The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Exodus
So the Lord said to Moses, Gain admission, now, to Pharao’s presence; I have hardened both his own heart and the hearts of his servants, so that he shall be a signal proof of my power.
It is a story thou shalt repeat in the hearing of thy children and thy children’s children, how I crushed the Egyptians, what portents I did amongst them, and you shall know, all of you, what manner of God you serve.
So Moses and Aaron gained Pharao’s audience, and brought him this message from the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, Wilt thou never learn to bow to my will? Give my people leave to go and offer me sacrifice.
If thou dost refuse to let them go, then to-morrow I am sending the locust to invade thy territory,
covering the face of the ground till it is lost to sight, devouring all that the hail has left, eating away all the trees that grow in the countryside.
Locusts shall lie thick in all the houses that belong to thee, and thy servants, and all the Egyptians; such a swarm as father or grandfather of thine has never seen in all their time. With that, Moses turned away, and left Pharao’s presence.
And now Pharao’s servants said to him, Shall we never be rid of this thorn in our sides? Let the men go, and sacrifice to the Lord their God if they will. Canst thou not see for thyself that Egypt is a ruined country?
So they brought Moses and Aaron back into the presence of Pharao, who said to them, Go and sacrifice to the Lord your God if you will. How many will you take with you?
We must take our children with us, answered Moses, and the old as well; our sons and daughters, our flocks and our herds; it is a solemn festival of the Lord our God.
As you hope for the Lord’s mercy, cried Pharao, you shall not go thus, taking your children with you. Who can doubt there is mischief brewing here?
That will not serve; you that are grown men shall go and sacrifice to the Lord; that is all you asked for. And with that they were driven away from Pharao’s presence.
Then the Lord bade Moses stretch out his hand over Egypt, to make the locusts swarm over it and devour all the growing things that had outlived the hail.
So Moses stretched out his staff over Egypt; and the Lord made a sirocco blow all that day and that night.✻ When morning came, the sirocco carried locusts with it;
and these invaded all the land of Egypt, settling upon its whole extent in such numbers as had never been seen before, nor shall be hereafter.
They covered the whole face of the ground, laying everything waste; devoured all the growing things which the soil produced, and all the fruit which the hail had left on the trees; no green was to be found on tree or plant all over Egypt.
Upon this, Pharao sent for Moses and Aaron with all haste; I have wronged you, he said, you and this Lord of yours;
but forgive me this once, and pray the Lord your God to rid me of this deadly plague.
So Moses went out from Pharao’s presence, and prayed to the Lord;
who thereupon sent a violent west wind, that caught up the locusts and swept them away into the Red Sea; not one was left in the whole land of Egypt.
But still the Lord hardened Pharao’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go.
So the Lord said to Moses, Stretch out thy hand towards heaven, to bring darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness so thick that it can be felt.
And when Moses stretched out his hand towards heaven, all over the land of Egypt utter darkness fell; for three days
no one caught sight of his neighbour’s face, or moved from where he was. But wherever sons of Israel dwelt, the light shone.
Then Pharao had Moses and Aaron summoned; Go and sacrifice to the Lord, he said, and take your children with you, only leave your flocks and herds behind.
But Moses said, Nay, thou must let us take victims with us, if we are to offer the Lord our God burnt-sacrifice.
All our flocks must go with us, not a hoof but shall take the road; we shall need them for the worship of the Lord our God. We cannot tell what kind of offering we must make, until we reach the place itself.
But the Lord hardened Pharao’s heart, and he would not let them go.
Depart from me, Pharao said to Moses, and take good care thou dost not come into my presence any more; if I see thee again, that day shall be thy last.
It shall be as thou sayest, Moses answered; I will not come into thy presence any more.
The Holy Bible