ויאמר. מדרך הטברא כי המטה היה בידו אף על פי שאיננו כתוב: AND THE LORD SAID. We may logically assume although it is not so stated that Moses’ staff was in his hand.87When he stretched out his hand towards heaven. See I.E. on Ex. 9:22.
וימש חשך. אמר יפת כי וימש חשך כמו וימיש. והטעם כי ימיש כל חשך שהיה להם ידוע. ויבא אחר עב ממנו. וי"א כי הוא חסר אל"ף ומלת אמש בלשון הקודש הלילה שעבר. כמו אמש אמר אלי. ובלשון ערבי אמ"ם כי השי"ן יתחלף בסמ"ך ברוב המלות. כמו שמש שמ"ס. והנה אין טעם לפירושם. ולפי דעתי כי וימש מגזירת ימשש. ואין טענה בעבור שהוא מפעלי הכפל. כי כמוהו בזה הענין ידיהם ולא ימישון. ושב על מצרים כי מצרים לשון יחיד. כמו ויאמר מצרים אנוסה. והנה הטעם שימששו בידם החשך שכל כך יהיה עב כי האור של אש לא ידלק ולא הנר והעד לא ראו איש את אחיו. לא באור היום ולא באור הנרות: EVEN DARKNESS WHICH MAY BE FELT. Yefet says that ve-yamesh (which may be felt) is like ve-yamish (and it shall depart);88From the root mem, vav, shin, meaning to depart or remove. Compare, lo yamish amud he-anan, (the pillar of cloud by day departed not) (Ex. 13:22). its meaning is: that the darkness to which they have become accustomed shall depart and another type of darkness, thicker than it, shall come. Others say that ve-yamesh is missing an alef.89Cf. Rashi. According to Rashi ve-yamesh, spelled vav, yod, mem, shin, is a form of emesh. According to him ve-yamesh choshekh (even darkness which may be felt) means: and the darkness of the night shall be even more dark (Cohen). Now the word emesh in the holy tongue refers to the previous night, like emesh (yesternight) in spoke unto me yesternight (Gen. 31:29). It is the same case with the Arabic ams, as the shin and samekh interchange in most of the words.90That are cognate to Hebrew and Arabic. Now their interpretation makes no sense.91For emesh means yesternight. Thus ve-yamesh choshekh has to be translated: and yesterday shall be dark. This makes no sense. I believe that ve-yamesh comes from the same root as yemashesh (gropeth) (Deut. 28:29).92From the root mem, shin, shin, meaning to feel, to grope. One cannot argue that yemashesh comes from a double root93While ve-yamesh, which has one shin, at first glance does not. because with regard to something very similar Scripture uses the term yemishun (handle)94Or feel. in They have hands but handle not (Ps. 115:7).95It too has only one shin, yet its meaning is to feel. As to the root of ve-yamesh and yemishun, they either come from the root mem, vav, shin, which is a variant of the root mem, shin, shin, or they come from the root mem, shin, shin and are conjugated with only one of the double letters. There are a number of other such words. Compare, asev (I will turn around) (root, samekh, bet, bet) and achel (I will begin) (root chet, lamed, lamed). Cf. Weiser. Ve-yamesh refers to Egypt, Egypt being in the singular,96Ve-yamesh is a singular. If ve-yamesh refers to Egypt the plural form should have been used, hence I.E.’s comment. as in so Egypt said I will flee97Anusah (I will flee) is in the singular. (Ex. 14:25). Now the meaning of ve-yamesh choshekh (even darkness which may be felt) is that the Egyptians will feel the darkness with their hands,98According to I.E. ve-yamesh means: and he shall feel. Thus ve-yamesh choshekh means: and he (Egypt) shall feel the darkness. for the darkness shall be so thick that neither a candle nor a fire shall give off light. They saw not one another (v. 23) neither by the light of day nor by candlelight is proof of the aforementioned.99I.E. takes literally, They saw not one another.