Friday, December 15

Exodus 6-10

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The Israelites are Saved

     6[1-5] Then Yahweh told Moses, “Now you’ll see what I’ll do to the ruler of Egypt. With power, he’ll let them go. With power, he’ll drive them out of his land!” And God said to Moses, “I Am Yahweh God.’ I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El-Shaddai, ‘God Almighty’, but I wasn’t known by My Name, Yahweh, to them. And I made my promise to them to give them the land of Canaan, where they were living as foreigners. I’ve heard the groans of the people of Israel, who the Egyptians make to work so hard, and I’ve remembered my promise to them.

     [6-9] “So, say to the people of Israel: ‘I Am Yahweh. I’ll free you from your suffering by the Egyptians, and will save you from the hard work they make you do. I’ll save you with great power and great judgments. I’ll take you as my own people, and I’ll be your God. Then you’ll know that I Am Yahweh your God who has freed you from your suffering in Egypt. I’ll bring you into the land I promised to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I’ll give it to you as your own. I Am Yahweh!’” So Moses told the people of Israel this, but they wouldn’t listen because their spirits were made hopeless by the cruel work.

     [10-13] Then Yahweh said to Moses, “Go back to the ruler of Egypt, and tell him to let the people of Israel go out of his land.” But Moses argued, “But God, my own people won’t listen to me, so why would the ruler of Egypt listen to me? I can’t speak well!” But Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron and gave them tells for the Israelites and for the ruler of Egypt, to lead the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt.

The Ancestors of Moses and Aaron

     [14] These are the leaders of the families of Israel: The sons of Reuben, Israel’s oldest son were Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. These are the families of Reuben.

     [15] The sons of Simeon were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman. These are the families of Simeon.

     [16-19] These are the names of the people of Levi, as said by their families: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. (Levi lived to be 137 years old.) The descendants of Gershon were Libni and Shimei, as said by their families. The descendants of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. (Kohath lived to be 133 years old.) The descendants of Merari were Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites, as said by their families.

     [20-25] Amram married his father’s sister Jochebed, and she gave birth to his sons, Aaron and Moses. (Amram lived to be 137 years old.) The sons of Izhar were Korah, Nepheg, and Zicri. The sons of Uzziel were Mishael, Elzaphan, and Sithri. Aaron married Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab and sister of Nahshon, and she gave birth to his sons, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. The sons of Korah were Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph. These are the families of Korah. Eleazar son of Aaron married one of the daughters of Putiel, and she had Phinehas. These are the leaders of the Levite families, as said by their families.

     [26-30] These are the same Aaron and Moses to whom Yahweh said, “Lead the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt in their armies.” These were the same Moses and Aaron who spoke to the ruler of Egypt to bring the people of Israel out of Egypt. When Yahweh spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, Yahweh said, “I Am Yahweh! Tell the ruler of Egypt, everything I say to you.” But Moses argued with Yahweh, saying, “I can’t speak well! Why would the ruler of Egypt listen to me?”

Aaron’s Stick Becomes a Snake

     7[1-5] Then Yahweh said to Moses, “See, I’ve made you seem like God to the ruler of Egypt, and your brother, Aaron, will be your preacher. Say everything I tell you, and Aaron will tell the ruler of Egypt to send the people of Israel out of his land. But I’ll make the ruler of Egypt’s heart stubborn, so I can do all my great signs and amazing things in the land of Egypt. But even then the ruler of Egypt won’t listen to you, so I may show My power to Egypt, and bring my armies and my people, the Israelites, out of the land of Egypt with great judgments. And the Egyptians will know that I Am Yahweh when I show My power and bring out the Israelites from among them.”

     [6-9] So Moses and Aaron did just as Yahweh had told them. Moses was 80 years old, and Aaron was 83 when they spoke to the ruler of Egypt. Then Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron, “The ruler of Egypt will say, ‘Show me a sign to prove yourself.’ When he does this, say to Aaron, ‘Take your stick and throw it down in front of the ruler of Egypt, and it will become a Snake.’”

     [10-13] So Moses and Aaron went to the ruler of Egypt and did what Yahweh had told them. Aaron threw down his stick before the ruler of Egypt and his officials, and it became a snake! Then the ruler of Egypt called in his own wise men and sorcerers, and these magicians did the same thing with their magic. They threw down their sticks, which also became snakes, but then Aaron’s stick swallowed up their sticks. But the ruler of Egypt’s heart was still stubborn and he still wouldn’t listen, just as Yahweh had said.

A Plague of Blood

     [14-18] Then Yahweh said to Moses, “The ruler of Egypt’s heart is stubborn, and he still won’t let the people go. So go to the ruler of Egypt in the morning as he goes down to the river. Stand on the bank of the Nile and meet him there. Take the stick that turned into a snake with you. Then say to him, ‘Yahweh, the God of the Israelites, has sent me to tell you, “Let my people go, so they can worship me in the countryside.” Until now, you’ve haven’t listened to God so this is what Yahweh says: “I’ll show you that I Am Yahweh.” Look! I’ll hit the water of the Nile with this stick in my hand, and the river will turn to blood. The fish in it will die, and the river will stink, so the Egyptians will hate to drink any water from it.’”

     [19-25] Then Yahweh said to Moses: “Tell Aaron, ‘Take your stick and raise your hand over the waters of Egypt, all its streams, rivers, ponds, and all their pools of water, so that the water will turn to blood. Everywhere in Egypt the water will turn to blood, even the water stored in wooden buckets and stone pitchers.’” So Moses and Aaron did just as Yahweh told them. Aaron raised his stick and struck the water of the river as the ruler of Egypt and all of his officials watched. Then the whole river turned to blood! The fish in the river died, and the water stank so that the Egyptians couldn’t drink it. So there was blood all over the land of Egypt. But again the magicians of Egypt used their magic, and they, too, turned water into blood, so the ruler of Egypt’s heart was still stubborn and he wouldn’t listen to Moses and Aaron, just as Yahweh had said. The ruler of Egypt went back to his palace and didn’t change his mind. Then all the Egyptians dug along the riverbank to find drinking water, because they couldn’t drink the water from the Nile. Seven days passed from the time Yahweh struck the Nile.

A Plague of Frogs

     8[1-4] Then Yahweh said to Moses, “Go back to the ruler of Egypt and say to him, ‘This is what Yahweh says: Let my people go, so they can worship Me. If you won’t let them go, I’ll send frogs all over your land. Many frogs will come out of the river and come up and into your palace, even into your bedroom and onto your bed! They’ll go into the houses of your officials and your people and even jump into your ovens and your dough bowls. Frogs will jump on you, your people, and all your officials.’”

     [5-7]Then Yahweh said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Raise the stick in your hand over all the streams, rivers, and ponds of Egypt, and bring up the frogs over all the land.’” So Aaron raised his hand over the waters of Egypt, and frogs came up and covered the whole land! But the magicians were able to do the same thing with their magic, and caused more frogs to come up on the land of Egypt.

     [8-11] Then the ruler of Egypt called Moses and Aaron and begged, “Ask Yahweh to take the frogs away from me and my people and I’ll let your people go, so they can offer sacrifices to Yahweh.” Then Moses said, “You may have the honor of telling me when you want me to pray for you, your officials, and your people that you and your houses will be rid of the frogs and they’ll only stay in the river.” Then the ruler of Egypt said, “Do it tomorrow.” And Moses answered, “Let it be as you’ve said, so you’ll know that there is no one like Yahweh our God. The frogs will leave you and your houses, your officials, and your people. They’ll only stay in the Nile River.”

     [12-15] So Moses and Aaron left the ruler of Egypt’s palace, and Moses prayed to Yahweh about the frogs God had sent on the ruler of Egypt. And Yahweh did just what Moses had said. The frogs in the houses, the courtyards, and the fields all died. The Egyptians piled them up, and the land stank. But when the ruler of Egypt saw that relief had come, he became stubborn again and wouldn’t listen to Moses and Aaron, just as Yahweh had said.

A Plague of Lice

     [16-19] So Yahweh said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Raise your stick and hit the dust and it will turn into lice throughout the land of Egypt.’” So Moses and Aaron did just as Yahweh had told them. When Aaron raised his hand and struck the ground with his stick, lice covered the Egyptians and their animals. All the dust in the land of Egypt turned into lice. The ruler of Egypt’s magicians tried to do the same thing with their magic, but this time they couldn’t do it. So the lice covered everyone, both humans and animals. Then the magicians said to the ruler of Egypt “This is the power of God!” But the ruler of Egypt’s heart was still stubborn. He wouldn’t listen to them, just as Yahweh had said.

A Plague of Flies

     [20-23] Then Yahweh told Moses, “Get up early in the morning and stand in the ruler of Egypt’s way as he goes down to the river. Say to him, ‘This is what Yahweh says: Let my people go, so they can worship me. Or else, If you won’t let them go, then I’ll send swarms of flies on you, your officials, your people, and into all the houses. The Egyptian homes will be filled with swarms of flies, and the ground will be covered with them. But this time I’ll spare the land of Goshen, where my people live and no flies will be found there. Then you’ll know that I Am Yahweh even in the heart of your land. I’ll make a difference between* my people and your people. This sign will happen tomorrow.’”

     [24-27] And Yahweh did just as Moses had said. A thick swarm of flies filled the ruler of Egypt’s palace and the houses of his officials. The whole land of Egypt was destroyed by the flies. So the ruler of Egypt called for Moses and Aaron, saying, “Go offer your sacrifices to God, but do it here in this land.” But Moses answered, “It’s not right to do so, because the Egyptians hate the sacrifices that we offer to Yahweh our God. If we offer the sacrifices which they hate here where the Egyptians can see us, won’t they stone us? We will take a three-day trip into the countryside to offer sacrifices to Yahweh our God, just as we are told to.”

     [28-32] Then the ruler of Egypt answered, saying, “I’ll let you go into the countryside to offer sacrifices to Yahweh your God, but don’t go too far away. Pray for me.” Then Moses answered, “I’m going and I’ll pray to Yahweh that tomorrow the swarms of flies will go away from you and your officials and all your people. But Don’t lie to us again and not let the people go sacrifice to Yahweh.” So Moses left the ruler of Egypt and prayed to Yahweh. And Yahweh did as Moses asked and caused the swarms of flies to leave from the ruler of Egypt, his officials, and his people. Not one fly stayed behind. But the ruler of Egypt again became stubborn and wouldn’t let the people go.

A Plague against Animals

     9[1-7] Then Yahweh told Moses, “Go back to the ruler of Egypt and tell him, ‘This is what Yahweh, the God of the Israelites, says: Let my people go, so they can worship me. If you won’t let them go, and still hold them, Yahweh will send a deadly disease on all your animals, all your horses, donkeys, camels, cattle, and sheep. But Yahweh won’t hurt the animals of the Israelites, only that of the Egyptians. Not one of the people of Israel’s animals will die! Then Yahweh set the time for the plague to begin, saying, “Tomorrow, Yahweh will do this in the land.” So Yahweh did it the next day and all the animals of the Egyptians died, but the Israelites didn’t lose one animal. The ruler of Egypt sent his officials to see, and the Israelites had not lost one animal! But even so, the ruler of Egypt’s heart was still stubborn, and he wouldn’t let the people go.

A Plague of Festering Boils

     [8-12] Then Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron, “Take handfuls of ashes from an oven, and have Moses toss it into the air while the ruler of Egypt watches. The ashes will spread like fine dust over the whole land of Egypt, causing boils to break out in sores on the people and the animals throughout the land.” So they took ashes from an oven and went and stood before the ruler of Egypt and Moses threw the ashes into the air, and boils broke out in sores on all the people and the animals. Even the magicians couldn’t stand before Moses, because the boils had broken out on them and all the Egyptians. But Yahweh made the ruler of Egypt’s heart stubborn, and just as Yahweh had said to Moses, the ruler of Egypt wouldn’t listen.

A Plague of Hail

     [13-21] Then Yahweh said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and stand before the ruler of Egypt and tell him, ‘This is what Yahweh, the God of the Israelites, says: Let my people go, so they can worship Me. If you don’t, I’ll send all My plagues on you yourself, and your officials and your people, that you’ll know that there is no one like Me in all the earth. By now if I had used My power to strike you and your people with a disease, then you would have been wiped off the face of the earth. But I’ve spared you for the purpose of showing you My power and spreading My Name throughout the earth. But you still control my people and won’t to let them go. So tomorrow at this time I’ll send very heavy hail to rain down, worse than any in all the history of Egypt until now. So bring in your animals and tell your workers to come in from the fields. Any person or animal that’s left outside and not brought home will die when the hail falls.’” Some of the ruler of Egypt’s officials who believed Yahweh quickly brought their workers and animals in from the fields. But those who paid no attention to the word of Yahweh left theirs out in the open.

     [22-26] Then Yahweh said to Moses, “Lift your hand toward the sky so hail may fall on the people, the animals, and all the plants throughout the land of Egypt.” So Moses lifted his stick toward the sky, and Yahweh sent thunder and hail, and lightning struck on the ground. So Yahweh rained hail on all the land of Egypt. So there was hail mixed with lightning so heavy that never in all the history of Egypt had there been a storm like that. The hail struck down everything in Egypt, everything left in the fields, all the people, the animals, and the plants. Even the trees were broken. The only place without hail was the land of Goshen, where the people of Israel lived.

      [27-32] Then the ruler of Egypt quickly called Moses and Aaron, saying, “I’ve sinned this time. Yahweh is right, and my people and I are wrong. Ask Yahweh to end this heavy thunder and hail. We’ve had enough. I’ll let you go; don’t stay any longer!” So Moses answered, “As soon as I leave the city, I’ll lift my hands and pray to Yahweh and the thunder and hail will stop, and you’ll know that the earth belongs to Yahweh. But I know that you and your officials still don’t respect Yahweh God.” (All the flax and barley were ruined by the hail, because the barley had heads and the flax was just budding. But all the wheat was spared, because they’re late crops.)

     [33-35] So Moses left the ruler of Egypt’s court and went out of the city. When he lifted his hands to Yahweh, the thunder and hail stopped, and the rain stopped pouring. But when the ruler of Egypt saw that the rain, hail, and thunder had stopped, he and his officials sinned again, and the ruler of Egypt again became stubborn. Because he was stubborn in his heart, the ruler of Egypt wouldn’t let the people go, just as Yahweh had said through Moses.

A Plague of Locusts

     10[1-2] Then Yahweh said to Moses, “Go back to the ruler of Egypt. I’ve made him and his officials’ heat’s stubborn so I can show my signs among them. I’ve also done it so you can tell your children and grandchildren about the great things I’ve done in Egypt and about the signs I did among them, and so you’ll know that I Am Yahweh.”

     [3-6] So Moses and Aaron went to the ruler of Egypt and said, “This is what Yahweh, the God of the Israelites, says: How long will you not obey Me? Let My people go, so they can worship Me. Or else, if you won’t, tomorrow I’ll bring a swarm of locusts on your country. They’ll cover the land so that you won’t be able to see the ground. They’ll eat what little is left of your crops after the hailstorm, including all the trees growing in the fields. They’ll fill your palace, and the homes of your officials and all the houses in Egypt. Your ancestors have never seen a plague like this one in all the history of Egypt!” And Moses turned and left the ruler of Egypt.

     [7-11] Then the officials came to the ruler of Egypt and begged him. “How long will you let this man do these things to us? Let the men go to worship Yahweh their God! Don’t you know that Egypt in ruined?” So Moses and Aaron were brought back to the ruler of Egypt. He told them, “Go and worship Yahweh your God. But who will be going with you?” So Moses answered, “We’ll all go, young and old, our sons and daughters, and our flocks and herds. We will all join together in celebrating a feast to Yahweh.” Then the ruler of Egypt said, “Yahweh will without a doubt be with you if I let you take your little ones! I know you have evil plans. Never! Only the men may go and worship Yahweh, since that is what you asked.” And the ruler of Egypt threw them out of the palace.

     [12-15] Then Yahweh said to Moses, “Raise your hand over the land of Egypt to bring on the locusts. Let them cover the land and eat every plant left from the hailstorm.” So Moses raised his stick over Egypt, and Yahweh caused an east wind to blow over the land all that day and through the night. When morning came, the east wind had brought the locusts. And the locusts swarmed over the whole land of Egypt, resting on all their land. It was the worst locust plague in Egyptian history, and there has never been another one like it. The locusts covered the whole country and darkened the land. They ate every plant in the fields and all the fruit on the trees that the hailstorm had left. Not one leaf was left on the trees and plants throughout the land of Egypt.

     [16-20] The ruler of Egypt quickly called Moses and Aaron, saying, “I’ve sinned against Yahweh your God and against you.” “Please becausegive my sin, just this once, and ask Yahweh your God to take away this death from me.” So Moses left the ruler of Egypt and prayed to Yahweh. So Yahweh shifted the wind, and the strong west wind blew the locusts into the Red Sea. Not one locust was left in all the land of Egypt. But Yahweh made the ruler of Egypt’s heart stubborn again, so he wouldn’t let the people go.

A Plague of Darkness

     [21-23] Then Yahweh said to Moses, “Lift your hand toward heaven, and the land of Egypt will be covered with darkness, a darkness you can feel.” So Moses lifted his hand to the sky, and a deep darkness covered all the land of Egypt for three days. During all that time the people couldn’t see each other, and no one got up. But the people of Israel had light where they lived.

     [24-29] Finally, the ruler of Egypt called for Moses, saying, “Go and worship Yahweh, but leave your flocks and herds here. You may take your little ones with you.” But Moses said, “No, you’ll let us take our animals for sacrifices and burnt offerings to Yahweh our God. All our animals will go with us; not one hoof can be left behind. We will choose our sacrifices for Yahweh our God from among these animals and we won’t know which ones to use until we get there.” But Yahweh made the ruler of Egypt’s heart stubborn once more, and he would not let them go. The ruler of Egypt shouted at Moses, “Get out of here! Be careful not to ever come back to see me again! The day you see my face, you’ll die!” So Moses answered, “What you said is good. I’ll never see your face again.”

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