The plague of locusts
1Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these signs of mine among them 2that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the Lord.’
3So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: “How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go, so that they may worship me. 4If you refuse to let them go, I will bring locusts into your country tomorrow. 5They will cover the face of the ground so that it cannot be seen. They will devour what little you have left after the hail, including every tree that is growing in your fields. 6They will fill your houses and those of all your officials and all the Egyptians – something neither your parents nor your ancestors have ever seen from the day they settled in this land till now.” ’ Then Moses turned and left Pharaoh.
7Pharaoh’s officials said to him, ‘How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the people go, so that they may worship the Lord their God. Do you not yet realise that Egypt is ruined?’
8Then Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. ‘Go, worship the Lord your God,’ he said. ‘But tell me who will be going.’
9Moses answered, ‘We will go with our young and our old, with our sons and our daughters, and with our flocks and herds, because we are to celebrate a festival to the Lord.’
10Pharaoh said, ‘The Lord be with you – if I let you go, along with your women and children! Clearly you are bent on evil.#10:10 Or Be careful, trouble is in store for you! 11No! Let only the men go and worship the Lord, since that’s what you have been asking for.’ Then Moses and Aaron were driven out of Pharaoh’s presence.
12And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand over Egypt so that locusts swarm over the land and devour everything growing in the fields, everything left by the hail.’
13So Moses stretched out his staff over Egypt, and the Lord made an east wind blow across the land all that day and all that night. By morning the wind had brought the locusts; 14they invaded all Egypt and settled down in every area of the country in great numbers. Never before had there been such a plague of locusts, nor will there ever be again. 15They covered all the ground until it was black. They devoured all that was left after the hail – everything growing in the fields and the fruit on the trees. Nothing green remained on tree or plant in all the land of Egypt.
16Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron and said, ‘I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you. 17Now forgive my sin once more and pray to the Lord your God to take this deadly plague away from me.’
18Moses then left Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord. 19And the Lord changed the wind to a very strong west wind, which caught up the locusts and carried them into the Red Sea.#10:19 Or the Sea of Reeds Not a locust was left anywhere in Egypt. 20But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go.
The plague of darkness
21Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand towards the sky so that darkness spreads over Egypt – darkness that can be felt.’ 22So Moses stretched out his hand towards the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days. 23No-one could see anyone else or move about for three days. Yet all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived.
24Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and said, ‘Go, worship the Lord. Even your women and children may go with you; only leave your flocks and herds behind.’
25But Moses said, ‘You must allow us to have sacrifices and burnt offerings to present to the Lord our God. 26Our livestock too must go with us; not a hoof is to be left behind. We have to use some of them in worshipping the Lord our God, and until we get there we will not know what we are to use to worship the Lord.’
27But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was not willing to let them go. 28Pharaoh said to Moses, ‘Get out of my sight! Make sure you do not appear before me again! The day you see my face you will die.’
29‘Just as you say,’ Moses replied. ‘I will never appear before you again.’