Exodus 3:1-6

Moses and the Burning Bush

1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.
2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up.
3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”
4 When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.”
5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”
6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father,[a] the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

Exodus 3:1 in Other Translations

KJV
1 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.
ESV
1 Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.
NLT
1 One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God.
MSG
1 Moses was shepherding the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. He led the flock to the west end of the wilderness and came to the mountain of God, Horeb.
CSB
1 Meanwhile Moses was shepherding the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.

Exodus 3:1-6 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO EXODUS 2

In this chapter we are informed how that the Lord appeared to Moses in a bush on fire, but not consumed, Ex 3:1-6, declared unto him that he had seen and observed the afflictions of the children of Israel, and was determined to deliver them, Ex 3:7-9, that he gave him a call to be the deliverer of them, answered his objections to it, and instructed him what he should say, both to the elders of Israel and to Pharaoh, Ex 3:10-18, and assured him, that though at first Pharaoh would refuse to let them go, yet after many miracles wrought, he would be willing to dismiss them, when they should depart with great substance, Ex 3:19-22.

Exodus 3:1-6 In-Context

1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.
2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up.
3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”
4 When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.”
5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”
6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
7 The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.
8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.
9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them.
10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

Cross References 15

  • 1. S Exodus 2:18; Judges 1:16
  • 2. S Exodus 2:16
  • 3. ver 12; Exodus 17:6; Exodus 19:1-11,5; Exodus 33:6; Deuteronomy 1:2,6; Deuteronomy 4:10; Deuteronomy 5:2; Deuteronomy 29:1; 1 Kings 19:8; Malachi 4:4
  • 4. Exodus 4:27; Exodus 18:5; Exodus 24:13; Deuteronomy 4:11,15
  • 5. S Genesis 16:7; S Exodus 12:23; S Acts 5:19
  • 6. Exodus 19:18; 1 Kings 19:12
  • 7. ver 4; Exodus 2:2-6; Deuteronomy 33:16; Mark 12:26; Luke 20:37; Acts 7:30
  • 8. Exodus 19:3; Leviticus 1:1
  • 9. Exodus 4:5
  • 10. Genesis 31:11; 1 Samuel 3:4; Isaiah 6:8
  • 11. Jeremiah 30:21
  • 12. S Genesis 28:17; Joshua 5:15; Acts 7:33*
  • 13. S Genesis 24:12; S Exodus 4:5; Matthew 22:32*; Mark 12:26*; Luke 20:37*; Acts 3:13; Acts 7:32*
  • 14. 1 Kings 19:13
  • 15. Exodus 24:11; Exodus 33:20; Judges 13:22; Job 13:11; Job 23:16; Job 30:15; Isaiah 6:5

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Masoretic Text; Samaritan Pentateuch (see Acts 7:32) "fathers"
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