7 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pay close attention to this. I will make you seem like God to Pharaoh, and your brother, Aaron, will be your prophet.2 Tell Aaron everything I command you, and Aaron must command Pharaoh to let the people of Israel leave his country.3 But I will make Pharaoh’s heart stubborn so I can multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt.4 Even then Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you. So I will bring down my fist on Egypt. Then I will rescue my forces—my people, the Israelites—from the land of Egypt with great acts of judgment.5 When I raise my powerful hand and bring out the Israelites, the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.”
6 So Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded them.7 Moses was eighty years old, and Aaron was eighty-three when they made their demands to Pharaoh.
8 Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron,9 “Pharaoh will demand, ‘Show me a miracle.’ When he does this, say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down in front of Pharaoh, and it will become a serpent.[a]’”
10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did what the Lord had commanded them. Aaron threw down his staff before Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a serpent!11 Then Pharaoh called in his own wise men and sorcerers, and these Egyptian magicians did the same thing with their magic.12 They threw down their staffs, which also became serpents! But then Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs.13 Pharaoh’s heart, however, remained hard. He still refused to listen, just as the Lord had predicted.
A Plague of Blood
14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is stubborn,[b] and he still refuses to let the people go.
7:9Hebrew tannin, which elsewhere refers to a sea monster. Greek version translates it “dragon.”
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