Then the LORD said to Moses, "Get up early in the morning1 and confront Pharaoh as he goes to the water and say to him, 'This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so that they may worship2 me.
If you do not let my people go, I will send swarms of flies on you and your officials, on your people and into your houses. The houses of the Egyptians will be full of flies, and even the ground where they are.
" 'But on that day I will deal differently with the land of Goshen,3 where my people live;4 no swarms of flies will be there, so that you will know5 that I, the LORD, am in this land.
I will make a distinctiona between my people and your people.6 This miraculous sign will occur tomorrow.' "
And the LORD did this. Dense swarms of flies poured into Pharaoh's palace and into the houses of his officials, and throughout Egypt the land was ruined by the flies.725
Then Pharaoh summoned8 Moses and Aaron and said, "Go, sacrifice to your God here in the land."
But Moses said, "That would not be right. The sacrifices we offer the LORD our God would be detestable to the Egyptians.9 And if we offer sacrifices that are detestable in their eyes, will they not stone us?
We must take a three-day journey10 into the desert to offer sacrifices11 to the LORD our God, as he commands us."
Pharaoh said, "I will let you go to offer sacrifices to the LORD your God in the desert, but you must not go very far. Now pray12 for me."
Moses answered, "As soon as I leave you, I will pray to the LORD, and tomorrow the flies will leave Pharaoh and his officials and his people. Only be sure that Pharaoh does not act deceitfully13 again by not letting the people go to offer sacrifices to the LORD."
Then Moses left Pharaoh and prayed to the LORD,1431
and the LORD did what Moses asked: The flies left Pharaoh and his officials and his people; not a fly remained.
But this time also Pharaoh hardened his heart15 and would not let the people go.