Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh. Tell him, 'The LORD says, "Let my people go. Then they will be able to worship me.
" ' "If you refuse to let them go, I will plague your whole country with frogs.
The Nile River will be full of frogs. They will come up into your palace. You will have frogs in your bedroom and on your bed. They will be in the homes of your officials and your people. They will be in your ovens and in your bread pans.
The frogs will be on you, your people and all of your officials." ' "
Then the LORD spoke to Moses. He said, "Tell Aaron, 'Reach your hand out. Hold your staff over the streams, waterways and ponds. Make frogs come up on the land of Egypt.' "
So Aaron reached his hand out over the waters of Egypt. The frogs came up and covered the land.
But the magicians did the same things by doing their magic tricks. They also made frogs come up on the land of Egypt.
Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron. He said to them, "Pray to the LORD to take the frogs away from me and my people. Then I'll let your people go to offer sacrifices to the Lord."
Moses said to Pharaoh, "You can have the honor of setting the time for me to pray. I will pray for you, your officials and your people. I'll pray that the frogs will leave you and your homes. The only frogs left will be the ones in the Nile River."
"Tomorrow," Pharaoh said. Moses replied, "It will happen just as you say. Then you will know that there is no one like the LORD our God.
The frogs will leave you and your houses. They will leave your officials and your people. They will remain only in the Nile River."
Moses and Aaron left Pharaoh. Then Moses cried out to the LORD about the frogs he had brought on Pharaoh.
And the LORD did what Moses asked. The frogs died in the houses, courtyards and fields.
The Egyptians piled them up. The land smelled very bad because of them.
But when Pharaoh saw that the frogs were dead, his heart became stubborn. He wouldn't listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said.
Then the LORD spoke to Moses. He said, "Tell Aaron, 'Reach your wooden staff out. Strike the dust on the ground with it.' Then all over the land of Egypt the dust will turn into gnats."
So they did it. Aaron reached out the staff that was in his hand. He struck the dust on the ground with it. The dust all over the land of Egypt turned into gnats. They landed on people and animals alike.
The magicians tried to produce gnats by doing their magic tricks. But they couldn't. The gnats stayed on people and animals alike.
The magicians said to Pharaoh, "God's powerful finger has done this." But Pharaoh's heart was stubborn. He wouldn't listen, just as the LORD had said.
Then the LORD spoke to Moses. He said, "Get up early in the morning. Talk to Pharaoh as he goes down to the river. Say to him, 'The LORD says, "Let my people go. Then they will be able to worship me.
If you do not let my people go, I will send large numbers of flies. I will send them on you and your officials. I will send them on your people and into your homes. The houses of the Egyptians will be full of flies. Even the area where they live will be full of flies.
" ' "But on that day I will treat the area of Goshen differently from yours. That is where my people live. There will not be large numbers of flies in Goshen. Then you will know that I, the Lord, am in this land.
I will treat my people differently from yours. The miraculous sign will take place tomorrow." ' "
So the LORD did it. Huge numbers of flies poured into Pharaoh's palace. They came into the homes of his officials. All over Egypt the flies destroyed the land.
Then Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron. He said to them, "Go. Offer sacrifices to your God here in the land."
But Moses said, "That wouldn't be right. The sacrifices we offer to the LORD our God wouldn't be accepted by the Egyptians because of their beliefs. Suppose we offered sacrifices they couldn't accept. Then they would throw stones at us and try to kill us.
We have to take a journey that lasts about three days. We want to go into the desert to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God, exactly as he commands us."
Pharaoh said, "I will let you and your people go to offer sacrifices. You can offer them to the LORD your God in the desert. But you must not go very far. And pray for me."
Moses replied, "As soon as I leave you, I will pray to the Lord. Tomorrow the flies will leave you. They will also leave your officials and your people. Just be sure you don't try to trick us again. Let the people go to offer sacrifices to the Lord."
Then Moses left Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord.
And the LORD did what Moses asked. The flies left Pharaoh, his officials and his people. Not one fly remained.
But Pharaoh's heart became stubborn that time also. He wouldn't let the people go.