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The Ten Plagues in a Nutshell

The Ten Plagues in a Nutshell


Moses and Aaron repeatedly come before Pharaoh to demand in the name of G‑d, "Let My people go, so that they may serve Me in the wilderness." Pharaoh repeatedly refuses. Aaron's staff turns into a snake and swallows the magic sticks of the Egyptian sorcerers.

Pharaoh still refuses to let the Jews go. Moses warns him that G‑d will smite Egypt. Pharaoh remains impervious. G‑d begins to send a series of plagues upon the Egyptians. In the throes of each plague, Pharaoh promises to let the Children of Israel go; but he reneges the moment the affliction is removed.

1) Aaron strikes the Nile, the waters turn to blood;
2) Swarms of frogs overrun the land;
3) Lice infest all men and beasts. Still, Pharaoh remains stubborn;
4) Hordes of wild animals invade the cities,
5) a pestilence kills the domestic animals,
6) painful boils afflict the Egyptians.
7) Fire and ice combine to descend from the skies as a devastating hail. Still, "the heart of Pharaoh was hardened and he would not let the children of Israel go; as G‑d had said to Moses."

The people of Egypt have suffered too much. They beg Pharaoh to let the Jews go. When Moses comes to warn Pharaoh of the eighth plague, Pharaoh says: You say that you want to go serve your G‑d? I'll let the men go, as long as the women and children stay behind. No, says Moses, we must all go, men women and children, cattle and herds. Pharaoh once again refuses.

The next plagues descends upon Egypt.
8) a swarm of locusts devours all the crops and greenery;
9) a thick, palpable darkness envelops the land.

The Israelites are instructed to bring a "Passover offering" to G‑d: a lamb or kid is to be slaughtered and its blood sprinkled on the doorposts and lintel of every Israelite home, so that G‑d should pass over these homes when He comes to kill the Egyptian firstborn. The roasted meat of the offering is to be eaten that night together with matzah (unleavened bread) and bitter herbs.

Then G‑d brings the tenth plague upon Egypt,
10) all the firstborn of Egypt are killed at the stroke of midnight of the 15th of the month of Nissan.

Painting by Chassidic artist Zalman Kleinman.
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Discussion (8)
March 27, 2016
Nissan? The auto was around back then? Were they the "official" sponsor of Passover seders?
February 16, 2014
Passover date
I am in complete agreement with Eugene Cole. I also point ot that in Ezra 16:19, the Passover was KEPT, (not started) on the Nisan 14.
Art Frailey
Marion, Il
April 29, 2013
"in the evening" could also be translated "between the evenings"...the evening of the 14th and the evening of the 15th which is the daylight portion of the 14th. The meal was to begin on the 14th and continue into the 15th after killing, cooking, and smearing the blood of the sacrifice on the doorposts and getting dressed and ready to leave.
March 19, 2013
14th or 15th?
The command was to kill the lamb in the afternoon (between the evenings) on the 14th. By the time the lamb was cooked, it was the beginning of the 15th. The first or were killed at midnight on the 15th. (That's how I understand it.)
March 19, 2013
14th or 15th?
The command was to kill the lamb in the afternoon (between the evenings) on the 14th. By the time the lamb was cooked, it was the beginning of the 15th. The first or were killed at midnight on the 15th. (That's how I understand it.)
November 29, 2008
Plague #10
How can Chabad Lubavitch posit that plague #10 occurred on the 15th, when Torah is clear that it was on the 14th?
Exodus 12:6 - on the 14th
Leviticus 23:5 - on the 14th
Numbers 28:16 - on the 14th
Joshua 5:10 - on the 14th
What could possibly be more clear and concise?
G-d has emphasized that The Passover MUST! be observed "at its appointed time" on the 14th day!
Throughout all generations, a permanent ordinance, on that same day, forever - Exodus 12:1-thru-13:10.
There is no warrant or sanction anywhere in Torah to support Pesach on the 15th.
While Chabad Lubavitch is not the only Hebrew-related Web site to promote this error, this is a clear example of purposeful
departure from God's commands and instructions in Torah. (See: Isaiah 29:13)
Eugene Cole
Miami Beach, FL
April 27, 2008
Passover Story
Excellent and concise. I've never understood it this well. We used it to do an experiential seder which was a big success. Thanks again.
April 9, 2006
yasher koach! what a beautiful website. my whole family really enjoys and learns a lot from it. Keep up the great work!
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