Making Bricks Without Straw
5 Afterward Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, that they may hold ta feast to me in the wilderness.’” 2 But Pharaoh said, u“Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and moreover, vI will not let Israel go.” 3 Then they said, “The wGod of the Hebrews has met with us. Please let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God, lest he fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.” 4 But the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people away from their work? Get back to your xburdens.” 5 And Pharaoh said, “Behold, ythe people of the land are now many,1 and you make them rest from their burdens!” 6 The same day Pharaoh commanded the ztaskmasters of the people and their aforemen, 7 “You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as in the past; let them go and gather straw for themselves. 8 But the number of bricks that they made in the past you shall impose on them, you shall by no means reduce it, for they are idle. Therefore they cry, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.’ 9 Let heavier work be laid on the men that they may labor at it and pay no regard to lying words.”
10 So the btaskmasters and the foremen of the people went out and said to the people, “Thus says Pharaoh, ‘I will not give you straw. 11 Go and get your straw yourselves wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced in the least.’” 12 So the people were scattered throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw. 13 The ctaskmasters were urgent, saying, “Complete your work, your daily task each day, as when there was straw.” 14 And the foremen of the people of Israel, whom Pharaoh’s ctaskmasters had set over them, were beaten and were asked, “Why have you not done all your task of making bricks today and yesterday, as in the past?”
15 Then the foremen of the people of Israel came and cried to Pharaoh, “Why do you treat your servants like this? 16 No straw is given to your servants, yet they say to us, ‘Make bricks!’ And behold, your servants are beaten; but the fault is in your own people.” 17 But he said, “You are idle, you are idle; that is why you say, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.’ 18 Go now and work. No straw will be given you, but you must still deliver the same number of bricks.” 19 The foremen of the people of Israel saw that they were in trouble when they said, “You shall by no means reduce your number of bricks, your daily task each day.” 20 They met Moses and Aaron, who were waiting for them, as they came out from Pharaoh; 21 and dthey said to them, “The Lord look on you and judge, because you have made us stink in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants, and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.”
22 Then Moses turned to the Lord and said, “O Lord, why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me? 23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people, and you have not delivered your people at all.”
God Promises Deliverance
2 God spoke to Moses and said to him, g“I am the Lord. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as hGod Almighty,1 but by my name the iLord I did not make myself known to them. 4 jI also established my covenant with them kto give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they lived as sojourners. 5 Moreover, lI have heard the groaning of the people of Israel whom the Egyptians hold as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. 6 Say therefore to the people of Israel, m‘I am the Lord, and nI will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and oI will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. 7 I pwill take you to be my people, and qI will be your God, and you shall know that mI am the Lord your God, who has brought you out nfrom under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 I will bring you into rthe land that I sswore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. mI am the Lord.’” 9 Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel, but they tdid not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery.
10 So the Lord said to Moses, 11 “Go in, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the people of Israel go out of his land.” 12 But Moses said to the Lord, “Behold, the people of Israel have tnot listened to me. How then shall Pharaoh listen to me, for uI am of uncircumcised lips?” 13 But the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron and gave them a charge about the people of Israel and about Pharaoh king of Egypt: to bring the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt.
The Genealogy of Moses and Aaron
14 These are the heads of their fathers’ houses: the vsons of Reuben, the firstborn of Israel: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi; these are the clans of Reuben. 15 The wsons of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman; these are the clans of Simeon. 16 These are the names of the xsons of Levi according to their generations: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari, the years of the life of Levi being 137 years. 17 The ysons of Gershon: Libni and Shimei, by their clans. 18 The zsons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel, the years of the life of Kohath being 133 years. 19 The asons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. These are the clans of the Levites according to their generations. 20 bAmram took as his wife Jochebed his father’s sister, and she bore him Aaron and Moses, the years of the life of Amram being 137 years. 21 cThe sons of Izhar: Korah, Nepheg, and Zichri. 22 The dsons of Uzziel: Mishael, Elzaphan, and Sithri. 23 Aaron took as his wife Elisheba, the daughter of eAmminadab and the sister of fNahshon, and she bore him gNadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 24 The hsons of Korah: Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph; these are the clans of the Korahites. 25 Eleazar, Aaron’s son, took as his wife one of the daughters of Putiel, and ishe bore him Phinehas. These are the heads of the fathers’ houses of the Levites by their clans.
26 These are the Aaron and Moses jto whom the Lord said: “Bring out the people of Israel from the land of Egypt kby their hosts.” 27 It was they who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt about bringing out the people of Israel from Egypt, this Moses and this Aaron.
28 On the day when the Lord spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, 29 the Lord said to Moses, l“I am the Lord; mtell Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say to you.” 30 But Moses said to the Lord, “Behold, nI am of uncircumcised lips. How will Pharaoh listen to me?”
Moses and Aaron Before Pharaoh
7 And the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you like oGod to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your pprophet. 2 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. 3 But rI will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I smultiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, 4 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. 5 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.” 6 Moses and Aaron did so; they did just as the Lord commanded them. 7 Now Moses was ueighty years old, and Aaron eighty-three years old, when they spoke to Pharaoh.
8 Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 9 “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
8 1 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. 2 But if you orefuse to let them go, behold, I will plague all your country with pfrogs. 3 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,2 and into your ovens and your kneading bowls. 4 The frogs shall come up on you and on your people and on all your servants.”’” 5 3 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!’” 6 So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and sthe frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. 7 But tthe magicians did the same by their secret arts and made frogs come up on the land of Egypt.
8 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.” 9 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.4 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.5 23 Thus I will put a division6 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
9 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. 2 For if you refuse to let them go and still hold them, 3 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. 4 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.”’” 5 And the Lord set a time, saying, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this thing in the land.” 6 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. 7 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
8 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. 9 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,1 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 emmer2 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.