The Fourth Plague: Flies

20 And the Lord said to Moses, (A)“Rise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh as he comes out to the water. Then say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: (B)“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, on your people and into your houses. The houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground on which they stand. 22 And in that day (C)I will set apart the land of (D)Goshen, in which My people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there, in order that you may (E)know that I am the Lord in the midst of the (F)land. 23 I will [a]make a difference between My people and your people. Tomorrow this (G)sign shall be.” ’ ” 24 And the Lord did so. (H)Thick swarms of flies came into the house of Pharaoh, into his servants’ houses, and into all the land of Egypt. The land was corrupted because of the swarms of flies.

25 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God in the land.”

26 And Moses said, “It is not right to do so, for we would be sacrificing (I)the abomination of the Egyptians to the Lord our God. If we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, then will they not [b]stone us? 27 We will go (J)three days’ journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the Lord our God as (K)He will command us.”

28 So 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. (L)Intercede for me.”

29 Then Moses said, “Indeed I am going out from you, and I will entreat the Lord, that the swarms of flies may depart tomorrow from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people. But let Pharaoh not (M)deal deceitfully anymore in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the Lord.”

30 So Moses went out from Pharaoh and (N)entreated the Lord. 31 And the Lord did according to the word of Moses; He removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people. Not one remained. 32 But Pharaoh (O)hardened his heart at this time also; neither would he let the people go.

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  1. Exodus 8:23 Lit. set a ransom, Ex. 9:4; 11:7
  2. Exodus 8:26 Put us to death by stoning

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