Weekly Bible Reading

Parashat Va’eira | Exodus 6:2 – 9:35

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2God spoke further to Moses and said to him, “I am Adonai.
3I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob, as El Shaddai. Yet by My Name, Adonai, did I not make Myself known to them.
4I also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage where they journeyed.
5Furthermore, I have heard the groaning of Bnei-Yisrael, whom the Egyptians are keeping in bondage. So I have remembered My covenant.
6Therefore say to Bnei-Yisrael: I am Adonai, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will deliver you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.
7I will take you to Myself as a people, and I will be your God. You will know that I am Adonai your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.
8So I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob, and give it to you as an inheritance. I am Adonai.”
9Moses spoke this way to Bnei-Yisrael, but they did not listen to him because of their broken spirit and cruel bondage.
10So Adonai told Moses,
11“Go, speak to Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that will he let Bnei-Yisrael go out of his land.”
12But Moses said to Adonai, “Bnei-Yisrael have not listened to me. So how would Pharaoh listen to me—I, who have uncircumcised lips?”
13Then Adonai spoke to Moses and to Aaron and gave to them a charge for Bnei-Yisrael and Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring Bnei-Yisrael out of the land of Egypt.
14These are the heads of their father’s houses. The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel were Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron and Carmi. These are the families of Reuben.
15The sons of Simeon were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman. These are the families of Simeon.
16These are the names of the sons of Levi ­according to their generations: Gershon, Kohath and Merari. Levi lived 137 years.
17The sons of Gershon were Libni and Shimei, according to their families.
18The sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel. Kohath lived 133 years.
19The sons of Merari were Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites according to their generations.
20Amram married Jochebed, his father’s sister, and she bore him Aaron and Moses. Amram lived 137 years.
21The sons of Izhar were Korah, Nepheg and Zichri.
22The sons of Uzziel were Mishael, Elzaphan and Sithri.
23Aaron married Elisheba daughter of Amminadav, sister of Nahshon, and she bore him Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.
24The sons of Korah were Assir, Elkanah and Abiasaph. These are the families of the Korahites.
25Eleazar, Aaron’s son, married one of the daughters of Putiel and she bore him Phinehas. These are the heads of the ancestral houses of the Levites according to their families.
26These are the same Aaron and Moses to whom Adonai said, “Bring Bnei-Yisrael out from the land of Egypt according to their divisions.”
27These are the ones that spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring Bnei-Yisrael out from Egypt. These are that same Moses and Aaron.
28So it happened on the day when Adonai spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt,
29that Adonai said to Moses, “I am Adonai. Tell Pharaoh king of Egypt everything that I tell to you.”
30But Moses said to Adonai, “I am of uncircumcised lips, so how would Pharaoh listen to me?”

Chapter 7

1So Adonai said to Moses, “See, I have set you as God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother will be your prophet.
2You are to speak all that I command you and Aaron your brother is to speak to Pharaoh, so that he will let Bnei-Yisrael go out of his land.
3Yet I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply My signs and wonders in the land of Egypt.
4But Pharaoh will not listen to you, so I will lay My hand upon Egypt, and bring forth My armies, My people Bnei-Yisrael, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments.
5The Egyptians will know that I am Adonai, when I stretch out My hand against Egypt, and bring out Bnei-Yisrael from among them.”
6So Moses and Aaron did as Adonai commanded them.
7Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three years old when they spoke to Pharaoh.
8Adonai told Moses and Aaron,
9“When Pharaoh speaks to you saying, ‘Prove yourselves with a miracle,’ then you are to say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and cast it down before Pharaoh, so that it may become a serpent.’”
10So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh and did as Adonai had commanded. Aaron threw down his staff before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a serpent.
11Then Pharaoh called for the wise men and the sorcerers, and they too, the magicians of Egypt, did the same with their secret arts.
12For each man threw down his staff, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs.
13Yet Pharaoh’s heart was hardened. So he did not listen to them— just as Adonai had said.
Ten Plagues Begin: Blood
14Then Adonai said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is stubborn; he refuses to let the people go.
15Go to Pharaoh in the morning as he is coming out to the water, and stand ready to meet him by the bank of the Nile. Take the staff that was transformed into a serpent in your hand.
16You are to say to him: Adonai, God of the Hebrews, has sent me to you, saying, ‘Let My people go, so they may serve Me in the wilderness,’ and behold, you have not listened.
17This is what Adonai says: ‘By this you will know that I am Adonai. Behold, I will strike the waters that are in the river with the staff that is in my hand, and they will be turned to blood.
18The fish that are in the river will die, the river will become foul, and the Egyptians will hate to drink water from the Nile.”’
19Adonai said to Moses, “Say to Aaron: Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, over their streams, over their pools and over all their ponds, so that they become blood. There will be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, even in wooden and stone containers.”
20So Moses and Aaron did as Adonai commanded. He lifted up the staff and struck the waters that were in the river in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants, and all the waters of the Nile turned to blood.
21When the fish that were in the river died, the river became so foul that the Egyptians could not drink water from the river. The blood was throughout all the land of Egypt.
22But the magicians of Egypt did the same with their secret arts. So Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them—just as Adonai had said.
23Pharaoh turned and went into his house, and did not even take it to heart.
24So all the Egyptians dug around the river for water to drink, because they could not drink of the water from the Nile.
25Seven days were fulfilled after Adonai had struck the Nile.
26 Then Adonai said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him: This is what Adonai says: ‘Let My people go, so they may serve Me.
27If you refuse to let them go, see, I will strike all your territory with frogs.
28The river will swarm with frogs. They will go up and enter your house, into your bedroom, upon your bed, into the houses of your servants, upon your people, into your ovens, and in your kneading bowls.
29The frogs will climb up on you, your people and all your servants.’”

Chapter 8

Frogs, Gnats, Flies
1Then Adonai told Moses, “Say to Aaron: Stretch out your hand with your staff over the rivers, canals and pools, and cause frogs to come up over the land of Egypt.”
2So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land.
3But the magicians did the same with their secret arts and brought up frogs over the land of Egypt.
4Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and said, “Pray to Adonai, that He would take the frogs away from me and from my people. Then I will let the people go, so they may sacrifice to Adonai.”
5Moses answered Pharaoh, “Boast about me after I pray for you. When am I to pray for you, your servants and your people, that the frogs would be cut off from you and your houses, and remain only in the Nile?”
6“Tomorrow,” he said. So he said, “Let it happen according to your word, so that you may know that there is none like Adonaiour God.
7The frogs will depart from you, from your houses, from your servants and from your people. They will remain only in the Nile.”
8After Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh, Moses cried out to Adonai concerning the frogs, which He had brought upon Pharaoh.
9So Adonai acted according to the word of Moses, and the frogs died out in the houses, the courts and the fields.
10They piled them together in large heaps, and the land stank.
11But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not listen to them—just as Adonai had said.
12So Adonai said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, and it will become gnats throughout all the land of Egypt.’”
13So they did. When Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff and struck the dust of the earth, there were gnats on men and animals. All the dust of the earth became gnats throughout all the land of Egypt.
14When the magicians attempted the same with their secret arts to bring forth gnats, they could not. There were gnats on men and animals.
15So the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them—just as Adonai had said.
16Then Adonai said to Moses, “Rise up early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh. As he comes to the water say to him, This is what Adonai says: Let My people go, that they may serve Me.
17Or else, if you do not let My people go, I will send the swarm of flies on you and on your servants, on your people and into your houses. The houses of the Egyptians will be full of the swarm of flies including the ground that they stand on.
18“But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where My people are dwelling—except no swarm of flies will be there—so that you may know that I, Adonai, am in the midst of the earth.
19I will make a distinction between My people and your people. By tomorrow this sign will happen.”
20Adonai did just so. A massive swarm of flies went into the house of Pharaoh and into his servant’s houses. All the land of Egypt was ruined because of the swarm of flies.
21So Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron and said, “Go! Sacrifice to your God—in the land.”
22But Moses said, “That would not be right. For the offerings we intend to sacrifice to Adonai our God are an abomination to the Egyptians. If we sacrifice what is an abomination to the Egyptians, wouldn’t they stone us?
23We must walk a three-day journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to Adonai our God—just as He tells us.”
24Pharaoh said, “I will let you go, so that you may sacrifice to Adonai your God in the wilderness. Only you must not go very far away. Pray for me.”
25So Moses said, “See, I am leaving you, and I will pray to Adonai that the swarm of flies will depart from Pharaoh, his servants and from his people tomorrow. However, let Pharaoh no longer deal deceitfully by not letting the people go sacrifice to Adonai.”
26Then Moses went out from Pharaoh and prayed to Adonai.
27Adonai acted according to the word of Moses, and removed the swarm of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants and from his people. Nothing remained.
28But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and did not let the people go.

Chapter 9

Livestock, Boils, Hail
1Then Adonai said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh, and tell him: This is what Adonai, the God of the Hebrews, says: ‘Let My people go, so they may serve Me.’
2For if you refuse to let them go, and hold them still,
3behold, the hand of Adonai will fall upon your livestock that are in the field—on the horses, donkeys, camels, herds and flocks. There will be a crushing plague.
4But Adonai will make a distinction between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt, and nothing will die that belongs to Bnei-Yisrael.”
5Also Adonai set a specific time, saying, “Tomorrow Adonai will do this thing in the land.”
6Then the next day, Adonai did the deed. All the cattle of Egypt died, yet of the cattle of Bnei-Yisrael, not one died.
7When Pharaoh inquired, there was not so much as one of the cattle of Bnei-Yisrael dead. But the heart of Pharaoh was stubborn, and he did not let the people go.
8Then Adonai said to Moses and Aaron, “Take handfuls of soot from the furnace, and have Moses throw it heavenward in the sight of Pharaoh.
9It will become fine dust over all the land of Egypt, and will become boils erupting with sores on both men and animals throughout all the land.”
10So they took soot from the furnace and stood before Pharaoh. When Moses threw it heavenward, it became boils erupting with sores on both men and animals.
11Moreover, the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, because they were on the magicians, as on all the Egyptians.
12But Adonai hardened the heart of Pharaoh, so he did not listen to them—just as Adonai had said to Moses.
13Then Adonai said to Moses, “Rise up early in the morning, stand before Pharaoh and say to him: This is what Adonai the God of the Hebrews says: ‘Let My people go, so they may serve Me.
14For this time I will send all My plagues to your heart, and on your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is none like Me in all the earth.
15Surely by now I could have stretched out My hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the earth.
16However, I have let you stand for this reason: to show you My power, and that My Name might be proclaimed throughout all the earth.
17Yet still you exalt yourself over My people, by not letting them go.
18Behold, tomorrow at about this time, I will cause it to rain a very severe hailstorm, the likes of which has not occurred in Egypt since the day it was founded until now.
19Send word, shelter your cattle and all that you have in the field. For every person and animal found in the field and not brought home, when the hail comes down on them, they will die.’”
20Whoever feared the word of Adonai among the servants of Pharaoh had his own servants and cattle flee into the houses,
21but whoever disregarded the word of Adonai left his servants and cattle in the field.
22Then Adonai said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven and let there be hail in all the land of Egypt, on people, animals and every plant of the field, throughout all the land.”
23So Moses stretched out his staff toward heaven, and Adonaisent thunder and hail. Fire came down on the earth, as Adonairained hail on the land of Egypt.
24The hail fell very severely, with fire flashing up amidst the hail, the likes of which had not occurred in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.
25The hail struck down everything that was in the fields, both men and animals, all throughout the land of Egypt. It also struck every plant of the field and broke down every tree.
26Only in the land of Goshen, where Bnei-Yisrael were, was there no hail.
27So Pharaoh sent, called for Moses and Aaron and said to them, “I have sinned this time. Adonai is righteous, while I and my people are wicked.
28Pray to Adonai—there has been enough of God’s thunders and hail! I will let you go. You don’t have to stay any longer.”
29Moses said to him, “As soon as I am gone out of the city, I will stretch out my hands to Adonai. The thunder will cease and there will be no more hail—so you may know that the earth is Adonai’s.
30But as for you and your servants, I know that you do not yet fear Adonai Elohim.”
31(The flax and the barley were destroyed, because the barley was in the ear, and the flax was in bloom.
32But the wheat and the spelt were not destroyed, because they ripen later.)
33Moses went out of the city, away from Pharaoh, and stretched out his hands to Adonai. Then the thunder and hail ceased, and rain no longer poured down on the earth.
34But when Pharaoh saw that the rain, the hail and the thunder had ceased, he increased his sin and hardened his heart, both he and his servants.
35So Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and he did not let Bnei-Yisrael go—just as Adonai had said by Moses’ hand.