Chapter 11

1The Lord said to Moses, "I will bring one more plague upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go from here. When he lets you out, he will completely drive you out of here.   אוַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהֹוָ֜ה אֶל־משֶׁ֗ה ע֣וֹד נֶ֤גַע אֶחָד֙ אָבִ֤יא עַל־פַּרְעֹה֙ וְעַל־מִצְרַ֔יִם אַֽחֲרֵי־כֵ֕ן יְשַׁלַּ֥ח אֶתְכֶ֖ם מִזֶּ֑ה כְּשַׁ֨לְּח֔וֹ כָּלָ֕ה גָּרֵ֛שׁ יְגָרֵ֥שׁ אֶתְכֶ֖ם מִזֶּֽה:
completely: Heb. כָּלָה [Onkelos renders: גְמִירָא. כָּלָה is therefore the equivalent of] כָּלִיל, complete. [I.e.,] He will let all of you out.   כָּלָה: גְּמֵירָא; כָּלִיל, כֻּלְּכֶם יְשַׁלַּח:
2Please, speak into the ears of the people, and let them borrow, each man from his friend and each woman from her friend, silver vessels and golden vessels."   בדַּבֶּר־נָ֖א בְּאָזְנֵ֣י הָעָ֑ם וְיִשְׁאֲל֞וּ אִ֣ישׁ | מֵאֵ֣ת רֵעֵ֗הוּ וְאִשָּׁה֙ מֵאֵ֣ת רְעוּתָ֔הּ כְּלֵי־כֶ֖סֶף וּכְלֵ֥י זָהָֽב:
Please, speak-: Heb. דַבֶּר-נָא is only an expression of request. [The verse is saying] I ask you to warn them about this, [i.e., to ask their neighbors for vessels] so that the righteous man, Abraham, will not say He fulfilled with them [His promise] “and they will enslave them and oppress them” (Gen. 15:13), but He did not fulfill with them “afterwards they will go forth with great possessions” (Gen. 15:14). — [from Ber. 9a]   דַּבֶּר־נָא: אֵין נָא אֶלָּא לְשׁוֹן בַּקָּשָׁה, בְּבַקָּשָׁה מִמְּךָ הַזְהִירֵם עַל כָּךְ, שֶׁלֹּא יֹאמַר אוֹתוֹ צַדִּיק אַבְרָהָם "וַעֲבָדוּם וְעִנּוּ אוֹתָם" (בראשית ט"ו), קִיֵּם בָּהֶם, "וְאַחֲרֵי כֵן יֵצְאוּ בִּרְכֻשׁ גָּדוֹל" (שם), לֹא קִיֵּם בָּהֶם:
3So the Lord gave the people favor in the Egyptians' eyes; also the man Moses was highly esteemed in the land of Egypt in the eyes of Pharaoh's servants and in the eyes of the people.   גוַיִּתֵּ֧ן יְהֹוָ֛ה אֶת־חֵ֥ן הָעָ֖ם בְּעֵינֵ֣י מִצְרָ֑יִם גַּ֣ם | הָאִ֣ישׁ משֶׁ֗ה גָּד֤וֹל מְאֹד֙ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם בְּעֵינֵ֥י עַבְדֵֽי־פַרְעֹ֖ה וּבְעֵינֵ֥י הָעָֽם:
4Moses said, "So said the Lord, At the dividing point of the night, I will go out into the midst of Egypt,   דוַיֹּ֣אמֶר משֶׁ֔ה כֹּ֖ה אָמַ֣ר יְהֹוָ֑ה כַּֽחֲצֹ֣ת הַלַּ֔יְלָה אֲנִ֥י יוֹצֵ֖א בְּת֥וֹךְ מִצְרָֽיִם:
Moses said, So said the Lord: When he stood before Pharaoh, this prophecy was said to him, for after he [Moses] left his [Pharaoh’s] presence, he did not see his face [again]. — [from Exod. Rabbah 18:1, Mishnath Rabbi Eliezer ch. 19]   וַיֹּאמֶר משֶׁה כֹּה אָמַר ה': בְּעָמְדוֹ לִפְנֵי פַרְעֹה נֶאֶמְרָה לוֹ נְבוּאָה זוֹ, שֶׁהֲרֵי מִשֶּׁיָּצָא מִלְּפָנָיו לֹא הוֹסִיף רְאוֹת פָּנָיו:
At the dividing point of the night: Heb. כַּחֲצֹת הַלַיְלָה, when the night is divided. כַּחֲצֹת is like “when the meal offering was offered up (כַּעֲלוֹת)” (II Kings 3:20); [and like] “when their anger was kindled (בַּחֲרוֹת) against us” (Ps. 124:3). This is its simple meaning, which fits its context that חֲצֹת is not a noun denoting a half. Our Rabbis, however, interpreted it like כַּחֲצִי הַלַיְלָה, at about midnight [lit., half the night], and they said that Moses said כַּחִצֹת, about midnight, meaning near it [midnight], either before it or after it, but he did not say בַּחֲצֹת, at midnight, lest Pharaoh’s astrologers err and [then] say, “Moses is a liar,” but the Holy One, blessed be He, Who knows His times and His seconds, said בַּחִצוֹת, at midnight. — [from Ber. 3b]   כַּֽחֲצֹת הַלַּיְלָה: כְּהֵחָלֵק הַלַּיְלָה, כַּֽחֲצֹת כְּמוֹ "בַּעֲלוֹת" (מלכים א י"ח), "בַּחֲרוֹת אַפָּם בָּנוּ" (תהילים קכ"ד), זֶהוּ פְּשׁוּטוֹ לְיַשְּׁבוֹ עַל אָפְנָיו, שֶׁאֵין חֲצוֹת שֵׁם דָּבָר שֶׁל חֲצִי. וְרַבּוֹתֵינוּ דְרָשׁוּהוּ כְּמוֹ כַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה, וְאָמְרוּ שֶׁאָמַר מֹשֶׁה "כַּחֲצוֹת", שֶׁמַּשְׁמַע סָמוּךְ לוֹ, אוֹ לְפָנָיו אוֹ לְאַחֲרָיו, וְלֹא אָמַר "בַּחֲצוֹת", שֶׁמָּא יִטְעוּ אִצְטַגְנִינֵי פַרְעֹה וְיֹאמְרוּ מֹשֶׁה בַּדַּאי הוּא (ברכות ד'):
5and every firstborn in the land of Egypt will die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne to the firstborn of the slave woman who is behind the millstones, and every firstborn animal.   הוּמֵ֣ת כָּל־בְּכוֹר֘ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֒יִם֒ מִבְּכ֤וֹר פַּרְעֹה֙ הַיּשֵׁ֣ב עַל־כִּסְא֔וֹ עַ֚ד בְּכ֣וֹר הַשִּׁפְחָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֖ר אַחַ֣ר הָֽרֵחָ֑יִם וְכֹ֖ל בְּכ֥וֹר בְּהֵמָֽה:
to the firstborn of the captive: Why were the captives smitten? So that they would not say, “Our deity has demanded [vengeance] for their [our] degradation, and brought retribution upon Egypt.” -[from Mechilta, Bo, on Exod. 12:29]   עַד בְּכוֹר השבי: לָמָּה לָקוּ הַשְּׁבוּיִים? כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יֹאמְרוּ, יִרְאָתָם תָּבְעָה עֶלְבּוֹנָם וְהֵבִיאָה פֻּרְעָנוּת עַל מִצְרַיִם:
from the firstborn of Pharaoh… to the firstborn of the slave woman: All those inferior to the Pharaoh’s firstborn and superior to the slave woman’s firstborn were included. Why were the sons of the slave women smitten? Because they too were enslaving them [the Israelites] and were happy about their misfortune. — [from Pesikta Rabbathi, ch. 17]   מִבְּכוֹר פַּרְעֹה עַד בְּכוֹר הַשִּׁפְחָה: כָּל הַפְּחוּתִים מִבְּכוֹר פַּרְעֹה וַחֲשׁוּבִים מִבְּכוֹר הַשִּׁפְחָה הָיוּ בִּכְלָל; וְלָמָּה לָקוּ בְּנֵי הַשְּׁפָחוֹת? שֶׁאַף הֵם הָיוּ מְשַׁעְבְּדִים בָּהֶם וּשְׂמֵחִים בְּצָרָתָם:
and every firstborn animal: Because they [the Egyptians] worshipped it, and when the Holy One, blessed be He, punishes any nation, He punishes its deity. — [from Mechilta, Bo, on Exod. 12:29]   וְכֹל בְּכוֹר בְּהֵמָֽה: לְפִי שֶׁהָיוּ עוֹבְדִין לָהּ. כְּשֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא נִפְרָע מִן הָאֻמָּה, נִפְרָע מֵאֱלֹהֶיהָ:
6And there will be a great cry throughout the entire land of Egypt, such as there never has been and such as there shall never be again.   ווְהָֽיְתָ֛ה צְעָקָ֥ה גְדֹלָ֖ה בְּכָל־אֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם אֲשֶׁ֤ר כָּמֹ֨הוּ֙ לֹ֣א נִֽהְיָ֔תָה וְכָמֹ֖הוּ לֹ֥א תֹסִֽף:
7But to all the children of Israel, not one dog will whet its tongue against either man or beast, in order that you shall know that the Lord will separate between the Egyptians and between Israel.   זוּלְכֹ֣ל | בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל לֹ֤א יֶֽחֱרַץ־כֶּ֨לֶב֙ לְשֹׁנ֔וֹ לְמֵאִ֖ישׁ וְעַד־בְּהֵמָ֑ה לְמַ֨עַן֙ תֵּֽדְע֔וּן אֲשֶׁר֙ יַפְלֶ֣ה יְהֹוָ֔ה בֵּ֥ין מִצְרַ֖יִם וּבֵ֥ין יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
not one dog will whet its tongue: I say that is a term meaning sharp. Similarly "his tongue towards any man of the B'nei Yisroel." {Joshua 10:21} He did not sharpen. "Then you will utter a sharp sound. 60 {II Samuel 5:24} [or:] ---"A sharp thresher." [or:] "{Isaiah 41:14} "The thoughts of a sharp one" {Proverbs 21:5} [ meaning:] a sharp and clever person. {Proverbs 10:4} [or:] You bring wealth to the hand of the clever ones---sharp merchants.   לֹא יֶֽחֱרַץ־כֶּלֶב לשונו: אוֹמֵר אֲנִי שֶׁהוּא לְשׁוֹן שִׁנּוּן – לֹא יְשַׁנֵּן, וְכֵן "לֹא חָרַץ לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לְאִישׁ אֶת לְשׁוֹנוֹ" (יהושע י') – לֹא שִׁנֵּן, "אָז תֶּחֱרַץ" (שמואל ב ה׳:כ״ד) – תִּשְׁתַּנֵּן, "לְמוֹרַג חָרוּץ" (ישעיהו מ"א) – שָׁנוּן, "מַחְשְׁבוֹת חָרוּץ" (משלי כ"א) – אָדָם חָרִיף וְשָׁנוּן, "וְיַד חֲרוּצִים תַּעֲשִׁיר" (שם י') – חֲרִיפִים, סוֹחֲרִים שְׁנוּנִים:
will separate: Heb. יַפְלֶה, will divide. — [from Onkelos, Jonathan] See the commentary on Exod. 8:18.   אֲשֶׁר יַפְלֶה: יַבְדִּיל:
8And all these servants of yours will come down to me and prostrate themselves to me, saying, 'Go out, you and all the people who are at your feet,' and afterwards I will go out." [Then] he [Moses] exited from Pharaoh with burning anger.   חוְיָֽרְד֣וּ כָל־עֲבָדֶ֩יךָ֩ אֵ֨לֶּה אֵלַ֜י וְהִשְׁתַּֽחֲווּ־לִ֣י לֵאמֹ֗ר צֵ֤א אַתָּה֙ וְכָל־הָעָ֣ם אֲשֶׁר־בְּרַגְלֶ֔יךָ וְאַֽחֲרֵי־כֵ֖ן אֵצֵ֑א וַיֵּצֵ֥א מֵֽעִם־פַּרְעֹ֖ה בָּֽחֳרִי־אָֽף:
And all these servants of yours will come down: [By using this phrase,] he [Moses] showed respect for the throne, because eventually Pharaoh himself went down to him at night and said, “Get up and get out from among my people” (Exod. 12:31), although Moses had not originally said, “You will come down to me and prostrate yourself to me.” -[from Exod. Rabbah 7:3; Mechilta, Bo 13]   וְיָֽרְדוּ כָל־עֲבָדֶיךָ: חָלַק כָּבוֹד לַמַּלְכוּת, שֶׁהֲרֵי בַּסּוֹף יָרַד פַּרְעֹה בְּעַצְמוֹ אֵלָיו בַּלַּיְלָה "וַיֹּאמֶר קוּמוּ צְּאוּ מִתּוֹךְ עַמִּי" (שמות י"ב), וְלֹא אָמַר לוֹ מֹשֶׁה מִתְּחִלָּה וְיָרַדְתָּ אֵלַי וְהִשְׁתַּחֲוִיתָ לִי:
who are at your feet: Who follow your advice and your way.   אֲשֶׁר־בְּרַגְלֶיךָ: הַהוֹלְכִים אַחַר עֲצָתְךָ וְהִלּוּכְךָ:
and afterwards I will go out: with all the people from your land.   וְאַֽחֲרֵי־כֵן אֵצֵא: עִם כָּל הָעָם מֵאַרְצְךָ:
he exited from Pharaoh: After he had completed his words, he went out from before him.   וַיֵּצֵא מֵֽעִם־פַּרְעֹה: כְּשֶׁגָּמַר דְּבָרָיו, יָצָא מִלְּפָנָיו:
with burning anger: because he [Pharaoh] had said to him, “You shall no longer see my face” (Exod. 10:28)   בָּֽחֳרִי־אָֽף: עַל שֶׁאָמַר לוֹ "אַל תֹּסֶף רְאוֹת פָּנַי" (שמות י'):
9The Lord said to Moses, "Pharaoh will not heed you, in order to increase My miracles in the land of Egypt."   טוַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהֹוָה֙ אֶל־משֶׁ֔ה לֹֽא־יִשְׁמַ֥ע אֲלֵיכֶ֖ם פַּרְעֹ֑ה לְמַ֛עַן רְב֥וֹת מֽוֹפְתַ֖י בְּאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם:
in order to increase My miracles in the land of Egypt-: (“My miracles” denotes two; “to increase” denotes three.) They are the plague of the firstborn, the splitting of the Red Sea, and the stirring of the Egyptians [into the sea].   לְמַעַן רְבוֹת מֽוֹפְתַי: מַכַּת בְּכוֹרוֹת וּקְרִיעַת יַם סוּף וּלְנַעֵר אֶת מִצְרַיִם:
10Moses and Aaron had performed all these miracles before Pharaoh, but the Lord strengthened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the children of Israel out of his land.   יוּמשֶׁ֣ה וְאַֽהֲרֹ֗ן עָשׂ֛וּ אֶת־כָּל־הַמֹּֽפְתִ֥ים הָאֵ֖לֶּה לִפְנֵ֣י פַרְעֹ֑ה וַיְחַזֵּ֤ק יְהֹוָה֙ אֶת־לֵ֣ב פַּרְעֹ֔ה וְלֹֽא־שִׁלַּ֥ח אֶת־בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מֵֽאַרְצֽוֹ:
Moses and Aaron had performed, etc.: It has already been written for us in reference to all the miracles, and it [Scripture] did not repeat it here except to juxtapose it to the following section [i.e., Exod. 12]. See Rashi’s commentary on the following verse.   משה וְאַֽהֲרֹן עָשׂוּ וגו': כְּבָר כָּתַב לָנוּ זֹאת בְּכָל הַמּוֹפְתִים, וְלֹא שְׁנָאָהּ כָּאן אֶלָּא בִּשְׁבִיל לְסָמְכָהּ לַפָּרָשָׁה שֶׁלְּאַחֲרֶיהָ: