Exodus 9-11 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
9 The Lord sent Moses with this message for the king [a] of Egypt:
The Lord God of the Hebrews commands you to let his people go, so they can worship him. 2 If you keep refusing, 3 he will bring a terrible disease on your horses and donkeys, your camels and cattle, and your sheep and goats. 4 But the Lord will protect the animals that belong to the people of Israel, and none of theirs will die. 5 Tomorrow is the day the Lord has set to do this.
6 It happened the next day—all of the animals belonging to the Egyptians died, but the Israelites did not lose even one. 7 When the king found out, he was still too stubborn to let the people go.
8 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron:
Take a few handfuls of ashes from a stove and have Moses throw them into the air. Be sure the king is watching. 9 The ashes will blow across the land of Egypt, causing sores to break out on people and animals.
10 So they took a few handfuls of ashes and went to the king.[b] Moses threw them into the air, and sores immediately broke out on the Egyptians and their animals. 11 The magicians were suffering so much from the sores, that they could not even come to Moses. 12 Everything happened just as the Lord had told Moses—he made the king too stubborn to listen to Moses and Aaron.
13 The Lord told Moses to get up early the next morning and say to the king: [c]
The Lord God of the Hebrews commands you to let his people go, so they can worship him! 14 If you don’t, he will send his worst plagues to strike you, your officials, and everyone else in your country. Then you will find out that no one can oppose the Lord. 15 In fact, he could already have sent a terrible disease and wiped you from the face of the earth. 16 But he has kept you alive, just to show you his power and to bring honor to himself everywhere in the world.
17 You are still determined not to let the Lord’s people go. 18 All right. At this time tomorrow, he will bring on Egypt the worst hailstorm in its history. 19 You had better give orders for every person and every animal in Egypt to take shelter. If they don’t, they will die.
20 Some of the king’s officials were frightened by what the Lord had said, and they hurried off to make sure their slaves and animals were safe. 21 But others paid no attention to his threats and left their slaves and animals out in the open.
22 Then the Lord told Moses, “Stretch your arm toward the sky, so that hailstones will fall on people, animals, and crops in the land of Egypt.” 23-24 Moses pointed his walking stick toward the sky, and hailstones started falling everywhere. Thunder roared, and lightning flashed back and forth, striking the ground. This was the worst storm in the history of Egypt. 25 People, animals, and crops were pounded by the hailstones, and bark was stripped from trees. 26 Only Goshen, where the Israelites lived, was safe from the storm.
27 The king sent for Moses and Aaron and told them, “Now I have really sinned! My people and I are guilty, and the Lord is right. 28 We can’t stand any more of this thunder and hail. Please ask the Lord to make it stop. Your people can go—you don’t have to stay in Egypt any longer.”
29 Moses answered, “As soon as I leave the city, I will lift my arms in prayer. When the thunder and hail stop, you will know that the earth belongs to the Lord. 30 But I am certain that neither you nor your officials really fear the Lord God.”
31 Meanwhile, the flax and barley crops had been destroyed by the storm because they were ready to ripen. 32 But the wheat crops [d] ripen later, and they were not damaged.
33 After Moses left the royal palace and the city, he lifted his arms in prayer to the Lord, and the thunder, hail, and drenching rain stopped. 34 When the king realized that the storm was over, he disobeyed once more. He and his officials were so stubborn 35 that he refused to let the Israelites go. This was exactly what the Lord had said would happen.
10 The Lord said to Moses:
Go back to the king.[e] I have made him and his officials stubborn, so that I could work these miracles. 2 I did this because I want you to tell your children and your grandchildren about my miracles and about my harsh treatment of the Egyptians. Then all of you will know that I am the Lord.
3 Moses and Aaron went to the king and told him that the Lord God of the Hebrews had said:
How long will you stubbornly refuse to obey? Release my people so they can worship me. 4 Do this by tomorrow, or I will cover your country with so many locusts[f] 5 that you won’t be able to see the ground. Most of your crops were ruined by the hailstones, but these locusts will destroy what little is left, including the trees. 6 Your palace, the homes of your officials, and all other houses in Egypt will overflow with more locusts than have ever been seen in this country.
After Moses left the palace, 7 the king’s officials asked, “Your Majesty, how much longer is this man going to be a troublemaker? Why don’t you let the people leave, so they can worship the Lord their God? Don’t you know that Egypt is a disaster?”
8 The king had Moses and Aaron brought back, and he said, “All right, you may go and worship the Lord your God. But first tell me who will be going.”
9 “Everyone, young and old,” Moses answered. “We will even take our sheep, goats, and cattle, because we want to hold a celebration in honor of the Lord.”
10 The king replied, “The Lord had better watch over you on the day I let you leave with your families! You’re up to no good. 11 Do you want to worship the Lord? All right, take only the men and go.” Then Moses and Aaron were chased out of the palace.
12 The Lord told Moses, “Stretch your arm toward Egypt. Swarms of locusts will come and eat everything left by the hail.”
13 Moses held out his walking stick, and the Lord sent an east wind that blew across Egypt the rest of the day and all that night. By morning, locusts 14 were swarming everywhere. Never before had there been so many locusts in Egypt, and never again will there be so many. 15 The ground was black with locusts, and they ate everything left on the trees and in the fields. Nothing green remained in Egypt—not a tree or a plant.
16 At once the king sent for Moses and Aaron. He told them, “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you. 17 Forgive me one more time and ask the Lord to stop these insects from killing every living plant.”
18 Moses left the palace and prayed. 19 Then the Lord sent a strong west wind[g] that swept the locusts into the Red Sea.[h] Not one locust was left anywhere in Egypt, 20 but the Lord made the king so stubborn that he still refused to let the Israelites go.
21 The Lord said to Moses, “Stretch your arm toward the sky, and everything will be covered with darkness thick enough to touch.” 22 Moses stretched his arm toward the sky, and Egypt was covered with darkness for three days. 23 During that time, the Egyptians could not see each other or leave their homes, but there was light where the Israelites lived.
24 The king[i] sent for Moses and told him, “Go worship the Lord! And take your families with you. Just leave your sheep, goats, and cattle.”
25 “No!” Moses replied. “You must let us offer sacrifices to the Lord our God, 26 and we won’t know which animals we will need until we get there. That’s why we can’t leave even one of them here.”
27 This time the Lord made the king so stubborn 28 that he said to Moses, “Get out and stay out! If you ever come back, you’re dead!”
29 “Have it your way,” Moses answered. “You won’t see me again.”
Moses Warns the Egyptians That the Lord Will Kill Their First-Born Sons
11 The Lord said to Moses:
I am going to punish the king[j] of Egypt and his people one more time. Then the king will gladly let you leave his land, so that I will stop punishing the Egyptians. He will even chase you out. 2 Now go and tell my people to ask their Egyptian neighbors for gold and silver jewelry.
3 So the Lord made the Egyptians greatly respect the Israelites, and everyone, including the king and his officials, considered Moses an important leader.
4 Moses went to the king and said:
I have come to let you know what the Lord is going to do. About midnight he will go through the land of Egypt, 5 and wherever he goes, the first-born son in every family will die. Your own son will die, and so will the son of the lowest slave woman. Even the first-born males of cattle will die. 6 Everywhere in Egypt there will be loud crying. Nothing like this has ever happened before or will ever happen again.
7 But there won’t be any need for the Israelites to cry. Things will be so quiet that not even a dog will be heard barking. Then you Egyptians will know that the Lord is good to the Israelites, even while he punishes you. 8 Your leaders will come and bow down, begging me to take my people and leave your country. Then we will leave.
Moses was very angry; he turned and left the king.
9 What the Lord had earlier said to Moses came true. He had said, “The king of Egypt won’t listen. Then I will perform even more miracles.” 10 So the king of Egypt saw Moses and Aaron work miracles, but the Lord made him stubbornly refuse to let the Israelites leave his country.
Matthew 15:21-39 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
A Woman’s Faith
21 Jesus left and went to the territory near the cities of Tyre and Sidon. 22 Suddenly a Canaanite woman[a] from there came out shouting, “Lord and Son of David,[b] have pity on me! My daughter is full of demons.” 23 Jesus did not say a word. But the woman kept following along and shouting, so his disciples came up and asked him to send her away.
24 Jesus said, “I was sent only to the people of Israel! They are like a flock of lost sheep.”
25 The woman came closer. Then she knelt down and begged, “Please help me, Lord!”
26 Jesus replied, “It isn’t right to take food away from children and feed it to dogs.”[c]
27 “Lord, that’s true,” the woman said, “but even dogs get the crumbs that fall from their owner’s table.”
28 Jesus answered, “Dear woman, you really do have a lot of faith, and you will be given what you want.” At that moment her daughter was healed.
Jesus Heals Many People
29 From there, Jesus went along Lake Galilee. Then he climbed a hill and sat down. 30 Large crowds came and brought many people who were crippled or blind or lame or unable to talk. They placed them, and many others, in front of Jesus, and he healed them all. 31 Everyone was amazed at what they saw and heard. People who had never spoken could now speak. The lame were healed, the crippled could walk, and the blind were able to see. Everyone was praising the God of Israel.
Jesus Feeds Four Thousand
32 Jesus called his disciples together and told them, “I feel sorry for these people. They have been with me for three days, and they don’t have anything to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry. They might faint on their way home.”
33 His disciples said, “This place is like a desert. Where can we find enough food to feed such a crowd?”
34 Jesus asked them how much food they had. They replied, “Seven small loaves of bread[d] and a few little fish.”
35 After Jesus had told the people to sit down, 36 he took the seven loaves of bread and the fish and gave thanks. He then broke them and handed them to his disciples, who passed them around to the crowds.
37 Everyone ate all they wanted, and the leftovers filled seven large baskets.
38 There were four thousand men who ate, not counting the women and children.
39 After Jesus had sent the crowds away, he got into a boat and sailed across the lake. He came to shore near the town of Magadan.[e]
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