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ESV — Exodus 7-12

Moses and Aaron Before Pharaoh

And the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you like oGod to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your pprophet. qYou shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall tell Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go out of his land. But rI will harden Pharaoh's heart, and though I smultiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, Pharaoh will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and bring my hosts, my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment. The Egyptians tshall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the people of Israel from among them.” Moses and Aaron did so; they did just as the Lord commanded them. Now Moses was ueighty years old, and Aaron eighty-three years old, when they spoke to Pharaoh.

Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “When Pharaoh says to you, v‘Prove yourselves by working a miracle,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and cast it down before Pharaoh, that it may become a serpent.’” 10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron cast down his staff before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. 11 Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the wmagicians of Egypt, also xdid the same by their secret arts. 12 For each man cast down his staff, and they became serpents. But Aaron's staff swallowed up their staffs. 13 Still rPharaoh's heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, ras the Lord had said.

The First Plague: Water Turned to Blood

14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh's heart is hardened; he refuses to let the people go. 15 yGo to Pharaoh in the morning, as he is going out to the water. Stand on the bank of the Nile to meet him, and take in your hand zthe staff that turned into a aserpent. 16 And you shall say to him, ‘The bLord, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you, saying, “Let my people go, cthat they may serve me in the wilderness.” But so far, you have not obeyed. 17 Thus says the Lord, “By this dyou shall know that I am the Lord: behold, with the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water that is in the Nile, and eit shall turn into blood. 18 The fish in the Nile shall die, and the Nile will stink, and the Egyptians will fgrow weary of drinking water from the Nile.”’” 19 And the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and gstretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, their canals, and their ponds, and all their pools of water, so that they may become blood, and there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, even in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone.’”

20 Moses and Aaron did as the Lord commanded. In the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants he hlifted up the staff and struck the water in the Nile, and all the iwater in the Nile turned into blood. 21 And the fish in the Nile died, and the Nile stank, so that the Egyptians jcould not drink water from the Nile. There was blood throughout all the land of Egypt. 22 But kthe magicians of Egypt did the same by their secret arts. So lPharaoh's heart remained hardened, and he would not listen to them, as mthe Lord had said. 23 Pharaoh turned and went into his house, and he did not take even this to heart. 24 And all the Egyptians dug along the Nile for water to drink, for they could not drink the water of the Nile.

25 Seven full days passed after the Lord had struck the Nile.

The Second Plague: Frogs

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Let my people go, that nthey may serve me. But if you orefuse to let them go, behold, I will plague all your country with pfrogs. The Nile shall swarm with frogs that shall come up into your house and into qyour bedroom and on your bed and into the houses of your servants and your people,1 and into your ovens and your kneading bowls. The frogs shall come up on you and on your people and on all your servants.”’” And the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, r‘Stretch out your hand with your staff over the rivers, over the canals and over the pools, and make frogs come up on the land of Egypt!’” So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and sthe frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. But tthe magicians did the same by their secret arts and made frogs come up on the land of Egypt.

Then Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron and said, u“Plead with the Lord to take away the frogs from me and from my people, and vI will let the people go to sacrifice to the Lord.” Moses said to Pharaoh, “Be pleased to command me when uI am to plead for you and for your servants and for your people, that the frogs be cut off from you and your houses and be left only in the Nile.” 10 And he said, “Tomorrow.” Moses said, “Be it as you say, so wthat you may know that xthere is no one like the Lord our God. 11 The frogs shall go away from you and your houses and your servants and your people. They shall be left only in the Nile.” 12 So Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh, and Moses cried to the Lord about the frogs, as he had agreed with Pharaoh.2 13 And the Lord did according to the word of Moses. The frogs died out in the houses, the courtyards, and the fields. 14 And they gathered them together in heaps, and the land stank. 15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was a yrespite, he zhardened his heart and would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.

The Third Plague: Gnats

16 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, a‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, so that it may become gnats in all the land of Egypt.’” 17 And they did so. Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff and struck the dust of the earth, and bthere were gnats on man and beast. All the dust of the earth became gnats in all the land of Egypt. 18 The cmagicians tried by their secret arts to produce gnats, but they could not. So there were gnats on man and beast. 19 Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is dthe finger of God.” But Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.

The Fourth Plague: Flies

20 Then the Lord said to Moses, e“Rise up early in the morning and present yourself to Pharaoh, as he goes out to the water, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, f“Let my people go, that they may serve me. 21 Or else, if you will not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies on you and your servants and your people, and into your houses. And the houses of the Egyptians shall be filled with swarms of flies, and also the ground on which they stand. 22 But on that day gI will set apart the land of Goshen, where my people dwell, so that no swarms of flies shall be there, hthat you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth.3 23 Thus I will put a division4 between my people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall happen.”’” 24 And the Lord did so. iThere came great swarms of flies into the house of Pharaoh and into his servants' houses. Throughout all the land of Egypt the land was ruined by the swarms of flies.

25 Then Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God within the land.” 26 But Moses said, “It would not be right to do so, for the offerings we shall sacrifice to the Lord our God are an jabomination to the Egyptians. If we sacrifice offerings jabominable to the Egyptians before their eyes, will they not stone us? 27 We must go kthree days' journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the Lord our God las he tells us.” 28 So Pharaoh said, “I will let you go to sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; only you must not go very far away. mPlead for me.” 29 Then Moses said, “Behold, I am going out from you and I will plead with the Lord that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, tomorrow. Only let not Pharaoh ncheat again by not letting the people go to sacrifice to the Lord.” 30 So Moses went out from Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord. 31 And the Lord did as Moses asked, and removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people; not one remained. 32 But Pharaoh ohardened his heart this time also, and did not let the people go.

The Fifth Plague: Egyptian Livestock Die

Then the Lord said to Moses, p“Go in to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says qthe Lord, the God of the Hebrews, “Let my people go, that they may serve me. For if you refuse to let them go and still hold them, behold, rthe hand of the Lord will fall with a very severe plague upon your livestock that are in the field, the horses, the donkeys, the camels, the herds, and the flocks. sBut the Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, so that nothing of all that belongs to the people of Israel shall die.”’” And the Lord set a time, saying, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this thing in the land.” And the next day the Lord did this thing. tAll the livestock of the Egyptians died, but not one of the livestock of the people of Israel died. And Pharaoh sent, and behold, not one of the livestock of Israel was dead. But uthe heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people go.

The Sixth Plague: Boils

And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Take handfuls of soot from the kiln, and let Moses throw them in the air in the sight of Pharaoh. It shall become fine dust over all the land of Egypt, and become vboils breaking out in sores on man and beast throughout all the land of Egypt.” 10 So they took soot from the kiln and stood before Pharaoh. And Moses threw it in the air, and it became boils breaking out in sores on man and beast. 11 And wthe magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for the boils came upon the magicians and upon all the Egyptians. 12 xBut the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he did not listen to them, as ythe Lord had spoken to Moses.

The Seventh Plague: Hail

13 Then the Lord said to Moses, z“Rise up early in the morning and present yourself before Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, “Let my people go, that they may serve me. 14 For this time I will send all my plagues on you yourself,5 and on your servants and your people, so athat you may know that there is none like me in all the earth. 15 For by now I could have put out my hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth. 16 bBut for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so cthat my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. 17 dYou are still exalting yourself against my people and will not let them go. 18 Behold, about this time tomorrow I will cause very heavy hail to fall, such as never has been in Egypt from the day it was founded until now. 19 Now therefore send, eget your livestock and all that you have in the field into safe shelter, for every man and beast that is in the field and is not brought home will die when the hail falls on them.”’” 20 Then whoever feared the word of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh hurried his slaves and his livestock into the houses, 21 but whoever did not pay attention to the word of the Lord left his slaves and his livestock in the field.

22 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, so that there may be fhail in all the land of Egypt, on man and beast and every plant of the field, in the land of Egypt.” 23 Then Moses stretched out his staff toward heaven, and the gLord sent thunder and hail, and fire ran down to the earth. And the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt. 24 There was hail and fire flashing continually in the midst of the hail, very heavy hail, such as had never been in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. 25 The hail struck down everything that was in the field in all the land of Egypt, both man and beast. And the hail hstruck down every plant of the field and broke every tree of the field. 26 iOnly in the land of Goshen, where the people of Israel were, was there no hail.

27 Then Pharaoh sent and called Moses and Aaron and said to them, “This time jI have sinned; the kLord is in the right, and I and my people are in the wrong. 28 lPlead with the Lord, for there has been enough of God's thunder and hail. I will let you go, and you shall stay no longer.” 29 Moses said to him, “As soon as I have gone out of the city, mI will stretch out my hands to the Lord. The thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, so that you may know that nthe earth is the Lord's. 30 But as for you and your servants, oI know that you do not yet fear the Lord God.” 31 (The flax and the barley were struck down, for the barley was in the ear and the flax was in bud. 32 But the wheat and the emmer6 were not struck down, for they are late in coming up.) 33 So Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh and mstretched out his hands to the Lord, and the thunder and the hail ceased, and the rain no longer poured upon the earth. 34 But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet again and phardened his heart, qhe and his servants. 35 So rthe heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people of Israel go, just as the Lord had spoken through Moses.

The Eighth Plague: Locusts

10 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may show these signs of mine among them, and sthat you may tell in the hearing of your son and of your grandson how I have dealt harshly with the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them, tthat you may know that I am the Lord.”

So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, ‘How long will you refuse to uhumble yourself before me? Let my people go, that they may serve me. For if you refuse to let my people go, behold, tomorrow I will bring vlocusts into your country, and they shall cover the face of the land, so that no one can see the land. And they shall weat what is left to you after the hail, and they shall eat every tree of yours that grows in the field, and they shall fill xyour houses and the houses of all your servants and of all the Egyptians, as neither your fathers nor your grandfathers have seen, from the day they came on earth to this day.’” Then he turned and went out from Pharaoh.

Then Pharaoh's servants said to him, “How long shall this man be a snare to us? Let the men go, that they may serve the Lord their God. Do you not yet understand that Egypt is ruined?” So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. And he said to them, y“Go, serve the Lord your God. But which ones are to go?” Moses said, “We will go with our young and our old. We will go with our sons and daughters and with our flocks and herds, for zwe must hold a feast to the Lord.” 10 But he said to them, “The Lord be with you, if ever I let you and your alittle ones go! Look, you have some evil purpose in mind.7 11 No! Go, the men among you, and serve the Lord, for that is what you are asking.” And they were driven out from Pharaoh's presence.

12 Then the Lord said to Moses, b“Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, so that they may come upon the land of Egypt and ceat every plant in the land, all that the hail has left.” 13 So Moses stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt, and the Lord brought an east wind upon the land all that day and all that night. When it was morning, the east wind had brought the locusts. 14 dThe locusts came up over all the land of Egypt and settled on the whole country of Egypt, esuch a dense swarm of locusts as had never been before, nor ever will be again. 15 They covered the face of the whole land, so that the land was darkened, and fthey ate all the plants in the land and all the fruit of the trees that the hail had left. Not a green thing remained, neither tree nor plant of the field, through all the land of Egypt. 16 Then Pharaoh hastily called Moses and Aaron and said, g“I have sinned against the Lord your God, and against you. 17 Now therefore, forgive my sin, please, only this once, and hplead with the Lord your God only to remove this death from me.” 18 So ihe went out from Pharaoh and pleaded with the Lord. 19 And the Lord turned the wind into a very strong west wind, which lifted the locusts and drove them jinto the Red Sea. Not a single locust was left in all the country of Egypt. 20 But the Lord khardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the people of Israel go.

The Ninth Plague: Darkness

21 Then the Lord said to Moses, l“Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be mdarkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt.” 22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was pitch darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. 23 They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days, but nall the people of Israel had light where they lived. 24 Then Pharaoh called Moses and said, o“Go, serve the Lord; pyour little ones also may go with you; only let your flocks and your herds remain behind.” 25 But Moses said, “You must also let us have sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God. 26 Our livestock also must go with us; not a hoof shall be left behind, for we must take of them to serve the Lord our God, and we do not know with what we must serve the Lord until we arrive there.” 27 But the Lord qhardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go. 28 Then Pharaoh said to him, “Get away from me; take care never to see my face again, for on the day you see my face you shall die.” 29 Moses said, “As you say! rI will not see your face again.”

A Final Plague Threatened

11 The Lord said to Moses, “Yet sone plague more I will bring upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here. tWhen he lets you go, he will drive you away completely. Speak now in the hearing of the people, that uthey ask, every man of his neighbor and every woman of her neighbor, for silver and gold jewelry.” vAnd the Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover, the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's servants and in the sight of the people.

So Moses said, “Thus says the Lord: w‘About midnight I will go out in the midst of Egypt, and every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is xbehind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the cattle. yThere shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there has never been, nor ever will be again. But not a dog shall growl zagainst any of the people of Israel, either man or beast, that you may know that the Lord amakes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.’ And ball these your servants shall come down to me and bow down to me, saying, ‘Get out, you and all the people who follow you.’ And after that I will go out.” And he went out from Pharaoh in hot anger. Then the Lord said to Moses, c“Pharaoh will not listen to you, that dmy wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.”

10 Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh, and the Lord ehardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the people of Israel go out of his land.

The Passover

12 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, f“This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb gaccording to their fathers' houses, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be hwithout blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, and you shall keep it until the ifourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight.8

“Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the jtwo doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with kunleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but lroasted, its head with its legs and its inner parts. 10 And myou shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. 11 In this manner you shall eat it: with nyour belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. oIt is the Lord's Passover. 12 For pI will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on qall the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: rI am the Lord. 13 sThe blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.

14 “This day shall be tfor you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a ustatute forever, you shall keep it as a feast. 15 vSeven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven out of your houses, for if anyone eats what is leavened, from the first day until the seventh day, wthat person shall be cut off from Israel. 16 On the first day you shall hold a xholy assembly, and on the seventh day a holy assembly. No work shall be done on those days. But what everyone needs to eat, that alone may be prepared by you. 17 And you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for yon this very day I brought your zhosts out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day, throughout your generations, as a statute forever. 18 aIn the first month, from the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. 19 bFor seven days no leaven is to be found in your houses. If anyone eats what is leavened, bthat person will be cut off from the congregation of Israel, cwhether he is a sojourner or a native of the land. 20 You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwelling places you shall eat unleavened bread.”

21 Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and select lambs for yourselves daccording to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb. 22 Take a bunch of ehyssop and fdip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch gthe lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. hNone of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. 23 iFor the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on gthe lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and jwill not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you. 24 You shall observe this rite as a statute for you and for your sons forever. 25 And when you come to the land that the Lord will give you, kas he has promised, you shall keep this service. 26 And lwhen your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ 27 you shall say, m‘It is the sacrifice of the Lord's Passover, for he passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt, when he struck the Egyptians but spared our houses.’” And the people nbowed their heads and worshiped.

28 Then the people of Israel went and did so; as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.

The Tenth Plague: Death of the Firstborn

29 oAt midnight the pLord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, qfrom the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock. 30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians. And there was ra great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where someone was not dead. 31 Then he summoned Moses and Aaron by night and said, “Up, go out from among my people, sboth you and the people of Israel; and go, serve the Lord, as you have said. 32 tTake your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone, and bless me also!”

The Exodus

33 uThe Egyptians were urgent with the people to send them out of the land in haste. For they said, “We shall all be dead.” 34 So the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading bowls being bound up in their cloaks on their shoulders. 35 The people of Israel had also done as Moses told them, for they had vasked the Egyptians for silver and gold jewelry and for clothing. 36 wAnd the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that xthey let them have what they asked. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.

37 And the ypeople of Israel journeyed from zRameses to Succoth, aabout six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children. 38 A bmixed multitude also went up with them, and very much livestock, both flocks and herds. 39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough that they had brought out of Egypt, for it was not leavened, because uthey were thrust out of Egypt and ccould not wait, nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves.

40 The time that the people of Israel lived in Egypt was 430 years. 41 At the end of d430 years, on that very day, all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. 42 It was a night of watching by the Lord, to bring them out of the land of Egypt; so this same night is a enight of watching kept to the Lord by all the people of Israel throughout their generations.

Institution of the Passover

43 And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the statute of the Passover: no foreigner shall eat of it, 44 but every slave9 that is fbought for money may eat of it after you have circumcised him. 45 gNo foreigner or hired worker may eat of it. 46 It shall be eaten in one house; you shall not take any of the flesh outside the house, and hyou shall not break any of its bones. 47 iAll the congregation of Israel shall keep it. 48 jIf a stranger shall sojourn with you and would keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised. Then he may come near and keep it; he kshall be as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it. 49 There shall be lone law for the native and for the jstranger who sojourns among you.”

50 All the people of Israel did just as the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron. 51 And on that very day the mLord brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their nhosts.

Footnotes

[1] 8:3 Or among your people
[2] 8:12 Or which he had brought upon Pharaoh
[3] 8:22 Or that I the Lord am in the land
[4] 8:23 Septuagint, Vulgate; Hebrew set redemption
[5] 9:14 Hebrew on your heart
[6] 9:32 A type of wheat
[7] 10:10 Hebrew before your face
[8] 12:6 Hebrew between the two evenings
[9] 12:44 Or servant; the Hebrew term ‘ebed designates a range of social and economic roles (see Preface)