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Exodus 4-12 New King James Version (NKJV)

Miraculous Signs for Pharaoh

Then Moses answered and said, “But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you.’ ”

So the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?”

He said, “A rod.”

And He said, “Cast it on the ground.” So he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail” (and he reached out his hand and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand), “that they may believe that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.”

Furthermore the Lord said to him, “Now put your hand in your bosom.” And he put his hand in his bosom, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, like snow. And He said, “Put your hand in your bosom again.” So he put his hand in his bosom again, and drew it out of his bosom, and behold, it was restored like his other flesh. “Then it will be, if they do not believe you, nor heed the message of the first sign, that they may believe the message of the latter sign. And it shall be, if they do not believe even these two signs, or listen to your voice, that you shall take water from [a]the river and pour it on the dry land. The water which you take from the river will become blood on the dry land.

10 Then Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and [b]slow of tongue.”

11 So the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? 12 Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.”

13 But he said, “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.”

14 So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and He said: “Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And look, he is also coming out to meet you. When he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. 15 Now you shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth. And I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and I will teach you what you shall do. 16 So he shall be your spokesman to the people. And he himself shall be as a mouth for you, and you shall be to him as God. 17 And you shall take this rod in your hand, with which you shall do the signs.”

Moses Goes to Egypt

18 So Moses went and returned to Jethro his father-in-law, and said to him, “Please let me go and return to my brethren who are in Egypt, and see whether they are still alive.”

And Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.”

19 Now the Lord said to Moses in Midian, “Go, return to Egypt; for all the men who sought your life are dead.” 20 Then Moses took his wife and his sons and set them on a donkey, and he returned to the land of Egypt. And Moses took the rod of God in his hand.

21 And the Lord said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. 22 Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Israel is My son, My firstborn. 23 So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go, indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn.” ’ ”

24 And it came to pass on the way, at the encampment, that the Lord met him and sought to kill him. 25 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone and cut off the foreskin of her son and [c]cast it at [d]Moses’ feet, and said, “Surely you are a husband of blood to me!” 26 So He let him go. Then she said, “You are a [e]husband of blood!”—because of the circumcision.

27 And the Lord said to Aaron, “Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.” So he went and met him on the mountain of God, and kissed him. 28 So Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord who had sent him, and all the signs which He had commanded him. 29 Then Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel. 30 And Aaron spoke all the words which the Lord had spoken to Moses. Then he did the signs in the sight of the people. 31 So the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel and that He had looked on their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped.

First Encounter with Pharaoh

Afterward Moses and Aaron went in and told Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Let My people go, that they may [f]hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.’ ”

And Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, nor will I let Israel go.”

So they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please, let us go three days’ journey into the desert and sacrifice to the Lord our God, lest He fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.”

Then the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people from their work? Get back to your labor.” And Pharaoh said, “Look, the people of the land are many now, and you make them rest from their labor!”

So the same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their officers, saying, “You shall no longer give the people straw to make brick as before. Let them go and gather straw for themselves. And you shall lay on them the quota of bricks which they made before. You shall not reduce it. For they are idle; therefore they cry out, saying, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.’ Let more work be laid on the men, that they may labor in it, and let them not regard false words.”

10 And the taskmasters of the people and their officers went out and spoke to the people, saying, “Thus says Pharaoh: ‘I will not give you straw. 11 Go, get yourselves straw where you can find it; yet none of your work will be reduced.’ ” 12 So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw. 13 And the taskmasters forced them to hurry, saying, “Fulfill your work, your daily quota, as when there was straw.” 14 Also the officers of the children of Israel, whom Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, were beaten and were asked, “Why have you not fulfilled your task in making brick both yesterday and today, as before?”

15 Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried out to Pharaoh, saying, “Why are you dealing thus with your servants? 16 There is no straw given to your servants, and they say to us, ‘Make brick!’ And indeed your servants are beaten, but the fault is in your own people.”

17 But he said, “You are idle! Idle! Therefore you say, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.’ 18 Therefore go now and work; for no straw shall be given you, yet you shall deliver the quota of bricks.” 19 And the officers of the children of Israel saw that they were in trouble after it was said, “You shall not reduce any bricks from your daily quota.”

20 Then, as they came out from Pharaoh, they met Moses and Aaron who stood there to meet them. 21 And they said to them, “Let the Lord look on you and judge, because you have made [g]us abhorrent in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to kill us.”

Israel’s Deliverance Assured

22 So Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Lord, why have You brought trouble on this people? Why is it You have sent me? 23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people; neither have You delivered Your people at all.”

God Renews His Promise to Israel

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh. For with a strong hand he will let them go, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land.”

And God spoke to Moses and said to him: “I am [h]the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name Lord[i] I was not known to them. I have also [j]established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their [k]pilgrimage, in which they were [l]strangers. And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel whom the Egyptians keep in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant. Therefore say to the children of Israel: ‘I am the Lord; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with [m]an outstretched arm and with great judgments. I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you into the land which I swore[n] to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage: I am the Lord.’ ” So Moses spoke thus to the children of Israel; but they did not heed Moses, because of anguish[o] of spirit and cruel bondage.

10 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 11 “Go in, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the children of Israel go out of his land.”

12 And Moses spoke before the Lord, saying, “The children of Israel have not heeded me. How then shall Pharaoh heed me, for I am [p]of uncircumcised lips?”

13 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, and gave them a command[q] for the children of Israel and for Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.

The Family of Moses and Aaron

14 These are the heads of their fathers’ houses: The sons of Reuben, the firstborn of Israel, were Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. These are the families of Reuben. 15 And the sons of Simeon were [r]Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman. These are the families of Simeon. 16 These are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. And the years of the life of Levi were one hundred and thirty-seven. 17 The sons of Gershon were Libni and Shimi according to their families. 18 And the sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. And the years of the life of Kohath were one hundred and thirty-three. 19 The sons of Merari were Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of Levi according to their generations.

20 Now Amram took for himself Jochebed, his father’s sister, as wife; and she bore him Aaron and Moses. And the years of the life of Amram were one hundred and thirty-seven. 21 The sons of Izhar were Korah, Nepheg, and Zichri. 22 And the sons of Uzziel were Mishael, Elzaphan, and Zithri. 23 Aaron took to himself Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab, sister of Nahshon, as wife; and she bore him Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 24 And the sons of Korah were Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph. These are the families of the Korahites. 25 Eleazar, Aaron’s son, took for himself one of the daughters of Putiel as wife; and she bore him Phinehas. These are the heads of the fathers’ houses of the Levites according to their families.

26 These are the same Aaron and Moses to whom the Lord said, “Bring out the children of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their armies.”[s] 27 These are the ones who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring out the children of Israel from Egypt. These are the same Moses and Aaron.

Aaron Is Moses’ Spokesman

28 And it came to pass, on the day the Lord spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, 29 that the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “I am the Lord. Speak to Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say to you.”

30 But Moses said before the Lord, “Behold, I am [t]of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh heed me?”

Moses Before Pharaoh

So the Lord said to Moses: “See, I have made you as God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother shall be your prophet. You shall speak all that I command you. And Aaron your brother shall tell Pharaoh to send the children of Israel out of his land. And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt. But Pharaoh will not heed you, so that I may lay My hand on Egypt and bring My [u]armies and My people, the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the children of Israel from among them.”

Then Moses and Aaron did so; just as the Lord commanded them, so they did. And Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three years old when they spoke to Pharaoh.

Aaron’s Miraculous Rod

Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “When Pharaoh speaks to you, saying, ‘Show a miracle for yourselves,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your rod and cast it before Pharaoh, and let it become a serpent.’ ” 10 So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh, and they did so, just as the Lord commanded. And Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a serpent.

11 But Pharaoh also called the wise men and the [v]sorcerers; so the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their [w]enchantments. 12 For every man threw down his rod, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods. 13 And Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, as the Lord had said.

The First Plague: Waters Become Blood

14 So the Lord said to Moses: “Pharaoh’s heart is hard; he refuses to let the people go. 15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning, when he goes out to the water, and you shall stand by the river’s bank to meet him; and the rod which was turned to a serpent you shall take in your hand. 16 And you shall say to him, ‘The Lord God of the Hebrews has sent me to you, saying, “Let My people go, that they may [x]serve Me in the wilderness”; but indeed, until now you would not hear! 17 Thus says the Lord: “By this you shall know that I am the Lord. Behold, I will strike the waters which are in the river with the rod that is in my hand, and they shall be turned to blood. 18 And the fish that are in the river shall die, the river shall stink, and the Egyptians will loathe[y] to drink the water of the river.” ’ ”

19 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your rod and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their streams, over their rivers, over their ponds, and over all their pools of water, that they may become blood. And there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in buckets of wood and pitchers of stone.’ ” 20 And Moses and Aaron did so, just as the Lord commanded. So he lifted up the rod and struck the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants. And all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. 21 The fish that were in the river died, the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink the water of the river. So there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.

22 Then the magicians of Egypt did so with their [z]enchantments; and Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, as the Lord had said. 23 And Pharaoh turned and went into his house. Neither was his heart moved by this. 24 So all the Egyptians dug all around the river for water to drink, because they could not drink the water of the river. 25 And seven days passed after the Lord had struck the river.

The Second Plague: Frogs

And the Lord spoke to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. But if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all your territory with frogs. So the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into your house, into your bedroom, on your bed, into the houses of your servants, on your people, into your ovens, and into your kneading bowls. And the frogs shall come up on you, on your people, and on all your servants.” ’ ”

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come up on the land of Egypt.’ ” So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. And the magicians did so with their [aa]enchantments, and brought up frogs on the land of Egypt.

Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, “Entreat[ab] the Lord that He may take away the frogs from me and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may sacrifice to the Lord.”

And Moses said to Pharaoh, “Accept the honor of saying when I shall intercede for you, for your servants, and for your people, to destroy the frogs from you and your houses, that they may remain in the river only.”

10 So he said, “Tomorrow.” And he said, “Let it be according to your word, that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God. 11 And the frogs shall depart from you, from your houses, from your servants, and from your people. They shall remain in the river only.”

12 Then Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh. And Moses cried out to the Lord concerning the frogs which He had brought against Pharaoh. 13 So the Lord did according to the word of Moses. And the frogs died out of the houses, out of the courtyards, and out of the fields. 14 They gathered them together in heaps, and the land stank. 15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not heed them, as the Lord had said.

The Third Plague: Lice

16 So the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your rod, and strike the dust of the land, so that it may become [ac]lice throughout all the land of Egypt.’ ” 17 And they did so. For Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod and struck the dust of the earth, and it became lice on man and beast. All the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt.

18 Now the magicians so worked with their [ad]enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not. So there were lice on man and beast. 19 Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the[ae] finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, just as the Lord had said.

The Fourth Plague: Flies

20 And the Lord said to Moses, “Rise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh as he comes out to the water. Then say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. 21 Or else, if you will not let My people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies on you and your servants, on your people and into your houses. The houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground on which they stand. 22 And in that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, in which My people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there, in order that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the land. 23 I will [af]make a difference between My people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall be.” ’ ” 24 And the Lord did so. Thick swarms of flies came into the house of Pharaoh, into his servants’ houses, and into all the land of Egypt. The land was corrupted because of the swarms of flies.

25 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God in the land.”

26 And Moses said, “It is not right to do so, for we would be sacrificing the abomination of the Egyptians to the Lord our God. If we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, then will they not [ag]stone us? 27 We will go three days’ journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the Lord our God as He will command us.”

28 So Pharaoh said, “I will let you go, that you may sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; only you shall not go very far away. Intercede for me.”

29 Then Moses said, “Indeed I am going out from you, and I will entreat the Lord, that the swarms of flies may depart tomorrow from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people. But let Pharaoh not deal deceitfully anymore in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the Lord.”

30 So Moses went out from Pharaoh and entreated the Lord. 31 And the Lord did according to the word of Moses; He removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people. Not one remained. 32 But Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also; neither would he let the people go.

The Fifth Plague: Livestock Diseased

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘Thus says the Lord God of the Hebrews: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. For if you refuse to let them go, and still hold them, behold, the hand of the Lord will be on your cattle in the field, on the horses, on the donkeys, on the camels, on the oxen, and on the sheep—a very severe pestilence. And the Lord will make a difference between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt. So nothing shall die of all that belongs to the children of Israel.” ’ ” Then the Lord appointed a set time, saying, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this thing in the land.”

So the Lord did this thing on the next day, and all the livestock of Egypt died; but of the livestock of the children of Israel, not one died. Then Pharaoh sent, and indeed, not even one of the livestock of the Israelites was dead. But the heart of Pharaoh became hard, and he did not let the people go.

The Sixth Plague: Boils

So the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Take for yourselves handfuls of ashes from a furnace, and let Moses scatter it toward the heavens in the sight of Pharaoh. And it will become fine dust in all the land of Egypt, and it will cause boils that break out in sores on man and beast throughout all the land of Egypt.” 10 Then they took ashes from the furnace and stood before Pharaoh, and Moses scattered them toward heaven. And they caused boils that break out in sores on man and beast. 11 And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for the boils were on the magicians and on all the Egyptians. 12 But the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh; and he did not heed them, just as the Lord had spoken to Moses.

The Seventh Plague: Hail

13 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Rise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God of the Hebrews: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me, 14 for at this time I will send all My plagues to your very heart, and on your servants and on your people, that you may know that there is none like Me in all the earth. 15 Now if I had stretched out My hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, then you would have been cut off from the earth. 16 But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth. 17 As yet you exalt yourself against My people in that you will not let them go. 18 Behold, tomorrow about this time I will cause very heavy hail to rain down, such as has not been in Egypt since its founding until now. 19 Therefore send now and gather your livestock and all that you have in the field, for the hail shall come down on every man and every animal which is found in the field and is not brought home; and they shall die.” ’ ”

20 He who feared the word of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his livestock flee to the houses. 21 But he who did not regard the word of the Lord left his servants and his livestock in the field.

22 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt—on man, on beast, and on every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt.” 23 And Moses stretched out his rod toward heaven; and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and fire darted to the ground. And the Lord rained hail on the land of Egypt. 24 So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, so very heavy that there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. 25 And the hail struck throughout the whole land of Egypt, all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail struck every herb of the field and broke every tree of the field. 26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, there was no hail.

27 And Pharaoh sent and called for Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “I have sinned this time. The Lord is righteous, and my people and I are wicked. 28 Entreat[ah] the Lord, that there may be no more [ai]mighty thundering and hail, for it is enough. I will let you go, and you shall stay no longer.”

29 So Moses said to him, “As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands to the Lord; the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, that you may know that the earth is the Lord’s. 30 But as for you and your servants, I know that you will not yet fear the Lord God.”

31 Now the flax and the barley were struck, for the barley was in the head and the flax was in bud. 32 But the wheat and the spelt were not struck, for they are [aj]late crops.

33 So Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh and spread out his hands to the Lord; then the thunder and the hail ceased, and the rain was not poured on the earth. 34 And when Pharaoh saw that the rain, the hail, and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet more; and he hardened his heart, he and his servants. 35 So the heart of Pharaoh was hard; neither would he let the children of Israel go, as the Lord had spoken by Moses.

The Eighth Plague: Locusts

10 Now the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his servants, that I may show these signs of Mine before him, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and your son’s son the mighty things I have done in Egypt, and My signs which I have done among them, that you may know that I am the Lord.”

So Moses and Aaron came in to Pharaoh and said to him, “Thus says the Lord God of the Hebrews: ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Let My people go, that they may serve Me. Or else, if you refuse to let My people go, behold, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your territory. And they shall cover the face of the earth, so that no one will be able to see the earth; and they shall eat the residue of what is left, which remains to you from the hail, and they shall eat every tree which grows up for you out of the field. They shall fill your houses, the houses of all your servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians—which neither your fathers nor your fathers’ fathers have seen, since the day that they were on the earth to this day.’ ” And he turned and went out from Pharaoh.

Then Pharaoh’s servants said to him, “How long shall this man be a snare to us? Let the men go, that they may serve the Lord their God. Do you not yet know that Egypt is destroyed?”

So Moses and Aaron were brought again to Pharaoh, and he said to them, “Go, serve the Lord your God. Who are the ones that are going?”

And Moses said, “We will go with our young and our old; with our sons and our daughters, with our flocks and our herds we will go, for we must hold a feast to the Lord.”

10 Then he said to them, “The Lord had better be with you when I let you and your little ones go! Beware, for evil is ahead of you. 11 Not so! Go now, you who are men, and serve the Lord, for that is what you desired.” 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 for the locusts, that they may come upon the land of Egypt, and eat every herb of the land—all that the hail has left.” 13 So Moses stretched out his rod over the land of Egypt, and the Lord brought an east wind on the land all that day and all that night. When it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. 14 And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt and rested on all the territory of Egypt. They were very severe; previously there had been no such locusts as they, nor shall there be such after them. 15 For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they ate every herb of the land and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left. So there remained nothing green on the trees or on the plants of the field throughout all the land of Egypt.

16 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste, and said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you. 17 Now therefore, please forgive my sin only this once, and entreat[ak] the Lord your God, that He may take away from me this death only.” 18 So he went out from Pharaoh and entreated the Lord. 19 And the Lord turned a very strong west wind, which took the locusts away and blew them into the Red Sea. There remained not one locust in all the territory of Egypt. 20 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go.

The Ninth Plague: Darkness

21 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, [al]darkness which may even be felt.” 22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. 23 They did not see one another; nor did anyone rise from his place for three days. But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.

24 Then Pharaoh called to Moses and said, “Go, serve the Lord; only let your flocks and your herds be kept back. Let your little ones also go with you.”

25 But Moses said, “You must also give [am]us sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God. 26 Our livestock also shall go with us; not a hoof shall be left behind. For we must take some of them to serve the Lord our God, and even we do not know with what we must serve the Lord until we arrive there.”

27 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let them go. 28 Then Pharaoh said to him, “Get away from me! Take heed to yourself and see my face no more! For in the day you see my face you shall die!”

29 So Moses said, “You have spoken well. I will never see your face again.”

Death of the Firstborn Announced

11 And the Lord said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will surely drive you out of here altogether. Speak now in the hearing of the people, and let every man ask from his neighbor and every woman from her neighbor, articles of silver and articles of gold.” And the Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants and in the sight of the people.

Then Moses said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘About midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt; and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the female servant who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the animals. Then there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as was not like it before, nor shall be like it again. But against none of the children of Israel shall a dog [an]move its tongue, against man or beast, that you may know that the Lord does make a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.’ And all these your servants shall come down to me and bow down to me, saying, ‘Get out, and all the people who follow you!’ After that I will go out.” Then he went out from Pharaoh in great anger.

But the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not heed you, so that My wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.” 10 So Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh; and the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go out of his land.

The Passover Instituted

12 Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without[ao] blemish, a male [ap]of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire—its head with its legs and its entrails. 10 You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire. 11 And thus you shall eat it: [aq]with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover.

12 ‘For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. 13 Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

14 ‘So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance. 15 Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that [ar]person shall be [as]cut off from Israel. 16 On the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done on them; but that which everyone must eat—that only may be prepared by you. 17 So you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this same day I will have brought your [at]armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an everlasting ordinance. 18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. 19 For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses, since whoever eats what is leavened, that same person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a stranger or a native of the land. 20 You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread.’ ”

21 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb. 22 And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning. 23 For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the [au]lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you. 24 And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever. 25 It will come to pass when you come to the land which the Lord will give you, just as He promised, that you shall keep this service. 26 And it shall be, when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ 27 that you shall say, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice of the Lord, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households.’ ” So the people bowed their heads and worshiped. 28 Then the children of Israel went away and did so; just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.

The Tenth Plague: Death of the Firstborn

29 And it came to pass at midnight that the Lord struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was [av]in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of livestock. 30 So Pharaoh rose in the night, he, all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead.

The Exodus

31 Then he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, “Rise, go out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel. And go, serve the Lord as you have said. 32 Also take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also.”

33 And the Egyptians urged the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste. For they said, “We shall all be dead.” 34 So the people took their dough before it was leavened, having their kneading bowls bound up in their clothes on their shoulders. 35 Now the children of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, and they had asked from the Egyptians articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing. 36 And the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they granted them what they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.

37 Then the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children. 38 A mixed multitude went up with them also, and flocks and herds—a great deal of livestock. 39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they had brought out of Egypt; for it was not leavened, because they were driven out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared provisions for themselves.

40 Now the [aw]sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in [ax]Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. 41 And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years—on that very same day—it came to pass that all the armies of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. 42 It is a [ay]night of solemn observance to the Lord for bringing them out of the land of Egypt. This is that night of the Lord, a solemn observance for all the children of Israel throughout their generations.

Passover Regulations

43 And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover: No foreigner shall eat it. 44 But every man’s servant who is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then he may eat it. 45 A sojourner and a hired servant shall not eat it. 46 In one house it shall be eaten; you shall not carry any of the flesh outside the house, nor shall you break one of its bones. 47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. 48 And when a stranger [az]dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it. 49 One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you.”

50 Thus all the children of Israel did; as the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did. 51 And it came to pass, on that very same day, that the Lord brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt according to their armies.

Footnotes:

  1. Exodus 4:9 The Nile
  2. Exodus 4:10 heavy or dull of tongue; cannot talk very well
  3. Exodus 4:25 Lit. made it touch
  4. Exodus 4:25 Lit. his
  5. Exodus 4:26 bridegroom
  6. Exodus 5:1 keep a pilgrim-feast
  7. Exodus 5:21 Lit. our scent to stink before
  8. Exodus 6:2 Heb. YHWH
  9. Exodus 6:3 Heb. YHWH, traditionally Jehovah
  10. Exodus 6:4 made or ratified
  11. Exodus 6:4 sojournings
  12. Exodus 6:4 sojourners, temporary residents
  13. Exodus 6:6 Mighty power
  14. Exodus 6:8 promised, lit. lifted up My hand
  15. Exodus 6:9 Lit. shortness
  16. Exodus 6:12 One who does not speak well
  17. Exodus 6:13 charge
  18. Exodus 6:15 Nemuel, Num. 26:12
  19. Exodus 6:26 hosts
  20. Exodus 6:30 One who does not speak well
  21. Exodus 7:4 hosts
  22. Exodus 7:11 soothsayers
  23. Exodus 7:11 secret arts
  24. Exodus 7:16 worship
  25. Exodus 7:18 be weary of drinking
  26. Exodus 7:22 secret arts
  27. Exodus 8:7 secret arts
  28. Exodus 8:8 Pray to, Make supplication to
  29. Exodus 8:16 gnats
  30. Exodus 8:18 secret arts
  31. Exodus 8:19 An act of God
  32. Exodus 8:23 Lit. set a ransom, Ex. 9:4; 11:7
  33. Exodus 8:26 Put us to death by stoning
  34. Exodus 9:28 Pray to, Make supplication to
  35. Exodus 9:28 Lit. voices of God or sounds of God
  36. Exodus 9:32 Lit. darkened
  37. Exodus 10:17 make supplication to
  38. Exodus 10:21 Lit. that one may feel the darkness
  39. Exodus 10:25 Lit. into our hands
  40. Exodus 11:7 sharpen
  41. Exodus 12:5 perfect or sound
  42. Exodus 12:5 a year old
  43. Exodus 12:11 Made ready to travel
  44. Exodus 12:15 soul
  45. Exodus 12:15 Put to death
  46. Exodus 12:17 hosts
  47. Exodus 12:23 Crosspiece at top of door
  48. Exodus 12:29 in prison
  49. Exodus 12:40 Length of the stay
  50. Exodus 12:40 Sam., LXX Egypt and Canaan
  51. Exodus 12:42 night of vigil
  52. Exodus 12:48 As a resident alien
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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