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Exodus 7-12 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Lord answered Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother will be your prophet. You must say whatever I command you; then Aaron your brother must declare it to Pharaoh so that he will let the Israelites go from his land. But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart and multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt. Pharaoh will not listen to you, but I will put my hand into Egypt and bring the military divisions of my people the Israelites out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment. The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the Israelites from among them.”

So Moses and Aaron did this; they did just as the Lord commanded them. Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh.

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “When Pharaoh tells you, ‘Perform a miracle,’ tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh. It will become a serpent.’” 10 So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord had commanded. Aaron threw down his staff before Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a serpent. 11 But then Pharaoh called the wise men and sorcerers—the magicians of Egypt, and they also did the same thing by their occult practices. 12 Each one threw down his staff, and it became a serpent. But Aaron’s staff swallowed their staffs. 13 However, Pharaoh’s heart was hard, and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had said.

The First Plague: Water Turned to Blood

14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is hard: He refuses to let the people go. 15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning. When you see him walking out to the water, stand ready to meet him by the bank of the Nile. Take in your hand the staff that turned into a snake. 16 Tell him: The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to tell you: Let my people go, so that they may worship[a] me in the wilderness, but so far you have not listened. 17 This is what the Lord says: Here is how you will know that I am the Lord. Watch. I am about to strike the water in the Nile with the staff in my hand, and it will turn to blood. 18 The fish in the Nile will die, the river will stink, and the Egyptians will be unable to drink water from it.”

19 So the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron: Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt—over their rivers, canals, ponds, and all their water reservoirs—and they will become blood. There will be blood throughout the land of Egypt, even in wooden and stone containers.”

20 Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded; in the sight of Pharaoh and his officials, he raised the staff and struck the water in the Nile, and all the water in the Nile was turned to blood. 21 The fish in the Nile died, and the river smelled so bad the Egyptians could not drink water from it. There was blood throughout the land of Egypt.

22 But the magicians of Egypt did the same thing by their occult practices. So Pharaoh’s heart was hard, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said. 23 Pharaoh turned around, went into his palace, and didn’t take even this to heart. 24 All the Egyptians dug around the Nile for water to drink because they could not drink the water from the river. 25 Seven days passed after the Lord struck the Nile.

The Second Plague: Frogs

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and tell him: This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. But if you refuse to let them go, then I will plague all your territory with frogs. The Nile will swarm with frogs; they will come up and go into your palace, into your bedroom and on your bed, into the houses of your officials and your people, and into your ovens and kneading bowls. The frogs will come up on you, your people, and all your officials.”

The Lord then said to Moses, “Tell Aaron: Stretch out your hand with your staff over the rivers, canals, and ponds, and cause the frogs to come up onto the land of Egypt.” When Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. But the magicians did the same thing by their occult practices and brought frogs up onto the land of Egypt.

Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Appeal to the Lord to remove the frogs from me and my people. Then I will let the people go and they can sacrifice to the Lord.”

Moses said to Pharaoh, “You may have the honor of choosing. When should I appeal on behalf of you, your officials, and your people, that the frogs be taken away from you and your houses, and remain only in the Nile?”

10 “Tomorrow,” he answered.

Moses replied, “As you have said, so that you may know there is no one like the Lord our God, 11 the frogs will go away from you, your houses, your officials, and your people. The frogs will remain only in the Nile.” 12 After Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh, Moses cried out to the Lord for help concerning the frogs that he had brought against Pharaoh. 13 The Lord did as Moses had said: the frogs in the houses, courtyards, and fields died. 14 They piled them in countless heaps, and there was a terrible odor in the land. 15 But when Pharaoh saw there was relief, he hardened his heart and would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.

The Third Plague: Gnats

16 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron: Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the land, and it will become gnats[b] throughout the land of Egypt.” 17 And they did this. Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff, and when he struck the dust of the land, gnats were on people and animals. All the dust of the land became gnats throughout the land of Egypt. 18 The magicians tried to produce gnats using their occult practices, but they could not. The gnats remained on people and animals.

19 “This is the finger of God,” the magicians said to Pharaoh. But Pharaoh’s heart was hard, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.

The Fourth Plague: Swarms of Flies

20 The Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and present yourself to Pharaoh when you see him going out to the water. Tell him: This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so that they may worship[c] me. 21 But if you will not let my people go, then I will send swarms of flies[d] against you, your officials, your people, and your houses. The Egyptians’ houses will swarm with flies, and so will the land where they live.[e] 22 But on that day I will give special treatment to the land of Goshen, where my people are living; no flies will be there. This way you will know that I, the Lord, am in the land. 23 I will make a distinction[f] between my people and your people. This sign will take place tomorrow.”

24 And the Lord did this. Thick swarms of flies went into Pharaoh’s palace and his officials’ houses. Throughout Egypt the land was ruined because of the swarms of flies. 25 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Go sacrifice to your God within the country.”

26 But Moses said, “It would not be right[g] to do that, because what we will sacrifice to the Lord our God is detestable to the Egyptians. If we sacrifice what the Egyptians detest in front of them, won’t they stone us? 27 We must go a distance of three days into the wilderness and sacrifice to the Lord our God as he instructs us.”

28 Pharaoh responded, “I will let you go and sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness, but don’t go very far. Make an appeal for me.”

29 “As soon as I leave you,” Moses said, “I will appeal to the Lord, and tomorrow the swarms of flies will depart from Pharaoh, his officials, and his people. But Pharaoh must not act deceptively again by refusing to let the people go and sacrifice to the Lord.” 30 Then Moses left Pharaoh’s presence and appealed to the Lord. 31 The Lord did as Moses had said: He removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, his officials, and his people; not one was left. 32 But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also and did not let the people go.

The Fifth Plague: Death of Livestock

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in 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. But if you refuse to let them go and keep holding them, then the Lord’s hand will bring a severe plague against your livestock in the field—the horses, donkeys, camels, herds, and flocks. But the Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, so that nothing of all that the Israelites own will die.” And the Lord set a time, saying, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this thing in the land.” The Lord did this the next day. All the Egyptian livestock died, but none among the Israelite livestock died. Pharaoh sent messengers who saw that not a single one of the Israelite livestock was dead. But Pharaoh’s heart was hard, and he did not let the people go.

The Sixth Plague: Boils

Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Take handfuls of furnace soot, and Moses is to throw it toward heaven in the sight of Pharaoh. It will become fine dust over the entire land of Egypt. It will become festering boils on people and animals throughout the land of Egypt.” 10 So they took furnace soot and stood before Pharaoh. Moses threw it toward heaven, and it became festering boils on people and animals. 11 The magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for the boils were on the magicians as well as on all the Egyptians. 12 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had told Moses.

The Seventh Plague: Hail

13 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and present yourself to Pharaoh. Tell him: This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. 14 For this time I am about to send all my plagues against you,[h] your officials, and your people. Then you will know there is no one like me on the whole earth. 15 By now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague, and you would have been obliterated from the earth. 16 However, I have let you live for this purpose: to show you my power and to make my name known on the whole earth. 17 You are still acting arrogantly against[i] my people by not letting them go. 18 Tomorrow at this time I will rain down the worst hail that has ever occurred in Egypt from the day it was founded until now. 19 Therefore give orders to bring your livestock and all that you have in the field into shelters. Every person and animal that is in the field and not brought inside will die when the hail falls on them.” 20 Those among Pharaoh’s officials who feared the word of the Lord made their servants and livestock flee to shelters, 21 but those who didn’t take to heart the Lord’s word left their servants and livestock in the field.

22 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven and let there be hail throughout the land of Egypt—on people and animals and every plant of the field in the land of Egypt.” 23 So Moses stretched out his staff toward heaven, and the Lord sent thunder and hail. Lightning struck the land, and the Lord rained hail on the land of Egypt. 24 The hail, with lightning flashing through it, was so severe that nothing like it had occurred in the land of Egypt since it had become a nation. 25 Throughout the land of Egypt, the hail struck down everything in the field, both people and animals. The hail beat down every plant of the field and shattered every tree in the field. 26 The only place it didn’t hail was in the land of Goshen, where the Israelites were.

27 Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron. “I have sinned this time,” he said to them. “The Lord is the righteous one, and I and my people are the guilty ones. 28 Make an appeal to the Lord. There has been enough of God’s thunder and hail. I will let you go; you don’t need to stay any longer.”

29 Moses said to him, “When I have left the city, I will spread out my hands to the Lord. The thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, so that you may know the earth[j] belongs to the Lord. 30 But as for you and your officials, I know that you still do not fear the Lord God.”

31 The flax and the barley were destroyed because the barley was ripe[k] and the flax was budding, 32 but the wheat and the spelt were not destroyed since they are later crops.[l]

33 Moses left Pharaoh and the city, and spread out his hands to the Lord. Then the thunder and hail ceased, and rain no longer poured down on the land. 34 When Pharaoh saw that the rain, hail, and thunder had ceased, he sinned again and hardened his heart, he and his officials. 35 So Pharaoh’s heart was hard, and he did not let the Israelites go, as the Lord had said through Moses.

The Eighth Plague: 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 do these miraculous signs of mine among them,[m] and so that you may tell[n] your son and grandson how severely I dealt with the Egyptians and performed miraculous signs among them, and you will know that I am the Lord.”

So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh and told 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, that they may worship me. But if you refuse to let my people go, then tomorrow I will bring locusts into your territory. They will cover the surface of the land so that no one will be able to see the land. They will eat the remainder left to you that escaped the hail; they will eat every tree you have growing in the fields. They will fill your houses, all your officials’ houses, and the houses of all the Egyptians—something your fathers and grandfathers never saw since the time they occupied the land until today.” Then he turned and left Pharaoh’s presence.

Pharaoh’s officials asked him, “How long must this man be a snare to us? Let the men go, so that they may worship the Lord their God. Don’t you realize yet that Egypt is devastated?”

So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. “Go, worship the Lord your God,” Pharaoh said. “But exactly who will be going?”

Moses replied, “We will go with our young and with our old; we will go with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds because we must hold the Lord’s festival.”

10 He said to them, “The Lord would have to be with you if I would ever let you and your families go! Look out—you’re heading for trouble. 11 No, go—just able-bodied men—worship the Lord, since that’s what you want.” And they were driven from Pharaoh’s presence.

12 The Lord then said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt, and the locusts will come up over it and eat every plant in the land, everything that the hail left.” 13 So Moses stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt, and the Lord sent an east wind over the land all that day and through the night. By morning the east wind had brought in the locusts. 14 The locusts went up over the entire land of Egypt and settled on the whole territory of Egypt. Never before had there been such a large number of locusts, and there never will be again. 15 They covered the surface of the whole land so that the land was black, and they consumed all the plants on the ground and all the fruit on the trees that the hail had left. Nothing green was left on the trees or the plants in the field throughout the land of Egypt.

16 Pharaoh urgently sent for Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you. 17 Please forgive my sin once more and make an appeal to the Lord your God, so that he will just take this death away from me.” 18 Moses left Pharaoh’s presence and appealed to the Lord. 19 Then the Lord changed the wind to a strong west[o] wind, and it carried off the locusts and blew them into the Red Sea. Not a single locust was left in all the territory of Egypt. 20 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the Israelites go.

The Ninth Plague: Darkness

21 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, and there will be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness that can be felt.” 22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness throughout the land of Egypt for three days. 23 One person could not see another, and for three days they did not move from where they were. Yet all the Israelites had light where they lived.

24 Pharaoh summoned Moses and said, “Go, worship the Lord. Even your families may go with you; only your flocks and herds must stay behind.”

25 Moses responded, “You must also let us have[p] sacrifices and burnt offerings to prepare for the Lord our God. 26 Even our livestock must go with us; not a hoof will be left behind because we will take some of them to worship the Lord our God. We will not know what we will use to worship the Lord until we get there.”

27 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was unwilling to let them go. 28 Pharaoh said to him, “Leave me! Make sure you never see my face again, for on the day you see my face, you will die.”

29 “As you have said,” Moses replied, “I will never see your face again.”

The Tenth Plague: Death of the Firstborn

11 The Lord said[q] to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go from here. When he lets you go,[r] he will drive you out of here. Now announce to the people that both men and women should ask their neighbors for silver and gold items.” The Lord gave[s] the people favor with the Egyptians. In addition, Moses himself was very highly regarded[t] in the land of Egypt by[u] Pharaoh’s officials and the people.

So Moses said, “This is what the Lord says: About midnight I will go throughout Egypt, and every firstborn male in the land of Egypt will die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne to the firstborn of the servant girl who is at the grindstones, as well as every firstborn of the livestock. Then there will be a great cry of anguish through all the land of Egypt such as never was before or ever will be again. But against all the Israelites, whether people or animals, not even a dog will snarl,[v] so that you may know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. All these officials of yours will come down to me and bow before me, saying: Get out, you and all the people who follow you.[w] After that, I will get out.” And he went out from Pharaoh’s presence fiercely angry.

The Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, so that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.” 10 Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh, but the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go out of his land.

Instructions for the Passover

12 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: “This month is to be the beginning of months for you; it is the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month they must each select an animal of the flock according to their fathers’ families, one animal per family. If the household is too small for a whole animal, that person and the neighbor nearest his house are to select one based on the combined number of people; you should apportion the animal according to what each will eat. You must have an unblemished animal, a year-old male; you may take it from either the sheep or the goats. You are to keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembly of the community of Israel will slaughter the animals at twilight. They must take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses where they eat them. They are to eat the meat that night; they should eat it, roasted over the fire along with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Do not eat any of it raw or cooked in boiling[x] water, but only roasted over fire—its head as well as its legs and inner organs. 10 You must not leave any of it until morning; any part of it left until morning you must burn. 11 Here is how you must eat it: You must be dressed for travel,[y] your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. You are to eat it in a hurry; it is the Lord’s Passover.

12 “I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night and strike every firstborn male in the land of Egypt, both people and animals. I am the Lord; I will execute judgments against all the gods of Egypt. 13 The blood on the houses where you are staying will be a distinguishing mark for you; when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No plague will be among you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

14 “This day is to be a memorial for you, and you must celebrate it as a festival to the Lord. You are to celebrate it throughout your generations as a permanent statute. 15 You must eat unleavened bread for seven days. On the first day you must remove yeast from your houses. Whoever eats what is leavened from the first day through the seventh day must be cut off from Israel. 16 You are to hold a sacred assembly on the first day and another sacred assembly on the seventh day. No work may be done on those days except for preparing what people need to eat—you may do only that.

17 “You are to observe the Festival of Unleavened Bread because on this very day I brought your military divisions out of the land of Egypt. You must observe this day throughout your generations as a permanent statute. 18 You are to eat unleavened bread in the first month, from the evening of the fourteenth day of the month until the evening of the twenty-first day. 19 Yeast must not be found in your houses for seven days. If anyone eats something leavened, that person, whether a resident alien or native of the land, must be cut off from the community of Israel. 20 Do not eat anything leavened; eat unleavened bread in all your homes.”[z]

21 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go, select an animal from the flock according to your families, and slaughter the Passover animal. 22 Take a cluster of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and brush the lintel and the two doorposts with some of the blood in the basin. None of you may go out the door of his house until morning. 23 When the Lord passes through to strike Egypt and sees the blood on the lintel and the two doorposts, he will pass over the door and not let the destroyer enter your houses to strike you.

24 “Keep this command permanently as a statute for you and your descendants. 25 When you enter the land that the Lord will give you as he promised, you are to observe this ceremony. 26 When your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ 27 you are to reply, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, for he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt when he struck the Egyptians and spared our homes.’” So the people knelt low and worshiped. 28 Then the Israelites went and did this; they did just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron.

The Exodus

29 Now at midnight the Lord struck every firstborn male in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the prisoner who was in the dungeon, and every firstborn of the livestock. 30 During the night Pharaoh got up, he along with all his officials and all the Egyptians, and there was a loud wailing throughout Egypt because there wasn’t a house without someone dead. 31 He summoned Moses and Aaron during the night and said, “Get out immediately from among my people, both you and the Israelites, and go, worship the Lord as you have said. 32 Take even your flocks and your herds as you asked and leave, and also bless me.”

33 Now the Egyptians pressured the people in order to send them quickly out of the country, for they said, “We’re all going to die!” 34 So the people took their dough before it was leavened, with their kneading bowls wrapped up in their clothes on their shoulders.

35 The Israelites acted on Moses’s word and asked the Egyptians for silver and gold items and for clothing. 36 And the Lord gave the people such favor with the Egyptians that they gave them what they requested. In this way they plundered the Egyptians.

37 The Israelites traveled from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand able-bodied men on foot, besides their families. 38 A mixed crowd also went up with them, along with a huge number of livestock, both flocks and herds. 39 The people baked the dough they had brought out of Egypt into unleavened loaves, since it had no yeast; for when they were driven out of Egypt, they could not delay and had not prepared provisions for themselves.

40 The time that the Israelites lived in Egypt[aa] was 430 years. 41 At the end of 430 years, on that same day, all the Lord’s military divisions went out from the land of Egypt. 42 It was a night of vigil in honor of the Lord, because he would bring them out of the land of Egypt. This same night is in honor of the Lord, a night vigil for all the Israelites throughout their generations.

Passover Instruction

43 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the statute of the Passover: no foreigner may eat it. 44 But any slave a man has purchased may eat it, after you have circumcised him. 45 A temporary resident or hired worker may not eat the Passover. 46 It is to be eaten in one house. You may not take any of the meat outside the house, and you may not break any of its bones. 47 The whole community of Israel must celebrate[ab] it. 48 If an alien resides among you and wants to observe the Lord’s Passover, every male in his household must be circumcised, and then he may participate;[ac] he will become like a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person may eat it. 49 The same law will apply to both the native and the alien who resides among you.”

50 Then all the Israelites did this; they did just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron. 51 On that same day the Lord brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt according to their military divisions.

Footnotes:

  1. 7:16 Or serve; Ex 4:23
  2. 8:16 Perhaps sand fleas or mosquitoes
  3. 8:20 Or serve
  4. 8:21 Or insects
  5. 8:21 Lit are
  6. 8:23 LXX, Syr, Vg; MT reads will place redemption
  7. 8:26 Or allowable
  8. 9:14 Lit plagues to your heart
  9. 9:17 Or still obstructing
  10. 9:29 Or land
  11. 9:31 Lit was ears of grain
  12. 9:32 Lit are late
  13. 10:1 Lit mine in his midst
  14. 10:2 Lit tell in the ears of
  15. 10:19 Lit sea
  16. 10:25 Lit also give in our hand
  17. 11:1 Or had said
  18. 11:1 Or go, it will be finished
  19. 11:3 Or had given
  20. 11:3 Lit was very great
  21. 11:3 Or in the eyes of
  22. 11:7 Lit point its tongue
  23. 11:8 Lit people at your feet
  24. 12:9 Or or boiled at all in
  25. 12:11 Lit must have your waist girded
  26. 12:20 Or settlements
  27. 12:40 LXX, Sam add and in Canaan
  28. 12:47 Lit do
  29. 12:48 Lit may come near to do it
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

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