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."
Moses replied, "When I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands in prayer to the LORD. The thunder will stop and there will be no more hail, so you may know that the earth is the LORD's.
But I know that you and your officials still do not fear the LORD God."
(The flax and barley were destroyed, since the barley had headed and the flax was in bloom.
The wheat and spelt, however, were not destroyed, because they ripen later.)
Then Moses left Pharaoh and went out of the city. He spread out his hands toward the LORD; the thunder and hail stopped, and the rain no longer poured down on the land.
When Pharaoh saw that the rain and hail and thunder had stopped, he sinned again: He and his officials hardened their hearts.
So Pharaoh's heart was hard and he would not let the Israelites go, just as the LORD had said through Moses.
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these miraculous signs of mine among them
that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the LORD."
So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him, "This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: 'How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go, so that they may worship me.
If you refuse to let them go, I will bring locusts into your country tomorrow.
They will cover the face of the ground so that it cannot be seen. They will devour what little you have left after the hail, including every tree that is growing in your fields.
They will fill your houses and those of all your officials and all the Egyptians--something neither your fathers nor your forefathers have ever seen from the day they settled in this land till now.' " Then Moses turned and left Pharaoh.
Pharaoh's officials said to him, "How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the people go, so that they may worship the LORD their God. Do you not yet realize that Egypt is ruined?"
Then Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. "Go, worship the LORD your God," he said. "But just who will be going?"
Moses answered, "We will go with our young and old, with our sons and daughters, and with our flocks and herds, because we are to celebrate a festival to the LORD."
Pharaoh said, "The LORD be with you--if I let you go, along with your women and children! Clearly you are bent on evil.
No! Have only the men go; and worship the LORD, since that's what you have been asking for." Then Moses and Aaron were driven out of Pharaoh's presence.
And the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over Egypt so that locusts will swarm over the land and devour everything growing in the fields, everything left by the hail."
So Moses stretched out his staff over Egypt, and the LORD made an east wind blow across the land all that day and all that night. By morning the wind had brought the locusts;
they invaded all Egypt and settled down in every area of the country in great numbers. Never before had there been such a plague of locusts, nor will there ever be again.
They covered all the ground until it was black. They devoured all that was left after the hail--everything growing in the fields and the fruit on the trees. Nothing green remained on tree or plant in all the land of Egypt.
Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron and said, "I have sinned against the LORD your God and against you.
Now forgive my sin once more and pray to the LORD your God to take this deadly plague away from me."
Moses then left Pharaoh and prayed to the LORD.
And the LORD changed the wind to a very strong west wind, which caught up the locusts and carried them into the Red Sea. Not a locust was left anywhere in Egypt.
But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let the Israelites go.
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness will spread over Egypt--darkness that can be felt."
So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days.
No one could see anyone else or leave his place for three days. Yet all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived.
Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and said, "Go, worship the LORD. Even your women and children may go with you; only leave your flocks and herds behind."
But Moses said, "You must allow us to have sacrifices and burnt offerings to present to the LORD our God.
Our livestock too must go with us; not a hoof is to be left behind. We have to use some of them in worshiping the LORD our God, and until we get there we will not know what we are to use to worship the LORD."
But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he was not willing to let them go.
Pharaoh said to Moses, "Get out of my sight! Make sure you do not appear before me again! The day you see my face you will die."
"Just as you say," Moses replied, "I will never appear before you again."
Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.
Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.
Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,
O descendants of Abraham his servant, O sons of Jacob, his chosen ones.
He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth.
He remembers his covenant forever, the word he commanded, for a thousand generations,
the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac.
He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant:
"To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit."
When they were but few in number, few indeed, and strangers in it,
they wandered from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another.
He allowed no one to oppress them; for their sake he rebuked kings:
"Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm."
He called down famine on the land and destroyed all their supplies of food;
and he sent a man before them-- Joseph, sold as a slave.
They bruised his feet with shackles, his neck was put in irons,
till what he foretold came to pass, till the word of the LORD proved him true.
The king sent and released him, the ruler of peoples set him free.
He made him master of his household, ruler over all he possessed,
to instruct his princes as he pleased and teach his elders wisdom.
Then Israel entered Egypt; Jacob lived as an alien in the land of Ham.
The LORD made his people very fruitful; he made them too numerous for their foes,
whose hearts he turned to hate his people, to conspire against his servants.
He sent Moses his servant, and Aaron, whom he had chosen.
They performed his miraculous signs among them, his wonders in the land of Ham.
He sent darkness and made the land dark-- for had they not rebelled against his words?
He turned their waters into blood, causing their fish to die.
Their land teemed with frogs, which went up into the bedrooms of their rulers.
He spoke, and there came swarms of flies, and gnats throughout their country.
He turned their rain into hail, with lightning throughout their land;
he struck down their vines and fig trees and shattered the trees of their country.
He spoke, and the locusts came, grasshoppers without number;
they ate up every green thing in their land, ate up the produce of their soil.
Then he struck down all the firstborn in their land, the firstfruits of all their manhood.
He brought out Israel, laden with silver and gold, and from among their tribes no one faltered.
Egypt was glad when they left, because dread of Israel had fallen on them.
He spread out a cloud as a covering, and a fire to give light at night.
They asked, and he brought them quail and satisfied them with the bread of heaven.
He opened the rock, and water gushed out; like a river it flowed in the desert.
For he remembered his holy promise given to his servant Abraham.
He brought out his people with rejoicing, his chosen ones with shouts of joy;
he gave them the lands of the nations, and they fell heir to what others had toiled for--
that they might keep his precepts and observe his laws. Praise the LORD.