Then the LORD said to Moses, "Pharaoh is very stubborn, and he continues to refuse to let the people go.
So go to Pharaoh in the morning as he goes down to the river. Stand on the riverbank and meet him there. Be sure to take along the shepherd's staff that turned into a snake.
Say to him, 'The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say, "Let my people go, so they can worship me in the wilderness." Until now, you have refused to listen to him.
Now the LORD says, "You are going to find out that I am the LORD." Look! I will hit the water of the Nile with this staff, and the river will turn to blood.
The fish in it will die, and the river will stink. The Egyptians will not be able to drink any water from the Nile.'"
Then the LORD said to Moses: "Tell Aaron to point his staff toward the waters of Egypt -- all its rivers, canals, marshes, and reservoirs. Everywhere in Egypt the water will turn into blood, even the water stored in wooden bowls and stone pots in the people's homes."
So Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD had commanded them. As Pharaoh and all of his officials watched, Aaron raised his staff and hit the water of the Nile. Suddenly, the whole river turned to blood!
The fish in the river died, and the water became so foul that the Egyptians couldn't drink it. There was blood everywhere throughout the land of Egypt.
But again the magicians of Egypt used their secret arts, and they, too, turned water into blood. So Pharaoh's heart remained hard and stubborn. He refused to listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had predicted.
Pharaoh returned to his palace and put the whole thing out of his mind.
Then the Egyptians dug wells along the riverbank to get drinking water, for they couldn't drink from the river.