Exodus 10

8: Locusts

1 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go to see Pharaoh. I have caused his mind to become hard. I have also caused his officers' minds to become hard. I have done this so that I can do miracles to show him my power. 2 In the future, you can tell your children and your children's children how I punished the Egyptians. You can tell them about the miracles that I did among the Egyptians. In this way, you will know that I am the Lord.’

3 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh. They said to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Israelites says this: “You are still too proud to obey me. Let my people go so that they may worship me. 4 If you refuse to let them go, I will bring locusts into your country tomorrow. 5 They will cover the whole country. Nobody will be able to see the ground. They will eat everything that the hail did not destroy. They will eat any crops that you still have. That will include every tree that is growing in your fields. 6 They will fill your houses, and your officers' houses. They will fill all the houses in Egypt! It will be worse than anything that your fathers or your grandfathers have ever seen. Nothing like this has ever happened in Egypt before now.” ’ Then Moses turned away and left Pharaoh.

7 Pharaoh's officers said to him, ‘Will you let this man bring trouble to us for ever? Allow the people to go. Then they can worship the Lord their God. Surely you understand by now that this man has destroyed Egypt!’

8 So Pharaoh's officers took Moses and Aaron back to him. Pharaoh said to them, ‘Go and worship the Lord your God. But tell me, who will go?’

9 Moses said, ‘We will all go, both young people and old people. We will take our sons and daughters. We will also take our animals, because we must have a feast to worship the Lord.’

10 Pharaoh said to them, ‘No! If I let you go with your families like that, you will need the Lord to take care of you! I can see that you want to make trouble. 11 No! If you really want to go and worship the Lord, only the men can go.’ Pharaoh was angry and he told Moses and Aaron to go away.

10:11Pharaoh does not want God to be with them. If he let the families go, he would be doing a good thing to the Israelites. It would be like God was going with them. But Pharaoh does not want to do this. He does not want to do a good thing for the Israelites.

12 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Lift up your hand over the country of Egypt. Then locusts will fly all over the land. They will eat every plant that grows in the ground. They will eat everything that the hail has not destroyed.’

13 So Moses lifted up his stick over the country of Egypt. Then the Lord caused an east wind to blow across the land, for the whole day and the whole night. In the morning, the east wind had brought the locusts. 14 The locusts flew into every part of the country of Egypt. Thousands of locusts sat on everything. There had never been so many locusts in Egypt before. And it will never happen again. 15 The locusts covered all the ground, until the ground became black with locusts. They ate all the plants that grew in the ground, and all the fruit of the trees. They ate everything that the hail had not destroyed. Not one green thing remained on any tree or plant, in all the country of Egypt.

16 Then Pharaoh quickly called Moses and Aaron to come to him. He said, ‘I have done bad things against the Lord your God and against you. 17 Please forgive my sins just one more time. Ask the Lord your God to remove this punishment of death from me.’

18 Moses left Pharaoh and he prayed to the Lord. 19 Then the Lord changed the wind to a very strong west wind. This wind lifted the locusts up and it blew them away into the Red Sea. Not one locust remained in all the country of Egypt. 20 But the Lord caused Pharaoh's mind to become hard again. Pharaoh would not let the Israelites go.

10:19The ‘Red Sea’ is also called the Sea of Reeds (water grasses). It is to the east of Egypt.

9: Darkness

21 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Lift up your hand towards the sky. Then it will become dark over the whole country of Egypt. It will be so dark that people will be able to feel it.’ 22 So Moses lifted up his hand towards the sky and it became completely dark. It was dark through the whole country of Egypt for three days. 23 People could not see each other. Nobody could move anywhere for three days. But the Israelites had light in the places where they lived.

24 Then Pharaoh called Moses to come to him. He said, ‘Go and worship the Lord. Even your families may go with you. Only your animals must remain in Egypt.’

25 But Moses said, ‘Then you will have to give us animals for our sacrifices and burnt offerings. We need our animals to offer to the Lord our God. 26 So we must take our animals with us. Not one animal can remain behind. We must take them to worship the Lord our God. Until we arrive in the desert, we will not know which animals to use as sacrifices.’

10:25The Israelites killed animals as sacrifices. Then they burned them on an altar as a gift to God.

27 But the Lord caused Pharaoh's mind to be hard. Pharaoh would not agree to let the Israelites go. 28 Pharaoh said to Moses, ‘Go away from me! Be careful not to come back! I never want to see you again! On the day that you see my face, you will die!’

29 Moses replied, ‘You are right! You will never see me again.’