The Eighth Plague: Locusts
10 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have made his heart unyielding, and his officials’ hearts too, so that I may perform these signs of mine in their midst, 2 and so that you may tell your children and your grandchildren how harshly I dealt with Egypt and about my signs which I did among them. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”
3 Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him, “This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go so that they may serve me. 4 But if you refuse to let my people go, watch out, because tomorrow I will bring locusts into your territory. 5 They will cover the surface of the ground so that no one will be able to see the ground. The locusts will eat what little you have left after the hail. They will also eat every tree that you have growing in the field. 6 Your houses, your officials’ houses, and every Egyptian’s house will be filled with them, something neither your fathers nor your fathers’ fathers have seen, from the day that they settled in this land up to this day.” Then he turned and went out from Pharaoh.
7 Pharaoh’s officials said to him, “How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the men go so that they may serve the Lord, their God. Do you not yet realize that Egypt is ruined?”
8 So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh, and he said to them, “Go, serve the Lord your God. But who exactly would be going?”
9 Moses said, “We will go with our young and old, with our sons and daughters. We will go with our flocks and herds, for we are celebrating a festival to the Lord.”
10 But he said to them, “May the Lord be with you if I would ever let you and your families go! I see you are determined to do evil. 11 No! The men may go and serve the Lord, for that is what you have been asking for!” Then they were driven out from Pharaoh’s presence.
12 So the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt so that locusts come up over the land and eat every plant in the land, everything left by the hail.”
13 Moses stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt, and the Lord made an east wind blow over the land all that day and all through the night. When morning came, the east wind had brought the locusts. 14 The locusts came up over the entire land of Egypt and settled down in the entire territory of Egypt. There had never been such a large number of locusts before, and there would never be again. 15 They covered the surface of the ground so completely that the land was dark. They ate every plant of the land and all the fruit of the trees—everything left after the hail. Nothing green was left on the trees or on the plants in the field throughout the entire land of Egypt.
16 Then Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you. 17 Now please forgive my sin once more, and plead to the Lord your God so that he may also remove this death from me.”
18 So Moses went out from Pharaoh and pleaded with the Lord. 19 The Lord changed the wind to a very strong west wind. That wind lifted up the locusts and drove them into the Red Sea. Not one locust remained in the entire territory of Egypt. 20 But the Lord made Pharaoh’s heart hard, and he did not let the Israelites go.
The Ninth Plague: Darkness
21 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky, so that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness that can be felt.” 22 Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and there was a thick darkness in the entire land of Egypt for three days. 23 No one could see anyone else, and for three days none of them moved from where they were. Yet all the Israelites had light where they lived.
24 Pharaoh called to Moses and said, “Go, serve the Lord. Even your families may also go with you. But you must leave your flocks and herds behind.”
25 But Moses said, “You must also let us take sacrifices with us and burnt offerings to present to the Lord our God. 26 Our livestock must also go with us. Not a hoof is to be left behind, for we must take some of them to serve the Lord our God. We will not know, however, what we will need to serve the Lord until we get there.”
27 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let them go. 28 Pharaoh said to Moses, “Get out of my sight! Make sure you do not see my face again, for on the day you see my face, you will die!”
29 Moses said, “Just as you have spoken: I will never see your face again.”
The Tenth Plague: The Death of the Firstborn
11 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will certainly drive you completely out of here. 2 Now tell the people that both the men and the women are to ask their neighbors for articles of silver and gold.” 3 (The Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Even the man Moses was highly regarded in the land of Egypt in the sight of Pharaoh’s officials and the people.)
4 So Moses said, “This is what the Lord says. About midnight I will go throughout Egypt, 5 and every firstborn in the land of Egypt will die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sits on his throne, to the firstborn of the female slave who is behind the hand mill, even all the firstborn of the livestock. 6 There will be a loud outcry in the entire land of Egypt, unlike anything that happened before or anything that will take place again. 7 But among all the Israelites, not a dog will bark[a] at a person or animal, so that you may know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. 8 All these officials of yours will come and bow down to me, saying, ‘Get out, you and all the people who follow you!’ After that, I will leave.” Then Moses, hot with anger, went out from Pharaoh.
9 The Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not listen to you so that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.” 10 Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh, but the Lord made Pharaoh’s heart hard, and he did not let the Israelites go out of his land.
Instructions for the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread
12 The Lord told Moses and Aaron this in the land of Egypt: [b]
2 This month is to be the beginning of your calendar. It is to be the first month of the year for you. 3 Tell the entire Israelite community that on the tenth day of this month, they are to take a lamb or a young goat[c] for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, one lamb per household. 4 But if the household is too small for a whole lamb, then that person and his neighbor next door to him must select one, based on the number of people. Determine what size lamb is needed according to how much each person will eat.
5 Your lamb must be unblemished, a year-old male. You may take it from the sheep or the goats. 6 You are to keep it until the fourteenth day of this month. Then the whole assembly of the Israelite community is to slaughter the lambs at sunset.[d] 7 They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses where they eat the lamb. 8 That night they shall eat the meat that has been roasted over a fire, along with unleavened bread. They shall eat it with bitter herbs. 9 Do not eat it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over a fire—with its head, its legs, and its internal organs. 10 You shall not leave any of it until the morning. Whatever remains until the morning, you shall burn in the fire. 11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt ready for travel,[e] your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover.
12 For on that night I will pass through the land of Egypt. I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both people and animals. Against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment. I am the Lord. 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are. When I see the blood, I will pass over you. There will be no plague among you to destroy you when I strike down the land of Egypt.
- Exodus 11:7 Literally wag its tongue
- Exodus 12:1 Throughout the translation, long speeches, sets of instructions, and oracles are treated as single documents, not as sets of quotations. Such documents are not set off by quotation marks. Within these documents, regular rules for quotation marks apply.
- Exodus 12:3 One Hebrew word means both lamb and kid.
- Exodus 12:6 Literally between the evenings, very likely between sunset and darkness
- Exodus 12:11 Literally with your hips girded
The Workers in the Vineyard
20 “Indeed the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 After agreeing to pay the workers a denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 He also went out about the third hour[a] and saw others standing unemployed in the marketplace. 4 To these he said, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will give you whatever is right.’ So they went. 5 Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour and did the same thing. 6 When he went out about the eleventh hour, he found others standing unemployed. He said to them, ‘Why have you stood here all day unemployed?’
7 “They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’
“He told them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ 8 When it was evening, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with the last group and ending with the first.’
9 “When those who were hired around the eleventh hour came, they each received a denarius. 10 When those who were hired first came, they thought they would receive more. But they each received a denarius too. 11 After they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner: 12 ‘Those who were last worked one hour, and you made them equal to us who have endured the burden of the day and the scorching heat!’
13 “But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not make an agreement with me for a denarius? 14 Take what is yours and go. I want to give to the last one hired the same as I also gave to you. 15 Can’t I do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16 In the same way, the last will be first, and the first, last.”
Again Jesus Predicts His Death and Resurrection
17 As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside; and on the way he said to them, 18 “Look, we are going up to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and experts in the law, and they will condemn him to death. 19 They will hand him over to the Gentiles to mock, flog, and crucify him. On the third day he will be raised.”
20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to him with her sons, kneeling and asking something of him. 21 He said to her, “What do you want?”
She said to him, “Promise that in your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit, one on your right hand and one on your left hand.”
22 But Jesus answered, “You[b] do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?”
They said to him, “We are.”
23 He said to them, “You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not for me to give; rather these places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.”
24 When the ten heard this, they were angry with the two brothers.
25 But Jesus summoned them and said, “You know that the rulers of the nations lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 It will not be that way among you. Instead whoever wants to become great among you will be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you will be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Teach Me Your Ways
A Prayer for Protection
1 To you, O Lord, I will lift up my soul.
2 In you I have trusted, O my God.
Do not let me be put to shame.
Do not let my enemies triumph over me.
3 All who hope in you will never be put to shame,
but those who are treacherous for no reason will be put to shame.
A Prayer for Forgiveness
4 Make known to me your ways, O Lord.
Teach me your paths.
5 Make me walk in your truth and teach me,
because you are the God who saves me.
In you I hope all day long.
6 Remember, O Lord, your compassion and your mercy,
for they are from eternity.[a]
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways.
According to your mercy remember me,
because of your goodness, O Lord.
8 Good and upright is the Lord.
Therefore, he instructs sinners in the right way.
9 He directs the humble to what is just,
and he teaches the humble his way.
10 All the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth
for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
11 For the sake of your name, O Lord,
you forgive my guilt, although it is great.
A Prayer for a Godly Life
12 Who, then, is the man who fears the Lord?
The Lord will instruct him in the way he chooses.
13 That man will enjoy a good life,
and his descendants will possess the land.
14 The guidance[b] of the Lord is with those who fear him.
His covenant will give them knowledge.
A Second Prayer for Protection
15 My eyes are always on the Lord,
because he frees my feet from the net.
Wisdom Warns Against Laziness
6 Go to the ant, you slacker![a]
Observe its ways and become wise.
7 Although it has no overseer, officer, or ruler,
8 it stores its food in summer.
It gathers its provisions at harvest time.
9 How long will you lie there, you slacker?
When will you get up from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of your hands to rest,
11 and poverty will come on you like a prowler,
and scarcity will come on you like a warrior.
- Proverbs 6:6 Or you loafer or you lazybones