New International Version - UK
The Israelites oppressed
1 These are the names of the sons of Israel who went to Egypt with Jacob, each with his family: 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah; 3 Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin; 4 Dan and Naphtali; Gad and Asher. 5 The descendants of Jacob numbered seventy[a] in all; Joseph was already in Egypt.
6 Now Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died, 7 but the Israelites were exceedingly fruitful; they multiplied greatly, increased in numbers and became so numerous that the land was filled with them.
8 Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt. 9 ‘Look,’ he said to his people, ‘the Israelites have become far too numerous for us. 10 Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country.’
11 So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labour, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. 12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites 13 and worked them ruthlessly. 14 They made their lives bitter with harsh labour in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their harsh labour, the Egyptians worked them ruthlessly.
15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, 16 ‘When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.’ 17 The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live. 18 Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, ‘Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?’
19 The midwives answered Pharaoh, ‘Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.’
20 So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. 21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.
22 Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: ‘Every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.’
The birth of Moses
2 Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, 2 and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. 3 But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket[b] for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. 4 His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.
5 Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the river-bank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. 6 She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. ‘This is one of the Hebrew babies,’ she said.
7 Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, ‘Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?’
8 ‘Yes, go,’ she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. 9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.’ So the woman took the baby and nursed him. 10 When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses,[c] saying, ‘I drew him out of the water.’
Moses flees to Midian
11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labour. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12 Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, ‘Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?’
14 The man said, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?’ Then Moses was afraid and thought, ‘What I did must have become known.’
15 When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well. 16 Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock.
18 When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, ‘Why have you returned so early today?’
19 They answered, ‘An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock.’
20 ‘And where is he?’ Reuel asked his daughters. ‘Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.’
21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. 22 Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom,[d] saying, ‘I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.’
23 During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. 24 God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. 25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.
Moses and the burning bush
3 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, ‘I will go over and see this strange sight – why the bush does not burn up.’
4 When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, ‘Moses! Moses!’
And Moses said, ‘Here I am.’
5 ‘Do not come any closer,’ God said. ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.’ 6 Then he said, ‘I am the God of your father,[e] the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.’ At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
7 The Lord said, ‘I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey – the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.’
11 But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’
12 And God said, ‘I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you[f] will worship God on this mountain.’
13 Moses said to God, ‘Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you,” and they ask me, “What is his name?” Then what shall I tell them?’
14 God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am.[g] This is what you are to say to the Israelites: “I am has sent me to you.”’
15 God also said to Moses, ‘Say to the Israelites, “The Lord,[h] the God of your fathers – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob – has sent me to you.”
‘This is my name for ever,
the name you shall call me
from generation to generation.
16 ‘Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, “The Lord, the God of your fathers – the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. 17 And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites – a land flowing with milk and honey.”
18 ‘The elders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, “The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God.” 19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him. 20 So I will stretch out my hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders that I will perform among them. After that, he will let you go.
21 ‘And I will make the Egyptians favourably disposed towards this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. 22 Every woman is to ask her neighbour and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians.’
Signs for Moses
4 Moses answered, ‘What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, “The Lord did not appear to you”?’
2 Then the Lord said to him, ‘What is that in your hand?’
‘A staff,’ he replied.
3 The Lord said, ‘Throw it on the ground.’
Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. 4 Then the Lord said to him, ‘Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.’ So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. 5 ‘This,’ said the Lord, ‘is so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob – has appeared to you.’
6 Then the Lord said, ‘Put your hand inside your cloak.’ So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, the skin was leprous[i] – it had become as white as snow.
7 ‘Now put it back into your cloak,’ he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.
8 Then the Lord said, ‘If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first sign, they may believe the second. 9 But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground.’
10 Moses said to the Lord, ‘Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.’
11 The Lord said to him, ‘Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.’
13 But Moses said, ‘Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.’
14 Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, ‘What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. 15 You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. 16 He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. 17 But take this staff in your hand so that you can perform the signs with it.’
Moses returns to Egypt
18 Then Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, ‘Let me return to my own people in Egypt to see if any of them are still alive.’
Jethro said, ‘Go, and I wish you well.’
19 Now the Lord had said to Moses in Midian, ‘Go back to Egypt, for all those who wanted to kill you are dead.’ 20 So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey and started back to Egypt. And he took the staff of God in his hand.
21 The Lord said to Moses, ‘When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. 22 Then say to Pharaoh, “This is what the Lord says: Israel is my firstborn son, 23 and I told you, ‘Let my son go, so that he may worship me.’ But you refused to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son.”’
24 At a lodging place on the way, the Lord met Moses[j] and was about to kill him. 25 But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it.[k] ‘Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me,’ she said. 26 So the Lord let him alone. (At that time she said ‘bridegroom of blood’, referring to circumcision.)
27 The Lord said to Aaron, ‘Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.’ So he met Moses at the mountain of God and kissed him. 28 Then Moses told Aaron everything the Lord had sent him to say, and also about all the signs he had commanded him to perform.
29 Moses and Aaron brought together all the elders of the Israelites, 30 and Aaron told them everything the Lord had said to Moses. He also performed the signs before the people, 31 and they believed. And when they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshipped.
Bricks without straw
5 Afterwards Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: “Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the wilderness.”’
2 Pharaoh said, ‘Who is the Lord, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord and I will not let Israel go.’
3 Then they said, ‘The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Now let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God, or he may strike us with plagues or with the sword.’
4 But the king of Egypt said, ‘Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people away from their labour? Get back to your work!’ 5 Then Pharaoh said, ‘Look, the people of the land are now numerous, and you are stopping them from working.’
6 That same day Pharaoh gave this order to the slave drivers and overseers in charge of the people: 7 ‘You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw. 8 But require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don’t reduce the quota. They are lazy; that is why they are crying out, “Let us go and sacrifice to our God.” 9 Make the work harder for the people so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies.’
10 Then the slave drivers and the overseers went out and said to the people, ‘This is what Pharaoh says: “I will not give you any more straw. 11 Go and get your own straw wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced at all.”’ 12 So the people scattered all over Egypt to gather stubble to use for straw. 13 The slave drivers kept pressing them, saying, ‘Complete the work required of you for each day, just as when you had straw.’ 14 And Pharaoh’s slave drivers beat the Israelite overseers they had appointed, demanding, ‘Why haven’t you met your quota of bricks yesterday or today, as before?’
15 Then the Israelite overseers went and appealed to Pharaoh: ‘Why have you treated your servants this way? 16 Your servants are given no straw, yet we are told, “Make bricks!” Your servants are being beaten, but the fault is with your own people.’
17 Pharaoh said, ‘Lazy, that’s what you are – lazy! That is why you keep saying, “Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.” 18 Now get to work. You will not be given any straw, yet you must produce your full quota of bricks.’
19 The Israelite overseers realised they were in trouble when they were told, ‘You are not to reduce the number of bricks required of you for each day.’ 20 When they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting to meet them, 21 and they said, ‘May the Lord look on you and judge you! You have made us obnoxious to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.’
God promises deliverance
22 Moses returned to the Lord and said, ‘Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people? Is this why you sent me? 23 Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.’
6 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.’
2 God also said to Moses, ‘I am the Lord. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty,[l] but by my name the Lord[m] I did not make myself known to them. 4 I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they resided as foreigners. 5 Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant.
6 ‘Therefore, say to the Israelites: “I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. 7 I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord.”’
9 Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labour.
10 Then the Lord said to Moses, 11 ‘Go, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the Israelites go out of his country.’
12 But Moses said to the Lord, ‘If the Israelites will not listen to me, why would Pharaoh listen to me, since I speak with faltering lips?’[n]
Family record of Moses and Aaron
13 Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron about the Israelites and Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he commanded them to bring the Israelites out of Egypt.
14 These were the heads of their families:[o]
The sons of Reuben the firstborn son of Israel were Hanok and Pallu, Hezron and Karmi. These were the clans of Reuben.
15 The sons of Simeon were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman. These were the clans of Simeon.
16 These were the names of the sons of Levi according to their records: Gershon, Kohath and Merari. Levi lived 137 years.
17 The sons of Gershon, by clans, were Libni and Shimei.
18 The sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel. Kohath lived 133 years.
19 The sons of Merari were Mahli and Mushi.
These were the clans of Levi according to their records.
20 Amram married his father’s sister Jochebed, who bore him Aaron and Moses. Amram lived 137 years.
21 The sons of Izhar were Korah, Nepheg and Zikri.
22 The sons of Uzziel were Mishael, Elzaphan and Sithri.
23 Aaron married Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab and sister of Nahshon, and she bore him Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.
24 The sons of Korah were Assir, Elkanah and Abiasaph. These were the Korahite clans.
25 Eleazar son of Aaron married one of the daughters of Putiel, and she bore him Phinehas.
These were the heads of the Levite families, clan by clan.
26 It was this Aaron and Moses to whom the Lord said, ‘Bring the Israelites out of Egypt by their divisions.’ 27 They were the ones who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt about bringing the Israelites out of Egypt – this same Moses and Aaron.
Aaron to speak for Moses
28 Now when the Lord spoke to Moses in Egypt, 29 he said to him, ‘I am the Lord. Tell Pharaoh king of Egypt everything I tell you.’
30 But Moses said to the Lord, ‘Since I speak with faltering lips, why would Pharaoh listen to me?’
7 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet. 2 You are to say everything I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of his country. 3 But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in Egypt, 4 he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites. 5 And the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.’
6 Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord commanded them. 7 Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh.
Aaron’s staff becomes a snake
8 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 9 ‘When Pharaoh says to you, “Perform a miracle,” then say to Aaron, “Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh,” and it will become a snake.’
10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. 11 Pharaoh then summoned the wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: 12 each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. 13 Yet Pharaoh’s heart became hard and he would not listen to them, just as the Lord had said.
The plague of blood
14 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Pharaoh’s heart is unyielding; he refuses to let the people go. 15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning as he goes out to the river. Confront him on the bank of the Nile, and take in your hand the staff that was changed into a snake. 16 Then say to him, “The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: let my people go, so that they may worship me in the wilderness. But until now you have not listened. 17 This is what the Lord says: by this you will know that I am the Lord: with the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood. 18 The fish in the Nile will die, and the river will stink; the Egyptians will not be able to drink its water.”’
19 The Lord said to Moses, ‘Tell Aaron, “Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt – over the streams and canals, over the ponds and all the reservoirs – and they will turn to blood.” Blood will be everywhere in Egypt, even in vessels[p] of wood and stone.’
20 Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded. He raised his staff in the presence of Pharaoh and his officials and struck the water of the Nile, and all the water was changed into blood. 21 The fish in the Nile died, and the river smelled so bad that the Egyptians could not drink its water. Blood was everywhere in Egypt.
22 But the Egyptian magicians did the same things by their secret arts, and Pharaoh’s heart became hard; he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said. 23 Instead, he turned and went into his palace, and did not take even this to heart. 24 And all the Egyptians dug along the Nile to get drinking water, because they could not drink the water of the river.
The plague of frogs
25 Seven days passed after the Lord struck the Nile. 8 1 [q]Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go to Pharaoh and say to him, “This is what the Lord says: let my people go, so that they may worship me. 2 If you refuse to let them go, I will send a plague of frogs on your whole country. 3 The Nile will teem with frogs. They will come up into your palace and your bedroom and onto your bed, into the houses of your officials and on your people, and into your ovens and kneading troughs. 4 The frogs will come up on you and your people and all your officials.”’
5 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Tell Aaron, “Stretch out your hand with your staff over the streams and canals and ponds, and make frogs come up on the land of Egypt.”’
6 So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land. 7 But the magicians did the same things by their secret arts; they also made frogs come up on the land of Egypt.
8 Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, ‘Pray to the Lord to take the frogs away from me and my people, and I will let your people go to offer sacrifices to the Lord.’
9 Moses said to Pharaoh, ‘I leave to you the honour of setting the time for me to pray for you and your officials and your people that you and your houses may be rid of the frogs, except for those that remain in the Nile.’
10 ‘Tomorrow,’ Pharaoh said.
Moses replied, ‘It will be as you say, so that you may know there is no one like the Lord our God. 11 The frogs will leave you and your houses, your officials and your people; they will remain only in the Nile.’
12 After Moses and Aaron left Pharaoh, Moses cried out to the Lord about the frogs he had brought on Pharaoh. 13 And the Lord did what Moses asked. The frogs died in the houses, in the courtyards and in the fields. 14 They were piled into heaps, and the land reeked of them. 15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said.
The plague of gnats
16 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Tell Aaron, “Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the ground,” and throughout the land of Egypt the dust will become gnats.’ 17 They did this, and when Aaron stretched out his hand with the staff and struck the dust of the ground, gnats came on people and animals. All the dust throughout the land of Egypt became gnats. 18 But when the magicians tried to produce gnats by their secret arts, they could not.
Since the gnats were on people and animals everywhere, 19 the magicians said to Pharaoh, ‘This is the finger of God.’ But Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not listen, just as the Lord had said.
The plague of flies
20 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Get up early in the morning and confront Pharaoh as he goes to the river and say to him, “This is what the Lord says: let my people go, so that they may worship me. 21 If you do not let my people go, I will send swarms of flies on you and your officials, on your people and into your houses. The houses of the Egyptians will be full of flies; even the ground will be covered with them.
22 ‘“But on that day I will deal differently with the land of Goshen, where my people live; no swarms of flies will be there, so that you will know that I, the Lord, am in this land. 23 I will make a distinction[r] between my people and your people. This sign will occur tomorrow.”’
24 And the Lord did this. Dense swarms of flies poured into Pharaoh’s palace and into the houses of his officials; throughout Egypt the land was ruined by the flies.
25 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, ‘Go, sacrifice to your God here in the land.’
26 But Moses said, ‘That would not be right. The sacrifices we offer the Lord our God would be detestable to the Egyptians. And if we offer sacrifices that are detestable in their eyes, will they not stone us? 27 We must take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God, as he commands us.’
28 Pharaoh said, ‘I will let you go to offer sacrifices to the Lord your God in the wilderness, but you must not go very far. Now pray for me.’
29 Moses answered, ‘As soon as I leave you, I will pray to the Lord, and tomorrow the flies will leave Pharaoh and his officials and his people. Only let Pharaoh be sure that he does not act deceitfully again by not letting the people go to offer sacrifices to the Lord.’
30 Then Moses left Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord, 31 and the Lord did what Moses asked. The flies left Pharaoh and his officials and his people; not a fly remained. 32 But this time also Pharaoh hardened his heart and would not let the people go.
The plague on livestock
9 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go to Pharaoh and say to him, “This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: ‘Let my people go, so that they may worship me.’ 2 If you refuse to let them go and continue to hold them back, 3 the hand of the Lord will bring a terrible plague on your livestock in the field – on your horses, donkeys and camels and on your cattle, sheep and goats. 4 But the Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and that of Egypt, so that no animal belonging to the Israelites will die.”’
5 The Lord set a time and said, ‘Tomorrow the Lord will do this in the land.’ 6 And the next day the Lord did it: all the livestock of the Egyptians died, but not one animal belonging to the Israelites died. 7 Pharaoh investigated and found that not even one of the animals of the Israelites had died. Yet his heart was unyielding and he would not let the people go.
The plague of boils
8 Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Take handfuls of soot from a furnace and let Moses toss it into the air in the presence of Pharaoh. 9 It will become fine dust over the whole land of Egypt, and festering boils will break out on people and animals throughout the land.’
10 So they took soot from a furnace and stood before Pharaoh. Moses tossed it into the air, and festering boils broke out on people and animals. 11 The magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils that were on them and on all the Egyptians. 12 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said to Moses.
The plague of hail
13 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Get up early in the morning, confront Pharaoh and say to him, “This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: let my people go, so that they may worship me, 14 or this time I will send the full force of my plagues against you and against your officials and your people, so 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 a plague that would have wiped you off the earth. 16 But I have raised you up[s] for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. 17 You still set yourself against my people and will not let them go. 18 Therefore, at this time tomorrow I will send the worst hailstorm that has ever fallen on Egypt, from the day it was founded till now. 19 Give an order now to bring your livestock and everything you have in the field to a place of shelter, because the hail will fall on every person and animal that has not been brought in and is still out in the field, and they will die.”’
20 Those officials of Pharaoh who feared the word of the Lord hurried to bring their slaves and their livestock inside. 21 But those who ignored the word of the Lord left their slaves and livestock in the field.
22 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand towards the sky so that hail will fall all over Egypt – on people and animals and on everything growing in the fields of Egypt.’ 23 When Moses stretched out his staff towards the sky, the Lord sent thunder and hail, and lightning flashed down to the ground. So the Lord rained hail on the land of Egypt; 24 hail fell and lightning flashed back and forth. It was the worst storm in all the land of Egypt since it had become a nation. 25 Throughout Egypt hail struck everything in the fields – both people and animals; it beat down everything growing in the fields and stripped every tree. 26 The only place it did not hail was the land of Goshen, where the Israelites were.
27 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron. ‘This time I have sinned,’ he said to them. ‘The Lord is in the right, and I and my people are in the wrong. 28 Pray to the Lord, for we have had enough thunder and hail. I will let you go; you don’t have to stay any longer.’
29 Moses replied, ‘When I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands in prayer to the Lord. The thunder will stop and there will be no more hail, so you may know that the earth is the Lord’s. 30 But I know that you and your officials still do not fear the Lord God.’
31 (The flax and barley were destroyed, since the barley was in the ear and the flax was in bloom. 32 The wheat and spelt, however, were not destroyed, because they ripen later.)
33 Then Moses left Pharaoh and went out of the city. He spread out his hands towards the Lord; the thunder and hail stopped, and the rain no longer poured down on the land. 34 When Pharaoh saw that the rain and hail and thunder had stopped, he sinned again: he and his officials hardened their hearts. 35 So Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not let the Israelites go, just as the Lord had said through Moses.
The plague of locusts
10 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these signs of mine among them 2 that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the Lord.’
3 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: “How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go, so that they may worship me. 4 If you refuse to let them go, I will bring locusts into your country tomorrow. 5 They will cover the face of the ground so that it cannot be seen. They will devour what little you have left after the hail, including every tree that is growing in your fields.
- Exodus 1:5 Masoretic Text (see also Gen. 46:27); Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint (see also Acts 7:14 and note at Gen. 46:27) seventy-five
- Exodus 2:3 The Hebrew can also mean ark, as in Gen. 6:14.
- Exodus 2:10 Moses sounds like the Hebrew for draw out.
- Exodus 2:22 Gershom sounds like the Hebrew for a foreigner there.
- Exodus 3:6 Masoretic Text; Samaritan Pentateuch (see Acts 7:32) fathers
- Exodus 3:12 The Hebrew is plural.
- Exodus 3:14 Or I will be what I will be
- Exodus 3:15 The Hebrew for Lord sounds like and may be related to the Hebrew for I am in verse 14.
- Exodus 4:6 The Hebrew word for leprous was used for various diseases affecting the skin.
- Exodus 4:24 Hebrew him
- Exodus 4:25 The meaning of the Hebrew for this clause is uncertain.
- Exodus 6:3 Hebrew El-Shaddai
- Exodus 6:3 See note at 3:15.
- Exodus 6:12 Hebrew I am uncircumcised of lips; also in verse 30
- Exodus 6:14 The Hebrew for families here and in verse 25 refers to units larger than clans.
- Exodus 7:19 Or even on their idols
- Exodus 8:1 In Hebrew texts 8:1-4 is numbered 7:26-29, and 8:5-32 is numbered 8:1-28.
- Exodus 8:23 Septuagint and Vulgate; Hebrew will put a deliverance
- Exodus 9:16 Or have spared you