noah to deliver him from the flood in Genesis 8:1; God promised to remember God’s covenant not to destroy the Earth again by flood in Genesis 9:15–16; God remembered Abraham to deliver Lot from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19:29; God remembered Rachel to deliver her from childlessness in Genesis 30:22; Moses called on God to remember God’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to deliver the Israelites from God’s wrath after the incident of the Golden Calf in Exodus 32:13 and Deuteronomy 9:27; God promises to “remember” God’s covenant with Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham to deliver the Israelites and the Land of Israel in Leviticus 26:42–45; the Israelites were to blow upon their trumpets to be remembered and delivered from their enemies in Numbers 10:9; Samson called on God to deliver him from the Philistines in Judges 16:28; Hannah prayed for God to remember her and deliver her from childlessness in 1 Samuel 1:11 and God remembered Hannah’s prayer to deliver her from childlessness in 1 Samuel 1:19; Hezekiah called on God to remember Hezekiah’s faithfulness to deliver him from sickness in 2 Kings 20:3 and Isaiah 38:3; Jeremiah called on God to remember God’s covenant with the Israelites to not condemn them in Jeremiah 14:21; Jeremiah called on God to remember him and think of him, and avenge him of his persecutors in Jeremiah 15:15; God promises to remember God’s covenant with the Israelites and establish an everlasting covenant in Ezekiel 16:60; God remembers the cry of the humble in Zion to avenge them in Psalm 9:13; David called upon God to remember God’s compassion and mercy in Psalm 25:6; Asaph called on God to remember God’s congregation to deliver them from their enemies in Psalm 74:2; God remembered that the Israelites were only human in Psalm 78:39; Ethan the Ezrahite called on God to remember how short Ethan’s life was in Psalm 89:48; God remembers that humans are but dust in Psalm 103:14; God remembers God’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in Psalm 105:8–10; God remembers God’s word to Abraham to deliver the Israelites to the Land of Israel in Psalm 105:42–44; the Psalmist calls on God to remember him to favor God’s people, to think of him at God’s salvation, that he might behold the prosperity of God’s people in Psalm 106:4–5; God remembered God’s covenant and repented according to God’s mercy to deliver the Israelites in the wake of their rebellion and iniquity in Psalm 106:4–5; the Psalmist calls on God to remember God’s word to God’s servant to give him hope in Psalm 119:49; God remembered us in our low estate to deliver us from our adversaries in Psalm 136:23–24; Job called on God to remember him to deliver him from God’s wrath in Job 14:13; Nehemiah prayed to God to remember God’s promise to Moses to deliver the Israelites from exile in Nehemiah 1:8; and Nehemiah prayed to God to remember him to deliver him for good in Nehemiah 13:14–31.

Exodus chapters 7–12[edit]

The description of the 10 plagues exhibits patterns and progressions, as follows:

Cycle Number Plague Verses Was There

Warning?

Time Warned Introduction Actor Rod? Israelites

Shielded?

Did Pharaoh

Concede?

Who Hardened

Pharaoh’s Heart?

First 1 blood Exodus 7:14–25 yes in the morning לֵךְ אֶל-פַּרְעֹה

Go to Pharaoh

Aaron yes no no passive voice
2 frogs Exodus 7:26–8:11

(8:1–15 in KJV)

yes unknown בֹּא אֶל-פַּרְעֹה

Go in to Pharaoh

Aaron yes no yes passive voice
3 gnats or lice Exodus 8:12–15

(8:16–19 in KJV)

no none none Aaron yes no no passive voice
Second 4 flies or

wild beasts

Exodus 8:16–28

(8:20–32 in KJV)

yes early in the morning וְהִתְיַצֵּב לִפְנֵי פַרְעֹה

stand before Pharaoh

God no yes yes Pharaoh
5 livestock Exodus 9:1–7 yes unknown בֹּא אֶל-פַּרְעֹה

Go in to Pharaoh

God no yes no Pharaoh
6 boils Exodus 9:8–12 no none none Moses no no no God
Third 7 hail Exodus 9:13–35 yes early in the morning וְהִתְיַצֵּב לִפְנֵי פַרְעֹה

stand before Pharaoh

Moses no yes yes passive voice
8 locusts Exodus 10:1–20 yes unknown בֹּא אֶל-פַּרְעֹה

Go in to Pharaoh

Moses yes no yes God
9 darkness Exodus 10:21–29 no none none Moses yes yes yes God
10 firstborn Exodus 11:1–10;

12:29–32;

yes unknown none God no yes yes God

Psalm 78:44–51 and 105:23–38 each recount differing arrangements of seven plagues. Psalm 78:44–51 recalls plagues of (1) blood, (2) flies, (3) frogs, (4) locusts, (5) hail, (6) livestock, and (7) firstborn, but not plagues of lice, boils, or darkness. Psalm 105:23–38 recalls plagues of (1) darkness, (2) blood, (3) frogs, (4) flies and lice, (5) hail, (6) locusts, and (7) firstborn, but not plagues of livestock or boils.

In early nonrabbinic interpretation[edit]

The parashah has parallels or is discussed in these early nonrabbinic sources:

Philo

Exodus chapter 6[edit]

Philo read the words of Exodus 6:3, “I did not make Myself known to them by My name,” to teach that no proper name can properly be assigned to God. Philo noted that God told Moses in Exodus 3:14,I Am that I Am,” which Philo equated with, “It is my nature to be, not to be described by name.” But in order that human beings not be wholly without anything to call God, God allowed us to use the Name “Lord.” God addressed this Name to mortal humans who have need of the Divine Name so that, if they cannot attain to the best thing, they may at least know the best possible Name. Philo noted that in Exodus 6:3, God speaks of the proper name of God never having been revealed to anyone. Philo suggested that God’s statement in Exodus 6:3 meant that God had not revealed to them God’s proper Name, but only that which could commonly be used. For Philo argued that God is so completely indescribable, that even those powers that minister to God do not announce God’s proper Name to us. And thus after Jacob’s wrestling match at the Jabok, Jacob asked the invisible Master for a name, but Jacob’s Opponent did not tell him a proper name, saying that it was sufficient for Jacob to be taught ordinary explanations. But as for names that are the true symbols of things, we are taught not to seek them for the Immortal.[67]

In classical rabbinic interpretation[edit]

The parashah is discussed in these rabbinic sources from the era of the Mishnah and the Talmud:

God Answered Moses (1984 illustration by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Sweet Publishing)

Exodus chapter 6[edit]

A Midrash noted that God had already informed Moses that Pharaoh would not allow the Israelites to go, as in Exodus 3:19, God told Moses, “I know that the King of Egypt will not allow you to go,” and in Exodus 4:19, God told Moses, “I will harden his heart.” But Moses did not keep this in mind, but came instead to doubt the wisdom of God's decree, and began to argue with God, saying in Exodus 5:22: “Lord, why have You dealt ill with this people?” For this reason, the Attribute of Justice sought to attack Moses, as Exodus 6:2 says: “And God spoke to Moses” (employing the name of God (אֱלֹהִים, Elohim) indicative of God's Justice). But when God reflected that Moses only asked this because of Israel's suffering, God retracted and dealt with Moses according to the Attribute of Mercy, as Exodus 6:2 says: “And He said to him: ‘I am the Lord’” (employing the name of God (יְהוָה, the Tetragrammaton) indicative of God's Mercy). The Midrash viewed the question of Moses in Exodus 5:22 as an application of Ecclesiastes 2:12: “And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness and folly; for what can the man do who comes after the King? even that which has been already done.” The Midrash taught that Ecclesiastes 2:12 refers to both Solomon and Moses. The Midrash taught that Ecclesiastes 2:12 refers to Solomon, for God gave some commandments for kings, as it says in Deuteronomy 17:16–17: “Only he shall not multiply horses to himself . . . Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away; neither silver and gold.” Solomon read in Deuteronomy 17:17 that the reason of God’s decree was “that his heart turn not away.” The Midrash taught that Solomon thus thought to himself that he would multiply his wives but still not allow his heart to turn away. And the Midrash taught that Ecclesiastes 2:12 refers to Moses because Moses began to argue with God in Exodus 5:22, “Lord, why have you dealt ill with this people?” On account of this, the Midrash taught that at that point the wisdom and knowledge of Moses was only (in the words of Ecclesiastes 2:12) “madness and folly.” The Midrash asked what right Moses had to question God’s ways and in the words of Ecclesiastes 2:12, “that which had been already done” that God had revealed to him.[68]

The Egyptians made the Israelites works as slaves (1984 illustration by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Sweet Publishing)

Reading the words, “And I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob,” in Exodus 6:3, a Midrash taught that God thus told Moses that God longed for those who were gone and could not be replaced — the three Patriarchs. The Midrash said that God told Moses that many times, God had revealed God’s Self to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty (אֵל שַׁדָּי, El Shadai),[69] and God had not made known to them that God’s name is the Lord (יְהוָה, the Tetragrammaton). But still they did not criticize God’s ways. To Abraham, God said in Genesis 13:17, “Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it, for to you will I give it,” yet when Abraham wanted to bury Sarah, he found no plot of ground until he had purchased one; still, he did not murmur at God’s ways. God said to Isaac in Genesis 26:3, “Sojourn in this land . . . for to you, and to your seed, I will give all these lands.” Yet when Isaac sought water to drink, he found none; instead (as Genesis 26:20 reports), “The herdsmen of Gerar strove with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying: ‘The water is ours.’” Still Isaac did not murmur at God’s ways. God said to Jacob in Genesis 28:13, “The land on which you lie, to you will give it, and to your seed.” Yet when he sought a place to pitch his tent, he found none until he purchased one for a hundred kesitah (as reported in Genesis 33:19). And still Jacob did not complain at God’s ways. The Patriarchs did not ask God, as Moses did in Exodus 3:13, what God’s name was. In contrast, at the commencement of God’s commission of Moses, Moses inquired of God’s name. And in Exodus 5:23, Moses told God, “For since I came to Pharaoh . . . he has dealt ill with this people; neither have You delivered Your people.” On this account, the Midrash taught, God said in Exodus 6:4, “And I have also established my covenant with them,” the Patriarchs, to give them the land, and they never complained of God’s ways. And God said in Exodus 6:5, “I have heard the groaning of the children of Israel,” because they did not complain against God. Although the Israelites of that generation did not conduct themselves righteously, yet God heard their cry on account of the covenant that God had made with the Patriarchs. Hence, it says in Exodus 6:6, “And I have remembered My covenant. Therefore, say to the children of Israel.” The Midrash taught that the word “therefore” (לָכֵן, lachein) in Exodus 6:6 implies an oath, as it does in 1 Samuel 3:14, where God says, “And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli.” Thus, the Midrash taught that God swore to Moses that God would redeem the Israelites, so that Moses would have no reason to fear that the Attribute of Justice would retard their redemption.[70]

The Israelites' Cruel Bondage in Egypt (illustration from the 1728 Figures de la Bible)

Rabbi Simai found evidence for the resurrection of the dead in the words, “And I also have established my covenant with them (the Patriarchs) to give them the land of Canaan,” in Exodus 6:4. Rabbi Simai noted that Exodus 6:4 does not say “to give you” but “to give them,” implying that God would give the land to the Patriarchs personally, and thus that God would resurrect them so as to fulfill the promise.[71]

The Egyptians Afflicted the Israelites with Burdens (woodcut by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld from the 1860 Die Bibel in Bildern)

A Baraita deduced from Exodus 6:6 that the Israelites’ bondage in Egypt ended on Rosh Hashanah. The Baraita noted that Exodus 6:6 uses the word “burden” to describe the end of the Israelites’ bondage in Egypt, and Psalm 81:7 uses the word “burden” to describe the end of Joseph’s imprisonment, and the Baraita deduced that the two events must therefore have occurred at the same time of year. The Baraita further deduced from the words, “Blow the horn on the new moon, on the covering day for our festival . . . He appointed it for Joseph for a testimony when he went forth,” in Psalm 81:4–6 that Joseph went forth from the prison on Rosh Hashanah.[72]

Rabbi Nehemiah cited the use of the words “will bring you out” in Exodus 6:6 to demonstrate that using the word hamotzi in the blessing over bread would mean that God “will bring forth” bread from the land — not that God “has brought forth” bread from the land. Rabbi Nehemiah thus read Exodus 6:6–7 to mean: “I am the Lord, the One Who will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.” The Gemara reported that the Rabbis of a Baraita, however, read Exodus 6:6–7 to mean: “When I shall bring you out, I will do for you something that will show you that I am the One Who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.”[73]

The Jerusalem Talmud cited the four promises of salvation in Exodus 6:6–7, (1) “I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians,” (2) “I will deliver you from their bondage,” (3) “I will redeem you with an outstretched arm,” and (4) “I will take you to Me for a people,” as one reason why Jews drink four cups of wine at the Passover seder.[74] And thus the Mishnah taught that “On the eve of Passover, . . . even the poorest man in Israel must not eat until he reclines; and they (the overseers of charity) should give him not less than four cups of wine.”[75]

A Baraita taught that Rabbi Simai deduced from the similarity of the phrases “And I will take you to me for a people” and “And I will bring you in to the land” in Exodus 6:7 that the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt occurred under circumstances similar to their entry into the Land of Israel. Rabbi Simai thus deduced that just as only two out of 600,000 (Caleb and Joshua) entered the Promised Land, so only two out of every 600,000 Israelites in Egypt participated in the Exodus, and the rest died in Egypt. Rava taught that it will also be so when the Messiah comes that only a small portion of Jews will find redemption, for Hosea 2:17 says, “And she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the days when she came up out of the land of Egypt,” implying that circumstances upon the coming of the Messiah will be similar to those upon the Israelites’ entry into the Land of Israel.[76]

The Gemara asked why the Tannaim felt that the allocation of the Land of Israel “according to the names of the tribes of their fathers” in Numbers 26:55 meant that the allocation was with reference to those who left Egypt; perhaps, the Gemara supposed, it might have meant the 12 tribes and that the Land was to be divided into 12 equal portions? The Gemara noted that in Exodus 6:8, God told Moses to tell the Israelites who were about to leave Egypt, “And I will give it you for a heritage; I am the Lord,” and that meant that the Land was the inheritance from the fathers of those who left Egypt.[77]

Moses told the people what God had said. (1984 illustration by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Sweet Publishing)

A Midrash interpreted the words of Exodus 6:9, “they hearkened not to Moses for shortness of spirit,” to indicated that it was difficult for the Israelites to abandon idol worship.[78]

Rabbi Ishmael cited Exodus 6:12 as one of ten a fortiori (kal va-chomer) arguments recorded in the Hebrew Bible: (1) In Genesis 44:8, Joseph’s brothers told Joseph, “Behold, the money that we found in our sacks’ mouths we brought back to you,” and they thus reasoned, “how then should we steal?” (2) In Exodus 6:12, Moses told God, “Behold, the children of Israel have not hearkened to me,” and reasoned that surely all the more, “How then shall Pharaoh hear me?” (3) In Deuteronomy 31:27, Moses said to the Israelites, “Behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, you have been rebellious against the Lord,” and reasoned that it would follow, “And how much more after my death?” (4) In Numbers 12:14, “the Lord said to Moses: ‘If her (Miriam’s) father had but spit in her face,’” surely it would stand to reason, “‘Should she not hide in shame seven days?’” (5) In Jeremiah 12:5, the prophet asked, “If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you,” is it not logical to conclude, “Then how can you contend with horses?” (6) In 1 Samuel 23:3, David’s men said to him, “Behold, we are afraid here in Judah,” and thus surely it stands to reason, “How much more then if we go to Keilah?” (7) Also in Jeremiah 12:5, the prophet asked, “And if in a land of Peace where you are secure” you are overcome, is it not logical to ask, “How will you do in the thickets of the Jordan?” (8) Proverbs 11:31 reasoned, “Behold, the righteous shall be requited in the earth,” and does it not follow, “How much more the wicked and the sinner?” (9) In Esther 9:12, “The king said to Esther the queen: ‘The Jews have slain and destroyed 500 men in Shushan the castle,’” and it thus stands to reason, “‘What then have they done in the rest of the king’s provinces?’” (10) In Ezekiel 15:5, God came to the prophet saying, “Behold, when it was whole, it was usable for no work,” and thus surely it is logical to argue, “How much less, when the fire has devoured it, and it is singed?”[79]

The Lord told Moses to go before Pharaoh again. (1984 illustration by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Sweet Publishing)

Reading the words of Exodus 6:13, “And the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, and gave them a command concerning the children of Israel,” Rabbi Samuel bar Rabbi Isaac asked about what matter God commanded the Israelites. Rabbi Samuel bar Rabbi Isaac taught that God gave them the commandment about the freeing of slaves.[80]

Moses and Aaron went before Pharaoh. (1984 illustration by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Sweet Publishing)

A Midrash interpreted the words of Exodus 6:13, “And He gave them a charge concerning the children of Israel,” to convey that God warned Moses and Aaron that the Israelites were obstinate, bad-tempered, and troublesome, and that in assuming leadership over the Israelites, Moses and Aaron must expect that the Israelites would curse and even stone them.[81]

A Midrash interpreted God’s instructions to Moses and Aaron in Exodus 6:13, “and to Pharaoh, King of Egypt,” to convey that God told Moses and Aaron that although God really ought to punish Pharaoh, God wanted Moses and Aaron to show Pharaoh the respect due to his regal position. And Moses did so, as Exodus 11:8 reports that Moses told Pharaoh that God said, “And all these your servants shall come down to Me.” Moses did not say that Pharaoh would come down, only that Pharaoh’s servants would do so. But Moses could well have said that Pharaoh himself would come down, for Exodus 12:30 reports, “Pharaoh arose at midnight.” But Moses did not mention Pharaoh specifically so as to pay him respect.[81]

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Levi
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Kohath
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Amram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Izhar
 
 
 
Hebron
 
 
 
Uzziel
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Miriam
 
Aaron
 
Moses
 
Korah
 
Nepheg
 
Zichri
 
Mishael
 
Elzaphan
 
Sithri
 
 

A Midrash taught that Korah took issue with Moses in Numbers 16:1 because Moses had (as Numbers 3:30 reports) appointed Elizaphan the son of Uzziel as prince of the Kohathites, and Korah was (as Exodus 6:21 reports) son of Uzziel's older brother Izhar, and thus had a claim to leadership prior to Elizaphan.[82]

Rava taught that he who wishes to take a wife should first inquire about the character of her brothers. For Exodus 6:23 reports, “And Aaron took Elisheva, the daughter of Amminadab, the sister of Nahshon.” As Exodus 6:23 states “the daughter of Amminadab,” it is obvious that she was the sister of Nahshon. So Exodus 6:23 expressly states “the sister of Nahshon” to imply that he who takes a wife should inquire about the character of her brothers, because most children resemble the brothers of their mother.[83]

The Gemara asked whether the words in Exodus 6:25, “And Eleazar Aaron’s son took him one of the daughters of Putiel to wife” did not convey that Eleazar’s son Phinehas descended from Jethro, who fattened (piteim) calves for idol worship. The Gemara then provided an alternative explanation: Exodus 6:25 could mean that Phinehas descended from Joseph, who conquered (pitpeit) his passions (resisting Potiphar’s wife, as reported in Genesis 39). But the Gemara asked, did not the tribes sneer at Phinehas and question[84] how a youth (Phinehas) whose mother’s father crammed calves for idol-worship could kill the head of a tribe in Israel (Zimri, Prince of Simeon, as reported in Numbers 25). The Gemara explained that the real explanation was that Phinehas descended from both Joseph and Jethro. If Phinehas’s mother’s father descended from Joseph, then Phinehas’s mother’s mother descended from Jethro. And if Phinehas’s mother’s father descended from Jethro, then Phinehas’s mother’s mother descended from Joseph. The Gemara explained that Exodus 6:25 implies this dual explanation of “Putiel” when it says, “of the daughters of Putiel,” because the plural “daughters” implies two lines of ancestry (from both Joseph and Jethro).[85]

Moses and Aaron before Pharaoh (painting by Benjamin West)
Moses Speaks to Pharaoh (watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot)

Rabbi Simeon noted that in nearly every instance, the Torah mentioned Moses before Aaron, but Exodus 6:26 mentioned Aaron before Moses, teaching that the two were deemed equivalent.[86] The Gemara taught that the use of the pronoun “he (hu)” in an introduction, as in the words “These are (hu) that Aaron and Moses” in Exodus 6:26 signifies that they were the same in their righteousness from the beginning to the end. Similar uses appear in Chronicles 1:27 to teach Abraham’s enduring righteousness, in 1 Samuel 17:14 to teach David’s enduring humility, in Genesis 36:43 to teach Esau’s enduring wickedness, in Numbers 26:9 to teach Dathan and Abiram’s enduring wickedness, in 2 Chronicles 28:22 to teach Ahaz’s enduring wickedness, and in Esther 1:1 to teach Ahasuerus’s enduring wickedness.[87]

Exodus chapter 7[edit]

The Tosefta cited Exodus 7:1, where the lesser Aaron spoke for the greater Moses, for the proposition that in synagogue reading, a minor may translate for an adult, but it is not honorable for an adult to translate for a minor.[88]

Rabbi Aibu bar Nagri said in the name of Rabbi Hiyya bar Abba that the words “with their enchantments” in Exodus 7:11 refer to sorcery without exogenous assistance, while the words “with their sorcery” in Exodus 7:22 refer to magic through the agency of demons.[89]

Aaron's Rod Changed to a Serpent (illustration from the 1890 Holman Bible)

Reading the words, “Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods,” in Exodus 7:12, Rabbi Eleazar observed that it was a double miracle (as Aaron’s serpent first became a rod again, and as a rod it swallowed up their serpents).[90] When Pharaoh saw this, he was amazed and expressed his fear of what would happen if Moses now told the rod to swallow up Pharaoh and his throne. Rabbi Jose bar Hanina taught that a great miracle happened to that rod, for although it swallowed up all the rods that had been cast down, sufficient to make ten heaps, still the rod did not all become any thicker, and all who saw it recognized it as Aaron's rod. On this account, Aaron's rod became a symbol for all the miracles and wonders that were to be performed for Israel throughout the generations.[91]

The Rods of Moses and the Magicians Turned into Serpents (illustration from the 1728 Figures de la Bible)

A Midrash noted that Exodus 7:13 reports that “Pharaoh's heart was hardened” without God’s action, and that this was so for the first five plagues. As the first five plagues did not move Pharaoh to release the Israelites, God decreed that from then on, even if Pharaoh had agreed to release the Israelites, God would not accept it. Thus starting with the sixth plague and thereafter (as Exodus 10:27 reports), the text says, “the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart.”[92]

Abitol the barber, citing Rav, said that the Pharaoh whom Moses addressed was a puny fellow, a cubit tall, with a beard as long as he was tall, embodying the words in Daniel 4:14 that “the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and . . . sets up over it the lowest of men.” And Abitol the barber, citing Rav, deduced from the words “Pharaoh . . . goes out to the water” in Exodus 7:15 that this Pharaoh was a magus who went to the water to perform sorcery.[93]

The Rod of Aaron Devours the Other Rods (watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot)

Alternatively, a Midrash, reading the words “Pharaoh . . . goes out to the water” in Exodus 7:15, taught that only in the morning did Pharaoh go out to the water, because Pharaoh used to boast that he was a god and did not need to relieve himself. Therefore Pharaoh used to go early in the morning to the water (when no one else was there to witness that he relieved himself like other humans). God, therefore, told Moses to catch him just at this critical moment.[94]

A Midrash cited Exodus 7:20 as one proof for the proposition that God does all things together: God puts to death and brings to life at the same time; God wounds and heals at the same time. And thus the Midrash noted, in Exodus 7:20, “all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood,” and later, the blood became water again.[95]

Rabbi Abin the Levite, the son of Rabbi Judah haNasi, taught that the Israelites became wealthy from the plague of blood. If an Egyptian and an Israelite were in a house where there was a barrel full of water, and the Egyptian went to fill a pitcher from the barrel, the Egyptian would find that it contained blood, while the Israelite would drink water from the same barrel. When the Egyptian asked the Israelite to give the Egyptian some water with the Israelite’s own hand, it still became blood. Even if the Egyptian said to the Israelite that they should both drink from one vessel, the Israelite would drink water, but the Egyptian would drink blood. It was only when the Egyptian bought water from the Israelite for money that the Egyptian was able to drink water. And this is how the Israelites became rich.[96]

The Gemara deduced from the use of the word for fish, dagah, in the phrase “And the fish that were in the river died” in Exodus 7:21 that the word dagah applies to fish both large and small.[97]

The Plague of Frogs (illustration from the 1891 Bible encyclopedia of Archimandrite Nikiphor)

A Midrash taught that the frogs were the most grievous of the ten plagues. The Midrash taught that the frogs destroyed the Egyptians’ bodies, as Psalm 78:45 says “frogs . . . destroyed them,” and the frogs emasculated the Egyptians, as Exodus 7:28 says that the frogs would “come into . . . [the Egyptians’] bed-chamber, and upon [their] bed.” The Midrash taught that the frogs told the Egyptians that the coinage of their gods was abolished, and the Egyptians’ own coinage — their ability to procreate — was also rendered invalid. The Midrash reasoned that as the word “destroyed” in Genesis 38:9 applied to checking procreation in the passage about Onan’s seed, as “he destroyed it on the ground,” so the Midrash reasoned that Psalm 78:45 means to convey that the Egyptians’ procreation was checked as well when it says, “frogs . . . destroyed them.” And the Midrash deduced that the frogs spoke because Exodus 8:8 says, “concerning the frogs,” and the words for “concerning,” al debar, may also be read, “because of the words of.”[98]

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah) (painting by Simeon Solomon)

Thaddeus of Rome taught that Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah (also known as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) delivered themselves to the Fiery Furnace to sanctify the Divine Name in Daniel 3:8–30 because they deduced from Exodus 7:28 that the frogs of the plague, which had not been commanded to sanctify the Divine Name, nonetheless jumped into hot ovens at God’s behest. So Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah reasoned that people, whom Leviticus 22:32 does command to sanctify the Divine Name, should be willing to bear hot ovens for that reason. Thaddeus of Rome deduced that the ovens into which the frogs jumped were hot from the proximity of the words “ovens” and “kneading troughs” in Exodus 7:28, reasoning that kneading troughs are found near ovens when ovens are hot.[99]

The Tosefta deduced from Exodus 1:8 that Pharaoh began to sin first before the people, and thus as indicated by Exodus 7:29 and 8:4, God struck him first and then the people.[100]

The Plague of Frogs (1670 engraving by Gerard Jollain)

Exodus chapter 8[edit]

Rabbi Eleazar taught that when Exodus 8:2 reports that “the frog came up, and covered the land of Egypt,” it was initially just one frog, which bred prolifically and filled the land. The Tannaim disputed the matter. Rabbi Akiba said that one frog filled the whole of Egypt by breeding. But Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah chastised Akiba for dabbling in aggadah, and taught that one frog croaked for others, and they joined the first frog.[101]

A Midrash interpreted the words of Proverbs 29:23, “A man’s pride shall bring him low; but he that is of a lowly spirit shall attain to honor,” to apply to Pharaoh and Moses, respectively. The Midrash taught that the words, “A man’s pride shall bring him low,” apply to Pharaoh, who in Exodus 5:2 haughtily asked, “Who is the Lord that I should hearken to His voice?” and so, as Psalm 136:15 reports, God “overthrew Pharaoh and his host.” And the Midrash taught that the words, “but he that is of a lowly spirit shall attain to honor,” apply to Moses, who in Exodus 8:5, humbly asked Pharaoh, “Have this glory over me; at what time shall I entreat for you . . . that the frogs be destroyed,” and was rewarded in Exodus 9:29 with the opportunity to say, “As soon as I am gone out of the city, I will spread forth my hands to the Lord [and] the thunders shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail.”[102]

Rabbi Eleazar deduced from the magicians’ recognition of “the finger of God” in Exodus 8:15 that a demonic spirit cannot produce a creature less than a barleycorn in size. Rav Papa said that a spirit cannot even produce something the size of a camel, but a spirit can collect the elements of a larger object and thus produce the illusion of creating it, but a spirit cannot do even that with a smaller object.[103]

Rabbi Jose the Galilean reasoned that as the phrase “the finger of God” in Exodus 8:15 referred to 10 plagues, “the great hand” (translated “the great work”) in Exodus 14:31 (in connection with the miracle of the Reed Sea) must refer to 50 plagues upon the Egyptians, and thus to a variety of cruel and strange deaths.[104]

Rabbi Phinehas ben Hama reasoned that as the phrase “the finger of God” in Exodus 8:15 referred to 10 plagues, “the hand of God” in Job 19:21 (in connection with Job’s poverty) must refer to 50 plagues.[105]

A Midrash interpreted the words of Exodus 8:22, “Lo, if we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, will they not stone us?” to teach that the Egyptians saw the lamb as a god. Thus, when God told Moses to slay the paschal lamb (as reflected in Exodus 12:21), Moses asked God how he could possibly do so, when the lamb was as Egyptian god. God replied that the Israelites would not depart from Egypt until they slaughtered the Egyptian gods before the Egyptians’ eyes, so that God might teach them that their gods were really nothing at all. And thus God did so, for on the same night that God slew the Egyptian firstborn, the Israelites slaughtered their paschal lambs and ate them. When the Egyptians saw their firstborn slain and their gods slaughtered, they could do nothing, as Numbers 33:4 reports, “While the Egyptians were burying them whom the Lord had smitten among them, even all their firstborn; upon their gods also the Lord executed judgment.”[106]

The Plague of Hail (illustration from the 1890 Holman Bible)

Exodus chapter 9[edit]

The Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer taught that for every plague that God brought upon the Egyptians, the magicians also produced the plague, until God brought upon them the boils, and then the magicians were not able to stand to do likewise, as Exodus 9:11 says, “And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils.”[107]

A Midrash taught that when God perceived that Pharaoh did not relent after the first five plagues, God decided that even if Pharaoh now wished to repent, God would harden Pharaoh’s heart in order to exact the whole punishment from him. Thus Exodus 9:12 reports that “the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh.” And the Midrash explained that the reference in Exodus 9:12, “as the Lord had spoken to Moses,” referred to God’s prediction in Exodus 7:3 that “I will harden Pharaoh's heart.”[108]

Pharaoh Changed His Mind (1984 illustration by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Sweet Publishing)

In Exodus 9:12, Pharaoh's heart is hardened. A Midrash catalogued the wide range of additional capabilities of the heart reported in the Hebrew Bible.[109] The heart speaks,[110] sees,[110] hears,[111] walks,[112] falls,[113] stands,[114] rejoices,[115] cries,[116] is comforted,[117] is troubled,[118] grows faint,[119] grieves,[120] fears,[121] can be broken,[122] becomes proud,[123] rebels,[124] invents,[125] cavils,[126] overflows,[127] devises,[128] desires,[129] goes astray,[130] lusts,[131] is refreshed,[132] can be stolen,[133] is humbled,[134] is enticed,[135] errs,[136] trembles,[137] is awakened,[138] loves,[139] hates,[140] envies,[141] is searched,[142] is rent,[143] meditates,[144] is like a fire,[145] is like a stone,[146] turns in repentance,[147] becomes hot,[148] dies,[149] melts,[150] takes in words,[151] is susceptible to fear,[152] gives thanks,[153] covets,[154] becomes hard,[155] makes merry,[156] acts deceitfully,[157] speaks from out of itself,[158] loves bribes,[159] writes words,[160] plans,[161] receives commandments,[162] acts with pride,[163] makes arrangements,[164] and aggrandizes itself.[165]

Exodus 9:13–34 sets forth the plague of hail. The Gemara told of the miracle of the hailstones (אַבְנֵי אֶלְגָּבִישׁ, avnei elgavish) of which Ezekiel 13:11, 13:13, and 38:22 speak. A Midrash taught that they were stones (אֲבָנִים, avanim) which remained suspended for the sake of a man (al gav ish) and came down for the sake of a man. The hailstones remained suspended for the sake of a man — this was Moses, of whom Numbers 12:3 says, “Now the man Moses was very meek,” and Exodus 9:33 says, “And the thunder and hail ceased, and the rain poured not upon the earth.” The hailstones came down for the sake of a man — this was Joshua, of whom Numbers 27:18 says, “Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom there is spirit,” and Joshua 10:11 says, “And it came to pass as they fled from before Israel, while they were at the descent of Beth-Horon, that the Lord cast down great stones.”[166]

Rabbi Nechunia, son of Hakkanah, taught that God killed Pharaoh, and then because of Pharaoh’s repentance, delivered him from among the dead. Rabbi Nechunia deduced that Pharaoh had died from Exodus 9:15, in which God told Moses to tell Pharaoh, “For now I had put forth my hand, and smitten you.”[167]

The Pharisees noted that while in Exodus 5:2 Pharaoh asked who God was, once God had smitten him, in Exodus 9:27 Pharaoh acknowledged that God was righteous. Citing this juxtaposition, the Pharisees complained against heretics who placed the name of earthly rulers above the name of God.[168]

Interpreting Exodus 9:34, “And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders had ceased, he sinned yet more,” a Midrash taught that so it always is with the wicked: As long as they are in trouble, they humble themselves. But as soon as trouble passes, they return to their perversity.[169]

In medieval rabbinic interpretation[edit]

The parashah is discussed in these medieval rabbinic sources:

Rashi

Exodus chapter 6[edit]

Rashi taught that God’s words “I am the Lord” in Exodus 6:3 meant that God was faithful to recompense all those who followed God. Thus “I am the Lord” means that God is faithful to exact payment when it is stated in conjunction with an act warranting punishment, as in Leviticus 19:12, “or you will profane the name of your God; I am the Lord.” And “I am the Lord” means that God is faithful to give reward when it is stated in conjunction with the fulfillment of commandments, as in Leviticus 22:31, “And you shall keep My commandments and perform them; I am the Lord.”[170]

Ibn Ezra read God’s statement “and I appeared” in Exodus 6:3 to indicate that the Patriarchs received their prophesies in visions of the night.[171]

Saadia Gaon taught that the word “only” was omitted from the statement “I did not make Myself known to them by My name YHVH” in Exodus 6:3, so that one should read Exodus 6:3 to say, “I did not make Myself known to them only by My name YHVH,” for God also used the Name “El Shaddai.”[172]

Nachmanides

Rabbi Joshua taught that Abraham and Jacob literally did not know the Name YHVH, but Moses filled it in when writing down the Torah. But ibn Ezra disagreed, asking how Moses could dare to write a name that God had not uttered.[173]

Rashi noted that Exodus 6:3 does not say, “but My Name YHVH I did not inform them,” but, “I did not become known.” God thus meant that God was not recognized by them with God’s attribute of keeping faith, because of which God is called YHVH, which means that God is faithful to carry out God’s words, for God made promises to them, but did not fulfill them while they were alive.[174]

Nachmanides read God to say in Exodus 6:3 that God appeared to the Patriarchs in God’s form of El Shaddai, in which God performs hidden miracles that appear to the observer as part of the natural order. But God did not appear to them in God’s form of YHVH, with which God called existence into being and in which God created open changes in nature.[175]

Maimonides

Exodus chapter 7[edit]

Reading God’s statement in Exodus 7:3 that “I will harden Pharaoh's heart,” the report of Exodus 9:12 that “the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh,” and similar statements in Exodus 4:21; 10:1, 20, 27; 11:10; and 14:4, 8, and 17, Maimonides concluded that it is possible for a person to commit such a great sin, or so many sins, that God decrees that the punishment for these willing and knowing acts is the removal of the privilege of repentance (תְשׁוּבָה, teshuvah). The offender would thus be prevented from doing repentance, and would not have the power to return from the offense, and the offender would die and be lost because of the offense. Maimonides read this to be what God said in Isaiah 6:10, “Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and their eyes weak, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and their hearts will understand, do repentance and be healed.” Similarly 2 Chronicles 36:16 reports, “They ridiculed the messengers of God, disdained His words and insulted His prophets until the anger of God rose upon the people, without possibility of healing.” Maimonides interpreted these verses to teach that they sinned willingly and to such an egregious extent that they deserved to have repentance withheld from them. And thus because Pharaoh sinned on his own at the beginning, harming the Jews who lived in his land, as Exodus 1:10 reports him scheming, “Let us deal craftily with them,” God issued the judgment that repentance would be withheld from Pharaoh until he received his punishment, and therefore God said in Exodus 14:4, “I will harden the heart of Pharaoh.” Maimonides explained that God sent Moses to tell Pharaoh to send out the Jews and do repentance, when God had already told Moses that Pharaoh would refuse, because God sought to inform humanity that when God withholds repentance from a sinner, the sinner will not be able to repent. Maimonides made clear that God did not decree that Pharaoh harm the Jewish people; rather, Pharaoh sinned willifully on his own, and he thus deserved to have the privilege of repentance withheld from him.[176]

In modern interpretation[edit]

The parashah is discussed in these modern sources:

Exodus chapter 6[edit]

Israeli Bible scholar Nahama Leibowitz identified the following chiastic structure in God’s speech to Moses in Exodus 6:2–8:[177]

2And God spoke to Moses, and said to him:

A: “I am the Lord;
B: 3And I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name YHWH I made Me not known to them.
C: 4And I have also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their sojournings, wherein they sojourned.
D: 5And moreover I have heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered My covenant.
E: 6Therefore say to the children of Israel: I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm, and with great judgments;
D1: 7And I will take you to Me for a people, and I will be to you a God; and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.
C1: 8And I will bring you in to the land, concerning which I lifted up My hand to give it
B1: to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for a heritage:
A1: I am the Lord.”

Commandments[edit]

According to Maimonides and Sefer ha-Chinuch, there are no commandments in the parashah.[178]

14th century German illuminated Haggadah for Passover

In the liturgy[edit]

Reading the Passover Haggadah, in the magid section of the Seder, many Jews remove drops of wine from their cups for each of the ten plagues in Exodus 7:14–12:29.[179]

Next, the Haggadah recounts the reasoning of Rabbi Jose the Galilean that as the phrase “the finger of God” in Exodus 8:15 referred to 10 plagues, “the great hand” (translated “the great work”) in Exodus 14:31 must refer to 50 plagues upon the Egyptians.[180]

And the haggadah in the magid section quotes Exodus 9:3 to elucidate the term “a mighty hand” in Deuteronomy 26:8, interpreting the “mighty hand” to mean the plague of pestilence on the Egyptian livestock.[181]

Ezekiel (1510 fresco by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel)

Haftarah[edit]

Generally[edit]

The haftarah for the parashah is Ezekiel 28:25–29:21.

Connection to the Parashah[edit]

Both the parashah and the haftarah describe God’s instructions to a prophet to confront the Pharaoh of Egypt and bring on Israel’s redemption. Both the parashah and the haftarah address God’s judgments (shefatim) against Pharaoh and Egypt.[182] A monster (tannin) plays a role in both the parashah and the haftarah: In the parashah, God turns Moses’ rod into a monster;[183] the haftarah describes Pharaoh as a monster.[184] In both the parashah and the haftarah, God attacks the river[185] and kills fish.[186] In both the parashah and the haftarah, God’s actions would cause the Egyptians to know (ve-yade’u) God.[187] And in both the parashah and the haftarah, God proclaims, “I am the Lord.”[188]

On Shabbat Rosh Chodesh[edit]

When the parashah coincides with Shabbat Rosh Chodesh (as it does in 2013 and 2017), the haftarah is Isaiah 66:1–24.

Further reading[edit]

The parashah has parallels or is discussed in these sources:

Biblical[edit]

Early nonrabbinic[edit]

Josephus

Classical rabbinic[edit]

  • Mishnah: Pesachim 10:1; Shevuot 5:3; Yadayim 4:8. Land of Israel, circa 200 CE. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, pages 249, 630, 1131. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988. ISBN 0-300-05022-4.
  • Tosefta: Megillah 3:21; Sotah 4:12; Keritot 4:15. Land of Israel, circa 300 CE. Reprinted in, e.g., The Tosefta: Translated from the Hebrew, with a New Introduction. Translated by Jacob Neusner, 649, 848, 1571. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 2002. ISBN 1-56563-642-2.
  • Jerusalem Talmud: Pesachim 42b; Rosh Hashanah 20b; Megillah 13b; Sanhedrin 26b. Land of Israel, circa 400 CE. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Yerushalmi. Edited by Chaim Malinowitz, Yisroel Simcha Schorr, and Mordechai Marcus, volumes 18, 24, 26. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2011–2012.
  • Genesis Rabbah 1:15; 5:7; 18:5; 19:7; 37:3; 1up 46:1, 5; 82:3; 88:5; 92:7; 96, 97. Land of Israel, 5th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Genesis. Translated by H. Freedman and Maurice Simon, volume 1, pages 14, 37–38, 144, 153, 296, 389, 392; 2:754, 816, 853, 898, 929. London: Soncino Press, 1939. ISBN 0-900689-38-2.
  • Mekhilta of Rabbi Ishmael Beshallah 7. Land of Israel, late 4th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Mekhilta According to Rabbi Ishmael. Translated by Jacob Neusner, volume 1, pages 169–70. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1988. ISBN 1-55540-237-2. And Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael. Translated by Jacob Z. Lauterbach, volume 1, page 166. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1933, reissued 2004. ISBN 0-8276-0678-8.
  • Mekhilta of Rabbi Simeon 2:1–2, 5; 3:1; 15:4–5; 16:1, 4; 19:4; 21:4; 22:6; 26:3, 6; 35:1; 47:2. Land of Israel, 5th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Mekhilta de-Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai. Translated by W. David Nelson, pages 5–7, 9–11, 50–51, 54, 56, 78–79, 89, 93, 114, 117, 150, 209. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2006. ISBN 0-8276-0799-7.
Talmud

Medieval[edit]

  • Exodus Rabbah 5:14, 6:1–12:7, 23:9, 25:27, 28:4. 10th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Exodus. Translated by S.M. Lehrman, volume 3. London: Soncino Press, 1939. ISBN 0-900689-38-2.
  • Rashi. Commentary. Exodus 6–9. Troyes, France, late 11th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Rashi. The Torah: With Rashi’s Commentary Translated, Annotated, and Elucidated. Translated and annotated by Yisrael Isser Zvi Herczeg, volume 2, pages 53–90. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1994. ISBN 0-89906-027-7.
  • Rashbam. Commentary on the Torah. Troyes, early 12th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Rashbam’s Commentary on Exodus: An Annotated Translation. Edited and translated by Martin I. Lockshin, pages 59–92. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1997. ISBN 0-7885-0225-5.
  • Judah Halevi. Kuzari. 1:25; 2:2. Toledo, Spain, 1130–1140. Reprinted in, e.g., Jehuda Halevi. Kuzari: An Argument for the Faith of Israel. Introduction by Henry Slonimsky, pages 46, 86. New York: Schocken, 1964. ISBN 0-8052-0075-4.
  • Abraham ibn Ezra. Commentary on the Torah. France, 1153. Reprinted in, e.g., Ibn Ezra's Commentary on the Pentateuch: Exodus (Shemot). Translated and annotated by H. Norman Strickman and Arthur M. Silver, volume 2, pages 129–82. New York: Menorah Publishing Company, 1996. ISBN 0-932232-08-6.
  • Jacob Anatoli. “Sermon on Wa-’Era: A Homily on Education.” First half of 13th century. In Marc Saperstein. Jewish Preaching, 1200–1800: An Anthology, pages 113–23. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989. ISBN 0-300-04355-4.
  • Nachmanides. Commentary on the Torah. Jerusalem, circa 1270. Reprinted in, e.g., Ramban (Nachmanides): Commentary on the Torah. Translated by Charles B. Chavel, volume 2, pages 63–99. New York: Shilo Publishing House, 1973. ISBN 0-88328-007-8.
  • Zohar 2:22a–32a. Spain, late 13th century. Reprinted in, e.g., The Zohar. Translated by Harry Sperling and Maurice Simon. 5 volumes. London: Soncino Press, 1934.
Hobbes
  • Jacob ben Asher (Baal Ha-Turim). Commentary on the Torah. Early 14th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Baal Haturim Chumash: Shemos/Exodus. Translated by Eliyahu Touger; edited and annotated by Avie Gold, volume 2, pages 569–607. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2000. ISBN 1-57819-129-7.

Modern[edit]

  • Obadiah ben Jacob Sforno. Commentary on the Torah. Venice, 1567. Reprinted in, e.g., Sforno: Commentary on the Torah. Translation and explanatory notes by Raphael Pelcovitz, pages 308–27. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1997. ISBN 0-89906-268-7.
Hirsch
Malbim
  • Malbim. The Torah and the Commandments. Warsaw, 1874–80. Reprinted in, e.g., Malbim: Rabbenu Meir Leibush ben Yechiel Michel. Commentary on the Torah. Translated by Zvi Faier, volume 4, pages 158–252. Israel: M.P. Press/Hillel Press, 1984. ISBN 0-918220-04-01.
  • Benno Jacob. The Second Book of the Bible: Exodus. London, 1940. Translated by Walter Jacob, pages 142–280. Hoboken, New Jersey: KTAV Publishing House, 1992. ISBN 0-88125-028-7.
  • Thomas Mann. Joseph and His Brothers. Translated by John E. Woods, page 788. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005. ISBN 1-4000-4001-9. Originally published as Joseph und seine Brüder. Stockholm: Bermann-Fischer Verlag, 1943.
Cassuto
  • Umberto Cassuto. A Commentary on the Book of Exodus. Jerusalem, 1951. Translated by Israel Abrahams, pages 76–122. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University, 1967.
  • Walther Zimmerli. “I Am Yahweh.” In I Am Yahweh. Translated by Douglas W. Stott; edited and introduction by Walter Brueggemann, pages 1–28. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1982. ISBN 0-8042-0519-1. Originally published in Geschichte und Altes Testament, pages 179–209. J.C.B. Mohr, 1953.
  • Robert R. Wilson, “The Hardening of Pharaoh’s Heart.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly. Volume 41 (number 1) (1979): pages 18–36.
  • Ziony Zevit. “Three Ways to Look at the Ten Plagues: Were They Natural Disasters, A Demonstration of the Impotence of the Egyptian Gods or an Undoing of Creation?” Bible Review. Volume 6 (number 3) (June 1980).
  • Nehama Leibowitz. New Studies in Shemot (Exodus), pages 114–77. Jerusalem: Haomanim Press, 1993. Reprinted as New Studies in the Weekly Parasha. Lambda Publishers, 2010. ISBN 965524038X.
  • Aaron Wildavsky. Assimilation versus Separation: Joseph the Administrator and the Politics of Religion in Biblical Israel, page 14. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 1993. ISBN 1-56000-081-3.
  • John E. Currid. “Why Did God Harden Pharaoh’s Heart?” Bible Review. Volume 9 (number 6) (November/December 1983).
  • Nahum M. Sarna. The JPS Torah Commentary: Exodus: The Traditional Hebrew Text with the New JPS Translation, pages 30–48, 269. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1991. ISBN 0-8276-0327-4.
  • William H.C. Propp. Exodus 1–18, volume 2, pages 261–354. New York: Anchor Bible, 1998. ISBN 0-385-14804-6.
  • Barack Obama. Dreams from My Father, page 294. New York: Three Rivers Press, 1995, 2004. ISBN 1-4000-8277-3. (Moses and Pharaoh).
  • Marc Gellman. “The Pharaoh and the Frog.” In God’s Mailbox: More Stories About Stories in the Bible, pages 36–43. New York: Morrow Junior Books, 1996. ISBN 0-688-13169-7.
  • Bernhard Lang. “Why God Has So Many Names.” Bible Review. Volume 19 (number 4) (August 2003): pages 48–54, 63.
  • Jeffrey H. Tigay. “What’s in a Name? Early Evidence of Devotion Exclusively to Yahweh.” Bible Review. Volume 20 (number 1) (February 2004): pages 34–43, 47–51.
  • Jeffrey H. Tigay. “Exodus.” In The Jewish Study Bible. Edited by Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler, pages 115–22. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. ISBN 0-19-529751-2.
  • Marek Halter. Zipporah, Wife of Moses, pages 245–49. New York: Crown, 2005. ISBN 1-4000-5279-3.
  • Lawrence Kushner. Kabbalah: A Love Story, page 78. New York: Morgan Road Books, 2006. ISBN 0-7679-2412-6.
  • Suzanne A. Brody. “The highest form.” In Dancing in the White Spaces: The Yearly Torah Cycle and More Poems, page 76. Shelbyville, Kentucky: Wasteland Press, 2007. ISBN 1-60047-112-9.
  • Sam Ernst and Jim Dunn. “A Tale of Two Audreys.” In Haven, season 2, episode 1. Entertainment One, 2011. (plagues plot element).

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Torah Stats — Shemoth". Akhlah Inc. Retrieved July 6, 2013. 
  2. ^ See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash: Shemos/Exodus. Edited by Menachem Davis, pages 31–57. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2008. ISBN 1-4226-0204-4.
  3. ^ Exodus 6:2–4.
  4. ^ Exodus 6:6–8.
  5. ^ Exodus 6:9.
  6. ^ See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash, page 33.
  7. ^ Exodus 6:10–12.
  8. ^ See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash, page 34.
  9. ^ See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash, pages 34–35.
  10. ^ Exodus 6:14–25.
  11. ^ a b See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash, page 37.
  12. ^ Exodus 6:29–30.
  13. ^ Exodus 7:1–2.
  14. ^ Exodus 7:3–5.
  15. ^ Exodus 7:6.
  16. ^ Exodus 7:7.
  17. ^ See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash, page 39.
  18. ^ Exodus 7:9–10.
  19. ^ Exodus 7:11–12.
  20. ^ Exodus 7:13.
  21. ^ See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash, page 40.
  22. ^ Exodus 7:14–18.
  23. ^ See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash, page 41.
  24. ^ Exodus 7:19.
  25. ^ Exodus 7:20–21.
  26. ^ Exodus 7:22–23.
  27. ^ Exodus 7:25.
  28. ^ See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash, page 43.
  29. ^ Exodus 7:26–8:2.
  30. ^ Exodus 8:3.
  31. ^ Exodus 8:4.
  32. ^ Exodus 8:5–6.
  33. ^ See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash, page 45.
  34. ^ Exodus 8:7–11.
  35. ^ See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash, page 46.
  36. ^ Exodus 8:12–13.
  37. ^ Exodus 8:14.
  38. ^ Exodus 8:15.
  39. ^ See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash, page 47.
  40. ^ Exodus 8:16–18.
  41. ^ See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash, page 48.
  42. ^ Exodus 8:19–20.
  43. ^ Exodus 8:21–23.
  44. ^ Exodus 8:24.
  45. ^ Exodus 8:27–28.
  46. ^ See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash, page 50.
  47. ^ Exodus 9:1–6.
  48. ^ Exodus 9:7.
  49. ^ See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash, page 51.
  50. ^ Exodus 9:8–10.
  51. ^ Exodus 9:12.
  52. ^ See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash, page 52.
  53. ^ Exodus 9:13–16.
  54. ^ See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash, page 53.
  55. ^ Exodus 9:17–19.
  56. ^ Exodus 9:20–21.
  57. ^ See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash, page 54.
  58. ^ Exodus 9:22–26.
  59. ^ Exodus 9:27–28.
  60. ^ Exodus 9:29–30.
  61. ^ Exodus 9:31–32.
  62. ^ See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash, pages 56–57.
  63. ^ Exodus 9:33–35.
  64. ^ See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash, page 57.
  65. ^ See, e.g., "A Complete Triennial Cycle for Reading the Torah". The Jewish Theological Seminary. Retrieved November 12, 2013. 
  66. ^ For more on inner-Biblical interpretation, see, e.g., Benjamin D. Sommer. “Inner-biblical Interpretation.” In The Jewish Study Bible. Edited by Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler, pages 1829–35. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. ISBN 0-19-529751-2.
  67. ^ Philo. On the Change of Names chapter 2, paragraphs 11–13. Alexandria, Egypt, early 1st century CE. Reprinted in, e.g., The Works of Philo: Complete and Unabridged, New Updated Edition. Translated by Charles Duke Yonge, page 342. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 1993. ISBN 0-943575-93-1.
  68. ^ Exodus Rabbah 6:1. 10th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Exodus. Translated by S.M. Lehrman, volume 3, pages 103, 105. London: Soncino Press, 1939. ISBN 0-900689-38-2.
  69. ^ See Genesis 17:1 and 48:3.
  70. ^ Exodus Rabbah 6:4. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Exodus. Translated by S.M. Lehrman, volume 3, pages 107–09. See also Mekhilta of Rabbi Simeon, Tractate Sanya, chapter 2, paragraph 3:1. Land of Israel, 5th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Mekhilta de-Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai. Translated by W. David Nelson, page 8. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2006. ISBN 0-8276-0799-7. (Rabbi Akiva said that “therefore” implies an oath.)
  71. ^ Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 90b. Babylonia, 6th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Elucidated by Asher Dicker, Joseph Elias, and Dovid Katz; edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr and Chaim Malinowitz, volume 49, page 90b2. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1995. ISBN 1-57819-628-0.
  72. ^ Babylonian Talmud Rosh Hashanah 11b. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Elucidated by Abba Zvi Naiman, Israel Schneider, Moshe Zev Einhorn, and Eliezer Herzka; edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr and Chaim Malinowitz, volume 18, page 11b1. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1999. ISBN 1-57819-617-5.
  73. ^ Babylonian Talmud Berakhot 38a. Reprinted in, e.g., Koren Talmud Bavli: Tractate Berakhot. Commentary by Adin Even-Israel (Steinsaltz), volume 1, page 256. Jerusalem: Koren Publishers, 2012. ISBN 965-301-5630.
  74. ^ Jerusalem Talmud Pesachim 82b. Land of Israel, circa 400 CE. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Yerushalmi. Elucidated by Michoel Weiner, Chaim Ochs, Zev Meisels, Mordechai Smilowitz, Gershon Hoffman, Yehuda Jaffa, Avrohom Neuberger, and Mendy Wachsman; edited by Chaim Malinowitz, Yisroel Simcha Schorr, and Mordechai Marcus, volume 19, page 82b1. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2011. ISBN 1-4226-0251-6. See also Exodus Rabbah 6:4. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Exodus. Translated by S.M. Lehrman, volume 3, pages 107–09. Genesis Rabbah 88:5.
  75. ^ Mishnah Pesachim 10:1. Land of Israel, circa 200 CE. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, page 249. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988. ISBN 0-300-05022-4. Babylonian Talmud Pesachim 99b.
  76. ^ Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 111a.
  77. ^ Babylonian Talmud Bava Batra 117b.
  78. ^ Exodus Rabbah 6:5. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Exodus. Translated by S.M. Lehrman, volume 3, page 109.
  79. ^ Genesis Rabbah 92:7.
  80. ^ Jerusalem Talmud Rosh Hashanah 20b. Land of Israel, circa 400 CE. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Yerushalmi. Elucidated by Gershon Hoffman, Mordechai Smilowitz, Yehuda Jaffa, Mordechai Stareshefsky, Chaim Ochs, and Abba Zvi Naiman; edited by Chaim Malinowitz, Yisroel Simcha Schorr, and Mordechai Marcus, volume 24, page 20b4. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2012. ISBN 1-4226-0254-0.
  81. ^ a b Exodus Rabbah 7:3. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Exodus. Translated by S.M. Lehrman, volume 3, page 111.
  82. ^ Midrash Tanhuma Korah 1.
  83. ^ Babylonian Talmud Bava Batra 110a. See also Exodus Rabbah 7:5. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Exodus. Translated by S.M. Lehrman, volume 3, page 113.
  84. ^ See Sotah 43a. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Elucidated by Eliezer Herzka, Moshe Zev Einhorn, Michoel Weiner, Dovid Kamenetsky, and Reuvein Dowek; edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr and Chaim Malinowitz, volume 33b, page 43a2. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2000. ISBN 1-57819-673-6. See also Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 82b Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Elucidated by Michoel Weiner and Asher Dicker; edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr and Chaim Malinowitz, volume 48, page 82b1. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1994. ISBN 1-57819-630-2.
  85. ^ Babylonian Talmud Bava Batra 109b–10a. See also Exodus Rabbah 7:5. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Exodus. Translated by S.M. Lehrman, volume 3, page 113.
  86. ^ Tosefta Keritot 4:15. Land of Israel, circa 300 CE. Reprinted in, e.g., The Tosefta: Translated from the Hebrew, with a New Introduction. Translated by Jacob Neusner, volume 2, pages 1570–71. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 2002. ISBN 1-56563-642-2. See also Mekhilta of Rabbi Ishmael Pisha 6:1:2 (attributing to Rabbi Judah haNasi). Song of Songs Rabbah 4:13 (attributing to the Rabbis).
  87. ^ Babylonian Talmud Megillah 11a.
  88. ^ Tosefta Megillah 3:21. Reprinted in, e.g., The Tosefta: Translated from the Hebrew, with a New Introduction. Translated by Jacob Neusner, volume 1, page 649.
  89. ^ Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 67b. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Elucidated by Michoel Weiner and Asher Dicker; edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr and Chaim Malinowitz, volume 48, page 67b2.
  90. ^ Babylonian Talmud Shabbat 97a. Exodus Rabbah 9:7. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Exodus. Translated by S.M. Lehrman, volume 3, pages 123, 125.
  91. ^ Exodus Rabbah 9:7. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Exodus. Translated by S.M. Lehrman, volume 3, pages 123, 125.
  92. ^ Midrash Tanhuma Va’eira 3. See also Exodus Rabbah 11:6. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Exodus. Translated by S.M. Lehrman, volume 3, page 142. (discussed below).
  93. ^ Babylonian Talmud Moed Katan 18a.
  94. ^ Exodus Rabbah 9:8. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Exodus. Translated by S.M. Lehrman, volume 3, pages 125–26.
  95. ^ Exodus Rabbah 28:4. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Exodus. Translated by S.M. Lehrman, volume 3, page 334.
  96. ^ Exodus Rabbah 9:10. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Exodus. Translated by S.M. Lehrman, volume 3, pages 127–28.
  97. ^ Babylonian Talmud Nedarim 51b.
  98. ^ Exodus Rabbah 15:27. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Exodus. Translated by S.M. Lehrman, volume 3, pages 198, 200.
  99. ^ Babylonian Talmud Pesachim 53b.
  100. ^ Tosefta Sotah 4:12. Reprinted in, e.g., The Tosefta: Translated from the Hebrew, with a New Introduction. Translated by Jacob Neusner, volume 1, page 848.
  101. ^ Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 67b. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Elucidated by Michoel Weiner and Asher Dicker; edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr and Chaim Malinowitz, volume 48, page 67b3–4.
  102. ^ Numbers Rabbah 13:3. 12th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Numbers. Translated by Judah J. Slotki, volume 6, pages 506–07. London: Soncino Press, 1939. ISBN 0-900689-38-2.
  103. ^ Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 67b. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Elucidated by Michoel Weiner and Asher Dicker; edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr and Chaim Malinowitz, volume 48, page 67b3.
  104. ^ Mekhilta of Rabbi Ishmael Beshallah 7; Mekhilta of Rabbi Simeon 26:6; see also Exodus Rabbah 5:14, 23:9. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Exodus. Translated by S.M. Lehrman, volume 3, pages 93, 96, 287–88.
  105. ^ Babylonian Talmud Bava Batra 116a. See also Exodus Rabbah 23:9. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Exodus. Translated by S.M. Lehrman, volume 3, pages 287–88.
  106. ^ Exodus Rabbah 16:3. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Exodus. Translated by S.M. Lehrman, volume 3, page 209.
  107. ^ Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer, chapter 48. Early 9th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. Translated and annotated by Gerald Friedlander, 381. London, 1916. Reprinted New York: Hermon Press, 1970. ISBN 0-87203-183-7.
  108. ^ Exodus Rabbah 11:6. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Exodus. Translated by S.M. Lehrman, volume 3, page 142.
  109. ^ Ecclesiastes Rabbah 1:36.
  110. ^ a b Ecclesiastes 1:16.
  111. ^ 1 Kings 3:9.
  112. ^ 2 Kings 5:26.
  113. ^ 1 Samuel 17:32.
  114. ^ Ezekiel 22:14.
  115. ^ Psalm 16:9.
  116. ^ Lamentations 2:18.
  117. ^ Isaiah 40:2.
  118. ^ Deuteronomy 15:10.
  119. ^ Deuteronomy 20:3.
  120. ^ Genesis 6:6.
  121. ^ Deuteronomy 28:67.
  122. ^ Psalm 51:19.
  123. ^ Deuteronomy 8:14.
  124. ^ Jeremiah 5:23.
  125. ^ 1 Kings 12:33.
  126. ^ Deuteronomy 29:18.
  127. ^ Psalm 45:2.
  128. ^ Proverbs 19:21.
  129. ^ Psalm 21:3.
  130. ^ Proverbs 7:25.
  131. ^ Numbers 15:39.
  132. ^ Genesis 18:5.
  133. ^ Genesis 31:20.
  134. ^ Leviticus 26:41.
  135. ^ Genesis 34:3.
  136. ^ Isaiah 21:4.
  137. ^ 1 Samuel 4:13.
  138. ^ Song of Songs 5:2.
  139. ^ Deuteronomy 6:5.
  140. ^ Leviticus 19:17.
  141. ^ Proverbs 23:17.
  142. ^ Jeremiah 17:10.
  143. ^ Joel 2:13.
  144. ^ Psalm 49:4.
  145. ^ Jeremiah 20:9.
  146. ^ Ezekiel 36:26.
  147. ^ 2 Kings 23:25.
  148. ^ Deuteronomy 19:6.
  149. ^ 1 Samuel 25:37.
  150. ^ Joshua 7:5.
  151. ^ Deuteronomy 6:6.
  152. ^ Jeremiah 32:40.
  153. ^ Psalm 111:1.
  154. ^ Proverbs 6:25.
  155. ^ Proverbs 28:14.
  156. ^ Judges 16:25.
  157. ^ Proverbs 12:20.
  158. ^ 1 Samuel 1:13.
  159. ^ Jeremiah 22:17.
  160. ^ Proverbs 3:3.
  161. ^ Proverbs 6:18.
  162. ^ Proverbs 10:8.
  163. ^ Obadiah 1:3.
  164. ^ Proverbs 16:1.
  165. ^ 2 Chronicles 25:19.
  166. ^ Babylonian Talmud Berakhot 54b. Reprinted in, e.g., Koren Talmud Bavli: Tractate Berakhot. Commentary by Adin Even-Israel (Steinsaltz), volume 1, pages 351–52.
  167. ^ Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer, chapter 43. Reprinted in, e.g., Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. Translated and annotated by Gerald Friedlander, pages 341–42.
  168. ^ Mishnah Yadayim 4:8. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, page 1131.
  169. ^ Exodus Rabbah 12:7. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Exodus. Translated by S.M. Lehrman, volume 3, page 149.
  170. ^ Rashi. Commentary on 6:2. Troyes, France, late 11th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Rashi. The Torah: With Rashi’s Commentary Translated, Annotated, and Elucidated. Translated and annotated by Yisrael Isser Zvi Herczeg, volume 2, page 54. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1994. ISBN 0-89906-028-5.
  171. ^ Abraham ibn Ezra. Commentary on the Torah. France, 1153. Reprinted in, e.g., Ibn Ezra's Commentary on the Pentateuch: Exodus (Shemot). Translated and annotated by H. Norman Strickman and Arthur M. Silver, volume 2, page 129. New York: Menorah Publishing Company, 1996. ISBN 0-932232-08-6.
  172. ^ Abraham ibn Ezra. Commentary on the Torah. Reprinted in, e.g., Ibn Ezra's Commentary on the Pentateuch: Exodus (Shemot). Translated and annotated by H. Norman Strickman and Arthur M. Silver, volume 2, page 132.
  173. ^ Abraham ibn Ezra. Commentary on the Torah. Reprinted in, e.g., Ibn Ezra's Commentary on the Pentateuch: Exodus (Shemot). Translated and annotated by H. Norman Strickman and Arthur M. Silver, volume 2, page 133.
  174. ^ Rashi. Commentary on 6:3. Reprinted in, e.g., Rashi. The Torah: With Rashi’s Commentary Translated, Annotated, and Elucidated. Translated and annotated by Yisrael Isser Zvi Herczeg, volume 2, pages 54–55.
  175. ^ Nachmanides. Commentary on the Torah. Jerusalem, circa 1270. Reprinted in, e.g., Ramban (Nachmanides): Commentary on the Torah. Translated by Charles B. Chavel, volume 2, pages 65–66. New York: Shilo Publishing House, 1973. ISBN 0-88328-007-8.
  176. ^ Maimonides. Mishneh Torah: Hilchot Teshuvah. Chapter 3, paragraph 3. Egypt. Circa 1170–1180. Reprinted in, e.g., Mishneh Torah: Hilchot Teshuvah: The Laws of Repentance. Translated by Eliyahu Touger, pages 140–48. New York: Moznaim Publishing, 1990. ISBN 0940118-48-9. See also Maimonides. The Eight Chapters on Ethics, chapter 8. Egypt. Late 12th century. Reprinted in, e.g., The Eight Chapters of Maimonides on Ethics (Shemonah Perakim): A Psychological and Ethical Treatise. Edited, annotated, and translated, with an introduction by Joseph I. Gorfinkle, pages 95–96. New York: Columbia University Press, 1912. Reprinted by Forgotten Books, 2012.
  177. ^ Nehama Leibowitz. New Studies in Shemot (Exodus), pages 115–18. Jerusalem: Haomanim Press, 1993. Reprinted as New Studies in the Weekly Parasha. Lambda Publishers, 2010. ISBN 965524038X. See also Walter Brueggemann. “The Book of Exodus.” In The New Interpreter's Bible. Edited by Leander E. Keck, volume 1, pages 734–35. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1994. ISBN 0-687-27814-7. (noting a similar chiastic structure).
  178. ^ Maimonides. Mishneh Torah. Cairo, Egypt, 1170–1180. Reprinted in Maimonides. The Commandments: Sefer Ha-Mitzvoth of Maimonides. Translated by Charles B. Chavel, 2 volumes. London: Soncino Press, 1967. ISBN 0-900689-71-4. Sefer HaHinnuch: The Book of [Mitzvah] Education. Translated by Charles Wengrov, volume 1, page 93. Jerusalem: Feldheim Publishers, 1991. ISBN 0-87306-179-9.
  179. ^ Menachem Davis. The Interlinear Haggadah: The Passover Haggadah, with an Interlinear Translation, Instructions and Comments, page 51. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2005. ISBN 1-57819-064-9. Joseph Tabory. JPS Commentary on the Haggadah: Historical Introduction, Translation, and Commentary, pages 94–95. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2008. ISBN 978-0-8276-0858-0.
  180. ^ Davis, pages 51–52. Tabory, page 95.
  181. ^ Davis, page 49. Tabory, page 94.
  182. ^ Exodus 7:4; Ezekiel 28:26.
  183. ^ Exodus 7:15
  184. ^ Ezekiel 29:3.
  185. ^ Exodus 7:17–19; Ezekiel 29:10
  186. ^ Exodus 7:20–21; Ezekiel 29:4–5.
  187. ^ Exodus 7:5; Ezekiel 28:26; 6, 16, 21.
  188. ^ Exodus 6:2; Ezekiel 29:21.

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