The question has been often asked; HaShem clearly states that He hardened Pharoah's heart so that Pharoah will continue to refuse to let the Bnei Yisrael go free. How could HaShem take away Pharoah's freewill? [at the very least, removing his free will should mean that HaShem cannot now punish Pharoah] Let's point out several answers that have been given. They are all different angles on the subject, & many of them can be joined together...

1) HaShem did not harden Pharoah's heart every plague

2) Here, HaShem made an exception and interfered with a human's freewill, in order to show that He is Master of the World.

3a) HaShem removed the power of Teshuva from Pharoah because of his sins he had done previously in enslaving the Bnei Yisrael (Rambam teshuva 6;3)

3b) Pharoah was chayav misah (deserving of the death penalty) anyway, but instead of killing him, HaShem kept him alive without any free-will in order to show HaShem's Miracles. (from 'tazddik of tehillos yisroel')

4)If HaShem had not removed Pharoah's free-will, it would have been impossible for Pharoah not to give in after having seen the devastating effects of the plagues first-hand. HaShem tampered with Pharoah's free-will to give him the opportunity to make a decision whether or not to let us go free.

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