EXODUS CHAPTER EIGHT


1 He said to Moses: “Go into the palace;

Tell Egypt’s king I order him to let

My people go, so they can worship me.

2 If he refuses, I will cover his

Whole land with frogs; 3 so warn the king the Nile

Will swarm with frogs, and from there they will spread

Into the royal palace. They will go

In the king’s bedroom and his bed. The frogs

Will go in his officials’ homes, and they

Will hop in ovens and bread dough bowls. 4 Frogs

Will crawl on everyone−the king, his staff,

And every citizen of Egypt. 5 Moses,

Tell Aaron, ‘Hold your stick above the water.’

Then from canals and ponds and rivers in

All Egypt, frogs will come and cloak the land.”

6 Aaron obeyed, and at once frogs were all

Through Egypt, 7 but the sorcerers employed

Their secret powers to do the same thing.

8 Then the king sent for Moses and for Aaron

And told them, “If you ask the LORD to take

These frogs away from me and all my people,

I’ll let your people go and sacrifice

To him.” 9 “Fine,” Moses said. “You choose the time

When I will pray that frogs stop bothering

You, your officials and your people, and

For them to leave your houses and be found

Only within the river.” 10 The king said,

“Do it tomorrow!” “As you wish,” said Moses.

“Then everybody will discover that

No god is like the LORD, 11 and frogs will not

Be found in any place but in the Nile.”

12 Moses and Aaron left the palace, and

Moses cried out to God about the frogs

That he had sent as the king’s punishment.

13 The LORD heard Moses; frogs died everywhere”

In houses, yards, and fields. 14 The dead frogs were

Piled up, and the whole land began to stink,

            15 But when the king saw that things were now better,

Again he did just as the LORD had said

And stubbornly refused to listen to

Moses and Aaron; 16 and the LORD told Moses,

“Have Aaron take his walking stick and strike

The ground, and everywhere in Egypt, dust

Will change to gnats.” 17 So they obeyed, and when

Aaron’s stick struck the ground, some gnats began

To swarm on animals and people. In

Fact, every  speck of dust in Egypt turned

Into a gnat. 18 When the magicians tried

To use their secret powers to do this,

They failed, and gnats remained on animals

And people. 19 The magicians told the king,

“God has done this.” But, as the LORD had said,

The king was too stiff-necked to listen. 20 God

Told Moses: “Early on tomorrow morn,

While Egypt’s king goes toward the river, go

And say to him, ‘God says you have to let

His people go, so they can worship him.

21 If you do not, he will send swarms of flies

To strike you and your ministers and each

And every citizen of Egypt. Flies

Will fill the houses, and the ground will crawl

With them. 22 God’s people out in Goshen won’t

Be bothered by the flies, and yet your people

Throughout the country that remains will suffer

Torments from them. 23 That’s how you will know the LORD

Is here in Egypt, for tomorrow this

Miracle will occur.'” 24 God kept his promise:

The palace and the homes of royal staff

Did swarm with flies, and they infested all

The Plague of Flies by James Tissot

The other land as well. 25 The king sent for

Moses and Aaron and he told them, “Go

Sacrifice to your God, but stay in Egypt.”

26 “Impossible!” said Moses. “Sacrifices

We offer to the LORD our God would make

Egyptians sick, and they would stone us ’til

We died. No way! 27 The LORD has ordered us

To walk three days into the wilderness

Before we offer sacrifices to

Him, and that’s what we have to do.” 28 The king

Said, “I’ll let you go in the wilderness

To offer sacrifices, if you don’t

Go far. But in the meantime, pray for me.”

29 “Your Majesty,” said Moses, “I will pray

For you as soon as I leave. By tomorrow,

Flies will stop bothering you, your officials,

And all your citizens, but make sure that

You tell the truth this time and that you do

Intend to let our people offer up

Their sacrifices to the LORD.”30 And after

Departing from the palace, Moses prayed,

31 And God responded to his prayer, so not

A fly was left to aggravate the king,

His staff, or anybody else in Egypt,

32 But once again the Pharaoh turned hard-hearted

And he refused to let the Jews depart.