2 But Pharaoh said, “Who is Hashem that I should heed Him and let Yisrael go? I do not know Hashem, nor will I let Yisrael go.”
va-YO-mer par-OH MEE a-do-NAI a-SHER esh-MA b’-ko-LO l’-sha-LAKH et yis-ra-AYL LO ya-DA-tee et a-do-NAI v’-GAM et yis-ra-AYL LO a-sha-LAY-akh
ב וַיֹּאמֶר פַּרְעֹה מִי יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר אֶשְׁמַע בְּקֹלוֹ לְשַׁלַּח אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא יָדַעְתִּי אֶת־יְהֹוָה וְגַם אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא אֲשַׁלֵּחַ׃
5:2 I do not know Hashem
The wilderness of Israel’s Negev desert.
Only in complete absence of recognition of Hashem and His ways can one treat others the way Pharaoh treated the Israelites. Had he acknowledged the Lord, Pharaoh would not have been able to treat them that way. Therefore, God emphasizes (Exodus 7:5) that the purpose of the ten plagues is to prove to the Egyptians and the entire world that He is the one and only omnipotent God.
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