TORAH
FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES
NEVI'IM
PROPHETS
KETUVIM
WRITINGS

Exodus 7

1Hashem replied to Moshe, “See, I place you in the role of Hashem to Pharaoh, with your brother Aharon as your navi.

אוַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה רְאֵה נְתַתִּיךָ אֱלֹהִים לְפַרְעֹה וְאַהֲרֹן אָחִיךָ יִהְיֶה נְבִיאֶךָ׃

2You shall repeat all that I command you, and your brother Aharon shall speak to Pharaoh to let the Israelites depart from his land.

באַתָּה תְדַבֵּר אֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר אֲצַוֶּךָּ וְאַהֲרֹן אָחִיךָ יְדַבֵּר אֶל־פַּרְעֹה וְשִׁלַּח אֶת־בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל מֵאַרְצוֹ׃

3But I will harden Pharaoh's heart, that I may multiply My signs and marvels in the land of Egypt.

גוַאֲנִי אַקְשֶׁה אֶת־לֵב פַּרְעֹה וְהִרְבֵּיתִי אֶת־אֹתֹתַי וְאֶת־מוֹפְתַי בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם׃

4When Pharaoh does not heed you, I will lay My hand upon Egypt and deliver My ranks, My people the Israelites, from the land of Egypt with extraordinary chastisements.

דוְלֹא־יִשְׁמַע אֲלֵכֶם פַּרְעֹה וְנָתַתִּי אֶת־יָדִי בְּמִצְרָיִם וְהוֹצֵאתִי אֶת־צִבְאֹתַי אֶת־עַמִּי בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם בִּשְׁפָטִים גְּדֹלִים׃

5And the Egyptians shall know that I am Hashem, when I stretch out My hand over Egypt and bring out the Israelites from their midst.”

הוְיָדְעוּ מִצְרַיִם כִּי־אֲנִי יְהֹוָה בִּנְטֹתִי אֶת־יָדִי עַל־מִצְרָיִם וְהוֹצֵאתִי אֶת־בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל מִתּוֹכָם׃

6This Moshe and Aharon did; as Hashem commanded them, so they did.

ווַיַּעַשׂ מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהֹוָה אֹתָם כֵּן עָשׂוּ׃

7Moshe was eighty years old and Aharon eighty-three, when they made their demand on Pharaoh.

זוּמֹשֶׁה בֶּן־שְׁמֹנִים שָׁנָה וְאַהֲרֹן בֶּן־שָׁלֹשׁ וּשְׁמֹנִים שָׁנָה בְּדַבְּרָם אֶל־פַּרְעֹה׃

8Hashem said to Moshe and Aharon,

חוַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה וְאֶל־אַהֲרֹן לֵאמֹר׃

9“When Pharaoh speaks to you and says, ‘Produce your marvel,' you shall say to Aharon, ‘Take your rod and cast it down before Pharaoh.' It shall turn into a serpent.”

טכִּי יְדַבֵּר אֲלֵכֶם פַּרְעֹה לֵאמֹר תְּנוּ לָכֶם מוֹפֵת וְאָמַרְתָּ אֶל־אַהֲרֹן קַח אֶת־מַטְּךָ וְהַשְׁלֵךְ לִפְנֵי־פַרְעֹה יְהִי לְתַנִּין׃

10So Moshe and Aharon came before Pharaoh and did just as Hashem had commanded: Aharon cast down his rod in the presence of Pharaoh and his courtiers, and it turned into a serpent.

יוַיָּבֹא מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן אֶל־פַּרְעֹה וַיַּעַשׂוּ כֵן כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהֹוָה וַיַּשְׁלֵךְ אַהֲרֹן אֶת־מַטֵּהוּ לִפְנֵי פַרְעֹה וְלִפְנֵי עֲבָדָיו וַיְהִי לְתַנִּין׃

11Then Pharaoh, for his part, summoned the wise men and the sorcerers; and the Egyptian magicians, in turn, did the same with their spells;

יאוַיִּקְרָא גַּם־פַּרְעֹה לַחֲכָמִים וְלַמְכַשְּׁפִים וַיַּעֲשׂוּ גַם־הֵם חַרְטֻמֵּי מִצְרַיִם בְּלַהֲטֵיהֶם כֵּן׃

12each cast down his rod, and they turned into serpents. But Aharon's rod swallowed their rods.

יבוַיַּשְׁלִיכוּ אִישׁ מַטֵּהוּ וַיִּהְיוּ לְתַנִּינִם וַיִּבְלַע מַטֵּה־אַהֲרֹן אֶת־מַטֹּתָם׃

13Yet Pharaoh's heart stiffened and he did not heed them, as Hashem had said.

יגוַיֶּחֱזַק לֵב פַּרְעֹה וְלֹא שָׁמַע אֲלֵהֶם כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהֹוָה׃

14And Hashem said to Moshe, “Pharaoh is stubborn; he refuses to let the people go.

ידוַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה כָּבֵד לֵב פַּרְעֹה מֵאֵן לְשַׁלַּח הָעָם׃

15Go to Pharaoh in the morning, as he is coming out to the water, and station yourself before him at the edge of the Nile, taking with you the rod that turned into a snake.

טולֵךְ אֶל־פַּרְעֹה בַּבֹּקֶר הִנֵּה יֹצֵא הַמַּיְמָה וְנִצַּבְתָּ לִקְרָאתוֹ עַל־שְׂפַת הַיְאֹר וְהַמַּטֶּה אֲשֶׁר־נֶהְפַּךְ לְנָחָשׁ תִּקַּח בְּיָדֶךָ׃

16And say to him, ‘Hashem, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you to say, “Let My people go that they may worship Me in the wilderness.” But you have paid no heed until now.

טזוְאָמַרְתָּ אֵלָיו יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי הָעִבְרִים שְׁלָחַנִי אֵלֶיךָ לֵאמֹר שַׁלַּח אֶת־עַמִּי וְיַעַבְדֻנִי בַּמִּדְבָּר וְהִנֵּה לֹא־שָׁמַעְתָּ עַד־כֹּה׃

17Thus says Hashem, “By this you shall know that I am Hashem.” See, I shall strike the water in the Nile with the rod that is in my hand, and it will be turned into blood;

KO a-MAR a-do-NAI b'-ZOT tay-DA KEE a-NEE a-do-NAI hi-NAY a-no-KHEE ma-KEH ba-ma-TEH a-sher b'-ya-DEE al ha-MA-yim a-SHER bai-OR v'-ne-hef-KHU l'-DAM

יזכֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה בְּזֹאת תֵּדַע כִּי אֲנִי יְהֹוָה הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי מַכֶּה בַּמַּטֶּה אֲשֶׁר־בְּיָדִי עַל־הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר בַּיְאֹר וְנֶהֶפְכוּ לְדָם׃

The Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) is Israel’s largest freshwater lake. Photo by Rebecca Kowalsky.

 7:17   The water in the Nile 

The first two of the ten plagues that Hashem inflicts upon Egypt specifically affect the Nile. When describing the attack on the Nile, Yechezkel says: “Thus said Hashem: I am going to deal with you, O Pharaoh king of Egypt, mighty monster, sprawling in your channels, who said, ‘My Nile is my own; I made it for myself’.” (Ezekiel 29:3). Unlike Eretz Yisrael which is dependent upon rain water, Egypt has the Nile as a reliable water source, and that is the key to its economic success. Since the Egyptians did not require rain, they saw themselves as self-sufficient and not dependent on God for their sustenance. Consequently, Hashem struck the Nile first. By contrast, the Land of Israel has no such water source, and therefore, its inhabitants are aware of their dependence on God and forge a relationship with Him through their daily prayers for rain. This spiritual relationship is built into the very geography of the Eretz Yisrael, in contrast with its neighbors.

18and the fish in the Nile will die. The Nile will stink so that the Egyptians will find it impossible to drink the water of the Nile.'”

יחוְהַדָּגָה אֲשֶׁר־בַּיְאֹר תָּמוּת וּבָאַשׁ הַיְאֹר וְנִלְאוּ מִצְרַיִם לִשְׁתּוֹת מַיִם מִן־הַיְאֹר׃

19And Hashem said to Moshe, “Say to Aharon: Take your rod and hold out your arm over the waters of Egypt—its rivers, its canals, its ponds, all its bodies of water—that they may turn to blood; there shall be blood throughout the land of Egypt, even in vessels of wood and stone.”

יטוַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה אֱמֹר אֶל־אַהֲרֹן קַח מַטְּךָ וּנְטֵה־יָדְךָ עַל־מֵימֵי מִצְרַיִם עַל־נַהֲרֹתָם עַל־יְאֹרֵיהֶם וְעַל־אַגְמֵיהֶם וְעַל כָּל־מִקְוֵה מֵימֵיהֶם וְיִהְיוּ־דָם וְהָיָה דָם בְּכָל־אֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם וּבָעֵצִים וּבָאֲבָנִים׃

20Moshe and Aharon did just as Hashem commanded: he lifted up the rod and struck the water in the Nile in the sight of Pharaoh and his courtiers, and all the water in the Nile was turned into blood

כוַיַּעֲשׂוּ־כֵן מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהֹוָה וַיָּרֶם בַּמַּטֶּה וַיַּךְ אֶת־הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר בַּיְאֹר לְעֵינֵי פַרְעֹה וּלְעֵינֵי עֲבָדָיו וַיֵּהָפְכוּ כָּל־הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר־בַּיְאֹר לְדָם׃

21and the fish in the Nile died. The Nile stank so that the Egyptians could not drink water from the Nile; and there was blood throughout the land of Egypt.

כאוְהַדָּגָה אֲשֶׁר־בַּיְאֹר מֵתָה וַיִּבְאַשׁ הַיְאֹר וְלֹא־יָכְלוּ מִצְרַיִם לִשְׁתּוֹת מַיִם מִן־הַיְאֹר וַיְהִי הַדָּם בְּכָל־אֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם׃

22But when the Egyptian magicians did the same with their spells, Pharaoh's heart stiffened and he did not heed them—as Hashem had spoken.

כבוַיַּעֲשׂוּ־כֵן חַרְטֻמֵּי מִצְרַיִם בְּלָטֵיהֶם וַיֶּחֱזַק לֵב־פַּרְעֹה וְלֹא־שָׁמַע אֲלֵהֶם כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהֹוָה׃

23Pharaoh turned and went into his palace, paying no regard even to this.

כגוַיִּפֶן פַּרְעֹה וַיָּבֹא אֶל־בֵּיתוֹ וְלֹא־שָׁת לִבּוֹ גַּם־לָזֹאת׃

24And all the Egyptians had to dig round about the Nile for drinking water, because they could not drink the water of the Nile.

כדוַיַּחְפְּרוּ כָל־מִצְרַיִם סְבִיבֹת הַיְאֹר מַיִם לִשְׁתּוֹת כִּי לֹא יָכְלוּ לִשְׁתֹּת מִמֵּימֵי הַיְאֹר׃

25When seven days had passed after Hashem struck the Nile,

כהוַיִּמָּלֵא שִׁבְעַת יָמִים אַחֲרֵי הַכּוֹת־יְהֹוָה אֶת־הַיְאֹר׃

26Hashem said to Moshe, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says Hashem: Let My people go that they may worship Me.

כווַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה בֹּא אֶל־פַּרְעֹה וְאָמַרְתָּ אֵלָיו כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה שַׁלַּח אֶת־עַמִּי וְיַעַבְדֻנִי׃

27If you refuse to let them go, then I will plague your whole country with frogs.

כזוְאִם־מָאֵן אַתָּה לְשַׁלֵּחַ הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי נֹגֵף אֶת־כָּל־גְּבוּלְךָ בַּצְפַרְדְּעִים׃

28The Nile shall swarm with frogs, and they shall come up and enter your palace, your bedchamber and your bed, the houses of your courtiers and your people, and your ovens and your kneading bowls.

כחוְשָׁרַץ הַיְאֹר צְפַרְדְּעִים וְעָלוּ וּבָאוּ בְּבֵיתֶךָ וּבַחֲדַר מִשְׁכָּבְךָ וְעַל־מִטָּתֶךָ וּבְבֵית עֲבָדֶיךָ וּבְעַמֶּךָ וּבְתַנּוּרֶיךָ וּבְמִשְׁאֲרוֹתֶיךָ׃

29The frogs shall come up on you and on your people and on all your courtiers.'”

כטוּבְכָה וּבְעַמְּךָ וּבְכָל־עֲבָדֶיךָ יַעֲלוּ הַצְפַרְדְּעִים׃