Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh, and tell him, 'This is what the LORD says: Let my people go to worship me.
If you refuse to let them go, I will bring a plague of frogs on your whole country.
The Nile River will swarm with frogs. They will come into your palace, into your bedroom, on your bed, into the houses of your officials, on your people, into your ovens and into your mixing bowls.
The frogs will jump on you, on your people, and on all your officials.'"
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Tell Aaron, 'Hold your staff over the rivers, canals, and ponds. This will bring frogs onto the land.'"
So Aaron held his staff over the waters of Egypt. The frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt.
But the magicians did the same thing using their magic spells and brought frogs onto the land.
Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron and said, "Pray that the LORD will take the frogs away from me and my people. Then I will let your people go to offer sacrifices to the LORD."
Moses answered Pharaoh, "You may have the honor of choosing when I should pray for you, your officials, and your people. Then the frogs will leave you and your homes. The only ones left will be those in the Nile."
"Pray for me tomorrow," Pharaoh said. Moses replied, "It will be as you say so that you will know that there is no one like the LORD our God.
The frogs will leave you, your homes, your officials, and your people. The only frogs left will be those in the Nile."
After Moses and Aaron left Pharaoh, Moses prayed to the LORD about the frogs he had brought on Pharaoh.
The LORD did what Moses asked. The frogs died in the houses, in the yards, and in the fields.
They were piled into countless heaps, and the land began to stink because of them.
When Pharaoh saw that the plague was over, he became stubborn and would not listen to Moses and Aaron, as the LORD had predicted.
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Tell Aaron, 'Hold out your staff and strike the dust on the ground. All over Egypt the dust will turn into gnats.'"
When Moses told him, Aaron held out the staff in his hand and struck the dust on the ground. It turned into gnats that bit people and animals. All the dust on the ground everywhere in Egypt turned into gnats.
The magicians also tried to produce gnats using their magic spells, but they couldn't do it. The gnats bit people and animals.
So the magicians said to Pharaoh, "This is the hand of God!" Yet, Pharaoh continued to be stubborn and would not listen to Moses and Aaron, as the LORD had predicted.
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Early in the morning, stand in Pharaoh's way when he's going to the Nile. Say to him, 'This is what the LORD says: Let my people go to worship me.
If you will not let my people go, I will send swarms of flies on you, your officials, your people, and your houses. The homes of the Egyptians will be filled with flies, and even the ground outside will be covered with them.
But on that day I will treat the region of Goshen differently. That is where my people live. There won't be any flies there. This way you will know that I, the LORD, am here in this land.
I will distinguish between my people and yours. This miraculous sign will happen tomorrow.'"
The LORD did what he said. Dense swarms of flies came into Pharaoh's palace and into the houses of his officials. All over Egypt the flies were ruining everything.
Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and said, "Go, sacrifice to your God here in this country."
Moses replied, "It wouldn't be right to do that. The sacrifices we offer to the LORD our God are disgusting to Egyptians. If they see us offer sacrifices that they consider disgusting, won't they stone us to death?
We need to travel three days into the desert to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God, as he told us to do."
Pharaoh said, "I will let you go, but don't go very far. You may offer sacrifices to the LORD your God in the desert and pray for me."
Moses answered, "As soon as I leave you, I will pray to the LORD. Tomorrow the swarms of flies will go away from you, your officials, and your people. But you must stop tricking us by not letting the people go to offer sacrifices to the LORD."
Moses left Pharaoh and prayed to the LORD.
The LORD did what Moses asked. The swarms of flies left Pharaoh, his officials, and his people. Not one fly was left.
Yet, this time, too, Pharaoh was stubborn and did not let the people go.