" 'But on that day I will deal differently with the land of Goshen, where my people live; no swarms of flies will be there, so that you will know that I, the LORD, am in this land.
I will make a distinction between my people and your people. This miraculous sign will occur tomorrow.' "
And the LORD did this. Dense swarms of flies poured into Pharaoh's palace and into the houses of his officials, and throughout Egypt the land was ruined by the flies.
Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, "Go, sacrifice to your God here in the land."
But Moses said, "That would not be right. The sacrifices we offer the LORD our God would be detestable to the Egyptians. And if we offer sacrifices that are detestable in their eyes, will they not stone us?
We must take a three-day journey into the desert to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God, as he commands us."
Pharaoh said, "I will let you go to offer sacrifices to the LORD your God in the desert, but you must not go very far. Now pray for me."
Moses answered, "As soon as I leave you, I will pray to the LORD, and tomorrow the flies will leave Pharaoh and his officials and his people. Only be sure that Pharaoh does not act deceitfully again by not letting 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 and his officials and his people; not a fly remained.
But this time also Pharaoh hardened his heart and would not let the people go.
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh and say to him, 'This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: "Let my people go, so that they may worship me."
If you refuse to let them go and continue to hold them back,
the hand of the LORD will bring a terrible plague on your livestock in the field--on your horses and donkeys and camels and on your cattle and sheep and goats.
But the LORD will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and that of Egypt, so that no animal belonging to the Israelites will die.' "
The LORD set a time and said, "Tomorrow the LORD will do this in the land."
And the next day the LORD did it: All the livestock of the Egyptians died, but not one animal belonging to the Israelites died.
Pharaoh sent men to investigate and found that not even one of the animals of the Israelites had died. Yet his heart was unyielding and he would not let the people go.
Then the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Take handfuls of soot from a furnace and have Moses toss it into the air in the presence of Pharaoh.
It will become fine dust over the whole land of Egypt, and festering boils will break out on men and animals throughout the land."
So they took soot from a furnace and stood before Pharaoh. Moses tossed it into the air, and festering boils broke out on men and animals.
The magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils that were on them and on all the Egyptians.
But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said to Moses.
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Get up early in the morning, confront Pharaoh and say to him, 'This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me,
or this time I will send the full force of my plagues against you and against your officials and your people, so you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth.
For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the earth.
But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.
You still set yourself against my people and will not let them go.
Therefore, at this time tomorrow I will send the worst hailstorm that has ever fallen on Egypt, from the day it was founded till now.
Give an order now to bring your livestock and everything you have in the field to a place of shelter, because the hail will fall on every man and animal that has not been brought in and is still out in the field, and they will die.' "
Those officials of Pharaoh who feared the word of the LORD hurried to bring their slaves and their livestock inside.
But those who ignored the word of the LORD left their slaves and livestock in the field.
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that hail will fall all over Egypt--on men and animals and on everything growing in the fields of Egypt."
When Moses stretched out his staff toward the sky, the LORD sent thunder and hail, and lightning flashed down to the ground. So the LORD rained hail on the land of Egypt;
hail fell and lightning flashed back and forth. It was the worst storm in all the land of Egypt since it had become a nation.
Throughout Egypt hail struck everything in the fields--both men and animals; it beat down everything growing in the fields and stripped every tree.
The only place it did not hail was the land of Goshen, where the Israelites were.
Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron. "This time I have sinned," he said to them. "The LORD is in the right, and I and my people are in the wrong.
Pray to the LORD, for we have had enough thunder and hail. I will let you go; you don't have to stay any longer."