Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these miraculous signs of mine among them
that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the LORD."
So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him, "This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: 'How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go, so that they may worship me.
If you refuse to let them go, I will bring locusts into your country tomorrow.
They will cover the face of the ground so that it cannot be seen. They will devour what little you have left after the hail, including every tree that is growing in your fields.
They will fill your houses and those of all your officials and all the Egyptians--something neither your fathers nor your forefathers have ever seen from the day they settled in this land till now.' " Then Moses turned and left Pharaoh.
Pharaoh's officials said to him, "How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the people go, so that they may worship the LORD their God. Do you not yet realize that Egypt is ruined?"
Then Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. "Go, worship the LORD your God," he said. "But just who will be going?"
Moses answered, "We will go with our young and old, with our sons and daughters, and with our flocks and herds, because we are to celebrate a festival to the LORD."
Pharaoh said, "The LORD be with you--if I let you go, along with your women and children! Clearly you are bent on evil.
No! Have only the men go; and worship the LORD, since that's what you have been asking for." Then Moses and Aaron were driven out of Pharaoh's presence.
And the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over Egypt so that locusts will swarm over the land and devour everything growing in the fields, everything left by the hail."
So Moses stretched out his staff over Egypt, and the LORD made an east wind blow across the land all that day and all that night. By morning the wind had brought the locusts;
they invaded all Egypt and settled down in every area of the country in great numbers. Never before had there been such a plague of locusts, nor will there ever be again.
They covered all the ground until it was black. They devoured all that was left after the hail--everything growing in the fields and the fruit on the trees. Nothing green remained on tree or plant in all the land of Egypt.
Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron and said, "I have sinned against the LORD your God and against you.
Now forgive my sin once more and pray to the LORD your God to take this deadly plague away from me."
Moses then left Pharaoh and prayed to the LORD.
And the LORD changed the wind to a very strong west wind, which caught up the locusts and carried them into the Red Sea. Not a locust was left anywhere in Egypt.
But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let the Israelites go.
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness will spread over Egypt--darkness that can be felt."
So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days.
No one could see anyone else or leave his place for three days. Yet all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived.
Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and said, "Go, worship the LORD. Even your women and children may go with you; only leave your flocks and herds behind."
But Moses said, "You must allow us to have sacrifices and burnt offerings to present to the LORD our God.
Our livestock too must go with us; not a hoof is to be left behind. We have to use some of them in worshiping the LORD our God, and until we get there we will not know what we are to use to worship the LORD."
But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he was not willing to let them go.
Pharaoh said to Moses, "Get out of my sight! Make sure you do not appear before me again! The day you see my face you will die."
"Just as you say," Moses replied, "I will never appear before you again."
Now the LORD had said to Moses, "I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go from here, and when he does, he will drive you out completely.
Tell the people that men and women alike are to ask their neighbors for articles of silver and gold."
(The LORD made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaoh's officials and by the people.)
So Moses said, "This is what the LORD says: 'About midnight I will go throughout Egypt.
Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the slave girl, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well.
There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt--worse than there has ever been or ever will be again.
But among the Israelites not a dog will bark at any man or animal.' Then you will know that the LORD makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.
All these officials of yours will come to me, bowing down before me and saying, 'Go, you and all the people who follow you!' After that I will leave." Then Moses, hot with anger, left Pharaoh.
The LORD had said to Moses, "Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you--so that my wonders may be multiplied in Egypt."
Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh, but the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let the Israelites go out of his country.
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt,
"This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year.
Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household.
If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat.
The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats.
Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight.
Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs.
That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast.
Do not eat the meat raw or cooked in water, but roast it over the fire--head, legs and inner parts.
Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it.
This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD's Passover.
"On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn--both men and animals--and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD.
The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.
"This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD--a lasting ordinance.
For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel.
On the first day hold a sacred assembly, and another one on the seventh day. Do no work at all on these days, except to prepare food for everyone to eat--that is all you may do.
"Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.
In the first month you are to eat bread made without yeast, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day.
For seven days no yeast is to be found in your houses. And whoever eats anything with yeast in it must be cut off from the community of Israel, whether he is an alien or native-born.
Eat nothing made with yeast. Wherever you live, you must eat unleavened bread."
Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb.
Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning.
When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.
"Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants.
When you enter the land that the LORD will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony.
And when your children ask you, 'What does this ceremony mean to you?'
then tell them, 'It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.' " Then the people bowed down and worshiped.
The Israelites did just what the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron.
At midnight the LORD struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well.
Pharaoh and all his officials and all the Egyptians got up during the night, and there was loud wailing in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead.
During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, "Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the LORD as you have requested.
Take your flocks and herds, as you have said, and go. And also bless me."
The Egyptians urged the people to hurry and leave the country. "For otherwise," they said, "we will all die!"
So the people took their dough before the yeast was added, and carried it on their shoulders in kneading troughs wrapped in clothing.
The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing.
The LORD had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians.
The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Succoth. There were about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children.
Many other people went up with them, as well as large droves of livestock, both flocks and herds.
With the dough they had brought from Egypt, they baked cakes of unleavened bread. The dough was without yeast because they had been driven out of Egypt and did not have time to prepare food for themselves.
Now the length of time the Israelite people lived in Egypt was 430 years.
At the end of the 430 years, to the very day, all the LORD's divisions left Egypt.
Because the LORD kept vigil that night to bring them out of Egypt, on this night all the Israelites are to keep vigil to honor the LORD for the generations to come.
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "These are the regulations for the Passover: "No foreigner is to eat of it.
Any slave you have bought may eat of it after you have circumcised him,
but a temporary resident and a hired worker may not eat of it.
"It must be eaten inside one house; take none of the meat outside the house. Do not break any of the bones.
The whole community of Israel must celebrate it.
"An alien living among you who wants to celebrate the LORD's Passover must have all the males in his household circumcised; then he may take part like one born in the land. No uncircumcised male may eat of it.
The same law applies to the native-born and to the alien living among you."
All the Israelites did just what the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron.
And on that very day the LORD brought the Israelites out of Egypt by their divisions.