The years passed and the condition of the Israelite slaves became unbearable.
Moses and his brother Aaron were sent to warn pharaoh to let the Israelite slaves free. Pharaoh did not believe in the God of the Israelites, and he refused to let the Jewish slaves go free. Consequently, God sent the 10 plagues onto the Egyptians.
- The waters of the land of Egypt turned into blood.
- The entire land was covered by the plague of frogs.
- Lice crawled from the dust to cover all of Egypt.
- Hordes of wild animals came all over the country, destroying everything in their path. ( After this plague, Pharaoh promised to let the Jews go on condition that they would not go too far. Moses prayed to God, and the wild animals disappeared. But as soon as they had gone, Pharaoh changed his mind and decided not to let the Jewish slaves go free).
- Pestilence, that killed most of the domestic animals of the Egyptians.
- Boils burst forth upon man and beast throughout Egypt. (Now Moses announced to Pharaoh that a violent hailstorm would kill everything that was outside. Pharaoh started to relent and agreed to let the Jewish men go free, but Pharaoh insisted that the Jewish women and children and all their possessions remain in Egypt. Moses and Aaron could not accept his offer).
- Swarms of locusts devoured everything green that had escaped the hail and previous plagues.
- Darkness enveloped all of Egypt except for Goshen, where the children of Israel lived.
- The killing of the Egyptian First born…. midnight on the 15th of Nissan all firstborn in the land of Egypt began dying, including the firstborn of King Pharaoh, exactly as Moses had warned.
Finally, Pharaoh let them go.
The word “Passover” comes from this tenth plague as God “passed over” the Israelites' homes, saving their first borns from the deadly plague.
Once Pharaoh finally agreed to release the Israelites, they left in haste. They gathered in groups to eat roasted paschal lamb and the unleavened bread (matza). The bread had had no time to rise, as they had been in such a hurry to leave. Then after the sun rose on the 15th day of Hebrew month of Nissan, the Jewish nation rose together to leave the land of Egypt.
After three days, Pharaoh started to regret that he had allowed the Israelites to leave. He mobilized his army to retrieve his former slaves. Moses led the Israelites, until they came to the Red Sea. Then God spoke to Moses: "Lift up your rod, stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it; and the children shall go into the midst of the sea on dry ground." Moses did as God ordered. Then a strong east wind blew all night, and the waters of the Red Sea divided. The Israelites marched along a dry path through the Red Sea until they reached the opposite side in safety.
The Egyptians continued to chase the Israelites, but the waters of the Red Sea closed over them and drowned Pharaoh's army.
Birth of the Jewish Nation
This is how, according to Jewish belief, that God liberated the children of Israel from the Egyptians. And the children of Israel saw God's great power and began to believe in Him.
Thus, the story of Passover recounts the birth of the Jewish people as a nation.
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