For an explanation of the methodology of this series, see the introduction.

"He took six hundred select chariots and all the chariots of Egypt, with officers over them all." (Ex. 14:7)

...every single chariot in this number was [a] chosen [chariot].

Peshat (basic meaning):

Rashi: select ["Bechor"] means chosen. [This] expression is in the singular [form, meaning that] every single chariot in this number was [a] chosen [chariot].

Siftei Chachamim: "Bechor" often means "young man" The verse could be misinterpreted as referring to young chariot riders.

"and all the chariots of Egypt"
And with them, all the rest of the chariots. Now where did all these animals come from? If you say [that they belonged] to the Egyptians, it says already: "all the livestock of the Egyptians died". (Ex. 9:6) And if [you say that they belonged] to the Israelites, does it not say: "also our cattle will go with us"? (Ex. 10:26) Whose were they [from if that was the case]? They [belonged] to those who had feared the word of the Lord [i.e., to those who drove their servants and their livestock into the houses as in Ex. 9:20]. From here Rabbi Shimon would say, "[Even] the best of the Egyptians — [you must] kill; [even] the best of the serpents-[you must] crush its head."

"with officers over them all"
officers over the legions, as the Targum [Onkelos] renders.

Remez (hinted meaning):

Siddur Oz HaTefilah: One of the intentions for the 12th blessing in the Amidah prayer, "Lamalshinim"- "the informers," is that the power of the 600,000 Israelite man-soldiers, referred to in the verse, "six hundred thousand men on foot" hints to and corresponds to "Your endeared children" and would nullify the "600 select [Egyptian] chariots" which represented the Other Side. See Zohar below.

Derash (interpretive meaning):

Gur Aryeh (on the Midrashic statement of R. Shimon above in Rashi): From here Rabbi Shimon would say, "[Even] the best of the Egyptians --[you must] kill; [even] the best of the serpents — [you must] crush its head." R.Shimon is not suggesting G‑d forbid that all non-Jews should be killed. Rather his statement was referring specifically to a time of war, when any citizen of an enemy country may be killed. R. Shimon mentioned the apparently irrelevant case of the snake to teach us: if in the case of a non-Jew who could convert to be a Jew, the Torah tells us to kill him at the time of war because he has shown deep hatred for Jews, then a snake which showed hatred for all mankind (Adam) at the beginning of Creation could be killed indiscriminately. who has a proven history of Jew-hatred — should be treated in the same way as the Egyptians...

Lubavitcher Rebbe (on Gur Aryeh): The expression "R. Shimon would say" means that he would say this regularly as an ethical teaching repeated over and over. But R.Shimon's statement "even the best of the Egyptians" referred only to the Egyptians of that generation, which could not act as precedent for later generations. If this is the case that it is a purely historical detail, why did he need to repeat it again and again? Rashi cited the end of R. Shimon's teaching which was applicable to all generations, "the best of the serpents you must crush its head", i.e. "a serpent"--one who has a proven history of Jew-hatred — should be treated in the same way as the Egyptians in our portion with total annihilation. (Likutei Sichot 16:148)

Targum Yonatan: And he took six hundred choice chariots, and all the chariots of the Egyptians his servants, [of those] who had been afraid of the word of G‑d, [and therefore their animals] weren’t killed by pestilence or by hail: and he [Pharaoh] added to each chariot a third mule, for drawing and following swiftly.

Sod (esoteric, mystical meaning):

Zohar Beshalach 46: And he took six hundred chosen chariots" (Ex. 14:7)
Why 600 chariots? Rabbi Yosi said: This corresponds to the number of the children of Israel, as is written: "About six hundred thousand men on foot". (Ex. 12:37) The word "chosen" corresponds to the men who were the principal part of all the nation of Israel.

"And all the chariots of Egypt," were all the other chariots that were secondary and behind. They correspond to the children as is said: "Besides children."
He did everything according to the advice of his sorcerers and wise men. "And captains over every one of them." He did everything with wisdom, for they corresponded to the celestial levels two and one. Rabbi Yitzhak said: This accords with the Targum : 'stimulating officers', for they were swift in everything.

"And he took six hundred chosen chariots." Rabbi Hiya said: It is written, "That G‑d shall punish the host of the high ones on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth". (Isaiah 24:21) At the time that G‑d gives dominion to the ministers of the nations above, He gives it to their nations below; and when He brings them down from their grade above, He brings down their nations below.
"And he took six hundred chosen chariots." It was their minister. We have established that he led the chariots of the other peoples, They all fell in the army camp of Sisra. And this is the meaning of"chosen."

BeRahamim LeHayyim:
Must have been a pretty scary scene at first view. You are just liberated from the narrow place of slavery, and the next thing you know, the most powerful troops of the most powerful army in the known world are bearing down on you with chariots a'blazing. We read later in verse 14:9 that the "Children of Israel cried out to G‑d...saying...'were there no graves in Egypt that you took us out to die in the wilderness? What is this that you have done to us to take us out of Egypt?'"

Pretty serious whining, no? But then again, even Moshe needed correction from G‑d: "Why do you cry out to Me?" (14:15) Perhaps we needed to have this one last incident to engrave on our spiritual DNA, a circumstance so impressive that the next thing we know we read before the Song of the Sea, "they believed in G‑d and in Moses His servant." [P.S. This statement is the only appearance of Moshe in our Haggadah on Passover night]. And we sing this song daily, with the requisite intention that we are actually there singing G‑d's praise for His miraculous saving. If we do so with this mindfulness, we are promised significant self-healing and correction.

...the faith of the most simple Jew causes the highest unifications...

Faith, Belief, Trust. That He is our Great Friend, the one of whom it can be said, "you just call out My Name, and you know wherever I am, I'll come running, to see you again. Winter Spring Summer or Fall, all you have to do is call, and I'll be there yes I will, you've got a friend." "Call upon My Name" is what our prophet said [cite]. If it worked for our ancestors, it will work for us. For the faith of the most simple Jew causes the highest unifications there are. How?

The gematria of amen [alef-mem-nun] is equal to that of Emuna [alef-mem-vav-nun-hei] plus vav & hei, two of the four letters of the most Divine name.

Amen is gematria 91, the same gematria of the "weaving" of the Holy 4-letter Name as it is written -- Havayah together with as it is spoken --Adnut (65).

This "weaving" stands for the unification of G‑d and His Divine Presence, represented by those letters vav and hei left over from the word Emuna.

The righteous one lives by his faith", and all the people of Israel are considered righteous. To develop this simple faith is at the same time easy for children but difficult for adults who get nervous more easily. Daily exercise, however, can bring about amazing results. Trust me. Then again, don't trust me; trust Him!

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