Baby Moses

Chapter There was a man from the family of Levi who decided to marry a woman from the tribe of Levi.[a] She became pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy. The mother saw how beautiful the baby was and hid him for three months. She hid him for as long as she could. After three months she made a basket and covered it with tar so that it would float. Then she put the baby in the basket and put the basket in the river in the tall grass. The baby’s sister stayed and watched to see what would happen to the baby.

Just then, Pharaoh’s daughter went to the river to bathe. She saw the basket in the tall grass. Her servants were walking beside the river, so she told one of them to go get the basket. The king’s daughter opened the basket and saw a baby boy. The baby was crying and she felt sorry for him. Then she noticed that it was one of the Hebrew[b] babies.

The baby’s sister was still hiding. She stood and asked the king’s daughter, “Do you want me to go find a Hebrew woman who can nurse the baby and help you care for it?”

The king’s daughter said, “Yes, please.”

So the girl went and brought the baby’s own mother.

The king’s daughter said to the mother, “Take this baby and feed him for me. I’ll pay you to take care of him.”

So the woman took her baby and cared for him. 10 The baby grew, and after some time, the woman gave the baby to the king’s daughter. The king’s daughter accepted the baby as her own son. She named him Moses[c] because she had pulled him from the water.

Moses Helps His People

11 Moses grew and became a man. He saw that his own people, the Hebrews, were forced to work very hard. One day he saw an Egyptian man beating a Hebrew man. 12 Moses looked around and saw that no one was watching, so he killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand.

13 The next day Moses saw two Hebrew men fighting each other. He saw that one man was wrong and said to him, “Why are you hurting your neighbor?”

14 The man answered, “Did anyone say you could be our ruler and judge? Tell me, will you kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday[d]?”

Then Moses was afraid. He thought to himself, “Now everyone knows what I did.”

15 Pharaoh heard about what Moses did, so he decided to kill him. But Moses ran away from Pharaoh and went to the land of Midian.

Moses in Midian

Moses stopped near a well in Midian. 16 There was a priest there who had seven daughters. These girls came to that well to get water for their father’s sheep. They were trying to fill the water trough with water. 17 But there were some shepherds there who chased the girls away and would not let them get water. So Moses helped the girls and gave water to their animals.

18 Then they went back to their father, Reuel.[e] He asked them, “Why have you come home early today?”

19 The girls answered, “The shepherds chased us away, but an Egyptian rescued us. He got water for us and gave it to our animals.”

20 So Reuel said to his daughters, “Where is this man? Why did you leave him? Go invite him to eat with us.”

21 Moses was happy to stay with that man. Reuel let Moses marry his daughter, Zipporah. 22 Zipporah became pregnant and had a son. Moses named him Gershom[f] because Moses was a stranger in a land that was not his own.

God Decides to Help Israel

23 A long time passed and that king of Egypt died. But the Israelites were still forced to work very hard. They cried for help, and God heard them. 24 God heard their painful cries and remembered the agreement he made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 25 God saw the troubles of the Israelites, and he knew that he would soon help them.

The Burning Bush

Chapter Moses’ father-in-law was named Jethro.[g] Jethro was a priest of Midian. Moses took care of Jethro’s sheep. One day Moses led the sheep to the west side of the desert. He went to a mountain called Horeb,[h] the mountain of God. On that mountain, Moses saw the angel of the Lord in a burning bush.

Moses saw a bush that was burning without being destroyed. So he decided to go closer to the bush and see how a bush could continue burning without being burned up.

The Lord saw Moses was coming to look at the bush. So he called to him from the bush. He said, “Moses, Moses!”

Moses said, “Yes, Lord.”

Then God said, “Don’t come any closer. Take off your sandals. You are standing on holy ground. I am the God of your ancestors. I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”

Moses covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.

Then the Lord said, “I have seen the troubles my people have suffered in Egypt, and I have heard their cries when the Egyptians hurt them. I know about their pain. Now I will go down and save my people from the Egyptians. I will take them from that land and lead them to a good land where they can be free from these troubles.[i] It is a land filled with many good things.[j] Many different people live in that land: the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. I have heard the cries of the Israelites, and I have seen the way the Egyptians have made life hard for them. 10 So now I am sending you to Pharaoh. Go! Lead my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.”

11 But Moses said to God, “I am not a great man! How can I be the one to go to Pharaoh and lead the Israelites out of Egypt?”

12 God said, “You can do it because I will be with you. This will be the proof that I am sending you: After you lead the people out of Egypt, you will come and worship me on this mountain.”

13 Then Moses said to God, “But if I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors sent me,’ then the people will ask, ‘What is his name?’ What should I tell them?”

14 Then God said to Moses, “Tell them, ‘I Am Who I Am.’[k] When you go to the Israelites, tell them, ‘I Am’ sent me to you.” 15 And God said, “Tell the Israelites that you were sent by Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob. This will always be my name. It is how I want the people to remember me from now on.

16 “Now go and call together the elders of the people. Tell them that Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—appeared to you. Give them this message from me: ‘I have been watching over you and have seen what people in Egypt have done to you. 17 And I have decided that I will take you away from the troubles you are suffering in Egypt. I will lead you to the land that now belongs to others—the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. I will lead you to a land filled with many good things.’

18 “The elders will listen to you. And then you and the elders will go to the Pharaoh. You will tell him, ‘Yahweh[l] is the God of the Hebrews.[m] He came to us and told us to travel three days into the desert. There we must offer sacrifices to Yahweh our God.’

19 “But I know that the Pharaoh will not let you go. Only a great power will force him to let you go, 20 so I will use my great power against Egypt. I will cause amazing things to happen in that land. After I do this, he will let you go. 21 And I will cause the Egyptians to be kind to the Israelites. They will give many gifts to your people when they leave Egypt.

22 “All the Hebrew women will ask their Egyptian neighbors and the Egyptian women living in their houses for gifts. And those Egyptian women will give them gifts of silver, gold, and fine clothing. Then you will put those gifts on your children. In this way you will take away the wealth of the Egyptians.”

Proof for Moses

Chapter Then Moses said to God, “But the Israelites will not believe me when I tell them that you sent me. They will say, ‘The Lord[n] did not appear to you.’”

But the Lord said to Moses, “What is that you have in your hand?”

Moses answered, “It is my walking stick.”

Then God said, “Throw your walking stick on the ground.”

So Moses threw his walking stick on the ground, and it became a snake. Moses ran from it, but the Lord said to him, “Reach out and grab the snake by its tail.”

When Moses reached out and caught the snake’s tail, the snake became a walking stick again. Then God said, “Use your stick in this way, and the people will believe that you saw the Lord, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will give you another proof. Put your hand under your robe.”

So Moses opened his robe and put his hand inside. Then he brought his hand out of the robe and it was changed. His hand was covered with spots that were white like snow.

Then God said, “Now put your hand into your robe again.” So Moses put his hand into his robe again. Then he brought his hand out, and his hand was changed. Now his hand was good again, as it was before.

Then God said, “If the people don’t believe you when you use your walking stick, then they will believe you when you show them this sign. If they still refuse to believe after you show them both of these signs, then take some water from the Nile River. Pour the water on the ground, and as soon as it touches the ground, it will become blood.”

10 Then Moses said to the Lord, “But, Lord, I am telling you, I am not a good speaker. I have never been able to speak well. And that hasn’t changed since you started talking to me. I am still not a good speaker. You know that I speak slowly and don’t use the best words.”[o]

11 Then the Lord said to him, “Who made a person’s mouth? And who can make someone deaf or not able to speak? Who can make a person blind? Who can make a person able to see? I am the one. I am the Lord. 12 So go. I will be with you when you speak. I will give you the words to say.”

13 But Moses said, “My Lord, I beg you to send someone else, not me.”

14 Then the Lord became angry with Moses and said, “All right! I’ll give you someone to help you. Aaron the Levite is your brother, isn’t he? He is a good speaker. In fact, Aaron is already coming to meet you, and he will be happy to see you. 15 I will tell you what to say. Then you will tell Aaron, and I will help him say it well. I will tell both of you what to do. 16 So Aaron will speak for you. Like God, you will speak to him, and he will tell the people what you say. 17 So go and carry your walking stick with you. Use it and the other miracles to show the people that I am with you.”

Moses Leaves Midian

18 Then Moses went back to Jethro, his father-in-law. Moses said to him, “Please let me go back to Egypt. I want to see if my people are still alive.”

Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.”

19 Then, while Moses was still in Midian, the Lord said to him, “It is safe for you to go back to Egypt now. The men who wanted to kill you are now dead.”

20 So Moses put his wife and children on the donkey and returned to Egypt. He carried his walking stick with him—the walking stick with the power of God.

21 While Moses was traveling back to Egypt, the Lord spoke to him, “When you talk to Pharaoh remember to show him all the miracles that I have given you the power to do. But I will cause Pharaoh to be very stubborn. He will not let the people go. 22 Then you should say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what the Lord says: Israel is my firstborn son. 23 And I am telling you to let my son go and worship me. If you refuse to let Israel go, then I will kill your firstborn son.’”

Moses’ Son Circumcised

24 On the way to Egypt, Moses stopped at a place to spend the night. The Lord met Moses at that place and tried to kill him.[p] 25 But Zipporah took a flint knife[q] and circumcised her son. She took the skin and touched his feet. Then she said to Moses, “You are a bridegroom of blood to me.” 26 Zipporah said this because she had to circumcise her son. So God let Moses live.[r]

Moses Arrives in Egypt

27 The Lord had spoken to Aaron and told him, “Go out into the desert and meet Moses.” So Aaron went and met Moses at the Mountain of God.[s] He saw Moses and kissed him. 28 Moses told Aaron everything the Lord had commanded him to say and all the miracles he must do to prove that God had sent him.

29 So Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the Israelites. 30 Then Aaron spoke to the people and told them everything the Lord had told Moses. Then Moses did the miracles for all the people to see, 31 and they believed what they had heard. Then the Israelites understood that the Lord had seen their troubles and had come to help them. So they bowed down and worshiped God.

Moses and Aaron Before Pharaoh

Chapter After Moses and Aaron talked to the people, they went to Pharaoh and said, “The Lord,[t] the God of Israel, says, ‘Let my people go into the desert so that they can have a festival to honor me.’”

But Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord? Why should I obey him? Why should I let Israel go? I don’t even know who this Lord is, so I refuse to let Israel go.”

Then Aaron and Moses said, “The God of the Hebrews[u] has talked with us. So we beg you to let us travel three days into the desert. There we will offer a sacrifice to the Lord our God. If we don’t do this, he might become angry and destroy us. He might make us die from sickness or war.”

But Pharaoh said to them, “Moses and Aaron, you are bothering the workers. Let them do their work. Go back to your own work! There are very many workers, and you are keeping them from doing their jobs.”

Pharaoh Punishes the People

That same day Pharaoh gave a command to the slave masters and Hebrew foremen. He said, “You have always given the people straw to use to make bricks. But now, tell them they have to go and find their own straw to make bricks. But they must still make the same number of bricks as they did before. They have gotten lazy. That is why they are asking me to let them go. They don’t have enough work to do. That is why they asked me to let them make sacrifices to their God. So make these people work harder. Keep them busy. Then they will not have enough time to listen to the lies of Moses.”

10 So the Egyptian slave masters and the Hebrew foremen went to the Israelites and said, “Pharaoh has decided that he will not give you straw for your bricks. 11 You must go and get the straw for yourselves. So go and find straw, but you must still make as many bricks as you made before.”

12 So the people went everywhere in Egypt looking for straw. 13 The slave masters forced the people to work even harder. They forced the people to make as many bricks as before. 14 The Egyptian slave masters had chosen the Hebrew foremen and had made them responsible for the work the people did. The Egyptian slave masters beat these foremen and said to them, “Why aren’t you making as many bricks as you made in the past? If you could do it then, you can do it now!”

15 Then the Hebrew foremen went to Pharaoh. They complained and said, “We are your servants. Why are you treating us like this? 16 You give us no straw, but you tell us to make as many bricks as before. And now our masters are beating us. Your people are wrong for doing this.”

17 Pharaoh answered, “You are lazy, and you don’t want to work! That is why you ask me to let you go. And that is why you want to leave here and make sacrifices to the Lord. 18 Now, go back to work! We will not give you any straw. And you must still make as many bricks as you did before.”

19 The Hebrew foremen knew they were in trouble, because the Pharaoh had told them, “You must still make as many bricks as you made before.”

20 When they were leaving the meeting with Pharaoh, they passed Moses and Aaron. Moses and Aaron were waiting for them. 21 So they said to Moses and Aaron, “May the Lord judge and punish you for what you did! You made Pharaoh and his rulers hate us. You have given them an excuse to kill us.”

Moses Complains to God

22 Then Moses prayed to the Lord and said, “Lord, why have you done this terrible thing to your people? Why did you send me here? 23 I went to Pharaoh and said what you told me to say. But since that time he has made the people suffer, and you have done nothing to help them!”

Chapter Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh. I will use my great power against him, and he will let my people go. He will be so ready for them to leave that he will force them to go.”

Then God said to Moses, “I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They called me God All-Powerful. They did not know my name, the Lord. I made an agreement with them. I promised to give them the land of Canaan. They lived in that land, but it was not their own. Now, I have heard their painful cries. I know that they are slaves in Egypt. And I remember my agreement. So tell the Israelites that I say to them, ‘I am the Lord. I will save you. You will no longer be slaves of the Egyptians. I will use my great power to make you free, and I will bring terrible punishment to the Egyptians. You will be my people and I will be your God. I am the Lord your God, and you will know that I made you free from Egypt. I made a great promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I promised to give them a special land. So I will lead you to that land. I will give you that land. It will be yours. I am the Lord.’”

So Moses told this to the Israelites, but the people would not listen to him. They were working so hard that they were not patient with Moses.

10 Then the Lord said to Moses, 11 “Go tell Pharaoh that he must let the Israelites leave his land.”

12 But Moses answered, “Lord, the Israelites refuse to listen to me. So surely Pharaoh will also refuse to listen. I am a very bad speaker.”[v]

13 But the Lord talked with Moses and Aaron and commanded them to go and talk to the Israelites and to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. He commanded them to lead the Israelites out of the land of Egypt.

Some of the Families of Israel

14 These are the names of the leaders of the families of Israel:

Israel’s first son, Reuben, had four sons. They were Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.

15 Simeon’s sons were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar, and Shaul. (Shaul was the son from a Canaanite woman).

16 Levi lived 137 years. His sons were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

17 Gershon had two sons, Libni and Shimei.

18 Kohath lived 133 years. His sons were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel.

19 Merari’s sons were Mahli and Mushi.

All these families were from Israel’s son Levi.

20 Amram lived 137 years. He married his father’s sister, Jochebed. Amram and Jochebed gave birth to Aaron and Moses.

21 Izhar’s sons were Korah, Nepheg, and Zicri.

22 Uzziel’s sons were Mishael, Elzaphan, and Sithri.

23 Aaron married Elisheba. (Elisheba was the daughter of Amminadab, and the sister of Nahshon.) Aaron and Elisheba gave birth to Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.

24 The sons of Korah (that is, the ancestors of the Korahites) were Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph.

25 Aaron’s son, Eleazar, married a daughter of Putiel. She gave birth to Phinehas.

All these people were from Israel’s son, Levi.

26 Aaron and Moses were from this tribe. And they are the men the Lord spoke to and said, “Lead my people out of Israel in groups.[w] 27 Aaron and Moses are the men who talked to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and told him to let the Israelites leave Egypt.

God Repeats His Call to Moses

28 The Lord spoke to Moses again in the land of Egypt. 29 He said, “I am the Lord. Tell the king of Egypt everything I tell you.”

30 But Moses, standing there before the Lord, said, “You know me. I’m a very bad speaker. How will I make the king listen to me?”

Chapter The Lord said to Moses, “See how important I have made you? In speaking to Pharaoh, you will be like God, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet. You will tell Aaron everything that I command you. Then he will tell the king what I say. And Pharaoh will let the Israelites leave this country. But I will make Pharaoh stubborn so that he will not do what you tell him. Then I will do many miracles in Egypt to prove who I am. But he will still refuse to listen. So then I will punish Egypt very much. And I will lead my army, my people, out of that land. I will punish the people of Egypt, and they will learn that I am the Lord. Then I will lead my people out of their country.”

Moses and Aaron did what the Lord told them. Moses was 80 years old at the time, and Aaron was 83.

Moses’ Walking Stick Becomes a Snake

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Pharaoh will ask you to prove your power. He will ask you to do a miracle. Tell Aaron to throw his walking stick on the ground. While Pharaoh is watching, the stick will become a snake.”

10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and obeyed the Lord. Aaron threw his walking stick down. While Pharaoh and his officers watched, the stick became a snake.

11 So Pharaoh called for his wise men and magicians. These men used their magic, and they were able to do the same thing as Aaron. 12 They threw their walking sticks on the ground, and their sticks became snakes. But then Aaron’s walking stick ate theirs. 13 Pharaoh still refused to let the people go, just as the Lord had said. Pharaoh refused to listen to Moses and Aaron.

The Water Becomes Blood

14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh is being stubborn. He refuses to let the people go. 15 In the morning Pharaoh will go out to the river. Go to him by the edge of the Nile River. Take the walking stick that became a snake. 16 Tell him this: ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you. He told me to tell you to let his people go worship him in the desert. Until now you have not listened to the Lord. 17 So the Lord says that he will do something to show you that he is the Lord. I will hit the water of the Nile River with this walking stick in my hand, and the river will turn into blood. 18 The fish in the river will die, and the river will begin to stink. Then the Egyptians will not be able to drink the water from the river.’”

19 The Lord said to Moses: “Tell Aaron to hold the walking stick in his hand over the rivers, canals, lakes, and every place where they store water. When he does this, all the water will turn into blood. All the water, even the water stored in wood and stone jars, will turn into blood.”

20 So Moses and Aaron did what the Lord commanded. Aaron raised the walking stick and hit the water in the Nile River. He did this in front of Pharaoh and his officials. So all the water in the river changed into blood. 21 The fish in the river died, and the river began to stink. So the Egyptians could not drink water from the river. The blood was everywhere in Egypt.

22 The magicians used their magic to do the same thing. So Pharaoh refused to listen to Moses and Aaron. This happened just as the Lord said. 23 Pharaoh ignored what Moses and Aaron had done. He turned and went into his house.

24 The Egyptians could not drink the water from the river, so they dug wells around the river for water to drink.

The Frogs

25 Seven days passed after the Lord changed the Nile River.

Chapter Then the Lord told Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and tell him that the Lord says, ‘Let my people go to worship me! If you refuse to let my people go, then I will fill Egypt with frogs. The Nile River will be filled with frogs. They will come from the river and enter your houses. They will be in your bedrooms and in your beds. They will be in the houses of your officials and in your ovens and in your jars of water. The frogs will be all over you, your people, and your officials.’”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron to hold the walking stick in his hand over the canals, rivers, and lakes. Then the frogs will come out onto the land of Egypt.”

So Aaron raised his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs began coming out of the water and covered the land of Egypt.

The magicians used their magic to do the same thing—so even more frogs came out onto the land in Egypt!

Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and said, “Ask the Lord to remove the frogs from me and my people. I will let the people go to offer sacrifices to the Lord.”

Moses said to Pharaoh, “I will pray for you, your people, and your officials. Then the frogs will leave you and your houses. They will remain only in the river. When do you want the frogs to go away?”

10 Pharaoh said, “Tomorrow.”

Moses said, “It will happen as you say. In this way you will know that there is no god like the Lord our God. 11 The frogs will leave you, your house, your officials, and your people. They will remain only in the river.”

12 Moses and Aaron left Pharaoh. Moses prayed to the Lord about the frogs he had sent against Pharaoh. 13 And the Lord did what Moses asked. The frogs died in the houses, in the yards, and in the fields. 14 They began to rot, and the whole country began to stink. 15 But when Pharaoh saw that they were free of the frogs, he again became stubborn. Pharaoh did not do what Moses and Aaron had asked him to do. This happened just as the Lord had said.

The Lice

16 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron to raise his stick and hit the dust on the ground, and everywhere in Egypt dust will become lice.”

17 They did this. Aaron raised the stick in his hand and hit the dust on the ground, and everywhere in Egypt the dust became lice. The lice got on the animals and the people.

18 The magicians used their magic and tried to do the same thing. But the magicians could not make lice come from the dust. The lice remained on the animals and the people. 19 So the magicians told Pharaoh that the power of God did this. But Pharaoh refused to listen to them. This happened just as the Lord had said.

The Flies

20 The Lord said to Moses, “Get up in the morning and go to Pharaoh. He will go out to the river. Tell him that the Lord says, ‘Let my people go and worship me! 21 If you don’t let my people go, then flies will come into your houses. The flies will be on you and your officials. The houses of Egypt will be full of flies. They will be all over the ground too! 22 But I will not treat the Israelites the same as the Egyptians. There will not be any flies in Goshen, where my people live. In this way you will know that I, the Lord, am in this land. 23 So tomorrow I will treat my people differently from your people. This will be my proof.’”

24 So the Lord did just what he said. Millions of flies came into Egypt. The flies were in Pharaoh’s house, and they were in all his officials’ houses. They were all over Egypt. The flies were ruining the country. 25 So Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and told them, “Offer sacrifices to your God here in this country.”

26 But Moses said, “It would not be right to do that. The Egyptians think it is terrible to kill animals as sacrifices for the Lord our God. If we do this here, the Egyptians will see us and throw stones at us and kill us. 27 Let us go three days into the desert and offer sacrifices to the Lord our God. This is what he told us to do.”

28 So Pharaoh said, “I will let you go and offer sacrifices to the Lord your God in the desert, but you must not go very far. Now, go and pray for me.”

29 Moses said, “Look, I will leave and ask the Lord to remove the flies from you, your people, and your officials tomorrow. But you must not stop the people from offering sacrifices to the Lord.”

30 So Moses left Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord. 31 And the Lord did what Moses asked. He removed the flies from Pharaoh, his officials, and his people. None of the flies remained. 32 But Pharaoh again became stubborn and did not let the people go.

The Disease of the Farm Animals

Chapter Then the Lord told Moses to go to Pharaoh and tell him: “The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says, ‘Let my people go to worship me!’ If you continue to hold them and refuse to let them go, then the Lord will use his power against your animals in the fields. He will cause all of your horses, donkeys, camels, cattle, and sheep to get sick with a terrible disease. But the Lord will treat Israel’s animals differently from the animals of Egypt. None of the animals that belong to the Israelites will die. The Lord has set the time for this to happen. He said, ‘Tomorrow the Lord will make this happen in this country.’”

The next morning the Lord did what he said. All the farm animals of the Egyptians died, but none of the animals that belonged to the Israelites died. Pharaoh sent people to see if any of the animals of Israel died. Not one of them died. But Pharaoh remained stubborn and did not let the people go.

The Boils

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Fill your hands with the ashes from a furnace. Moses, you throw the ashes into the air in front of Pharaoh. This will become dust that will go throughout the land of Egypt. Whenever the dust touches a person or an animal in Egypt, sores will break out on the skin.”

10 So Moses and Aaron took ashes from a furnace and went and stood before Pharaoh. Moses threw the ashes into the air, and sores began breaking out on people and animals. 11 The magicians could not stop Moses from doing this, because even the magicians had the sores. This happened everywhere in Egypt. 12 But the Lord made Pharaoh stubborn, so he refused to listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said.

The Hail

13 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Get up in the morning and go to Pharaoh. Tell him that the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says, ‘Let my people go to worship me! 14 This time, I will use my full power against you, your officials, and your people. Then you will know that there is no god in the world like me. 15 I could use my power and cause a disease that would wipe you and your people off the earth. 16 But I have put you here for a reason. I have put you here so that I could show you my power. Then people all over the world will learn about me! 17 You are still against my people. You are not letting them go free. 18 So at this time tomorrow, I will cause a very bad hailstorm. There has never been a hailstorm like this in Egypt, not since Egypt became a nation. 19 Now, you must put your animals in a safe place. Everything you own that is now in the fields must be put in a safe place. Any person or animal that remains in the fields will be killed. The hail will fall on everything that is not gathered into your houses.’”

20 Some of Pharaoh’s officials paid attention to the Lord’s message. They quickly put all of their animals and slaves into houses. 21 But other people ignored the Lord’s message and lost all their slaves and animals that were in the fields.

22 The Lord told Moses, “Raise your hand into the air and the hail will start falling all over Egypt. The hail will fall on all the people, animals, and plants in all the fields of Egypt.”

23 So Moses raised his walking stick into the air, and the Lord sent hail with thunder and lightning down on the earth. The Lord caused hail to fall all over Egypt. 24 The hail was falling, and lightning was flashing all through it. It was the worst hailstorm that had ever hit Egypt since it had become a nation. 25 The storm destroyed everything in the fields in Egypt. The hail destroyed people, animals, and plants. The hail also broke all the trees in the fields. 26 The only place that did not get hail was the land of Goshen, where the Israelites lived.

27 Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron and told them, “This time I have sinned. The Lord is right, and I and my people are wrong. 28 We have had enough of this hail and thunder! Ask the Lord to stop the storm, and I will let you go. You don’t have to stay here.”

29 Moses told Pharaoh, “When I leave the city, I will lift my hands in prayer to the Lord, and the thunder and hail will stop. Then you will know that the Lord is in this land. 30 But I know that you and your officials don’t really fear and respect the Lord yet.”

31 The flax had already developed its seeds, and the barley was already blooming. So these plants were destroyed. 32 But wheat and spelt ripen later than the other grains, so these plants were not destroyed.

33 Moses left Pharaoh and went outside the city. He lifted his hands in prayer to the Lord. And the thunder and hail stopped, and then even the rain stopped.

34 When Pharaoh saw that the rain, hail, and thunder had stopped, he again did wrong. He and his officials became stubborn again. 35 Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go free, just as the Lord had said through Moses.

The Locusts

Chapter 10 The Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh. I have made him and his officials stubborn. I did this so that I could show them my powerful miracles. I also did this so that you could tell your children and your grandchildren about the miracles and other wonderful things that I have done in Egypt. Then all of you will know that I am the Lord.”

So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh. They told him, “The Lord, the God of the Hebrews,[x] says, ‘How long will you refuse to obey me? Let my people go to worship me! If you refuse to let my people go, then tomorrow I will bring locusts into your country. The locusts will cover the land. There will be so many locusts that you will not be able to see the ground. Anything that was left from the hailstorm will be eaten by the locusts. The locusts will eat all the leaves from every tree in the field. They will fill all your houses, and all your officials’ houses, and all the houses in Egypt. There will be more locusts than your fathers or your grandfathers have ever seen. There will be more locusts than there have ever been since people began living in Egypt.’” Then Moses turned and left Pharaoh.

Then the officials asked Pharaoh, “How long will we be trapped by these people? Let the men go to worship the Lord their God. If you don’t let them go, before you know it, Egypt will be destroyed!”

So Pharaoh told his officials to bring Moses and Aaron back to him. Pharaoh said to them, “Go and worship the Lord your God. But tell me, just who is going?”

Moses answered, “All of our people, young and old, will go. And we will take our sons and daughters, and our sheep and cattle with us. We will all go because the Lord’s festival is for all of us.”

10 Pharaoh said to them, “The Lord really will have to be with you before I let you and all of your children leave Egypt. Look, you are planning something evil. 11 The men can go worship the Lord. That is what you asked for in the beginning. But all of your people cannot go.” Then Pharaoh sent Moses and Aaron away.

12 The Lord told Moses, “Raise your hand over the land of Egypt and the locusts will come! They will spread all over the land of Egypt and will eat all the plants that the hail did not destroy.”

13 So Moses raised his walking stick over the land of Egypt, and the Lord caused a strong wind to blow from the east. The wind blew all that day and night. When morning came, the wind had brought the locusts to the land of Egypt. 14 The locusts flew into the country of Egypt and landed on the ground. There were more locusts than there had ever been in Egypt. And there will never again be that many locusts there. 15 They covered the ground, and the whole country became dark. The locusts ate every plant on the ground and all the fruit in the trees that the hail had not destroyed. There were no leaves left on any of the trees or plants anywhere in Egypt.

16 Pharaoh quickly called for Moses and Aaron. Pharaoh said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you. 17 Now, forgive me for my sins this time. Ask the Lord to remove this ‘death’ from me.”

18 Moses left Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord. 19 So the Lord changed the wind. He made a very strong wind blow from the west, and it blew the locusts out of Egypt and into the Red Sea.[y] Not one locust was left in Egypt! 20 But the Lord caused Pharaoh to be stubborn again, and Pharaoh did not let the Israelites go.

The Darkness

21 Then the Lord told Moses, “Raise your hand into the air and darkness will cover Egypt. It will be so dark you can feel it!”

22 So Moses raised his hand into the air and a cloud of darkness covered Egypt. The darkness stayed in Egypt for three days. 23 None of the people could see each other, and no one got up to go any place for three days. But there was light in all the places where the Israelites lived.

24 Again Pharaoh called for Moses. He said, “Go and worship the Lord! You can take your children with you. But you must leave your sheep and cattle here.”

25 Moses said, “No, we will take them all. In fact, you will give us offerings and sacrifices for us to use in worshiping the Lord our God. 26 Yes, we will take our animals with us to worship the Lord our God. Not one hoof will be left behind. We don’t know yet exactly what we will need to worship the Lord. We will learn that only when we get there.”

27 The Lord made Pharaoh stubborn again, so he refused to let them go. 28 Then Pharaoh told Moses, “Get out of here. I don’t want you to come here again. The next time you come to see me, you will die!”

29 Then Moses told Pharaoh, “You are right about one thing. I will not come to see you again.”

The Death of the Firstborn

Chapter 11 Then the Lord told Moses, “I have one more disaster to bring against Pharaoh and Egypt. After this, he will ask you to leave Egypt. In fact, he will force you to leave this country. You must give this message to the Israelites: ‘Men and women, you must ask your neighbors to give you things made of silver and gold.’” The Lord caused the Egyptians to be kind to the Israelites. The Egyptians, even Pharaoh’s own officials, already considered Moses to be a great man.

Moses said to the king, “The Lord says, ‘At midnight tonight, I will go through Egypt, and every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt, to the firstborn son of the slave girl grinding grain. Even the firstborn animals will die. The crying in Egypt will be worse than at any time in the past or any time in the future. But none of the Israelites or their animals will be hurt—not even a dog will bark at them.’ Then you will know that the Lord has treated Israel differently from Egypt. All these officials of yours will come down and bow to me. They will say, ‘Leave and take all your people with you.’ Only then will I leave!” Then in anger, Moses left the meeting with Pharaoh.

Then the Lord told Moses, “The reason Pharaoh did not listen to you is so that I could show my great power in Egypt.” 10 That is why Moses and Aaron did all these great miracles in front of Pharaoh. And that is why the Lord made Pharaoh so stubborn that he would not let the Israelites leave his country.


  1. Exodus 2:1 woman … Levi Literally, “the daughter of Levi.” See Ex. 6:20; Num. 26:59.
  2. Exodus 2:6 Hebrew Or “Israelite.” Also in verses 7, 11, 13.
  3. Exodus 2:10 Moses This name is like a Hebrew word meaning “to pull or draw out.”
  4. Exodus 2:14 yesterday This word is from the ancient Greek version.
  5. Exodus 2:18 Reuel He is also called Jethro.
  6. Exodus 2:22 Gershom This name is like the Hebrew words meaning “a stranger there.”
  7. Exodus 3:1 Jethro He is also called Reuel.
  8. Exodus 3:1 a mountain called Horeb That is, “Mount Sinai.”
  9. Exodus 3:8 land … troubles Or “a spacious land.”
  10. Exodus 3:8 land … things Literally, “land flowing with milk and honey.” Also in verse 17.
  11. Exodus 3:14 I Am Who I Am The Hebrew words are like the name Yahweh (“Lord”).
  12. Exodus 3:18 Yahweh Or “the Lord.” See “Yahweh” in the Word List.
  13. Exodus 3:18 Hebrew Or “Israelite.” Also in verse 22.
  14. Exodus 4:1 The Lord Or “Yahweh.” See “Yahweh” in the Word List.
  15. Exodus 4:10 I speak … words Or “I stutter and don’t speak clearly.”
  16. Exodus 4:24 tried to kill him Or possibly, “wanted to circumcise him.”
  17. Exodus 4:25 flint knife A sharp knife made from flint rock.
  18. Exodus 4:26 Or “And he was healed. She said, ‘You are a bridegroom of blood’ because of the circumcision.”
  19. Exodus 4:27 Mountain of God That is, Mount Horeb (Sinai).
  20. Exodus 5:1 The Lord Or “Yahweh.” See “Yahweh” in the Word List.
  21. Exodus 5:3 Hebrews Or “Israelites.” Also in verses 10, 14, 15, 19.
  22. Exodus 6:12 I am a very bad speaker Or “I sound like a foreigner.” Literally, “I have uncircumcised lips.”
  23. Exodus 6:26 groups Or “divisions.” This is a military term. It shows that Israel was organized like an army.
  24. Exodus 10:3 Hebrews Or “Israelites.” This name might also mean “descendants of Eber” (read Gen. 10:25-31) or “people from beyond the Euphrates River.”
  25. Exodus 10:19 Red Sea Or “Reed Sea.” See 1 Kings 9:26.