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The Ten Plagues

written by Moses* in Exodus 7:14-12:30
written by Moses* in Exodus 7:14-12:30
written by Moses* in Exodus 7:14-12:30
written by Moses* in Exodus 7:14-12:30

Exodus 7:14-12:30

14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh's heart is hardened; he refuses to let the people go. 15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning, as he is going out to the water. Stand on the bank of the Nile to meet him, and take in your hand the staff that turned into a serpent. 16 And you shall say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you, saying, “Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness. But so far, you have not obeyed.” 17 Thus says the Lord, “By this you shall know that I am the Lord: behold, with the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water that is in the Nile, and it shall turn into blood. 18 The fish in the Nile shall die, and the Nile will stink, and the Egyptians will grow weary of drinking water from the Nile.”’” 19 And the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, their canals, and their ponds, and all their pools of water, so that they may become blood, and there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, even in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone.’”

20 Moses and Aaron did as the Lord commanded. In the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants he lifted up the staff and struck the water in the Nile, and all the water in the Nile turned into blood. 21 And the fish in the Nile died, and the Nile stank, so that the Egyptians could not drink water from the Nile. There was blood throughout all the land of Egypt. 22 But the magicians of Egypt did the same by their secret arts. So Pharaoh's heart remained hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said. 23 Pharaoh turned and went into his house, and he did not take even this to heart. 24 And all the Egyptians dug along the Nile for water to drink, for they could not drink the water of the Nile.

25 Seven full days passed after the Lord had struck the Nile.

8:1  Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Let my people go, that they may serve me. But if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will plague all your country with frogs. The Nile shall swarm with frogs that shall come up into your house and into your bedroom and on your bed and into the houses of your servants and your people, and into your ovens and your kneading bowls. The frogs shall come up on you and on your people and on all your servants.”’” And the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your staff over the rivers, over the canals and over the pools, and make frogs come up on the land of Egypt!’” So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. But the magicians did the same by their secret arts and made frogs come up on the land of Egypt.

Then Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron and said, “Plead with the Lord to take away the frogs from me and from my people, and I will let the people go to sacrifice to the Lord.” Moses said to Pharaoh, “Be pleased to command me when I am to plead for you and for your servants and for your people, that the frogs be cut off from you and your houses and be left only in the Nile.” 10 And he said, “Tomorrow.” Moses said, “Be it as you say, so that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God. 11 The frogs shall go away from you and your houses and your servants and your people. They shall be left only in the Nile.” 12 So Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh, and Moses cried to the Lord about the frogs, as he had agreed with Pharaoh. 13 And the Lord did according to the word of Moses. The frogs died out in the houses, the courtyards, and the fields. 14 And they gathered them together in heaps, and the land stank. 15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was a respite, he hardened his heart and would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.

16 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, so that it may become gnats in all the land of Egypt.’” 17 And they did so. Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff and struck the dust of the earth, and there were gnats on man and beast. All the dust of the earth became gnats in all the land of Egypt. 18 The magicians tried by their secret arts to produce gnats, but they could not. So there were gnats on man and beast. 19 Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.

20 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Rise up early in the morning and present yourself to Pharaoh, as he goes out to the water, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Let my people go, that they may serve me. 21 Or else, if you will not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies on you and your servants and your people, and into your houses. And the houses of the Egyptians shall be filled with swarms of flies, and also the ground on which they stand. 22 But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where my people dwell, so that no swarms of flies shall be there, that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth. 23 Thus I will put a division between my people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall happen.”’” 24 And the Lord did so. There came great swarms of flies into the house of Pharaoh and into his servants' houses. Throughout all the land of Egypt the land was ruined by the swarms of flies.

25 Then Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God within the land.” 26 But Moses said, “It would not be right to do so, for the offerings we shall sacrifice to the Lord our God are an abomination to the Egyptians. If we sacrifice offerings abominable to the Egyptians before their eyes, will they not stone us? 27 We must go three days' journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the Lord our God as he tells us.” 28 So Pharaoh said, “I will let you go to sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; only you must not go very far away. Plead for me.” 29 Then Moses said, “Behold, I am going out from you and I will plead with the Lord that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, tomorrow. Only let not Pharaoh cheat again by not letting the people go to sacrifice to the Lord.” 30 So Moses went out from Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord. 31 And the Lord did as Moses asked, and removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people; not one remained. 32 But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and did not let the people go.

9:1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, “Let my people go, that they may serve me. For if you refuse to let them go and still hold them, behold, the hand of the Lord will fall with a very severe plague upon your livestock that are in the field, the horses, the donkeys, the camels, the herds, and the flocks. But the Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, so that nothing of all that belongs to the people of Israel shall die.”’” And the Lord set a time, saying, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this thing in the land.” And the next day the Lord did this thing. All the livestock of the Egyptians died, but not one of the livestock of the people of Israel died. And Pharaoh sent, and behold, not one of the livestock of Israel was dead. But the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people go.

And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Take handfuls of soot from the kiln, and let Moses throw them in the air in the sight of Pharaoh. It shall become fine dust over all the land of Egypt, and become boils breaking out in sores on man and beast throughout all the land of Egypt.” 10 So they took soot from the kiln and stood before Pharaoh. And Moses threw it in the air, and it became boils breaking out in sores on man and beast. 11 And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for the boils came upon the magicians and upon all the Egyptians. 12 But the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had spoken to Moses.

13 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Rise up early in the morning and present yourself before Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, “Let my people go, that they may serve me. 14 For this time I will send all my plagues on you yourself, and on your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is none like me in all the earth. 15 For by now I could have put out my hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth. 16 But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. 17 You are still exalting yourself against my people and will not let them go. 18 Behold, about this time tomorrow I will cause very heavy hail to fall, such as never has been in Egypt from the day it was founded until now. 19 Now therefore send, get your livestock and all that you have in the field into safe shelter, for every man and beast that is in the field and is not brought home will die when the hail falls on them.”’” 20 Then whoever feared the word of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh hurried his slaves and his livestock into the houses, 21 but whoever did not pay attention to the word of the Lord left his slaves and his livestock in the field.

22 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, so that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, on man and beast and every plant of the field, in the land of Egypt.” 23 Then Moses stretched out his staff toward heaven, and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and fire ran down to the earth. And the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt. 24 There was hail and fire flashing continually in the midst of the hail, very heavy hail, such as had never been in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. 25 The hail struck down everything that was in the field in all the land of Egypt, both man and beast. And the hail struck down every plant of the field and broke every tree of the field. 26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the people of Israel were, was there no hail.

27 Then Pharaoh sent and called Moses and Aaron and said to them, “This time I have sinned; the Lord is in the right, and I and my people are in the wrong. 28 Plead with the Lord, for there has been enough of God's thunder and hail. I will let you go, and you shall stay no longer.” 29 Moses said to him, “As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will stretch out my hands to the Lord. The thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, so that you may know that the earth is the Lord's. 30 But as for you and your servants, I know that you do not yet fear the Lord God.” 31 (The flax and the barley were struck down, for the barley was in the ear and the flax was in bud. 32 But the wheat and the emmer were not struck down, for they are late in coming up.) 33 So Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh and stretched out his hands to the Lord, and the thunder and the hail ceased, and the rain no longer poured upon the earth. 34 But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet again and hardened his heart, he and his servants. 35 So the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people of Israel go, just as the Lord had spoken through Moses.

10:1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may show these signs of mine among them, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and of your grandson how I have dealt harshly with the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them, that you may know that I am the Lord.”

So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go, that they may serve me. For if you refuse to let my people go, behold, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your country, and they shall cover the face of the land, so that no one can see the land. And they shall eat what is left to you after the hail, and they shall eat every tree of yours that grows in the field, and they shall fill your houses and the houses of all your servants and of all the Egyptians, as neither your fathers nor your grandfathers have seen, from the day they came on earth to this day.’” Then he turned and went out from Pharaoh.

Then Pharaoh's servants said to him, “How long shall this man be a snare to us? Let the men go, that they may serve the Lord their God. Do you not yet understand that Egypt is ruined?” So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. And he said to them, “Go, serve the Lord your God. But which ones are to go?” Moses said, “We will go with our young and our old. We will go with our sons and daughters and with our flocks and herds, for we must hold a feast to the Lord.” 10 But he said to them, “The Lord be with you, if ever I let you and your little ones go! Look, you have some evil purpose in mind. 11 No! Go, the men among you, and serve the Lord, for that is what you are asking.” And they were driven out from Pharaoh's presence.

12 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, so that they may come upon the land of Egypt and eat every plant in the land, all that the hail has left.” 13 So Moses stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt, and the Lord brought an east wind upon the land all that day and all that night. When it was morning, the east wind had brought the locusts. 14 The locusts came up over all the land of Egypt and settled on the whole country of Egypt, such a dense swarm of locusts as had never been before, nor ever will be again. 15 They covered the face of the whole land, so that the land was darkened, and they ate all the plants in the land and all the fruit of the trees that the hail had left. Not a green thing remained, neither tree nor plant of the field, through all the land of Egypt. 16 Then Pharaoh hastily called Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God, and against you. 17 Now therefore, forgive my sin, please, only this once, and plead with the Lord your God only to remove this death from me.” 18 So he went out from Pharaoh and pleaded with the Lord. 19 And the Lord turned the wind into a very strong west wind, which lifted the locusts and drove them into the Red Sea. Not a single locust was left in all the country of Egypt. 20 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the people of Israel go.

21 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt.” 22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was pitch darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. 23 They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days, but all the people of Israel had light where they lived. 24 Then Pharaoh called Moses and said, “Go, serve the Lord; your little ones also may go with you; only let your flocks and your herds remain behind.” 25 But Moses said, “You must also let us have sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God. 26 Our livestock also must go with us; not a hoof shall be left behind, for we must take of them to serve the Lord our God, and we do not know with what we must serve the Lord until we arrive there.” 27 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go. 28 Then Pharaoh said to him, “Get away from me; take care never to see my face again, for on the day you see my face you shall die.” 29 Moses said, “As you say! I will not see your face again.”

11:1 The Lord said to Moses, “Yet one plague more I will bring upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will drive you away completely. Speak now in the hearing of the people, that they ask, every man of his neighbor and every woman of her neighbor, for silver and gold jewelry.” And the Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover, the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's servants and in the sight of the people.

So Moses said, “Thus says the Lord: About midnight I will go out in the midst of Egypt, and every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the cattle. There shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there has never been, nor ever will be again. But not a dog shall growl against any of the people of Israel, either man or beast, that you may know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. And all these your servants shall come down to me and bow down to me, saying, ‘Get out, you and all the people who follow you.’ And after that I will go out.” And he went out from Pharaoh in hot anger. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.”

10 Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh, and the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the people of Israel go out of his land.

12:1 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers' houses, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight.

“Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted, its head with its legs and its inner parts. 10 And you shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. 11 In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord's Passover. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. 13 The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.

14 “This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast. 15 Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven out of your houses, for if anyone eats what is leavened, from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. 16 On the first day you shall hold a holy assembly, and on the seventh day a holy assembly. No work shall be done on those days. But what everyone needs to eat, that alone may be prepared by you. 17 And you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day, throughout your generations, as a statute forever. 18 In the first month, from the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. 19 For seven days no leaven is to be found in your houses. If anyone eats what is leavened, that person will be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a sojourner or a native of the land. 20 You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwelling places you shall eat unleavened bread.”

21 Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb. 22 Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. 23 For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you. 24 You shall observe this rite as a statute for you and for your sons forever. 25 And when you come to the land that the Lord will give you, as he has promised, you shall keep this service. 26 And when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ 27 you shall say, ‘It is the sacrifice of the Lord's Passover, for he passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt, when he struck the Egyptians but spared our houses.’” And the people bowed their heads and worshiped.

28 Then the people of Israel went and did so; as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.

29 At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock. 30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians. And there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where someone was not dead.

The Nile River Turns into Blood

14 The Lord said to Moses:

The Egyptian king stubbornly refuses to change his mind and let the people go. 15 Tomorrow morning take the stick that turned into a snake, then wait beside the Nile River for the king. 16 Tell him, “The Lord God of the Hebrews sent me to order you to release his people, so they can worship him in the desert. But until now, you have paid no attention.

17 “The Lord is going to do something to show you that he really is the Lord. I will strike the Nile with this stick, and the water will turn into blood. 18 The fish will die, the river will stink, and none of you Egyptians will be able to drink the water.”

19 Moses, then command Aaron to hold his stick over the water. And when he does, every drop of water in Egypt will turn into blood, including rivers, canals, ponds, and even the water in buckets and jars.

20 Moses and Aaron obeyed the Lord. Aaron held out his stick, then struck the Nile, as the king and his officials watched. The river turned into blood, 21 the fish died, and the water smelled so bad that none of the Egyptians could drink it. Blood was everywhere in Egypt.

22 But the Egyptian magicians used their secret powers to do the same thing. The king did just as the Lord had said—he stubbornly refused to listen. 23 Then he went back to his palace and never gave it a second thought. 24 The Egyptians had to dig holes along the banks of the Nile for drinking water, because water from the river was unfit to drink.

Frogs

25 Seven days after the Lord had struck the Nile,

1 he said to Moses:

Go to the palace and tell the king of Egypt that I order him to let my people go, so they can worship me. 2 If he refuses, I will cover his entire country with frogs. 3 Warn the king that the Nile will be full of frogs, and from there they will spread into the royal palace, including the king's bedroom and even his bed. Frogs will enter the homes of his officials and will find their way into ovens and into the bowls of bread dough. 4 Frogs will be crawling on everyone—the king, his officials, and every citizen of Egypt.

5 Moses, now command Aaron to hold his stick over the water. Then frogs will come from all rivers, canals, and ponds in Egypt, and they will cover the land.

6 Aaron obeyed, and suddenly frogs were everywhere in Egypt. 7 But the magicians used their secret powers to do the same thing.

8 The king sent for Moses and Aaron and told them, “If you ask the Lord to take these frogs away from me and my people, I will let your people go and offer sacrifices to him.”

9 “All right,” Moses answered. “You choose the time when I am to pray for the frogs to stop bothering you, your officials, and your people, and for them to leave your houses and be found only in the river.”

10 “Do it tomorrow!” the king replied.

“As you wish,” Moses agreed. “Then everyone will discover that there is no god like the Lord, 11 and frogs will no longer be found anywhere, except in the Nile.”

12 After Moses and Aaron left the palace, Moses begged the Lord to do something about the frogs he had sent as punishment for the king. 13 The Lord listened to Moses, and the frogs died everywhere—in houses, yards, and fields. 14 The dead frogs were placed in piles, and the whole country began to stink. 15 But when the king saw that things were now better, he again did just as the Lord had said he would and stubbornly refused to listen to Moses and Aaron.

Gnats

16 The Lord said to Moses, “Command Aaron to strike the ground with his walking stick, and everywhere in Egypt the dust will turn into gnats.” 17 They obeyed, and when Aaron struck the ground with the stick, gnats started swarming on people and animals. In fact, every speck of dust in Egypt turned into a gnat. 18 When the magicians tried to use their secret powers to do this, they failed, and gnats stayed on people and animals.

19 The magicians told the king, “God has done this.”

But, as the Lord had said, the king was too stubborn to listen.

Flies

20 The Lord said to Moses:

Early tomorrow morning, while the king is on his way to the river, go and say to him, “The Lord commands you to let his people go, so they can worship him. 21 If you don't, he will send swarms of flies to attack you, your officials, and every citizen of your country. Your houses will be full of flies, and the ground will crawl with them.

22-23 “The Lord's people in Goshen won't be bothered by flies, but your people in the rest of the country will be tormented by them. That's how you will know that the Lord is here in Egypt. This miracle will happen tomorrow.”

24 The Lord kept his promise—the palace and the homes of the royal officials swarmed with flies, and the rest of the country was infested with them as well. 25 Then the king sent for Moses and Aaron and told them, “Go ahead and sacrifice to your God, but stay here in Egypt.”

26 “That's impossible!” Moses replied. “Any sacrifices we offer to the Lord our God would disgust the Egyptians, and they would stone us to death. 27 No indeed! The Lord has ordered us to walk three days into the desert before offering sacrifices to him, and that's what we have to do.”

28 Then the king told him, “I'll let you go into the desert to offer sacrifices, if you don't go very far. But in the meantime, pray for me.”

29 “Your Majesty,” Moses replied, “I'll pray for you as soon as I leave, and by tomorrow the flies will stop bothering you, your officials, and the citizens of your country. Only make sure that you're telling the truth this time and that you really intend to let our people offer sacrifices to the Lord.”

30 After leaving the palace, Moses prayed, 31 and the Lord answered his prayer. Not a fly was left to pester the king, his officials, or anyone else in Egypt. 32 But the king turned stubborn again and would not let the people go.

Dead Animals

1 The Lord sent Moses with this message for the king of Egypt:

The Lord God of the Hebrews commands you to let his people go, so they can worship him. 2 If you keep refusing, 3 he will bring a terrible disease on your horses and donkeys, your camels and cattle, and your sheep and goats. 4 But the Lord will protect the animals that belong to the people of Israel, and none of theirs will die. 5 Tomorrow is the day the Lord has set to do this.

6 It happened the next day—all of the animals belonging to the Egyptians died, but the Israelites did not lose even one. 7 When the king found out, he was still too stubborn to let the people go.

Sores

8 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron:

Take a few handfuls of ashes from a stove and you, Moses, throw them into the air. Be sure the king is watching. 9 The ashes will blow across the land of Egypt, causing sores to break out on people and animals.

10 So they took a few handfuls of ashes and went to the king. Moses threw them into the air, and sores immediately broke out on the Egyptians and their animals. 11 The magicians were suffering so much from the sores, that they could not even come to Moses. 12 Everything happened just as the Lord had told Moses—he made the king too stubborn to listen to Moses and Aaron.

Hailstones

13 The Lord told Moses to get up early the next morning and say to the king:

The Lord God of the Hebrews commands you to let his people go, so they can worship him! 14 If you don't, he will send his worst plagues to strike you, your officials, and everyone else in your country. Then you will find out that no one can oppose the Lord. 15 In fact, he could already have sent a terrible disease and wiped you from the face of the earth. 16 But he has kept you alive, just to show you his power and to bring honor to himself everywhere in the world.

17 You are still determined not to let the Lord's people go. 18 All right. At this time tomorrow, he will bring on Egypt the worst hailstorm in its history. 19 You had better give orders for every person and every animal in Egypt to take shelter. If they don't, they will die.

20 Some of the king's officials were frightened by what the Lord had said, and they hurried off to make sure their slaves and animals were safe. 21 But others paid no attention to his threats and left their slaves and animals out in the open.

22 Then the Lord told Moses, “Stretch your arm toward the sky, so that hailstones will fall on people, animals, and crops in the land of Egypt.” 23-24 Moses pointed his walking stick toward the sky, and hailstones started falling everywhere. Thunder roared, and lightning flashed back and forth, striking the ground. This was the worst storm in the history of Egypt. 25 People, animals, and crops were pounded by the hailstones, and bark was stripped from trees. 26 Only Goshen, where the Israelites lived, was safe from the storm.

27 The king sent for Moses and Aaron and told them, “Now I have really sinned! My people and I are guilty, and the Lord is right. 28 We can't stand any more of this thunder and hail. Please ask the Lord to make it stop. Your people can go—you don't have to stay in Egypt any longer.”

29 Moses answered, “As soon as I leave the city, I will lift my arms in prayer. When the thunder and hail stop, you will know that the earth belongs to the Lord. 30 But I am certain that neither you nor your officials really fear the Lord God.”

31 Meanwhile, the flax and barley crops had been destroyed by the storm because they were ready to ripen. 32 But the wheat crops ripen later, and they were not damaged.

33 After Moses left the royal palace and the city, he lifted his arms in prayer to the Lord, and the thunder, hail, and drenching rain stopped. 34 When the king realized that the storm was over, he disobeyed once more. He and his officials were so stubborn 35 that he refused to let the Israelites go. This was exactly what the Lord had said would happen.

Locusts

1 The Lord said to Moses:

Go back to the king. I have made him and his officials stubborn, so that I could work these miracles. 2 I did this because I want you to tell your children and your grandchildren about my miracles and about my harsh treatment of the Egyptians. Then all of you will know that I am the Lord.

3 Moses and Aaron went to the king and told him that the Lord God of the Hebrews had said:

How long will you stubbornly refuse to obey? Release my people so they can worship me. 4 Do this by tomorrow, or I will cover your country with so many locusts 5 that you won't be able to see the ground. Most of your crops were ruined by the hailstones, but these locusts will destroy what little is left, including the trees. 6 Your palace, the homes of your officials, and all the other houses in Egypt will overflow with more locusts than have ever been seen in this country.

After Moses left the palace, 7 the king's officials asked, “Your Majesty, how much longer is this man going to be a troublemaker? Why don't you let the people leave, so they can worship the Lord their God? Don't you know that Egypt is a disaster?”

8 The king had Moses and Aaron brought back, and he said, “All right, you may go and worship the Lord your God. But first tell me who will be going.”

9 “Everyone, young and old,” Moses answered. “We will even take our sheep, goats, and cattle, because we want to hold a celebration in honor of the Lord.”

10 The king replied, “The Lord had better watch over you on the day I let you leave with your families! You're up to no good. 11 Do you want to worship the Lord? All right, take only the men and go.” Then Moses and Aaron were chased out of the palace.

12 The Lord told Moses, “Stretch your arm toward Egypt. Swarms of locusts will come and eat everything left by the hail.”

13 Moses held out his walking stick, and the Lord sent an east wind that blew across Egypt the rest of the day and all that night. By morning, locusts 14 were swarming everywhere. Never before had there been so many locusts in Egypt, and never again will there be so many. 15 The ground was black with locusts, and they ate everything left on the trees and in the fields. Nothing green remained in Egypt—not a tree or a plant.

16 At once the king sent for Moses and Aaron. He told them, “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you. 17 Forgive me one more time and ask the Lord to stop these insects from killing every living plant.”

18 Moses left the palace and prayed. 19 Then the Lord sent a strong west wind that swept the locusts into the Red Sea. Not one locust was left anywhere in Egypt, 20 but the Lord made the king so stubborn that he still refused to let the Israelites go.

Darkness

21 The Lord said to Moses, “Stretch your arm toward the sky, and everything will be covered with darkness thick enough to touch.” 22 Moses stretched his arm toward the sky, and Egypt was covered with darkness for three days. 23 During that time, the Egyptians could not see each other or leave their homes, but there was light where the Israelites lived.

24 The king sent for Moses and told him, “Go worship the Lord! And take your families with you. Just leave your sheep, goats, and cattle.”

25 “No!” Moses replied. “You must let us offer sacrifices to the Lord our God, 26 and we won't know which animals we will need until we get there. That's why we can't leave even one of them here.”

27 This time the Lord made the king so stubborn 28 that he said to Moses, “Get out and stay out! If you ever come back, you're dead!”

29 “Have it your way,” Moses answered. “You won't see me again.”

Moses Warns the Egyptians That the Lord Will Kill Their First-Born Sons

1 The Lord said to Moses:

I am going to punish the king of Egypt and his people one more time. Then the king will gladly let you leave his land. In fact, he will even chase you out. 2 Now go and tell my people to ask their Egyptian neighbors for gold and silver jewelry.

3 So the Lord made the Egyptians greatly respect the Israelites, and everyone, including the king's officials, considered Moses an important leader.

4 Moses went to the king and said:

I have come to let you know what the Lord is going to do. About midnight he will go through the land of Egypt, 5 and wherever he goes, the first-born son in every family will die. Your own son will die, and so will the son of the lowest slave woman. Even the first-born males of your cattle will die. 6 Everywhere in Egypt there will be loud crying. Nothing like this has ever happened before or will ever happen again.

7 But there won't be any need for the Israelites to cry. Things will be so quiet that not even a dog will be heard barking. Then you Egyptians will know that the Lord is good to the Israelites, even while he punishes you. 8 Your leaders will come and bow down, begging me to take my people and leave your country. Then we will leave.

Moses was very angry; he turned and left the king.

9 What the Lord had earlier said to Moses came true. He had said, “The king of Egypt won't listen. Then I will perform even more miracles.” 10 So the king of Egypt saw Moses and Aaron work miracles, but the Lord made him stubbornly refuse to let the Israelites leave his country.

The Passover

1 Some time later the Lord said to Moses and Aaron:

2 This month is to be the first month of the year for you. 3 Tell the people of Israel that on the tenth day of this month the head of each family must choose a lamb or a young goat for his family to eat. 4-5 If any family is too small to eat the whole animal, they must share it with their next-door neighbors. Choose either a sheep or a goat, but it must be a one-year-old male that has nothing wrong with it. And it must be large enough for everyone to have some of the meat.

6 Each family must take care of its animal until the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, when the animals are to be killed. 7 Some of the blood must be put on the two doorposts and above the door of each house where the animals are to be eaten. 8 That night the animals are to be roasted and eaten, together with bitter herbs and thin bread made without yeast. 9 Don't eat the meat raw or boiled. The entire animal, including its head, legs, and insides, must be roasted. 10 Eat what you want that night, and the next morning burn whatever is left. 11 When you eat the meal, be dressed and ready to travel. Have your sandals on, carry your walking stick in your hand, and eat quickly. This is the Passover Festival in honor of me, your Lord.

12 That same night I will pass through Egypt and kill the first-born son in every family and the first-born male of all animals. I am the Lord, and I will punish the gods of Egypt. 13 The blood on the houses will show me where you live, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. Then you won't be bothered by the terrible disasters I will bring on Egypt.

14 Remember this day and celebrate it each year as a festival in my honor. 15 For seven days you must eat bread made without yeast. And on the first of these seven days, you must remove all yeast from your homes. If you eat anything made with yeast during this festival, you will no longer be part of Israel. 16 Meet together for worship on the first and seventh days of the festival. The only work you are allowed to do on either of these two days is that of preparing the bread.

17 Celebrate this Festival of Thin Bread as a way of remembering the day that I brought your families and tribes out of Egypt. And do this each year. 18 Begin on the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month by eating bread made without yeast. Then continue this celebration until the evening of the twenty-first day. 19 During these seven days no yeast is allowed in anyone's home, whether they are native Israelites or not. If you are caught eating anything made with yeast, you will no longer be part of Israel. 20 Stay away from yeast, no matter where you live. No one is allowed to eat anything made with yeast!

21 Moses called the leaders of Israel together and said:

Each family is to pick out a sheep and kill it for Passover. 22 Make a brush from a few small branches of a hyssop plant and dip the brush in the bowl that has the blood of the animal in it. Then brush some of the blood above the door and on the posts at each side of the door of your house. After this, everyone is to stay inside until morning.

23 During that night the Lord will go through the country of Egypt and kill the first-born son in every Egyptian family. He will see where you have put the blood, and he will not come into your house. His angel that brings death will pass over and not kill your first-born sons.

24-25 After you have entered the country promised to you by the Lord, you and your children must continue to celebrate Passover each year. 26 Your children will ask you, “What are we celebrating?” 27 And you will answer, “The Passover animal is killed to honor the Lord. We do these things because on that night long ago the Lord passed over the homes of our people in Egypt. He killed the first-born sons of the Egyptians, but he spared our children from death.”

After Moses finished speaking, the people of Israel knelt down and worshiped the Lord. 28 Then they left and did what Moses and Aaron had told them to do.

Death for the First-Born Sons

29 At midnight the Lord killed the first-born son of every Egyptian family, from the son of the king to the son of every prisoner in jail. He also killed the first-born male of every animal that belonged to the Egyptians.

30 That night the king, his officials, and everyone else in Egypt got up and started crying bitterly. In every Egyptian home, someone was dead.

Disasters Strike Egypt

Blood

14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “The king is very stubborn and refuses to let the people go. 15 So go and meet him in the morning when he goes down to the Nile. Take with you the walking stick that was turned into a snake, and wait for him on the riverbank. 16 Then say to the king, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to tell you to let his people go, so that they can worship him in the desert. But until now you have not listened. 17 Now, Your Majesty, the Lord says that you will find out who he is by what he is going to do. Look, I am going to strike the surface of the river with this stick, and the water will be turned into blood. 18 The fish will die, and the river will stink so much that the Egyptians will not be able to drink from it.’”

19 The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron to take his stick and hold it out over all the rivers, canals, and pools in Egypt. The water will become blood, and all over the land there will be blood, even in the wooden tubs and stone jars.”

20 Then Moses and Aaron did as the Lord commanded. In the presence of the king and his officers, Aaron raised his stick and struck the surface of the river, and all the water in it was turned into blood. 21 The fish in the river died, and it smelled so bad that the Egyptians could not drink from it. There was blood everywhere in Egypt. 22 Then the king's magicians did the same thing by means of their magic, and the king was as stubborn as ever. Just as the Lord had said, the king refused to listen to Moses and Aaron. 23 Instead, he turned and went back to his palace without paying any attention even to this. 24 All the Egyptians dug along the bank of the river for drinking water, because they were not able to drink water from the river.

25 Seven days passed after the Lord struck the river.

Frogs

1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the king and tell him that the Lord says, ‘Let my people go, so that they can worship me. 2 If you refuse, I will punish your country by covering it with frogs. 3 The Nile will be so full of frogs that they will leave it and go into your palace, your bedroom, your bed, the houses of your officials and your people, and even into your ovens and baking pans. 4 They will jump up on you, your people, and all your officials.’”

5 The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron to hold out his walking stick over the rivers, the canals, and the pools, and make frogs come up and cover the land of Egypt.” 6 So Aaron held it out over all the water, and the frogs came out and covered the land. 7 But the magicians used magic, and they also made frogs come up on the land.

8 The king called for Moses and Aaron and said, “Pray to the Lord to take away these frogs, and I will let your people go, so that they can offer sacrifices to the Lord.”

9 Moses replied, “I will be glad to pray for you. Just set the time when I am to pray for you, your officers, and your people. Then you will be rid of the frogs, and there will be none left except in the Nile.”

10 The king answered, “Pray for me tomorrow.”

Moses said, “I will do as you ask, and then you will know that there is no other god like the Lord, our God. 11 You, your officials, and your people will be rid of the frogs, and there will be none left except in the Nile.” 12 Then Moses and Aaron left the king, and Moses prayed to the Lord to take away the frogs which he had brought on the king. 13 The Lord did as Moses asked, and the frogs in the houses, the courtyards, and the fields died. 14 The Egyptians piled them up in great heaps, until the land stank with them. 15 When the king saw that the frogs were dead, he became stubborn again and, just as the Lord had said, the king would not listen to Moses and Aaron.

Gnats

16 The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron to strike the ground with his stick, and all over the land of Egypt the dust will change into gnats.” 17 So Aaron struck the ground with his stick, and all the dust in Egypt was turned into gnats, which covered the people and the animals. 18 The magicians tried to use their magic to make gnats appear, but they failed. There were gnats everywhere, 19 and the magicians said to the king, “God has done this!” But the king was stubborn and, just as the Lord had said, the king would not listen to Moses and Aaron.

Flies

20 The Lord said to Moses, “Early tomorrow morning go and meet the king as he goes to the river, and tell him that the Lord says, ‘Let my people go, so that they can worship me. 21 I warn you that if you refuse, I will punish you by sending flies on you, your officials, and your people. The houses of the Egyptians will be full of flies, and the ground will be covered with them. 22 But I will spare the region of Goshen, where my people live, so that there will be no flies there. I will do this so that you will know that I, the Lord, am at work in this land. 23 I will make a distinction between my people and your people. This miracle will take place tomorrow.’” 24 The Lord sent great swarms of flies into the king's palace and the houses of his officials. The whole land of Egypt was brought to ruin by the flies.

25 Then the king called for Moses and Aaron and said, “Go and offer sacrifices to your God here in this country.”

26 “It would not be right to do that,” Moses answered, “because the Egyptians would be offended by our sacrificing the animals that we offer to the Lord our God. If we use these animals and offend the Egyptians by sacrificing them where they can see us, they will stone us to death. 27 We must travel three days into the desert to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God, just as he commanded us.”

28 The king said, “I will let you go to sacrifice to the Lord, your God, in the desert, if you do not go very far. Pray for me.”

29 Moses answered, “As soon as I leave, I will pray to the Lord that tomorrow the flies will leave you, your officials, and your people. But you must not deceive us again and prevent the people from going to sacrifice to the Lord.”

30 Moses left the king and prayed to the Lord, 31 and the Lord did as Moses asked. The flies left the king, his officials, and his people; not one fly remained. 32 But even this time the king became stubborn, and again he would not let the people go.

Death of the Animals

1 The Lord said to Moses, “Go to the king and tell him that the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says, ‘Let my people go, so that they may worship me. 2 If you again refuse to let them go, 3 I will punish you by sending a terrible disease on all your animals—your horses, donkeys, camels, cattle, sheep, and goats. 4 I will make a distinction between the animals of the Israelites and those of the Egyptians, and no animal that belongs to the Israelites will die. 5 I, the Lord, have set tomorrow as the time when I will do this.’”

6 The next day the Lord did as he had said, and all the animals of the Egyptians died, but not one of the animals of the Israelites died. 7 The king asked what had happened and was told that none of the animals of the Israelites had died. But he was stubborn and would not let the people go.

Boils

8 Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Take a few handfuls of ashes from a furnace; Moses is to throw them into the air in front of the king. 9 They will spread out like fine dust over all the land of Egypt, and everywhere they will produce boils that become open sores on the people and the animals.” 10 So they got some ashes and stood before the king; Moses threw them into the air, and they produced boils that became open sores on the people and the animals. 11 The magicians were not able to appear before Moses, because they were covered with boils, like all the other Egyptians. 12 But the Lord made the king stubborn and, just as the Lord had said, the king would not listen to Moses and Aaron.

Hail

13 The Lord then said to Moses, “Early tomorrow morning meet with the king and tell him that the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says, ‘Let my people go, so that they may worship me. 14 This time I will punish not only your officials and your people, but I will punish you as well, so that you may know that there is no one like me in all the world. 15 If I had raised my hand to strike you and your people with disease, you would have been completely destroyed. 16 But to show you my power I have let you live so that my fame might spread over the whole world. 17 Yet you are still arrogant and refuse to let my people go. 18 This time tomorrow I will cause a heavy hailstorm, such as Egypt has never known in all its history. 19 Now give orders for your livestock and everything else you have in the open to be put under shelter. Hail will fall on the people and animals left outside unprotected, and they will all die.’” 20 Some of the king's officials were afraid because of what the Lord had said, and they brought their slaves and animals indoors for shelter. 21 Others, however, paid no attention to the Lord's warning and left their slaves and animals out in the open.

22 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Raise your hand toward the sky, and hail will fall over the whole land of Egypt—on the people, the animals, and all the plants in the fields.” 23 So Moses raised his stick toward the sky, and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and lightning struck the ground. The Lord sent 24 a heavy hailstorm, with lightning flashing back and forth. It was the worst storm that Egypt had ever known in all its history. 25 All over Egypt the hail struck down everything in the open, including all the people and all the animals. It beat down all the plants in the fields and broke all the trees. 26 The region of Goshen, where the Israelites lived, was the only place where there was no hail.

27 The king sent for Moses and Aaron and said, “This time I have sinned; the Lord is in the right, and my people and I are in the wrong. 28 Pray to the Lord! We have had enough of this thunder and hail! I promise to let you go; you don't have to stay here any longer.”

29 Moses said to him, “As soon as I go out of the city, I will lift up my hands in prayer to the Lord. The thunder will stop, and there will be no more hail, so that you may know that the earth belongs to the Lord. 30 But I know that you and your officials do not yet fear the Lord God.”

31 The flax and the barley were ruined, because the barley was ripe, and the flax was budding. 32 But none of the wheat was ruined, because it ripens later.

33 Moses left the king, went out of the city, and lifted up his hands in prayer to the Lord. The thunder, the hail, and the rain all stopped. 34 When the king saw what had happened, he sinned again. He and his officials remained as stubborn as ever 35 and, just as the Lord had foretold through Moses, the king would not let the Israelites go.

Locusts

1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go and see the king. I have made him and his officials stubborn, in order that I may perform these miracles among them 2 and in order that you may be able to tell your children and grandchildren how I made fools of the Egyptians when I performed the miracles. All of you will know that I am the Lord.”

3 So Moses and Aaron went to the king and said to him, “The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says, ‘How much longer will you refuse to submit to me? Let my people go, so that they may worship me. 4 If you keep on refusing, then I will bring locusts into your country tomorrow. 5 There will be so many that they will completely cover the ground. They will eat everything that the hail did not destroy, even the trees that are left. 6 They will fill your palaces and the houses of all your officials and all your people. They will be worse than anything your ancestors ever saw.’” Then Moses turned and left.

7 The king's officials said to him, “How long is this man going to give us trouble? Let the Israelite men go, so that they can worship the Lord their God. Don't you realize that Egypt is ruined?”

8 So Moses and Aaron were brought back to the king, and he said to them, “You may go and worship the Lord your God. But exactly who will go?”

9 Moses answered, “We will all go, including our children and our old people. We will take our sons and daughters, our sheep and goats, and our cattle, because we must hold a festival to honor the Lord.”

10 The king said, “I swear by the Lord that I will never let you take your women and children! It is clear that you are plotting to revolt. 11 No! Only the men may go and worship the Lord if that is what you want.” With that, Moses and Aaron were driven out of the king's presence.

12 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Raise your hand over the land of Egypt to bring the locusts. They will come and eat everything that grows, everything that has survived the hail.” 13 So Moses raised his stick, and the Lord caused a wind from the east to blow on the land all that day and all that night. By morning it had brought the locusts. 14 They came in swarms and settled over the whole country. It was the largest swarm of locusts that had ever been seen or that ever would be seen again. 15 They covered the ground until it was black with them; they ate everything that the hail had left, including all the fruit on the trees. Not a green thing was left on any tree or plant in all the land of Egypt.

16 Then the king hurriedly called Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you. 17 Now forgive my sin this one time and pray to the Lord your God to take away this fatal punishment from me.” 18 Moses left the king and prayed to the Lord. 19 And the Lord changed the east wind into a very strong west wind, which picked up the locusts and blew them into the Gulf of Suez. Not one locust was left in all of Egypt. 20 But the Lord made the king stubborn, and he did not let the Israelites go.

Darkness

21 The Lord then said to Moses, “Raise your hand toward the sky, and a darkness thick enough to be felt will cover the land of Egypt.” 22 Moses raised his hand toward the sky, and there was total darkness throughout Egypt for three days. 23 The Egyptians could not see each other, and no one left his house during that time. But the Israelites had light where they were living.

24 The king called Moses and said, “You may go and worship the Lord; even your women and children may go with you. But your sheep, goats, and cattle must stay here.”

25 Moses answered, “Then you would have to provide us with animals for sacrifices and burnt offerings to offer to the Lord our God. 26 No, we will take our animals with us; not one will be left behind. We ourselves must select the animals with which to worship the Lord our God. And until we get there, we will not know what animals to sacrifice to him.”

27 The Lord made the king stubborn, and he would not let them go. 28 He said to Moses, “Get out of my sight! Don't let me ever see you again! On the day I do, you will die!”

29 “You are right,” Moses answered. “You will never see me again.”

Moses Announces the Death of the First-Born

1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will send only one more punishment on the king of Egypt and his people. After that he will let you leave. In fact, he will drive all of you out of here. 2 Now speak to the people of Israel and tell all of them to ask their neighbors for gold and silver jewelry.” 3 The Lord made the Egyptians respect the Israelites. Indeed, the officials and all the people considered Moses to be a very great man.

4 Moses then said to the king, “The Lord says, ‘At about midnight I will go through Egypt, 5 and every first-born son in Egypt will die, from the king's son, who is heir to the throne, to the son of the slave woman who grinds grain. The first-born of all the cattle will die also. 6 There will be loud crying all over Egypt, such as there has never been before or ever will be again. 7 But not even a dog will bark at the Israelites or their animals. Then you will know that I, the Lord, make a distinction between the Egyptians and the Israelites.’” 8 Moses concluded by saying, “All your officials will come to me and bow down before me, and they will beg me to take all my people and go away. After that, I will leave.” Then in great anger Moses left the king.

9 The Lord had said to Moses, “The king will continue to refuse to listen to you, in order that I may do more of my miracles in Egypt.” 10 Moses and Aaron performed all these miracles before the king, but the Lord made him stubborn, and he would not let the Israelites leave his country.

The Passover

1 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in Egypt: 2 “This month is to be the first month of the year for you. 3 Give these instructions to the whole community of Israel: On the tenth day of this month each man must choose either a lamb or a young goat for his household. 4 If his family is too small to eat a whole animal, he and his next-door neighbor may share an animal, in proportion to the number of people and the amount that each person can eat. 5 You may choose either a sheep or a goat, but it must be a one-year-old male without any defects. 6 Then, on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, the whole community of Israel will kill the animals. 7 The people are to take some of the blood and put it on the doorposts and above the doors of the houses in which the animals are to be eaten. 8 That night the meat is to be roasted, and eaten with bitter herbs and with bread made without yeast. 9 Do not eat any of it raw or boiled, but eat it roasted whole, including the head, the legs, and the internal organs. 10 You must not leave any of it until morning; if any is left over, it must be burned. 11 You are to eat it quickly, for you are to be dressed for travel, with your sandals on your feet and your walking stick in your hand. It is the Passover Festival to honor me, the Lord.

12 “On that night I will go through the land of Egypt, killing every first-born male, both human and animal, and punishing all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. 13 The blood on the doorposts will be a sign to mark the houses in which you live. When I see the blood, I will pass over you and will not harm you when I punish the Egyptians. 14 You must celebrate this day as a religious festival to remind you of what I, the Lord, have done. Celebrate it for all time to come.”

The Festival of Unleavened Bread

15 The Lord said, “For seven days you must not eat any bread made with yeast—eat only unleavened bread. On the first day you are to get rid of all the yeast in your houses, for if anyone during those seven days eats bread made with yeast, he shall no longer be considered one of my people. 16 On the first day and again on the seventh day you are to meet for worship. No work is to be done on those days, but you may prepare food. 17 Keep this festival, because it was on this day that I brought your tribes out of Egypt. For all time to come you must celebrate this day as a festival. 18 From the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month to the evening of the twenty-first day, you must not eat any bread made with yeast. 19-20 For seven days no yeast must be found in your houses, for if anyone, native-born or foreign, eats bread made with yeast, he shall no longer be considered one of my people.”

The First Passover

21 Moses called for all the leaders of Israel and said to them, “Each of you is to choose a lamb or a young goat and kill it, so that your families can celebrate Passover. 22 Take a sprig of hyssop, dip it in the bowl containing the animal's blood, and wipe the blood on the doorposts and the beam above the door of your house. Not one of you is to leave the house until morning. 23 When the Lord goes through Egypt to kill the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the beams and the doorposts and will not let the Angel of Death enter your houses and kill you. 24 You and your children must obey these rules forever. 25 When you enter the land that the Lord has promised to give you, you must perform this ritual. 26 When your children ask you, ‘What does this ritual mean?’ 27 you will answer, ‘It is the sacrifice of Passover to honor the Lord, because he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt. He killed the Egyptians, but spared us.’”

The Israelites knelt down and worshiped. 28 Then they went and did what the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron.

The Death of the First-Born

29 At midnight the Lord killed all the first-born sons in Egypt, from the king's son, who was heir to the throne, to the son of the prisoner in the dungeon; all the first-born of the animals were also killed. 30 That night, the king, his officials, and all the other Egyptians were awakened. There was loud crying throughout Egypt, because there was not one home in which there was not a dead son.

The First Blow: Water to Blood

7:14 The Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is hard; he refuses to release the people. 15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning when he goes out to the water. Position yourself to meet him by the edge of the Nile, and take in your hand the staff that was turned into a snake. 16 Tell him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to you to say, “Release my people, that they may serve me in the desert!” But until now you have not listened. 17 Thus says the Lord: “By this you will know that I am the Lord: I am going to strike the water of the Nile with the staff that is in my hand, and it will be turned into blood. 18 Fish in the Nile will die, the Nile will stink, and the Egyptians will be unable to drink water from the Nile.”’” 19 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over Egypt’s waters – over their rivers, over their canals, over their ponds, and over all their reservoirs – so that it becomes blood.’ There will be blood everywhere in the land of Egypt, even in wooden and stone containers.” 20 Moses and Aaron did so, just as the Lord had commanded. Moses raised the staff and struck the water that was in the Nile right before the eyes of Pharaoh and his servants, and all the water that was in the Nile was turned to blood. 21 When the fish that were in the Nile died, the Nile began to stink, so that the Egyptians could not drink water from the Nile. There was blood everywhere in the land of Egypt! 22 But the magicians of Egypt did the same by their secret arts, and so Pharaoh’s heart remained hard, and he refused to listen to Moses and Aaron – just as the Lord had predicted. 23 And Pharaoh turned and went into his house. He did not pay any attention to this. 24 All the Egyptians dug around the Nile for water to drink, because they could not drink the water of the Nile.

The Second Blow: Frogs

25 Seven full days passed after the Lord struck the Nile. 8:1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Release my people in order that they may serve me! 2 But if you refuse to release them, then I am going to plague all your territory with frogs. 3 The Nile will swarm with frogs, and they will come up and go into your house, in your bedroom, and on your bed, and into the houses of your servants and your people, and into your ovens and your kneading troughs. 4 Frogs will come up against you, your people, and all your servants.”’”

5 The Lord spoke to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Extend your hand with your staff over the rivers, over the canals, and over the ponds, and bring the frogs up over the land of Egypt.’” 6 So Aaron extended his hand over the waters of Egypt, and frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt.

7 The magicians did the same with their secret arts and brought up frogs on the land of Egypt too.

8 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Pray to the Lord that he may take the frogs away from me and my people, and I will release the people that they may sacrifice to the Lord.” 9 Moses said to Pharaoh, “You may have the honor over me – when shall I pray for you, your servants, and your people, for the frogs to be removed from you and your houses, so that they will be left only in the Nile?” 10 He said, “Tomorrow.” And Moses said, “It will be as you say, so that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God. 11 The frogs will depart from you, your houses, your servants, and your people; they will be left only in the Nile.”

12 Then Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh, and Moses cried to the Lord because of the frogs that he had brought on Pharaoh. 13 The Lord did as Moses asked – the frogs died out of the houses, the villages, and the fields. 14 The Egyptians piled them in countless heaps, and the land stank. 15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not listen to them, just as the Lord had predicted.

The Third Blow: Gnats

16 The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Extend your staff and strike the dust of the ground, and it will become gnats throughout all the land of Egypt.’” 17 They did so; Aaron extended his hand with his staff, he struck the dust of the ground, and it became gnats on people and on animals. All the dust of the ground became gnats throughout all the land of Egypt. 18 When the magicians attempted to bring forth gnats by their secret arts, they could not. So there were gnats on people and on animals. 19 The magicians said to Pharaoh, “It is the finger of God!” But Pharaoh’s heart remained hard, and he did not listen to them, just as the Lord had predicted.

The Fourth Blow: Flies

20 The Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and position yourself before Pharaoh as he goes out to the water, and tell him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Release my people that they may serve me! 21 If you do not release my people, then I am going to send swarms of flies on you and on your servants and on your people and in your houses. The houses of the Egyptians will be full of flies, and even the ground they stand on. 22 But on that day I will mark off the land of Goshen, where my people are staying, so that no swarms of flies will be there, that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of this land. 23 I will put a division between my people and your people. This sign will take place tomorrow.”’” 24 The Lord did so; a thick swarm of flies came into Pharaoh’s house and into the houses of his servants, and throughout the whole land of Egypt the land was ruined because of the swarms of flies.

25 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God within the land.” 26 But Moses said, “That would not be the right thing to do, for the sacrifices we make to the Lord our God would be an abomination to the Egyptians. If we make sacrifices that are an abomination to the Egyptians right before their eyes, will they not stone us? 27 We must go on a three-day journey into the desert and sacrifice to the Lord our God, just as he is telling us.”

28 Pharaoh said, “I will release you so that you may sacrifice to the Lord your God in the desert. Only you must not go very far. Do pray for me.”

29 Moses said, “I am going to go out from you and pray to the Lord, and the swarms of flies will go away from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people tomorrow. Only do not let Pharaoh deal falsely again by not releasing the people to sacrifice to the Lord.” 30 So Moses went out from Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord, 31 and the Lord did as Moses asked – he removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people. Not one remained! 32 But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also and did not release the people.

The Fifth Blow: Disease

9:1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, “Release my people that they may serve me! 2 For if you refuse to release them and continue holding them, 3 then the hand of the Lord will surely bring a very terrible plague on your livestock in the field, on the horses, the donkeys, the camels, the herds, and the flocks. 4 But the Lord will distinguish between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, and nothing will die of all that the Israelites have.”’”

5 The Lord set an appointed time, saying, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this in the land.” 6 And the Lord did this on the next day; all the livestock of the Egyptians died, but of the Israelites’ livestock not one died. 7 Pharaoh sent representatives to investigate, and indeed, not even one of the livestock of Israel had died. But Pharaoh’s heart remained hard, and he did not release the people.

The Sixth Blow: Boils

8 Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Take handfuls of soot from a furnace, and have Moses throw it into the air while Pharaoh is watching. 9 It will become fine dust over the whole land of Egypt and will cause boils to break out and fester on both people and animals in all the land of Egypt.” 10 So they took soot from a furnace and stood before Pharaoh, Moses threw it into the air, and it caused festering boils to break out on both people and animals.

11 The magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for boils were on the magicians and on all the Egyptians. 12 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not listen to them, just as the Lord had predicted to Moses.

The Seventh Blow: Hail

13 The Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning, stand before Pharaoh, and tell him, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews: “Release my people so that they may serve me! 14 For this time I will send all my plagues on your very self and on your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth. 15 For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with plague, and you would have been destroyed from the earth. 16 But for this purpose I have caused you to stand: to show you my strength, and so that my name may be declared in all the earth. 17 You are still exalting yourself against my people by not releasing them. 18 I am going to cause very severe hail to rain down about this time tomorrow, such hail as has never occurred in Egypt from the day it was founded until now. 19 So now, send instructions to gather your livestock and all your possessions in the fields to a safe place. Every person or animal caught in the field and not brought into the house – the hail will come down on them, and they will die!”’”

20 Those of Pharaoh’s servants who feared the word of the Lord hurried to bring their servants and livestock into the houses, 21 but those who did not take the word of the Lord seriously left their servants and their cattle in the field.

22 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Extend your hand toward the sky that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, on people and on animals, and on everything that grows in the field in the land of Egypt.” 23 When Moses extended his staff toward the sky, the Lord sent thunder and hail, and fire fell to the earth; so the Lord caused hail to rain down on the land of Egypt. 24 Hail fell and fire mingled with the hail; the hail was so severe that there had not been any like it in all the land of Egypt since it had become a nation. 25 The hail struck everything in the open fields, both people and animals, throughout all the land of Egypt. The hail struck everything that grows in the field, and it broke all the trees of the field to pieces. 26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the Israelites lived, was there no hail.

27 So Pharaoh sent and summoned Moses and Aaron and said to them, “I have sinned this time! The Lord is righteous, and I and my people are guilty. 28 Pray to the Lord, for the mighty thunderings and hail are too much! I will release you and you will stay no longer.”

29 Moses said to him, “When I leave the city I will spread my hands to the Lord, the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, so that you may know that the earth belongs to the Lord. 30 But as for you and your servants, I know that you do not yet fear the Lord God.”

31 (Now the flax and the barley were struck by the hail, for the barley had ripened and the flax was in bud. 32 But the wheat and the spelt were not struck, for they are later crops.)

33 So Moses left Pharaoh, went out of the city, and spread out his hands to the Lord, and the thunder and the hail ceased, and the rain stopped pouring on the earth. 34 When Pharaoh saw that the rain and hail and thunder ceased, he sinned again: both he and his servants hardened their hearts. 35 So Pharaoh’s heart remained hard, and he did not release the Israelites, as the Lord had predicted through Moses.

The Eighth Blow: Locusts

10:1 The Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, in order to display these signs of mine before him, 2 and in order that in the hearing of your son and your grandson you may tell how I made fools of the Egyptians and about my signs that I displayed among them, so that you may know that I am the Lord.”

3 So Moses and Aaron came to Pharaoh and told him, “Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews: ‘How long do you refuse to humble yourself before me? Release my people so that they may serve me! 4 But if you refuse to release my people, I am going to bring locusts into your territory tomorrow. 5 They will cover the surface of the earth, so that you will be unable to see the ground. They will eat the remainder of what escaped – what is left over for you – from the hail, and they will eat every tree that grows for you from the field. 6 They will fill your houses, the houses of your servants, and all the houses of Egypt, such as neither your fathers nor your grandfathers have seen since they have been in the land until this day!’” Then Moses turned and went out from Pharaoh.

7 Pharaoh’s servants said to him, “How long will this man be a menace to us? Release the people so that they may serve the Lord their God. Do you not know that Egypt is destroyed?”

8 So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh, and he said to them, “Go, serve the Lord your God. Exactly who is going with you?” 9 Moses said, “We will go with our young and our old, with our sons and our daughters, and with our sheep and our cattle we will go, because we are to hold a pilgrim feast for the Lord.”

10 He said to them, “The Lord will need to be with you if I release you and your dependents! Watch out! Trouble is right in front of you! 11 No! Go, you men only, and serve the Lord, for that is what you want.” Then Moses and Aaron were driven out of Pharaoh’s presence.

12 The Lord said to Moses, “Extend your hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come up over the land of Egypt and eat everything that grows in the ground, everything that the hail has left.” 13 So Moses extended his staff over the land of Egypt, and then the Lord brought an east wind on the land all that day and all night. The morning came, and the east wind had brought up the locusts! 14 The locusts went up over all the land of Egypt and settled down in all the territory of Egypt. It was very severe; there had been no locusts like them before, nor will there be such ever again. 15 They covered the surface of all the ground, so that the ground became dark with them, and they ate all the vegetation of the ground and all the fruit of the trees that the hail had left. Nothing green remained on the trees or on anything that grew in the fields throughout the whole land of Egypt.

16

Then Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you! 17 So now, forgive my sin this time only, and pray to the Lord your God that he would only take this death away from me.” 18 Moses went out from Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord, 19 and the Lord turned a very strong west wind, and it picked up the locusts and blew them into the Red Sea. Not one locust remained in all the territory of Egypt. 20 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not release the Israelites.

The Ninth Blow: Darkness

21 The Lord said to Moses, “Extend your hand toward heaven so that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness so thick it can be felt.”

22 So Moses extended his hand toward heaven, and there was absolute darkness throughout the land of Egypt for three days. 23 No one could see another person, and no one could rise from his place for three days. But the Israelites had light in the places where they lived.

24 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and said, “Go, serve the Lord – only your flocks and herds will be detained. Even your families may go with you.”

25 But Moses said, “Will you also provide us with sacrifices and burnt offerings that we may present them to the Lord our God? 26 Our livestock must also go with us! Not a hoof is to be left behind! For we must take these animals to serve the Lord our God. Until we arrive there, we do not know what we must use to serve the Lord.”

27 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was not willing to release them. 28 Pharaoh said to him, “Go from me! Watch out for yourself! Do not appear before me again, for when you see my face you will die!” 29 Moses said, “As you wish! I will not see your face again.”

The Tenth Blow: Death

11:1 The Lord said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt; after that he will release you from this place. When he releases you, he will drive you out completely from this place. 2 Instruct the people that each man and each woman is to request from his or her neighbor items of silver and gold.”

3 (Now the Lord granted the people favor with the Egyptians. Moreover, the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, respected by Pharaoh’s servants and by the Egyptian people.)

4 Moses said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt, 5 and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, to the firstborn son of the slave girl who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle. 6 There will be a great cry throughout the whole land of Egypt, such as there has never been, nor ever will be again. 7 But against any of the Israelites not even a dog will bark against either people or animals, so that you may know that the Lord distinguishes between Egypt and Israel.’ 8 All these your servants will come down to me and bow down to me, saying, ‘Go, you and all the people who follow you,’ and after that I will go out.” Then Moses went out from Pharaoh in great anger.

9 The Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, so that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.”

10 So Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh, but the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not release the Israelites from his land.

The Institution of the Passover

12:1 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, 2 “This month is to be your beginning of months; it will be your first month of the year. 3 Tell the whole community of Israel, ‘In the tenth day of this month they each must take a lamb for themselves according to their families – a lamb for each household. 4 If any household is too small for a lamb, the man and his next-door neighbor are to take a lamb according to the number of people – you will make your count for the lamb according to how much each one can eat. 5 Your lamb must be perfect, a male, one year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 You must care for it until the fourteenth day of this month, and then the whole community of Israel will kill it around sundown. 7 They will take some of the blood and put it on the two side posts and top of the doorframe of the houses where they will eat it. 8 They will eat the meat the same night; they will eat it roasted over the fire with bread made without yeast and with bitter herbs. 9 Do not eat it raw or boiled in water, but roast it over the fire with its head, its legs, and its entrails. 10 You must leave nothing until morning, but you must burn with fire whatever remains of it until morning. 11 This is how you are to eat it – dressed to travel, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. You are to eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover.

12 I will pass through the land of Egypt in the same night, and I will attack all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both of humans and of animals, and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment. I am the Lord. 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, so that when I see the blood I will pass over you, and this plague will not fall on you to destroy you when I attack the land of Egypt.

14 This day will become a memorial for you, and you will celebrate it as a festival to the Lord – you will celebrate it perpetually as a lasting ordinance. 15 For seven days you must eat bread made without yeast. Surely on the first day you must put away yeast from your houses because anyone who eats bread made with yeast from the first day to the seventh day will be cut off from Israel.

16 On the first day there will be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there will be a holy convocation for you. You must do no work of any kind on them, only what every person will eat – that alone may be prepared for you. 17 So you will keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because on this very day I brought your regiments out from the land of Egypt, and so you must keep this day perpetually as a lasting ordinance. 18 In the first month, from the fourteenth day of the month, in the evening, you will eat bread made without yeast until the twenty-first day of the month in the evening. 19 For seven days yeast must not be found in your houses, for whoever eats what is made with yeast – that person will be cut off from the community of Israel, whether a foreigner or one born in the land. 20 You will not eat anything made with yeast; in all the places where you live you must eat bread made without yeast.’”

21 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel, and told them, “Go and select for yourselves a lamb or young goat for your families, and kill the Passover animals. 22 Take a branch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and apply to the top of the doorframe and the two side posts some of the blood that is in the basin. Not one of you is to go out the door of his house until morning. 23 For the Lord will pass through to strike Egypt, and when he sees the blood on the top of the doorframe and the two side posts, then the Lord will pass over the door, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you. 24 You must observe this event as an ordinance for you and for your children forever. 25 When you enter the land that the Lord will give to you, just as he said, you must observe this ceremony. 26 When your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ – 27 then you will say, ‘It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s Passover, when he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt, when he struck Egypt and delivered our households.’” The people bowed down low to the ground, 28 and the Israelites went away and did exactly as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron.

The Deliverance from Egypt

29 It happened at midnight – the Lord attacked all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the prison, and all the firstborn of the cattle. 30 Pharaoh got up in the night, along with all his servants and all Egypt, and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was no house in which there was not someone dead.

The Creation
Adam and Eve
Cain and Abel
The Great Flood
The Tower of Babel
God Calls Abraham
Sodom and Gomorrah
Abraham's Obedience
Isaac Marries Rebekah
Esau's Birthright
Isaac Blesses Jacob
Jacob and Laban
Jacob Wrestles
Revenge against Shechem
Joseph in Prison
Joseph as a Ruler
Family Reunion
Moses' Birth
The Burning Bush
The Ten Plagues
The Exodus
The Red Sea
The Gold Calf
Exploring the Land
Rebellion in the Ranks
Balak and Balaam
Rahab and the Spies
Jericho Falls
Gibeon's Con Artists
Deborah and Barak
Gideon as Judge
Abimelech's Ambition
Samson as Judge
Ruth, Naomi and Boaz
Samuel is Born
Samuel the Prophet
Saul Becomes King
Jonathan's Bravery
Saul's Disobedience
David Kills Goliath
David and Jonathan
Nabal and Abigail
Saul's Death
David's Success
David and Bathsheba
Amnon and Tamar
Absalom
Solomon's Wisdom
Jeroboam and Rehoboam
Elijah's Challenge
God Speaks to Elijah
Micaiah the Prophet
Chariot of Fire
Elisha Heals Naaman
Famine and Unbelief
Joash and Jehoiada
Hezekiah Trusts God
Josiah's Reign
Fall of Jerusalem
David's Power
David's Census
Jehoshaphat and Ahab
Ezra Rebuilds the Altar
Nehemiah Builds the Wall
Enemy Opposition
Nehemiah's Justice
Esther Saves the Jews
Job is Tested
Ezekiel's Vision
The Fiery Furnace
The Lions' Den
Jonah
Jesus is Born
Wise Men and King Herod
Jesus is Tempted
Jesus Feeds 5,000
The Bread of Life
Jesus Walks on Water
The Good Samaritan
The Lost Son
Jesus Raises Lazarus
Jesus and Zacchaeus
The Triumphal Entry
The Last Supper
Jesus' Trial
Jesus' Crucifixion
Jesus' Resurrection
Jesus' Ascension
The Holy Spirit Comes
The Apostles' Courage
Ananias and Sapphira
Philip and the Eunuch
Saul Encounters Jesus
Peter and Cornelius
Paul in Corinth
Paul in Ephesus
Paul Goes to Rome