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The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “When Pharaoh speaks to you and says, ‘Produce your marvel,’ you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your rod and cast it down before Pharaoh.’ It shall turn into a serpent.” So Moses and Aaron came before Pharaoh and did just as the Lord had commanded: Aaron cast down his rod in the presence of Pharaoh and his courtiers, and it turned into a serpent. Then Pharaoh, for his part, summoned the wise men and the sorcerers; and the Egyptian magicians, in turn, did the same with their spells; each cast down his rod, and they turned into serpents.
But Aaron’s rod swallowed their rods. Yet Pharaoh’s heart stiffened and he did not heed them, as the Lord had said.
And the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh is stubborn; he refuses to let the people go. Go to Pharaoh in the morning, as he is coming out to the water, and station yourself before him at the edge of the Nile, taking with you the rod that turned into a snake. And say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you to say, “Let My people go that they may worship Me in the wilderness.” But you have paid no heed until now. Thus says the Lord, “By this you shall know that I am the Lord.” See, I shall strike the water in the Nile with the rod that is in my hand, and it will be turned into blood; and the fish in the Nile will die. The Nile will stink so that the Egyptians will find it impossible to drink the water of the Nile.'”
And the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron: Take your rod and hold out your arm over the waters of Egypt–its rivers, its canals, its ponds, all its bodies of water–that they may turn to blood; there shall be blood throughout the land of Egypt, even in vessels of wood and stone.” Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord commanded: he lifted up the rod and struck the water in the Nile in the sight of Pharaoh and his courtiers, and all the water in the Nile was turned into blood and the fish in the Nile died. The Nile stank so that the Egyptians could not drink water from the Nile; and there was blood throughout the land of Egypt.
But when the Egyptian magicians did the same with their spells, Pharaoh’s heart stiffened and he did not heed them–as the Lord had spoken. Pharaoh turned and went into his palace, paying no regard even to this. And all the Egyptians had to dig round about the Nile for drinking water, because they could not drink the water of the Nile.
When seven days had passed after the Lord struck the Nile, the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: Let My people go that they may worship Me. If you refuse to let them go, then I will plague your whole country with frogs. The Nile shall swarm with frogs, and they shall come up and enter your palace, your bedchamber and your bed, the houses of your courtiers and your people, and your ovens and your kneading bowls. The frogs shall come up on you and on your people and on all your courtiers.'”
And the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron: Hold out your arm with the rod over the rivers, the canals, and the ponds, and bring up the frogs on the land of Egypt.” Aaron held out his arm over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. But the magicians did the same with their spells, and brought frogs upon the land of Egypt.
Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Plead with the Lord to remove the frogs from me and my people, and I will let the people go to sacrifice to the Lord.” And Moses said to Pharaoh, “You may have this triumph over me: for what time shall I plead in behalf of you and your courtiers and your people, that the frogs be cut off from you and your houses, to remain only in the Nile?” “For tomorrow,” he replied. And [Moses] said, “As you say–that you may know that there is none like the Lord our God.”
From Parshat Vaera. From THE TANAKH: The New JPS Translation According to the Traditional Hebrew Text. Copyright 1985 by the Jewish Publication Society. Used by permission.

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