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Exodus 9-11Good News Translation (GNT)

Death of the Animals

The Lord said to Moses, “Go to the king and tell him that the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says, ‘Let my people go, so that they may worship me. If you again refuse to let them go, I will punish you by sending a terrible disease on all your animals—your horses, donkeys, camels, cattle, sheep, and goats. I will make a distinction between the animals of the Israelites and those of the Egyptians, and no animal that belongs to the Israelites will die. I, the Lord, have set tomorrow as the time when I will do this.’”

The next day the Lord did as he had said, and all the animals of the Egyptians died, but not one of the animals of the Israelites died. The king asked what had happened and was told that none of the animals of the Israelites had died. But he was stubborn and would not let the people go.

Boils

Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Take a few handfuls of ashes from a furnace; Moses is to throw them into the air in front of the king. They will spread out like fine dust over all the land of Egypt, and everywhere they will produce boils that become open sores on the people and the animals.” 10 So they got some ashes and stood before the king; Moses threw them into the air, and they produced boils that became open sores on the people and the animals. 11 The magicians were not able to appear before Moses, because they were covered with boils, like all the other Egyptians. 12 But the Lord made the king stubborn and, just as the Lord had said, the king would not listen to Moses and Aaron.

Hail

13 The Lord then said to Moses, “Early tomorrow morning meet with the king and tell him that the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says, ‘Let my people go, so that they may worship me. 14 This time I will punish not only your officials and your people, but I will punish you as well, so that you may know that there is no one like me in all the world. 15 If I had raised my hand to strike you and your people with disease, you would have been completely destroyed. 16 But to show you my power I have let you live so that my fame might spread over the whole world. 17 Yet you are still arrogant and refuse to let my people go. 18 This time tomorrow I will cause a heavy hailstorm, such as Egypt has never known in all its history. 19 Now give orders for your livestock and everything else you have in the open to be put under shelter. Hail will fall on the people and animals left outside unprotected, and they will all die.’” 20 Some of the king's officials were afraid because of what the Lord had said, and they brought their slaves and animals indoors for shelter. 21 Others, however, paid no attention to the Lord's warning and left their slaves and animals out in the open.

22 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Raise your hand toward the sky, and hail will fall over the whole land of Egypt—on the people, the animals, and all the plants in the fields.” 23 So Moses raised his stick toward the sky, and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and lightning struck the ground. The Lord sent 24 a heavy hailstorm, with lightning flashing back and forth. It was the worst storm that Egypt had ever known in all its history. 25 All over Egypt the hail struck down everything in the open, including all the people and all the animals. It beat down all the plants in the fields and broke all the trees. 26 The region of Goshen, where the Israelites lived, was the only place where there was no hail.

27 The king sent for Moses and Aaron and said, “This time I have sinned; the Lord is in the right, and my people and I are in the wrong. 28 Pray to the Lord! We have had enough of this thunder and hail! I promise to let you go; you don't have to stay here any longer.”

29 Moses said to him, “As soon as I go out of the city, I will lift up my hands in prayer to the Lord. The thunder will stop, and there will be no more hail, so that you may know that the earth belongs to the Lord. 30 But I know that you and your officials do not yet fear the Lord God.”

31 The flax and the barley were ruined, because the barley was ripe, and the flax was budding. 32 But none of the wheat was ruined, because it ripens later.

33 Moses left the king, went out of the city, and lifted up his hands in prayer to the Lord. The thunder, the hail, and the rain all stopped. 34 When the king saw what had happened, he sinned again. He and his officials remained as stubborn as ever 35 and, just as the Lord had foretold through Moses, the king would not let the Israelites go.

Locusts

10 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go and see the king. I have made him and his officials stubborn, in order that I may perform these miracles among them and in order that you may be able to tell your children and grandchildren how I made fools of the Egyptians when I performed the miracles. All of you will know that I am the Lord.”

So Moses and Aaron went to the king and said to him, “The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says, ‘How much longer will you refuse to submit to me? Let my people go, so that they may worship me. If you keep on refusing, then I will bring locusts into your country tomorrow. There will be so many that they will completely cover the ground. They will eat everything that the hail did not destroy, even the trees that are left. They will fill your palaces and the houses of all your officials and all your people. They will be worse than anything your ancestors ever saw.’” Then Moses turned and left.

The king's officials said to him, “How long is this man going to give us trouble? Let the Israelite men go, so that they can worship the Lord their God. Don't you realize that Egypt is ruined?”

So Moses and Aaron were brought back to the king, and he said to them, “You may go and worship the Lord your God. But exactly who will go?”

Moses answered, “We will all go, including our children and our old people. We will take our sons and daughters, our sheep and goats, and our cattle, because we must hold a festival to honor the Lord.”

10 The king said, “I swear by the Lord that I will never let you take your women and children! It is clear that you are plotting to revolt. 11 No! Only the men may go and worship the Lord if that is what you want.” With that, Moses and Aaron were driven out of the king's presence.

12 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Raise your hand over the land of Egypt to bring the locusts. They will come and eat everything that grows, everything that has survived the hail.” 13 So Moses raised his stick, and the Lord caused a wind from the east to blow on the land all that day and all that night. By morning it had brought the locusts. 14 They came in swarms and settled over the whole country. It was the largest swarm of locusts that had ever been seen or that ever would be seen again. 15 They covered the ground until it was black with them; they ate everything that the hail had left, including all the fruit on the trees. Not a green thing was left on any tree or plant in all the land of Egypt.

16 Then the king hurriedly called Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you. 17 Now forgive my sin this one time and pray to the Lord your God to take away this fatal punishment from me.” 18 Moses left the king and prayed to the Lord. 19 And the Lord changed the east wind into a very strong west wind, which picked up the locusts and blew them into the Gulf of Suez.[a] Not one locust was left in all of Egypt. 20 But the Lord made the king stubborn, and he did not let the Israelites go.

Darkness

21 The Lord then said to Moses, “Raise your hand toward the sky, and a darkness thick enough to be felt will cover the land of Egypt.” 22 Moses raised his hand toward the sky, and there was total darkness throughout Egypt for three days. 23 The Egyptians could not see each other, and no one left his house during that time. But the Israelites had light where they were living.

24 The king called Moses and said, “You may go and worship the Lord; even your women and children may go with you. But your sheep, goats, and cattle must stay here.”

25 Moses answered, “Then you would have to provide us with animals for sacrifices and burnt offerings to offer to the Lord our God. 26 No, we will take our animals with us; not one will be left behind. We ourselves must select the animals with which to worship the Lord our God. And until we get there, we will not know what animals to sacrifice to him.”

27 The Lord made the king stubborn, and he would not let them go. 28 He said to Moses, “Get out of my sight! Don't let me ever see you again! On the day I do, you will die!”

29 “You are right,” Moses answered. “You will never see me again.”

Moses Announces the Death of the First-Born

11 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will send only one more punishment on the king of Egypt and his people. After that he will let you leave. In fact, he will drive all of you out of here. Now speak to the people of Israel and tell all of them to ask their neighbors for gold and silver jewelry.” The Lord made the Egyptians respect the Israelites. Indeed, the officials and all the people considered Moses to be a very great man.

Moses then said to the king, “The Lord says, ‘At about midnight I will go through Egypt, and every first-born son in Egypt will die, from the king's son, who is heir to the throne, to the son of the slave woman who grinds grain. The first-born of all the cattle will die also. There will be loud crying all over Egypt, such as there has never been before or ever will be again. But not even a dog will bark at the Israelites or their animals. Then you will know that I, the Lord, make a distinction between the Egyptians and the Israelites.’” Moses concluded by saying, “All your officials will come to me and bow down before me, and they will beg me to take all my people and go away. After that, I will leave.” Then in great anger Moses left the king.

The Lord had said to Moses, “The king will continue to refuse to listen to you, in order that I may do more of my miracles in Egypt.” 10 Moses and Aaron performed all these miracles before the king, but the Lord made him stubborn, and he would not let the Israelites leave his country.

Footnotes:

  1. Exodus 10:19 See Red Sea in 13.18.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Exodus 9-11New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Fifth Plague: Livestock Diseased

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. For if you refuse to let them go and still hold them, the hand of the Lord will strike with a deadly pestilence your livestock in the field: the horses, the donkeys, the camels, the herds, and the flocks. But the Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, so that nothing shall die of all that belongs to the Israelites.’” The Lord set a time, saying, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this thing in the land.” And on the next day the Lord did so; all the livestock of the Egyptians died, but of the livestock of the Israelites not one died. Pharaoh inquired and found that not one of the livestock of the Israelites was dead. But the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he would not let the people go.

The Sixth Plague: Boils

Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Take handfuls of soot from the kiln, and let Moses throw it in the air in the sight of Pharaoh. It shall become fine dust all over the land of Egypt, and shall cause festering boils on humans and animals throughout the whole land of Egypt.” 10 So they took soot from the kiln, and stood before Pharaoh, and Moses threw it in the air, and it caused festering boils on humans and animals. 11 The magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for the boils afflicted the magicians as well as all the Egyptians. 12 But the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he would not listen to them, just as the Lord had spoken to Moses.

The Seventh Plague: Thunder and Hail

13 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Rise up early in the morning and present yourself before Pharaoh, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. 14 For this time I will send all my plagues upon you yourself, and upon your officials, and upon your people, so that 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 pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth. 16 But this is why I have let you live: to show you my power, and to make my name resound through all the earth. 17 You are still exalting yourself against my people, and will not let them go. 18 Tomorrow at this time I will cause the heaviest hail to fall that has ever fallen in Egypt from the day it was founded until now. 19 Send, therefore, and have your livestock and everything that you have in the open field brought to a secure place; every human or animal that is in the open field and is not brought under shelter will die when the hail comes down upon them.’” 20 Those officials of Pharaoh who feared the word of the Lord hurried their slaves and livestock off to a secure place. 21 Those who did not regard the word of the Lord left their slaves and livestock in the open field.

22 The Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven so that hail may fall on the whole land of Egypt, on humans and animals and all the plants of the field in the land of Egypt.” 23 Then Moses stretched out his staff toward heaven, and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and fire came down on the earth. And the Lord rained hail on the land of Egypt; 24 there was hail with fire flashing continually in the midst of it, such heavy hail as had never fallen in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. 25 The hail struck down everything that was in the open field throughout all the land of Egypt, both human and animal; the hail also struck down all the plants of the field, and shattered every tree in the field. 26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the Israelites were, there was no hail.

27 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “This time I have sinned; the Lord is in the right, and I and my people are in the wrong. 28 Pray to the Lord! Enough of God’s thunder and hail! I will let you go; you need stay no longer.” 29 Moses said to him, “As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will stretch out my hands to the Lord; the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, so that you may know that the earth is the Lord’s. 30 But as for you and your officials, I know that you do not yet fear the Lord God.” 31 (Now the flax and the barley were ruined, for the barley was in the ear and the flax was in bud. 32 But the wheat and the spelt were not ruined, for they are late in coming up.) 33 So Moses left Pharaoh, went out of the city, and stretched out his hands to the Lord; then the thunder and the hail ceased, and the rain no longer poured down on the earth. 34 But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, he sinned once more and hardened his heart, he and his officials. 35 So the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he would not let the Israelites go, just as the Lord had spoken through Moses.

The Eighth Plague: Locusts

10 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his officials, in order that I may show these signs of mine among them, and that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I have made fools of the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them—so that you may know that I am the Lord.”

So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh, and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go, so that they may worship me. For if you refuse to let my people go, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your country. They shall cover the surface of the land, so that no one will be able to see the land. They shall devour the last remnant left you after the hail, and they shall devour every tree of yours that grows in the field. They shall fill your houses, and the houses of all your officials and of all the Egyptians—something that neither your parents nor your grandparents have seen, from the day they came on earth to this day.’” Then he turned and went out from Pharaoh.

Pharaoh’s officials said to him, “How long shall this fellow be a snare to us? Let the people go, so that they may worship the Lord their God; do you not yet understand that Egypt is ruined?” So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh, and he said to them, “Go, worship the Lord your God! But which ones are to go?” Moses said, “We will go with our young and our old; we will go with our sons and daughters and with our flocks and herds, because we have the Lord’s festival to celebrate.” 10 He said to them, “The Lord indeed will be with you, if ever I let your little ones go with you! Plainly, you have some evil purpose in mind. 11 No, never! Your men may go and worship the Lord, for that is what you are asking.” And they were driven out from Pharaoh’s presence.

12 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt, so that the locusts may come upon it and eat every plant in the land, all that the hail has left.” 13 So Moses stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt, and the Lord brought an east wind upon the land all that day and all that night; when morning came, the east wind had brought the locusts. 14 The locusts came upon all the land of Egypt and settled on the whole country of Egypt, such a dense swarm of locusts as had never been before, nor ever shall be again. 15 They covered the surface of the whole land, so that the land was black; and they ate all the plants in the land and all the fruit of the trees that the hail had left; nothing green was left, no tree, no plant in the field, in all the land of Egypt. 16 Pharaoh hurriedly summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God, and against you. 17 Do forgive my sin just this once, and pray to the Lord your God that at the least he remove this deadly thing from me.” 18 So he went out from Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord. 19 The Lord changed the wind into a very strong west wind, which lifted the locusts and drove them into the Red Sea;[a] not a single locust was left in all the country of Egypt. 20 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go.

The Ninth Plague: Darkness

21 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven so that there may 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 dense darkness in all the land of Egypt for three days. 23 People could not see one another, and for three days they could not move from where they were; but all the Israelites had light where they lived. 24 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses, and said, “Go, worship the Lord. Only your flocks and your herds shall remain behind. Even your children may go with you.” 25 But Moses said, “You must also let us have sacrifices and burnt offerings to sacrifice to the Lord our God. 26 Our livestock also must go with us; not a hoof shall be left behind, for we must choose some of them for the worship of the Lord our God, and we will not know what to use to worship the Lord until we arrive there.” 27 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was unwilling to let them go. 28 Then Pharaoh said to him, “Get away from me! Take care that you do not see my face again, for on the day you see my face you shall die.” 29 Moses said, “Just as you say! I will never see your face again.”

Warning of the Final Plague

11 The Lord said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go from here; indeed, when he lets you go, he will drive you away. Tell the people that every man is to ask his neighbor and every woman is to ask her neighbor for objects of silver and gold.” The Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover, Moses himself was a man of great importance in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s officials and in the sight of the people.

Moses said, “Thus says the Lord: About midnight I will go out through Egypt. Every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne to the firstborn of the female slave who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the livestock. Then there will be a loud cry throughout the whole land of Egypt, such as has never been or will ever be again. But not a dog shall growl at any of the Israelites—not at people, not at animals—so that you may know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. Then all these officials of yours shall come down to me, and bow low to me, saying, ‘Leave us, you and all the people who follow you.’ After that I will leave.” And in hot anger he left Pharaoh.

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

Footnotes:

  1. Exodus 10:19 Or Sea of Reeds
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Exodus 9-11Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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. If you refuse to let them go and persist in holding on to them, 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. But Adonai will distinguish between Egypt’s and Isra’el’s livestock — nothing belonging to the people of Isra’el will die.”’” Adonai determined the exact time by saying, “Tomorrow Adonai will do this in the land.” 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. 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.

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. 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, 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.” 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. Otherwise, if you refuse to let my people go, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your territory. 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. 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.

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?” So Moshe and Aharon were brought to Pharaoh again, and he said to them, “Go, worship Adonai your God. But who exactly is going?” 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! Now tell the people that every man is to ask his neighbor and every woman her neighbor for gold and silver jewelry.” 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) Moshe said, “Here is what Adonai says: ‘About midnight I will go out into Egypt, 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Exodus 9-11The Message (MSG)

Strike Five: Animals

1-4 God said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘God, the God of the Hebrews, says: Release my people so they can worship me. If you refuse to release them and continue to hold on to them, I’m giving you fair warning: God will come down hard on your livestock out in the fields—horses, donkeys, camels, cattle, sheep—striking them with a severe disease. God will draw a sharp line between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt. Not one animal that belongs to the Israelites will die.’”

Then God set the time: “Tomorrow God will do this thing.”

6-7 And the next day God did it. All the livestock of Egypt died, but not one animal of the Israelites died. Pharaoh sent men to find out what had happened and there it was: none of the livestock of the Israelites had died—not one death. But Pharaoh stayed stubborn. He wouldn’t release the people.

Strike Six: Boils

8-11 God said to Moses and Aaron, “Take fistfuls of soot from a furnace and have Moses throw it into the air right before Pharaoh’s eyes; it will become a film of fine dust all over Egypt and cause sores, an eruption of boils on people and animals throughout Egypt.” So they took soot from a furnace, stood in front of Pharaoh, and threw it up into the air. It caused boils to erupt on people and animals. The magicians weren’t able to compete with Moses this time because of the boils—they were covered with boils just like everyone else in Egypt.

12 God hardened Pharaoh in his stubbornness. He wouldn’t listen, just as God had said to Moses.

Strike Seven: Hail

13-19 God said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and confront Pharaoh. Tell him, ‘God, the God of the Hebrews, says: Release my people so they can worship me. This time I am going to strike you and your servants and your people with the full force of my power so you’ll get it into your head that there’s no one like me anywhere in all the Earth. You know that by now I could have struck you and your people with deadly disease and there would be nothing left of you, not a trace. But for one reason only I’ve kept you on your feet: To make you recognize my power so that my reputation spreads in all the Earth. You are still building yourself up at my people’s expense. You are not letting them go. So here’s what’s going to happen: At this time tomorrow I’m sending a terrific hailstorm—there’s never been a storm like this in Egypt from the day of its founding until now. So get your livestock under roof—everything exposed in the open fields, people and animals, will die when the hail comes down.’”

20-21 All of Pharaoh’s servants who had respect for God’s word got their workers and animals under cover as fast as they could, but those who didn’t take God’s word seriously left their workers and animals out in the field.

22 God said to Moses: “Stretch your hands to the skies. Signal the hail to fall all over Egypt on people and animals and crops exposed in the fields of Egypt.”

23-26 Moses lifted his staff to the skies and God sent peals of thunder and hail shot through with lightning strikes. God rained hail down on the land of Egypt. The hail came, hail and lightning—a fierce hailstorm. There had been nothing like it in Egypt in its entire history. The hail hit hard all over Egypt. Everything exposed out in the fields, people and animals and crops, was smashed. Even the trees in the fields were shattered. Except for Goshen where the Israelites lived; there was no hail in Goshen.

27-28 Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron. He said, “I’ve sinned for sure this time—God is in the right and I and my people are in the wrong. Pray to God. We’ve had enough of God’s thunder and hail. I’ll let you go. The sooner you’re out of here the better.”

29-30 Moses said, “As soon as I’m out of the city, I’ll stretch out my arms to God. The thunder will stop and the hail end so you’ll know that the land is God’s land. Still, I know that you and your servants have no respect for God.”

31-32 (The flax and the barley were ruined, for they were just ripening, but the wheat and spelt weren’t hurt—they ripen later.)

33 Moses left Pharaoh and the city and stretched out his arms to God. The thunder and hail stopped; the storm cleared.

34-35 But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and hail and thunder had stopped, he kept right on sinning, stubborn as ever, both he and his servants. Pharaoh’s heart turned rock-hard. He refused to release the Israelites, as God had ordered through Moses.

Strike Eight: Locusts

10 1-2 God said to Moses: “Go to Pharaoh. I’ve made him stubborn, him and his servants, so that I can force him to look at these signs and so you’ll be able to tell your children and grandchildren how I toyed with the Egyptians, like a cat with a mouse; you’ll tell them the stories of the signs that I brought down on them, so that you’ll all know that I am God.”

3-6 Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him, “God, the God of the Hebrews, says, ‘How long are you going to refuse to knuckle under? Release my people so that they can worship me. If you refuse to release my people, watch out; tomorrow I’m bringing locusts into your country. They’ll cover every square inch of ground; no one will be able to see the ground. They’ll devour everything left over from the hailstorm, even the saplings out in the fields—they’ll clear-cut the trees. And they’ll invade your houses, filling the houses of your servants, filling every house in Egypt. Nobody will have ever seen anything like this, from the time your ancestors first set foot on this soil until today.’”

Then he turned on his heel and left Pharaoh.

Pharaoh’s servants said to him, “How long are you going to let this man harass us? Let these people go and worship their God. Can’t you see that Egypt is on its last legs?”

So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. He said to them, “Go ahead then. Go worship your God. But just who exactly is going with you?”

Moses said, “We’re taking young and old, sons and daughters, flocks and herds—this is our worship-celebration of God.”

10-11 He said, “I’d sooner send you off with God’s blessings than let you go with your children. Look, you’re up to no good—it’s written all over your faces. Nothing doing. Just the men are going—go ahead and worship God. That’s what you want so badly.” And they were thrown out of Pharaoh’s presence.

12 God said to Moses: “Stretch your hand over Egypt and signal the locusts to cover the land of Egypt, devouring every blade of grass in the country, everything that the hail didn’t get.”

13 Moses stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt. God let loose an east wind. It blew that day and night. By morning the east wind had brought in the locusts.

14-15 The locusts covered the country of Egypt, settling over every square inch of Egypt; the place was thick with locusts. There never was an invasion of locusts like it in the past, and never will be again. The ground was completely covered, black with locusts. They ate everything, every blade of grass, every piece of fruit, anything that the hail didn’t get. Nothing left but bare trees and bare fields—not a sign of green in the whole land of Egypt.

16-17 Pharaoh had Moses and Aaron back in no time. He said, “I’ve sinned against your God and against you. Overlook my sin one more time. Pray to your God to get me out of this—get death out of here!”

18-19 Moses left Pharaoh and prayed to God. God reversed the wind—a powerful west wind took the locusts and dumped them into the Red Sea. There wasn’t a single locust left in the whole country of Egypt.

20 But God made Pharaoh stubborn as ever. He still didn’t release the Israelites.

Strike Nine: Darkness

21 God said to Moses: “Stretch your hand to the skies. Let darkness descend on the land of Egypt—a darkness so dark you can touch it.”

22-23 Moses stretched out his hand to the skies. Thick darkness descended on the land of Egypt for three days. Nobody could see anybody. For three days no one could so much as move. Except for the Israelites: they had light where they were living.

24 Pharaoh called in Moses: “Go and worship God. Leave your flocks and herds behind. But go ahead and take your children.”

25-26 But Moses said, “You have to let us take our sacrificial animals and offerings with us so we can sacrifice them in worship to our God. Our livestock has to go with us with not a hoof left behind; they are part of the worship of our God. And we don’t know just what will be needed until we get there.”

27 But God kept Pharaoh stubborn as ever. He wouldn’t agree to release them.

28 Pharaoh said to Moses: “Get out of my sight! And watch your step. I don’t want to ever see you again. If I lay eyes on you again, you’re dead.”

29 Moses said, “Have it your way. You won’t see my face again.”

Strike Ten: Death

11 God said to Moses: “I’m going to hit Pharaoh and Egypt one final time, and then he’ll let you go. When he releases you, that will be the end of Egypt for you; he won’t be able to get rid of you fast enough.

2-3 “So here’s what you do. Tell the people to ask, each man from his neighbor and each woman from her neighbor, for things made of silver and gold.” God saw to it that the Egyptians liked the people. Also, Moses was greatly admired by the Egyptians, a respected public figure among both Pharaoh’s servants and the people at large.

4-7 Then Moses confronted Pharaoh: “God’s Message: ‘At midnight I will go through Egypt and every firstborn child in Egypt will die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sits on his throne, to the firstborn of the slave girl working at her hand mill. Also the firstborn of animals. Widespread wailing will erupt all over the country, lament such as has never been and never will be again. But against the Israelites—man, woman, or animal—there won’t be so much as a dog’s bark, so that you’ll know that God makes a clear distinction between Egypt and Israel.’

“Then all these servants of yours will go to their knees, begging me to leave, ‘Leave! You and all the people who follow you!’ And I will most certainly leave.”

Moses, seething with anger, left Pharaoh.

God said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s not going to listen to a thing you say so that the signs of my presence and work are going to multiply in the land of Egypt.”

10 Moses and Aaron had performed all these signs in Pharaoh’s presence, but God turned Pharaoh more stubborn than ever—yet again he refused to release the Israelites from his land.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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