Then the Lord told Moses, "Go to the king of Egypt and tell him, 'This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go to worship me.
If you refuse to let them go and continue to hold them,
the Lord will punish you. He will send a terrible disease on your farm animals that are in the fields. He will cause your horses, donkeys, camels, cattle, goats, and sheep to become sick.
But the Lord will treat Israel's animals differently from the animals of Egypt. None of the animals that belong to the Israelites will die.
The Lord has set tomorrow as the time he will do this in the land.'"
The next day the Lord did as he promised. All the farm animals in Egypt died, but none of the animals belonging to Israelites died.
The king sent people to see what had happened to the animals of Israel, and they found that not one of them had died. But the king was still stubborn and did not let the people go.
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "Fill your hands with ashes from a furnace. Moses, throw the ashes into the air in front of the king of Egypt.
The ashes will spread like dust through all the land of Egypt. They will cause boils to break out and become sores on the skin of people and animals everywhere in the land."
So Moses and Aaron took ashes from a furnace and went and stood before the king. Moses threw ashes into the air, which caused boils to break out and become sores on people and animals.
The magicians could not stand before Moses, because all the Egyptians had boils, even the magicians.
But the Lord made the king stubborn, so he refused to listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said.
Then the Lord said to Moses, "Get up early in the morning and go to the king of Egypt. Tell him, 'This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go to worship me.
If you don't, this time I will punish you, your officers, and your people, with all my power. Then you will know there is no one in the whole land like me.
By now I could have used my power and caused a terrible disease that would have destroyed you and your people from the earth.
But I have let you live for this reason: to show you my power so that my name will be talked about in all the earth.
You are still against my people and do not want to let them go.
So at this time tomorrow, I will send a terrible hailstorm, the worst in Egypt since it became a nation.
Now send for your animals and whatever you have in the fields, and bring them into a safe place. The hail will fall on every person or animal that is still in the fields. If they have not been brought in, they will die.'"
Some of the king's officers respected the word of the Lord and hurried to bring their slaves and animals inside.
But others ignored the Lord's message and left their slaves and animals in the fields.
The Lord told Moses, "Raise your hand toward the sky. Then the hail will start falling in all the land of Egypt. It will fall on people, animals, and on everything that grows in the fields of Egypt."
When Moses raised his walking stick toward the sky, the Lord sent thunder and hail, and lightning flashed down to the earth. So he caused hail to fall upon the land of Egypt.
There was hail, and lightning flashed as it hailed -- the worst hailstorm in Egypt since it had become a nation.
The hail destroyed all the people and animals that were in the fields in all the land of Egypt. It also destroyed everything that grew in the fields and broke all the trees in the fields.
The only place it did not hail was in the land of Goshen, where the Israelites lived.
The king sent for Moses and Aaron and told them, "This time I have sinned. The Lord is in the right, and I and my people are in the wrong.
Pray to the Lord. We have had enough of God's thunder and hail. I will let you go; you do not have to stay here any longer."
Moses told the king, "When I leave the city, I will raise my hands to the Lord in prayer, and the thunder and hail will stop. Then you will know that the earth belongs to the Lord.
But I know that you and your officers do not yet fear the Lord God."
The flax was in bloom, and the barley had ripened, so these crops were destroyed.
But both wheat crops ripen later, so they were not destroyed.
Moses left the king and went outside the city. He raised his hands to the Lord, and the thunder and hail stopped. The rain also stopped falling to the ground.
When the king saw that the rain, hail, and thunder had stopped, he sinned again, and he and his officers became stubborn.
So the king became stubborn and refused to let the Israelites go, just as the Lord had said through Moses.