The opening pasuk of our sedra seems a bit strange at first glance. It reads ‘and HaShem said to Moshe ‘come to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants in order to place my signs/wonders in his midst.’’ HaShem is giving Moshe a reason to come to Pharaoh and warn him about the next plague. Yet HaShem tells Moshe that Pharaoh’s heart has been hardened; isn’t this a reason not to warn Pharaoh - for he won’t listen anyway? The Sforno answers that this was precisely what HaShem was telling Moshe here. HaShem was forewarning Moshe that Pharaoh will not listen to his warning - but even so there is a point to warning him. How so? For at least others might heed the warning and repent. Moreover, the warning would make Bnei Yisrael recognise HaShem’s Might (that the plagues were exactly in-keeping with their warnings) and Mercy (in providing a warning to the Egyptians first).
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