Exodus 7:14-12:36 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
14 Adonai said to Moshe, “Pharaoh is stubborn. He refuses to let the people go. 15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning when he goes out to the water. Stand on the riverbank to confront him, take in your hand the staff which was turned into a snake, 16 and say to him, ‘Adonai, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you to say: “Let my people go, so that they can worship me in the desert.” But until now you haven’t listened; 17 so Adonai says, “This will let you know that I am Adonai”: I will take the staff in my hand and strike the water in the river, and it will be turned into blood. 18 The fish in the river will die, the river will stink and the Egyptians won’t want to drink water from the river.’”
19 Adonai said to Moshe, “Say to Aharon, ‘Take your staff, reach out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, canals, ponds and all their reservoirs, so that they can turn into blood. There will be blood throughout the whole land of Egypt, even in the wooden buckets and stone jars.’” 20 Moshe and Aharon did exactly what Adonai had ordered. He raised the staff and, in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants, struck the water in the river; and all the water in the river was turned into blood. 21 The fish in the river died, and the river stank so badly that the Egyptians couldn’t drink its water. There was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.
22 But the magicians of Egypt did the same with their secret arts, so that Pharaoh was made hardhearted and didn’t listen to them, as Adonai had said would happen. 23 Pharaoh just turned and went back to his palace, without taking any of this to heart. 24 All the Egyptians dug around the river for water to drink, because they couldn’t drink the river water.
25 Seven days after Adonai had struck the river, 26 (8:1) Adonai said to Moshe, “Go in to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Here is what Adonai says: “Let my people go, so that they can worship me. 27 (8:2) If you refuse to let them go, I will strike all your territory with frogs. 28 (8:3) The river will swarm with frogs. They will go up, enter your palace and go into your bedroom, onto your bed. They will enter the houses of your servants and your people and go into your ovens and kneading bowls. 29 (8:4) The frogs will climb all over you, your people and your servants.”’”
8 (5) Adonai said to Moshe, “Say to Aharon, ‘Reach out your hand with your staff over the rivers, canals and ponds; and cause frogs to come up onto the land of Egypt.’” 2 (6) Aharon put out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. 3 (7) But the magicians did the same with their secret arts and brought up frogs onto the land of Egypt.
4 (8) Then Pharaoh summoned Moshe and Aharon and said, “Intercede with Adonai to take the frogs away from me and my people, and I will let the people go and sacrifice to Adonai.” 5 (9) Moshe said to Pharaoh, “Not only that, but you can have the honor of naming the time when I will pray for you, your servants and your people to be rid of the frogs, both yourselves and your homes, and that they stay only in the river.” 6 (10) He answered, “Tomorrow.” Moshe said, “It will be as you have said, and from this you will learn that Adonai our God has no equal. (v) 7 (11) The frogs will leave you and your homes, also your servants and your people; they will stay in the river only.” 8 (12) Moshe and Aharon left Pharaoh’s presence, and Moshe cried to Adonai about the frogs he had brought on Pharaoh. 9 (13) Adonai did as Moshe had asked — the frogs died in the houses, courtyards and fields; 10 (14) they gathered them in heaps till the land stank. 11 (15) But when Pharaoh saw that he had been given some relief, he made himself hardhearted and would not listen to them, just as Adonai had said would happen.
12 (16) Adonai said to Moshe, “Say to Aharon: ‘Reach out with your staff and strike the dust on the ground; it will become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.’” 13 (17) They did it — Aharon reached out his hand with his staff and struck the dust on the ground, and there were lice on people and animals; all the dust on the ground became lice throughout the whole land of Egypt. 14 (18) The magicians tried with their secret arts to produce lice, but they couldn’t. There were lice on people and animals. 15 (19) Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh was made hardhearted, so that he didn’t listen to them, just as Adonai had said would happen.
16 (20) Adonai said to Moshe, “Get up early in the morning, stand before Pharaoh when he goes out to the water and say to him, ‘Here is what Adonai says: “Let my people go, so that they can worship me. 17 (21) Otherwise, if you won’t let my people go, I will send swarms of insects on you, your servants and your people, and into your houses. The houses of the Egyptians will be full of swarms of insects, and likewise the ground they stand on. 18 (22) But I will set apart the land of Goshen, where my people live — no swarms of insects will be there — so that you can realize that I am Adonai, right here in the land. (vi) 19 (23) Yes, I will distinguish between my people and your people, and this sign will happen by tomorrow.”’” 20 (24) Adonai did it: terrible swarms of insects went into Pharaoh’s palace and into all his servants’ houses — the insects ruined the entire land of Egypt.
21 (25) Pharaoh summoned Moshe and Aharon and said, “Go, and sacrifice to your God here in the land.” 22 (26) But Moshe replied, “It would be inappropriate for us to do that, because the animal we sacrifice to Adonai our God is an abomination to the Egyptians. Won’t the Egyptians stone us to death if before their very eyes we sacrifice what they consider an abomination? 23 (27) No, we will go three days’ journey into the desert and sacrifice to Adonai our God, as he has ordered us to do.” 24 (28) Pharaoh said, “I will let you go, so that you can sacrifice to Adonai your God in the desert. Only you are not to go very far away. Intercede on my behalf.” 25 (29) Moshe said, “All right, I am going away from you, and I will intercede with Adonai; so that tomorrow, the swarms of insects will leave Pharaoh, his servants and his people. Just make sure that Pharaoh stops playing games with the people by preventing them from going and sacrificing to Adonai.”
26 (30) Moshe left Pharaoh and interceded with Adonai, 27 (31) and Adonai did what Moshe had asked: he removed the swarms of insects from Pharaoh, his servants and his people — not one remained. 28 (32) But this time, too, Pharaoh made himself stubborn and didn’t let the people go.
9 Then Adonai said to Moshe, “Go to Pharaoh, and tell him, ‘Here is what Adonai, the God of the Hebrews, says: “Let my people go, so that they can worship me. 2 If you refuse to let them go and persist in holding on to them, 3 the hand of Adonai is on your livestock in the field — on the horses, donkeys, camels, cattle and flocks — and will make them suffer a devastating illness. 4 But Adonai will distinguish between Egypt’s and Isra’el’s livestock — nothing belonging to the people of Isra’el will die.”’” 5 Adonai determined the exact time by saying, “Tomorrow Adonai will do this in the land.” 6 The following day, Adonai did it — all the livestock of Egypt died; but not one of the animals belonging to the people of Isra’el died. 7 Pharaoh investigated and found that not even one of the animals of the people of Isra’el had died. Nevertheless, Pharaoh’s heart remained stubborn, and he didn’t let the people go.
8 Adonai said to Moshe and Aharon, “Take handfuls of ashes from a kiln, and let Moshe throw them in the air before Pharaoh’s eyes. 9 They will turn into fine dust over all the land of Egypt and become infected sores on men and animals throughout Egypt.” 10 So they took ashes from a kiln, stood in front of Pharaoh and threw them in the air; and they became infected sores on men and animals. 11 The magicians couldn’t even stand in Moshe’s presence because of the sores, which were on them as well as on the other Egyptians. 12 But Adonai made Pharaoh hardhearted, so that he didn’t listen to them — just as Adonai had said to Moshe.
13 Adonai said to Moshe, “Get up early in the morning, stand before Pharaoh, and say to him, ‘Here is what Adonai says: “Let my people go, so that they can worship me. 14 For this time, I will inflict my plagues on you, yourself, and on your officials and your people; so that you will realize that I am without equal in all the earth. 15 By now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with such severe plagues that you would have been wiped off the earth. 16 But it is for this very reason that I have kept you alive — to show you my power, and so that my name may resound throughout the whole earth. (vii) 17 Since you are still setting yourself up against my people and not letting them go, 18 tomorrow, about this time, I will cause a hailstorm so heavy that Egypt has had nothing like it from the day it was founded until now. 19 Therefore, send and hurry to bring indoors all your livestock and everything else you have in the field. For hail will fall on every human being and animal left in the field that hasn’t been brought home, and they will die.”’”
20 Whoever among Pharaoh’s servants feared what Adonai had said had his slaves and livestock escape into the houses; 21 but those who had no regard for what Adonai had said left their slaves and livestock in the field.
22 Adonai said to Moshe, “Reach out your hand toward the sky, so that there will be hail in all the land of Egypt, falling on people, animals and everything growing in the field, throughout the land of Egypt.” 23 Moshe reached out with his staff toward the sky, and Adonai sent thunder and hail, and fire ran down to the earth. Adonai caused it to hail on the land of Egypt — 24 it hailed, and fire flashed up with the hail; it was terrible, worse than any hailstorm in all of Egypt since it became a nation. 25 Throughout all the land of Egypt, the hail struck everything in the field, people and animals; and the hail struck every plant growing in the field and broke every tree there. 26 But in the land of Goshen, where the people of Isra’el were, there was no hail.
27 Pharaoh summoned Moshe and Aharon and said to them, “This time I have sinned: Adonai is in the right; I and my people are in the wrong. 28 Intercede with Adonai — we can’t take any more of this terrible thunder and hail; and I will let you go, you will stay no longer.” 29 Moshe said to him, “As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands to Adonai; the thunder will end, and there won’t be any more hail — so that you can know that the earth belongs to Adonai. 30 But you and your servants, I know you still won’t fear Adonai, God.” 31 The flax and barley were ruined, because the barley was ripe and the flax in bud. 32 But the wheat and buckwheat were not ruined, because they come up later. (Maftir) 33 Moshe went out of the city, away from Pharaoh, and spread out his hands to Adonai. The thunder and hail ended, and the rain stopped pouring down on the earth. 34 When Pharaoh saw that the rain, hail and thunder had ended, he sinned still more by making himself hardhearted, he and his servants. 35 Pharaoh was made hardhearted, and he didn’t let the people of Isra’el go, just as Adonai had said through Moshe.
Haftarah Va’era: Yechezk’el (Ezekiel) 28:25–29:21
B’rit Hadashah suggested readings for Parashah Va’era: Romans 9:14–17; 2 Corinthians 6:14–7:1
Parashah 15: Bo (Go) 10:1–13:16
10 Adonai said to Moshe, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have made him and his servants hardhearted, so that I can demonstrate these signs of mine among them, 2 so that you can tell your son and grandson about what I did to Egypt and about my signs that I demonstrated among them, and so that you will all know that I am Adonai.” 3 Moshe and Aharon went in to Pharaoh and said to him, “Here is what Adonai, God of the Hebrews, says: ‘How much longer will you refuse to submit to me? Let my people go, so that they can worship me. 4 Otherwise, if you refuse to let my people go, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your territory. 5 One won’t be able to see the ground, so completely will the locusts cover it. They will eat anything you still have that escaped the hail, including every tree you have growing in the field. 6 They will fill your houses and those of your servants and of all the Egyptians. It will be like nothing your fathers or their fathers have ever seen since the day they were born until today.’” Then he turned his back and left.
7 Pharaoh’s servants said to him, “How much longer must this fellow be a snare for us? Let the people go and worship Adonai their God. Don’t you understand yet that Egypt is being destroyed?” 8 So Moshe and Aharon were brought to Pharaoh again, and he said to them, “Go, worship Adonai your God. But who exactly is going?” 9 Moshe answered, “We will go with our young and our old, our sons and our daughters; and we will go with our flocks and herds; for we must celebrate a feast to Adonai.” 10 Pharaoh said to them, “Adonai certainly will be with you if I ever let you go with your children! It’s clear that you are up to no good. 11 Nothing doing! Just the men among you may go and worship Adonai. That’s what you want, isn’t it?” And they were driven out of Pharaoh’s presence.
(ii) 12 Adonai said to Moshe, “Reach out your hand over the land of Egypt, so that locusts will invade the land and eat every plant that the hail has left.” 13 Moshe reached out with his staff over the land of Egypt, and Adonai caused an east wind to blow on the land all day and all night; and in the morning the east wind brought the locusts. 14 The locusts went up over all the land of Egypt and settled throughout Egypt’s territory. It was an invasion more severe than there had ever been before or will ever be again. 15 They completely covered the ground, so that the ground looked black. They ate every plant growing from the ground and all the fruit of the trees left by the hail. Not one green thing remained, not a tree and not a plant in the field, in all the land of Egypt.
16 Pharaoh hurried to summon Moshe and Aharon and said, “I have sinned against Adonai your God and against you. 17 Now, therefore, please forgive my sin just this once; and intercede with Adonai your God, so that he will at least take away from me this deadly plague!” 18 He went out from Pharaoh and interceded with Adonai. 19 Adonai reversed the wind and made it blow very strongly from the west. It took up the locusts and drove them into the Sea of Suf; not one locust remained on Egyptian soil. 20 But Adonai made Pharaoh hardhearted, and he didn’t let the people of Isra’el go.
21 Adonai said to Moshe, “Reach out your hand toward the sky, and there will be darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness so thick it can be felt!” 22 Moshe reached out his hand toward the sky, and there was a thick darkness in the entire land of Egypt for three days. 23 People couldn’t see each other, and no one went anywhere for three days. But all the people of Isra’el had light in their homes.
(iii) 24 Pharaoh summoned Moshe and said, “Go, worship Adonai; only leave your flocks and herds behind — your children may go with you.” 25 Moshe answered, “You must also see to it that we have sacrifices and burnt offerings, so that we can sacrifice to Adonai our God. 26 Our livestock will also go with us — not a hoof will be left behind — because we must choose some of them to worship Adonai our God, and we don’t know which ones we will need to worship Adonai until we get there.” 27 But Adonai made Pharaoh hardhearted, and he would not let them go. 28 Pharaoh said to them, “Get away from me! And you had better not see my face again, because the day you see my face, you will die!” 29 Moshe answered, “Well spoken! I will see your face no more.”
11 Adonai said to Moshe, “I’m going to bring still one more plague on Pharaoh and Egypt, and after that he will let you leave here. When he does let you go, he will throw you out completely! 2 Now tell the people that every man is to ask his neighbor and every woman her neighbor for gold and silver jewelry.” 3 Adonai made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people. Moreover, Moshe was regarded by Pharaoh’s servants and the people as a very great man in the land of Egypt.
(iv) 4 Moshe said, “Here is what Adonai says: ‘About midnight I will go out into Egypt, 5 and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt will die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh sitting on his throne to the firstborn of the slave-girl at the handmill, and all the firstborn of the livestock. 6 There will be a horrendous wailing throughout all the land of Egypt — there has never been another like it, and there never will be again. 7 But not even a dog’s growl will be heard against any of the people of Isra’el, neither against people nor against animals. In this way you will realize that Adonai distinguishes between Egyptians and Isra’el. 8 All your servants will come down to me, prostrate themselves before me and say, “Get out! — you and all the people who follow you!” and after that, I will go out!’ ” And he went out from Pharaoh in the heat of anger. 9 Adonai said to Moshe, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, so that still more of my wonders will be shown in the land of Egypt.”
10 Moshe and Aharon did all these wonders before Pharaoh, but Adonai had made Pharaoh hardhearted, and he didn’t let the people of Isra’el leave his land.
12 Adonai spoke to Moshe and Aharon in the land of Egypt; he said, 2 “You are to begin your calendar with this month; it will be the first month of the year for you. 3 Speak to all the assembly of Isra’el and say, ‘On the tenth day of this month, each man is to take a lamb or kid for his family, one per household — 4 except that if the household is too small for a whole lamb or kid, then he and his next-door neighbor should share one, dividing it in proportion to the number of people eating it. 5 Your animal must be without defect, a male in its first year, and you may choose it from either the sheep or the goats.
6 “‘You are to keep it until the fourteenth day of the month, and then the entire assembly of the community of Isra’el will slaughter it at dusk. 7 They are to take some of the blood and smear it on the two sides and top of the door-frame at the entrance of the house in which they eat it. 8 That night, they are to eat the meat, roasted in the fire; they are to eat it with matzah and maror. 9 Don’t eat it raw or boiled, but roasted in the fire, with its head, the lower parts of its legs and its inner organs. 10 Let nothing of it remain till morning; if any of it does remain, burn it up completely.
11 “‘Here is how you are to eat it: with your belt fastened, your shoes on your feet and your staff in your hand; and you are to eat it hurriedly. It is Adonai’s Pesach [Passover]. 12 For that night, I will pass through the land of Egypt and kill all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both men and animals; and I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt; I am Adonai. 13 The blood will serve you as a sign marking the houses where you are; when I see the blood, I will pass over [a] you — when I strike the land of Egypt, the death blow will not strike you.
14 “‘This will be a day for you to remember and celebrate as a festival to Adonai; from generation to generation you are to celebrate it by a perpetual regulation.
15 “‘For seven days you are to eat matzah — on the first day remove the leaven from your houses. For whoever eats hametz [leavened bread] from the first to the seventh day is to be cut off from Isra’el. 16 On the first and seventh days, you are to have an assembly set aside for God. On these days no work is to be done, except what each must do to prepare his food; you may do only that. 17 You are to observe the festival of matzah, for on this very day I brought your divisions out of the land of Egypt. Therefore, you are to observe this day from generation to generation by a perpetual regulation. 18 From the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month until the evening of the twenty-first day, you are to eat matzah. 19 During those seven days, no leaven is to be found in your houses. Whoever eats food with hametz in it is to be cut off from the community of Isra’el — it doesn’t matter whether he is a foreigner or a citizen of the land. 20 Eat nothing with hametz in it. Wherever you live, eat matzah.’”
(v) 21 Then Moshe called for all the leaders of Isra’el and said, “Select and take lambs for your families, and slaughter the Pesach lamb. 22 Take a bunch of hyssop leaves and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and smear it on the two sides and top of the door-frame. Then, none of you is to go out the door of his house until morning. 23 For Adonai will pass through to kill the Egyptians; but when he sees the blood on the top and on the two sides, Adonai will pass over the door and will not allow the Slaughterer to enter your houses and kill you. 24 You are to observe this as a law, you and your descendants forever.
25 “When you come to the land which Adonai will give you, as he has promised, you are to observe this ceremony. 26 When your children ask you, ‘What do you mean by this ceremony?’ 27 say, ‘It is the sacrifice of Adonai’s Pesach [Passover], because [Adonai] passed over the houses of the people of Isra’el in Egypt, when he killed the Egyptians but spared our houses.’” The people of Isra’el bowed their heads and worshipped. 28 Then the people of Isra’el went and did as Adonai had ordered Moshe and Aharon — that is what they did.
(vi) 29 At midnight Adonai killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh sitting on his throne to the firstborn of the prisoner in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of livestock. 30 Pharaoh got up in the night, he, all his servants and all the Egyptians; and there was horrendous wailing in Egypt; for there wasn’t a single house without someone dead in it. 31 He summoned Moshe and Aharon by night and said, “Up and leave my people, both you and the people of Isra’el; and go, serve Adonai as you said. 32 Take both your flocks and your herds, as you said; and get out of here! But bless me, too.” 33 The Egyptians pressed to send the people out of the land quickly, because they said, “Otherwise we’ll all be dead!”
34 The people took their dough before it had become leavened and wrapped their kneading bowls in their clothes on their shoulders. 35 The people of Isra’el had done what Moshe had said — they had asked the Egyptians to give them silver and gold jewelry and clothing; 36 and Adonai had made the Egyptians so favorably disposed toward the people that they had let them have whatever they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.