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Day 31 – Frogs, Gnats and Flies


Exodus 8

1 Yahweh then said to Moses, ‘Say to Aaron, “Stretch out your hand with your staff, over the rivers, the canals and the marshland, and bring the frogs up over the land of Egypt.” ‘

2 So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt.

3 But by their spells the magicians did the same, bringing frogs over the land of Egypt.

4 Pharaoh then summoned Moses and Aaron and said, ‘Entreat Yahweh to take the frogs away from me and my subjects, and I promise to let the people go and sacrifice to Yahweh.’

5 Moses said to Pharaoh, ‘You are the one to gain by it: when would you like me to pray for you, your officials and your subjects, so as to rid you and your houses of the frogs so that they will be left only in the River?’

6 ‘Tomorrow,’ he said. Moses said, ‘It shall be as you say, so that you will know that there is no one like Yahweh our God.

7 The frogs will leave you, your houses, your officials and your subjects and will be left only in the River.’

8 Moses and Aaron left Pharaoh’s presence, and Moses pleaded with Yahweh about the frogs which he had inflicted on Pharaoh.

9 Yahweh did as Moses asked, and in house and courtyard and field the frogs died.

10 They piled them up in heaps and the country stank.

11 But once Pharaoh saw that there had been a respite, he became obstinate and, as Yahweh had foretold, refused to listen to them.

12 Yahweh then said to Moses, ‘Say to Aaron, “Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, and it will turn into mosquitoes throughout the whole of Egypt.” ‘

13 Aaron stretched out his hand, with his staff, and struck the dust of the earth, and there were mosquitoes on man and beast; all the dust of the earth turned into mosquitoes throughout the whole of Egypt.

14 By their spells the magicians tried to produce mosquitoes in the same way but failed, and there were mosquitoes on man and beast.

15 So the magicians said to Pharaoh, ‘This is the finger of God.’ But Pharaoh was obstinate and, as Yahweh had foretold, refused to listen to them.

16 Yahweh then said to Moses, ‘Get up early in the morning and confront Pharaoh as he makes his way to the water. Say to him, “Yahweh says this: Let my people go and worship me.

17 But if you will not let my people go, I shall send horseflies on you, on your officials, your subjects and your houses. The Egyptians’ houses will swarm with horseflies, and so will the very ground they stand on.

18 But I shall exempt the region of Goshen, where my people are living, that day; there will be no horseflies there, so that you will know that I am Yahweh, here in this country.

19 I shall make a distinction between my people and your people. This sign will take place tomorrow.” ‘

20 Yahweh did this, and great swarms of horseflies found their way into Pharaoh’s palace, into his officials’ houses and all over Egypt; the country was ruined by the horseflies.

21 Pharaoh then summoned Moses and Aaron and said, ‘Go and sacrifice to your God, inside the country.’

22 ‘That would never do,’ Moses said, ‘since what we sacrifice to Yahweh our God is outrageous to the Egyptians. If the Egyptians see us offering sacrifices which outrage them, won’t they stone us?

23 We shall make a three-days’ journey into the desert to sacrifice to Yahweh our God, as he has ordered us.’

24 Pharaoh said, ‘I will let you go and sacrifice to Yahweh your God in the desert, provided you do not go very far. Pray for me.’

25 ‘The moment I leave you,’ Moses said, ‘I shall pray to Yahweh. Tomorrow morning the horseflies will leave Pharaoh, his officials and his subjects. But Pharaoh must stop trifling with us by not allowing the people to go and sacrifice to Yahweh.’

26 Moses then left Pharaoh’s presence and prayed to Yahweh,

27 and Yahweh did as Moses asked; the horseflies left Pharaoh, his officials and his subjects; not one remained.

28 But Pharaoh became obstinate this time too and did not let the people go.

Leviticus 6

1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:

2 ‘Give these orders to Aaron and his sons: “This is the ritual for the burnt offering (that is, the burnt offering that stays on the altar brazier all night until morning and is consumed by the altar fire).

3 “The priest will put on his linen tunic and put his linen drawers on to cover himself. He will then remove the fatty ashes of the burnt offering consumed by the altar fire and put them at the side of the altar.

4 He will then take off his clothes, put on others and carry the ashes to a clean place outside the camp.

5 “The fire on the altar that consumes the burnt offering must not be allowed to go out. Every morning the priest will make it up with wood, arranging the burnt offering on it and burning the fat from the communion sacrifices.

6 The fire must always be burning on the altar; it must never go out.

7 ‘This is the ritual for the cereal offering: “One of the descendants of Aaron will bring it into Yahweh’s presence in front of the altar,

8 will take a handful of the wheaten flour (with the oil and all the incense which have been added to it) and burn the memorial on the altar as a smell pleasing to Yahweh;

9 and Aaron and his sons will eat the remainder in the form of unleavened loaves. They will eat it inside the holy place, in the court of the Tent of Meeting.

10 The portion I give them of the food burnt for me must not be baked with leaven; it is especially holy, like the sacrifice for sin and the sacrifice of reparation.

11 All male descendants of Aaron are entitled to eat this portion of the food burnt for Yahweh (this is a perpetual law for all your descendants) and anyone who touches it will become holy.” ‘

12 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:

13 ‘This is the offering that Aaron and his sons must make to Yahweh on the day they are anointed: one-tenth of an ephah of wheaten flour as a perpetual cereal offering, half in the morning and half in the evening.

14 It will be prepared on the griddle and mixed with oil; you will bring the paste as a cereal offering in several pieces, offering them as a smell pleasing to Yahweh.

15 When one of his sons is anointed priest to succeed him, he will do the same. This is a perpetual law. ‘The entire cereal offering will be burnt for Yahweh.

16 Every cereal offering made by a priest will be a total sacrifice; none of it will be eaten.’

17 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

18 ‘Speak to Aaron and his sons and say: “This is the ritual for the sacrifice for sin: “The victim must be slaughtered before Yahweh on the spot where the burnt offerings are slaughtered. It is especially holy.

19 The priest who offers this sacrifice will eat it. It will be eaten inside the holy place, in the court of the Tent of Meeting.

20 Everything touching the victim’s meat will become holy, and if any of the blood splashes on clothing, the stain will be washed off inside the holy place.

21 The earthenware vessel in which the meat is cooked must be broken; if a bronze vessel has been used for the cooking, it must be scrubbed and thoroughly rinsed with water.

22 Any male who is a priest may eat the sacrifice. It is especially holy.

23 But no one may eat any of the victims offered for sin, the blood of which has been taken into the Tent of Meeting to make expiation inside the sanctuary. These must be burnt.” ‘

Psalm 48

1 [Song Psalm Of the sons of Korah] Great is Yahweh and most worthy of praise in the city of our God, the holy mountain,

2 towering in beauty, the joy of the whole world: Mount Zion in the heart of the north, the settlement of the great king;

3 God himself among its palaces has proved himself its bulwark.

4 For look, kings made alliance, together they advanced;

5 without a second glance, when they saw, they panicked and fled away.

6 Trembling seized them on the spot, pains like those of a woman in labour;

7 it was the east wind, that wrecker of ships from Tarshish.

8 What we had heard we saw for ourselves in the city of our God, in the city of Yahweh Sabaoth, which God has established for ever.

9 We reflect on your faithful love, God, in your temple!

10 Both your name and your praise, God, are over the whole wide world. Your right hand is full of saving justice,

11 Mount Zion rejoices, the daughters of Judah delight because of your saving justice.

12 Go round Zion, walk right through her, count her bastions,

13 admire her walls, examine her palaces, to tell future generations

14 that such is God; our God for ever and ever, he is our guide!

Thoughts and Reflection

In today’s reading, God started the plague on Egypt. At first, it was frogs. When Moses tells Pharaoh that he can stop this whenever he says the word, Pharaoh does something that many of us do. Put it off to “tomorrow”. Why? Here is God, working through Moses, giving the Egyptian people the option to end something that is harmful to them and yet they put it off.

Perhaps we should self-reflect and see if we are doing the same thing in our lives. This could be starting something good or getting rid of something bad. We should strive to have God’s heart rather than Pharoah’s.

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!


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