Exodus 4 (Complete Jewish Bible)

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1 Moshe replied, "But I'm certain they won't believe me, and they won't listen to what I say, because they'll say, 'ADONAI did not appear to you.'" 2 ADONAI answered him, "What is that in your hand?" and he said, "A staff." 3 He said, "Throw it on the ground!" and he threw it on the ground. It turned into a snake, and Moshe recoiled from it. 4 Then ADONAI said to Moshe, "Put your hand out and take it by the tail." He reached out with his hand and took hold of it, and it became a staff in his hand. 5 "This is so that they will believe that ADONAI, the God of their fathers, the God of Avraham, the God of Yitz'chak and the God of Ya'akov, has appeared to you!" 6 Furthermore ADONAI said to him, "Now put your hand inside your coat." He put his hand in his coat; and when he took it out his hand was leprous, as white as snow. 7 Then God said, "Now put your hand back in your coat." He put his hand back in his coat; and when he took it out, it was as healthy as the rest of his body. 8 "If they won't believe you or heed the evidence of the first sign, they will be convinced by the second. 9 But if they aren't persuaded even by both these signs and still won't listen to what you say, then take some water from the river, and pour it on the ground. The water you take from the river will turn into blood on the dry land." 10 Moshe said to ADONAI, "Oh, Adonai, I'm a terrible speaker. I always have been, and I'm no better now, even after you've spoken to your servant! My words come slowly, my tongue moves slowly." 11 ADONAI answered him, "Who gives a person a mouth? Who makes a person dumb or deaf, keen-sighted or blind? Isn't it I, ADONAI? 12 Now, therefore, go; and I will be with your mouth and will teach you what to say." 13 But he replied, "Please, Lord, send someone else - anyone you want!" 14 At this, ADONAI's anger blazed up against Moshe; he said, "Don't you have a brother, Aharon the Levi? I know that he's a good speaker. In fact, here he is now, coming out to meet you; and he'll be happy to see you. 15 You will speak to him and put the words in his mouth; and I will be with your mouth and his, teaching you both what to do. 16 Thus he will be your spokesman to the people, in effect; for you, he will be a mouth; and for him, you will be like God. 17 Now take this staff in your hand, because you need it to perform the signs." 18 Moshe left, returned to Yitro his father-in-law and said to him, "I beg you to let me go and return to my kinsmen in Egypt, to see if they are still alive." Yitro said to Moshe, "Go in peace." 19 ADONAI said to Moshe in Midyan, "Go on back to Egypt, because all the men who wanted to kill you are dead." 20 So Moshe took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey, and started out for Egypt. Moshe took God's staff in his hand. 21 ADONAI said to Moshe, "When you get back to Egypt, make sure that you do before Pharaoh every one of the wonders I have enabled you to do. Nevertheless, I am going to make him hardhearted, and he will refuse to let the people go. 22 Then you are to tell Pharaoh: 'ADONAI says, "Isra'el is my firstborn son. 23 I have told you to let my son go in order to worship me, but you have refused to let him go. Well, then, I will kill your firstborn son!"'" 24 At a lodging-place on the way, ADONAI met Moshe and would have killed him, 25 had not Tzipporah taken a flintstone and cut off the foreskin of her son. She threw it at his feet, saying, "What a bloody bridegroom you are for me!" 26 But then, God let Moshe be. She added, "A bloody bridegroom because of the circumcision!" 27 ADONAI said to Aharon, "Go into the desert to meet Moshe." He went, met him at the mountain of God and kissed him. 28 Moshe told him everything ADONAI had said in sending him, including all the signs he had ordered him to perform. 29 Then Moshe and Aharon went and gathered together all the leaders of the people of Isra'el. 30 Aharon said everything ADONAI had told Moshe, who then performed the signs for the people to see. 31 The people believed; when they heard that ADONAI had remembered the people of Isra'el and seen how they were oppressed, they bowed their heads and worshipped.
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