We just finished learning about מכת בכורות. The word בכורות means first born and the Egyptians’ first born sons died when the מלאך המות (the angel of Death) came through מצרים. Before the plague began, ה׳ promised משה that פרעה would finally give in and let them go. משה warned פרעה about מכת בכורות before the plague began. Before the plague all of the Jews had to cover their door posts in lamb blood. Our מזוזות remind us about the lamb blood that the Jews put on their doors. המלאך המות came overnight and killed all of the first born Egyptians and the first born Egyptian animals. פרעה awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of the Egyptians screaming and then he summoned משה ואהרון to his palace. There פרעה told them to leave Egypt with all of the nation and their animals. All of the first born Egyptians died that night, even פרעה’s own son! Why didn’t פרעה die during מכת בכורות, because he also was a first born? פרעה didn’t die because ה׳ wanted פרעה to realize that ה׳ is powerful and that he is the only god.
We are now learning about מכת חושך in our study of the ten plagues. חושך means darkness, but this plague doesn’t just mean that it is dark outside. The חושך blinded the Egyptians and their animals; they couldn’t even move! משה started this plague by lifting his מטה in the air and then ה׳ brought the plague. In the Torah it says that מכת חושך lasted 3 days twice. Rashi interpreted that by saying that מכת חושך lasted 6 days but some people think that it lasted only 3 days. How many days do you think מכת חושך lasted? During מכת חושך all of the Jews who didn’t believe that they would leave מצרים were killed and buried. The reason it was during מכת חושך is because the Egyptians would have said, “Oh. The Jews as dieing too.” and משה didn’t want that. At the end of the plague פרעה’s heart hardened; this is one of the last times that ה׳ will harden פרעה’s heart. Look for the next post on מכת בכורות (the last plague)!
We are learning about מכת ארבה. This plague is the plague of locust; the locust destroy all of the crops and trees in the שדה. Before this plague העובדים של פרעה actually tell פרעה to let the Jews go, but פרעה says no. משה starts this plague by lifting his מטה in the air and ה׳ brings the ארבה on a burst of רוח. Why did the ארבה come on a burst of רוח and not from eggs? Why didn’t they just hatch from eggs? If you have an idea please comment. Most פרשנים believe that this plague lasted about a week but nobody knows how long the plagues lasted except for מכת דם. How long do you think מכת ארבה lasted? פרעה’s heart hardened yet again; does nobody besides me think that it is creepy that פרעה hasn’t died yet. I mean if I was ה׳ I would have killed פרעה a long time ago. I think that ה׳ was trying to give פרעה opportunities to let the Jews go, but פרעה just wouldn’t listen. פרעה is as stubborn as a mule.
We are on מכת ברד! The word ברד means hail, but this is not any ordinary hail, this hail is giant flaming blocks of ice. משה starts this plague by lifting his מטה in the air, and then ה׳ made flaming ברד fall from the sky. Everyone was shocked that the ברד actually came, but it is not like they had no warning because משה ואהרון warned פרעה about מכת ברד. In ארץ מצרים (where the Egyptians lived) there was ברד everywhere, but in ארץ גושן (where the Jews lived) there was not one piece of ברד in sight. The ברד destroyed all of the plants in ארץ מצרים and it killed all of the מקנה and Egyptians in the שדה, but all of the מקנה and Egyptians in their houses didn’t necessarily die. Why did ה׳ kill all of the מקנה and Egyptians in the שדה but not in the ones in their houses? Well, it is because all of the people and מקנה in their houses showed a sign that they believed in ה׳ because they believed that ברד was really coming. All of the people and מקנה in the שדה didn’t believe that ברד would come so they stayed outside. Most פרשנים believe that מכת ברד lasted for about a week but nobody knows how many days any of the plagues lasted except for מכת דם. How many days do you think the plagues lasted? פרעה’s heart is extremely strong because it hardened even more and it still works. Wow!