Exodus 4:2

2 Then the LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” “A staff,” he replied.

Exodus 4:2 in Other Translations

KJV
2 And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.
ESV
2 The LORD said to him, "What is that in your hand?" He said, "A staff."
NLT
2 Then the LORD asked him, “What is that in your hand?” “A shepherd’s staff,” Moses replied.
MSG
2 So God said, "What's that in your hand?" "A staff."
CSB
2 The Lord asked him, "What is that in your hand?" "A staff," he replied.

Exodus 4:2 Meaning and Commentary

Exodus 4:2

And the Lord said unto him
Not reproving him for contradicting him, or showing any diffidence of what he had said; but rather as approving the hint he gave of having some sign or miracle wrought, to command from the Israelites an assent unto him, as commissioned of God to deliver them: what [is] that in thine hand?
which question is put, not as being ignorant of what it was, but to lead on to what he had further to say, and to the working of the miracle: and he said, a rod;
or staff, such as shepherds use in the management of their flocks, for Moses was now feeding the flock of his father-in-law; but Aben Ezra seems rather to think it was a walking staff, such as ancient men lean upon, since Moses did not go to Pharaoh after the manner of a shepherd; yea, it may be added, he went with the authority of a prince or ruler of Israel, and even with the authority of the ambassador of the King of kings.

Exodus 4:2 In-Context

1 Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you’?”
2 Then the LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” “A staff,” he replied.
3 The LORD said, “Throw it on the ground.” Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it.
4 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.
5 “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.”

Cross References 1

  • 1. ver 17,20; Genesis 38:18; Exodus 7:19; Exodus 8:5,16; Exodus 14:16,21; Exodus 17:5-6,9; Numbers 17:2; Numbers 20:8; Joshua 8:18; Judges 6:21; 1 Samuel 14:27; 2 Kings 4:29