hebrew
1)

Why did the stick turn specifically into a snake?

1.

Rashi and Ramban 1 : It was Midah Keneged Midah, because, by speaking Lashon ha'Ra against Yisrael, Moshe adopted the 'profession' of the snake, the first to speak Lashon ha'Ra. 2

2.

Da'as Zekenim, Hadar Zekenim (verse 2): Just like a snake bites and kills, so Pharaoh and his servants bite and kill Yisrael. 3


1

Refer to 4:3:3:1.

2

See Bereishis, 3:4 & 5. See also Rashi on Pasuk 6.

3

Da'as Zekenim, Hadar Zekenim (verses 2,7): It returned to a staff, to show that Pharaoh and his servants will be like dry wood. The Tzara'as hinted that Pharaoh and his servants will be Tamei and be Metamei Yisrael. His hand returned to normal, to hint that Yisrael will be purified from Tum'as Egypt.

2)

Why did Moshe run away from a wooden snake?

1.

Seforno: The snake that the stick turned into was a real live one. 1

2.

Ramban 2 : Moshe ran away because he was afraid that the snake would bite him as a punishment for speaking Lashon ha'Ra about K'lal Yisrael. 3


1

As opposed to the snakes that the sticks of the Egyptian sorcerers, which remained inanimate - since sorcery is unable to create life (See Seforno).

2

Not in connection with this question.

3

Refer to 4:3:3:1.

3)

Seeing as Moshe did not doubt that it was Hashem who was speaking to him, why did Hashem perform these wonders in front of him?

1.

Ramban #1: It was Midah Keneged Midah, 1 because Moshe Lashon ha'Ra against Yisrael - the first sign came as a hint, the second, as a punishment. 2

2.

Ramban #2: Hashem did this in order to substantiate His statement to Moshe that He would appear to Yisrael with the Name of Hashem and perform with them supernatural miracles, 3 of which these were a demonstration. 4


1

Refer to 4:3:1:1.

2

Just as Miriam was punished with 'leprosy' for speaking Lashon ha'Ra against Moshe (Rashi on Pasuk 6).

3

Refer to 3:15:1:1.

4

He did not perform the third miracle (with water), because Moshe was standing in a place where there was no water (Ramban).

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