It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. — Abraham Lincoln

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut

The River That Ran Blood

After Moses and Aaron had spoken to the people of Israel the words which God had given them, they went to meet Pharaoh the king of Egypt. You remember that all the kings of Egypt bore the name of Pharaoh. Moses and Aaron did not at first ask Pharaoh to let the people go out of Egypt, never to return, but they said:

"Our God, the Lord God of Israel, has bidden us to go out, with all our people, a journey of three days into the wilderness, and there to worship him. And God speaks to you through us, saying, "Let my people go, that they may serve me."

But Pharaoh was very angry. He said, "What are you doing, you Moses and Aaron, to call your people away from their work? Go back to your tasks and leave your people alone. I know why the Israelites are talking about going out into the wilderness. It is because they have not work enough to keep them busy. I will give them more work to do."

The work of the Israelites, at that time, was mostly in making brick, and putting up the walls of buildings for the rulers of Egypt. In mixing the clay for the brick they used straw, chopped up fine, to hold the clay together. Pharaoh said:

"Let them make as many bricks as before; but give them no straw. Let the Israelites find their own straw for the brick making."

Plagues of Egypt

Of course this made their task all the harder, for it took much time to find the straw; and the Israelites were scattered all through the land finding straw and stubble, for use in making the brick; and yet they were called upon to bring as many brick each day as before. And when they could not do all their task they were cruelly beaten by the Egyptians. Many of the Israelites now became angry with Moses and Aaron, who, they thought, had brought more burden and trouble upon them. They said:

"May the Lord God judge you, and punish you! You promised to lead us out, and set us free; but you have only made our suffering the greater!"

Then Moses cried to the Lord, and the Lord said to him:

"Take Aaron, your brother, and go again to Pharaoh; and show him the signs that I gave you."

So they went in to Pharaoh, and again asked him in the Lord's name, to let the people go. And Pharaoh said:

"Who is the Lord? Why should I obey his commands?" What sign can you show that God has sent you?"

Then Aaron threw down his rod, and it was turned into a snake. But there were wise men in Egypt who had heard of this; and they made ready a trick. They threw down their rods, and their rods became snakes, or seemed to. They may have been tame snakes, which they had hidden under their long garments, and then brought out, as if they had been rods.

But Aaron's rod, in the form of a snake, ran after them, and swallowed them all; and then it became a rod again in Aaron's hand. But King Pharaoh refused to obey God's voice.

Then Moses spoke to Aaron, by God's command: "Take your rod and wave it over the waters of Egypt, over the river Nile, and the canals, and the lakes."

Then Aaron did so. He lifted up the rod, and struck the water, in the sight of Pharaoh. And in a moment all the water turned to blood, and the fish in the river all died; and a terrible stench, a foul smell, arose over the land. And the people were in danger of dying. But in the land of Goshen, where the Israelites were, the water remained as it had been, and was not turned to blood. So God made a difference between Israel and Egypt.

The people of Egypt dug wells, to find water; and the wise men of Egypt brought some water to Pharaoh, and made it look as though they had turned it to blood. And Pharaoh would not listen, nor let the people go.

After seven days Moses took away the plague of blood, but he warned Pharaoh that another plague was coming, if he refused to obey. And as Pharaoh still would not obey, Aaron stretched forth his rod again, and then all the land was covered with frogs. Like a great army they ran over all the fields, and they even filled the houses. Pharaoh said:

"Pray to your God for me; ask him to take the frogs away, and I will let the people go."

Then Moses prayed; and God took away the frogs. They died everywhere; and the Egyptians heaped them up and buried them. But Pharaoh broke his promise, and would not let the people go.

Then, at God's command by Moses, Aaron lifted his rod again, and struck the dust; and everywhere the dust became alive with lice and fleas. But still Pharaoh would not hear, and God sent great swarms and clouds of flies all over the land, so that their houses were filled with them, and the sky was covered. But where the Israelites lived there were no lice, nor fleas, nor flies.

Then Pharaoh began to yield a little. He said:

"Why must you go out of the land to worship God? Worship him here in this land."

But Moses said, "When we worship the Lord, we must make an offering: and our offerings are of animals which the people of Egypt worship, oxen and sheep. It would make the Egyptians angry to see us offering a sacrifice of animals which they call gods."

"Well," said Pharaoh, "you may go; but do not go far away, and come back." But when Moses and Aaron had taken away the plague, Pharaoh broke his promise again, and still held the people as slaves.

Then another plague came. A terrible disease struck all the animals in Egypt, the horses and asses, the camels, the sheep, and the oxen; and they died by the thousand in a day, all over the land. But no plague came upon the flocks and herds of the Israelites.

But Pharaoh was still stubborn. He would not obey God's voice. Then Moses and Aaron gathered up in their hands, ashes from the furnace, and threw it up like a cloud into the air. And instantly boils began to break out on men and on beasts all through the land.

Still Pharaoh refused to obey; and then Moses stretched out his rod toward the sky. At once a terrible storm burst forth upon the land; all the more terrible because in that land rain scarcely ever falls. Sometimes there will not be even a shower of rain for years at a time. But now the black clouds rolled, the thunder sounded, the lightning flashed, and the rain poured down, and with the rain came hail, something that the Egyptians had never seen before. It struck all the crops growing in the field, and the fruits on the trees, and destroyed them.

Then again Pharaoh was frightened, and promised to let the people go; and again when God took away the hail at Moses' prayer, he broke his word, and would not let the Israelites leave the land.

Then after the hail came great clouds of locusts, which ate up every green thing that the hail had spared. And after the locusts came the plague of darkness. For three days there was thick darkness, no sun shining, nor moon, nor stars. But still Pharaoh would not let the people go. Pharaoh said to Moses:

"Get out of my sight. Let me never see your face again. If you come into my presence you shall be killed."

And Moses said, "It shall be as you say, I will see your face no more."

And God said to Moses, "There shall be one plague more, and then Pharaoh will be glad to let the people go. He will drive you out of the land. Make your people ready to go out of Egypt; your time here will soon be ended."


Front Matter

The Story of a Beautiful Garden
The First Baby in the World and His Brother
The Great Ship That Saved Eight People
The Tower That Was Never Finished
The Story of a Long Journey
How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing
The Angel by the Well
The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City
The Boy Who Became an Archer
How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life
The Story of a Journey after a Wife
How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing
Jacob's Wonderful Dream
A Midnight Wrestling Match
The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave
From the Prison to the Palace
How Joseph's Dream Came True
A Lost Brother Found
From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty
The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River
The Voice from the Burning Bush
The River That Ran Blood
The Night When a Nation Was Born
How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre
The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke
How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It
The Tent Where God Lived Among His People
How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle
What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons
The Scapegoat in the Wilderness
The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan
How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an
What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass
How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land
The Story of Job
The Story of a Scarlet Cord
How the River Jordan Became Dry
The Story of a Wedge of Gold
How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan
The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants
The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge
The Story of an Altar Beside the River
The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon
How a Woman Won a Great Victory
Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred
Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It
The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died
The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest
How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz
The Little Boy with a Linen Coat
How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark
The Last of the Judges
The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King
How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh
The Brave Young Prince
Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss
The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem
The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant
The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows
Where David Found the Giant's Sword
How David Spared Saul's Life
The Last Days of King Saul
The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King
The Sound in the Treetops
The Cripple at the King's Table
The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb
David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom
Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne
The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah
Solomon on This Father's Throne
The Wise Young King
The House of God on Mount Moriah
The Last Days of Solomon's Reign
The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom
The King Who Led Israel to Sin
The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life
The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire
The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount
The Wounded Prophet and His Story
What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard
The Arrow That Killed a King
Elijah's Chariot of Fire
A Spring Sweetened by Salt
The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison
The Little Boy at Shunem
How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper
The Chariots of Fire around Elisha
What the Lepers Found in the Camp
Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot
Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh
How the Ten Tribes Were Lost
The First Four Kings of Judah
The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King
Three Kings and a Great Prophet
The Good King Hezekiah
The Lost Book Found in the Temple
The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph
What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley
The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King
The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace
The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again
The Writing upon the Wall
Daniel in the Den of Lions
The Story of a Joyous Journey
The New Temple on Mount Moriah
The Beautiful Queen of Persia
The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament
The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem
Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem
The Angel by the Altar
The Manger of Bethlehem
The Star and the Wise Men
The Boy in his Father's House
The Prophet in the Wilderness
Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River
The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast
The Stranger at the Well
The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot
A Net Full of Fishes
The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof
The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand
The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount
The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn
Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea
"Peace, Be Still"
The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life
A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her
The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It
The Answer to a Mother's Prayer
The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain
The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus
At the Feast of Tabernacles
The Man with Clay on His Face
The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan
Lazarus Raised to Life
Some Parables in Perea
The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man
Jesus at Jericho
Palm Sunday
The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple
The Parables on the Mount of Olives
The Last Supper
The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall
The Crown of Thorns
The Darkest Day of All the World
The Brightest Day of All the World
The Stranger on the Shore
The Church of the First Days
The Man at the Beautiful Gate
The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way
Stephen with the Shining Face
The Man Reading in the Chariot
The Voice That Spoke to Saul
What Peter Saw by the Sea
How the Iron Gate Was Opened
The Earliest Missionaries
The Song in the Prison
Paul's Speech on the Hill
Paul at Corinth
Paul at Ephesus
Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem
The Speech on the Stairs
Two Years in Prison
The Story That Paul Told to the King
Paul in the Storm
How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There
The Throne of God
The City of God