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Exodus Chapter 9 | Parsha: Va-'era'

1The Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews: Let My people go to worship Me. 2For if you refuse to let them go, and continue to hold them, 3then the hand of the Lord will strike your livestock in the fields—the horses, the asses, the camels, the cattle, and the sheep—with a very severe pestilence. 4But the Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of the Egyptians, so that nothing shall die of all that belongs to the Israelites. 5The Lord has fixed the time: tomorrow the Lord will do this thing in the land.’” 6And the Lord did so the next day: all the livestock of the Egyptians died, but of the livestock of the Israelites not a beast died. 7When Pharaoh inquired, he found that not a head of the livestock of Israel had died; yet Pharaoh remained stubborn, and he would not let the people go.

8Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Each of you take handfuls of soot from the kiln, and let Moses throw it toward the sky in the sight of Pharaoh. 9It shall become a fine dust all over the land of Egypt, and cause an inflammation breaking out in boils on man and beast throughout the land of Egypt.” 10So they took soot of the kiln and appeared before Pharaoh; Moses threw it toward the sky, and it caused an inflammation breaking out in boils on man and beast. 11The magicians were unable to confront Moses because of the inflammation, for the inflammation afflicted the magicians as well as all the other Egyptians. 12But the Lord stiffened the heart of Pharaoh, and he would not heed them, just as the Lord had told Moses.

13The Lord said to Moses, “Early in the morning present yourself to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews: Let My people go to worship Me. 14For this time I will send all My plagues upon your person, and your courtiers, and your people, in order that you may know that there is none like Me in all the world. 15I could have stretched forth My hand and stricken you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been effaced from the earth. 16Nevertheless I have spared you for this purpose: in order to show you My power, and in order that My fame may resound throughout the world. 17Yet you continue to thwart My people, and do not let them go! 18This time tomorrow I will rain down a very heavy hail, such as has not been in Egypt from the day it was founded until now. 19Therefore, order your livestock and everything you have in the open brought under shelter; every man and beast that is found outside, not having been brought indoors, shall perish when the hail comes down upon them!’” 20Those among Pharaoh’s courtiers who feared the Lord‘s word brought their slaves and livestock indoors to safety; 21but those who paid no regard to the word of the Lord left their slaves and livestock in the open.

22The Lord said to Moses, “Hold out your arm toward the sky that hail may fall on all the land of Egypt, upon man and beast and all the grasses of the field in the land of Egypt.” 23So Moses held out his rod toward the sky, and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and fire streamed down to the ground, as the Lord rained down hail upon the land of Egypt. 24The hail was very heavy—fire flashing in the midst of the hail—such as had not fallen on the land of Egypt since it had become a nation. 25Throughout the land of Egypt the hail struck down all that were in the open, both man and beast; the hail also struck down all the grasses of the field and shattered all the trees of the field. 26Only in the region of Goshen, where the Israelites were, there was no hail.

27Thereupon Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron and said to them, “I stand guilty this time. The Lord is in the right, and I and my people are in the wrong. 28Plead with the Lord that there may be an end of God’s thunder and of hail. I will let you go; you need stay no longer.” 29Moses said to him, “As I go out of the city, I shall spread out my hands to the Lord; the thunder will cease and the hail will fall no more, so that you may know that the earth is the Lord‘s. 30But I know that you and your courtiers do not yet fear the Lord God.”— 31Now the flax and barley were ruined, for the barley was in the ear and the flax was in bud; 32but the wheat and the emmer were not hurt, for they ripen late.— 33Leaving Pharaoh, Moses went outside the city and spread out his hands to the Lord: the thunder and the hail ceased, and no rain came pouring down upon the earth. 34But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, he became stubborn and reverted to his guilty ways, as did his courtiers. 35So Pharaoh’s heart stiffened and he would not let the Israelites go, just as the Lord had foretold through Moses.

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