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. 13But he said, O my Lord, please send someone else. 14Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses and he said, What of your brother Aaron the Levite? I know that he can speak fluently; even now he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you his heart will be glad. 15You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth; and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and will teach you what you shall do. 16He indeed shall speak for you to the people; he shall serve as a mouth for you, and you shall serve as God for him. 17Take in your hand this staff, with which you shall perform the signs.
18 Moses went back to his father-in-law Jethro and said to him, Please let me go back to my kindred in Egypt and see whether they are still living. And Jethro said to Moses, Go in peace. 19The Lord said to Moses in Midian, Go back to Egypt; for all those who were seeking your life are dead. 20So Moses took his wife and his sons, put them on a donkey, and went back to the land of Egypt; and Moses carried the staff of God in his hand.
21 And the Lord said to Moses, When you go back to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders that I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. 22Then you shall say to Pharaoh, Thus says the Lord: Israel is my firstborn son. 23I said to you, Let my son go that he may worship me. But you refused to let him go; now I will kill your firstborn son.
24 On the way, at a place where they spent the night, the Lord met him and tried to kill him. 25But Zipporah took a flint and cut off her sons foreskin, and touched Moses* feet with it, and said, Truly you are a bridegroom of blood to me! 26So he let him alone. It was then she said, A bridegroom of blood by circumcision.
27 The Lord said to Aaron, Go into the wilderness to meet Moses. So he went; and he met him at the mountain of God and kissed him. 28Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord with which he had sent him, and all the signs with which he had charged him. 29Then Moses and Aaron went and assembled all the elders of the Israelites. 30Aaron spoke all the words that the Lord had spoken to Moses, and performed the signs in the sight of the people. 31The people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had given heed to the Israelites and that he had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshipped.
5Afterwards Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, Let my people go, so that they may celebrate a festival to me in the wilderness. 2But Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord, that I should heed him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and I will not let Israel go. 3Then they said, The God of the Hebrews has revealed himself to us; let us go a three days journey into the wilderness to sacrifice to the Lord our God, or he will fall upon us with pestilence or sword. 4But the king of Egypt said to them, Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people away from their work? Get to your labours! 5Pharaoh continued, Now they are more numerous than the people of the land * and yet you want them to stop working! 6That same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people, as well as their supervisors, 7You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as before; let them go and gather straw for themselves. 8But you shall require of them the same quantity of bricks as they have made previously; do not diminish it, for they are lazy; that is why they cry, Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God. 9Let heavier work be laid on them; then they will labour at it and pay no attention to deceptive words.
10 So the taskmasters and the supervisors of the people went out and said to the people, Thus says Pharaoh, I will not give you straw. 11Go and get straw yourselves, wherever you can find it; but your work will not be lessened in the least. 12So the people scattered throughout the land of Egypt, to gather stubble for straw. 13The taskmasters were urgent, saying, Complete your work, the same daily assignment as when you were given straw. 14And the supervisors of the Israelites, whom Pharaohs taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and were asked, Why did you not finish the required quantity of bricks yesterday and today, as you did before?
15 Then the Israelite supervisors came to Pharaoh and cried, Why do you treat your servants like this? 16No straw is given to your servants, yet they say to us, Make bricks! Look how your servants are beaten! You are unjust to your own people.* 17He said, You are lazy, lazy; that is why you say, Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord. 18Go now, and work; for no straw shall be given you, but you shall still deliver the same number of bricks. 19The Israelite supervisors saw that they were in trouble when they were told, You shall not lessen your daily number of bricks. 20As they left Pharaoh, they came upon Moses and Aaron who were waiting to meet them. 21They said to them, The Lord look upon you and judge! You have brought us into bad odour with Pharaoh and his officials, and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.
22 Then Moses turned again to the Lord and said, O Lord, why have you mistreated this people? Why did you ever send me? 23Since I first came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has mistreated this people, and you have done nothing at all to deliver your people.
6Then the Lord said to Moses, Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh: Indeed, by a mighty hand he will let them go; by a mighty hand he will drive them out of his land.
2 God also spoke to Moses and said to him: I am the Lord. 3I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty,* but by my name The Lord* I did not make myself known to them. 4I also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they resided as aliens. 5I have also heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are holding as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. 6Say therefore to the Israelites, I am the Lord, and I will free you from the burdens of the Egyptians and deliver you from slavery to them. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgement. 7I will take you as my people, and I will be your God. You shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has freed you from the burdens of the Egyptians. 8I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord. 9Moses told this to the Israelites; but they would not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and their cruel slavery.
10 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, 11Go and tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the Israelites go out of his land. 12But Moses spoke to the Lord, The Israelites have not listened to me; how then shall Pharaoh listen to me, poor speaker that I am?* 13Thus the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, and gave them orders regarding the Israelites and Pharaoh king of Egypt, charging them to free the Israelites from the land of Egypt.
14 The following are the heads of their ancestral houses: the sons of Reuben, the firstborn of Israel: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi; these are the families of Reuben. 15The sons of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul,* the son of a Canaanite woman; these are the families of Simeon. 16The following are the names of the sons of Levi according to their genealogies: Gershon,* Kohath, and Merari, and the length of Levis life was one hundred and thirty-seven years. 17The sons of Gershon:* Libni and Shimei, by their families. 18The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel, and the length of Kohaths life was one hundred and thirty-three years. 19The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites according to their genealogies. 20Amram married Jochebed his fathers sister and she bore him Aaron and Moses, and the length of Amrams life was one hundred and thirty-seven years. 21The sons of Izhar: Korah, Nepheg, and Zichri. 22The sons of Uzziel: Mishael, Elzaphan, and Sithri. 23Aaron married Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab and sister of Nahshon, and she bore him Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 24The sons of Korah: Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph; these are the families of the Korahites. 25Aarons son Eleazar married one of the daughters of Putiel, and she bore him Phinehas. These are the heads of the ancestral houses of the Levites by their families.
26 It was this same Aaron and Moses to whom the Lord said, Bring the Israelites out of the land of Egypt, company by company. 27It was they who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt to bring the Israelites out of Egypt, the same Moses and Aaron.
28 On the day when the Lord spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, 29he said to him, I am the Lord; tell Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I am speaking to you. 30But Moses said in the Lords presence, Since I am a poor speaker,* why would Pharaoh listen to me?
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