Exodus 4; Exodus 5; Exodus 6

1 Then Moses answered, "What if the people of Israel do not believe me or listen to me? What if they say, 'The Lord did not appear to you'?" 2 The Lord said to him, "What is that in your hand?" Moses answered, "It is my walking stick." 3 The Lord said, "Throw it on the ground." So Moses threw it on the ground, and it became a snake. Moses ran from the snake, 4 but the Lord said to him, "Reach out and grab the snake by its tail." When Moses reached out and took hold of the snake, it again became a stick in his hand. 5 The Lord said, "This is so that the Israelites will believe that the Lord appeared to you. I am the God of their ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." 6 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Put your hand inside your coat." So Moses put his hand inside his coat. When he took it out, it was white with a skin disease. 7 Then he said, "Now put your hand inside your coat again." So Moses put his hand inside his coat again. When he took it out, his hand was healthy again, like the rest of his skin. 8 Then the Lord said, "If the people do not believe you or pay attention to the first miracle,d they may believe you when you show them this second miracle. 9 After these two miracles, if they still do not believe or listen to you, take some water from the Nile River and pour it on the dry ground. The water will become blood when it touches the ground." 10 But Moses said to the Lord, "Please, Lord, I have never been a skilled speaker. Even now, after talking to you, I cannot speak well. I speak slowly and can't find the best words." 11 Then the Lord said to him, "Who made a person's mouth? And who makes someone deaf or not able to speak? Or who gives a person sight or blindness? It is I, the Lord. 12 Now go! I will help you speak, and I will teach you what to say." 13 But Moses said, "Please, Lord, send someone else." 14 The Lord became angry with Moses and said, "Your brother Aaron, from the family of Levi, is a skilled speaker. He is already coming to meet you, and he will be happy when he sees you. 15 You will speak to Aaron and tell him what to say. I will help both of you to speak and will teach you what to do. 16 Aaron will speak to the people for you. You will tell him what God says, and he will speak for you. 17 Take your walking stick with you, and use it to do the miracles." 18 Moses went back to Jethro, his father-in-law, and said to him, "Let me go back to my people in Egypt. I want to see if they are still alive." Jethro said to Moses, "Go! I wish you well." 19 While Moses was still in Midian, the Lord said to him, "Go back to Egypt, because the men who wanted to kill you are dead now." 20 So Moses took his wife and his sons, put them on a donkey, and started back to Egypt. He took with him the walking stick of God. 21 The Lord said to Moses, "When you get back to Egypt, do all the miraclesd I have given you the power to do. Show them to the king of Egypt. But I will make the king very stubborn, and he will not let the people go. 22 Then say to the king, 'This is what the Lord says: Israel is my firstborn son. 23 I told you to let my son go so he may worship me. But you refused to let Israel go, so I will kill your firstborn son.'" 24 As Moses was on his way to Egypt, he stopped at a resting place for the night. The Lord met him there and tried to kill him. 25 But Zipporah took a flint knife and circumcised her son. Taking the skin, she touched Moses' feet with it and said to him, "You are a bridegroom of blood to me." 26 She said, "You are a bridegroom of blood," because she had to circumcise her son. So the Lord let Moses alone. 27 Meanwhile the Lord said to Aaron, "Go out into the desert to meet Moses." When Aaron went, he met Moses at Sinai, the mountain of God, and kissed him. 28 Moses told Aaron everything the Lord had said to him when he sent him to Egypt. He also told him about the miracles which the Lord had commanded him to do. 29 Moses and Aaron gathered all the older leaders of the Israelites, 30 and Aaron told them everything that the Lord had told Moses. Then Moses did the miracles for all the people to see, 31 and the Israelites believed. When they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their troubles, they bowed down and worshiped him.
1 After Moses and Aaron talked to the people, they went to the king of Egypt and said, "This is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: 'Let my people go so they may hold a feast for me in the desert.'" 2 But the king of Egypt said, "Who is the Lord? Why should I obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and I will not let Israel go." 3 Then Aaron and Moses said, "The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Now let us travel three days into the desert to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God. If we don't do this, he may kill us with a disease or in war." 4 But the king said to them, "Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people away from their work? Go back to your jobs! 5 There are very many Hebrews, and now you want them to quit working!" 6 That same day the king gave a command to the slave masters and foremen. 7 He said, "Don't give the people straw to make bricks as you used to do. Let them gather their own straw. 8 But they must still make the same number of bricks as they did before. Do not accept fewer. They have become lazy, and that is why they are asking me, 'Let us go to offer sacrifices to our God.' 9 Make these people work harder and keep them busy; then they will not have time to listen to the lies of Moses." 10 So the slave masters and foremen went to the Israelites and said, "This is what the king says: I will no longer give you straw. 11 Go and get your own straw wherever you can find it. But you must make as many bricks as you made before." 12 So the people went everywhere in Egypt looking for dry stalks to use for straw. 13 The slave masters kept forcing the people to work harder. They said, "You must make just as many bricks as you did when you were given straw." 14 The king's slave masters had made the Israelite foremen responsible for the work the people did. The Egyptian slave masters beat these men and asked them, "Why aren't you making as many bricks as you made in the past?" 15 Then the Israelite foremen went to the king and complained, "Why are you treating us, your servants, this way? 16 You give us no straw, but we are commanded to make bricks. Our slave masters beat us, but it is your own people's fault." 17 The king answered, "You are lazy! You don't want to work! That is why you ask to leave here and make sacrifices to the Lord. 18 Now, go back to work! We will not give you any straw, but you must make just as many bricks as you did before." 19 The Israelite foremen knew they were in trouble, because the king had told them, "You must make just as many bricks each day as you did before." 20 As they were leaving the meeting with the king, they met Moses and Aaron, who were waiting for them. 21 So they said to Moses and Aaron, "May the Lord punish you. You caused the king and his officers to hate us. You have given them an excuse to kill us." 22 Then Moses returned to the Lord and said, "Lord, why have you brought this trouble on your people? Is this why you sent me here? 23 I went to the king and said what you told me to say, but ever since that time he has made the people suffer. And you have done nothing to save them."
1 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Now you will see what I will do to the king of Egypt. I will use my great power against him, and he will let my people go. Because of my power, he will force them out of his country." 2 Then God said to Moses, "I am the Lord. 3 I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob by the name God Almighty, but they did not know me by my name, the Lord. 4 I also made my agreement with them to give them the land of Canaan. They lived in that land, but it was not their own. 5 Now I have heard the cries of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are treating as slaves, and I remember my agreement. 6 So tell the people of Israel that I say to them, 'I am the Lord. I will save you from the hard work the Egyptians force you to do. I will make you free, so you will not be slaves to the Egyptians. I will free you by my great power, and I will punish the Egyptians terribly. 7 I will make you my own people, and I will be your God. You will know that I am the Lord your God, the One who saves you from the hard work the Egyptians force you to do. 8 I will lead you to the land that I promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give you that land to own. I am the Lord.'" 9 So Moses told this to the Israelites, but they would not listen to him. They were discouraged, and their slavery was hard. 10 Then the Lord said to Moses, 11 "Go tell the king of Egypt that he must let the Israelites leave his land." 12 But Moses answered, "The Israelites will not listen to me, so surely the king will not listen to me either. I am not a good speaker." 13 But the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron and gave them orders about the Israelites and the king of Egypt. He commanded them to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. 14 These are the leaders of the families of Israel: Israel's first son, Reuben, had four sons: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. These are the family groups of Reuben. 15 Simeon's sons were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman. These are the family groups of Simeon. 16 Levi lived one hundred thirty-seven years. These are the names of his sons according to their family history: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 17 Gershon had two sons, Libni and Shimei, with their families. 18 Kohath lived one hundred thirty-three years. The sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. 19 The sons of Merari were Mahli and Mushi. These are the family groups of Levi, according to their family history. 20 Amram married his father's sister Jochebed, who gave birth to Aaron and Moses. Amram lived one hundred thirty-seven years. 21 Izhar's sons were Korah, Nepheg, and Zicri. 22 Uzziel's sons were Mishael, Elzaphan, and Sithri. 23 Aaron married Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab and the sister of Nahshon. Elisheba gave birth to Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 24 The sons of Korah were Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph. These are the family groups of the Korahites. 25 Eleazar son of Aaron married a daughter of Putiel, and she gave birth to Phinehas. These are the leaders of the family groups of the Levites. 26 This was the Aaron and Moses to whom the Lord said, "Lead the people of Israel out of Egypt by their divisions." 27 Aaron and Moses are the ones who talked to the king of Egypt and told him to let the Israelites leave Egypt. 28 The Lord spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt 29 and said, "I am the Lord. Tell the king of Egypt everything I tell you." 30 But Moses answered, "I am not a good speaker. The king will not listen to me."
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