Va’eira 5780-2019

“G-d Hardens Pharaoh's Heart:
Reconciling Omniscience with Free Will”
(revised and updated from Va’eira 5760-2000)

Our commentators struggle with G-d’s statement to Moses: “And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart.” Does this imply that G-d has taken away Pharaoh’s free will? Among the host of responses offered by the commentators, is that Pharaoh hardened his own heart during the first 5 plagues, and was punished five times by G-d hardening Pharaoh’s heart during the last 5 plagues. Many of the responses given by the commentators to this issue are quite insightful and resourceful. They must be studied carefully in order to appreciate them fully.

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