The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Exodus
And the Lord said to Moses, It is my will that thou shouldst be a divine oracle to Pharao,✻ with thy brother for spokesman;
Aaron will receive my commands from thee, and repeat them to him, bidding him let the Israelites depart from his country;
but I, meanwhile, will harden Pharao’s heart. Many signs, many portents will I give in this land of Egypt,
and still he will not listen. Then Egypt shall feel the weight of my hand, and I will deliver the Israelites, my army, my people, out of Egypt, with signal acts of redress.
All Egypt shall know that it was I, the Lord, who raised my hand against it, and brought out the sons of Israel from its midst.
This command of the Lord was faithfully carried out by Moses and Aaron; they did all he bade them do.
Moses was eighty years old, and Aaron eighty-three, when they gave Pharao their message.
And now the Lord said to Moses and Aaron,
When Pharao asks you to shew him signs of your mission, thou, Moses, shalt bid thy brother take up his staff and cast it down in Pharao’s presence; it will turn into a serpent.
So Moses and Aaron gained Pharao’s audience and did as the Lord had bidden them; Aaron brought out his staff in the presence of Pharao and his court, and it turned into a serpent.
At this, Pharao summoned his diviners and magicians, who, in their turn, uttered secret spells in the Egyptian language and did the like;
each man’s staff, when he cast it down, turned into a serpent; but the staff of Aaron devoured them.
Meanwhile, Pharao’s heart was hardened, so that he would not obey the Lord’s will and heed their warning.✻
Then the Lord said to Moses, Pharao’s heart is still obdurate, he does not mean to let my people go.
Betake thyself to him to-morrow morning; thou wilt find that he is walking by the water side, and there on the bank of the river, thou shalt meet him. Thou wilt be carrying the staff which turned into a serpent,
and this shall be thy message to him: The Lord God of the Hebrews sent me to bid thee let his people go and offer him sacrifices in the desert, and hitherto thou hast refused to listen.
And now the Lord has a new message for thee, to convince thee that he is indeed the Lord. When I strike the water of the river with this staff I carry, it will turn into blood;
the fishes in the river will die, till its waters are full of corruption; it will go hard with the Egyptians if they are for drinking river water.
Then the Lord gave Moses a message for Aaron, Take up thy staff, and stretch thy hand out over the waters of Egypt; all their rivers and channels and marshes and pools of water. All must turn into blood; blood in every bucket and pitcher, all over Egypt.
So Moses and Aaron did as the Lord had bidden them; Aaron lifted up his staff and struck the waters of the river in the presence of Pharao and his court, and the river turned to blood.
All the fishes in the river died, and its waters stank, so that the Egyptians could not drink river water any longer, and there was blood all over the land of Egypt.
But the Egyptian magicians did as much with spells of their own; and Pharao’s heart was still hardened, still he would not obey the Lord’s will and heed their warning.
He turned away and went home, paying no more attention to them than before.
Meanwhile, all the Egyptians had to dig wells round about the banks, since they could not drink any water from the river itself.
So passed the first week after the Lord smote the river.
The Holy Bible