Parshas Bo
Shemos 10:1 - 13:16

Results Of a Hardened Heart ©

By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

This study of mysticism in Hebrew Gematria is dedicated in the loving memory of Mrs. Ethel Channah Sakash Belk, may she rest in peace.

Beginning with Parshas Shemos continuing through Parshas Beshalach the word Vah Yah Chah Zehk occurs ten times. Ten is the difference between Moshe and Pharaoh and between Yisroel and Pharaoh as discussed in the lesson entitled ‘The Words Spoken to Spoken Word By Hashem.’ The first occurrence is when Hashem said to Moshe, ‘Reach out your hand and grasp its tail,’ {referring to Moshe's rod that turned into a serpent when he cast it to the ground}. He {Moshe} reached out his hand {Vah Yah Chah Zehk Bo} and took hold of it, and it became a rod in his hand.’ Shemos 4:4 When Moshe grasped the serpent by the tail the serpent was transformed into a rod again. Moshe's grasping the serpent by the tail is symbolic of Moshe grasping Pharaoh by the heart. When the serpent became hard it became a rod which was symbolic of Pharaoh's heart becoming hard. The first usage of Vah Yah Cha Zek means ‘and took hold of it.’ The nine remaining usages mean ‘and he hardened.’

The last usage of Vah Yah Cha Zek was in Shemos which occurs three days after B'nei Yisroel was sent out of Mitzriam. ‘And it was revealed to the King of Mitzriam for the people had fled and he, Pharaoh, reversed his decision regarding the people. And they said, ‘What is this we have done?’ For we released everything from Aleph to Tav of Yisroel from serving us. He {Pharaoh} harnessed everything from Aleph to Tav of his chariots and [harnessed] everything from Aleph to Tav of his people and took his people. And he took six hundred chariots each separately and all the [other] chariots of Mitzriam and commanders over all them. And Hashem {Vah Yah Cha Zek} hardened everything from Aleph to Tav of the heart of Pharaoh, King of Mitzriam, and he pursued B'nei Yisroel. And B'nei Yisroel went out in high hand.’ Shemos 14:5-8

There is a progression of Pharaoh's heart hardening: beginning with Moshe's first contact, then continuing to the climax when the army of Mitzriam was destroyed at the Sea of Reeds. Our Gematria shows three stages of this progression.

Just as a point of interest, the letters that spell rod and a few other words {from right to left} are Hey + Tes + Mem. Mah Teh and related spellings are found 110 times in Ha Torah and 210 times in Ha Tenach. 110 represents the total years of Yosief's life on this earth. At the conclusion of 110 years Yosief laid down his rod. Years later Moshe picked it up to defeat Pharaoh and all Mitzriam. This is discussed in the article ‘The Rod Of Moshe.’ The 210 represents the total years between Yaakov and his descendants entering Mitzriam and their leaving.

The Gematria, Vah Yah Cha, begins a progression of Gematria combinations:

Vah Yih Chah Zahk {And he hardened}. Vah Yah Chah Zehk is the Gematria 131. Shemos. 4:4; 7:13, 22; 8:15; 9:12,35; 10:20, 27; 11:10 and 14:8

In the first usage of Vah Yah Chah Zehk {Bo} ‘and he took hold of it’ we see the introduction of the Gematria 131. From this point forward Moshe would use the rod to perform miracles to defeat Pharaoh and to lead B'nei Yisroel out of Mitzriam... Hashem said to Moshe, ‘And take everything from Aleph to Tav of this rod in your hand, so that [you can] perform everything from Aleph to Tav of the signs with it.’ {Shemos 4:17}.

Vah Yeh Cheh Zak Lav Pahr Oh {And he Pharaoh hardened his heart} Vah Yeh Cheh Zak Lav Pahr Oh has the Gematria 518. {Exod. 7:13; 7:22; 8:15; 9:35}

Because of the hardness of Pharaoh's heart, the tenth and final plague occurred. Ha Torah says it happened Cah Chah Tzos {about midnight}, Shemos 11:4. The Gematria for Vah Yeh Cheh Zak Lav Pahr Oh {And he Pharaoh hardened his heart} has the same Gematria as the word Cah Chah Tzoht which is 518.

Vah Yih Chah Zayk Hashem Eht Lav Pahr Oh {And Hashem hardened Pharaoh's heart} has the Gematria 945 {Shemos 9:12; 10:20; 10:27; 11:10; 14:8}

This is the conclusion of the progression of hardness.
The hardness of Moshe's rod...
The hardness of Pharaoh's heart by choice...
The hardness of Pharaoh's heart joined by the hardened hearts of all the people of Mitzriam induced by Hashem as judgment / punishment for their sins.

The final hardness motivated the people of Mitzriam to encourage Pharaoh and his army to chase after B’nai Yisroel. It was here that Hashem gave the final judgment / punishment of Pharaoh and Mitzriam. This is shown in the Gematria of 945. Heet Ah Lah Lih Tee {I {Hashem} made a mockery [of Pharaoh and Mitzriam]}. The Gematria for Vah Yih Chah Zayk Hashem Eht Lav Pahr Oh {And Hashem hardened Pharaoh's heart} has the same Gematria value.

One additional point:
The word Ah Chah Zayk {Hardness} occurs only once in Ha Torah. The Gematria for Ah Cha Zak = 116. Ah Chah Zayk represents the hardness that B'nei Yisroel suffered in Mitzriam at the hand of Pharaoh, his taskmasters and the people of Mitzriam as slaves for 116 years. Shemos 4:21

Here we see how hardness of the heart is a mockery and brings on destruction. We also see how Hashem deals with hardness of the heart!

Wishing you the best,

Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Written in 5760
Updated in 5764

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