Exodus 4; Exodus 5; Exodus 6

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Exodus 4

1 "They will never believe me or listen to me!" Moses protested. "They will say, 'The LORD didn't appear to you.'"
2 Then the LORD asked him, "What's that in your hand?" He answered, "A shepherd's staff."
3 The LORD said, "Throw it on the ground." When Moses threw it on the ground, it became a snake, and he ran away from it.
4 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Reach out and grab the snake by its tail." He reached out and grabbed it, and it turned back into a staff as he held it.
5 [The LORD explained,] "This is to convince the people that the LORD God of their ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, appeared to you."
6 The LORD said to him, "Put your hand inside your shirt." So Moses did this, and when he took his hand out, it had a skin disease. It looked as [flaky as] snow.
7 "Now put your hand back inside your shirt," the LORD said. Moses put it back, and when he took it out this time, it was healthy again like the rest of his body.
8 [Then the LORD said,] "If they won't believe you or pay attention to the first miraculous sign, they may believe the second.
9 But if they won't believe these two miraculous signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile River and pour it on the ground. The water you take from the Nile will turn into blood on the ground."
10 Moses said to the LORD, "Please, Lord, I'm not a good speaker. I've never been a good speaker, and I'm not now, even though you've spoken to me. I speak slowly, and I become tongue-tied easily."
11 The LORD asked him, "Who gave humans their mouths? Who makes humans unable to talk or hear? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? It is I, the LORD!
12 Now go, and I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."
13 But Moses said, "Please, Lord, send someone else."
14 Then the LORD became angry with Moses and asked, "What about your brother Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He's already on his way to meet you, and he will be very glad to see you.
15 You will speak to him and tell him what to say. I will help both of you speak, and I will teach you both what to do.
16 Aaron will speak to the people for you. He will be your spokesman, and you will be like God.
17 Take that shepherd's staff with you, and use it to do the miraculous signs."
18 Then Moses went back to his father-in-law Jethro. Moses said to him, "Please let me go back to my own people in Egypt. I would like to see if they're still alive." Jethro said to Moses, "You may go."
19 Now, the LORD had said to Moses in Midian, "Go back to Egypt, because all the men who wanted to kill you are dead."
20 So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey, and started out for Egypt. He also brought with him the staff God had told him to take.
21 The LORD said to Moses, "When you get back to Egypt, see that you show Pharaoh all the amazing things that I have given you the power to do. But I will make him stubborn so that he will not let the people go.
22 Then tell Pharaoh, 'This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son.
23 I told you to let my son go so that he may worship me. But you refused to let him go. So now I'm going to kill your firstborn son.'"
24 Along the way they stopped for the night. The LORD met Moses and tried to kill him.
25 Then Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son's foreskin, and touched Moses' feet [with it]. She said, "You are a bridegroom of blood to me!"
26 So the LORD let him alone. It was because of the circumcision that she said at that time, "You are a bridegroom of blood!"
27 Meanwhile, the LORD had told Aaron to meet Moses in the desert. When Aaron met Moses at the mountain of God, he kissed him.
28 Moses told Aaron everything the LORD had sent him to say and all the miraculous signs the LORD had commanded him to do.
29 Then Moses and Aaron went [to Egypt] and assembled all the leaders of the people of Israel.
30 Aaron told them everything the LORD had said to Moses. He also did the miraculous signs for the people,
31 and the people believed them. When they heard that the LORD was concerned about the people of Israel and that he had seen their misery, they knelt, bowing with their faces touching the ground.
GOD'S WORD® is a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations. Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Exodus 5

1 Later Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, "This is what the LORD God of Israel says: Let my people go into the desert to celebrate a festival in my honor."
2 Pharaoh asked, "Who is the LORD? Why should I obey him and let Israel go? I don't know the LORD, and I won't let Israel go."
3 They replied, "The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please let us travel three days into the desert to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God. If we don't go, he may kill us with a plague or a war."
4 The king of Egypt said to them, "Moses and Aaron, why are you distracting the people from their work? Get back to work!"
5 Then Pharaoh added, "Look how many people there are in the land! Do you want them to quit working?"
6 That same day Pharaoh gave these orders to the slave drivers and foremen:
7 "Don't give the people any more straw to make bricks as you have been doing. Let them gather their own straw,
8 but insist that they make the same number of bricks they were making before. Making fewer bricks will not be acceptable. They're lazy! That's why they're crying, 'Let us go offer sacrifices to our God.'
9 Make the work harder for these people so that they will be too busy to listen to lies."
10 The slave drivers and foreman went out and said to them, "This is what Pharaoh says: I'm no longer giving you straw.
11 Get your own straw wherever you can find it, but your work load will not be reduced one bit."
12 So the people scattered all over Egypt to gather stubble for straw.
13 The slave drivers kept hurrying them. They said, "Finish the same amount of work each day, just as when you had straw."
14 Pharaoh's slave drivers had placed Israelite foremen in charge of the people. The slave drivers beat the foremen and said, "You didn't finish all the bricks you were ordered to make yesterday or today. Why didn't you make as many as you used to?"
15 Then the Israelite foremen complained to Pharaoh. They asked, "Why are you treating us this way?
16 We're given no straw, and yet we're told to make bricks. We're being beaten, but your men are at fault."
17 "You're lazy! [Just plain] lazy!" Pharaoh answered. "That's why you keep saying, 'Let us go offer sacrifices to the LORD.'
18 Now get back to work! You won't be given any straw, but you must still make the same number of bricks."
19 The Israelite foremen realized they were in trouble when they were told, "Don't make fewer bricks each day than you're supposed to."
20 As they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting for them.
21 So they said, "May the LORD see what you have done and judge you! You have made Pharaoh and his officials hate us. You have given them an excuse to kill us."
22 Moses went back to the LORD and asked, "Why have you brought this trouble on your people? Why did you send me?
23 Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak for you, he has treated your people cruelly, and you have done nothing at all to rescue your people."
GOD'S WORD® is a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations. Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Exodus 6

1 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh. I will show him my power, and he will let my people go. I will show him my power, and he will throw them out of his country."
2 God spoke to Moses, "I am the LORD.
3 I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty, but I didn't make myself known to them by my name, the LORD.
4 I even made a promise to give them Canaan, the land where they lived as foreigners.
5 Now I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians hold in slavery, and I have remembered my promise.
6 "Tell the Israelites, 'I am the LORD. I will bring you out from under the oppression of the Egyptians, and I will free you from slavery. I will rescue you with my powerful arm and with mighty acts of judgment.
7 Then I will make you my people, and I will be your God. You will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the forced labor of the Egyptians.
8 I will bring you to the land I solemnly swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I will give it to you as your own possession. I am the LORD.'"
9 Moses reported this to the Israelites. But they would not listen to him because they were so discouraged by their back breaking work.
10 Then the LORD spoke to Moses,
11 "Go tell Pharaoh (the king of Egypt) to let the Israelites leave his country."
12 But Moses protested to the LORD, "The Israelites wouldn't listen to me. Why would Pharaoh listen to me? I'm such a poor speaker."
13 The LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron about the Israelites and Pharaoh (the king of Egypt). He commanded them to bring the Israelites out of Egypt.
14 These were the heads of the families: The sons of Reuben, Israel's firstborn, were Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. These were the families descended from Reuben.
15 The sons of Simeon were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman. These were the families descended from Simeon.
16 These are the names of the sons of Levi listed in birth order: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. Levi lived 137 years.
17 The sons of Gershon listed by their families were Libni and Shimei.
18 The sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. Kohath lived 133 years.
19 The sons of Merari were Mahli and Mushi. These were the families descended from Levi listed in birth order.
20 Amram married his father's sister Jochebed. She gave birth to Aaron and Moses. Amram lived 137 years.
21 The sons of Izhar were Korah, Nepheg, and Zichri.
22 The sons of Uzziel were Mishael, Elzaphan, and Sithri.
23 Aaron married Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab and sister of Nahshon. She gave birth to Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.
24 The sons of Korah were Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph. These were the families descended from Korah.
25 Eleazar, son of Aaron, married one of the daughters of Putiel. She gave birth to Phinehas. These were the heads of Levite households listed by their families.
26 This was the same Aaron and Moses to whom the LORD said, "Bring the Israelites out of Egypt in organized family groups."
27 They--this same Moses and Aaron--told Pharaoh (the king of Egypt) to let the Israelites leave Egypt.
28 At that time the LORD spoke to Moses in Egypt.
29 He said to Moses, "I am the LORD. Tell Pharaoh (the king of Egypt) everything I tell you."
30 But Moses said to the LORD, "Why would Pharaoh listen to me?"
GOD'S WORD® is a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations. Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. All rights reserved. Used by permission.