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The First Blow: Water to Blood

7:14 26 The Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is hard;27 he refuses to release28 the people. 7:15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning when29 he goes out to the water. Position yourself30 to meet him by the edge of the Nile,31 and take32 in your hand the staff33 that was turned into a snake. 7:16 Tell him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to you to say,34 “Release my people, that they may serve me35 in the desert!” But until now36 you have not listened.37 7:17 Thus says the Lord: “By this you will know that I am the Lord: I am going to strike38 the water of the Nile with the staff that is in my hand, and it will be turned into blood.39 7:18 Fish40 in the Nile will die, the Nile will stink, and the Egyptians will be unable41 to drink water from the Nile.” ’ ” 7:19 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over Egypt’s waters—over their rivers, over their canals,42 over their ponds, and over all their reservoirs43—so that it becomes44 blood.’ There will be blood everywhere in45 the land of Egypt, even in wooden and stone containers.” 7:20 Moses and Aaron did so,46 just as the Lord had commanded. Moses raised47 the staff48 and struck the water that was in the Nile right before the eyes49 of Pharaoh and his servants,50 and all the water that was in the Nile was turned to blood.51 7:21 When the fish52 that were in the Nile died, the Nile began53 to stink, so that the Egyptians could not drink water from the Nile. There was blood54 everywhere in the land of Egypt! 7:22 But the magicians of Egypt did the same55 by their secret arts, and so56 Pharaoh’s heart remained hard,57 and he refused to listen to Moses and Aaron58—just as the Lord had predicted. 7:23 And Pharaoh turned and went into his house. He did not pay any attention to this.59 7:24 All the Egyptians dug around the Nile for water to drink,60 because they could not drink the water of the Nile.


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