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Exodus Chapter 10 | Parsha: Bo'

1Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh. For I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his courtiers, in order that I may display these My signs among them, 2and that you may recount in the hearing of your sons and of your sons’ sons how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and how I displayed My signs among them—in order that you may know that I am the Lord.” 3So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Let My people go that they may worship Me. 4For if you refuse to let My people go, tomorrow I will bring locusts on your territory. 5They shall cover the surface of the land, so that no one will be able to see the land. They shall devour the surviving remnant that was left to you after the hail; and they shall eat away all your trees that grow in the field. 6Moreover, they shall fill your palaces and the houses of all your courtiers and of all the Egyptians—something that neither your fathers nor fathers’ fathers have seen from the day they appeared on earth to this day.’” With that he turned and left Pharaoh’s presence.

7Pharaoh’s courtiers said to him, “How long shall this one be a snare to us? Let the men go to worship the Lord their God! Are you not yet aware that Egypt is lost?” 8So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh and he said to them, “Go, worship the Lord your God! Who are the ones to go?” 9Moses replied, “We will all go, young and old: we will go with our sons and daughters, our flocks and herds; for we must observe the Lord‘s festival.” 10But he said to them, “The Lord be with you the same as I mean to let your children go with you! Clearly, you are bent on mischief. 11No! You menfolk go and worship the Lord, since that is what you want.” And they were expelled from Pharaoh’s presence.

12Then the Lord said to Moses, “Hold out your arm over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come upon the land of Egypt and eat up all the grasses in the land, whatever the hail has left.” 13So Moses held out his rod over the land of Egypt, and the Lord drove an east wind over the land all that day and all night; and when morning came, the east wind had brought the locusts. 14Locusts invaded all the land of Egypt and settled within all the territory of Egypt in a thick mass; never before had there been so many, nor will there ever be so many again. 15They hid all the land from view, and the land was darkened; and they ate up all the grasses of the field and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left, so that nothing green was left, of tree or grass of the field, in all the land of Egypt.

16Pharaoh hurriedly summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “I stand guilty before the Lord your God and before you. 17Forgive my offense just this once, and plead with the Lord your God that He but remove this death from me.” 18So he left Pharaoh’s presence and pleaded with the Lord. 19The Lord caused a shift to a very strong west wind, which lifted the locusts and hurled them into the Sea of Reeds; not a single locust remained in all the territory of Egypt. 20But the Lord stiffened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go.

21Then the Lord said to Moses, “Hold out your arm toward the sky that there may be darkness upon the land of Egypt, a darkness that can be touched.” 22Moses held out his arm toward the sky and thick darkness descended upon all the land of Egypt for three days. 23People could not see one another, and for three days no one could get up from where he was; but all the Israelites enjoyed light in their dwellings.

24Pharaoh then summoned Moses and said, “Go, worship the Lord! Only your flocks and your herds shall be left behind; even your children may go with you.” 25But Moses said, “You yourself must provide us with sacrifices and burnt offerings to offer up to the Lord our God; 26our own livestock, too, shall go along with us—not a hoof shall remain behind: for we must select from it for the worship of the Lord our God; and we shall not know with what we are to worship the Lord until we arrive there.” 27But the Lord stiffened Pharaoh’s heart and he would not agree to let them go. 28Pharaoh said to him, “Be gone from me! Take care not to see me again, for the moment you look upon my face you shall die.” 29And Moses replied, “You have spoken rightly. I shall not see your face again!”

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