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What were the exact dates for the ten plagues?

by Rabbi Simcha Bart

  

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According to all Jewish sources, the Exodus and the subsequent receiving of the Torah on Mount Sinai occurred in the year 2448 after creation, which corresponds to 1313 BCE. The plagues began anywhere between 7.5 months to one year prior to the Exodus. In other words they began sometime in 1314 BCE.1

The plague of blood began on the first of Av 2447, and continued at the rate of one plague per month
Specifically, according to Rabbeinu Bachya,2   the plague of blood began on the first of Av 2447, and continued at the rate of one plague per month. The plague of darkness started on 1 Nissan 2448, and the final plague, the plague of the first born, was two weeks later, on the 15th of Nissan.

Footnotes

  • 1. 5766 is the present Hebrew calendar year. The Exodus took place in 2448. 5766-2448=3318. 2006-3318=1312. However, since there was no year 0 in the Julian calendar, the Hebrew year 3761 is 1 CE Julian, and the year before that, 3760, is 1 BCE Julian. Therefore, 2448 in the Hebrew calendar would be 1313 BCE Julian. Nevertheless, the Gregorian calendar does allow calculating backwards including the year 0. That’s why you could legitimately set the year of the Exodus as either 1313 BCE or 1312 BCE.
  • 2. R. Bachya ibn Pakuda lived in the end of the 11th century. He was a dayan (rabbinical judge) in the Jewish community of Saragossa during Spain’s “Golden Age.” His major work, Chovot HaLevavot (Duties of the Heart), is one of the most famous classic works on Jewish ethics. He also authored a commentary on the Bible.

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Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Nissan
The first month of the Jewish calendar. This month, which falls out in early spring, is known for the holiday of Passover which starts on the 15th of Nissan.
Av
The fifth month of the Jewish calendar, normally corresponding to July-August. The saddest month of the year due to the destruction of the Temples, and the many other tragedies which befell the Jews in this month.
Exodus
1. The miraculous departure of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage in 1312 BCE. 2. The second of the Five Books of Moses. This book describes the aforementioned Exodus, the giving of the Torah, and the erection of the Tabernacle.