Then God spoke to Moses and Aaron. He said,
"When Pharaoh speaks to you and says, 'Prove yourselves. Perform a miracle,' then tell Aaron, 'Take your staff and throw it down in front of Pharaoh: It will turn into a snake.'"
Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did what God commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his servants, and it turned into a snake.
Pharaoh called in his wise men and sorcerers. The magicians of Egypt did the same thing by their incantations:
each man threw down his staff and they all turned into snakes. But then Aaron's staff swallowed their staffs.
Yet Pharaoh was as stubborn as ever - he wouldn't listen to them, just as God had said. Strike One: Blood
God said to Moses: "Pharaoh is a stubborn man. He refuses to release the people.
First thing in the morning, go and meet Pharaoh as he goes down to the river. At the shore of the Nile take the staff that turned into a snake
and say to him, 'God, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you with this message, "Release my people so that they can worship me in the wilderness." So far you haven't listened.
This is how you'll know that I am God. I am going to take this staff that I'm holding and strike this Nile River water: The water will turn to blood;
the fish in the Nile will die; the Nile will stink; and the Egyptians won't be able to drink the Nile water.'"
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)