Bible: Exodus 3:1-5:23

3:1 Now Moses 1  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 2  and came to the mountain of God, to Horeb. 3  3:2 The angel of the Lord 4  appeared 5  to him in 6  a flame of fire from within a bush. 7  He looked 8 and 9  the bush was ablaze with fire, but it was not being consumed! 10  3:3 So Moses thought, 11 I will turn aside to see 12  this amazing 13  sight. Why does the bush not burn up? 14  3:4 When the Lord 15  saw that 16  he had turned aside to look, God called to him from within the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” 17  And Moses 18  said, “Here I am.” 3:5 God 19  said, “Do not approach any closer! 20  Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy 21  ground.” 22  3:6 He added, “I am the God of your father, 23  the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look 24  at God.

3:7 The Lord said, “I have surely seen 25  the affliction of my people who are in Egypt. I have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. 26  3:8 I have come down 27  to deliver them 28  from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up from that land to a land that is both good and spacious, 29  to a land flowing with milk and honey, 30  to the region of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 31  3:9 And now indeed 32  the cry 33  of the Israelites has come to me, and I have also seen how severely the Egyptians oppress them. 34  3:10 So now go, and I will send you 35  to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.”

3:11 Moses said 36  to God, 37 Who am I, that I should go 38  to Pharaoh, or that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt? 3:12 He replied, 39 Surely I will be with you, 40  and this will be the sign 41  to you that I have sent you: When you bring the people out of Egypt, you and they will serve 42  God on this mountain.”

3:13 Moses said 43  to God, “If 44  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?’ 45  – what should I say 46  to them?”

3:14 God said to Moses, I am that I am.” 47  And he said, “You must say this 48  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 49 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 50  forever, and this is my memorial from generation to generation.’ 51 

3:16Go and bring together 52  the elders of Israel and tell them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, 53  appeared 54  to me – the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – saying, “I have attended carefully 55  to you and to what has been done 56  to you in Egypt, 3:17 and I have promised 57  that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, 58  to a land flowing with milk and honey.”’

3:18The elders 59  will listen 60  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 61  with us. So now, let us go 62  three daysjourney into the wilderness, so that we may sacrifice 63  to the Lord our God.’ 3:19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go, 64  not even under force. 65  3:20 So I will extend my hand 66  and strike Egypt with all my wonders 67  that I will do among them, and after that he will release you. 68 

3:21I will grant this people favor with 69  the Egyptians, so that when 70  you depart you will not leave empty-handed. 3:22 Every 71  woman will ask her neighbor and the one who happens to be staying 72  in her house for items of silver and gold 73  and for clothing. You will put these articles on your sons and daughters – thus you will plunder Egypt! 74 


The Source of Sufficiency


Moses answered again, 76  “And if 77  they do not believe me or pay attention to me, 78  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.” 79  4:3 The Lord 80  said, “Throw it to the ground.” So he threw it to the ground, and it became a snake, 81  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 82  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.” 83  So he put his hand into his robe, and when he brought it out – there was his hand, 84  leprous like snow! 85  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, 86  restored 87  like the rest of his skin! 88  4:8 If 89  they do not believe you or pay attention to 90  the former sign, then they may 91  believe the latter sign. 92  4:9 And if 93  they do not believe even these two signs or listen to you, 94  then take 95  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.” 96 

4:10 Then Moses said to the Lord, 97  “O 98  my Lord, 99  I am not an eloquent man, 100  neither in the past 101  nor since you have spoken to your servant, for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” 102 

4:11 The Lord said to him, “Who gave 103  a mouth to man, or who makes a person mute or deaf or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 104  4:12 So now go, and I will be with your mouth 105  and will teach you 106  what you must say.” 107 

4:13 But Moses said, 108 O 109  my Lord, please send anyone else whom you wish to send! 110 

4:14 Then the Lord became angry with 111  Moses, and he said, “What about 112  your brother Aaron the Levite? 113  I know that he can speak very well. 114  Moreover, he is coming 115  to meet you, and when he sees you he will be glad in his heart. 116 

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 117  and with his mouth, 118  and I will teach you both 119  what you must do. 120  4:16 He 121  will speak for you to the people, and it will be as if 122  he 123  were your mouth 124  and as if you were his God. 125  4:17 You will also take in your hand this staff, with which you will do the signs.” 126 


The Return of Moses


So Moses went back 128  to his father-in-law Jethro and said to him, “Let me go, so that I may return 129  to my relatives 130  in Egypt and see 131  if they are still alive.” Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.” 4:19 The Lord said to Moses in Midian, “Go back 132  to Egypt, because all the men who were seeking your life are dead.” 133  4:20 Then Moses took 134  his wife and sons 135  and put them on a donkey and headed back 136  to the land of Egypt, and Moses took the staff of God in his hand. 4:21 The Lord said 137  to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, 138  see that you 139  do before Pharaoh all the wonders I have put under your control. 140  But I will harden 141  his heart 142  and 143  he will not let the people go. 4:22 You must say 144  to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says 145  the Lord, “Israel is my son, my firstborn, 146  4:23 and I said to you, ‘Let my son go that he may serve 147  me,’ but since you have refused to let him go, 148  I will surely kill 149  your son, your firstborn!”’

4:24 Now on the way, at a place where they stopped for the night, 150  the Lord met Moses and sought to kill him. 151  4:25 But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off the foreskin of her son and touched it to Moses’ feet, 152  and said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood 153  to me.” 4:26 So the Lord 154  let him alone. (At that time 155  she said, “A bridegroom of blood,” referring to 156  the circumcision.)

4:27 The Lord said 157  to Aaron, “Go to the wilderness to meet Moses. So he went and met him at the mountain of God 158  and greeted him with a kiss. 159  4:28 Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord who had 160  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. 161  4:30 Aaron spoke 162  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 163  that the Lord had attended to 164  the Israelites and that he had seen their affliction, they bowed down close to the ground. 165 


Opposition to the Plan of God


Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “Thus says the Lord, 167  the God of Israel, ‘Release 168  my people so that they may hold a pilgrim feast 169  to me in the desert.’ 5:2 But Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord 170  that 171  I should obey him 172  by releasing 173  Israel? I do not know the Lord, 174  and I will not release Israel! 5:3 And they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Let us go a three-day journey 175  into the desert so that we may sacrifice 176  to the Lord our God, so that he does not strike us with plague or the sword.” 177  5:4 The king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you cause the people to refrain from their work? 178  Return to your labor! 5:5 Pharaoh was thinking, 179 The people of the land are now many, and you are giving them rest from their labor.”

5:6 That same day Pharaoh commanded 180  the slave masters and foremen 181  who were 182  over the people: 183  5:7 You must no longer 184  give straw to the people for making bricks 185  as before. 186  Let them go 187  and collect straw for themselves. 5:8 But you must require 188  of them the same quota of bricks that they were making before. 189  Do not reduce it, for they are slackers. 190  That is why they are crying, ‘Let us go sacrifice to our God.’ 5:9 Make the work harder 191  for the men so they will keep at it 192  and pay no attention to lying words! 193 

5:10 So the slave masters of the people and their foremen went to the Israelites and said, 194 Thus says Pharaoh: ‘I am not giving 195  you straw. 5:11 You 196  go get straw for yourselves wherever you can 197  find it, because there will be no reduction at all in your workload.’ 5:12 So the people spread out 198  through all the land of Egypt to collect stubble for straw. 5:13 The slave masters were pressuring 199  them, saying, “Complete 200  your work for each day, just like when there was straw! 5:14 The Israelite foremen whom Pharaoh’s slave masters had set over them were beaten and were asked, 201 Why did you not complete your requirement for brickmaking as in the past – both yesterday and today? 202 

5:15 203 

The Israelite foremen went and cried out to Pharaoh, “Why are you treating 204  your servants this way? 5:16 No straw is given to your servants, but we are told, 205 Make bricks!’ Your servants are even 206  being beaten, but the fault 207  is with your people.”

5:17 But Pharaoh replied, 208 You are slackers! Slackers! 209  That is why you are saying, ‘Let us go sacrifice to the Lord.’ 5:18 So now, get back to work! 210  You will not be given straw, but you must still produce 211  your quota 212  of bricks! 5:19 The Israelite foremen saw 213  that they 214  were in trouble when they were told, 215 You must not reduce the daily quota of your bricks.”

5:20 When they went out from Pharaoh, they encountered Moses and Aaron standing there to meet them, 216  5:21 and they said to them, “May the Lord look on you and judge, 217  because you have made us stink 218  in the opinion of 219  Pharaoh and his servants, 220  so that you have given them an excuse to kill us! 221 


The Assurance of Deliverance


Moses returned 223  to the Lord, and said, “Lord, 224  why have you caused trouble for this people? 225  Why did you ever 226  send me? 5:23 From the time I went to speak to Pharaoh in your name, he has caused trouble 227  for this people, and you have certainly not rescued 228  them! 229 

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