Daily Chumash Thursday, 22nd Teves: Moshe argues against being appointed as the savior



  • Gather the elders of the Jewish people: Hashem instructed Moshe to gather the elders of Israel and tell them that the G-d of your fathers have appeared to me and He told me “I have remembered that which is being done to you in Mitzrayim, and I shall take you out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of Canaan, a land of milk and honey.” Hashem told Moshe that the elders will listen to his voice.
  • The message to Pharaoh: Hashem instructed Moshe that he and the elders should come all together to the king of Egypt and tell him that Hashem the G-d of the Hebrews has come to you, and you request to leave Egypt for a three-day journey to the desert to bring sacrifices to Him. Now, says Hashem, I know that he will not adhere to your request to allow you to go, without a mighty hand [striking him].
  • Hashem promises miracles and wealth: Hashem told Moshe: I will strike and smite Egypt with all of My wonders, and only afterwards will he send you. I will grant favor of the nation in eyes of the Egyptians and they will not leave empty handed. Each woman will request from her neighbor silver and gold vessels, and clothing, and you will place them on your children and leave Mitzrayim.
  1. Moshe argues that the Jewish people will not believe him:
  • Moshe replied to Hashem saying that the Jewish people will not believe him, and not listen to him, as they will claim that Hashem did not appear to him.
  • Moshe’s staff turns into a snake: Hashem then asked Moshe “What is that which you are holding in your hand?” Moshe replied “It is a staff.” Hashem told Moshe to throw it on the ground, and so he did, and it turned into a snake. Moshe fled from the snake [out of fright]. Hashem told Moshe to grab it by the tail, and it turned back into a staff. Hashem stated that this was done in order so the Jewish people believe that Hashem appeared to you.
  • Moshe’s hand turns white: Hashem further told Moshe to place his hand in his bosom and he did so. When he took it out, he saw that his hand was white like snow. Hashem told Moshe to reinsert his hand, and he did so, and when he removed it again it returned back to normal. Hashem concluded that if the Jewish people will not believe the first sign then they will believe the second sign.
  • A third sign-Turning water into blood: Hashem further stated, if they will not listen to the first two signs then you shall take water from the river and pour it on the ground and behold it will turn into blood.
  1. Moshe argues against being appointed as messenger:
  2. Moshe argues that he can’t speak: Moshe replied to Hashem that he cannot do the job as he has speech disorders and thus cannot articulate his words properly. Hashem responded that He is the one who grants the ability to speak, or to be mute, or deaf, or smart, or blind.
  3. Hashem appoints Aaron to join Moshe in the mission: Moshe again asked Hashem to send a different person, and not him. Hashem became angry with Moshe and told him that his brother Aaron knows to speak, and he has come out to meet him, and he will rejoice in seeing you. Hashem told Moshe that he should speak to Aaron and tell him what to say and I will be with both of your mouths, and teach you both what to do. Aaron will do the speaking to the nation for you and you will be to him a master. Hashem then told Moshe to take the staff with him with which the miracles will be performed.

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