Exodus 9

The animals become ill and die

1 Then the LORD said to Moses: ‘Go to Pharaoh and say to him: “The LORD, the God of the Israelites says: ‘Let my people go. Let them worship me. 2 If you refuse to let them go, you will have trouble. If you still keep them in Egypt, 3 the LORD will send a very bad illness on your animals. All your animals in the fields will become ill. The horses, the donkeys, the camels, the cows, the sheep and the goats will all become very ill.

4 But the LORD will make a difference between the animals of the Israelites and the animals of the Egyptians. None of the animals of the Israelites will die.’ ” ’

5 And the LORD decided when this thing would happen. He said: ‘Tomorrow I will do this thing in the country of Egypt.’ 6 So on the next day, the LORD did it! All the animals of the Egyptians died. But not one of the animals of the Israelites died. 7 Pharaoh sent men to see what had happened. And they reported that not one of the animals of the Israelites was dead! But there was no change in Pharaoh's mind. He did not let the people go.

The illness of boils

8 Then the LORD said to Moses and Aaron: ‘Take in your hands some ashes from the fire. Throw them up in the air as Pharaoh watches. 9 They will become very small bits of dirt over the whole country of Egypt. These will cause boils to appear on the skin. Both people and animals will have these boils on their skin, through the whole country.’

10 So they took ashes from the fire and they stood in front of Pharaoh. Moses threw the ashes up in the air. And boils appeared on both people and animals. 11 Because of the boils, the magicians could not stand in front of Moses. All the Egyptians had boils, even the magicians. 12 But Pharaoh refused to listen to them. The LORD had told Moses that this would happen. The LORD himself made it happen.

Pieces of ice fall on the whole country of Egypt

13 Then the LORD said to Moses: ‘Get up early in the morning and go to Pharaoh. Say to him: “This is what the LORD, the God of the Israelites says: ‘Let my people go to worship me. 14 Or this time, I will send all my worst troubles against you. I will send them against your servants and against your people. I want you to know that there is nobody like me in the whole earth. That is why I am doing this. 15 Already I could have killed you and your people with one very bad trouble. I could have removed you from the earth. 16 But I have let you live, to show you my power. This is so that people will speak about my powerful name, over the whole world. 17 You still think bad thoughts about my people. You will not let them go.

18 Look! Tomorrow at this time, I will send a very great storm. Heavy pieces of ice will fall. Nobody has ever seen anything like this in Egypt. From Egypt's first day as a country, nobody has seen a storm like this. 19 Now send your servants out. They must bring all your animals from the fields into the buildings. The ice will fall on every human and on every animal that is outside. They will all die.’ ” ’

20 Then those of Pharaoh's servants who were afraid of the LORD's words obeyed God. They quickly brought their slaves and animals inside the buildings. 21 But those who did not listen to the LORD's words left their slaves and animals outside.

22 Then the LORD said to Moses: ‘Lift up your hand towards the sky. Then ice will fall over all the country of Egypt. It will fall on every person and on every animal. It will fall on every plant that grows in all the fields in Egypt.’

23 When Moses lifted up his stick towards the sky, the LORD sent a great storm. And the LORD rained large pieces of ice upon the country of Egypt. Also, fire ran along the ground. 24 The ice fell and the fire burned. It was the worst storm that the country of Egypt had ever known. 25 The ice knocked down everything that was in the fields. In the whole country of Egypt it hit both people and animals. It knocked down every plant in the fields and it broke every tree. 26 But in the country of Goshen, there were no pieces of ice. That was where Israel's people lived.

27 Then Pharaoh commanded Moses and Aaron to come to him. And Pharaoh said: ‘This time, I have done a wrong thing. The LORD is right. I and my people are wrong. 28 Pray to the LORD because we have had enough storms and ice. I will let you go! You do not need to stay here now.’

29 Then Moses said to Pharaoh: ‘When I have left the city, I will lift my hands to the LORD. I will pray to him. Then the storm will stop and there will be no more ice. Then you will know that the whole world belongs to the LORD. 30 But I know you and your servants. You still do not believe in the LORD God.’

9:30Moses knew that Pharaoh and his servants were not really afraid of God. They only wanted their problems to go away. They wanted the bad things that were happening to stop.

31 The large pieces of ice had destroyed the flax and the barley. This was because the barley plants were ready for men to cut them. And the flax plants had buds on them. 32 But the ice had not destroyed the wheat and the spelt. This was because they appeared out of the ground later.

9:32‘Flax’ is a plant. People make cloth from the flax plant. A ‘bud’ is a flower that has not yet opened. The ice destroyed the buds because they were weak. ‘Barley’ is a food plant. The ice destroyed the weak tops of the barley plants. ‘Wheat’ is a food plant and so is ‘spelt’. These plants had not yet grown up from the ground. So the ice did not destroy them.

33 Then Moses left Pharaoh and Moses went out of the city. Moses lifted up his hands to the LORD. Then the storms and the ice stopped. The rain also stopped falling on the earth.

34 Pharaoh saw that the rain and the ice and the storms had stopped. But he did a wrong thing again. He and his servants did not do what they had promised to do. There had been no change in his thoughts. 35 Pharaoh still refused to listen to God. He did not let the Israelites go. This is what the LORD had said would happen. Moses had told Pharaoh these words.