15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he [a]hardened his heart and did not listen to them, as the Lord had said.
The Plague of Insects
16 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, that it may become [b]gnats through all the land of Egypt.’”17 They did so; and Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff, and struck the dust of the earth, and there were [c]gnats on man and beast. All the dust of the earth became [d]gnats through all the land of Egypt.18 The [e]magicians tried with their secret arts to bring forth [f]gnats, but they could not; so there were [g]gnats on man and beast.19 Then the [h]magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was [i]hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had said.
20 Now the Lord said to Moses, “Rise early in the morning and present yourself before Pharaoh, [j]as he comes out to the water, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me.21 For if you do not let My people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies on you and on your servants and on your people and into your houses; and the houses of the Egyptians will be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground on which they dwell.22 But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where My people are [k]living, so that no swarms of flies will be there, in order that you may know that [l]I, the Lord, am in the midst of the land.23 I will [m]put a division between My people and your people. Tomorrow this sign will occur.”’”24 Then the Lord did so. And there came [n]great swarms of flies into the house of Pharaoh and the houses of his servants and the land was laid waste because of the swarms of flies in all the land of Egypt.
25 Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God within the land.”26 But Moses said, “It is not right to do so, for we will sacrifice to the Lord our God [o]what is an abomination to the Egyptians. If we sacrifice [p]what is an abomination to the Egyptians before their eyes, will they not then stone us?27 We must go a three days’ journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the Lord our God as He [q]commands us.”28 Pharaoh said, “I will let you go, that you may sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; only you shall not go very far away. Make supplication for me.”29 Then Moses said, “Behold, I am going out from you, and I shall make supplication to the Lord that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people tomorrow; only do not let Pharaoh deal deceitfully again in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the Lord.”
30 So Moses went out from Pharaoh and made supplication to the Lord.31 The Lord did [r]as Moses asked, and removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants and from his people; not one remained.32 But Pharaoh [s]hardened his heart this time also, and he did not let the people go.
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