The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Exodus
Then the Lord bade Moses present himself before Pharao with this message from him, Give my people leave to go and offer me sacrifice;
if thou dost refuse, I mean to plague thy whole country with frogs.
The river shall swarm with frogs, which will come up out of it and find their way into thy palace, into thy bed-chamber, into thy bed itself; and so with all thy servants and all thy people, with thy ovens and thy larders;
neither thou nor thy servants nor thy people will be able to keep the frogs out.
Then the Lord would have Moses tell Aaron to stretch out his hand over river and channel and marsh, and bring up frogs all over Egypt;
so Aaron stretched out his hand over all the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up till the whole land of Egypt was full of them.
But the magicians, too, did as much with their spells; to fill Egypt with frogs was not beyond their powers.
So Pharao summoned Moses and Aaron, and bade them entreat the Lord to rid him and his people of the frogs, promising that he would let the Israelites go and offer God sacrifice.
Appoint a time, then, Moses said to him at which I shall pray for thee and thy servants and thy people, asking that the frogs may be driven away from thee and them, and no longer be found anywhere but in the river.
To-morrow, said he, and Moses answered, I will do what thou hast said, to let thee know that there is no other God like this Lord of ours;
thou and thy palace and thy servants and thy people shall be rid of the frogs, and they will remain in the river, nowhere else.
So Moses and Aaron went out from Pharao’s presence, and Moses asked the Lord to grant what he had promised Pharao about the frogs.
His prayer was answered; in house and farm and countryside all the frogs died,
and must be collected in great heaps; the whole land stank with them.
As soon as Pharao found that a respite was granted him, he steeled his heart against the Lord’s will, and would not heed their warning.
So the Lord would have Moses tell Aaron to hold out his staff and strike the dust on the ground with it, to bring gnats upon the whole land of Egypt.
The command was obeyed; and when Aaron stretched out his hand, with the staff in it, and smote the dust on the ground, gnats settled on man and beast; all over Egypt the dust on the ground turned to gnats.
When the magicians tried to do as much with their spells, they found they could not, but still the gnats came and settled on man and beast,
till the magicians told Pharao, This is God’s handiwork; but Pharao’s heart was hardened, and still he would not listen to them, or obey the Lord’s will.
So the Lord said to Moses, Rise up early, and present thyself before Pharao; thou wilt find he has gone out to the water side. Give him this message from the Lord, Let my people go and offer me sacrifice;
if thou dost not send them on their way, I will send on thee, thy servants, thy people, and the houses in thy land, flies of all sorts;✻ flies of every kind shall swarm in the houses of the Egyptians, and all over the land in which they dwell.
But I will shew signal favour to the land of Gessen, where my own people dwell, sparing it from the flies; am I not Lord in every part of the earth?
My people shall not fare as thine; to-morrow shall see this portent happen.
And the Lord carried out his threat; into the houses of Pharao and his servants and upon all the land of Egypt came a grievous swarm of flies, such a swarm as tainted the whole land by its presence.
Then Pharao summoned Moses and Aaron to him; Go and sacrifice to your God, he said, but here, in this land.
That may not be, said Moses; do we not sacrifice to the Lord what the Egyptians worship? If we are seen slaughtering the very beasts which the Egyptians hold sacred, they will stone us.
We will do what the Lord bade us do, go out three days’ march into the desert and offer him sacrifice there.
Then Pharao said, You shall go and sacrifice to the Lord your God in the desert, provided it is no long distance away; now go and use your prayers on my behalf.
When I leave thy presence, said Moses, I will pray to the Lord, and to-morrow Pharao and his servants and his people shall be rid of the flies; only do not play us false again by holding the people back from their sacrifice.
So Moses left Pharao’s presence, and prayed to the Lord,
and what he had promised, the Lord granted, ridding Pharao and his servants and his people of the flies, until not one was left.
But the heart of Pharao was still obdurate, and once more he would not let the people go.
The Holy Bible