Moses answered, "What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, 'The LORD did not appear to you'?"
Then the LORD said to him, "What is that in your hand?" "A staff," he replied.
The LORD said, "Throw it on the ground." Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it.
Then the LORD said to him, "Reach out your hand and take it by the tail." So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand.
"This," said the LORD, "is so that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers--the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob--has appeared to you."
Then the LORD said, "Put your hand inside your cloak." So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was leprous, like snow.
"Now put it back into your cloak," he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.
Then the LORD said, "If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first miraculous sign, they may believe the second.
But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground."
Moses said to the LORD, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue."
The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD?
Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."
But Moses said, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it."
Then the LORD's anger burned against Moses and he said, "What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you.
You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do.
He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him.
But take this staff in your hand so you can perform miraculous signs with it."
Then Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, "Let me go back to my own people in Egypt to see if any of them are still alive." Jethro said, "Go, and I wish you well."
Now the LORD had said to Moses in Midian, "Go back to Egypt, for all the men who wanted to kill you are dead."
So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey and started back to Egypt. And he took the staff of God in his hand.
The LORD said to Moses, "When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.
Then say to Pharaoh, 'This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son,
and I told you, "Let my son go, so he may worship me." But you refused to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son.' "
At a lodging place on the way, the LORD met [Moses] and was about to kill him.
But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son's foreskin and touched [Moses'] feet with it. "Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me," she said.
So the LORD let him alone. (At that time she said "bridegroom of blood," referring to circumcision.)
The LORD said to Aaron, "Go into the desert to meet Moses." So he met Moses at the mountain of God and kissed him.
Then Moses told Aaron everything the LORD had sent him to say, and also about all the miraculous signs he had commanded him to perform.
Moses and Aaron brought together all the elders of the Israelites,
and Aaron told them everything the LORD had said to Moses. He also performed the signs before the people,
and they believed. And when they heard that the LORD was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.
1"At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.2Five of them were foolish and five were wise.3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them.4The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps.5The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.6"At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!'7"Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps.8The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.'9" 'No,' they replied, 'there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.'10"But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.11"Later the others also came. 'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!'12"But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.'13"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
14"Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them.15To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.16The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more.17So also, the one with the two talents gained two more.18But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.19"After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.20The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.'21"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'22"The man with the two talents also came. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.'23"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'24"Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.25So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.'26"His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?27Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.28" 'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.29For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.30And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory.32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."