7 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I have made you like God to Pharaoh. And your brother Aaron will be like a prophet to you. 2You must say everything I command you to say. Then your brother Aaron must tell Pharaoh to let the people of Israel leave his country.
3“But I will make Pharaoh’s heart stubborn. I will multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt. 4In spite of that, he will not listen to you. So I will use my powerful hand against Egypt. When I judge them with mighty acts, I will bring my people Israel out like an army on the march.
5“Then the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord. I will reach out my powerful hand against Egypt. I will bring the people of Israel out of it.”
6Moses and Aaron did exactly as the Lord had commanded them. 7Moses was 80 years old and Aaron was 83 when they spoke to Pharaoh.
Aaron’s Wooden Staff Becomes a Snake
8The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron. 9He said, “Pharaoh will say to you, ‘Do a miracle.’ When he does, speak to Aaron. Tell him, ‘Take your wooden staff and throw it down in front of Pharaoh.’ It will turn into a snake.”
10So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh. They did exactly as the Lord had commanded them. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials. It turned into a snake.
11Then Pharaoh sent for wise men and those who do evil magic. By doing their magic tricks, the Egyptian magicians did the same things Aaron had done. 12Each one threw his staff down. Each staff turned into a snake. But Aaron’s staff swallowed theirs up.
13In spite of that, Pharaoh’s heart became stubborn. He wouldn’t listen to them, just as the Lord had said.
The Nile River Turns Into Blood
14Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is very stubborn. He refuses to let the people go. 15In the morning Pharaoh will go down to the water. Go and wait on the bank of the Nile River to meet him. Take in your hand the wooden staff that turned into a snake.
16“Say to Pharaoh, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to you. He says, “Let my people go. Then they will be able to worship me in the desert. But up to now you have not listened.”
17“ ‘The Lord says, “Here is how you will know that I am the Lord. I will strike the water of the Nile River with the staff that is in my hand. The river will turn into blood. 18The fish in the river will die. The river will stink. The Egyptians will not be able to drink its water.” ’ ”
19The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Get your staff. Reach your hand out over the waters of Egypt. The streams, waterways, ponds and all of the lakes will turn into blood. There will be blood everywhere in Egypt. It will even be in the wooden buckets and stone jars.’ ”
20Moses and Aaron did exactly as the Lord had commanded them. Aaron held out his staff in front of Pharaoh and his officials. He struck the water of the Nile River. And all of the water turned into blood.
21The fish in the Nile died. The river smelled so bad the Egyptians couldn’t drink its water. There was blood everywhere in Egypt.
22But the Egyptian magicians did the same things by doing their magic tricks. So Pharaoh’s heart became stubborn. He wouldn’t listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said. 23Even that miracle didn’t change Pharaoh’s mind. In fact, he turned around and went into his palace.
24All of the Egyptians dug holes near the Nile River to get drinking water. They couldn’t drink water from the river.
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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