Bible: Exodus 1-4


Blessing during Bondage in Egypt


These 2  are the names 3  of the sons of Israel 4  who entered Egypt – each man with his household 5  entered with Jacob: 1:2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, 1:3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, 1:4 Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. 1:5 All the people 6  who were directly descended 7  from Jacob numbered seventy. 8  But Joseph was already in Egypt, 9  1:6 and in time 10  Joseph 11  and his brothers and all that generation died. 1:7 The Israelites, 12  however, 13  were fruitful, increased greatly, multiplied, and became extremely strong, 14  so that the land was filled with them.

1:8 Then a new king, 15  who did not know about 16  Joseph, came to power 17  over Egypt. 1:9 He said 18  to his people, “Look at 19  the Israelite people, more numerous and stronger than we are! 1:10 Come, let’s deal wisely 20  with them. Otherwise 21  they will continue to multiply, 22  and if 23  a war breaks out, they will ally themselves with 24  our enemies and fight against us and leave 25  the country.”

1:11 So they put foremen 26  over the Israelites 27  to oppress 28  them with hard labor. As a result 29  they built Pithom and Rameses 30  as store cities for Pharaoh. 1:12 But the more the Egyptians 31  oppressed them, the more they multiplied and spread. 32  As a result the Egyptians loathed 33  the Israelites, 1:13 and they 34  made the Israelites serve rigorously. 35  1:14 They made their lives bitter 36  by 37  hard service with mortar and bricks and by all kinds of service 38  in the fields. Every kind of service the Israelites were required to give was rigorous. 39 

1:15 The king of Egypt said 40  to the Hebrew midwives, 41  one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, 42  1:16 43 When you assist 44  the Hebrew women in childbirth, observe at the delivery: 45  If it is a son, kill him, 46  but if it is a daughter, she may live.” 47  1:17 But 48  the midwives feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them; they let the boys live. 49 

1:18 Then the king of Egypt summoned 50  the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this and let the boys live? 51  1:19 The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew 52  women are not like the Egyptian women – for the Hebrew women 53  are vigorous; they give birth before the midwife gets to them! 54  1:20 So God treated the midwives well, 55  and the people multiplied and became very strong. 1:21 And because the midwives feared God, he made 56  households 57  for them.

1:22 Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, “All sons 58  that are born you must throw 59  into the river, but all daughters you may let live.” 60 


The Birth of the Deliverer


A man from the household 62  of Levi married 63  a woman who was a descendant of Levi. 64  2:2 The woman became pregnant 65  and gave birth to a son. When 66  she saw that 67  he was a healthy 68  child, she hid him for three months. 2:3 But when she was no longer able to hide him, she took a papyrus basket 69  for him and sealed it with bitumen and pitch. She put the child in it and set it among the reeds along the edge of the Nile. 70  2:4 His sister stationed herself 71  at a distance to find out 72  what would 73  happen to him.

2:5 Then the daughter of Pharaoh 74  came down to wash herself 75  by the Nile, while her attendants were walking alongside the river, 76  and she saw the basket among the reeds. She sent one of her attendants, 77  took it, 78  2:6 opened it, 79  and saw the child 80 a boy, 81  crying! 82  – and she felt compassion 83  for him and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.”

2:7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get 84  a nursing woman 85  for you from the Hebrews, so that she may nurse 86  the child for you? 2:8 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Yes, do so.” 87  So the young girl 88  went and got 89  the child’s mother. 90  2:9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child 91  and nurse him for me, and I will pay your 92  wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him.

2:10 When the child grew older 93  she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. 94  She named him Moses, saying, “Because I drew him from the water.” 95 


The Presumption of the Deliverer


In those days, 97  when 98  Moses had grown up, he went out to his people 99  and observed 100  their hard labor, and he saw an Egyptian man attacking 101  a Hebrew man, one of his own people. 102  2:12 He looked this way and that 103  and saw that no one was there, 104  and then he attacked 105  the Egyptian and concealed the body 106  in the sand. 2:13 When he went out 107  the next day, 108  there were 109  two Hebrew men fighting. So he said to the one who was in the wrong, 110 Why are you attacking 111  your fellow Hebrew? 112 

2:14 The man 113  replied, “Who made you a ruler 114  and a judge over us? Are you planning 115  to kill me like you killed that 116  Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid, thinking, 117 Surely what I did 118  has become known.” 2:15 When Pharaoh heard 119  about this event, 120  he sought to kill Moses. So Moses fled 121  from Pharaoh and settled in the land of Midian, 122  and he settled 123  by a certain well. 124 

2:16 Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came and began to draw 125  water 126  and fill 127  the troughs in order to water their father’s flock. 2:17 When some 128  shepherds came and drove them away, 129  Moses came up and defended them 130  and then watered their flock. 2:18 So when they came home 131  to their father Reuel, 132  he asked, “Why have you come home so early 133  today? 2:19 They said, “An Egyptian man rescued us 134  from the shepherds, 135  and he actually 136  drew water for us and watered the flock! 2:20 He said 137  to his daughters, “So where is he? 138  Why in the world 139  did you leave the man? Call him, so that he may eat 140  a meal 141  with us.”

2:21 Moses agreed 142  to stay with the man, and he gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. 143  2:22 When she bore 144  a son, Moses 145  named him Gershom, for he said, “I have become a resident foreigner in a foreign land.” 146 


The Call of the Deliverer


During 148  that long period of time 149  the king of Egypt died, and the Israelites 150  groaned because of the slave labor. They cried out, and their desperate cry 151  because of their slave labor went up to God. 2:24 God heard their groaning, 152  God remembered 153  his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob, 2:25 God saw 154  the Israelites, and God understood. 155 

3:1 Now Moses 156  was shepherding the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert 157  and came to the mountain of God, to Horeb. 158  3:2 The angel of the Lord 159  appeared 160  to him in 161  a flame of fire from within a bush. 162  He looked 163 and 164  the bush was ablaze with fire, but it was not being consumed! 165  3:3 So Moses thought, 166 I will turn aside to see 167  this amazing 168  sight. Why does the bush not burn up? 169  3:4 When the Lord 170  saw that 171  he had turned aside to look, God called to him from within the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” 172  And Moses 173  said, “Here I am.” 3:5 God 174  said, “Do not approach any closer! 175  Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy 176  ground.” 177  3:6 He added, “I am the God of your father, 178  the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look 179  at God.

3:7 The Lord said, “I have surely seen 180  the affliction of my people who are in Egypt. I have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. 181  3:8 I have come down 182  to deliver them 183  from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up from that land to a land that is both good and spacious, 184  to a land flowing with milk and honey, 185  to the region of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 186  3:9 And now indeed 187  the cry 188  of the Israelites has come to me, and I have also seen how severely the Egyptians oppress them. 189  3:10 So now go, and I will send you 190  to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.”

3:11 Moses said 191  to God, 192 Who am I, that I should go 193  to Pharaoh, or that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt? 3:12 He replied, 194 Surely I will be with you, 195  and this will be the sign 196  to you that I have sent you: When you bring the people out of Egypt, you and they will serve 197  God on this mountain.”

3:13 Moses said 198  to God, “If 199  I go to the Israelites and tell them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ 200  – what should I say 201  to them?”

3:14 God said to Moses, I am that I am.” 202  And he said, “You must say this 203  to the Israelites, I am has sent me to you.’ 3:15 God also said to Moses, “You must say this to the Israelites, ‘The Lord 204 the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob – has sent me to you. This is my name 205  forever, and this is my memorial from generation to generation.’ 206 

3:16Go and bring together 207  the elders of Israel and tell them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, 208  appeared 209  to me – the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – saying, “I have attended carefully 210  to you and to what has been done 211  to you in Egypt, 3:17 and I have promised 212  that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, 213  to a land flowing with milk and honey.”’

3:18The elders 214  will listen 215  to you, and then you and the elders of Israel must go to the king of Egypt and tell him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met 216  with us. So now, let us go 217  three daysjourney into the wilderness, so that we may sacrifice 218  to the Lord our God.’ 3:19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go, 219  not even under force. 220  3:20 So I will extend my hand 221  and strike Egypt with all my wonders 222  that I will do among them, and after that he will release you. 223 

3:21I will grant this people favor with 224  the Egyptians, so that when 225  you depart you will not leave empty-handed. 3:22 Every 226  woman will ask her neighbor and the one who happens to be staying 227  in her house for items of silver and gold 228  and for clothing. You will put these articles on your sons and daughters – thus you will plunder Egypt! 229 


The Source of Sufficiency


Moses answered again, 231  “And if 232  they do not believe me or pay attention to me, 233  but say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you’? 4:2 The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.” 234  4:3 The Lord 235  said, “Throw it to the ground.” So he threw it to the ground, and it became a snake, 236  and Moses ran from it. 4:4 But the Lord said to Moses, “Put out your hand and grab it by the tail– so he put out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand 237  4:5 that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.”

4:6 The Lord also said to him, “Put your hand into your robe.” 238  So he put his hand into his robe, and when he brought it out – there was his hand, 239  leprous like snow! 240  4:7 He said, “Put your hand back into your robe.” So he put his hand back into his robe, and when he brought it out from his robe – there it was, 241  restored 242  like the rest of his skin! 243  4:8 If 244  they do not believe you or pay attention to 245  the former sign, then they may 246  believe the latter sign. 247  4:9 And if 248  they do not believe even these two signs or listen to you, 249  then take 250  some water from the Nile and pour it out on the dry ground. The water you take out of the Nile will become blood on the dry ground.” 251 

4:10 Then Moses said to the Lord, 252  “O 253  my Lord, 254  I am not an eloquent man, 255  neither in the past 256  nor since you have spoken to your servant, for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” 257 

4:11 The Lord said to him, “Who gave 258  a mouth to man, or who makes a person mute or deaf or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 259  4:12 So now go, and I will be with your mouth 260  and will teach you 261  what you must say.” 262 

4:13 But Moses said, 263 O 264  my Lord, please send anyone else whom you wish to send! 265 

4:14 Then the Lord became angry with 266  Moses, and he said, “What about 267  your brother Aaron the Levite? 268  I know that he can speak very well. 269  Moreover, he is coming 270  to meet you, and when he sees you he will be glad in his heart. 271 

4:15So you are to speak to him and put the words in his mouth. And as for me, I will be with your mouth 272  and with his mouth, 273  and I will teach you both 274  what you must do. 275  4:16 He 276  will speak for you to the people, and it will be as if 277  he 278  were your mouth 279  and as if you were his God. 280  4:17 You will also take in your hand this staff, with which you will do the signs.” 281 


The Return of Moses


So Moses went back 283  to his father-in-law Jethro and said to him, “Let me go, so that I may return 284  to my relatives 285  in Egypt and see 286  if they are still alive.” Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.” 4:19 The Lord said to Moses in Midian, “Go back 287  to Egypt, because all the men who were seeking your life are dead.” 288  4:20 Then Moses took 289  his wife and sons 290  and put them on a donkey and headed back 291  to the land of Egypt, and Moses took the staff of God in his hand. 4:21 The Lord said 292  to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, 293  see that you 294  do before Pharaoh all the wonders I have put under your control. 295  But I will harden 296  his heart 297  and 298  he will not let the people go. 4:22 You must say 299  to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says 300  the Lord, “Israel is my son, my firstborn, 301  4:23 and I said to you, ‘Let my son go that he may serve 302  me,’ but since you have refused to let him go, 303  I will surely kill 304  your son, your firstborn!”’

4:24 Now on the way, at a place where they stopped for the night, 305  the Lord met Moses and sought to kill him. 306  4:25 But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off the foreskin of her son and touched it to Moses’ feet, 307  and said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood 308  to me.” 4:26 So the Lord 309  let him alone. (At that time 310  she said, “A bridegroom of blood,” referring to 311  the circumcision.)

4:27 The Lord said 312  to Aaron, “Go to the wilderness to meet Moses. So he went and met him at the mountain of God 313  and greeted him with a kiss. 314  4:28 Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord who had 315  sent him and all the signs that he had commanded him. 4:29 Then Moses and Aaron went and brought together all the Israelite elders. 316  4:30 Aaron spoke 317  all the words that the Lord had spoken to Moses and did the signs in the sight of the people, 4:31 and the people believed. When they heard 318  that the Lord had attended to 319  the Israelites and that he had seen their affliction, they bowed down close to the ground. 320 

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