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The Tenth Plague: The Slaying of the First Born Egytpians - Makkat Bechorot

מכת בכורות

Parshat Bo tells the story of the 10 plagues that God brought on Egypt, which led to the eventual exodus, or Yitziyat Mitzraim - יציאת מצרים. The tenth plague was the slaying of the first born, or Makkat Bechorot - מכת בכורות

Rashi comments on the verse in Shmot 12:29, "And it came to pass at midnight, that the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt," explaining that the word "midnight" is symbolic of the darkness of the Egyptians' idol worship and their moral depravity. By striking the firstborn at midnight, God was emphasizing the contrast between the darkness of the Egyptians and the light of Bnei Yisrael.

The Ramban comments on the verse in Shmot 11:5, "And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts." He explains that the plague of the firstborn was not only a punishment for the Egyptians' oppression of Bnei Yisrael, but also a demonstration of God's sovereignty over all of creation. The death of the firstborn of both humans and animals served as a reminder that God is the ultimate ruler of all, and that even the powerful Pharaoh was subject to His will.

The 10th plague serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of obedience to God's commandments, the consequences of disobedience, the power of God, the importance of empathy and compassion, and the ultimate victory of good over evil. The plague serves as a reminder of God's ultimate power and sovereignty over all of creation and a demonstration of His justice.



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