The LORD said to Moses,
"Consecrate to me every firstborn male.1 The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether human or animal."
Then Moses said to the people, "Commemorate this day, the day you came out of Egypt,2 out of the land of slavery, because the LORD brought you out of it with a mighty hand.3 Eat nothing containing yeast.44
Today, in the month of Aviv,5 you are leaving.
When the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites,6 Hittites, Amorites, Hivites and Jebusites7--the land he swore to your ancestors to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey8--you are to observe this ceremony9 in this month:
For seven days eat bread made without yeast and on the seventh day hold a festival10 to the LORD.
Eat unleavened bread during those seven days; nothing with yeast in it is to be seen among you, nor shall any yeast be seen anywhere within your borders.
On that day tell your children,11 'I do this because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.'
This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand12 and a reminder on your forehead13 that this law of the LORD is to be on your lips. For the LORD brought you out of Egypt with his mighty hand.1410
You must keep this ordinance15 at the appointed time16 year after year.
"After the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites17 and gives it to you, as he promised on oath18 to you and your ancestors,1912
you are to give over to the LORD the first offspring of every womb. All the firstborn males of your livestock belong to the LORD.2013
Redeem with a lamb every firstborn donkey,21 but if you do not redeem it, break its neck.22 Redeem23 every firstborn among your sons.2414
"In days to come, when your children25 ask you, 'What does this mean?' say to them, 'With a mighty hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.2615
When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the LORD killed the firstborn of both people and animals in Egypt. This is why I sacrifice to the LORD the first male offspring of every womb and redeem each of my firstborn sons.'2716
And it will be like a sign on your hand and a symbol on your forehead28 that the LORD brought us out of Egypt with his mighty hand."
When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, "If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt."2918
So God led30 the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.a The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.3119
Moses took the bones of Joseph32 with him because Joseph had made the Israelites swear an oath. He had said, "God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place."b3320
After leaving Sukkoth34 they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert.3521
By day the LORD went ahead36 of them in a pillar of cloud37 to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.
Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left38 its place in front of the people.