Moshe and Aaron threaten Pharaoh with the plague of blood, and they leave. We are not privy to Pharaoh’s response. What did he say in response?
Moshe and Aaron threaten Pharaoh with the plague of frogs and they leave. We are not told what Pharaoh said. Did the two brothers make their threat and simply walk out without waiting for an answer? Did they turn to leave wondering if Pharaoh would say, “Hold on a minute, let’s negotiate”?
There is a pause in the Torah’s text; a “Petucha” an open paragraph, indicating some time in between. Pharaoh and his magicians were left wondering. No one said a word. The servants were far too intimidated to raise their questions to their Pharaoh. The king could not laugh off the possibility that Moshe’s threats were very real. Egypt had barely survived the first plague, the blood.
Moshe was as good as his word. The frogs came.
Did Pharaoh wonder whether his royal court was beginning to question his sanity?
Did the palace guard begin to wonder about what was next?
Did the people begin to realize how much of their suffering was self-imposed?
When did this switch from a simple battle to preserve an important part of the Egyptian economy to becoming a battle of wills?
Perhaps these questions are the reason that the Haggadah teaches us that each plague was actually 4 or 5 plagues.
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