• Home
  • Parashah
  • Ask the Rabbi
  • Festivals
  • Freemasonry
  • Articles
  • About
  • Books
  • Media

    Plagues from God

    The Almighty gave ample warning of the coming plagues (Ex. 8). In the Torah text it says that God would lift His finger in order to bring about the plagues.

    Why not His full hand?

    The references to God’s finger and hand are of course metaphorical (Targum Onkelos makes this clear by adjusting the terminology to “a plague from before the Lord”), but even so we wonder why in acknowledging the Divine might the Egyptian magicians only say “finger” and not “hand”.

    One possibility (Ramban) is that the magicians were belittling God and telling the Egyptians not to take Him too seriously.

    Another approach is to say that God was not employing His full might against Egypt. It was bad enough for Egypt to receive His finger of punishment: how much worse it would have been if He had come down more harshly and used His full power.

    Comments are closed.