Frogs over the Land
1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Let My people go, so that they may serve Me. 2 However, if you refuse to let them go, hear this: I am going to strike your entire land with frogs. 3 The Nile will swarm with frogs, which will come up and go into your home, into your bedroom and on to your bed, and into the houses of your servants and on your people, and into your ovens and your kneading bowls. 4 So the frogs will come up on you and on your people and all your servants.”’” 5 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your staff over the rivers, over the streams and canals, over the pools [among the reeds], and make frogs come up on the land of Egypt.’” 6 So Aaron stretched out his hand [with his staff] over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. 7 But the magicians (soothsayer-priests) did the same thing with their secret arts and enchantments, and (a)brought up [more] frogs on the land of Egypt.
8 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and said, “Plead with the Lord that He may take away the frogs from me and my people; and I will let the people go, so that they may sacrifice to the Lord.” 9 And Moses said to Pharaoh, “I am entirely at your service: when shall I plead [with the Lord] for you and your servants and your people, so that the frogs may leave you and your houses and remain only in the Nile?”
10 Then Pharaoh said, “(b)Tomorrow.” Moses replied, “May it be as you say, so that you may know [without any doubt] and acknowledge that there is no one like the Lord our God. 11 The frogs will leave you and your houses and leave your servants and your people; they will remain only in the Nile.” 12 So Moses and Aaron left Pharaoh, and Moses cried out to the Lord [as he had agreed to do] concerning the frogs which God had inflicted on Pharaoh. 13 The Lord did as Moses asked, and the frogs died out of the houses, out of the courtyards and villages, and out of the fields. 14 So they piled them up in heaps, and the land was detestable and stank. 15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was [temporary] relief, he hardened his heart and would not listen or pay attention to them, just as the Lord had said.
The Plagues of Gnats and Insects
16 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the ground, and it will become [biting] gnats (lice) throughout the land of Egypt.’” 17 They did so; Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff and struck the dust of the earth, and there were [biting] gnats on man and animal. All the dust of the land became gnats through all the land of Egypt. 18 The magicians (soothsayer-priests) tried by their secret arts and enchantments to create gnats, but they could not; and there were gnats on man and animal. 19 Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the [supernatural] finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and he would not listen to them, just as the Lord had said.
20 Now the Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh as he is coming out to the water [of the Nile], and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Let My people go, so that they may serve Me. 21 For if you do not let My people go, hear this: I will send swarms of [bloodsucking] insects on you and on your servants and on your people and into your houses; and the houses of the Egyptians will be full of swarms of insects, as well as the ground on which they stand. 22 But on that day I will separate and set apart the land of Goshen, where My people are living, so that no swarms of insects will be there, so that you may know [without any doubt] and acknowledge that I, the Lord, am in the midst of the earth. 23 I will (c)put a division (distinction) between My people and your people. By tomorrow this sign shall be in evidence.”’” 24 Then the Lord did so. And there came heavy and oppressive swarms of [bloodsucking] insects into the house of Pharaoh and his servants’ houses; in all the land of Egypt the land was corrupted and ruined because of the [great invasion of] insects.
25 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God [here] in the land [of Egypt].” 26 But Moses said, “It is not right [or even possible] to do that, for we will sacrifice to the Lord our God what is repulsive and unacceptable to the Egyptians [that is, animals that the Egyptians consider sacred]. If we sacrifice what is repulsive and unacceptable to the Egyptians, will they not riot and stone us? 27 We must go a three days’ journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the Lord our God as He commands us.” 28 So Pharaoh said, “I will let you go, so that you may sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; only you shall not go very far away. Plead [with your God] for me.” 29 Moses said, “I am going to leave you, and I will urgently petition (pray, entreat) the Lord that the swarms of insects may leave Pharaoh, his servants, and his people tomorrow; only do not let Pharaoh act deceitfully again by not letting the people go to sacrifice to the Lord.”
30 So Moses left Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord [on behalf of Pharaoh]. 31 The Lord did as Moses asked, and removed the swarms of [bloodsucking] insects from Pharaoh, from his servants and from his people; not one remained. 32 But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and he did not let the people go.
a. Exodus 8:7: If the magicians had possessed true power they would have halted the plagues, not exacerbated them.
b. Exodus 8:10: Pharaoh’s answer suggests that he still did not have an understanding of God’s power, since he could have requested the immediate removal of the frogs.
c. Exodus 8:23: Lit set a ransom.