12:30י״ב:ל׳
1 א

ויקם פרעה. מִמִּטָּתוֹ:

ויקם פרעה AND PHARAOH AROSE from his bed,

2 ב

לילה. וְלֹא כְּדֶרֶךְ הַמְּלָכִים בְּשָׁלוֹשׁ שָׁעוֹת בַּיּוֹם (שם):

לילה AT NIGHT and not, as is the way of kings, at three hours in the day (9 o’clock in the morning) (Mekhilta d'Rabbi Yishmael 12:30; cf. Berakhot 9b).

3 ג

הוא. תְּחִלָּה, וְאַחַר כָּךְ עבדיו, מְלַמֵּד שֶׁהָיָה הוּא מְחַזֵּר עַל בָּתֵּי עֲבָדָיו וּמַעֲמִידָן (שם):

הוא HE, first — and afterwards עבדיו HIS SERVANTS — this informs us that he went round to the houses of his servants and made them get up (Mekhilta d'Rabbi Yishmael 12:30).

4 ד

כי אין בית אשר אין שם מת. יֵשׁ שָׁם בְּכוֹר, מֵת, אֵין שָׁם בְּכוֹר, גָּדוֹל שֶׁבַּבַּיִת קָרוּי בְּכוֹר, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר "אַף אֲנִי בְּכוֹר אֶתְּנֵהוּ" (תהילים פ"ט). דָּבָר אַחֵר, מִצְרִיּוֹת מְזַנּוֹת תַּחַת בַּעְלֵיהֶן וְיוֹלְדוֹת מֵרַוָּקִים פְּנוּיִים, וְהָיוּ לָהֶם בְּכוֹרוֹת הַרְבֵּה, פְּעָמִים חֲמִשָּׁה לְאִשָּׁה אַחַת, כָּל אֶחָד בְּכוֹר לְאָבִיו:

כי אין בית אשר אין שם מת FOR THERE WAS NOT A HOUSE WHERE THERE WAS NOT ONE DEAD — If there was a firstborn there, he died: if there was no firstborn there, then the chief person in the house died because the chief person in the house is called בכור, as it is said, (Psalms 89:28) “I also will appoint him to be a בכור, [the highest of the kings of the earth]” (Mekhilta DeRashbi 12:30; cf. Rashi on 4:22; Pesachim Rabbah, Midr. Vajosha). Another explanation is: the Egyptian women were unfaithful to their husbands and bore children from young men, unmarried, and thus they (the Egyptian men) had many firstborn sons sometimes there were five to one woman, each being the firstborn to his own father (thus there might well be no house in which there was not a firstborn) (cf. Mekhilta d'Rabbi Yishmael 12:33).