1 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Look, I have made you like God to Pharaoh. Your brother Aaron will speak on your behalf, like your prophet. 2 You must say everything that I command you to say. Your brother Aaron must tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of his country.
7:2A prophet is a person that speaks God's words. Aaron would be like a prophet for Moses. God would speak to Moses and Aaron would tell Moses' message to Pharaoh.
3 But I will make Pharaoh's mind become hard. I will do many miracles in Egypt that show my power. 4 But Pharaoh will still refuse to listen to you. Then I will show my authority and I will punish the Egyptians. I will bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt like an army. 5 Then the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord. I will show my great strength in Egypt and I will lead the Israelites out from there.’
Moses' stick becomes a snake
6 Moses and Aaron obeyed all the commands of the Lord. 7 Moses was 80 years old and Aaron was 83 years old when they spoke to Pharaoh.
8 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 9 ‘Pharaoh will say to you, “Show me a miracle.” Then say to Aaron, “Take your stick and throw it down in front of Pharaoh.” When Aaron does that, his stick will become a snake.’
10 So Moses and Aaron went to see Pharaoh. They did everything that the Lord had commanded them. Aaron threw down his stick in front of Pharaoh and his officers. And the stick became a snake! 11 Then Pharaoh called for his wise men and his magicians to come to him. The Egyptian magicians did the same thing as Aaron. They used their secret magic to do it. 12 Each of them threw down his stick and it became a snake. But Aaron's stick ate all their sticks! 13 But Pharaoh's mind was hard and he refused to listen to Moses and Aaron. That was what the Lord had said would happen, and it did!
7:13A magician uses magic to do strange, powerful things. The Egyptians were afraid of snakes and they worshipped them. But Aaron's stick ate the magicians' sticks. God was showing them that he is more powerful than magic.
Moses changes water into blood
14 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Pharaoh's mind is still hard. He refuses to let the people go. 15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning when he goes to the river. Wait for him by the edge of the river. Then take in your hand the stick that became a snake. 16 Then say to Pharaoh: The Lord, the God of the Israelites has sent me to you. He says, “Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the desert.” But until now, you have not listened to my message. 17 So this is what the Lord says, “In this way, you will know that I am the Lord. Look! I will hit the water in the Nile river with the stick that is in my hand. Then the water will become blood. 18 The fish in the river will die, and the river will have a very bad smell. Then the Egyptians will not be able to drink the water from the Nile river.” ’
19 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Say to Aaron, “Take your stick. Lift up your hand over the waters of Egypt. Lift your stick up over their rivers and their streams. Lift it up over their ponds and pools of water. Do that so that all the water becomes blood.” There will be blood in every part of Egypt. There will even be blood in their buckets and bowls.’
20 Moses and Aaron obeyed the command of the Lord. Aaron lifted up the stick in front of Pharaoh and his servants. He hit the water in the Nile river with the stick. Then all the water in the river became blood. 21 The fish in the river died. The river had such a bad smell that the Egyptians could not drink its water. There was blood in every part of Egypt.
22 But the Egyptian magicians used their magic and they did the same thing. So Pharaoh's mind continued to be hard. He still refused to listen to Moses and Aaron. The Lord had said that this would happen, and it did! 23 Pharaoh turned away and he went into his house. He did not worry about what had happened. 24 The Egyptians dug holes on the shore of the Nile river to find water to drink. They could not drink the water from the river itself.
7:24The river gave the Egyptians all that they needed. It was called the River Nile. It gave water to drink and to put on food plants. At certain times the river rose over the fields and it gave food to the plants. The Egyptians needed the river Nile so that they could live.
25 After the Lord had made the water in the river become blood, another seven days passed.