The sedra opens with the ‘amira’ form of speech; which denotes a softer, calmer message. Why? The Ohr HaChaim gives two answers here. Firstly, he writes that this is to reflect the fact that Moshe was being sent to warn Pharaoh before the plague. Alternatively, he answers that even the middas ha’rachamim agreed that Pharaoh should be punished. The concept is that sometimes it is the biggest act of cruelty to show mercy to someone who does not deserve such treatment. In Pharaoh’s case, showing mercy to Pharaoh would have meant that the Jews would have continued to be slaves under him. The same goes for other people; sometimes showing undue mercy to people can be cruel to others who are/will suffer at the hands of this individual.
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