The Lord spoke to Moses:
"Consecrate every firstborn male to Me, the firstborn from every womb among the Israelites, both man and animal; it is Mine."a3
Then Moses said to the people, "Remember this day when you came out of Egypt, out of the place of slavery, for the Lord brought you out of here by the strength of [His] hand. Nothing leavened may be eaten.
Today, in the month of Abib,b you are leaving.
When the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites, and Jebusites,c which He swore to your fathers that He would give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, you must carry out this ritual in this month.
For seven days you must eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there is to be a festival to the Lord.
Unleavened bread is to be eaten for those seven days. Nothing leavened may be found among you, and no yeast may be found among you in all your territory.
On that day explain to your son, 'This is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.'
Let it serve as a sign for you on your hand and as a reminder on your forehead,de so that the law of the Lord may be in your mouth; for the Lord brought you out of Egypt with a strong hand.
Keep this statute at its appointed time from year to year.
"When the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, as He swore to you and your fathers, and gives it to you,
you are to present to the Lord every firstborn male of the womb. All firstborn offspring of the livestock you own that are males will be the Lord's.
You must redeem every firstborn of a donkey with a flock animal, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. However, you must redeem every firstborn among your sons.
"In the future, when your son asks you, 'What does this mean?' say to him, 'By the strength of [His] hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, out of the place of slavery.
When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord killed every firstborn [male] in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of man to the firstborn of livestock. That is why I sacrifice to the Lord all the firstborn of the womb that are males, but I redeem all the firstborn of my sons.'
So let it be a sign on your hand and a symbolf on your forehead, for the Lord brought us out of Egypt by the strength of His hand."
When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them along the road to the land of the Philistines, even though it was nearby; for God said, "The people will change their minds and return to Egypt if they face war."
So He led the people around toward the Red Sea along the road of the wilderness. And the Israelites left the land of Egypt in battle formation.
Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, because Joseph had made the Israelites swear a solemn oath, saying, "God will certainly come to your aid; then you must take my bones with you from this place."g20
They set out from Succoth and camped at Etham on the edge of the wilderness.
The Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to lead them on their way during the day and in a pillar of fire to give them light at night, so that they could travel day or night.
The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night never left its place in front of the people.