One of the most challenging verses that I have read in the Bible appears in Exodus 10:1-2, as written:
“וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה בֹּ֖א אֶל־פַּרְעֹ֑ה כִּֽי־אֲנִ֞י הִכְבַּ֤דְתִּי אֶת־לִבּוֹ֙ וְאֶת־לֵ֣ב עֲבָדָ֔יו לְמַ֗עַן שִׁתִ֛י אֹתֹתַ֥י אֵ֖לֶּה בְּקִרְבּֽוֹ׃ וּלְמַ֡עַן תְּסַפֵּר֩ בְּאָזְנֵ֨י בִנְךָ֜ וּבֶן־בִּנְךָ֗ אֵ֣ת אֲשֶׁ֤ר הִתְעַלַּ֙לְתִּי֙ בְּמִצְרַ֔יִם וְאֶת־אֹתֹתַ֖י אֲשֶׁר־שַׂ֣מְתִּי בָ֑ם וִֽידַעְתֶּ֖ם כִּי־אֲנִ֥י יְהוָֽה׃”
“And the Lord said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him: And that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son’s son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am the Lord.”
God wanted the Israelites to know that he is The Lord, and this is understandable- Moses just told the people about their old-new God.
However, how can we deal with that word “הִתְעַלַּ֙לְתִּי” in verse 2 that literally means I abused.
The Midrash took the root “‘ayin- lamed –lamed” and created the idea of plot/story –’alilah in Hebrew. Rashi claimed that the meaning is the God Played with the Egyptians. Eben Ezra spoke about the word in the meaning of revenge. Hizkuni mentioned that God mocked and laughed with the Egyptians.
Shadal mentioned the idea of the damage and despise in the Egyptians and he brought all the examples of abuse in the Bible (See for example Numbers 22:29, Judges 19:25).
What do you think about the question above after reading all of these options?
Shabbat Shalom, Eli