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Pharaoh then questioned them: “Is he young or old? How old is He? How many cities has He captured? How many provinces has He subdued? How long is it since He ascended the throne?”

They replied: “Our G-d’s strength and might fill the universe. Before the world was created He existed and He will be when the whole World ends. Moreover, He formed you and has given you the breath of life.”


Pharaoh then said to them: “What deeds did He perform?”

They replied: “He stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth (Yeshayahu 51:13). He rends the mountains and breaks into pieces to rocks (I Melachim 19:11). His bow is of fire, His arms are flame, His spear is a torch, His shield is the cloud, His sword is lightning, He forms mountains (Amos 4:13) and hills, covers the mountains with grass, He brings down the rain and dew and causes the plants to grow. He answers those about to give birth, He fashions the child in the womb of its mother and brings it forth into the light of the world. He removes kings, and sets up kings” (Daniel 2:21).

Pharaoh then replied to them: “From the very outset you have spoken falsehood, for I am the lord of the universe, and I have created myself and the Nile, as it says, ‘My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself’” (Yechezkel 29:3).

He then gathered all the wise men of Egypt and said to them: “Have you heard of the name of their G-d?”

They replied: “We have heard that He is a son of the wise and a son of ancient kings.”

G-d then said to them: “You call yourselves wise, but Me only a son of the wise, as it says: ‘The wisest counselors of Pharaoh are a senseless counsel’; how can you say unto Pharaoh: I (G-d) am the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings” (Yeshayahu 19:11)?

Pharaoh then turned to Moshe and Aaron and said: “I do not know who this G-d of yours is, nor will I hearken to His voice.”

G-d then exclaimed: “Wretch! ‘Who is the Lord?’ you say? Well, you will be punished until you will exclaim: ‘The Lord is righteous!’”

Pharaoh was as stubborn as he was wicked, and not before G-d sent the 10 plagues against him and Egypt did he acknowledge his defeat and set Bnei Yisrael free.