Text Study – Question 3

Take a moment and read the following excerpt from Shemot (Exodus) 7, describing the first plague in great detail:

13. But Pharaoh’s heart remained steadfast, and he did not hearken to them, as the Lord had spoken.

14. The Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is heavy; he has refused to let the people out.

15. Go to Pharaoh in the morning; behold, he is going forth to the water, and you shall stand opposite him on the bank of the Nile, and the staff that was turned into a serpent you shall take in your hand.

16. And you shall say to him, ‘The Lord God of the Hebrews sent me to you, saying, “Send forth My people, so that they may serve Me in the desert,” but behold, until now, you have not hearkened.

17. So said the Lord, “With this you will know that I am the Lord. Behold, I will smite with the staff that is in my hand upon the water that is in the Nile, and it will turn to blood

18. And the fish that are in the Nile will die, and the Nile will become putrid, and the Egyptians will weary in their efforts to drink water from the Nile.”

19. The Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff & stretch forth your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, over their canals, over their ponds, and over all their bodies of water, and they will become blood, and there will be blood throughout the entire land of Egypt, even in wood and in stone.’

20. Moses and Aaron did so, as the Lord had commanded, and he raised the staff and struck the water that was in the Nile before the eyes of Pharaoh and before the eyes of his servants, and all the water that was in the Nile turned to blood.

21. And the fish that were in the Nile died, and the Nile became putrid; the Egyptians could not drink water from the Nile, and there was blood throughout the entire land of Egypt.

Consider the following 11th century midrash – and ask each other how, like Pharaoh, does our hubris (lack of humility) lie at the root of today’s environmental and social challenges?

Please comment below.

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