Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh once again and tell him, 'This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so they can worship me.
If you refuse, then listen carefully to this: I will send vast hordes of frogs across your entire land from one border to the other.
The Nile River will swarm with them. They will come up out of the river and into your houses, even into your bedrooms and onto your beds! Every home in Egypt will be filled with them. They will fill even your ovens and your kneading bowls.
You and your people will be overwhelmed by frogs!'"
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Tell Aaron to point his shepherd's staff toward all the rivers, canals, and marshes of Egypt so there will be frogs in every corner of the land."
Aaron did so, and frogs covered the whole land of Egypt!
But the magicians were able to do the same thing with their secret arts. They, too, caused frogs to come up on the land.
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 the 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. I will pray that you and your houses will be rid of the frogs. Then only the frogs in the Nile River will remain alive."
"Do it tomorrow," Pharaoh said. "All right," Moses replied, "it will be as you have said. Then you will know that no one is as powerful as the LORD our God.
All the frogs will be destroyed, except those in the river."
So Moses and Aaron left Pharaoh, and Moses pleaded with the LORD about the frogs he had sent.
And the LORD did as Moses had promised. The frogs in the houses, the courtyards, and the fields all died.
They were piled into great heaps, and a terrible stench filled the land.
But when Pharaoh saw that the frogs were gone, he hardened his heart. He refused to listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had predicted.
So the LORD said to Moses, "Tell Aaron to strike the dust with his staff. 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. Suddenly, 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 all the people and animals.
"This is the finger of God!" the magicians exclaimed to Pharaoh. But Pharaoh's heart remained hard and stubborn. He wouldn't listen to them, just as the LORD had predicted.
Next the LORD told Moses, "Get up early in the morning and meet Pharaoh 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, I will send swarms of flies throughout Egypt. Your homes will be filled with them, and the ground will be covered with them.
But it will be very different in the land of Goshen, where the Israelites live. No flies will be found there. Then you will know that I am the LORD and that I have power even in the heart of your land.
I will make a clear distinction between your people and my people. This miraculous sign will happen tomorrow.'"
And the LORD did just as he had said. There were terrible swarms of flies in Pharaoh's palace and in every home in Egypt. The whole country was thrown into chaos by the flies.
Pharaoh hastily called for Moses and Aaron. "All right! Go ahead and offer sacrifices to your God," he said. "But do it here in this land. Don't go out into the wilderness."
But Moses replied, "That won't do! The Egyptians would detest the sacrifices that we offer to the LORD our God. If we offer them here where they can see us, they will be sure to 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 to offer sacrifices to the LORD your God in the wilderness. But don't go too far away. Now hurry, and pray for me."
"As soon as I go," Moses said, "I will ask the LORD to cause the swarms of flies to disappear from you and all your people. But I am warning you, don't change your mind again and refuse to let the people go to sacrifice to the LORD."
So Moses left Pharaoh and asked the LORD to remove all the flies.
And the LORD did as Moses asked and caused the swarms to disappear. Not a single fly remained in the land!
But Pharaoh hardened his heart again and refused to let the people go.