Exodus 4 (New Century Version)

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1 Then Moses answered, "What if the people of Israel do not believe me or listen to me? What if they say, 'The Lord did not appear to you'?" 2 The Lord said to him, "What is that in your hand?" Moses answered, "It is my walking stick." 3 The Lord said, "Throw it on the ground." So Moses threw it on the ground, and it became a snake. Moses ran from the snake, 4 but the Lord said to him, "Reach out and grab the snake by its tail." When Moses reached out and took hold of the snake, it again became a stick in his hand. 5 The Lord said, "This is so that the Israelites will believe that the Lord appeared to you. I am the God of their ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." 6 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Put your hand inside your coat." So Moses put his hand inside his coat. When he took it out, it was white with a skin disease. 7 Then he said, "Now put your hand inside your coat again." So Moses put his hand inside his coat again. When he took it out, his hand was healthy again, like the rest of his skin. 8 Then the Lord said, "If the people do not believe you or pay attention to the first miracle,d they may believe you when you show them this second miracle. 9 After these two miracles, if they still do not believe or listen to you, take some water from the Nile River and pour it on the dry ground. The water will become blood when it touches the ground." 10 But Moses said to the Lord, "Please, Lord, I have never been a skilled speaker. Even now, after talking to you, I cannot speak well. I speak slowly and can't find the best words." 11 Then the Lord said to him, "Who made a person's mouth? And who makes someone deaf or not able to speak? Or who gives a person sight or blindness? It is I, the Lord. 12 Now go! I will help you speak, and I will teach you what to say." 13 But Moses said, "Please, Lord, send someone else." 14 The Lord became angry with Moses and said, "Your brother Aaron, from the family of Levi, is a skilled speaker. He is already coming to meet you, and he will be happy when he sees you. 15 You will speak to Aaron and tell him what to say. I will help both of you to speak and will teach you what to do. 16 Aaron will speak to the people for you. You will tell him what God says, and he will speak for you. 17 Take your walking stick with you, and use it to do the miracles." 18 Moses went back to Jethro, his father-in-law, and said to him, "Let me go back to my people in Egypt. I want to see if they are still alive." Jethro said to Moses, "Go! I wish you well." 19 While Moses was still in Midian, the Lord said to him, "Go back to Egypt, because the men who wanted to kill you are dead now." 20 So Moses took his wife and his sons, put them on a donkey, and started back to Egypt. He took with him the walking stick of God. 21 The Lord said to Moses, "When you get back to Egypt, do all the miraclesd I have given you the power to do. Show them to the king of Egypt. But I will make the king very stubborn, and he will not let the people go. 22 Then say to the king, 'This is what the Lord says: Israel is my firstborn son. 23 I told you to let my son go so he may worship me. But you refused to let Israel go, so I will kill your firstborn son.'" 24 As Moses was on his way to Egypt, he stopped at a resting place for the night. The Lord met him there and tried to kill him. 25 But Zipporah took a flint knife and circumcised her son. Taking the skin, she touched Moses' feet with it and said to him, "You are a bridegroom of blood to me." 26 She said, "You are a bridegroom of blood," because she had to circumcise her son. So the Lord let Moses alone. 27 Meanwhile the Lord said to Aaron, "Go out into the desert to meet Moses." When Aaron went, he met Moses at Sinai, the mountain of God, and kissed him. 28 Moses told Aaron everything the Lord had said to him when he sent him to Egypt. He also told him about the miracles which the Lord had commanded him to do. 29 Moses and Aaron gathered all the older leaders of the Israelites, 30 and Aaron told them everything that the Lord had told Moses. Then Moses did the miracles for all the people to see, 31 and the Israelites believed. When they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their troubles, they bowed down and worshiped him.
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