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manded him. And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel: and Aaron spake all the words which the Lord had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. And the people believed: and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.
And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh 1 "Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness." And Pharaoh said: "Who is Jehovah,
that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not Jehovah, neither will I let Israel go." And they said: "The God of the Hebrews hath met with us. Let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the Lord our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword." And the king of Egypt said unto them: "Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their works? get you unto your burdens." And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and
their officers, saying: "Ye shall Merneptah. Granite Bust from his Temno more give the people straw to
ple at Thebes
make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves. And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish aught thereof: for they be idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God. Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labor therein; and let them not regard vain words." And the taskmasters of the people went out, and their officers,
1 Pharaoh. Ramses II was succeeded by Merneptah (about 1225-1215 B. C.), who is therefore thought to have been the Pharaoh of the Exodus. The following verse, however, occurs in a song dating from his reign, and celebrating his triumphs in Palestine :
"Israel is desolated, her seed is not."
and they spake to the people, saying: "Thus saith Pharaoh, I will not give you straw. Go ye, get you straw where ye can find it yet not aught of your work shall be diminished." So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw. And the taskmasters hasted them, saying: "Fulfil your works, your daily tasks, as when there was straw." And the officers of the children of Israel, which Pharaoh's taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and demanded: "Wherefore have ye not fulfilled your task in making brick both yesterday and to day, as heretofore?" Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried unto Pharaoh, saying: "Wherefore dealest thou thus with thy servants? There is no straw given unto thy servants, and they say to us, Make brick and behold, thy servants are beaten; but the fault is in thine own people." But he said: "Ye are idle, ye are idle: therefore ye say, Let us go and do sacrifice to the Lord. Go therefore now, and work; for there shall no straw be given you, yet shall ye deliver the tale of bricks."
And the officers of the children of Israel did see that they were in evil case, after it was said: "Ye shall not minish aught from your bricks of your daily task." And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh : and they said unto them: "The Lord look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savor to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us." And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said: "Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil intreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me ? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all."
Then the Lord said unto Moses: "Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh : for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.” And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him: "I am the Lord: and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them. And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers."
And Moses spake so unto the children of Israel: but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel
bondage. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying: "Go in, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, that he let the children of Israel go out of his land." And Moses spake before the Lord, saying: "Behold, the children of Israel have not hearkened unto me; how then shall Pharaoh hear me, who am of uncircumcised lips?"
And the Lord said unto Moses: "See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. Thou shalt speak all that I command thee; and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land."
And Moses was fourscore years old, and Aaron fourscore and three years old, when they spake unto Pharaoh.
And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying: "When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a miracle for you then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent." And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the Lord had commanded and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers. Now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods. And Pharaoh's heart was hardened, that he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said.
The Ten Plagues (Ex. vii. 14-18, 20-25; viii.; ix. 1-13, 17, 18, 22-34; x. 3-29; xi. 4-8). And the Lord said unto Moses: "Get thee unto Pharaoh in the morning; lo, he goeth out unto the water; and thou shalt stand by the river's brink against he come; and the rod which was turned to a serpent shalt thou take in thine hand. And thou shalt say unto him, The Lord God of the Hebrews hath sent me unto thee, saying, Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness: and behold, hitherto thou wouldest not hear. Thus saith the Lord, In this thou shalt know that I am the Lord: behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood: and the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall loathe to drink of the water of the river."
And Moses and Aaron did so, as the Lord commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. And the fish that was in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt. But the magicians of Egypt did in like manner with their enchantments; so that Pharaoh's heart was hardened, neither did he hearken unto them; as the Lord had said. And Pharaoh turned and went into his house, neither did he set his heart to this also. And all the Egyptians digged round about the river for water to drink; for they could not drink of the water of the river. And seven days were fulfilled, after that the Lord had smitten the river.
And the Lord spake unto Moses: "Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Let my people go, that they may serve me. And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs: and the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into thine house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house. of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneadingtroughs: and the frogs shall come up both on thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants."
And the Lord spake unto Moses: "Say unto Aaron, Stretch forth thine hand with thy rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds." And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt. But the magicians did in like manner with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land, of Egypt.
Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said: "Intreat the Lord, that he may take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may do sacrifice unto the Lord." And Moses said unto Pharaoh : "Glory over me:1 when shall I intreat for thee and for thy servants, and for thy people, to destroy the frogs from thee and thy houses, that they may remain in the river only?" And he said, "Tomorrow." And he said: "Be it according to thy word: that thou mayest know that there is none like unto the Lord our God. And the frogs shall depart from thee, and from thy houses, and
1 Glory over me. An expression of courtesy toward royalty.
from thy servants, and from thy people; they shall remain in the river only." And Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh : and Moses cried unto the Lord because of the frogs which he had brought against Pharaoh. And the Lord did according to the word of Moses; and the frogs died out of the houses, out of the villages, and out of the fields. And they gathered them together upon heaps: and the land stank. But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said.
And the Lord said unto Moses: "Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt." And they did so; for Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and smote the dust of the earth, and it became lice in man, and in beast; all the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt. And the magicians did so with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not: so there were lice upon man, and upon beast. Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh: "This is the finger of God:" and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said.
And the Lord said unto Moses: "Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh; lo, he cometh forth to the water; and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Let my people go, that they may serve me. Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of flies, and also the ground whereon they are. And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth. And I will put a division between my people and thy people: tomorrow shall this sign be."
And the Lord did so; and there came a grievous swarm of flies into the house of Pharaoh, and into his servants' houses, and into all the land of Egypt: the land was corrupted by reason of the swarm of flies. And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said: "Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land." And Moses said: "It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the Lord our God: lo,
1 the abomination of the Egyptians. That is, animals such as the cow, sacred to Isis, the sacrifice of which would be abhorrent to the Egyptians.