1 Then the LordI said to Moses,II “GoIII to Pharaoh;IV
for I have hardenedV his heartVI and the heart of his officials,VII in order that I may showVIII these signsIX of mine amongX them,
2 and that you may tellXI, XII your childrenXIII and grandchildrenXIV
how I have made fools ofXV the EgyptiansXVI and what signs I have doneXVII among them—so that you may knowXVIII that I am the Lord.”
3 So Moses and AaronXIX went to Pharaoh, and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, the GodXX of the Hebrews,XXI ‘How long will you refuse to humbleXXII yourself beforeXXIII me? Let my peopleXXIV go,XXV so that they may worshipXXVI me.
4 For if you refuseXXVII to let my people go,XXVIII, XXIX tomorrowXXX I will bringXXXI locustsXXXII into your country.XXXIII
5 They shall coverXXXIV the surfaceXXXV of the land,XXXVI so that no one will be ableXXXVII to seeXXXVIII the land.
They shall devourXXXIX the lastXL remnantXLI leftXLII you after the hail, and they shall devour everyXLIII treeXLIV of yours that growsXLV in the field.XLVI
6 They shall fillXLVII your houses,XLVIII and the houses of allXLIX your officials and of all the EgyptiansL—
something that neither your parentsLI nor your grandparentsLII have seen, from the dayLIII they cameLIV on earthLV to this day.’” Then he turnedLVI and went outLVII from Pharaoh.
7 Pharaoh’s officials said to him, “How long shall this fellow beLVIII a snareLIX to us? Let the peopleLX go,LXI so that they may worship the Lord their God; do you not yet understandLXII that Egypt is ruined?”LXIII
8 So Moses and Aaron were brought backLXIV to Pharaoh, and he said to them, “Go,LXV worship the Lord your God! But which ones are to go?”LXVI
9 Moses said, “We will goLXVII with our youngLXVIII and our old;LXIX
we will go with our sonsLXX and daughtersLXXI and with our flocksLXXII and herds,LXXIII because we have the Lord’s festivalLXXIV to celebrate.”LXXV
10 He said to them, “The Lord indeedLXXVI will be with you, if ever I let your little onesLXXVII goLXXVIII with you! Plainly,LXXIX you have some evil purposeLXXX inLXXXI mind.LXXXII
11 No,LXXXIII never! Your menLXXXIV may goLXXXV, LXXXVI and worship the Lord, for that is what you are asking.”LXXXVII And they were driven outLXXXVIII from Pharaoh’s presence.LXXXIX
12 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch outXC your handXCI over the land of Egypt, so that the locusts may comeXCII upon itXCIII and eatXCIV every plantXCV in the land, all that the hail has left.”
13 So Moses stretched out his staffXCVI over the land of Egypt, and the Lord broughtXCVII an eastXCVIII windXCIX upon the land all that day and all that night;C when morningCI came, the east wind had broughtCII the locusts.
14 The locusts came upon all the land of Egypt and settledCIII on the wholeCIV country of Egypt, suchCV a denseCVI swarm of locusts as had never been before,CVII nor ever shall be again.
15 They covered the surface of the whole land, so that the land was black;CVIII and they ate all the plants in the land and all the fruitCIX of the trees that the hail had left;CX nothing greenCXI was left, no tree, no plant in the field, in all the land of Egypt.
16 Pharaoh hurriedlyCXII summonedCXIII Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinnedCXIV against the Lord your God, and against you.
17 Do forgiveCXV, CXVI my sinCXVII justCXVIII this once,CXIX
and prayCXX to the Lord your God that at the leastCXXI he removeCXXII this deadly thingCXXIII from me.”
18 So he went out from Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord. 19 The Lord changedCXXIV the wind into a veryCXXV strongCXXVI westCXXVII wind,
which liftedCXXVIII the locusts and droveCXXIX them into the RedCXXX Sea;CXXXI not a singleCXXXII locust was left in all the country of Egypt. 20 But the Lord hardenedCXXXIII Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the IsraelitesCXXXIV go.CXXXV
21 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heavenCXXXVI so that there may be darknessCXXXVII over the land of Egypt, a darkness that can be felt.”CXXXVIII
22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was denseCXXXIX darkness in all the land of Egypt for threeCXL days. 23 People could not see one another,CXLI and for three days theyCXLII could not moveCXLIII from where they were;
but all the Israelites hadCXLIV lightCXLV where they lived.CXLVI
24 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses, and said, “Go,CXLVII worship the Lord. OnlyCXLVIII your flocks and your herds shall remain behind.CXLIX Even your childrenCL may goCLI with you.”
25 But Moses said, “You must also let us haveCLII sacrificesCLIII and burnt offeringsCLIV to sacrificeCLV to the Lord our God.
26 Our livestockCLVI also must goCLVII with us; not a hoofCLVIII shall be left behind, for we must chooseCLIX some of them for the worship of the Lord our God, and we will not know what to use to worship the Lord until we arriveCLX there.”
27 But the Lord hardenedCLXI Pharaoh’s heart, and he was unwillingCLXII to let them go.CLXIII
28 Then Pharaoh said to him, “Get awayCLXIV from me! Take careCLXV that you do not see my faceCLXVI again,CLXVII for on the day you see my face you shall die.”CLXVIII
29 Moses said, “Just asCLXIX you say!CLXX I will never see your face again.”
Image credit: “Egiptian grasshopper (Anacridium aegyptium)” by Alvesgaspar, 2007.