1The Lord told Moses, “Go and see Pharaoh, because it was me who gave him and his officials a stubborn attitude so that I may perform my miracles before them.
2This is so you can tell your children and grandchildren how I made the Egyptians look foolish by doing these miracles among them, and so that you may know that I am the Lord.”
3Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and told him, “This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: ‘How long are you going to refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go, so that they can worship me.
4If you refuse to let my people leave, tomorrow I will send a plague of locusts into your country.
5There will be so many of them that they'll cover the ground so no one can see it. They will eat whatever crops were left by the hail, as well as every tree growing in your fields.
6They will swarm into your houses and into the houses of all your officials—in fact into the houses of every Egyptian. This is something that none of your forefathers ever saw from the time they arrived in this country.’” Then Moses and Aaron turned and left Pharaoh.
7Pharaoh's officials came to him and asked, “How long are you going to let this man cause us trouble? Let these people go so they can worship the Lord their God. Don't you realize that Egypt has been destroyed?”
8Moses and Aaron were brought back to see Pharaoh. “Go and worship the Lord your God,” he told them. “But who of you will be going?”
9“We will all go,” Moses replied. “Young and old, sons and daughters—and we'll take our flocks and herds with us, for we're going to have a religious festival for the Lord.”
10“The Lord really would have to be with you if I let your children go with you!” Pharaoh answered. “Clearly you're planning some kind of evil trick!
11So no! Only the men can go and worship the Lord, because that's what you've been asking for.” Then he had Moses and Aaron thrown out.
12The Lord told Moses, “Lift up your hand over Egypt, so that the locusts may swarm over it and eat every plant in the country—everything that was left by the hail.”
13Moses held out his staff over Egypt, and all through that day and night the Lord sent an east wind blowing over the land. By the time morning came the east wind had brought in the locusts.
14The locusts swarmed across the land and settled in every part of the country. There had never been such a swarm of locusts ever before, and there won't be ever again.
15They covered the ground until it looked black, and they ate up all the plants in the fields and all the fruit on the trees that had been left by the hail. Not a single green leaf was left on any tree or plant anywhere in Egypt.
16Pharaoh called urgently for Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you.
17So please forgive my sin just this one time and plead with the Lord your God, asking him to at least take away this deathly plague from me.”
18Moses left Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord.
19The Lord changed the direction of the wind so that a strong westerly wind blew the locusts into the Red Sea. There wasn't a single locust left anywhere in Egypt.
20But the Lord made Pharaoh stubborn, and he would not let the Israelites go.
21The Lord told Moses, “Lift your hand toward the sky so that darkness will fall over Egypt, darkness so thick that it can be felt.”
22Moses lifted up his hand toward heaven, and the whole of Egypt went completely dark for three days.
23No one could see anyone else, and no one moved from where they were for three days. But there was still light where all the Israelites lived.
24Eventually Pharaoh called for Moses. “Go and worship the Lord,” he said. “Just leave your flocks and herds here. You can even take your children with you.”
25But Moses replied, “You must also let us have animals for sacrifices and burnt offerings, so we can offer them to the Lord our God.
26Our livestock have to go with us too—not a single animal will be left behind. We'll need some of them to worship the Lord our God, and we won't know how we are to worship the Lord until we get there.”
27But the Lord made Pharaoh stubborn, and he would not let them go.
28Pharaoh shouted at Moses, “Get out of here! I don't want to see you ever again! If I ever do see you again you'll die!”
29“May it be as you say,” Moses replied. “I won't see you again.”