The Plague of Locusts

10 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh. I have made his heart stubborn. I have also made the hearts of his officials stubborn so I can do my miraculous signs among them. 2Then you will be able to tell your children and grandchildren how hard I was on the Egyptians. You can tell them I did great miracles among the people of Egypt. And all of you will know that I am the Lord.”

3So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh. They said to him, “The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says, ‘How long will you refuse to obey me? Let my people go. Then they will be able to worship me.

4“ ‘If you refuse to let them go, I will bring locusts into your country tomorrow. 5They will cover the ground so that it can’t be seen. They will eat what little you have left after the hail. That includes every tree that is growing in your fields. 6They will fill your houses. They will be in the homes of all of your officials and your people. Your parents and your people before them have never seen anything like it as long as they have lived here.’ ” Then Moses turned around and left Pharaoh.

7Pharaoh’s officials said to him, “How long will this man be a trap for us? Let the people go. Then they’ll be able to worship the Lord their God. After everything that’s happened, don’t you realize that Egypt is destroyed?”

8Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. “Go. Worship the Lord your God,” he said. “But just who will be going?”

9Moses answered, “We’ll go with our young people and old people. We’ll go with our sons and daughters. We’ll take our flocks and herds. We are supposed to hold a feast in the Lord’s honor.”

10Pharaoh said, “The Lord will really be with all of you if I ever let you go, along with your women and children! Clearly you are planning to do something bad. 11No! I’ll only allow the men to go. Then all of you can worship the Lord. After all, that’s what you have been asking for.”

Then Pharaoh drove Moses and Aaron out of his sight.

12The Lord said to Moses, “Reach out your hand over Egypt. Locusts will cover the land. They will eat up everything that is growing in the fields. They will eat up everything that was left by the hail.”

13So Moses reached his wooden staff out over Egypt. Then the Lord made an east wind blow across the land. It blew all that day and all that night. By morning the wind had brought the locusts. 14They came into every part of Egypt. They settled down in every area of the country in large numbers. There had never been a plague of locusts like it before. And there will never be one like it again.

15The locusts covered the ground until it was black. They ate up everything that was left after the hail. They ate up everything that was growing in the fields. They ate up the fruit on the trees. There was nothing green left on any tree or plant in the whole land of Egypt.

16Pharaoh quickly sent for Moses and Aaron. He said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God. I’ve also sinned against you. 17Now forgive my sin one more time. Pray to the Lord your God to take this deadly plague away from me.”

18After Moses left Pharaoh, he prayed to the Lord. 19The Lord changed the wind to a very strong west wind. The wind picked up the locusts. It blew them into the Red Sea. Not even one locust was left anywhere in Egypt.

20But the Lord made Pharaoh’s heart stubborn. And Pharaoh wouldn’t let the people of Israel go.

The Plague of Darkness

21The Lord spoke to Moses. He said, “Reach out your hand toward the sky. Darkness will spread over Egypt. It will be so dark that people can feel it.”

22So Moses reached out his hand toward the sky. Then complete darkness covered Egypt for three days. 23No one could see anyone else or go anywhere for three days. But all of the people of Israel had light where they lived.

24Then Pharaoh sent for Moses. He said to him, “Go. Worship the Lord. Even your women and children can go with you. Just leave your flocks and herds behind.”

25But Moses said, “You must allow us to take animals to offer as sacrifices and burnt offerings to the Lord our God. 26Our livestock must also go with us. We have to use some of them to worship the Lord our God. We can’t leave even one animal behind. Until we get there, we won’t know what we are supposed to use to worship the Lord.”

27But the Lord made Pharaoh’s heart stubborn. So he wouldn’t let the people go.

28Pharaoh said to Moses, “Get out of my sight! Make sure you don’t come to see me again! If you do, you will die.”

29“I’ll do just as you say,” Moses replied. “I will never come to see you again.


About New International Reader’s Version (1998)

The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) was developed to help early readers understand the Bible. Begun in 1992, the NIrV is a simplification of the New International Version (NIV). The NIrV uses shorter words and sentences so that those with a typical fourth grade reading level can comprehend what they are reading. The chapters have been separated into shorter sections and most have titles that clearly indicate what the section is all about. The NIrV will be a valuable translation to those for whom English is a second language. The NIrV still relies on the best and oldest copies of the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts for its translation, guaranteeing that those who read it are getting the actual Word of God.


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