Replace a Trash Bag with a Suitcase for a Foster Kid

Exodus 3

The Burning Bush

1 Now Moses was pasturing the flock of 1Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to 2Horeb, the 3mountain of God.
2 4The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a 5bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.
3 So Moses said, "6I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up."
4 When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, 7God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am."
5 Then He said, "Do not come near here; 8remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground."
6 He said also, "9I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." 10Then Moses hid his face, for he was 11afraid to look at God.
7 The LORD said, "I have surely 12seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because * of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings.
8 "So I have come down 13to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a 14good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of 15the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.
9 "Now, behold, 16the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them.

The Mission of Moses

10 "Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, 17so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt."
11 But Moses said to God, "18Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?"
12 And He said, "Certainly 19I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: 20when you have brought the people out of Egypt, 21you shall worship God at this mountain."
13 Then Moses said to God, "Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you.' Now they may say to me, 'What is His name?' What shall I say to them?"
14 God said to Moses, "22I AM WHO I AM "; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.' "
15 God, furthermore, said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, '23The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.' This is My name forever, and this is My 24memorial-name to all generations.
16 "Go and 25gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, '26The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, "27I am indeed concerned about you and what has been done to you in Egypt.
17 "So 28I said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of 29the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, to a land 30flowing with milk and honey."'
18 "31They will pay heed to what you say; and 32you with the elders of Israel will come to the king of Egypt and you will say to him, 'The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. So now, please, let us go a 33three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.'
19 "But I know that the king of Egypt 34will not permit you to go, 35except under compulsion *.
20 "So I will stretch out 36My hand and strike Egypt with all My 37miracles which I shall do in the midst of it; and 38after that he will let you go.
21 "I will grant this people 39favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be that when you go, you will not go empty-handed.
22 "But every woman 40shall ask of her neighbor and the woman who lives in her house, articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; and you will put them on your sons and daughters. Thus you will 41plunder the Egyptians."

Exodus 3 Commentary

Chapter 3

God appears to Moses in a burning bush. (1-6) God sends Moses to deliver Israel. (7-10) The name Jehovah. (11-15) The deliverance of the Israelites promised. (16-22)

Verses 1-6 The years of the life of Moses are divided into three forties; the first forty he spent as a prince in Pharaoh's court, the second as a shepherd in Midian, the third as a king in Jeshurun. How changeable is the life of man! The first appearance of God to Moses, found him tending sheep. This seems a poor employment for a man of his parts and education, yet he rests satisfied with it; and thus learns meekness and contentment, for which he is more noted in sacred writ, than for all his learning. Satan loves to find us idle; God is pleased when he finds us employed. Being alone, is a good friend to our communion with God. To his great surprise, Moses saw a bush burning without fire to kindle it. The bush burned, and yet did not burn away; an emblem of the church in bondage in Egypt. And it fitly reminds us of the church in every age, under its severest persecutions kept by the presence of God from being destroyed. Fire is an emblem, in Scripture, of the Divine holiness and justice, also of the afflictions and trials with which God proves and purifies his people, and even of that baptism of the Holy Ghost, by which sinful affections are consumed, and the soul changed into the Divine nature and image. God gave Moses a gracious call, to which he returned a ready answer. Those that would have communion with God, must attend upon him in the ordinances wherein he is pleased to manifest himself and his glory, though it be in a bush. Putting off the shoe was a token of respect and submission. We ought to draw nigh to God with a solemn pause and preparation, carefully avoiding every thing that looks light and rude, and unbecoming his service. God does not say, I was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but I am. The patriarchs still live, so many years after their bodies have been in the grave. No length of time can separate the souls of the just from their Maker. By this, God instructed Moses as to another world, and strengthened his belief of a future state. Thus it is interpreted by our Lord Jesus, who, from hence, proves that the dead are raised, Lu. 20:37 . Moses hid his face, as if both ashamed and afraid to look upon God. The more we see of God, and his grace, and covenant love, the more cause we shall see to worship him with reverence and godly fear.

Verses 7-10 God notices the afflictions of Israel. Their sorrows; even the secret sorrows of God's people are known to him. Their cry; God hears the cries of his afflicted people. The oppression they endured; the highest and greatest of their oppressors are not above him. God promises speedy deliverance by methods out of the common ways of providence. Those whom God, by his grace, delivers out of a spiritual Egypt, he will bring to a heavenly Canaan.

Verses 11-15 Formerly Moses thought himself able to deliver Israel, and set himself to the work too hastily. Now, when the fittest person on earth for it, he knows his own weakness. This was the effect of more knowledge of God and of himself. Formerly, self-confidence mingled with strong faith and great zeal, now sinful distrust of God crept in under the garb of humility; so defective are the strongest graces and the best duties of the most eminent saints. But all objections are answered in, Certainly I will be with thee. That is enough. Two names God would now be known by. A name that denotes what he is in himself, I AM THAT I AM. This explains his name Jehovah, and signifies, 1. That he is self-existent: he has his being of himself. 2. That he is eternal and unchangeable, and always the same, yesterday, to-day, and for ever. 3. That he is incomprehensible; we cannot by searching find him out: this name checks all bold and curious inquiries concerning God. 4. That he is faithful and true to all his promises, unchangeable in his word as well as in his nature; let Israel know this, I AM hath sent me unto you. I am, and there is none else besides me. All else have their being from God, and are wholly dependent upon him. Also, here is a name that denotes what God is to his people. The Lord God of your fathers sent me unto you. Moses must revive among them the religion of their fathers, which was almost lost; and then they might expect the speedy performance of the promises made unto their fathers.

Verses 16-22 Moses' success with the elders of Israel would be good. God, who, by his grace, inclines the heart, and opens the ear, could say beforehand, They shall hearken to thy voice; for he would make them willing in this day of power. As to Pharaoh, Moses is here told that petitions and persuasions, and humble complaints, would not prevail with him; nor a mighty hand stretched out in signs and wonders. But those will certainly be broken by the power of God's hand, who will not bow to the power of his word. Pharaoh's people should furnish Israel with riches at their departure. In Pharaoh's tyranny and Israel's oppression, we see the miserable, abject state of sinners. However galling the yoke, they drudge on till the Lord sends redemption. With the invitations of the gospel, God sends the teaching of his Spirit. Thus are men made willing to seek and to strive for deliverance. Satan loses his power to hold them, they come forth with all they have and are, and apply all to the glory of God and the service of his church.

Cross References 41

  • 1. Exodus 2:18; Exodus 4:18; Exodus 18:12; Numbers 10:29
  • 2. Exodus 3:12; Exodus 17:6; Exodus 33:6; 1 Kings 19:8
  • 3. Exodus 4:27; Exodus 18:5; Exodus 24:13
  • 4. Genesis 16:7-11; Genesis 21:17; Genesis 22:11, 15; Ex 3:4-11, 16; Judges 13:13-21; Acts 7:30
  • 5. Deuteronomy 33:16; Mark 12:26; Luke 20:37; Acts 7:30
  • 6. Acts 7:31
  • 7. Exodus 4:5
  • 8. Joshua 5:15; Acts 7:33
  • 9. Genesis 28:13; Exodus 3:16; Exodus 4:5; Matthew 22:32; Mark 12:26; Luke 20:37
  • 10. Acts 7:32
  • 11. Judges 13:22; Revelation 1:17
  • 12. Exodus 2:25; Nehemiah 9:9; Psalms 106:44; Isaiah 63:9; Acts 7:34
  • 13. Genesis 15:13-16; Genesis 46:4; Genesis 50:24, 25; Exodus 6:6-8; Exodus 12:51
  • 14. Exodus 3:17; Exodus 13:5; Numbers 13:27; Deuteronomy 1:25; Deuteronomy 8:7-9; Jeremiah 11:5; Ezekiel 20:6
  • 15. Genesis 15:19-21; Joshua 24:11
  • 16. Exodus 2:23
  • 17. Genesis 15:13, 14; Exodus 12:40, 41; Micah 6:4; Acts 7:6, 7
  • 18. Exodus 4:10; Exodus 6:12; 1 Samuel 18:18
  • 19. Genesis 31:3; Exodus 4:12, 15; Exodus 33:14-16; Deuteronomy 31:23; Joshua 1:5; Isaiah 43:2
  • 20. Exodus 19:1
  • 21. Exodus 19:2, 3; Acts 7:7
  • 22. Exodus 6:3; John 8:24, 28, 58; Hebrews 13:8; Revelation 1:8; Revelation 4:8
  • 23. Exodus 3:6, 13
  • 24. Psalms 30:4; Psalms 97:12; Psalms 102:12; Psalms 135:13; Hosea 12:5
  • 25. Exodus 4:29
  • 26. Genesis 28:13; Genesis 48:15; Exodus 3:2, 6; Exodus 4:5
  • 27. Exodus 4:31; Psalms 33:18
  • 28. Genesis 15:13-21; Genesis 46:4; Genesis 50:24, 25
  • 29. Joshua 24:11
  • 30. Exodus 3:8
  • 31. Exodus 4:31
  • 32. Exodus 5:1
  • 33. Exodus 5:3; Exodus 8:27
  • 34. Exodus 5:2
  • 35. Exodus 6:1
  • 36. Exodus 6:1; Exodus 7:4, 5; Exodus 9:15; Exodus 13:3, 9, 14
  • 37. Exodus 7:3; Exodus 15:11; Deuteronomy 6:22; Nehemiah 9:10; Psalms 105:27; Psalms 135:9; Jeremiah 32:20; Acts 7:36
  • 38. Exodus 11:1; Exodus 12:31-33
  • 39. Exodus 11:3; Exodus 12:36; 1 Kings 8:50; Psalms 105:37; Psalms 106:46; Proverbs 16:7
  • 40. Genesis 15:14; Exodus 11:2; Exodus 12:35
  • 41. Ezekiel 39:10

Footnotes 13

  • [a]. Or "rear part"
  • [b]. Lit "the"
  • [c]. Lit "Let me turn"
  • [d]. Lit "great"
  • [e]. Lit "hand"
  • [f]. Or "serve"
  • [g]. Related to the name of God, "YHWH," rendered LORD, which is derived from the verb "HAYAH, to be"
  • [h]. Related to the name of God, "YHWH," rendered LORD, which is derived from the verb "HAYAH, to be"
  • [i]. Related to the name of God, "YHWH," rendered LORD, which is derived from the verb "HAYAH, to be"
  • [j]. Lit "to generation of generation"
  • [k]. Lit "Visiting I have visited"
  • [l]. Lit "hear your voice"
  • [m]. Lit "by a strong hand"

Chapter Summary


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 Commentaries