Exodus Chapter 10

12The Lord said to Moses, "Stretch forth your hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, and they will ascend over the land of Egypt, and they will eat all the vegetation of the earth, all that the hail has left over."   יבוַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהֹוָ֜ה אֶל־משֶׁ֗ה נְטֵ֨ה יָֽדְךָ֜ עַל־אֶ֤רֶץ מִצְרַ֨יִם֙ בָּֽאַרְבֶּ֔ה וְיַ֖עַל עַל־אֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם וְיֹאכַל֙ אֶת־כָּל־עֵ֣שֶׂב הָאָ֔רֶץ אֵ֛ת כָּל־אֲשֶׁ֥ר הִשְׁאִ֖יר הַבָּרָֽד:
for the locusts: For the plague of the locusts.   בָּֽאַרְבֶּה: בִּשְׁבִיל מַכַּת הָאַרְבֶּה:
13So Moses stretched forth his staff over the land of Egypt, and the Lord led an east wind in the land all that day and all the night. [By the time] it was morning, the east wind had borne the locusts.   יגוַיֵּ֨ט משֶׁ֣ה אֶת־מַטֵּ֘הוּ֘ עַל־אֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֒יִם֒ וַֽיהֹוָ֗ה נִהַ֤ג רֽוּחַ־קָדִים֙ בָּאָ֔רֶץ כָּל־הַיּ֥וֹם הַה֖וּא וְכָל־הַלָּ֑יְלָה הַבֹּ֣קֶר הָיָ֔ה וְר֨וּחַ֙ הַקָּדִ֔ים נָשָׂ֖א אֶת־הָֽאַרְבֶּֽה:
the east wind: The east wind bore the locusts because it [the east wind] came opposite it [the locust swarm], for Egypt is southwest [of Israel], as is explained elsewhere (Num. 34:3).]   וְרוּחַ הַקָּדִים: רוּחַ מִזְרָחִית נָשָׂא אֶת הָאַרְבֶּה, לְפִי שֶׁבָּא כְּנֶגְדוֹ, שֶׁמִּצְרַיִם בִּדְרוֹמִית מַעֲרָבִית הָיְתָה, כְּמוֹ שֶׁמְּפֹרָשׁ בְּמָקוֹם אַחֵר:
14The locusts ascended over the entire land of Egypt, and they alighted within all the border[s] of Egypt, very severe; before them, there was never such a locust [plague], and after it, there will never be one like it.   ידוַיַּ֣עַל הָֽאַרְבֶּ֗ה עַ֚ל כָּל־אֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם וַיָּ֕נַח בְּכֹ֖ל גְּב֣וּל מִצְרָ֑יִם כָּבֵ֣ד מְאֹ֔ד לְ֠פָנָ֠יו לֹא־הָ֨יָה כֵ֤ן אַרְבֶּה֙ כָּמֹ֔הוּ וְאַֽחֲרָ֖יו לֹ֥א יִֽהְיֶה־כֵּֽן:
and after it, there will never be one like it: And the one [the locust plague] that took place in the days of Joel, about which it is said: “the like of which has never been” (Joel 2:2), [from which] we learn that it was more severe than that of [the plague in the days of] Moses-namely because that one was [composed] of many species [of locusts] that were together: arbeh, yelek, chasil, [and] gazam; but [the locust plague] of Moses consisted of only one species [the arbeh], and its equal never was and never will be.   וְאַֽחֲרָיו לֹא־יִֽהְיֶה־כֵן: וְאוֹתוֹ שֶׁהָיָה בִימֵי יוֹאֵל שֶׁנֶּ' "כָּמוֹהוּ לֹא נִהְיָה מִן הָעוֹלָם" (יואל ב'), לָמַדְנוּ שֶׁהָיָה כָּבֵד מִשֶּׁל מֹשֶׁה. (אוֹתוֹ שֶׁל יוֹאֵל הָיָה) עַל יְדֵי מִינִין הַרְבֵּה, שֶׁהָיוּ יַחַד אַרְבֶּה, יֶלֶק, חָסִיל, גָּזָם, אֲבָל שֶׁל מֹשֶׁה לֹא הָיָה אֶלָּא מִין אֶחָד, וְכָמוֹהוּ לֹא הָיָה וְלֹא יִהְיֶה:
15They obscured the view of all the earth, and the earth became darkened, and they ate all the vegetation of the earth and all the fruits of the trees, which the hail had left over, and no greenery was left in the trees or in the vegetation of the field[s] throughout the entire land of Egypt.   טווַיְכַ֞ס אֶת־עֵ֣ין כָּל־הָאָ֘רֶץ֘ וַתֶּחְשַׁ֣ךְ הָאָ֒רֶץ֒ וַיֹּ֜אכַל אֶת־כָּל־עֵ֣שֶׂב הָאָ֗רֶץ וְאֵת֙ כָּל־פְּרִ֣י הָעֵ֔ץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר הוֹתִ֖יר הַבָּרָ֑ד וְלֹֽא־נוֹתַ֨ר כָּל־יֶ֧רֶק בָּעֵ֛ץ וּבְעֵ֥שֶׂב הַשָּׂדֶ֖ה בְּכָל־אֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם:
no greenery: Heb. יֶרֶק, green leaf, verdure in French.   כָּל־יֶרֶק: עָלֶה יָרֹק, וירדו"רא בְּלַעַז:
16Pharaoh hastened to summon Moses and Aaron, and he said, "I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you.   טזוַיְמַהֵ֣ר פַּרְעֹ֔ה לִקְרֹ֖א לְמשֶׁ֣ה וּלְאַֽהֲרֹ֑ן וַיֹּ֗אמֶר חָטָ֛אתִי לַֽיהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֖ם וְלָכֶֽם:
17But now, forgive now my sin only this time and entreat the Lord your God, and let Him remove from me just this death."   יזוְעַתָּ֗ה שָׂ֣א נָ֤א חַטָּאתִי֙ אַ֣ךְ הַפַּ֔עַם וְהַעְתִּ֖ירוּ לַֽיהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֑ם וְיָסֵר֙ מֵֽעָלַ֔י רַ֖ק אֶת־הַמָּ֥וֶת הַזֶּֽה:
18So he [Moses] left Pharaoh and entreated the Lord,   יחוַיֵּצֵ֖א מֵעִ֣ם פַּרְעֹ֑ה וַיֶּעְתַּ֖ר אֶל־יְהֹוָֽה:
19and the Lord reversed a very strong west wind, and it picked up the locusts and thrust them into the Red Sea. Not one locust remained within all the border[s] of Egypt.   יטוַיַּֽהֲפֹ֨ךְ יְהֹוָ֤ה רֽוּחַ־יָם֙ חָזָ֣ק מְאֹ֔ד וַיִּשָּׂא֙ אֶת־הָ֣אַרְבֶּ֔ה וַיִּתְקָעֵ֖הוּ יָ֣מָּה סּ֑וּף לֹ֤א נִשְׁאַר֙ אַרְבֶּ֣ה אֶחָ֔ד בְּכֹ֖ל גְּב֥וּל מִצְרָֽיִם:
west wind: Heb. רוּחַ-יָם, a west wind. — [from targumim]   רֽוּחַ־יָם: רוּחַ מַעֲרָבִי:
into the Red Sea: I believe that the Red Sea was partly in the west, opposite the entire southern boundary, and also east of the land of Israel. Therefore, a west wind thrust the locusts into the Red Sea [which was] opposite it [the west wind]. Likewise, we find this [written] regarding the boundaries [of Israel] that it [the Red Sea] faces the east [of Israel], as it is said: “from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines” (Exod. 23:31). [This signifies] from east to west, because the sea of the Philistines was to the west, as it is said concerning the Philistines, “the inhabitants of the seacoast, the nation of Cherithites” (Zeph. 2:5). [Rashi is apparently referring to the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Eilat, which are both branches of the Red Sea and thus are included in the expression “Red Sea.” The latter is the eastern boundary of the Holy Land, while the Gulf of Suez is Egypt’s eastern boundary. Since the Philistines dwelt on the Mediterranean seacoast, the Red Sea mentioned in that context was surely the Gulf of Eilat. The Red Sea mentioned here is the Gulf of Suez, where the locusts were deposited.]   יָמָּה סּוּף: אוֹמֵר אֲנִי שֶׁיַּם סוּף הָיָה מִקְצָתוֹ בַּמַּעֲרָב, כְּנֶגֶד כָּל רוּחַ דְּרוֹמִית, וְגַם בְּמִזְרָחָה שֶׁל אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל, לְפִיכָךְ רוּחַ יָם תְּקָעוֹ לָאַרְבֶּה בְּיָמָּה סוּף כְּנֶגְדּוֹ. וְכֵן מָצִינוּ לְעִנְיַן תְּחוּמִין שֶׁהוּא פּוֹנֶה לְצַד מִזְרָח, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר "מִיַּם סוּף וְעַד יָם פְּלִשְׁתִּים" (לקמן כג לא) מִמִּזְרָח לְמַעֲרָב, שֶׁיָּם פְּלִשְׁתִּים בַּמַּעֲרָב הָיָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בַּפְּלִשְׁתִּים "יוֹשְׁבֵי חֶבֶל הַיָּם גּוֹי כְּרֵתִים" (צפניה ב'):
Not one locust remained: Even the salted ones [locusts] which they [the Egyptians] had salted for themselves [to eat]. — [from Exod. Rabbah 13:7; Midrash Tanchuma, Va’era 14]   לֹא נִשְׁאַר אַרְבֶּה אֶחָד: אַף הַמְּלוּחִים שֶׁמָּלְחוּ מֵהֶם:
20But the Lord strengthened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go out.   כוַיְחַזֵּ֥ק יְהֹוָ֖ה אֶת־לֵ֣ב פַּרְעֹ֑ה וְלֹ֥א שִׁלַּ֖ח אֶת־בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
21The Lord said to Moses, "Stretch forth your hand toward the heavens, and there will be darkness over the land of Egypt, and the darkness will become darker."   כאוַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהֹוָ֜ה אֶל־משֶׁ֗ה נְטֵ֤ה יָֽדְךָ֙ עַל־הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם וִ֥יהִי ח֖שֶׁךְ עַל־אֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם וְיָמֵ֖שׁ חֽשֶׁךְ:
and the darkness will become darker: Heb. וְיָמֵֹש חֹשֶׁךְ, [signifies] and the darkness will become darker upon them than the darkness of night, and the darkness of night will become even darker (וְיַאֲמִישׁ).   וְיָמֵשׁ חשֶׁךְ: וְיַחֲשִׁיךְ עֲלֵיהֶם חֹשֶׁךְ יוֹתֵר מֵחֶשְׁכּוֹ שֶׁל לַיְלָה, חֹשֶׁךְ שֶׁל לַיְלָה יַאֲמִישׁ וְיַחֲשִׁיךְ עוֹד:
will become darker: Heb. וְיָמֵשׁ, [should be interpreted] like וְיַאִמֵשׁ. There are many words which lack the “aleph;” since the pronunciation of the “aleph” is not so noticeable, Scripture is not particular about its absence, e.g., “and no Arab shall pitch his tent (יַהֵל) there” (Isa. 13:20), יַהֵל is] the same as וְיַאִהֵל; “For You have girded me (וַתַּזְרֵנִי) with strength” (II Sam. 22:40) is like וַתְּאַזְרֵנִי (Ps. 18:40). Onkelos, however, rendered it וְיָמֵשׁ as an expression of removal, similar to “He did not move (לֹא-יָמִישׁ) ” (Exod. 13:22): [Onkelos thus understands the verse to mean] “after the darkness of night turns away,” when it approaches the light of day. But [according to Onkelos] the context does not fit with the “vav” of וְיָמֵשׁ because it is written after “and there will be darkness” [and the darkness will turn away, and there will be darkness]. The Aggadic midrash (Exod. Rabbah 14:1-3) interprets it וְיָמֵשׁ as an expression [related to] “grope about (מְמַֹשֵשׁ) at noontime” (Deut. 28: 29), for it [the darkness] was doubled, redoubled, and thick to the degree that it was tangible.   וְיָמֵשׁ: כְּמוֹ וְיַאֲמֵשׁ; יֵשׁ לָנוּ תֵבוֹת הַרְבֵּה חֲסֵרוֹת אָלֶ"ף, לְפִי שֶׁאֵין הֲבָרַת הָאָלֶ"ף נִכֶּרֶת כָּל כָּךְ, אֵין הַכָּתוּב מַקְפִּיד עַל חֶסְרוֹנָהּ, כְּגוֹן "וְלֹא יַהֵל שָׁם עֲרָבִי" (ישעיהו י"ג), כְּמוֹ לֹא יַאֲהֵל – לֹא יַטֶּה אָהֳלוֹ, וְכֵן "וַתַּזְרֵנִי חַיִל" (שמואל ב' כ"ב), כְּמוֹ וַתְּאַזְּרֵנִי; וְאֻנְקְלוֹס תִּרְגֵּם לְשׁוֹן הֲסָרָה, כְּמוֹ לֹא יָמוּשׁ; "בָּתַר דְּיֶעְדֵּי קְבַל לֵילְיָא" – כְּשֶׁיַּגִּיעַ סָמוּךְ לְאוֹר הַיּוֹם; אֲבָל אֵין הַדִּבּוּר מְיֻשָּׁב עַל הַוָּי"ו שֶׁל וְיָמֵשׁ, לְפִי שֶׁהוּא כָתוּב אַחַר וִיהִי חֹשֶׁךְ. וּמִקְרָא אַחֵר פּוֹתְרוֹ לְשׁוֹן "מְמַשֵּׁשׁ בַּצָּהֳרַיִם" (דברים כ"ח), שֶׁהָיָה כָפוּל וּמְכֻפָּל וְעָב עַד שֶׁהָיָה בוֹ מַמָּשׁ:
22So Moses stretched forth his hand toward the heavens, and there was thick darkness over the entire land of Egypt for three days.   כבוַיֵּ֥ט משֶׁ֛ה אֶת־יָד֖וֹ עַל־הַשָּׁמָ֑יִם וַיְהִ֧י חֽשֶׁךְ־אֲפֵלָ֛ה בְּכָל־אֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרַ֖יִם שְׁל֥שֶׁת יָמִֽים:
and there was thick darkness… for three days, etc.: Thick darkness in which they did not see each other for those three days, and another three days of darkness twice as dark as this, so that no one rose from his place. If he was sitting, he was unable to stand, and if he was standing, he was unable to sit. Now why did He bring darkness upon them [the Egyptians]? Because there were among the Israelites in that generation wicked people who did not want to leave [Egypt]. They died during the three days of darkness, so that the Egyptians would not see their downfall and say, “They too are being smitten like us.” Also, the Israelites searched [the Egyptians’ dwellings during the darkness] and saw their [own] belongings. When they were leaving [Egypt] and asked [for some of their things], and they [the Egyptians] said, “We have nothing,” he [the Israelite] would say to him, “I saw it in your house, and it is in such and such a place.” -[from Jonathan; Tanchuma, Bo 3; Tanchuma, Va’era 14; Tanchuma Buber, Bo 3]   שְׁלשֶׁת יָמִֽים: שִׁלּוּשׁ שֶׁל יָמִים, טרציינ"א בְּלַעַז, וְכֵן שִׁבְעַת יָמִים בְּכָל מָקוֹם שטיי"נא שֶׁל יָמִים:
three days: Heb. שְׁלשֶׁתיָמִים, a triad of days [a group of three consecutive days], terzeyne in Old French, and similarly, שִׁבְעַתיָמִים everywhere means a seteyne of days [a group of seven consecutive days].   וַיְהִי חֽשֶׁךְ־אפלה: שְׁלשֶׁת יָמִֽים: חֹשֶׁךְ שֶׁל אֹפֶל, שֶׁלֹּא רָאוּ אִישׁ אֶת אָחִיו אוֹתָן ג' יָמִים. וְעוֹד שְׁלוֹשֶׁת יָמִים אֲחֵרִים חֹשֶׁךְ מֻכְפָּל עַל זֶה, שֶׁלֹּא קָמוּ אִישׁ מִתַּחְתָּיו – יוֹשֵׁב אֵין יָכוֹל לַעֲמֹד, וְעוֹמֵד אֵין יָכוֹל לֵישֵׁב; וְלָמָּה הֵבִיא עֲלֵיהֶם חֹשֶׁךְ? שֶׁהָיוּ בְיִשְׂרָאֵל בְּאוֹתוֹ הַדּוֹר רְשָׁעִים וְלֹא הָיוּ רוֹצִים לָצֵאת, וּמֵתוּ בִשְׁלוֹשֶׁת יְמֵי אֲפֵלָה, כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִרְאוּ מִצְרִיִּים בְּמַפַּלְתָּם וְיֹאמְרוּ, אַף הֵם לוֹקִים כָּמוֹנוּ. וְעוֹד, שֶׁחִפְּשׂוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל וְרָאוּ אֶת כְּלֵיהֶם, וּכְשֶׁיָּצְאוּ וְהָיוּ שׁוֹאֲלִים מֵהֶן וְהָיוּ אוֹמְרִים אֵין בְּיָדֵנוּ כְלוּם, אוֹמֵר לוֹ, אֲנִי רְאִיתִיו בְּבֵיתְךָ, וּבְמָקוֹם פְּלוֹנִי הוּא (שמות רבה):
23They did not see each other, and no one rose from his place for three days, but for all the children of Israel there was light in their dwellings.   כגלֹֽא־רָא֞וּ אִ֣ישׁ אֶת־אָחִ֗יו וְלֹא־קָ֛מוּ אִ֥ישׁ מִתַּחְתָּ֖יו שְׁל֣שֶׁת יָמִ֑ים וּלְכָל־בְּנֵ֧י יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל הָ֥יָה א֖וֹר בְּמֽוֹשְׁבֹתָֽם: