Chapter 18י״ח
1 א

וַיְהִי בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה, הֲדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב (ישעיה מד, כו): מֵקִים דְּבַר עַבְדּוֹ וַעֲצַת מַלְאָכָיו יַשְׁלִים, אָמַר רַבִּי אַבָּהוּ: מֵקִים דְּבַר עַבְדּוֹ, זֶה משֶׁה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר יב, ז): לֹא כֵן עַבְדִּי משֶׁה, וְהֵיאַךְ קִיֵּם אֶלָּא כֵּיוָן שֶׁהֵבִיא עֲלֵיהֶם מַכַּת הַחשֶׁךְ הִתְחִיל פַּרְעֹה צוֹוֵחַ (שמות י, כד): לְכוּ עִבְדוּ אֶת ה' רַק צֹאנְכֶם וּבְקַרְכֶם יֻצָּג. אָמַר לוֹ משֶׁה חַיֶּיךָ (שמות י, כו): וְגַם מִקְנֵנוּ יֵלֵךְ עִמָּנוּ לֹא תִשָּׁאֵר פַּרְסָה, מַהוּ פַּרְסָה, אֲפִלּוּ בְּהֵמָה שֶׁהִיא כֻּלָּהּ שֶׁל מִצְרִי וְיֵשׁ בָּה טֶלֶף אֶחָד לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, אֵינוֹ מֵנִיחַ אוֹתָהּ. (שמות י, כו): כִּי מִמֶּנּוּ נִקַּח, אַחַר שֶׁאָמַר: כִּי מִמֶּנּוּ נִקַח, חָזַר וְאָמַר (שמות י, כו): וַאֲנַחְנוּ לֹא נֵדַע מַה נַעֲבֹד אֶת ה'. אָמַר לוֹ אִם אַתָּה שֶׁאַתָּה בָּשָׂר וָדָם בְּנֵי אָדָם מֵתִים אִם עוֹבְרִין עַל צִוּוּיֶךָ, וְאִם תּוֹצִיא דָּבָר מִלְּפָנֶיךָ וְתֹאמַר גְּבוּ לִי כָּךְ וְכָךְ יָכוֹל הָעוֹלָם לַעֲמֹד לְפָנֶיךָ, אֲבָל אָנוּ שֶׁמָּא יֹאמַר לָנוּ אֱלֹהִים הַקְרִיבוּ קָרְבָּן שֶׁל מָאתַיִם וְעֶשֶׂר שָׁנִים, הֱוֵי: וַאֲנַחְנוּ לֹא נֵדַע. אָמַר לוֹ פַרְעֹה, עַד מָתַי אַתָּה נִכְנַס לְכָאן (שמות י, כח): לֵךְ מֵעָלַי הִשָּׁמֶר לְךָ אַל תֹּסֶף רְאוֹת פָּנַי. אָמַר לוֹ משֶׁה יָפֶה דִּבַּרְתָּ (שמות י, כט): לֹא אֹסִף עוֹד רְאוֹת פָּנֶיךָ. אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מָה עֲדַיִן מִתְבַּקֵּשׁ לִי לְהוֹדִיעַ לְפַרְעֹה מַכָּה אַחַת, מִיָּד קָפַץ עָלָיו אֱלֹהִים כִּבְיָכוֹל נִכְנַס בַּפָּלָטִין שֶׁל פַּרְעֹה בִּשְׁבִיל משֶׁה, שֶׁאָמַר לוֹ: לֹא אֹסִף עוֹד רְאוֹת פָּנֶיךָ, שֶׁלֹא יִמָּצֵא בַּדָּאי, וְאַתָּה מוֹצֵא שֶׁלֹא דִּבֵּר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא עִם משֶׁה בְּבֵיתוֹ שֶׁל פַּרְעֹה אֶלָּא אוֹתָהּ שָׁעָה, מִנַּיִן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות ט, כט): כְּצֵאתִי אֶת הָעִיר אֶפְרֹשׂ כַּפַּי אֶל ה', וְעַכְשָׁיו קָפַץ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא וְדִבֵּר עִם משֶׁה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות יא, א): עוֹד נֶגַע אֶחָד אָבִיא עַל פַּרְעֹה וגו'. כֵּיוָן שֶׁשָּׁמַע משֶׁה שָׂמַח וְנִתְגַּדֵּל, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות יא, ג): גַּם הָאִישׁ משֶׁה גָּדוֹל מְאֹד. הִתְחִיל צוֹוֵחַ בְּפַרְהֶסְיָא (שמות יא, ד): כֹּה אָמַר ה' כַּחֲצֹת הַלַּיְלָה, יָפֶה אָמַרְתָּ: אַל תֹּסֶף רְאוֹת פָּנַי, אֲנִי אֵינִי עוֹד בָּא אֶצְלְךָ אֶלָּא אַתָּה בָּא אֶצְלִי, וְשַׂר צָבָא הַזֶּה שֶׁעוֹמֵד עִמְּךָ וְזֶה הִפַּרְכוֹס שֶׁלְּךָ וְכָל בְּנֵי פָּלָטִין אֵלוּ שֶׁלְךָ בָּאִין אֶצְלִי עִמְּךָ וּמְבַקְּשִׁים הֵימֶנִּי וּמִשְׁתַּחֲוִים לִי שֶׁנֵּצֵא מִכָּאן, דִּכְתִיב (שמות יא, ח): וְיָרְדוּ כָל עֲבָדֶיךָ אֵלֶּה אֵלַי וְהִשְׁתַּחֲווּ לִי לֵאמֹר, לֹא רָצָה לוֹמַר וְהִשְׁתַּחֲוִיתָ לִי, מִשּׁוּם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּת. כֵּיוָן שֶׁהִגִּיעַ חֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה כַּאֲשֶׁר אָמַר משֶׁה, מִיָּד וַיְהִי בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה וַה' הִכָּה כָל בְּכוֹר, לְפִיכָךְ מֵקִים דְּבַר עַבְדּוֹ וַעֲצַת מַלְאָכָיו יַשְׁלִים, שֶׁעָשָׂה עֵצָה עִם אַבְרָהָם בִּשְׁבִיל הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה, אֵימָתַי כְּשֶׁבָּאוּ הַמְּלָכִים וְרָדַף אוֹתָם, אָמַר לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא דַּיֶּךָּ עַד חֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה, בּוֹא וְנַחְלֹק הַלַּיְלָה אֲנִי וְאַתָּה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית יד, טו): וַיֵּחָלֵק עֲלֵיהֶם לַיְלָה. כֵּיוָן שֶׁהִגִּיעַ הַשָּׁעָה שָׁלְמָה הָעֵצָה, הֱוֵי: וַיְהִי בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה, לְכָךְ כְּתִיב: וַעֲצַת מַלְאָכָיו יַשְׁלִים.

"And it was in the middle of the night" (Exodus 12:29) - this is [the meaning of] what is written (Isaiah 44:26), "He fulfills the word of His servant and completes the counsel of His messengers:" Rabbi Abahu said, "'He fulfills the word of His servant' - this [refers to] Moshe as it is stated (Numbers 12:7), 'Not so My servant Moshe.'" And how is it that He fulfilled it? Rather, when He brought the plague of darkness upon them, Pharaoh began to cry out (Exodus 10:24), "Go and serve the Lord, but your sheep and cattle must stay." Moshe said to him, "Upon your life! 'And also our livestock we will take, not one hoof will remain' (Ibid. 26)." What is [meant by] a hoof? Even an animal that belongs completely to an Egyptian and has one hoof that belongs to a Jew, [Moshe] will not leave. "Since from them shall we take" (Ibid.) - after he said, "from them shall we take," he went back and said "and we do not know with what we will serve the Lord." He said to him, "If with you, who are flesh and blood, [and] people die if they transgress your commands; [nonetheless] if you put out a proclamation in front of you and you say, collect this and that for me, the world can stand in front of you [and fulfill your proclamation]; but with us, perhaps God will say to us, 'sacrifice a sacrifice [that includes all of the sacrifices] of two hundred and ten years.'" That is [what is meant by] "and we do not know." Pharaoh said to him, "Until when will you enter here? 'Go away from me; guard yourself, do not see my face again!' (Ibid. 28)" Moshe said [back] to him, "you have spoken well; 'I will not see your face again.'" The Holy One, blessed be He, said, "What is still required for me? To inform Pharaoh of one plague." Immediately, He went into the palace of Pharaoh for Moshe - who said to [Pharaoh], "I will not see your face again" - so that he would not be found to be a fabricator. And you find that the Holy One, blessed be He, did not speak with Moshe in the house of Pharaoh except for that time. From where [do we know this]? As it is stated (Exodus 9:29), "When I leave the city, I will raise my hands to the Lord;" and now the Holy One, blessed be He, hastened and spoke with Moshe, as it is stated (Exodus 11:1), "still one plague will I bring upon Pharaoh, etc." Once Moshe heard [this], he rejoiced and became great, as it is stated, (Ibid. 3) "and also the man, Moshe, was very great." He begin to cry out in public (Ibid. 4), "'so did the Lord say, "at the middle of the night."' You have spoken well, 'I will not see your face again.' I, myself, will not come again to you, but rather you will come to me; and your general that is standing with you - and he is your head officer - and all of these [in] your palace retinue will come to me with you and request of me - and bow down to me - that we should leave from here;" as it is written (Ibid. 8), "And all of your servants will come down to me and bow down to me saying" - he did not want to say, 'and you will bow down to me' because of the honor of the king. When the middle of the night arrived, as Moshe said; immediately, "And it was the middle of the night and the Lord smote every firstborn." Hence, "He fulfills the word of his servant. And completes the counsel of His messengers" - that He made a counsel (agreement) with Avraham because of this thing. When? When the kings came and he pursued them. The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him, "It is enough for you until the middle of the night - come, let us split the night, you and I;" as it is stated, "And he divided against them at night (understood here as 'and He divided the night for them')." When the time came, he completed his counsel. That is [the meaning of] "And it was in the middle of the night." Thus is it written, "And completes the counsel of His messengers."

2 ב

דָּבָר אַחֵר, וַיְהִי בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה, הֲדָא הוּא דִּכְתִיב (תהלים קיט, סב): חֲצוֹת לַיְלָה אָקוּם לְהוֹדוֹת לָךְ עַל מִשְׁפְּטֵי צִדְקֶךָ. חֲצוֹת לַיְלָה אָקוּם לְהוֹדוֹת לָךְ עַל הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים שֶׁעָשִׂיתָ בְּמִצְרַיִם, וְלָנוּ עָשִׂיתָ צְדָקָה, הֵיאַךְ, אֶלָּא כֵּיוָן שֶׁאָמַר משֶׁה (שמות יב, יב): וְהִכֵּיתִי כָל בְּכוֹר, הִתְחִילוּ מֵהֶם יְרֵאִים וְיֵשׁ מֵהֶם שֶׁלֹא הָיוּ מִתְיָרְאִין, מִי שֶׁהָיָה מִתְיָרֵא הָיָה מוֹלִיךְ בְּכוֹרוֹ אֵצֶל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַר לוֹ בְּבַקָּשָׁה מִמְךָ טֹל אֶת זֶה וְיָלִין עִמָּךְ, כֵּיוָן שֶׁהִגִּיעַ חֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה הָרַג הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא כָּל הַבְּכוֹרוֹת, וְאוֹתָם שֶׁהָיוּ נְתוּנִים בְּבָתֵּיהֶם שֶׁל יִשְׂרָאֵל, הָיָה הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא פּוֹסֵעַ בֵּין יִשְׂרָאֵל וּבֵין הַמִּצְרִים וְהָיָה נוֹטֵל נִשְׁמָתוֹ שֶׁל מִצְרִי וּמַנִּיחַ נִשְׁמָתוֹ שֶׁל יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְהָיָה הַיְּהוּדִי מִתְעוֹרֵר וּמוֹצֵא אֶת הַמִּצְרִי מֵת, בֵּין כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות יב, יג): וּפָסַחְתִּי עֲלֵיכֶם וְלֹא יִהְיֶה בָכֶם נֶגֶף, הִתְחִילוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל אוֹמְרִים: חֲצוֹת לַיְלָה אָקוּם לְהוֹדוֹת לָךְ לְכָךְ נֶאֱמַר: עַל מִשְׁפְּטֵי צִדְקֶךָ.

Another explanation: "And it was in the middle of the night" - this is [the meaning of] that which is written (Psalms 119, 62), "At midnight I arise to praise You for the judgments of your charity (mishpetei tzidkecha):" "At midnight I arise to praise You for" the judgments You enacted upon the Egyptians, and [that] for us You enacted charity. How is this? Rather, once Moshe said (Exodus 12:12), "and I will smite every firstborn," some of them began to fear, and there were [also] from them who were not afraid. One who was afraid would take his firstborn to a Jew and say to him, "I request of you, take this one and he will lodge with you." When the middle of the night arrived, the Holy One, blessed be He, killed all of the firstborn. And [concerning] those that were placed in the houses of the Jews, the Holy One, blessed be He, would skip between the Jews and the Egyptians and take the soul of the Egyptian and leave the soul of the Jew. And the Jew would wake up and find the Egyptian dead between all [of the Jews around him], as it is stated (Ibid. 13), "and I will skip over you and there will not be a plague among you." The Jews [then] began to say, "At midnight I arise to praise You." Thus is it written (Psalms 119, 160), "all of the judgments of your charity."

3 ג

דָּבָר אַחֵר, וַיְהִי בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה, הֲדָא הוּא דִּכְתִיב (משלי לא, יח): טָעֲמָה כִּי טוֹב סַחְרָהּ לֹא יִכְבֶּה וגו', אַתָּה מוֹצֵא שֶׁאָמַר הַכָּתוּב: כִּי אֵין בַּיִת אֲשֶׁר אֵין שָׁם מֵת, הֵיאַךְ אַתָּה מוֹנֶה כָּל טִפָּה וְטִפָּה שֶׁהָיָה מוֹצִיא מִצְרִי לְכָל אִשָּׁה וְאִשָּׁה אוֹ שֶׁהַטִּפָּה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה הוּא בְּכוֹר וְנִמְצְאוּ כָּל בָּנִים מֵתִים, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהלים עח, נא): וַיַּךְ כָּל בְּכוֹר בְּמִצְרָיִם רֵאשִׁית אוֹנִים בְּאָהֳלֵי חָם, טִפָּה רִאשׁוֹנָה. הַנְּקֵבוֹת הַבְּכוֹרוֹת אַף הֵן מֵתוֹת, חוּץ מִבִּתְיָה בַּת פַּרְעֹה, שֶׁנִּמְצָא לָהּ פְּרַקְלִיט טוֹב, זֶה משֶׁה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות ב, ב): וַתֵּרֶא אֹתוֹ כִּי טוֹב הוּא. לְפִיכָךְ אָמַר שְׁלֹמֹה: טָעֲמָה כִּי טוֹב סַחְרָהּ (משלי לא, טו): וַתָּקָם בְּעוֹד לַיְלָה, בְּאֵיזֶה לַיְלָה, וַיְהִי בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה.

Another explanation: "And it was in the middle of the night" - this is [the meaning of] that which is written (Proverbs 31:18), "She has understanding as her merchandise is good, her candle does not, etc." You find that the verse stated (Exodus 12:30), "as there was not a house that did not have a dead person there." How? If you count each and every drop that an Egyptian put out to each and every woman [that had not yet given birth] or the first drop [to women that had already given birth from other men], it will be found that all of the boys were dying, as it is stated (Psalms 88:51), "And he smote every firstborn in Egypt, the beginning of their strength in the tents of Cham." The first drop [that were] female firstborns also died, except for Batya the daughter of Pharaoh who had a good (tov) defender; that was Moshe, as it is stated (Exodus 2:2), "and she saw that he was goodly (tov)." Hence Shlomo said "She has understanding as her merchandise is good." "And she gets up while it is still night" (Proverbs 31:15) - in what night? "And it was in the middle of the night."

4 ד

דָּבָר אַחֵר, וַיְהִי בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה, אָמַר אֱלִיהוּא (איוב לד, כ): רֶגַע יָמֻתוּ וַחֲצוֹת לָיְלָה, כֵּיוָן שֶׁמֵּתוּ הִתְחִילוּ הַכֹּל צוֹוְחִין, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיָּקָם פַּרְעֹה לַיְלָה הוּא וְכָל עֲבָדָיו וְכָל מִצְרַיִם, מִיָּד וַיִּקְרָא לְמשֶׁה וּלְאַהֲרֹן, אָמַר לוֹ משֶׁה מַה פַּרְעֹה מְבַקֵּשׁ, מִי בָּא אֵצֶל מִי אַתָּה אֶצְלִי אוֹ אֲנִי אֶצְלְךָ, אָמַר לוֹ בְּבַקָּשָׁה מִמְךָ קוּמוּ צְאוּ מִתּוֹךְ עַמִּי, לָמָּה (איוב ט, ד): חֲכַם לֵבָב וְאַמִּיץ כֹּחַ מִי הִקְשָׁה אֵלָיו וַיִּשְׁלָם.

Another explanation: "And it was in the middle of the night" - Elihu said (Job 34:20), "In one moment they die and at midnight:" When they died, everyone began to cry out, as it is stated (Exodus 12:30), "And Pharaoh got up at night, he and all of his servants and all of Egypt." Immediately (Ibid. 31), "And he called to Moshe and Aharon." Moshe said to him, "What does Pharaoh request? Who is coming to who, you to me or me to you?" He said [back] to him, "I request from you (Ibid.), 'Get up and go out from among my people.'" Why? "He is wise-hearted and courageous in strength; who has hardened his heart against Him and come out whole?" (Job 9:4)

5 ה

דָּבָר אַחֵר, וַיְהִי בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה, אָמַר דָּוִד (תהלים עז, ז): אֶזְכְּרָה נְגִינָתִי בַּלָּיְלָה, אָמְרָה כְּנֶסֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל נִזְכֶּרֶת אֲנִי אֶת הַשְּׁבָרִים שֶׁהָיִיתָ שׁוֹבֵר אֶת הָאוֹיְבִים בַּעֲבוּרִי בַּלַּיְלָה. וְאֵין נְגִינָתִי אֶלָּא לְשׁוֹן שֶׁבֶר, כְּמָה דְאַתְּ אָמַר (איכה ג, סג): אֲנִי מַנְגִינָתָם, וְאוֹמֵר (בראשית יד, כ): אֲשֶׁר מִגֵּן צָרֶיךָ בְּיָדֶךָ. בָּא עָלֵינוּ סַנְחֵרִיב שָׁבַרְתָּ אוֹתוֹ בַּלַּיְלָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (מלכים ב יט, לה): וַיְהִי בַּלַּיְלָה הַהוּא וַיֵּצֵא מַלְאַךְ ה' וַיַּךְ בְּמַחֲנֵה אַשּׁוּר, אָמַר רַבִּי נְחֶמְיָה בּוֹא וּרְאֵה אַהֲבָתוֹ שֶׁל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל, שֶׁהֲרֵי מַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁרֵת שֶׁהֵן גִּבּוֹרֵי כֹחַ עוֹשֵׂי דְבָרוֹ עֲשָׂאָן הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא שׁוֹמְרִין לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, וּמִי הֵם מִיכָאֵל וְגַבְרִיאֵל, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ישעיה סב, ו): עַל חוֹמֹתַיִךְ יְרוּשָׁלָיִם הִפְקַדְתִּי שֹׁמְרִים, וְכֵיוָן שֶׁבָּא סַנְחֵרִיב מִיכָאֵל יָצָא וְהִכָּה בָהֶם, וְגַבְרִיאֵל הִצִּיל בְּמִצְוָתוֹ שֶׁל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לַחֲנַנְיָה וַחֲבֵרָיו. לָמָּה כָךְ, אֶלָּא תְּנָאִין עָשָׂה עִמָּהֶם הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, אֵימָתַי, כְּשֶׁבִּקֵּשׁ לֵירֵד לְהַצִּיל אַבְרָהָם מִכִּבְשַׁן הָאֵשׁ אָמְרוּ מִיכָאֵל וְגַבְרִיאֵל לְפָנָיו אָנוּ יוֹרְדִין לְהַצִּיל אוֹתוֹ, אָמַר לָהֶם אִלּוּ יָרַד לְשֵׁם אֶחָד מִכֶּם לַכִּבְשָׁן אַתֶּם הֱיִיתֶם מַצִּילִין אוֹתוֹ, אֶלָּא לִשְׁמִי יָרַד וַאֲנִי יוֹרֵד וּמַצִּילוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית טו, ז): אֲנִי ה' אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִיךָ מֵאוּר כַּשְׂדִּים, אֶלָּא אֶתֵּן לָכֶם זְמַן אֵימָתַי תֵּרְדוּ עַל שֶׁנִּזְדַּקַּקְתֶּם לְהַצִּילוֹ לִכְבוֹד שְׁמִי, אַתָּה מִיכָאֵל עַל מַחֲנֵה אַשּׁוּר, וְאַתָּה גַּבְרִיאֵל עַל מַחֲנֵה כַּשְׂדִּים. כֵּיוָן שֶׁיָּרַד גַּבְרִיאֵל לְהַצִּיל לַחֲנַנְיָה מִישָׁאֵל וַעֲזַרְיָה, גָּזַר לָאֵשׁ וְיָצָא וְלִהַט כָּל אוֹתָן שֶׁהִשְׁלִיכוּ אוֹתָן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דניאל ג, כב): גֻּבְרַיָא אִלֵּךְ דִּי הַסִּקוּ לְשַׁדְרַךְ מֵישַׁךְ וגו'. וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים אַרְבַּע אֻמּוֹת מֵתוּ שָׁם, בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה כְּתִיב (דניאל ג, ג): בֵּאדַיִן מִתְכַּנְשִׁין אֲחַשְׁדַּרְפְּנַיָא סְגָנַיָא וּפַחֲוָתָא וְהַדָּבְרֵי מַלְכָּא, וְכָאן חָסְרוּ אַרְבַּע, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דניאל ג, כז): וּמִתְכַּנְשִׁין אֲחַשְׁדַּרְפְּנַיָא, לְפִיכָךְ אָמַר חֲנַנְיָה (תהלים קיז, א): הַלְלוּ אֶת ה' כָּל גּוֹיִם. מִישָׁאֵל אָמַר (תהלים קיז א): שַׁבְּחוּהוּ כָּל הָאֻמִּים. וַעֲזַרְיָה אָמַר (תהלים קיז, ב): כִּי גָבַר עָלֵינוּ חַסְדּוֹ. הַמַּלְאָךְ אוֹמֵר (תהלים קיז ב): וֶאֱמֶת ה' לְעוֹלָם, אֱמֶת מַה שֶּׁאָמַר לִי כְּשֶׁיָּרַדְתִּי לְהַצִּיל אַבְרָהָם, וְכֵן מִיכָאֵל עָשָׂה מַה שֶּׁאָמַר לוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (מלכים ב יט, לה): וַיְהִי בַּלַּיְלָה הַהוּא וַיֵּצֵא מַלְאַךְ ה', תָּנָא כֻּלָּן פּוֹלֶמַרְכִין וְדֻכָּסִין הָיוּ שׁוֹתִין יַיִן וְהִנִּיחוּ קַנְקַנֵּיהֶם מֻשְׁלָכִים, אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְסַנְחֵרִיב אַתָּה עָשִׂיתָ שֶׁלָּךְ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (מלכים ב יט, כג): בְּיַד מַלְאָכֶיךָ חֵרַפְתָּ, אַף אֲנִי בְּיַד מַלְאָכִי, מֶה עָשָׂה לוֹ (ישעיה י, טז): וְתַחַת כְּבֹדוֹ יְקַד יְקֹד כִּיקוֹד אֵשׁ. מַהוּ וְתַחַת כְּבֹדוֹ, שֶׁשָֹּׂרַף גּוּפָן מִבִּפְנִים וְהִנִּיחַ בִּגְדֵיהֶם מִבַּחוּץ, שֶׁכְּבוֹדוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם בִּגְדוֹ, וְלָמָּה הִנִּיחַ בִּגְדֵיהֶם, אֶלָּא שֶׁהָיוּ בָּנָיו שֶׁל שֵׁם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית י, כב): בְּנֵי שֵׁם עֵילָם וְאַשּׁוּר, אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא חַיָּב אֲנִי לְשֵׁם אֲבִיהֶם שֶׁנָּטְלוּ הוּא וְיֶפֶת בִּגְדֵיהֶם וְכִסּוּ עֶרְוַת אֲבִיהֶם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית ט, כג): וַיִּקַּח שֵׁם וָיֶפֶת אֶת הַשִֹּׂמְלָה, לְכָךְ אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְמִיכָאֵל הַנַּח בִּגְדֵיהֶן וּשְׂרֹף נִשְׁמָתָן, מַה כְּתִיב שָׁם (מלכים ב יט, לה): וַיַּשְׁכִּימוּ בַבֹּקֶר וְהִנֵּה כֻלָּם פְּגָרִים מֵתִים, הֲדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב (תהלים קא, ח): לַבְּקָרִים אַצְמִית כָּל רִשְׁעֵי אָרֶץ, וְהָיוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל וְחִזְקִיָּהוּ יוֹשְׁבִין וְאוֹמְרִין אֶת הַהַלֵּל, שֶׁהָיָה לַיִל שֶׁל פֶּסַח וְהָיוּ מִתְיָרְאִים לוֹמַר עַכְשָׁו יְרוּשָׁלַיִם מִתְכַּבֶּשֶׁת בְּיָדוֹ, כֵּיוָן שֶׁהִשְׁכִּימוּ בַבֹּקֶר לַעֲמֹד וְלִקְרוֹת קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע וּלְהִתְפַּלֵּל, מָצְאוּ אוֹיְבֵיהֶם פְּגָרִים מֵתִים, לְפִיכָךְ אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לִישַׁעְיָה (ישעיה ח, ג): קְרָא שְׁמוֹ מַהֵר שָׁלָל חָשׁ בַּז, וּמִהֵר לָבֹז שְׁלָלָם. וְהָאֶחָד קָרָא שְׁמוֹ (ישעיה ז, יד): עִמָּנוּאֵל, לוֹמַר שֶׁאֲנִי עִמּוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברי הימים ב לב, ח): עִמּוֹ זְרוֹעַ בָּשָׂר וְעִמָּנוּ ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ, וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁעָשָׂה הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה בְּיַד מִיכָאֵל וְגַבְרִיאֵל, כֵּן לֶעָתִיד לָבֹא יַעֲשֶׂה עַל יְדֵיהֶם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (עובדיה א, כא): וְעָלוּ מוֹשִׁיעִים בְּהַר צִיּוֹן לִשְׁפֹּט אֶת הַר עֵשָׂו, זֶה מִיכָאֵל וְגַבְרִיאֵל. וְרַבֵּנוּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ אוֹמֵר זֶה מִיכָאֵל לְעַצְמוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דניאל יב, א): וּבָעֵת הַהִיא יַעֲמֹד מִיכָאֵל הַשַֹּׂר הַגָּדוֹל הָעֹמֵד עַל בְּנֵי עַמֶּךָ, שֶׁהוּא תּוֹבֵעַ צְרָכֵיהֶן שֶׁל יִשְׂרָאֵל וּמְדַבֵּר עֲלֵיהֶם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (זכריה א, יב): וַיַּעַן מַלְאַךְ ה' וַיֹּאמַר ה' צְבָאוֹת עַד מָתַי אַתָּה לֹא תְרַחֵם אֶת יְרוּשָׁלָיִם, וְאוֹמֵר (דניאל י, כא): וְאֵין אֶחָד מִתְחַזֵּק עִמִּי עַל אֵלֶּה כִּי אִם מִיכָאֵל שַׂרְכֶם, אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹסֵי לְמָה מִיכָאֵל וְסמא"ל דּוֹמִין לְסָנֵיגוֹר וְקָטֵיגוֹר עוֹמְדִין בַּדִּין, זֶה מְדַבֵּר וְזֶה מְדַבֵּר, גָּמַר זֶה דְּבָרָיו וְזֶה דְּבָרָיו, יָדַע אוֹתוֹ הַסְּנֵיגוֹר שֶׁנָּצַח הִתְחִיל מְשַׁבֵּחַ אֶת הַדַּיָּין שֶׁיּוֹצִיא אִיפוֹפָסִין. בִּקֵּשׁ אוֹתוֹ קָטֵיגוֹר לְהוֹסִיף דָּבָר, אָמַר לוֹ הַסָּנֵיגוֹר הַחֲרֵשׁ וְנִשְׁמַע מִן הַדַּיָּן. כָּךְ מִיכָאֵל וְסמא"ל עוֹמְדִים לִפְנֵי הַשְּׁכִינָה וְהַשָֹּׂטָן מְקַטְרֵג וּמִיכָאֵל מְלַמֵּד זְכוּתָן שֶׁל יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְהַשָֹּׂטָן בָּא לְדַבֵּר וּמִיכָאֵל מְשַׁתְּקוֹ, לָמָּה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהלים פה, ט): אֶשְׁמְעָה מַה יְּדַבֵּר הָאֵל ה' כִּי יְדַבֵּר שָׁלוֹם אֶל עַמּוֹ, הֱוֵי (תהלים עז, ז): אֶזְכְּרָה נְגִינָתִי בַּלָּיְלָה, עַל נֵס שֶׁל חִזְקִיָּהוּ. דָּבָר אַחֵר, אֶזְכְּרָה נְגִינָתִי, נִזְכַּר אֲנִי מַה שֶּׁעָשִׂיתָ לָנוּ בְּמִצְרַיִם, וּמְנַגְנִין שֶׁעָשִׂיתָ לְמִצְרַיִם, הֵיאַךְ מִתְּחִלָּה כְּשֶׁבִּקֵּשׁ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְהָבִיא הַמַּכּוֹת עַל הַמִּצְרִים, מַכַּת בְּכוֹרוֹת אָמַר לְהָבִיא תְּחִלָּה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות ד, כג): הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי הֹרֵג אֶת בִּנְךָ בְּכֹרֶךָ. הִתְחִיל אוֹמֵר (שמות ה, ב): מִי ה' אֲשֶׁר אֶשְׁמַע בְּקֹלוֹ. אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אִם אָבִיא עָלָיו מַכַּת בְּכוֹרוֹת תְּחִלָּה מְשַׁלְּחָן, אֶלָּא מֵבִיא אֲנִי עָלָיו מַכּוֹת אַחֵרוֹת [תחלה] וּבְעֵקֶב זֹאת אֲנִי מֵבִיא אֶת כֻּלָּן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַה' הִכָּה כָל בְּכוֹר, לְפִיכָךְ דָּוִד מְקַלֵּס (תהלים צ, יא): מִי יוֹדֵעַ עֹז אַפֶּךָ, מִי יוֹדֵעַ נַגְנִין שֶׁלְּךָ שֶׁאַתָּה עוֹשֶׂה בַּיָּם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהלים עז, כ): בַּיָּם דַּרְכֶּךָ וּשְׁבִילְךָ בְּמַיִם רַבִּים וְעִקְּבוֹתֶיךָ לֹא נוֹדָעוּ, דְּבָרִים שֶׁאַתָּה עוֹשֶׂה בְּעָקֵב מִי יוֹדֵעַ.

Another explanation: "And it was in the middle of the night" - David said (Psalms 77:7), "I recall my music at night:" The congregation of Israel said, "I recall the breakings, that You broke the enemies for my sake at night." And [the term], 'my music' (niginati) only means breaking, as you would say (Lamentations 3:63), "I am their song." And I [would also] say (Genesis 14:20), "who gave over (migen) your enemies into your hand." Sancheriv came against us - You broke him at night, as it is stated (II Kings 19:35), "And it was on that night and the angel of the Lord came out and he smote in the camp of Assyria." Rabbi Nechemia said, "Come and see the love of the Holy One, blessed be He for Israel; as behold, the ministering angels - who are mighty of strength, doers of His will - the Holy One, blessed be He, made them guardians over Israel. And who are they? Michael and Gavriel, as it is stated (Isaiah 62:6), 'Upon your walls Jerusalem, I have appointed guardians.' And when Sancheriv came, Michael went out and smote them; and Gavriel, from the command of the Holy One, blessed be He, saved Chanania and his friends." Why was it like that? Rather the Holy One, blessed be He, made a condition with them. When? When He wanted to go down to save Avaraham from the fiery pit: Michael and Gavriel said in front of Him, "We will go down to save him." He said [back] to them, "If [even] one of you would go down there to the pit, you would save him, but [since Avraham] went down for My name, then I will go down and save him," as it is stated (Genesis 15:7), "I am the Lord who took you out of the Ur Kasdim (understood here as the fire of Kasdim);" "but I will give you a time [to go down and save others."] When did they go down? "Since you were prepared to save him for My honor, you, Michael [will descend] against the camp of Assyria; and you, Gavriel [will descend] against the camp of Kasdim (the Chaldeans)." When Gavriel went down to save Chanania, Mishael and Azaria, he tore the fire and came out and set aflame all those that had thrown them in, as it is stated (Daniel 3:22), "those men that raised Shadrakh, Meshakh, etc." And some say, "Four nations died there: At first, it is written (Ibid. 3), 'Then were gathered the satraps, the prefects, the governors[, etc.]' and the advisers of the king and, here, four [of them] are lacking, as it states (Ibid. 27), 'And the satraps gathered.'" Hence Chanania said (Psalms 117:1), "Praise the Lord, all nations;" Mishael said (Ibid.), "exalt him all peoples;" and Azaria said (Ibid. 2), "Since His kindness has overwhelmed us;" and the angel said (Ibid.), "'and the truth of the Lord is forever' - what He said to me when I went down to save Avraham is true." And so [too with] Michael, [God] did what He told him, as it is stated (II Kings 19:35), "And it was on that night and the angel of the Lord came out." It was taught, "All of the commanders and the dukes were drinking wine and left their receptacles thrown out. The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Sancheriv, 'You have done yours,' as it is stated (Ibid. 23), 'By the hand of your messengers have you cursed;' 'I too [will act] by the hand of my messenger.'" What did He do to him? "And under his glory there shall be kindled a burning like the burning of fire." (Isaiah 10:16) What is [meant by] "and under his glory?" That He burned his body from the inside and left his clothing on the outside, since the glory of a person is his clothing. And why did He leave his clothing? Rather, since they were the descendants of Shem, as it is stated (Genesis 10:22), "The sons of Shem were Eilam and Ashur (Assyria)." The Holy One, blessed be He, said, "I am indebted to Shem, their father, as he and Yafet took their clothing and covered the nakedness of their father," as it is stated (Genesis 9:23), "And Shem and Yafet took the cloak." Hence, the Holy One, Blessed be He, said to Michael, "Leave their clothing and burn their souls." What is written there? "And they arose in the morning and, behold, dead corpses." This is [the meaning of] that which is written (Psalms 101:8), "In the mornings, I will annihilate the evildoers of the world." And Hizkiyahu and Israel were sitting and saying Hallel (Psalms of praise recited on festivals), as it was the night of Pesach, and they were afraid to say [it] now - Jerusalem was being conquered by his hand. When they woke up early in the morning to stand and read the Shema and to pray, they found their enemies were dead corpses. Hence, the Holy One, blessed be He, said to Yeshaya (Isaiah 8:3), "'and call his name, "quick take booty, fast loot"' and be quick to loot booty; and the [other] one call 'with us is the Power (Imanuel),' to say that I am with him," as it is stated (II Chronicles 32:8), "with him is the forearm of flesh but with us is the Lord, our God." And just like the Holy One, blessed be He, acted in this world by the hand of Michael and Gavriel, so [too] in the future to come, he will act through them, as it is stated (Obadiah 1:21), "And the saviors will come up on Mount Zion to judge the mountain of Esav" - this is [referring to] Michael and Gavriel. And our Holy Rabbi said, "This is Michael by himself, as it is stated (Daniel 12:1), 'And at that time, Michael will stand, the great minister who stands for the children of Your people.'" As he [is the one that] demands the needs of Israel and speaks for them, as it is stated (Zechariah 1:12), "And the angel of the Lord answered and said, 'Lord of hosts, until when when will you not have mercy on Jerusalem?'" And I will [also] say (Daniel 10:21), "and none is being strong with Me except for Michael, your minister." Rabbi Yose said, "To what are Michael and Samael similar? To a defender and a prosecutor standing in court. This one is speaking and that one is speaking. [When] this one finished his words and that one his words, that defender knows that he has won. [Then] he begins to praise the judge, that issues the verdict. That prosecutor [then] requests to add something. The defender [then] says to him, 'Be quiet and let us hear from the judge.' So is it that Michael and Samael stand in front of the Divine Presence; and the Satan [Samael] prosecutes and Michael deliberates on the merit of Israel, and [then] the Satan comes to speak and Michael silences him. Why? As it is stated (Psalms 85:9), 'I will hear what the Power, the Lord, will speak, as He will speak peace about His people.'" This is [the meaning of] "I recall my music at night" - about the miracle of Hizkiyahu. Another explanation: "I recall my music at night" - I recall what you have done for us in Egypt, and the plots (menagnin) that you did to the Egyptians. How is it? At first, when the Holy One, blessed be He, requested to bring plagues upon the Egyptians, He said to bring the plague of the firstborn first, as it is stated (Exodus 4:23), "behold I am killing your son, your firstborn." [Pharaoh] started to say (Exodus 5:2), "Who is the Lord that I should listen to His voice?" The Holy One, blessed be He, said [to Himself], "If I bring the plague of the firstborn first, he will send them [right away], but rather I will bring other plagues upon him (first). And in its heels (beekev zot), I will bring them all," as it is stated, "And the Lord smote every firstborn." Hence David praises (Psalms 90:11), "Who knows the boldness of Your anger" - who knows your plots that You do in the sea, as it is stated (Psalms 77:20), "In the sea is Your way and Your path in the great waters, and Your footsteps (eekvotekha) were not known" - things that you do afterward (beekev), who [can] know?

6 ו

אָמַר הָאֱלֹהִים לְמשֶׁה אֱמֹר לָהֶם לְיִשְׂרָאֵל מָה אַתֶּם עוֹשִׂים תִּהְיוּ יוֹדְעִים שֶׁיִּגֹּף אֶת מִצְרַיִם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות יב, כג): וְעָבַר ה' לִנְגֹף אֶת מִצְרַיִם, אָמַר רַבִּי לֵוִי מַהוּ וְעָבַר ה', אָמַר לָהֶם הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא עוֹבֵר אֲנִי עַל הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר אָמַרְתִּי, מָשָׁל לְמֶלֶךְ שֶׁהָלַךְ בְּנוֹ לְבַרְבַּרְיָאה עָמְדוּ הַבַּרְבָּרִיִּים וְקִבְּלוּ אוֹתוֹ וְעָשׂוּ אוֹתוֹ מֶלֶךְ עֲלֵיהֶם, שָׁמַע הַמֶּלֶךְ וְאָמַר מַה כָּבוֹד אֲנִי עוֹשֶׂה לְאֵלּוּ שֶׁגִּדְּלוּ בְּנִי וְהִמְלִיכוּהוּ עֲלֵיהֶם, אֶלָּא אֲנִי קוֹרֵא שֵׁם אוֹתָהּ הַמְּדִינָה עַל שֵׁם בְּנִי. חָזְרוּ אַחֲרֵי יָמִים וְקִלְּלוּ בְּנוֹ שֶׁל מֶלֶךְ וְשִׁעְבְּדוּ אוֹתוֹ, אָמַר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲנִי עוֹבֵר עַל מַה שֶּׁכִּבַּדְתִּי אוֹתָם, יוֹצֵא אֲנִי וְעוֹשֶׂה עִמָּהֶם מִלְחָמָה וּמַצִּיל אֶת בְּנִי. כָּךְ יָרַד יוֹסֵף לְמִצְרַיִם וְקִבְּלוּ אוֹתוֹ וְעָשׂוּ אוֹתוֹ מֶלֶךְ עֲלֵיהֶם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית מג, ו): וְיוֹסֵף הוּא הַשַּׁלִּיט עַל הָאָרֶץ, כִּבְּדוּ אֶת יַעֲקֹב, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית נ, ג): וַיִּבְכּוּ אוֹתוֹ מִצְרַיִם שִׁבְעִים יוֹם, אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא וּמַה כָּבוֹד אֲנִי עוֹשֶׂה לְמִצְרַיִם, הֲרֵינִי קוֹרֵא אוֹתָהּ בִּשְׁמָהּ שֶׁל גַּן עֵדֶן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית יג, י): כְּגַן ה' כְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם. כְּשֶׁחָזְרוּ וְשִׁעְבְּדוּ בָּהֶן, אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא (שמות יב, יב): וְעָבַרְתִּי בְאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, חוֹזֵר אֲנִי מֵאוֹתוֹ כָּבוֹד וְאֶעֱשֶׂה אוֹתָהּ שְׁמָמָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (יואל ד, יט): מִצְרַיִם לִשְׁמָמָה תִהְיֶה:

God said to Moshe, "Say to them, to the Jews, 'What are you doing? Be aware that He will strike the Egyptians,'" as is is stated (Exodus 12:23), "And the Lord will pass to strike the Egyptians." Rabbi Levi said, "What is [the meaning of], 'and the Lord will pass (veavar)?' The Holy One, blessed be He, said to them, 'I am going against (ohver) that which I said.' There is a parable of a king whose son went to Barbaria. The Barbarians got up and received him and made him king over them. The king heard and said, 'what honor should I do for these [people], who raised my son and crowned him over them? Rather, I shall call the name of that country according to the name of my son.' After some time, they went back and they cursed the son of the king and they subjugated him. The king said, 'I will go against that which I honored them - I will go out and make war with them and rescue my son.' So [too is it that when] Yosef went to Egypt, they received him and made him king over them, as it is stated (Genesis 42:6), 'And Yosef was the ruler over the land;' they honored Yakov, as it is stated (Genesis 50:3), 'and the Egyptians cried for him seventy days.' The Holy One, blessed be He, said, 'What honor should I do for Egypt? Behold, I will call it with the name of the Garden of Eden,' as it is stated (Genesis 13:10), 'like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt.' When they went back and subjugated them, the Holy One, blessed be He, said (Exodus 12:12), '"And I will pass over ( avarti, here understood as, went against)" - I am going back from that honor and I will make it into a desolate place,' as it is stated (Joel 4:11), 'Egypt will be a desolate place.'"

7 ז

מַה כְּתִיב לְמַעְלָה (שמות יב, כג): וּפָסַח ה' עַל הַפֶּתַח, אוֹתָהּ שָׁעָה כִּבְיָכוֹל עָמַד לוֹ בַּפֶּתַח, אֶלָּא בְּנֹהַג שֶׁבָּעוֹלָם כְּשֵׁם שֶׁהַטַּבָּח מַכְנִיס צֹאנוֹ וְכָל שֶׂה אוֹ כֶבֶשׂ שֶׁהוּא רוֹצֶה לִשְׁחֹט נוֹטֵל הַסִּיקְרָא וְרוֹשֵׁם עָלֶיהָ לְהַכִּיר אֵיזֶה יִשְׁחֹט וְאֵיזֶה לֹא יִשְׁחֹט. כָּךְ (שמות יב, יב): וְרָאָה אֶת הַדָּם, כִּבְיָכוֹל עָמַד בַּפֶּתַח וְדוֹחֶה הַמַּשְׁחִית שֶׁלֹא יִגֹּף אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל. אָמַר לָהֶם הָאֱלֹהִים (שמות יב, כד): וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם אֶת הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה לְחָק לְךָ וּלְבָנֶיךָ עַד עוֹלָם, כְּשֵׁם שֶׁעָשִׂיתִי לָכֶם עַכְשָׁו כָּךְ אֲנִי עָתִיד לַעֲשׂוֹת לָכֶם לֶעָתִיד לָבוֹא, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (מלאכי ג, יט): כִּי הִנֵּה הַיּוֹם בָּא בֹּעֵר כַּתַּנּוּר וגו', אֲבָל אַתֶּם (מלאכי ג, יז): וְחָמַלְתִּי עֲלֵיהֶם כַּאֲשֶׁר יַחְמֹל אִישׁ עַל בְּנוֹ.

What is written above? "And the Lord will pass over the opening." (Exodus 12:23) At that time - as if it were possible - He, Himself, stood at the opening. But rather, as it is the custom of the world - in the same way as when a butcher brings in his sheep and he takes red dye and marks each lamb and sheep that he wants to slaughter, in order to recognize which one to slaughter and which one not to slaughter; so too (Ibid.), "and he will see the blood" - as if it were possible - He stood at the entrance and pushed away the destroyer that he should not strike Israel. God said to them (Ibid. 24), "'And you shall keep this thing as a statute for you and your children forever" - in the same way as I did [this] for you today, so [too] will I do [it] for you in the future to come," as it is stated (Malachi 3:19), "As behold the day is coming, burning like a furnace, etc." "But [with] you, 'I will have pity upon you as a father has pity on his son.' (Ibid. 17)"

8 ח

אָמַר רַבִּי חֲלַפְתָּא יִתְבָּרַךְ שְׁמוֹ שֶׁל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא שֶׁאֵין כְּנִסָּיו וּכְנִפְלְאוֹתָיו וְאֵין כִּגְבוּרוֹתָיו וּכְמַעֲשָׂיו, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהלים קמז, ה): גָּדוֹל אֲדוֹנֵנוּ וְרַב כֹּחַ, הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא קָדוֹשׁ וְטָהוֹר וּפָשַׁט יָדָיו בַּטְּמֵאִים, לָמָּה, בִּשְׁבִיל שֶׁגָּדוֹל וְנוֹרָא הוּא, וּבִשְׁבִיל יִשְׂרָאֵל הוֹדִיעַ כֹּחוֹ. וְלָמָּה בִּשְׁבִיל יִשְׂרָאֵל, שֶׁאָמַר לְיַעֲקֹב (בראשית מו, ד): אָנֹכִי אֵרֵד עִמְּךָ מִצְרַיְמָה. וְהוּא עוֹשֶׂה מִלְחַמְתָּן שֶׁל יִשְׂרָאֵל, מַלְאָךְ אֶחָד הָפַךְ אֶת סְדוֹם, וְכָאן (ישעיה מב, יג): ה' כַּגִּבּוֹר יֵצֵא כְּאִישׁ מִלְחָמוֹת יָעִיר קִנְאָה.

Rabbi Chalafta said, "Blessed is the name of the Holy One, blessed be He; as there is nothing like His miracles and His wonders and there is nothing like His heroic deeds and His actions, as it is stated (Psalms 147:5), 'Great is our master and of abundant power.' The Holy One, blessed be He, is holy and pure and extended His arms against the impure. Why? Because He is great and awesome. And for the sake of Israel, He let His power be known. And why for the sake of Israel? Since He said to Yakov (Genesis 46:4), 'And I will go down with you to Egypt,' and He [fights] the wars of Israel: [Only] one angel overturned Sodom, but here (Isaiah 42:13), 'The Lord will go out like a warrior; like a man of war, He will arouse His jealousy.'"

9 ט

דָּבָר אַחֵר, וַיְהִי בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה, מָשָׁל לְמֶלֶךְ שֶׁהָפְכָה הַמְדִינָה שִׁעְבּוּדָהּ עַל הַשְּׁבוּיִם שֶׁבָּאוּ אֲלֵיהֶם, אַף הוּא הָפַךְ עֲלֵיהֶם אֶת הַדִּין וַהֲרָגָם. כָּךְ מִצְרַיִם הָפְכוּ גְּזֵרָתָן עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁיִּהְיוּ עוֹשִׂין בַּיּוֹם וּבַלַּיְלָה, וְשֶׁנָּתְנוּ מְלֶאכֶת אִישׁ עַל אִשָּׁה וּמְלֶאכֶת אִשָּׁה עַל אִישׁ, אַף הָאֱלֹהִים הָפַךְ עֲלֵיהֶם אֶת הַדִּין וַהֲרָגָן בַּלַּיְלָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיְהִי בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה, כְּשֵׁם שֶׁהָפַךְ סְדוֹם בַּלַּיְלָה כָּךְ הָרַג בְּכוֹרֵי מִצְרַיִם בַּלַּיְלָה, לְכָךְ אָמַר דָּוִד (תהלים עו, ח): אַתָּה נוֹרָא אַתָּה וּמִי יַעֲמֹד לְפָנֶיךָ מֵאָז אַפֶּךָ.

Another explanation: "And it was in the middle of the night" - there is a parable of a king, the country of which overturned the subjugation of prisoners that came to them [by making it unbearable]; so [too] did he overturn the law against them and kill them. Likewise, the Egyptians overturned the decree against the Jews, that they should [work] by day and by night and that they gave the work of a man to a woman and the work of a woman to a man; so [too], God overturned the law against them and killed them at night, as it is stated, "And it was in the middle of the night." Just like He overturned Sodom at night, so [too] did He kill the firstborn of Egypt at night. For this reason did David state (Psalms 76:8), "You are Fearsome, You; and who can stand before You from when You become angry."

10 י

הַרְבֵּה נִסִּים עָשָׂה הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, הָרַג בְּכוֹרֵי מִצְרַיִם שֶׁהָיוּ מְשׁוּלִים לִבְהֵמָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (יחזקאל כג, כ): אֲשֶׁר בְּשַׂר חֲמוֹרִים בְּשָׂרָם. הָרַג בְּכוֹרֵי שֶׁבִי, שֶׁהָיוּ אוֹמְרִים לַשָּׁבוּי שֶׁהָיָה חָבוּשׁ בְּבֵית הָאֲסוּרִין, רְצוֹנְךָ שֶׁתֵּצֵא וְיִגָּאֲלוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְהוּא אוֹמֵר לֹא נֵצֵא מִכָּאן לְעוֹלָם, כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹא יֵצְאוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל, לְכָךְ דָּנָן עִמָּהֶם. מִבְּכֹר פַּרְעֹה עַד בְּכוֹר הַשְּׁבִי, מָשָׁל לְמֶלֶךְ שֶׁעָשָׂה שִׂמְחָה לִבְנוֹ וְהָרַג שׂוֹנְאָיו, אָמַר הַמֶּלֶךְ כָּל מִי שֶׁשָֹּׂמֵחַ לִי יָבֹא לְשִׂמְחַת בְּנִי, וְכָל מִי שֶׁשׂוֹנֵא לִי יֵהָרֵג עִם הַשֹּׂוֹנְאִים. כָּךְ הָאֱלֹהִים עָשָׂה שִׂמְחָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁגְּאָלָן, אָמַר הָאֱלֹהִים כָּל מִי שֶׁאוֹהֵב אֶת בְּנִי יָבֹא וְיִשְׂמַח עִם בְּנִי. הַכְּשֵׁרִים שֶׁבַּמִּצְרִים בָּאוּ וְעָשׂוּ פֶּסַח עִם יִשְׂרָאֵל וְעָלוּ עִמָּהֶם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות יב, לח): וְגַם עֵרֶב רַב עָלָה אִתָּם, וְכָל מִי שֶׁרָצוּ שֶׁלֹא יִגָאֲלוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל, מֵתוּ עִם הַבְּכוֹרִים, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהלים עח, נא): וַיַּךְ כָּל בְּכוֹר בְּמִצְרָיִם. צָעֲקוּ כֻּלָּם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַתְּהִי צְעָקָה גְדוֹלָה בְּמִצְרָיִם, בָּאוּ כֻלָּם לַהֲרֹג פַּרְעֹה, בְּאוֹתָהּ שָׁעָה, וַתֶּחֱזַק מִצְרַיִם עַל הָעָם, וְהֵן קוֹרִין אֶת הַלֵּל, וּפַרְעֹה מַכְרִיז לְגִבּוֹרָיו בּוֹאוּ וְנִקְרָא לְמשֶׁה וּלְאַהֲרֹן. אָמַר לוֹ הָאֱלֹהִים בַּלַּיְלָה אַתָּה מוֹצִיא אֶת בָּנַי, לֹא תוֹצִיא לְבָנַי בַּלַּיְלָה, אֶלָּא יֵצְאוּ בְּרֹאשׁ גָּלוּי בַּחֲצִי הַיּוֹם, נִתְפַּזְרוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּכָל מִצְרַיִם בְּאוֹתָהּ שָׁעָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל עָשׂוּ כִּדְבַר משֶׁה וַיִּשְׁאֲלוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם, וּמשֶׁה הָיָה עוֹסֵק בְּעַצְמוֹת יוֹסֵף, וּבִכְלֵי הַמִּשְׁכָּן שֶׁהֵכִין יַעֲקֹב אָבִינוּ, וְכֵן דָּוִד אָמַר (תהלים נח, יא): יִשְׂמַח צַדִּיק כִּי חָזָה נָקָם.

Many miracles did the Holy One, blessed be He, do for Israel: He killed the firstborn of Egypt - that were compared to animals, as it is stated (Ezekiel 23: 20), "that their flesh is the flesh of donkeys;" He killed the firstborn of the captives; since they said to the captive that was imprisoned in the jail, "Do you want to go out and the Jews will [also] be delivered?" And he would say, "We will not ever leave from here in order that Israel not go out." That is why He judged them with [the Egyptians] - "from the firstborn of Pharaoh... to the firstborn of the captive." (Exodus 12:29) There is a parable about a king who made a joyous occasion for his son and killed his enemies. The king said, "Anyone who caused me joy should come to my son's joyous occasion, and anyone who is hated by me will be killed with the enemies." So [too], God made a joyous occasion for Israel, since He redeemed them - God said, "Anyone who loves My son should come and rejoice with My son." The proper ones of Egypt came and made a Pesach sacrifice with the Jews and went out with them, as it is stated (Exodus 12:38), "And also a mixed multitude went out with them." And all those that wanted Israel not to be redeemed died with the firstborn, as it is stated (Pslams 78:51), "And He smote all the firstborn of Egypt." They all cried out, as it is stated (Exodus 12:39), "and there was a great outcry in Egypt." They all came to kill Pharaoh. At that time, "And the Egyptians pressed upon the people (here read, as about the people)." (Exodus 12:33) And [the Jews at that time] were reciting Hallel; and Pharaoh announced to his warriors, "Come, let us call to Moshe and Aharon." God said to him, "You are releasing my children at night? You will not release my children at night, but rather they will go out [in plain sight,] in the middle of the day." The Jews dispersed into all of Egypt at that time, as it is stated (Ibid. 35), "And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moshe and borrowed from Egypt." And Moshe was busy with the bones of Yosef and the vessels of the Tabernacle that were prepared by Yakov, our father. And hence David said (Pslams 58:11), "The righteous one will rejoice, since he saw vengeance."

11 יא

וַיִּסְעוּ בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מֵרַעְמְסֵס, רַבִּי שְׁמוּאֵל אוֹמֵר כֵּיוָן שֶׁיָּצְאוּ אָפוּ הַבָּצֵק שֶׁלָּשׁוּ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיֹּאפוּ אֶת הַבָּצֵק, וַיְהִי מִקֵּץ שְׁלשִׁים וְאַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וגו', מִשָּׁעָה שֶׁנִּגְזְרָה עֲלֵיהֶן הַגְּזֵרָה, שֶׁהֵן לֹא עָשׂוּ בְּמִצְרַיִם אֶלָּא מָאתַיִם וָעֶשֶׂר שָׁנָה, וּבַיּוֹם שֶׁיָּרְדוּ לְמִצְרַיִם, בּוֹ בַּיּוֹם עָלוּ, וּבוֹ בַּיּוֹם יָצָא יוֹסֵף מִבֵּית הָאֲסוּרִין, לְכָךְ הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה שִׂמְחָה לְכָל יִשְׂרָאֵל, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: לֵיל שִׁמֻּרִים הוּא לַה': בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה עָשָׂה לָהֶם נֵס בַּלַּיְלָה, שֶׁהָיָה נֵס עוֹבֵר, אֲבָל לֶעָתִיד לָבוֹא הַלַּיְלָה נַעֲשָׂה יוֹם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ישעיה ל, כו): וְהָיָה אוֹר הַלְּבָנָה כְּאוֹר הַחַמָּה, וְאוֹר הַחַמָּה יִהְיֶה שִׁבְעָתַיִם וגו', כָּאוֹר שֶׁבָּרָא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא בַּתְּחִלָּה, וּגְנָזוֹ בַּגַּן עֵדֶן:

"And the children of Israel traveled from Raamses" (Exodus 12:37) - Rabbi Shmuel says, "Once they left, they [immediately] baked the dough that they had kneaded, as it is stated (Ibid. 39), 'and they baked dough.'" "And it was at the end of four hundred and thirty years, etc" (Ibid. 41) - from the time that the decree was decreed; as they only spent two hundred and ten years in Egypt. And on the day that they went down to Egypt, on that same day did they go out. And on that day Yosef went out from jail. Hence this night is a joyful occasion for all of Israel, as it is written (Ibid. 42), "It is a night of watchings for the Lord." In this world, he made a miracle for them at night, since it was a temporary miracle, but in the future to come, this night will become a day, as it is stated (Isaiah 30:26), "And the light of the moon will be like the light of the sun and the light of the sun will be seven times, etc." - like the light that the Holy One, blessed be He, created at first and hid in the Garden of Eden.

12 יב

מָה רָאָה לוֹמַר לֵיל שִׁמֻּרִים, שֶׁבּוֹ עָשָׂה גְּדֻלָּה לַצַּדִּיקִים, כְּשֵׁם שֶׁעָשָׂה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל בְּמִצְרַיִם, וּבוֹ הִצִּיל לְחִזְקִיָּהוּ, וּבוֹ הִצִּיל לַחֲנַנְיָה וַחֲבֵרָיו, וּבוֹ הִצִּיל לְדָנִיֵּאל מִגֹּב אֲרָיוֹת, וּבוֹ מָשִׁיחַ וְאֵלִיָּהוּ הַנָּבִיא מִתְגַּדְּלִין, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ישעיה כא, יב): אָמַר שֹׁמֵר אָתָא בֹקֶר וְגַם לָיְלָה. מָשָׁל לְאִשָּׁה שֶׁהָיְתָה מְצַפָּה לְבַעְלָהּ שֶׁפֵּרַשׁ לִמְדִינַת הַיָּם, אָמַר לָהּ יְהֵא סִימָן הַזֶּה בְּיָדֵךְ בְּעֵת שֶׁתִּרְאִי אוֹתוֹ סִימָן דְּעִי שֶׁאֲנִי בָּא וַאֲנִי קָרוֹב לָבוֹא. כָּךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל מְצַפִּין מִשֶּׁעָמְדָה אֱדוֹם אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא הַסִּימָן הַזֶּה יִהְיֶה בְּיֶדְכֶם בַּיּוֹם שֶׁעָשִׂיתִי לָכֶם תְּשׁוּעָה וּבְאוֹתוֹ לַיְלָה הֱיוּ יוֹדְעִים שֶׁאֲנִי גוֹאַלְכֶם, וְאִם לָאו אַל תַּאֲמִינוּ, שֶׁלֹא קָרְבָה הָעֵת, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ישעיה ס, כב): אֲנִי ה' בְּעִתָּה אֲחִישֶׁנָּה. וְאוֹמֵר (חגי ב, ו כב): עוֹד אַחַת מְעַט הִיא וַאֲנִי מַרְעִישׁ אֶת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת הָאָרֶץ וגו' וְהָפַכְתִּי כִּסֵּא מַמְלָכוֹת וגו'. וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁהָפַכְתִּי אֶת מִצְרַיִם כָּךְ אֲנִי הוֹפֵךְ הָעוֹבְדֵי כּוֹכָבִים, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ישעיה ס, יב): וְהַגּוֹיִם חָרֹב יֶחֱרָבוּ, וְאוֹמֵר (איוב לח, יג): לֶאֱחֹז בְּכַנְפוֹת הָאָרֶץ וגו':

What did it see to state [that it is] "a night of watchings?" That on it He enacted greatness for the righteous in the same way that He did so for the Jews in Egypt. And on it He rescued Hizkiyahu, and on it He rescued Chanania and his fellows, and on it He rescued Daniel from the lion's den, and on it Eliyahu and the Messiah will become great, as it is stated (Isaiah 21:12), "The watchman said, 'the morning has come, and also the night.'" There is a parable of a woman who was expecting her husband who took a journey to a nation overseas. He said to her, "Let this be a sign in your hand: At the time you see that sign, know that I am coming and I have almost come." So [too], Israel from when Edom arose: The Holy One, blessed be He, said, "This sign will be in your hands - be infomred that I will save you on the day that I enacted your salvation and on that night. And if not, do not believe it - the time has not approached," as it is stated (Isaiah 60, 22), "I am the Lord, in its time I will hasten it." And I would [also] say (Haggai 2: 6-22), "One more; it is a bit and I will shake the heavens and the earth, etc. And I will overturn the throne of kingdoms, etc." "And in the same way that I overturned Egypt, so [too] will I overturn the idol worshipers," as it is stated, (Isaiah 60:12) "and the nations shall be utterly destroyed." And I would [also] say (Job 38:13), "To take hold of the corners of the earth."