TMT 013: Exodus 10:5 – 11:3

mercury-163610_640We pick up in the book of Exodus in Chapter 10 starting with verse 5… and… if you happen to know the answers to the trivia presented in the beginning please post your answer in the comment area!

Chapter 10 (NIV)

5They will cover the face of the ground so that it cannot be seen. They will devour what little you have left after the hail, including every tree that is growing in your fields.6They will fill your houses and those of all your officials and all the Egyptians—something neither your parents nor your ancestors have ever seen from the day they settled in this land till now.’ ” Then Moses turned and left Pharaoh.

7Pharaoh’s officials said to him, “How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the people go, so that they may worship the Lord their God. Do you not yet realize that Egypt is ruined?”

8Then Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. “Go, worship theLord your God,” he said. “But tell me who will be going.”

9Moses answered, “We will go with our young and our old, with our sons and our daughters, and with our flocks and herds, because we are to celebrate a festival to the Lord.”

10Pharaoh said, “The Lord be with you—if I let you go, along with your women and children! Clearly you are bent on evil.a 11No! Have only the men go and worship the Lord, since that’s what you have been asking for.” Then Moses and Aaron were driven out of Pharaoh’s presence.

12And the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over Egypt so that locusts swarm over the land and devour everything growing in the fields, everything left by the hail.”

13So Moses stretched out his staff over Egypt, and the Lord made an east wind blow across the land all that day and all that night. By morning the wind had brought the locusts; 14they invaded all Egypt and settled down in every area of the country in great numbers. Never before had there been such a plague of locusts, nor will there ever be again. 15They covered all the ground until it was black. They devoured all that was left after the hail—everything growing in the fields and the fruit on the trees. Nothing green remained on tree or plant in all the land of Egypt.

16Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you. 17Now forgive my sin once more and pray to the Lord your God to take this deadly plague away from me.”

18Moses then left Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord. 19And the Lord changed the wind to a very strong west wind, which caught up the locusts and carried them into the Red Sea.b Not a locust was left anywhere in Egypt. 20But the Lordhardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go.

21Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness spreads over Egypt—darkness that can be felt.” 22So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days. 23No one could see anyone else or move about for three days. Yet all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived.

24Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and said, “Go, worship the Lord. Even your women and children may go with you; only leave your flocks and herds behind.”

25But Moses said, “You must allow us to have sacrifices and burnt offerings to present to the Lord our God. 26Our livestock too must go with us; not a hoof is to be left behind. We have to use some of them in worshiping the Lord our God, and until we get there we will not know what we are to use to worship the Lord.”

27But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was not willing to let them go. 28Pharaoh said to Moses, “Get out of my sight! Make sure you do not appear before me again! The day you see my face you will die.”

29“Just as you say,” Moses replied. “I will never appear before you again.”

Chapter 11

1Now the Lord had said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go from here, and when he does, he will drive you out completely. 2Tell the people that men and women alike are to ask their neighbors for articles of silver and gold.” 3(The Lord made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaoh’s officials and by the people.)

 

Let me know if you have any questions below in the comment area!

and if you happen to know the answers to the trivia presented in the beginning please post your answer in the comment area!

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Comments

  1. Lisa Gunnoe thinks:

    Happy Greetings Mr. Footnick,

    I’m enjoying this podcast. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church). We are taught that if we could understand ancient Jewish tradition, language, etc, we would understand all our scriptures at a deeper level. So with delight I found your podcast (I’m a fan of Dennis Prager).

    I have a question. The Israelites took the gold and silver from the Egyptians when they left and went into the wilderness. The gold and silver was used by the Egyptians to create “gods” to worship. So the Israelites took their means of making these gods. Now the Israelites didn’t have a good or complete concept of who God was or how properly to worship him. Wouldn’t the commandment for them to take the gold and silver almost “tempt” them to do what they know and make graven items to worship, as happened the at Mt Sinai?
    You may answer this problem by the time I get to that podcast, but just in case I thought I would ask.
    I’m also enjoying the Ultimate Issues Podcast.

    I’m interested in your physical health teachings as well if you have a source for that information.

    Thank you,
    Sincerely,
    Lisa Gunnoe

    • Nahum Roman Footnick thinks:

      Hi Lisa,
      Yes! You make a great point, and I’m not sure if I said anything like that in class or not. But, I would argue they were conditioned rather than tempted to make the graven item to worship. Meaning they were conditioned to behave in a certain way to avoid pain,or gain pleasure. While it’s true they had just received the theophany at Mt. Sinai where HaShem specifically commanded each and every person to not make any graven images, it’s also true that (as you noted) HaShem had yet to fill that vacuum with a material alternative (Though He did give them a immaterial alternative – Shabbat. And later they get the material Mishkan.) Also, to be clear it was not only Israelites who made the Exodus and stood at Mt. Sinai. The Torah says an erev rav (“mixed multitude”) left Egypt. All the more so, they (the variety of people) would find it difficult to express themselves to such an a new and abstract concept as the one, ineffable, immaterial God.

      None the less, HaShem was quite clear in His prohibition, and the rabble who complained were equally clear in their determination to do what they desired, rather than following HaShem’s desires. Human nature… hasn’t changed thousands of years later.

      On another note…
      I just want to express to you how impressed I am with the LDS. I judge religions by the fruit that they bear, and the Mormon church has been producing some outstanding people. I personally know people who were transformed for the better by becoming Mormons. You guys are doing tremendous good in the world, and I am honored that you listen. I am also delighted to learn that the church promotes understanding the Chumash in Hebrew. So much is lost in translation. As Rabbi Segal says, “Reading Torah in English is like reading Shakespeare in Hebrew.”

      Thank you and tell a friend about TMT!

  2. I hope it’s OK that I comment on what is said as I listen, for I am not there for the lesson, unlike the people who are heard in the podcast. 
    About the explanations for the darkness:
    If it was a sand storm, well, it’s Egypt. They are in the middle of the Sahara desert. They should be pretty used to sand storms, and know how to deal with them, how to cope.
    There is a theory tying the Santorini (Thera in antiquity) mega-eruption around 1600 BC. From that eruption volcanic ash would have DESCENDED on Egypt, and it could well have lasted 3 days, easily. It would have been terrifying. It would have been “touch”able.
    Goshen is in the delta, a different climate, on the far side of the delta form the direction of the wind that blew the volcanic ash from Santorini. Perhaps there was a wind that blew the ash away from there.
    I have a different problem with that timing, that of the Pharaoh in question. However, that may be resolved with errors of Egyptian history timing. I always had a feeling there is about 3-4 hundred years error in the timing of the Exodus.
    It appears, there was record of a Pharaoh expelling 250,000 families of a people called Habiru at that time. It sounds like the numbers in the Torah.
    About the trust in God:
    You say “emuna” (faith), “bitahon” (security). There is another word meaning trust: “emun”. As I understand it, you have no “emuna” without “emun”, and if you do have faith, you automatically have trust, for faith requires one to relinquish control or doubt. Therefore, it is no accident that the two words are almost the same.
    By the way, it is also of the same root as “emeth”, truth. Truth is the basis of trust which allows faith.
    About “love your God”:
    This, for me, is directly tied to the previous paragraph, about “emuna” and “emun”. To love God you must have faith in God. However, to love means, without exception, to place your trust (this is why marriages and relationships need work, and why they fall apart when trust is abused). Therefore, what God asks for is not to be “lovable”, like a puppy dog. Love here is not a noun, it is a verb. This is the most difficult commandment of all, and the one upon which all the others completely depend. This is the hardest work, which Jews need to do, day in and day out: to place all their trust in God. It’s so difficult, because we cannot see the end purpose of what is happening to us now, and from our limited, too close, given to our scripts point of view things may look “bad”, even disastrous. But trusting in God means not doubting, not trying to control everything or getting angry at the current turn of events.
    “Ve’ahavta lereacha kamocha”
    Love your FELLOW MAN (not neighbor) as yourself. This has so many interpretations. Once again, this is not a request to see your fellow man as a lovable puppy. To me it’s a request to allow your fellow man to be as fallible as yourself, to cut him some slack and to do what is right, not necessarily what he may want. Like Prager says, to strive to DO good, not to FEEL good. This is not easy, or we wouldn’t need the request.
    Convert to Judaism is “giyor”, not “ger”.
    Silver and gold:
    At the end of the reign of Pepi II, the child Pharaoh, there was a period of destabilization, and he wrote that the world overturned. The one who had no sandals now wears gold and turquoise and lapis (expensive distinctions) while the ladies wear rags. There is an overturning here, complete humiliation: we, the slaves, come to take your silver and gold and you willingly give them to us. We shall leave rich, with everything we have, healthy, whole families and livestock – and you, the masters, are left bereft of everything, in famine and disease and poverty.

  3. I have already left that comment, but it refuses to show on the page,
    I hope it’s OK that I comment on what is said as I listen, for I am not there for the lesson, unlike the people who are heard in the podcast. 
    About the explanations for the darkness:
    If it was a sand storm, well, it’s Egypt. They are in the middle of the Sahara desert. They should be pretty used to sand storms, and know how to deal with them, how to cope.
    There is a theory tying the Santorini (Thera in antiquity) mega-eruption around 1600 BC. From that eruption volcanic ash would have DESCENDED on Egypt, and it could well have lasted 3 days, easily. It would have been terrifying. It would have been “touch”able.
    Goshen is in the delta, a different climate, on the far side of the delta form the direction of the wind that blew the volcanic ash from Santorini. Perhaps there was a wind that blew the ash away from there.
    I have a different problem with that timing, that of the Pharaoh in question. However, that may be resolved with errors of Egyptian history timing. I always had a feeling there is about 3-4 hundred years error in the timing of the Exodus.
    It appears, there was record of a Pharaoh expelling 250,000 families of a people called Habiru at that time. It sounds like the numbers in the Torah.
    About the trust in God:
    You say “emuna” (faith), “bitahon” (security). There is another word meaning trust: “emun”. As I understand it, you have no “emuna” without “emun”, and if you do have faith, you automatically have trust, for faith requires one to relinquish control or doubt. Therefore, it is no accident that the two words are almost the same.
    By the way, it is also of the same root as “emeth”, truth. Truth is the basis of trust which allows faith.
    About “love your God”:
    This, for me, is directly tied to the previous paragraph, about “emuna” and “emun”. To love God you must have faith in God. However, to love means, without exception, to place your trust (this is why marriages and relationships need work, and why they fall apart when trust is abused). Therefore, what God asks for is not to be “lovable”, like a puppy dog. Love here is not a noun, it is a verb. This is the most difficult commandment of all, and the one upon which all the others completely depend. This is the hardest work, which Jews need to do, day in and day out: to place all their trust in God. It’s so difficult, because we cannot see the end purpose of what is happening to us now, and from our limited, too close, given to our scripts point of view things may look “bad”, even disastrous. But trusting in God means not doubting, not trying to control everything or getting angry at the current turn of events.
    “Ve’ahavta lereacha kamocha”
    Love your FELLOW MAN (not neighbor) as yourself. This has so many interpretations. Once again, this is not a request to see your fellow man as a lovable puppy. To me it’s a request to allow your fellow man to be as fallible as yourself, to cut him some slack and to do what is right, not necessarily what he may want. Like Prager says, to strive to DO good, not to FEEL good. This is not easy, or we wouldn’t need the request.
    Convert to Judaism is “giyor”, not “ger”.
    Silver and gold:
    At the end of the reign of Pepi II, the child Pharaoh, there was a period of destabilization, and he wrote that the world overturned. The one who had no sandals now wears gold and turquoise and lapis (expensive distinctions) while the ladies wear rags. There is an overturning here, complete humiliation: we, the slaves, come to take your silver and gold and you willingly give them to us. We shall leave rich, with everything we have, healthy, whole families and livestock – and you, the masters, are left bereft of everything, in famine and disease and poverty.

    • Nahum Roman Footnick thinks:

      Wow! I love your posts and comments. If you ever get a chance to come to a class, we’d very much appreciate your participation. My wife and I are looking at taking another trip to Israel… we just haven no idea when 😉

      I’m so happy to have someone well versed in Egyptology listening and commenting. I agree that there is much mystery regarding timelines, pharaohs, and the people who entered and exited ancient Egypt. I’ve read some books (or parts of books) regarding this subject and I’ve watched some docs as well. Ultimately they all fall flat for me. They (historians, authors, and documentarians) seem to have agendas, and then create narratives that conveniently fit their biases (i.e. debunking the Exodus or validating it.)
      In the final analysis my primary reason for studying Torah is to learn how to overcome my human nature, live a more holy and ethical life, and help others overcome their challenges. Personally, I don’t think Torah should be used a source of history or science. However, understanding science and history can be used to help put those lessons in better perspective or context.

      That said, someone reading this may question if I believe the Exodus occurred. To be clear, yes! I think an Exodus occurred. Did it literally happen in a similar fashion as any source proposes? Improbable. It would seem as though the nature of the desert, the thousands of years that have transpired, and the nature of the nomadic people coming out have ensured a quality mystery for us. So for me, it’s largely about the human nature lessons we can infer from the text.

      I agree with your “Ve’ahavta lereacha kamocha” analysis. Love is an action, a decision, a behavior, and also an emotion. But ultimately people don’t care about the emotional feeling you have about them, they really care how you treat them. If you feel love for your fellow man, but act cruel towards him…. who cares? On the other hand, you may be feel repulsed by someone but you treat them in a loving way… GREAT! If everyone (including me) would apply this simple rule to their daily life it would be heaven on Earth.

      Sorry, about these not going to email. They don’t go to my email either. So the only way I know there are comments are when I log in to the site. Maybe there is a setting I can change. I’ll look.

      Meanwhile, keep commenting. I love learning, and you have new and interesting intel to share.
      Todah Rabah!

      • Thank you!
        I was thinking that you got tired of my long comment and decided to ignore it. 🙂
        I agree with you on the history and the Torah (Tanakh). They are NOT history books. In the sense that they weren’t written to give an accurate and full record of happenings, but to give lessons in how to behave and how no to behave in given circumstances. This is the basic error historian and Bible-deniers (it’s mythology, it’s propaganda intended to promote an agenda of a people and make them grander than they were, etc) when they claim it is not historically accurate.
        Because I think that it is.
        And the reason is that with time we find more and more irrefutable evidence that things the Torah told about (not “claimed”, as it makes no claims, just teaches us through stories) are true, exactly as it was said.
        So I don’t see a reason it will be true in all these instances – and then suddenly completely false in others.
        However, history is archaeology and sources PLUS (and it’s an enormous impact) – interpretation of the historians. I know well that a significant amount of what “peer approved” science and history claim (and they do claim) is total baloney. When fact appear that don’t conform to their theory – they usually ignore the facts, not change the theory, so I am completely wary and watch many many documentaries, read a lot, pass it through lots of filters of logic and plausibility… Much doesn’t pass.
        I think the Exodus happened as was told in the Torah. We don’t and may never have any “proof” of that – but there is heaps of small and separate evidence, both from the Torah language and from archaeology. For me, the question is only when. So, again, errors and interpretations of the historians…
        But yes, it’s the stories about people, about behaviour, about moral judgment, about society living together in the best possible way, about being the very best that you yourself can be.
        I, too love learning.
        Will be happy to know when you’re coming and meet you.
        Vera

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