41Then Moses answered the LORD, “But suppose the Israelites do not believe me and will not listen to what I say. What shall I do if they say that you did not appear to me?”
2So the LORD asked him, “What are you holding?”
“A stick,” he answered.
3The LORD said, “Throw it on the ground.” When Moses threw it down, it turned into a snake, and he ran away from it. 4Then the LORD said to Moses, “Bend down and pick it up by the tail.” So Moses bent down and caught it, and it became a stick again. 5The LORD said, “Do this to prove to the Israelites that the LORD, the God of their ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has appeared to you.”
6The LORD spoke to Moses again, “Put your hand inside your robe.” Moses obeyed; and when he took his hand out, it was diseased, covered with white spots, like snow. 7Then the LORD said, “Put your hand inside your robe again.” He did so, and when he took it out this time, it was healthy, just like the rest of his body. 8The LORD said, “If they will not believe you or be convinced by the first miracle, then this one will convince them. 9If in spite of these two miracles they still will not believe you, and if they refuse to listen to what you say, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the ground. The water will turn into blood.”
10But Moses said, “No, LORD, don't send me. I have never been a good speaker, and I haven't become one since you began to speak to me. I am a poor speaker, slow and hesitant.”
11The LORD said to him, “Who gives man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or dumb? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? It is I, the LORD. 12Now, go! I will help you to speak, and I will tell you what to say.”
13But Moses answered, “No, Lord, please send someone else.”
14At this the LORD became angry with Moses and said, “What about your brother Aaron, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. In fact, he is now coming to meet you and will be glad to see you. 15You can speak to him and tell him what to say. I will help both of you to speak, and I will tell you both what to do. 16He will be your spokesman and speak to the people for you. Then you will be like God, telling him what to say. 17Take this stick with you; for with it you will perform miracles.”
18Then Moses went back to Jethro, his father-in-law, and said to him, “Please let me go back to my relatives in Egypt to see if they are still alive.” Jethro agreed and said goodbye to him.
19While Moses was still in Midian, the LORD said to him, “Go back to Egypt, for all those who wanted to kill you are dead.” 20So Moses took his wife and his sons, put them on a donkey, and set out with them for Egypt, carrying the stick that God had told him to take.
21Again the LORD said to Moses, “Now that you are going back to Egypt, be sure to perform before the king all the miracles which I have given you the power to do. But I will make the king stubborn, and he will not let the people go. 22Then you must tell him that I, the LORD, say, ‘Israel is my firstborn son. 23
I told you to let my son go, so that he might worship me, but you refused. Now I am going to kill your firstborn son.’ ”
24At a camping place on the way to Egypt, the LORD met Moses and tried to kill him. 25-26Then Zipporah, his wife, took a sharp stone, cut off the foreskin of her son, and touched Moses' feet4.25–26 feet: This reference to “feet” is thought by some to be a euphemism for the genitals. with it. Because of the rite of circumcision she said to Moses, “You are a husband of blood to me.” And so the LORD spared Moses' life.
27Meanwhile the LORD had said to Aaron, “Go into the desert to meet Moses.” So he went to meet him at the holy mountain; and when he met him, he kissed him. 28Then Moses told Aaron everything that the LORD had said when he told him to return to Egypt; he also told him about the miracles which the LORD had ordered him to perform. 29So Moses and Aaron went to Egypt and gathered all the Israelite leaders together. 30Aaron told them everything that the LORD had said to Moses, and then Moses performed all the miracles in front of the people. 31They believed, and when they heard that the LORD had come to them and had seen how they were being treated cruelly, they bowed down and worshipped.
51Then Moses and Aaron went to the king of Egypt and said, “The LORD, the God of Israel, says, ‘Let my people go, so that they can hold a festival in the desert to honour me.’ ”
2“Who is the LORD?” the king demanded. “Why should I listen to him and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD; and I will not let Israel go.”
3Moses and Aaron replied, “The God of the Hebrews has revealed himself to us. Allow us to travel for three days into the desert to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God. If we don't do so, he will kill us with disease or by war.”
4The king said to Moses and Aaron, “What do you mean by making the people neglect their work? Get those slaves back to work! 5You people have become more numerous than the Egyptians. And now you want to stop working!”
6That same day the king commanded the Egyptian slave-drivers and the Israelite foremen: 7“Stop giving the people straw for making bricks. Make them go and find it for themselves. 8But still require them to make the same number of bricks as before, not one brick less. They haven't enough work to do, and that is why they keep asking me to let them go and offer sacrifices to their God! 9Make these people work harder and keep them busy, so that they won't have time to listen to a pack of lies.”
10The slave-drivers and the Israelite foremen went out and said to the Israelites, “The king has said that he will not supply you with any more straw. 11He says that you must go and get it for yourselves wherever you can find it, but you must still make the same number of bricks.” 12So the people went all over Egypt looking for straw. 13The slave-drivers kept trying to force them to make the same number of bricks every day as they had made when they were given straw. 14The Egyptian slave-drivers beat the Israelite foremen, whom they had put in charge of the work. They demanded, “Why aren't you people making the same number of bricks as you made before?”
15Then the foremen went to the king and complained, “Why do you do this to us, Your Majesty? 16We are given no straw, but we are still ordered to make bricks! And now we are being beaten. It is your people that are at fault.”
17The king answered, “You are lazy and don't want to work, and that is why you ask me to let you go and offer sacrifices to the LORD. 18Now get back to work! You will not be given any straw, but you must still make the same number of bricks.” 19The foremen realized that they were in trouble when they were told that they had to make the same number of bricks every day as they had made before.
20As they were leaving, they met Moses and Aaron, who were waiting for them. 21They said to Moses and Aaron, “The LORD has seen what you have done and will punish you for making the king and his officers hate us. You have given them an excuse to kill us.”
22Then Moses turned to the LORD again and said, “Lord, why do you ill-treat your people? Why did you send me here? 23Ever since I went to the king to speak for you, he has treated them cruelly. And you have done nothing to help them!”
61Then the LORD said to Moses, “Now you are going to see what I will do to the king. I will force him to let my people go. In fact, I will force him to drive them out of his land.”
God spoke to Moses and said, “I am the LORD. 3I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as Almighty God, but I did not make myself known to them by my holy name, the LORD.6.3 the LORD: See 3.14. 4I also made my covenant with them, promising to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they had lived as foreigners. 5Now I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians have enslaved, and I have remembered my covenant. 6So tell the Israelites that I say to them, ‘I am the LORD; I will rescue you and set you free from your slavery to the Egyptians. I will raise my mighty arm to bring terrible punishment upon them, and I will save you. 7I will make you my own people, and I will be your God. You will know that I am the LORD your God when I set you free from slavery in Egypt. 8I will bring you to the land that I solemnly promised to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as your own possession. I am the LORD.’ ” 9Moses told this to the Israelites, but they would not listen to him, because their spirit had been broken by their cruel slavery.
10Then the LORD said to Moses, 11“Go and tell the king of Egypt that he must let the Israelites leave his land.”
12But Moses replied, “Even the Israelites will not listen to me, so why should the king? I am such a poor speaker.”
13The LORD commanded Moses and Aaron: “Tell the Israelites and the king of Egypt that I have ordered you to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.”
14Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, had four sons: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi; they were the ancestors of the clans that bear their names. 15Simeon had six sons: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman; they were the ancestors of the clans that bear their names. 16
Levi had three sons: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari; they were the ancestors of the clans that bear their names. Levi lived 137 years. 17Gershon had two sons: Libni and Shimei, and they had many descendants. 18Kohath had four sons: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. Kohath lived 133 years. 19Merari had two sons: Mahli and Mushi. These are the clans of Levi with their descendants.
20Amram married his father's sister Jochebed, who bore him Aaron and Moses. Amram lived 137 years. 21Izhar had three sons: Korah, Nepheg, and Zichri. 22Uzziel also had three sons: Mishael, Elzaphan, and Sithri.
23Aaron married Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab and sister of Nahshon; she bore him Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 24Korah had three sons: Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph; they were the ancestors of the divisions of the clan of Korah. 25Eleazar, Aaron's son, married one of Putiel's daughters, who bore him Phinehas. These were the heads of the families and the clans of the tribe of Levi.
26Aaron and Moses were the ones to whom the LORD said, “Lead the tribes of Israel out of Egypt.” 27They were the men who told the king of Egypt to free the Israelites.
28When the LORD spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, 29he said, “I am the LORD. Tell the king of Egypt everything I tell you.”
30But Moses answered, “You know that I am such a poor speaker; why should the king listen to me?”