The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Exodus
Then the Lord bade Moses present himself before Pharao with this message from the Lord, the God of the Hebrews; Give my people leave to go and offer me sacrifice.
If thou dost still refuse, wouldst still keep them in thy power,
then my hand shall be felt all through this countryside; a most grievous plague shall fall upon horse and ass and camel, on oxen and sheep.
And I will make a signal difference between the lands of Israel and the lands of the Egyptians; the Israelites will not lose any of their possessions at all.
And the Lord has appointed his own time for it; To-morrow, he says, the Lord will carry out this threat against thy land.
So, next day, the Lord did as he had threatened; everywhere the beasts belonging to the Egyptians died, and the Israelites did not lose one.
Pharao himself sent to make enquiry, and found that no beast belonging to the Israelites had died. But still Pharao’s heart was obdurate, and he would not let the people go.
So the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, Take handfuls of ashes from the oven, and let Moses sprinkle them in the air in Pharao’s presence.
They will turn to a dust that falls everywhere in the land of Egypt, and everywhere ulcers and boils shall break out on man and beast.
So they took ashes from the oven into Pharao’s presence, and Moses sprinkled them in the air; and ulcers and boils broke out on man and beast,
so that even the magicians could not present themselves before Pharao, such pain they had, like all Egypt, from the ulcers.
But the Lord hardened Pharao’s heart so that he would not listen to them; all fell out as the Lord had prophesied to Moses.
And now the Lord bade Moses rise up early in the morning, and present himself before Pharao with this message from the Lord, the God of the Hebrews: Let my people go and offer me sacrifice.
I am taking occasion now to send all my plagues upon thy person,✻ and thy servants, and thy people, to shew thee that none on earth has power like mine.
Were I to stretch out my hand and smite thee and thy people with pestilence,✻ earth would see no more of thee.
But no, this is the very reason why I have made thee what thou art, so as to give proof, in thee, of my power, and to let my name be known all over the earth.
So thou wouldst still play the tyrant with my people, and refuse them leave to go away?
To-morrow, then, at this hour, I will pour down such a fierce storm of hail as Egypt has never known, from the first day of her existence to this.
Lose no time in sending word to have thy cattle brought in, and all that thou hast out of doors; men and cattle and all else that is left in the open, not brought under shelter, will die when the hail falls upon it.
Some of Pharao’s servants were struck with awe at the Lord’s threat, and made their servants and their cattle take refuge within doors;
others paid no heed to the message the Lord had sent, and left their servants and their cattle in the open.
Then the Lord said to Moses, Stretch out thy hand towards heaven, so that hail may fall all over the land of Egypt, on man and beast and every growing thing the soil of Egypt produces.
So Moses lifted up his staff towards heaven, and the Lord sent thunder and hail and fire that ran along the ground; all over the land of Egypt the Lord showered down hail.
The hail drove on, and fire mingled with the hail; never was such hail seen anywhere in Egypt since its people became a people.
And throughout the land this hail smote all that was left in the open, man or beast; smote upon all the soil yielded, and broke down every wild tree.
Only in the land of Gessen, where the Israelites dwelt, no hail fell.
So Pharao had Moses and Aaron summoned to his presence; Thus far, he said, I have done wrong; the Lord has justice on his side, the guilt lies with me and my people.
Pray to the Lord that these heavenly thunders, this hail, may cease; then I will let you go, and not keep you waiting here any longer.
And Moses answered, When I leave the city I will spread out my hands in prayer to the Lord; the thunders will cease, and there will be no more hail, to prove to thee that the Lord rules the earth.
But thou and thy people, I know it well, have not learned to fear the Lord God even now.
(The flax and the barley had been spoiled; the barley was ripening, and the flax already in the pod.
But no harm was done to the late crops, the wheat and the spelt.)
When Moses left Pharao and the city, he stretched out his hands to the Lord; whereupon the thunder and the hail ceased, and no more rain fell on the land.
And Pharao, seeing that rain and hail and thunder were past, added sin to sin;
his heart and those of his servants were dull and hardened beyond belief, and he would not let the Israelites go; the Lord’s warning through Moses went unheeded.
The Holy Bible