16Go and assemble the elders of Israel, and say to them, The Lord, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying: I have given heed to you and to what has been done to you in Egypt. 17I declare that I will bring you up out of the misery of Egypt, to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey. 18They will listen to your voice; and you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him, The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; let us now go a three days journey into the wilderness, so that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God. 19I know, however, that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand.* 20So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all my wonders that I will perform in it; after that he will let you go. 21I will bring this people into such favour with the Egyptians that, when you go, you will not go empty-handed; 22each woman shall ask her neighbour and any woman living in the neighbours house for jewellery of silver and of gold, and clothing, and you shall put them on your sons and on your daughters; and so you shall plunder the Egyptians.
4Then Moses answered, But suppose they do not believe me or listen to me, but say, The Lord did not appear to you. 2The Lord said to him, What is that in your hand? He said, A staff. 3And he said, Throw it on the ground. So he threw the staff on the ground, and it became a snake; and Moses drew back from it. 4Then the Lord said to Moses, Reach out your hand, and seize it by the tailso he reached out his hand and grasped it, and it became a staff in his hand 5so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.
6 Again, the Lord said to him, Put your hand inside your cloak. He put his hand into his cloak; and when he took it out, his hand was leprous,* as white as snow. 7Then God said, Put your hand back into your cloakso he put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored like the rest of his body 8If they will not believe you or heed the first sign, they may believe the second sign. 9If they will not believe even these two signs or heed you, you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground; and the water that you shall take from the Nile will become blood on the dry ground.
10 But Moses said to the Lord, O my Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor even now that you have spoken to your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue. 11Then the Lord said to him, Who gives speech to mortals? Who makes them mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12Now go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you are to speak.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011