181. Rabbi Elazar went to see his father, accompanied by Rabbi Aba. Rabbi Aba said, Let us speak words of Torah as we walk. Rabbi Elazar started with, "Say, I pray you, you are my sister" (Beresheet 12:13). This is a difficult verse. Could it be that Abraham, who feared sin and was the friend of the Holy One, blessed be He, would speak so about his wife so as to derive benefit from it? HE ANSWERS, Even though Abraham was sin-fearing, he did not count on his own merit and did not wish the Holy One, blessed be He, to deduct from his merit, but COUNTED on his wife's merit, that through her he will gain money from other nations. For man attains money through his wife, as it is written, "House and riches are the inheritance of fathers, but a prudent wife is from Hashem" (Mishlei 19:14). Whoever merits a prudent wife merits everything. It is also written, "The heart of her husband safely trusts in her, and he shall have no lack of gain" (Mishlei 31:11).
182. Abraham, through her merit, went to consume the gain of the other nations, AS IN, "AND HE SHALL HAVE NO LACK OF GAIN." He counted on her merit that they will be unable to punish him or make advances on her. For that reason he gave THEM nothing by saying, "She is my sister" (Beresheet 12:19). Moreover, he saw an angel walking before her, who said to Abraham, Do not worry for her. The Holy One, blessed be He, sent me to take money from the other nations and keep her from anything. Abraham then had no fear for his wife but for himself, because he saw the angel not with him but with his wife. He said to himself, So she is kept but I am not. For that reason he said, "Say, I pray you, you are my sister."
183. "That it may be well with me" (Ibid. 13). HE ASKS, It should have said, 'they may do well,' since they said, "therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see you, that they shall say, This is his wife" (Ibid. 12). Hence it should have said, 'they may do well.' HE ANSWERS, "It may be (or: 'do') well" refers to him that walks before you, NAMELY THE ANGEL. The Holy One, blessed be He, may do well with me in this world, "and my soul shall live" (Ibid. 13) in that world, "because of you" (Ibid.), if you turn not from the path of truth. For if I gain money because of you in this world and you turn from the way, I shall deserve death in that world. So beware that my soul shall live in that world for your sake.
184. Because of the angel that was walking before her to keep her, it is written, "And Hashem plagued Pharaoh...because of Sarai" (Ibid. 17); "because of Sarai" surely, NAMELY BECAUSE OF HER WORDS. She would say to the angel, 'strike,' and he struck. Abraham therefore had no fear for her, since she was protected. The reason he feared for himself was because he saw nothing guarding him.
185. Come and see, ten times did Sarai command the angel to strike Pharaoh, and he was smitten with ten plagues. FOR Sarai made a sign for her descendants after her in Egypt, NAMELY, THAT THE EGYPTIANS WILL BE SMITTEN BY TEN PLAGUES, BEFORE THEY WILL BE REDEEMED FROM THEIR POWER.
186. Rabbi Aba opened with, "As in the days of your coming out of the land of Egypt I will show him marvelous things" (Michah 7:15). The Holy One, blessed be He, will display redemption for His children as in the days when the Holy One, blessed be He, sent to take Yisrael out OF EGYPT, and showed all those plagues in Egypt and smote them because of Yisrael. Come and see the difference between this redemption AT THE END OF DAYS and the redemption from Egypt. The redemption from Egypt occurred on one day, from one king and one kingdom. Here it will be from all the kings of the world. Then the Holy One, blessed be He, will be glorified over the whole world and everyone will acknowledge the reign of the Holy One, blessed be He, and everyone will be smitten with celestial plagues, twice for each one, because they all were reluctant TO RELEASE Yisrael.
187. The reign of the Holy One, blessed be He, will be then revealed as it is written, "And Hashem shall be king over all the earth" (Zecharyah 14:9). The nations will then be prompted to bring Yisrael to the Holy One, blessed be He. This is the meaning of, "And they shall bring all your brethren" (Yeshayah 66:20). Then the Patriarchs will resurrect joyfully to behold the redemption of their children as before. This is the meaning of, "As in the days of your coming out of the land of Egypt I will show him marvelous things."