Moses and Aaron
went to the Pharaoh and asked that all the Hebrews be allowed to
go to pray and make sacrifices to God for three days in the
wilderness. But the king refused.
God sent ten
plagues upon the land of Pharaoh. In the first, the waters of the
Nile turned to blood and all the fish died. Then God sent a
plague of frogs; a
plague of lice and flies; He killed all the cattle, horses,
camels, oxen and sheep in Egypt; He sent a plague of boils to
torment the Egyptian people; He sent a great hailstorm that killed
every living, Egyptian creature caught in it; He sent a plague of
locusts that ate every growing thing from the Egyptian land; He
sent a plague of darkness that covered the land for three
None of the
plagues harmed any of the Hebrews or their possessions. Many times
Pharaoh would relent and promise to let the Israelites go, but
each time he hardened his heart and would not let them.
Finally, God sent
the most devastating plague of all. The Lord said to Moses,
"I will bring one last plague upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt,
and then he will surely let you go."
The Hebrews made
themselves ready, for they knew at last they were about to be set
free, and they did all the things which God had commanded.
It was on the
fourteenth day of the month, and each family was instructed to
slaughter a small lamb. They took a bunch of hyssop, dipped it in
the blood of the lamb, and sprinkled the two side posts and the
lintel of each doorway to mark their houses. Then they roasted the
lamb and ate it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. None of
them went out, but when evening came they ate in haste, fully
dressed, even with their staffs in hand. This feast was called the
Passover, to signify that the Lord passed over the houses of the
Hebrews when He brought the last plague to Egypt.
At midnight, the
Lord killed every first-born child in Egypt, from Pharaoh's down
to the first-born of the humblest prisoner in the dungeon, and
even the first-born of the cattle.
Pharaoh arose in
the night with all his servants and all the Egyptians. Loud was
their lamentation, for there was not a house where death had not
struck. Pharaoh sent his messengers to the Hebrews, saying,
"Go from our land, you and your children. Take your flocks
and your herds as you have asked and be gone." And the
Egyptian people urged them to go before they should all be dead.
In their anxiety to see the Hebrews gone, they heaped on them
presents of gold and silver, jewels and clothing.
Thus, after four
hundred and thirty years in Egypt, the Hebrews left the land,
about six hundred thousand men with women and children, and also
with great herds and flocks. And Moses took the bones of Joseph
Thus the Lord
brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.