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Exodus Chapter 8 | Parsha: Va-'era'

1And the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron: Hold out your arm with the rod over the rivers, the canals, and the ponds, and bring up the frogs on the land of Egypt.” 2Aaron held out his arm over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. 3But the magicians did the same with their spells, and brought frogs upon the land of Egypt.

4Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Plead with the Lord to remove the frogs from me and my people, and I will let the people go to sacrifice to the Lord.” 5And Moses said to Pharaoh, “You may have this triumph over me: for what time shall I plead in behalf of you and your courtiers and your people, that the frogs be cut off from you and your houses, to remain only in the Nile?” 6“For tomorrow,” he replied. And [Moses] said, “As you say—that you may know that there is none like the Lord our God; 7the frogs shall retreat from you and your courtiers and your people; they shall remain only in the Nile.” 8Then Moses and Aaron left Pharaoh’s presence, and Moses cried out to the Lord in the matter of the frogs which He had inflicted upon Pharaoh. 9And the Lord did as Moses asked; the frogs died out in the houses, the courtyards, and the fields. 10And they piled them up in heaps, till the land stank. 11But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he became stubborn and would not heed them, as the Lord had spoken.

12Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron: Hold out your rod and strike the dust of the earth, and it shall turn to lice throughout the land of Egypt.” 13And they did so. Aaron held out his arm with the rod and struck the dust of the earth, and vermin came upon man and beast; all the dust of the earth turned to lice throughout the land of Egypt. 14The magicians did the like with their spells to produce lice, but they could not. The vermin remained upon man and beast; 15and the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God!” But Pharaoh’s heart stiffened and he would not heed them, as the Lord had spoken.

16And the Lord said to Moses, “Early in the morning present yourself to Pharaoh, as he is coming out to the water, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: Let My people go that they may worship Me. 17For if you do not let My people go, I will let loose swarms of insects against you and your courtiers and your people and your houses; the houses of the Egyptians, and the very ground they stand on, shall be filled with swarms of insects. 18But on that day I will set apart the region of Goshen, where My people dwell, so that no swarms of insects shall be there, that you may know that I the Lord am in the midst of the land. 19And I will make a distinction between My people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall come to pass.’” 20And the Lord did so. Heavy swarms of insects invaded Pharaoh’s palace and the houses of his courtiers; throughout the country of Egypt the land was ruined because of the swarms of insects.

21Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Go and sacrifice to your God within the land.” 22But Moses replied, “It would not be right to do this, for what we sacrifice to the Lord our God is untouchable to the Egyptians. If we sacrifice that which is untouchable to the Egyptians before their very eyes, will they not stone us! 23So we must go a distance of three days into the wilderness and sacrifice to the Lord our God as He may command us.” 24Pharaoh said, “I will let you go to sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; but do not go very far. Plead, then, for me.” 25And Moses said, “When I leave your presence, I will plead with the Lord that the swarms of insects depart tomorrow from Pharaoh and his courtiers and his people; but let not Pharaoh again act deceitfully, not letting the people go to sacrifice to the Lord.”

26So Moses left Pharaoh’s presence and pleaded with the Lord. 27And the Lord did as Moses asked: He removed the swarms of insects from Pharaoh, from his courtiers, and from his people; not one remained. 28But Pharaoh became stubborn this time also, and would not let the people go.

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