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The Death of the Firstborn

11 Now the Lord had told Moses, “I have one more way to punish the king and the people of Egypt. After this, the king will send all of you away from Egypt. When he does, he will force you to leave completely. Tell the men and women of Israel to ask their neighbors for things made of silver and gold.” The Lord had caused the Egyptians to respect the Israelites. The king’s officers and the Egyptian people already considered Moses to be a great man.

So Moses said to the king, “This is what the Lord says: ‘About midnight tonight I will go through all Egypt. Every firstborn son in the land of Egypt will die. The firstborn son of the king, who sits on his throne, will die. Even the firstborn of the slave girl grinding grain will die. Also the firstborn farm animals will die. There will be loud crying everywhere in Egypt. It will be worse than any time before or after this. But not even a dog will bark at the Israelites or their animals.’ Then you will know that the Lord treats Israel differently from Egypt. Then all your officers will come to me. They will bow facedown to the ground before me. They will say, ‘Leave and take all your people with you.’ After that, I will leave.” Then Moses very angrily left the king.

The Lord had told Moses, “The king will not listen to you and Aaron. This is so that I may do many miracles in the land of Egypt.” 10 Moses and Aaron did all these great miracles in front of the king. But the Lord made him stubborn. And the king would not let the people of Israel leave his country.

The Plague on the Firstborn

11 Now the Lord had said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go(A) from here, and when he does, he will drive you out completely.(B) Tell the people that men and women alike are to ask their neighbors for articles of silver and gold.”(C) (The Lord made the Egyptians favorably disposed(D) toward the people, and Moses himself was highly regarded(E) in Egypt by Pharaoh’s officials and by the people.)

So Moses said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘About midnight(F) I will go throughout Egypt.(G) Every firstborn(H) son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the female slave, who is at her hand mill,(I) and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. There will be loud wailing(J) throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again. But among the Israelites not a dog will bark at any person or animal.’ Then you will know that the Lord makes a distinction(K) between Egypt and Israel. All these officials of yours will come to me, bowing down before me and saying, ‘Go,(L) you and all the people who follow you!’ After that I will leave.”(M) Then Moses, hot with anger, left Pharaoh.

The Lord had said to Moses, “Pharaoh will refuse to listen(N) to you—so that my wonders(O) may be multiplied in Egypt.” 10 Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh, but the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart,(P) and he would not let the Israelites go out of his country.

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