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Exodus 9-12 Common English Bible (CEB)

Animals sick and dying

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, This is what the Lord, the Hebrews’ God, says: Let my people go so that they can worship me. If you refuse to let them go and you continue to hold them back, the Lord will send a very deadly disease on your livestock in the field: on horses, donkeys, camels, cattle, and flocks. But the Lord will distinguish Israel’s livestock from Egypt’s livestock so that not one that belongs to the Israelites will die.” The Lord set a time and said, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this in the land.” And the next day the Lord did it. All of the Egyptian livestock died, but not one animal that belonged to the Israelites died. Pharaoh asked around and found out that not one of Israel’s livestock had died. But Pharaoh was stubborn, and he wouldn’t let the people go.

Skin sores and blisters

Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Take handfuls of ashes from a furnace and have Moses throw it up in the air in front of Pharaoh. The ashes will turn to soot over the whole land of Egypt. It will cause skin sores that will break out in blisters on people and animals in the whole land of Egypt.” 10 So they took ashes from the furnace, and they stood in front of Pharaoh. Moses threw the ash up in the air, and it caused skin sores and blisters to break out on people and animals. 11 The religious experts[a] couldn’t stand up to Moses because of the skin sores, because there were skin sores on the religious experts as well as on all the Egyptians. 12 But the Lord made Pharaoh stubborn, and Pharaoh wouldn’t listen to them, just as the Lord had said to Moses.

Hail and thunder

13 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and confront Pharaoh. Say to him, This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go so that they can worship me. 14 This time I’m going to send all my plagues on you, your officials, and your people so that you will know that there is no one like me in the whole world. 15 By now I could have used my power to strike you and your people with a deadly disease so that you would have disappeared from the earth. 16 But I’ve left you standing for this reason: in order to show you my power and in order to make my name known in the whole world. 17 You are still abusing your power against my people, and you refuse to let them go. 18 Tomorrow at this time I’ll cause the heaviest hail to fall on Egypt that has ever fallen from the day Egypt was founded until now. 19 So bring under shelter your livestock and all that belongs to you that is out in the open. Every person or animal that is out in the open field and isn’t brought inside will die when the hail rains down on them.” 20 Some of Pharaoh’s officials who took the Lord’s word seriously rushed to bring their servants and livestock inside for shelter. 21 Others who didn’t take the Lord’s word to heart left their servants and livestock out in the open field.

22 The Lord said to Moses, “Raise your hand toward the sky so that hail will fall on the whole land of Egypt, on people and animals and all the grain in the fields in the land of Egypt.” 23 Then Moses raised his shepherd’s rod toward the sky, and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and lightning struck the earth. The Lord rained hail on the land of Egypt. 24 The hail and the lightning flashing in the middle of the hail were so severe that there had been nothing like it in the entire land of Egypt since it first became a nation. 25 The hail beat down everything that was in the open field throughout the entire land of Egypt, both people and animals. The hail also beat down all the grain in the fields, and it shattered every tree out in the field. 26 The only place where hail didn’t fall was in the land of Goshen where the Israelites lived.

27 Then Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron and said to them, “This time I’ve sinned. The Lord is right, and I and my people are wrong. 28 Pray to the Lord! Enough of God’s thunder and hail! I’m going to let you go. You don’t need to stay here any longer.”

29 Moses said to him, “As soon as I’ve left the city, I’ll spread out my hands to the Lord. Then the thunder and the hail will stop and won’t return so that you will know that the earth belongs to the Lord. 30 But I know that you and your officials still don’t take the Lord God seriously.” (31 Now the flax and the barley were destroyed, because the barley had ears of grain and the flax had buds. 32 But both durum and spelt wheat weren’t ruined, because they hadn’t come up.) 33 Moses left Pharaoh and the city, and spread out his hands to the Lord. Then the thunder and the hail stopped, and the rain stopped pouring down on the earth. 34 But when Pharaoh saw that the rain, hail, and thunder had stopped, he sinned again. Pharaoh and his officials became stubborn. 35 Because of his stubbornness, Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go, just as the Lord had told Moses.

Invasion of locusts

10 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh. I’ve made him and his officials stubborn so that I can show them my signs and so that you can tell your children and grandchildren how I overpowered the Egyptians with the signs I did among them. You will know that I am the Lord.”

So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him, “This is what the Lord, the Hebrews’ God, says: How long will you refuse to respect me? Let my people go so that they can worship me. Otherwise, if you refuse to let my people go, I’m going to bring locusts into your country tomorrow. They will cover the landscape so that you won’t be able to see the ground. They will eat the last bit of vegetation that was left after the hail. They will eat all your trees growing in the fields. The locusts will fill your houses and all your officials’ houses and all the Egyptians’ houses. Your parents and even your grandparents have never seen anything like it during their entire lifetimes in this fertile land.” Then Moses turned and left Pharaoh.

Pharaoh’s officials said to him, “How long will this man trap us in a corner like this? Let the people go so that they can worship the Lord their God. Don’t you get it? Egypt is being destroyed!”

So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh, and he said to them, “Go! Worship the Lord your God! But who exactly is going with you?”

Moses said, “We’ll go with our young and old, with our sons and daughters, and with our flocks and herds, because we all must observe the Lord’s festival.”

10 Pharaoh said to them, “Yes, the Lord will be with you, all right, especially if I let your children go with you! Obviously, you are plotting some evil scheme. 11 No way! Only your men can go and worship the Lord, because that’s what you asked for.” Then Pharaoh had them chased out of his presence.

12 Then the Lord said to Moses: “Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt so that the locusts will swarm over the land of Egypt and eat all of the land’s grain and everything that the hail left.” 13 So Moses stretched out his shepherd’s rod over the land of Egypt, and the Lord made an east wind blow over the land all that day and all that night. When morning came, the east wind had carried in the locusts. 14 The locusts swarmed over the whole land of Egypt and settled on the whole country. Such a huge swarming of locusts had never happened before and would never happen ever again. 15 They covered the whole landscape so that the land turned black with them. They ate all of the land’s grain and all of the orchards’ fruit that the hail had left. Nothing green was left in any orchard or in any grain field in the whole land of Egypt.

16 Pharaoh called urgently for Moses and Aaron and said, “I’ve sinned against the Lord your God and against you. 17 Please forgive my sin this time. Pray to the Lord your God just to take this deathly disaster away from me.”

18 So Moses left Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord. 19 The Lord turned the wind into a very strong west wind that lifted the locusts and drove them into the Reed Sea.[b] Not a single locust was left in the whole country of Egypt. 20 But the Lord made Pharaoh stubborn so that he wouldn’t let the Israelites go.

Darkness covers Egypt

21 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Raise your hand toward the sky so that darkness spreads over the land of Egypt, a darkness that you can feel.” 22 So Moses raised his hand toward the sky, and an intense darkness fell on the whole land of Egypt for three days. 23 People couldn’t see each other, and they couldn’t go anywhere for three days. But the Israelites all had light where they lived.

24 Then Pharaoh called Moses and said, “Go! Worship the Lord! Only your flocks and herds need to stay behind. Even your children can go with you.”

25 But Moses said, “You need to let us have sacrifices and entirely burned offerings to present to the Lord our God. 26 So our livestock must go with us. Not one animal can be left behind. We’ll need some of them for worshipping the Lord our God. We won’t know which to use to worship the Lord until we get there.”

27 But the Lord made Pharaoh stubborn so that he wasn’t willing to let them go. 28 Pharaoh said to him, “Get out of here! Make sure you never see my face again, because the next time you see my face you will die.”

29 Moses said, “You’ve said it! I’ll never see your face again!”

God announces the final disaster

11 The Lord said to Moses, “I’ll bring one more disaster on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he’ll let you go from here. In fact, when he lets you go, he’ll eagerly chase you out of here. Tell every man to ask his neighbor and every woman to ask her neighbor for all their silver and gold jewelry.” The Lord made sure that the Egyptians were kind to the Hebrew people. In addition, Pharaoh’s officials and the Egyptian people even came to honor Moses as a great and important man in the land.

Moses said, “This is what the Lord says: At midnight I’ll go throughout Egypt. Every oldest child in the land of Egypt will die, from the oldest child of Pharaoh who sits on his throne to the oldest child of the servant woman by the millstones, and all the first offspring of the animals. Then a terrible cry of agony will echo through the whole land of Egypt unlike any heard before or that ever will be again. But as for the Israelites, not even a dog will growl at them, at the people, or at their animals. By this, you will know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. Then all your officials will come down to me, bow to me, and say, ‘Get out, you and all your followers!’ After that I’ll leave.” Then Moses, furious, left Pharaoh.

The Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh won’t listen to you so that I can perform even more amazing acts in the land of Egypt.” 10 Now Moses and Aaron did all these amazing acts in front of Pharaoh, but the Lord made Pharaoh stubborn so that he didn’t let the Israelites go from his land.

First Passover

12 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month will be the first month; it will be the first month of the year for you.[c] Tell the whole Israelite community: On the tenth day of this month they must take a lamb for each household, a lamb per house. If a household is too small for a lamb, it should share one with a neighbor nearby. You should divide the lamb in proportion to the number of people who will be eating it. Your lamb should be a flawless year-old male. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You should keep close watch over it until the fourteenth day of this month. At twilight on that day, the whole assembled Israelite community should slaughter their lambs. They should take some of the blood and smear it on the two doorposts and on the beam over the door of the houses in which they are eating. That same night they should eat the meat roasted over the fire. They should eat it along with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Don’t eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over fire with its head, legs, and internal organs. 10 Don’t let any of it remain until morning, and burn any of it left over in the morning. 11 This is how you should eat it. You should be dressed, with your sandals on your feet and your walking stick in your hand. You should eat the meal in a hurry. It is the Passover of the Lord. 12 I’ll pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I’ll strike down every oldest child in the land of Egypt, both humans and animals. I’ll impose judgments on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. 13 The blood will be your sign on the houses where you live. Whenever I see the blood, I’ll pass over[d] you. No plague will destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

14 “This day will be a day of remembering for you. You will observe it as a festival to the Lord. You will observe it in every generation as a regulation for all time. 15 You will eat unleavened bread for seven days. On the first day you must remove yeast from your houses because anyone who eats leavened bread anytime during those seven days will be cut off from Israel. 16 The first day and the seventh day will be a holy occasion for you. No work at all should be done on those days, except for preparing the food that everyone is going to eat. That is the only work you may do. 17 You should observe the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because on this precise day I brought you out of the land of Egypt in military formation. You should observe this day in every generation as a regulation for all time. 18 In the first month, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day, you should eat unleavened bread. 19 For seven days no yeast should be found in your houses because whoever eats leavened bread will be cut off from the Israelite community, whether the person is an immigrant or a native of the land. 20 You should not eat anything made with yeast in all your settlements. You should eat only unleavened bread.”

21 Then Moses called together all of Israel’s elders and said to them, “Go pick out one of the flock for your families, and slaughter the Passover lamb. 22 Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood that is in the bowl, and touch the beam above the door and the two doorposts with the blood in the bowl. None of you should go out the door of your house until morning. 23 When the Lord comes by to strike down the Egyptians and sees the blood on the beam above the door and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over that door. He won’t let the destroyer enter your houses to strike you down. 24 You should observe this ritual as a regulation for all time for you and your children. 25 When you enter the land that the Lord has promised to give you, be sure that you observe this ritual. 26 And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ritual mean to you?’ 27 you will say, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, for the Lord passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt. When he struck down the Egyptians, he spared our houses.’” The people then bowed down and worshipped. 28 The Israelites went and did exactly what the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron to do.

Death of Egypt’s oldest children

29 At midnight the Lord struck down all the first offspring in the land of Egypt, from the oldest child of Pharaoh sitting on his throne to the oldest child of the prisoner in jail, and all the first offspring of the animals. 30 When Pharaoh, all his officials, and all the Egyptians got up that night, a terrible cry of agony rang out across Egypt because every house had someone in it who had died. 31 Then Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron that night and said, “Get up! Get away from my people, both you and the Israelites! Go! Worship the Lord, as you said! 32 You can even take your flocks and herds, as you asked. Just go! And bring a blessing on me as well!”

Israel set free

33 The Egyptians urged the people to hurry and leave the land because they thought, We’ll all be dead. 34 So the people picked up their bread dough before the yeast made it rise, with their bread pans wrapped in their robes on their shoulders. 35 The Israelites did as Moses had told them and asked the Egyptians for their silver and gold jewelry as well as their clothing. 36 The Lord made sure that the Egyptians were kind to the people so that they let them have whatever they asked for. And so they robbed the Egyptians.

37 The Israelites traveled from Rameses to Succoth. They numbered about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children. 38 A diverse crowd also went up with them along with a huge number of livestock, both flocks and herds. 39 They baked unleavened cakes from the dough they had brought out of Egypt. The dough didn’t rise because they were driven out of Egypt and they couldn’t wait. In fact, they didn’t have time to prepare any food for themselves.

40 The length of time that the Israelites had lived in Egypt was four hundred thirty years. 41 At the end of four hundred thirty years, on that precise day, all the Lord’s people in military formation left the land of Egypt. 42 For the Lord, that was a night of intent watching, to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For all Israelites in every generation, this same night is a time of intent watching to honor the Lord.

Instructions for observing Passover

43 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: This is the regulation for the Passover. No foreigner may eat it. 44 However, any slave who has been bought may eat it after he’s been circumcised. 45 No temporary foreign resident or day laborer may eat it. 46 It should be eaten in one house. You shouldn’t take any of the meat outside the house, and you shouldn’t break the bones. 47 The whole Israelite community should observe it. 48 If an immigrant who lives with you wants to observe the Passover to the Lord, then he and all his males should be circumcised. Then he may join in observing it. He should be regarded as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person may eat it. 49 There will be one Instruction for the native and for the immigrant who lives with you.

50 All the Israelites did just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron. 51 On that precise day, the Lord brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt in military formation.

Footnotes:

  1. Exodus 9:11 Or magicians
  2. Exodus 10:19 Or Red Sea
  3. Exodus 12:2 March–April; cf Exod 13:4
  4. Exodus 12:13 Heb verb of the noun Passover
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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