Through the Bible – Day 23

Bible text(s)

Dead animals

1The LORD sent Moses with this message for the king of Egypt:

The LORD God of the Hebrews commands you to let his people go, so they can worship him. 2If you keep refusing, 3he will bring a terrible disease on your horses and donkeys, your camels and cattle, and your sheep and goats. 4But the LORD will protect the animals that belong to the people of Israel, and none of theirs will die. 5Tomorrow is the day the LORD has set to do this.

6It happened the next day—all the animals belonging to the Egyptians died, but the Israelites did not lose even one. 7When the king found out, he was still too stubborn to let the people go.

Sores

8The LORD said to Moses and Aaron:

Take a few handfuls of ashes from a stove and let Moses throw them into the air. Be sure the king is watching. 9The ashes will blow across the land of Egypt, causing sores to break out on people and animals.

10So they took a few handfuls of ashes and went to the king. Moses threw them into the air, and sores immediately broke out on the Egyptians and their animals. 11The magicians were suffering so much from the sores, that they could not even come to Moses. 12Everything happened just as the LORD had told Moses—he made the king too stubborn to listen to Moses and Aaron.

Hailstones

13The LORD told Moses to get up early the next morning and say to the king:

The LORD God of the Hebrews commands you to let his people go, so they can worship him! 14If you don't, he will send his worst plagues to strike you, your officials, and everyone else in your country. Then you will find out that no one can oppose the LORD. 15In fact, he could already have sent a terrible disease and wiped you from the face of the earth. 16But he has kept you alive, just to show you his power and to bring honour to himself everywhere in the world.

17You are still determined not to let the LORD's people go. 18All right. At this time tomorrow, he will bring on Egypt the worst hailstorm in its history. 19You had better give orders for every person and every animal in Egypt to take shelter. If they don't, they will die.

20Some of the king's officials were frightened by what the LORD had said, and they hurried off to make sure their slaves and animals were safe. 21But others paid no attention to his threats and left their slaves and animals out in the open.

22Then the LORD told Moses, “Stretch your arm towards the sky, so that hailstones will fall on people, animals, and crops in the land of Egypt.” 23-24Moses pointed his walking stick towards the sky, and hailstones started falling everywhere. Thunder roared, and lightning flashed back and forth, striking the ground. This was the worst storm in the history of Egypt. 25People, animals, and crops were pounded by the hailstones, and bark was stripped from trees. 26Only Goshen, where the Israelites lived, was safe from the storm.

27The king sent for Moses and Aaron and told them, “Now I have really sinned! My people and I are guilty, and the LORD is right. 28We can't stand any more of this thunder and hail. Please ask the LORD to make it stop. Your people can go—you don't have to stay in Egypt any longer.”

29Moses answered, “As soon as I leave the city, I will lift my arms in prayer. When the thunder and hail stop, you will know that the earth belongs to the LORD. 30But I am certain that neither you nor your officials really fear the LORD God.”

31Meanwhile, the flax and barley crops had been destroyed by the storm because they were ready to ripen. 32But the wheat crops ripen later, and they were not damaged.

33After Moses left the royal palace and the city, he lifted his arms in prayer to the LORD, and the thunder, hail, and drenching rain stopped. 34When the king realized that the storm was over, he disobeyed once more. He and his officials were so stubborn 35that he refused to let the Israelites go. This was exactly what the LORD had said would happen.

Locusts

1The LORD said to Moses:

Go back to the king. I have made him and his officials stubborn, so that I could work these miracles. 2I did this because I want you to tell your children and your grandchildren about my miracles and about my harsh treatment of the Egyptians. Then all of you will know that I am the LORD.

3Moses and Aaron went to the king and told him that the LORD God of the Hebrews had said:

How long will you stubbornly refuse to obey? Release my people so they can worship me. 4Do this by tomorrow, or I will cover your country with so many locusts 5that you won't be able to see the ground. Most of your crops were ruined by the hailstones, but these locusts will destroy what little is left, including the trees. 6Your palace, the homes of your officials, and all other houses in Egypt will overflow with more locusts than have ever been seen in this country.

After Moses left the palace, 7the king's officials asked, “Your Majesty, how much longer is this man going to be a troublemaker? Why don't you let the people leave, so they can worship the LORD their God? Don't you know that Egypt is a disaster?”

8The king had Moses and Aaron brought back, and he said, “All right, you may go and worship the LORD your God. But first tell me who will be going.”

9“Everyone, young and old,” Moses answered. “We will even take our sheep, goats, and cattle, because we want to hold a celebration in honour of the LORD.”

10The king replied, “The LORD had better watch over you on the day I let you leave with your families! You're up to no good. 11Do you want to worship the LORD? All right, take only the men and go.” Then Moses and Aaron were chased out of the palace.

12The LORD told Moses, “Stretch your arm towards Egypt. Swarms of locusts will come and eat everything left by the hail.”

13Moses held out his walking stick, and the LORD sent an east wind that blew across Egypt the rest of the day and all that night. By morning, locusts 14were swarming everywhere. Never before had there been so many locusts in Egypt, and never again will there be so many. 15The ground was black with locusts, and they ate everything left on the trees and in the fields. Nothing green remained in Egypt—not a tree or a plant.

16At once the king sent for Moses and Aaron. He told them, “I have sinned against the LORD your God and against you. 17Forgive me one more time and ask the LORD to stop these insects from killing every living plant.”

18Moses left the palace and prayed. 19Then the LORD sent a strong west wind that swept the locusts into the Red Sea. Not one locust was left anywhere in Egypt, 20but the LORD made the king so stubborn that he still refused to let the Israelites go.

Darkness

21The LORD said to Moses, “Stretch your arm towards the sky, and everything will be covered with darkness thick enough to touch.” 22Moses stretched his arm towards the sky, and Egypt was covered with darkness for three days. 23During that time, the Egyptians could not see each other or leave their homes, but there was light where the Israelites lived.

24The king sent for Moses and told him, “Go and worship the LORD! And take your families with you. Just leave your sheep, goats, and cattle.”

25“No!” Moses replied. “You must let us offer sacrifices to the LORD our God, 26and we won't know which animals we will need until we get there. That's why we can't leave even one of them here.”

27This time the LORD made the king so stubborn 28that he said to Moses, “Get out and stay out! If you ever come back, you're dead!”

29“Have it your way,” Moses answered. “You won't see me again.”

Exodus 9:1-10:29CEVOpen in Bible reader

The death of John the Baptist

1About this time Herod the ruler heard the news about Jesus 2and told his officials, “This is John the Baptist! He has come back from death, and that's why he has the power to perform these miracles.”

3-4Herod had earlier arrested John and had him chained and put in prison. He did this because John had told him, “It isn't right for you to take Herodias, the wife of your brother Philip.” 5Herod wanted to kill John. But the people thought John was a prophet, and Herod was afraid of what they might do.

6When Herod's birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced for the guests. She pleased Herod 7so much that he swore to give her whatever she wanted. 8But the girl's mother told her to say, “Here on a dish I want the head of John the Baptist!”

9The king was sorry for what he had said. But he did not want to break the promise he had made in front of his guests. So he ordered a guard 10to go to the prison and cut off John's head. 11It was taken on a dish to the girl, and she gave it to her mother. 12John's followers took his body and buried it. Then they told Jesus what had happened.

Jesus feeds five thousand

13After Jesus heard about John, he crossed Lake Galilee to go to some place where he could be alone. But the crowds found out and followed him on foot from the towns. 14When Jesus got out of the boat, he saw the large crowd. He felt sorry for them and healed everyone who was sick.

15That evening the disciples came to Jesus and said, “This place is like a desert, and it is already late. Let the crowds leave, so they can go to the villages and buy some food.”

16Jesus replied, “They don't have to leave. Why don't you give them something to eat?”

17But they said, “We have only five small loaves of bread and two fish.” 18Jesus asked his disciples to bring the food to him, 19and he told the crowd to sit down on the grass. Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish. He looked up towards heaven and blessed the food. Then he broke the bread and handed it to his disciples, and they gave it to the people.

20After everyone had eaten all they wanted, Jesus' disciples picked up twelve large baskets of leftovers.

21There were about five thousand men who ate, not counting the women and children.

Jesus walks on the water

22Straight away, Jesus made his disciples get into a boat and start back across the lake. But he stayed until he had sent the crowds away. 23Then he went up on a mountain where he could be alone and pray. Later that evening, he was still there.

24By this time the boat was a long way from the shore. It was going against the wind and was being tossed around by the waves. 25A little while before morning, Jesus came walking on the water towards his disciples. 26When they saw him, they thought he was a ghost. They were terrified and started screaming.

27At once, Jesus said to them, “Don't worry! I am Jesus. Don't be afraid.”

28Peter replied, “Lord, if it is really you, tell me to come to you on the water.”

29“Come on!” Jesus said. Peter then got out of the boat and started walking on the water towards him.

30But when Peter saw how strong the wind was, he was afraid and started sinking. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

31Straight away, Jesus reached out his hand. He helped Peter up and said, “You don't have much faith. Why do you doubt?”

32When Jesus and Peter got into the boat, the wind died down. 33The men in the boat worshipped Jesus and said, “You really are the Son of God!”

Jesus heals sick people in Gennesaret

34Jesus and his disciples crossed the lake and came to shore near the town of Gennesaret. 35The people found out that he was there, and they sent word to everyone who lived in that part of the country. So they brought all the sick people to Jesus. 36They begged him just to let them touch his clothes, and everyone who did was healed.

Matthew 14:1-36CEVOpen in Bible reader
Canadian Bible Societyv.4.21.9
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