1 The Lord told Moses, “Look, I have made you
Like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron
Shall be your prophet. 2 I will let your brother
Aaron go speak for you. He’ll tell the king
Your word, the way a prophet speaks my message
To people, so tell Aaron everything
I say to you, and he will tell the king
To let my people leave his country, 3 but
I’ll make the king so stubborn 4 that he will
Not listen to you. He won=t listen even
When I do many awful things to him and
His land, then I’ll bring final punishment
On Egypt, and the king will let the tribes
And families of Israel go free,
5 Then the Egyptians will know I’m the LORD.”
6 Moses and Aaron did obey the LORD
And did speak to the king. 7 At the time, Moses
Was eighty years old; Aaron, eighty‑three.
8 God told them, 9 “When the Pharaoh says to you,
‘Perform a miracle,’ then say to Aaron,
‘Throw down your walking stick before the king,’
And it will turn into a snake,” 10 so Moses
And Aaron went into the king and his
Officials and they did exactly as
The Lord commanded−Aaron threw the stick
Down, and it turned into a snake. 11 The king
Summoned the wise men and magicians, who
Employed their secret powers to do the same.
12 They threw down sticks that changed to snakes, but Aaron’s
Snake swallowed theirs. 13 The king behaved just as
The LORD had said and stubbornly refused
To listen. 14 God told Moses: “Egypt’s king
Is stubborn and won’t change his mind and let
The people go. 15 Tomorrow morning take
The stick that turned into a snake, then wait
By the Nile River for the king. 16 Tell him,
“The Hebrews’ God sent me to order you
To let his people go, so they can worship
Him in the desert, but ’til now, you’ve paid
No heed. 17 The LORD is ready to do something
To show you that He really is the LORD.
I’ll strike the Nile with this stick, and the water
Will turn to blood. 18 The fish will die, the river
Will stink, and no Egyptian will be able
To drink the water.'” 19 God said, “Moses, tell
Aaron to hold his stick above the water.
And when he does, each water drop in Egypt
Will change to blood, including rivers, ponds,
Canals, and water in the jars and pails.”
20 Moses and Aaron did obey the LORD.
So as the king and his officials watched,
Aaron held out his stick, then struck the Nile.
The river turned to blood, 21 the fish died, and
The water smelled so bad that no Egyptian
Could drink it. Blood was everywhere in Egypt.
22 But the Egyptian sorcerers employed
Their secret powers to do the same thing.
The king did just as God had said he would−
He stubbornly refused to listen, 23 then
He went back to his palace and he never
Gave it a second thought. 24 Egyptians had
To dig some holes along the river banks
For drinking water, for the river water
Was too fouled up to drink. Now in a while−
Seven days after God had struck the Nile−