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A Plague of Locusts
10Â Then theÂ LordÂ said to Moses, â€œReturn to Pharaoh and make your demands again. I have made him and his officials stubbornÂ so I can display my miraculous signs among them.Â 2Â Iâ€™ve also done it so you can tell your children and grandchildren about how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and about the signs I displayed among themâ€”and so you will know that I am theÂ Lord.â€
3Â So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, â€œThis is what theÂ Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: How long will you refuse to submit to me? Let my people go, so they can worship me.Â 4Â If you refuse, watch out! For tomorrow I will bring a swarm of locusts on your country.Â 5Â They will cover the land so that you wonâ€™t be able to see the ground. They will devour what little is left of your crops after the hailstorm, including all the trees growing in the fields.Â 6Â They will overrun your palaces and the homes of your officials and all the houses in Egypt. Never in the history of Egypt have your ancestors seen a plague like this one!â€ And with that, Moses turned and left Pharaoh.
7Â Pharaohâ€™s officials now came to Pharaoh and appealed to him. â€œHow long will you let this man hold us hostage? Let the men go to worship theÂ LordÂ their God! Donâ€™t you realize that Egypt lies in ruins?â€
8Â So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. â€œAll right,â€ he told them, â€œgo and worship theÂ LordÂ your God. But who exactly will be going with you?â€
9Â Moses replied, â€œWe will all goâ€”young and old, our sons and daughters, and our flocks and herds. We must all join together in celebrating a festival to theÂ Lord.â€
10Â Pharaoh retorted, â€œTheÂ LordÂ will certainly need to be with you if I let you take your little ones! I can see through your evil plan.Â 11Â Never! Only the men may go and worship theÂ Lord, since that is what you requested.â€ And Pharaoh threw them out of the palace.
12Â Then theÂ LordÂ said to Moses, â€œRaise your hand over the land of Egypt to bring on the locusts. Let them cover the land and devour every plant that survived the hailstorm.â€
13Â So Moses raised his staff over Egypt, and theÂ LordÂ caused an east wind to blow over the land all that day and through the night. When morning arrived, the east wind had brought the locusts.Â 14Â And the locusts swarmed over the whole land of Egypt, settling in dense swarms from one end of the country to the other. It was the worst locust plague in Egyptian history, and there has never been another one like it.Â 15Â For the locusts covered the whole country and darkened the land. They devoured every plant in the fields and all the fruit on the trees that had survived the hailstorm. Not a single leaf was left on the trees and plants throughout the land of Egypt.
16Â Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron. â€œI have sinned against theÂ LordÂ your God and against you,â€ he confessed.17Â â€œForgive my sin, just this once, and plead with theÂ LordÂ your God to take away this death from me.â€
18Â So Moses left Pharaohâ€™s court and pleaded with theÂ Lord.Â 19Â TheÂ LordÂ responded by shifting the wind, and the strong west wind blew the locusts into the Red Sea.Â Not a single locust remained in all the land of Egypt.Â 20Â But theÂ LordÂ hardened Pharaohâ€™s heart again, so he refused to let the people go.
A Plague of Darkness
21Â Then theÂ LordÂ said to Moses, â€œLift your hand toward heaven, and the land of Egypt will be covered with a darkness so thick you can feel it.â€Â 22Â So Moses lifted his hand to the sky, and a deep darkness covered the entire land of Egypt for three days.23Â During all that time the people could not see each other, and no one moved. But there was light as usual where the people of Israel lived.
24Â Finally, Pharaoh called for Moses. â€œGo and worship theÂ Lord,â€ he said. â€œBut leave your flocks and herds here. You may even take your little ones with you.â€
25Â â€œNo,â€ Moses said, â€œyou must provide us with animals for sacrifices and burnt offerings to theÂ LordÂ our God.Â 26Â All our livestock must go with us, too; not a hoof can be left behind. We must choose our sacrifices for theÂ LordÂ our God from among these animals. And we wonâ€™t know how we are to worship theÂ LordÂ until we get there.â€
27Â But theÂ LordÂ hardened Pharaohâ€™s heart once more, and he would not let them go.Â 28Â â€œGet out of here!â€ Pharaoh shouted at Moses. â€œIâ€™m warning you. Never come back to see me again! The day you see my face, you will die!â€
29Â â€œVery well,â€ Moses replied. â€œI will never see your face again.â€
Death for Egyptâ€™s Firstborn
11Â Then theÂ LordÂ said to Moses, â€œI will strike Pharaoh and the land of Egypt with one more blow. After that, Pharaoh will let you leave this country. In fact, he will be so eager to get rid of you that he will force you all to leave.Â 2Â Tell all the Israelite men and women to ask their Egyptian neighbors for articles of silver and gold.â€Â 3Â (Now theÂ LordÂ had caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the people of Israel. And Moses was considered a very great man in the land of Egypt, respected by Pharaohâ€™s officials and the Egyptian people alike.)
4Â Moses had announced to Pharaoh, â€œThis is what theÂ LordÂ says: At midnight tonight I will pass through the heart of Egypt.5Â All the firstborn sons will die in every family in Egypt, from the oldest son of Pharaoh, who sits on his throne, to the oldest son of his lowliest servant girl who grinds the flour. Even the firstborn of all the livestock will die.Â 6Â Then a loud wail will rise throughout the land of Egypt, a wail like no one has heard before or will ever hear again.Â 7Â But among the Israelites it will be so peaceful that not even a dog will bark. Then you will know that theÂ LordÂ makes a distinction between the Egyptians and the Israelites.Â 8Â All the officials of Egypt will run to me and fall to the ground before me. â€˜Please leave!â€™ they will beg. â€˜Hurry! And take all your followers with you.â€™ Only then will I go!â€ Then, burning with anger, Moses left Pharaoh.
9Â Now theÂ LordÂ had told Moses earlier, â€œPharaoh will not listen to you, but then I will do even more mighty miracles in the land of Egypt.â€Â 10Â Moses and Aaron performed these miracles in Pharaohâ€™s presence, but theÂ LordÂ hardened Pharaohâ€™s heart, and he wouldnâ€™t let the Israelites leave the country.
The First Passover
12Â While the Israelites were still in the land of Egypt, theÂ LordÂ gave the following instructions to Moses and Aaron:Â 2Â â€œFrom now on, this month will be the first month of the year for you.Â 3Â Announce to the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each family must choose a lamb or a young goat for a sacrifice, one animal for each household.Â 4Â If a family is too small to eat a whole animal, let them share with another family in the neighborhood. Divide the animal according to the size of each family and how much they can eat.Â 5Â The animal you select must be a one-year-old male, either a sheep or a goat, with no defects.
6Â â€œTake special care of this chosen animal until the evening of the fourteenth day of this first month. Then the whole assembly of the community of Israel must slaughter their lamb or young goat at twilight.Â 7Â They are to take some of the blood and smear it on the sides and top of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the animal.Â 8Â That same night they must roast the meat over a fire and eat it along with bitter salad greens and bread made without yeast.Â 9Â Do not eat any of the meat raw or boiled in water. The whole animalâ€”including the head, legs, and internal organsâ€”must be roasted over a fire.Â 10Â Do not leave any of it until the next morning. Burn whatever is not eaten before morning.
11Â â€œThese are your instructions for eating this meal: Be fully dressed,Â wear your sandals, and carry your walking stick in your hand. Eat the meal with urgency, for this is theÂ Lordâ€™s Passover.Â 12Â On that night I will pass through the land of Egypt and strike down every firstborn son and firstborn male animal in the land of Egypt. I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt, for I am theÂ Lord!Â 13Â But the blood on your doorposts will serve as a sign, marking the houses where you are staying. When I see the blood, I will pass over you. This plague of death will not touch you when I strike the land of Egypt.
14Â â€œThis is a day to remember. Each year, from generation to generation, you must celebrate it as a special festival to theLord. This is a law for all time.Â 15Â For seven days the bread you eat must be made without yeast. On the first day of the festival, remove every trace of yeast from your homes. Anyone who eats bread made with yeast during the seven days of the festival will be cut off from the community of Israel.Â 16Â On the first day of the festival and again on the seventh day, all the people must observe an official day for holy assembly. No work of any kind may be done on these days except in the preparation of food.
17Â â€œCelebrate this Festival of Unleavened Bread, for it will remind you that I brought your forces out of the land of Egypt on this very day. This festival will be a permanent law for you; celebrate this day from generation to generation.Â 18Â The bread you eat must be made without yeast from the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month until the evening of the twenty-first day of that month.Â 19Â During those seven days, there must be no trace of yeast in your homes. Anyone who eats anything made with yeast during this week will be cut off from the community of Israel. These regulations apply both to the foreigners living among you and to the native-born Israelites.Â 20Â During those days you must not eat anything made with yeast. Wherever you live, eat only bread made without yeast.â€
21Â Then Moses called all the elders of Israel together and said to them, â€œGo, pick out a lamb or young goat for each of your families, and slaughter the Passover animal.Â 22Â Drain the blood into a basin. Then take a bundle of hyssop branches and dip it into the blood. Brush the hyssop across the top and sides of the doorframes of your houses. And no one may go out through the door until morning.Â 23Â For theÂ LordÂ will pass through the land to strike down the Egyptians. But when he sees the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe, theÂ LordÂ will pass over your home. He will not permit his death angel to enter your house and strike you down.
24Â â€œRemember, these instructions are a permanent law that you and your descendants must observe forever.Â 25Â When you enter the land theÂ LordÂ has promised to give you, you will continue to observe this ceremony.Â 26Â Then your children will ask, â€˜What does this ceremony mean?â€™Â 27Â And you will reply, â€˜It is the Passover sacrifice to theÂ Lord, for he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt. And though he struck the Egyptians, he spared our families.â€™â€ When Moses had finished speaking, all the people bowed down to the ground and worshiped.
28Â So the people of Israel did just as theÂ LordÂ had commanded through Moses and Aaron.Â 29Â And that night at midnight, theLordÂ struck down all the firstborn sons in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sat on his throne, to the firstborn son of the prisoner in the dungeon. Even the firstborn of their livestock were killed.Â 30Â Pharaoh and all his officials and all the people of Egypt woke up during the night, and loud wailing was heard throughout the land of Egypt. There was not a single house where someone had not died.
Israelâ€™s Exodus from Egypt
31Â Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron during the night. â€œGet out!â€ he ordered. â€œLeave my peopleâ€”and take the rest of the Israelites with you! Go and worship theÂ LordÂ as you have requested.Â 32Â Take your flocks and herds, as you said, and be gone. Go, but bless me as you leave.â€Â 33Â All the Egyptians urged the people of Israel to get out of the land as quickly as possible, for they thought, â€œWe will all die!â€
34Â The Israelites took their bread dough before yeast was added. They wrapped their kneading boards in their cloaks and carried them on their shoulders.Â 35Â And the people of Israel did as Moses had instructed; they asked the Egyptians for clothing and articles of silver and gold.Â 36Â TheÂ LordÂ caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the Israelites, and they gave the Israelites whatever they asked for. So they stripped the Egyptians of their wealth!
37Â That night the people of Israel left Rameses and started for Succoth. There were about 600,000 men,Â plus all the women and children.Â 38Â A rabble of non-Israelites went with them, along with great flocks and herds of livestock.Â 39Â For bread they baked flat cakes from the dough without yeast they had brought from Egypt. It was made without yeast because the people were driven out of Egypt in such a hurry that they had no time to prepare the bread or other food.
40Â The people of Israel had lived in EgyptÂ for 430 years.Â 41Â In fact, it was on the last day of the 430th year that all theÂ Lordâ€™s forces left the land.Â 42Â On this night theÂ LordÂ kept his promise to bring his people out of the land of Egypt. So this night belongs to him, and it must be commemorated every year by all the Israelites, from generation to generation.
Instructions for the Passover
43Â Then theÂ LordÂ said to Moses and Aaron, â€œThese are the instructions for the festival of Passover. No outsiders are allowed to eat the Passover meal.Â 44Â But any slave who has been purchased may eat it if he has been circumcised.Â 45Â Temporary residents and hired servants may not eat it.Â 46Â Each Passover lamb must be eaten in one house. Do not carry any of its meat outside, and do not break any of its bones.Â 47Â The whole community of Israel must celebrate this Passover festival.
48Â â€œIf there are foreigners living among you who want to celebrate theÂ Lordâ€™s Passover, let all their males be circumcised. Only then may they celebrate the Passover with you like any native-born Israelite. But no uncircumcised male may ever eat the Passover meal.Â 49Â This instruction applies to everyone, whether a native-born Israelite or a foreigner living among you.â€
50Â So all the people of Israel followed all theÂ Lordâ€™s commands to Moses and Aaron.Â 51Â On that very day theÂ LordÂ brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt like an army.
Leaders Demand a Miraculous Sign
16Â One day the Pharisees and Sadducees came to test Jesus, demanding that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority.
2Â He replied,Â â€œYou know the saying, â€˜Red sky at night means fair weather tomorrow;Â 3Â red sky in the morning means foul weather all day.â€™ You know how to interpret the weather signs in the sky, but you donâ€™t know how to interpret the signs of the times!Â 4Â Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign, but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah.â€Â Then Jesus left them and went away.
Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees
5Â Later, after they crossed to the other side of the lake, the disciples discovered they had forgotten to bring any bread.6Â â€œWatch out!â€Â Jesus warned them.Â â€œBeware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.â€
7Â At this they began to argue with each other because they hadnâ€™t brought any bread.Â 8Â Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said,Â â€œYou have so little faith! Why are you arguing with each other about having no bread?Â 9Â Donâ€™t you understand even yet? Donâ€™t you remember the 5,000 I fed with five loaves, and the baskets of leftovers you picked up?Â 10Â Or the 4,000 I fed with seven loaves, and the large baskets of leftovers you picked up?Â 11Â Why canâ€™t you understand that Iâ€™m not talking about bread? So again I say, â€˜Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.â€™â€
12Â Then at last they understood that he wasnâ€™t speaking about the yeast in bread, but about the deceptive teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Peterâ€™s Declaration about Jesus
13Â When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples,Â â€œWho do people say that the Son of Man is?â€
14Â â€œWell,â€ they replied, â€œsome say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.â€
15Â Then he asked them,Â â€œBut who do you say I am?â€
16Â Simon Peter answered, â€œYou are the Messiah,Â the Son of the living God.â€
17Â Jesus replied,Â â€œYou are blessed, Simon son of John,Â because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.Â 18Â Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means â€˜rockâ€™),Â and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hellÂ will not conquer it.Â 19Â And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbidÂ on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permitÂ on earth will be permitted in heaven.â€
20Â Then he sternly warned the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
Jesus Predicts His Death
21Â From then on JesusÂ began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.
22Â But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand himÂ for saying such things. â€œHeaven forbid, Lord,â€ he said. â€œThis will never happen to you!â€
23Â Jesus turned to Peter and said,Â â€œGet away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from Godâ€™s.â€
24Â Then Jesus said to his disciples,Â â€œIf any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.Â 25Â If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.Â 26Â And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?Â Is anything worth more than your soul?Â 27Â For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge all people according to their deeds.Â 28Â And I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.â€