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The Cost Of Being Cruel And Stub





Then Jehovah said to Moses, "Pharaoh is stubborn; he will not let the
people go. Go to Pharaoh early in the morning, as he is going out on the
water, and stand by the bank of the Nile to meet him. Say to him,
'Jehovah, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to you with this command:
Let my people go that they may worship me in the wilderness, but so far
you have not listened. Jehovah declares, By this you shall know that I
am Jehovah: See, I will strike the waters which are in the river with
the rod that is in my hand and they shall be changed into blood. The
fish, too, that are in the Nile shall die, and the Nile shall become
foul, so that the Egyptians will hate to drink its water.'"

Then Moses lifted up the staff and in the presence of Pharaoh and his
servants struck the waters that were in the river Nile; and all its
waters were changed into blood. The fish, too, that were in the Nile
died, and the river became so foul that the Egyptians could not drink
its water, but dug round about the Nile for water to drink.

Seven days later Jehovah gave this command to Moses, "Go in to Pharaoh
and say to him, 'Jehovah commands: Let my people go that they may
worship me. If you refuse to let them go, then I will afflict all your
land with frogs; and the Nile shall swarm with frogs which shall go up
and come into your house, into your sleeping chamber, upon your bed,
into the houses of your servants, upon your people, and into your ovens
and kneading-troughs; and the frogs shall come up even upon you and your
people and all your servants.'"

Then Jehovah said to Moses, "Say to Aaron: 'Stretch out your hand with
your staff over the rivers, over the canals, and over the pools, and
cause frogs to come up over the land of Egypt.'" So Aaron stretched out
his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up and covered the
land of Egypt.

Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and said, "Pray to Jehovah to
take away the frogs from me and my people; then I will let the people
go, that they may offer a sacrifice to Jehovah." Moses said to Pharaoh,
"Will you do yourself the honor of telling me at what time I shall pray
to Jehovah in your behalf and in behalf of your servants and people,
that the frogs be destroyed from your palaces and be left only in the
Nile?" Pharaoh answered, "To-morrow." Then Moses said, "Let it be as you
say; that you may know that there is none like Jehovah our God, the
frogs shall depart from you, from your palaces, and from your servants
and people; they shall be left only in the Nile."

When Moses and Aaron had gone out from Pharaoh, Moses prayed to Jehovah
to remove the frogs which he had brought upon Pharaoh; and Jehovah did
as Moses asked. The frogs died in the houses, in the courts, and in the
fields, and the people gathered them together in many heaps; and the
land was filled with a vile odor. But when Pharaoh saw that relief had
come, he was stubborn and, as Jehovah had said, did not listen to Moses
and Aaron.

Then Jehovah said to Moses, "Get up early in the morning and stand
before Pharaoh, just as he goes out to the water, and say to him,
'Jehovah commands: Let my people go that they may worship me. If you
will not let my people go, I will send swarms of flies upon you, upon
your servants, and upon your people and into your palaces, so that the
houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, as well as the
ground upon which they stand. But at that time I will set apart the land
of Goshen in which my people live, and no swarms of flies shall be
there, so that you may know that I, Jehovah, am in the midst of the
earth.'"

And Jehovah did so: a vast swarm of flies came upon Pharaoh's palace and
into the homes of his servants; and all the land of Egypt was ruined by
the swarms of flies.

Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and said, "I will let you go
that you may offer a sacrifice to Jehovah your God in the wilderness;
only you must not go far away. Pray for me." Moses replied, "I will go
out and will pray to Jehovah that the swarms of flies may depart from
Pharaoh, from his servants and from his people to-morrow; only let not
Pharaoh again act deceitfully by refusing to let the people go to offer
a sacrifice to Jehovah."

So Moses went out from Pharaoh and prayed to Jehovah. And Jehovah did as
Moses asked; but this time also Pharaoh was stubborn and would not let
the people go.

Then Jehovah said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh and tell him, 'Jehovah the
God of the Hebrews commands: Let my people go that they may worship me.
For if you refuse to let them go and still hold them, then the power of
Jehovah will bring a very severe pest upon your cattle which are in the
field, upon the horses, the asses, the camels, the herds, and the
flocks. But Jehovah will make a difference between the cattle of Israel
and the cattle of Egypt, and not one that belongs to the Israelites
shall die.'"

So Jehovah set a fixed time, saying, "To-morrow Jehovah will do this in
the land." Jehovah did this on the next day, and all the cattle of the
Egyptians died; but none of the cattle of the Israelites. Then Pharaoh
sent and found that not even one of the cattle of the Israelites was
dead; but Pharaoh was stubborn and would not let the people go.

Then Jehovah said to Moses, "Get up early in the morning and stand
before Pharaoh, and say to him,'Jehovah, the God of the Hebrews,
commands: Let my people go, that they may worship me. Do you still set
yourself against my people, so that you will not let them go? To-morrow
about this time I will send down a very heavy fall of hail, such as has
not been in Egypt from the day that it became a nation until now.'"

So Jehovah sent down hail upon the land of Egypt, and the lightning
flashing in the midst of the hail was very severe, such as had not been
before in all Egypt since it became a nation. Through the whole land of
Egypt the hail struck down everything that was in the field, both man
and beast. The hail also struck down all the growing plants and broke
all the trees in the fields. Only in the land of Goshen, where the
Israelites were, there was no hail.

Again Pharaoh sent and called for Moses and Aaron and said to them, "I
have sinned this time; Jehovah is right and I and my people are wrong.
Pray to Jehovah, for there has been enough of these mighty thunderings
and hail, and I will let you go, and you shall stay no longer." Moses
said to him, "As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will spread out
my hands in prayer to Jehovah; the thunders shall stop, and there shall
be no more hail, that you may know that the earth is Jehovah's. But as
for you and your servants, I know that even then you will not fear
Jehovah."

So Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh and spread out his hands to
Jehovah; and the thunders and hail stopped, and the rain was no longer
poured upon the earth. But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail
and the thunders had stopped, he sinned again, and he and his servants
became stubborn, and he would not let the Israelites go.

So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh, and said to him, "Jehovah, the God
of the Hebrews, commands: 'How long will you refuse to obey me? Let my
people go that they may worship me. For if you refuse to let my people
go, then to-morrow I will bring locusts into your land, and they will
cover the surface of the earth, so that no one will be able to see the
ground, and they shall eat the rest of that which is left to you from
the hail, and they shall eat all your trees which grow in the field.'"

Then Moses and Aaron were driven out from Pharaoh's presence, but Moses
stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt, and Jehovah caused an
east wind to blow over the land all that day and night. In the morning
the east wind brought the locusts, and they went over all the land of
Egypt and settled down in all the land of Egypt, a very large swarm,
more locusts than there ever were before or ever will be again. For they
covered the surface of the whole land, so that the land was darkened and
nothing green was left, neither tree nor growing plants, anywhere in all
the land of Egypt.

Then Pharaoh called for Moses in haste and said, "I have sinned against
Jehovah your God and against you. Now therefore forgive my sin only this
once, and pray to Jehovah your God to take away from me this deadly
plague." So Moses went out from Pharaoh and prayed to Jehovah, and
Jehovah made a very strong west wind to blow which took up the locusts
and drove them into the Red Sea; not a single locust was left in all
the land of Egypt. But Jehovah let Pharaoh's heart remain stubborn, so
that he would not let the Israelites go.

Then Jehovah said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that
there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, so dark that it may be
felt." So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven; and there was
complete darkness in all the land of Egypt for three days; no one could
see another, nor did any one move about for three days. But the
Israelites had light in their homes.

Then Pharaoh called Moses and said, "Go, worship Jehovah; only let your
flocks and your herds stay behind; let your little ones go with you."
But Moses said, "You must also give us animals for sacrifices and
burnt-offerings, that we may offer a sacrifice to Jehovah our God. Our
cattle too must go with us; not a hoof shall be left behind, for we must
take these to offer to Jehovah our God, and we do not know what we must
offer to Jehovah until we arrive there."

But Jehovah let Pharaoh's heart remain stubborn, and he would not let
them go. And Pharaoh said to him, "Go away from me; take care that you
never come to me again; for on the day that you come to me you shall
die." Moses replied, "You have spoken truly, I shall never see you
again."

Moses said to Pharaoh, "Jehovah declares: 'About midnight I will go
through all of Egypt. All the eldest sons in the land of Egypt shall
die, from the eldest son of Pharaoh who sits upon his throne, even to
the eldest son of the slave girl who is behind the mill, and all the
first-born of the cattle. There shall be a great cry of sorrow all over
the land of Egypt, such as has never been before and never shall be
again.' But not a single dog shall bark at any of the Israelites nor
their animals, that you may know that Jehovah does make a difference
between the Egyptians and Israelites. All these your servants shall come
to me and bow down before me, saying, 'Go away, together with all the
people that follow you.' After that I will go away." And Moses went from
Pharaoh in great anger.





Next: The Escape From Egypt

Previous: Pharaoh The Stubborn Ruler



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