1The Lord said to Moses, “I have made you like God to the king of Egypt, and your brother Aaron will be like a prophet for you. 2Tell Aaron your brother everything that I command you, and let him tell the king of Egypt to let the Israelites leave his country. 3But I will make the king stubborn. I will do many miracles in Egypt, 4but he will still refuse to listen. So then I will punish Egypt terribly, and I will lead my divisions, my people the Israelites, out of that land. 5I will punish Egypt with my power, and I will bring the Israelites out of that land. Then they will know I am the Lord.”
6Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded them. 7Moses was eighty years old and Aaron was eighty-three when they spoke to the king.
Aaron’s Walking Stick Becomes a Snake
8The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 9“Moses, when the king asks you to do a miracle, tell Aaron to throw his walking stick down in front of the king, and it will become a snake.”
10So Moses and Aaron went to the king as the Lord had commanded. Aaron threw his walking stick down in front of the king and his officers, and it became a snake.
11So the king called in his wise men and his magicians, and with their tricks the Egyptian magicians were able to do the same thing. 12They threw their walking sticks on the ground, and their sticks became snakes. But Aaron’s stick swallowed theirs. 13Still the king was stubborn and refused to listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said.
The Water Becomes Blood
14Then the Lord said to Moses, “The king is being stubborn and refuses to let the people go. 15In the morning the king will go out to the Nile River. Go meet him by the edge of the river, and take with you the walking stick that became a snake. 16Tell him: The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you. He said, ‘Let my people go worship me in the desert.’ Until now you have not listened. 17This is what the Lord says: ‘This is how you will know that I am the Lord. I will strike the water of the Nile River with this stick in my hand, and the water will change into blood. 18Then the fish in the Nile will die, and the river will begin to stink. The Egyptians will not be able to drink the water from the Nile.’ ”
19The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron: ‘Take the walking stick in your hand and stretch your hand over the rivers, canals, ponds, and pools in Egypt.’ The water will become blood everywhere in Egypt, both in wooden buckets and in stone jars.”
20So Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded. In front of the king and his officers, Aaron raised his walking stick and struck the water in the Nile River. So all the water in the Nile changed into blood. 21The fish in the Nile died, and the river began to stink, so the Egyptians could not drink water from it. Blood was everywhere in the land of Egypt.
22Using their tricks, the magicians of Egypt did the same thing. So the king was stubborn and refused to listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said. 23The king turned and went into his palace and ignored what Moses and Aaron had done. 24The Egyptians could not drink the water from the Nile, so all of them dug along the bank of the river, looking for water to drink.
25Seven days passed after the Lord changed the Nile River.