Exodus 10

God sends locusts to Egypt

1 Then the LORD said to Moses: ‘Go in to Pharaoh. I have caused him not to listen to me. And I have caused his servants also not to listen to me. I have done this so that I can show my signs among them. 2 You can tell your sons and your grandsons how I punished the Egyptians. You can tell them about the signs that I have done among them. 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: “You still refuse to obey me. Let my people go. Let them worship me. 4 If you refuse to let them go, I will bring locusts into your country tomorrow. 5 And they will cover the whole country. Nobody will be able to see the ground. They will eat everything that the ice has not destroyed. This will include every tree that is still growing in your fields.

6 They will fill your houses. They will fill your servants' houses. And they will fill the Egyptians' houses. It will be like nothing your father or your grandfather have ever seen. It has never happened before.” ’ Then Moses turned and left Pharaoh.

7 Pharaoh's servants said to him: ‘Stop keeping this man with us, to cause problems. Let the people go, to worship the LORD their God. Surely you know now that they have destroyed Egypt!’ 8 So Pharaoh commanded Moses and Aaron to come to him again. He said: ‘Go, worship the LORD your God. But which of you will go?’

9 And Moses said: ‘We will all go, both young people and old people. We will take our sons and daughters. We will take our animals, because we must have a party for the LORD.’

10 Pharaoh said to them: ‘The LORD will certainly be with you, if ever I let you go with your women and children! I can see that you have decided to do something bad. 11 No! Only the men can go and worship the LORD. That is what you have asked for.’ And Pharaoh was angry and he sent Moses and Aaron away from him.

10:11Verse 10 ‘The LORD will certainly be with you’. Pharaoh does not really 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 over the country of Egypt. They will eat every plant in the country, all that the ice has not destroyed.’

13 So Moses lifted up his stick over the country of Egypt. And the LORD caused an east wind to blow across the country, for the whole day and the whole night. In the morning, the east wind had brought the locusts. 14 And the locusts flew into every part of the country of Egypt. They landed everywhere, thousands of locusts. There had never been so many locusts in one place 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 in the country. They ate all the fruit of the trees. They ate everything that the ice had not destroyed. Not one green thing remained on tree or plant, in all the country of Egypt.

16 Then Pharaoh quickly commanded 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 me once more for the bad things that I have done. Please ask the LORD your God to remove this cruel and dangerous trouble from me.’

18 Then Moses left Pharaoh and Moses prayed to the LORD. 19 And the LORD changed the wind to a very strong west wind. This wind lifted the locusts and it carried them into the Red Sea. Not one locust remained in all the country of Egypt. 20 But the LORD caused Pharaoh to change his mind and he would not let the Israelites go.

10:20The ‘Red Sea’ is also called the Sea of Reeds (water grasses). It is to the east of Egypt

God makes Egypt completely dark

21 Then the LORD spoke to Moses. He said: ‘Lift up your hand towards the sky. Then it will be 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 through the whole country of Egypt. It was dark for three days. 23 People could not see each other. Nobody could get up and move about for three days. But all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived.

24 Then Pharaoh commanded Moses to come to him. He said: ‘Go, worship the LORD. Even your women and your children can go with you. Only your animals must remain.’ 25 But Moses said: ‘You must also let us take animals with us. We will sacrifice them and burn them, as gifts to the LORD our God.’

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

26 ‘We must take our animals with us. Not one can remain behind. We will use some of them to worship the LORD our God. Until we arrive in the desert, we will not know which animals. But we will use some of them, to worship the LORD our God.’

27 But the LORD caused Pharaoh to refuse. Pharaoh would not listen. He would not let them go. 28 Then Pharaoh said to Moses: ‘Go away from me! Never appear in front of me again! On the day that you see my face, you will die!’ 29 And Moses said: ‘You are right! I will never appear in front of you again.’