Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go back to Pharaoh and announce to him, ‘This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so they can worship me.
If you refuse to let them go, I will send a plague of frogs across your entire land.
The Nile River will swarm with frogs. They will come up out of the river and into your palace, even into your bedroom and onto your bed! They will enter the houses of your officials and your people. They will even jump into your ovens and your kneading bowls.
Frogs will jump on you, your people, and all your officials.’”
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Raise the staff in your hand over all the rivers, canals, and ponds of Egypt, and bring up frogs over all the land.’”
So Aaron raised his hand over the waters of Egypt, and frogs came up and covered the whole land!
But the magicians were able to do the same thing with their magic. They, too, caused frogs to come up on the land of Egypt.
Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and begged, “Plead with the LORD to take the frogs away from me and my people. I will let your people go, so they can offer sacrifices to the LORD .”
“You set the time!” Moses replied. “Tell me when you want me to pray for you, your officials, and your people. Then you and your houses will be rid of the frogs. They will remain only in the Nile River.”
“Do it tomorrow,” Pharaoh said. “All right,” Moses replied, “it will be as you have said. Then you will know that there is no one like the LORD our God.
The frogs will leave you and your houses, your officials, and your people. They will remain only in the Nile River.”
So Moses and Aaron left Pharaoh’s palace, and Moses cried out to the LORD about the frogs he had inflicted on Pharaoh.
And the LORD did just what Moses had predicted. The frogs in the houses, the courtyards, and the fields all died.
The Egyptians piled them into great heaps, and a terrible stench filled the land.
But when Pharaoh saw that relief had come, he became stubborn. He refused to listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had predicted.
So the LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Raise your staff and strike the ground. The dust will turn into swarms of gnats throughout the land of Egypt.’”
So Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD had commanded them. When Aaron raised his hand and struck the ground with his staff, gnats infested the entire land, covering the Egyptians and their animals. All the dust in the land of Egypt turned into gnats.
Pharaoh’s magicians tried to do the same thing with their secret arts, but this time they failed. And the gnats covered everyone, people and animals alike.
“This is the finger of God!” the magicians exclaimed to Pharaoh. But Pharaoh’s heart remained hard. He wouldn’t listen to them, just as the LORD had predicted.
Then the LORD told Moses, “Get up early in the morning and stand in Pharaoh’s way as he goes down to the river. Say to him, ‘This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so they can worship me.
If you refuse, then I will send swarms of flies on you, your officials, your people, and all the houses. The Egyptian homes will be filled with flies, and the ground will be covered with them.
But this time I will spare the region of Goshen, where my people live. No flies will be found there. Then you will know that I am the LORD and that I am present even in the heart of your land.
I will make a clear distinction between my people and your people. This miraculous sign will happen tomorrow.’”
And the LORD did just as he had said. A thick swarm of flies filled Pharaoh’s palace and the houses of his officials. The whole land of Egypt was thrown into chaos by the flies.
Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron. “All right! Go ahead and offer sacrifices to your God,” he said. “But do it here in this land.”
But Moses replied, “That wouldn’t be right. The Egyptians detest the sacrifices that we offer to the LORD our God. Look, if we offer our sacrifices here where the Egyptians can see us, they will stone us.
We must take a three-day trip into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God, just as he has commanded us.”
“All right, go ahead,” Pharaoh replied. “I will let you go into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the LORD your God. But don’t go too far away. Now hurry and pray for me.”
Moses answered, “As soon as I leave you, I will pray to the LORD, and tomorrow the swarms of flies will disappear from you and your officials and all your people. But I am warning you, Pharaoh, don’t lie to us again and refuse to let the people go to sacrifice to the LORD .”
So Moses left Pharaoh’s palace and pleaded with the LORD to remove all the flies.
And the LORD did as Moses asked and caused the swarms of flies to disappear from Pharaoh, his officials, and his people. Not a single fly remained.
But Pharaoh again became stubborn and refused to let the people go.