Exodus 4

1 Moses answered and sayde: Se, they wil not beleue me nor herke vnto my voyce: but wil saye, the Lorde hath not apeared vnto the.
2 Then the Lorde saide vnto him: what is that in thine hande? and he sayde, a rodd.
3 And he sayde, cast it on the grounde, and it turned vnto a serpent. And Moses ra awaye from it.
4 And the Lorde sayde vnto Moses: put forth thine hande ad take it by the tayle. And he put forth his hande and caught it, and it became a rodd agayne in his hand,
5 that they may beleue that the Lorde God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac ad the God of Iacob hath appeared vnto the.
6 And the Lorde sayde forther more vnto him: thrust thine hande in to thy bosome. And he thrust his hande in to his bosome and toke it out. And beholde, his hand was leporous euen as snowe.
7 And he saide: put thine hande in to thy bosome agayne. And he put his hande in to his bosome agayne, and plucked it out of his bosome, and beholde, it was turned agayn as his other flesh.
8 Yf they will not beleue the nether heare the voyce of the first token: yet will they beleue the voyce of the seconde toke
9 But and yf they will not beleue the two signes nether herken vnto thy voyce, then take of the water of the riuer and poure it vpon the drye lond. And the water which thou takest out of the riuer shall turne to bloude vpon the drie londe.
10 And Moses sayde vnto the Lorde: oh my Lorde. I am not eloquet, no not in tymes past and namely sence thou hast spoken vnto thy seruaunte: but I am slowe mouthed and slowe tongued.
11 And the Lorde sayde vnto hi: who hath made mas mouth, or who hath made the domme or the deaff, the seynge or the blynde? haue not I the Lorde?
12 Go therfore and I wilbe with thy mouth and teach the what thou shalt saye.
13 And he sayde: oh my Lorde, send I pray the whome thou wilt.
14 And the Lorde was angrie with Moses and sayde: I knowe Aaro thy brother the leuite that he can speake. And morouer behold, he cometh out agaynst the, ad whe he seyth the, he wilbe glad i his hert.
15 And thou shalt speake vnto hi and put the wordes in his mouth, ad I wilbe with thy mouth ad with his mouth, ad will teach you what ye shal do.
16 And he shalbe thy spokesma vnto the people: he shall be thy mouth ad thou shalt be his God.
17 and take this rodd in thy hade, wherwith thou shalt do myracles.
18 And Moses went ad returned to Iethro his father in lawe agayne ad seyde vnto hi: let me goo (I praye the) ad turne agayne vnto my brethern which are in Egipte, that I may se whether they be yet alyue. And Iethro sayde to Moses: goo in peace.
19 And the Lorde sayde vnto Moses in Madia: returne agayne in to Egipte for they are dead which wet aboute to kyll the
20 And Moses toke his wife and his sonnes and put them on an asse, and went agayne to Egipte, and toke the rodd of God in his hande.
21 And the Lorde sayde vnto Moses: when thou art come in to Egipte agayne, se that thou doo all the wondres before Pharao which I haue put in thy hande: but I will harden his herte, so that he shall not let the people goo.
22 And tell Pharao, thus sayth the Lorde: Israel is mine eldest sonne,
23 and therfore sayth vnto the: let my sonne goo, that he may serue me. Yf thou wilt not let hi goo: beholde, I will slee thine eldest sonne.
24 And it chaunced by the waye in the ynne, that the Lorde mett him and wolde haue kylled him.
25 Than Zepora toke a stone ad circumcised hyr sonne and fell at hys fette, and sayde: a bloudy husband art thou vnto me.
26 And he lett him goo. She sayde a bloudy husbonde, because of the circumcision.
27 Than sayde the Lorde vnto Aaron: go mete Moses in the wildernesse. And he went and mett him in the mounte of God and kissed hi
28 And Moses told Aaron all the wordes of the Lorde which he had sent by him, ad all the tokens which he had charged him with all.
29 So went Moses and Aaron and gatherd all the elders of the childern of Israel.
30 And Aaro told all the wordes which the Lorde had spoke vnto Moses, and dyd the myracles in the syght of the people,
31 and the people beleued. And whe they herde that the Lord had visited the children of Israel and had loked vpon their tribulacion, they bowed them selues and worshipped

Exodus 4 Commentary

Chapter 4

God gives Moses power to work miracles. (1-9) Moses is loth to be sent, Aaron is to assist him. (10-17) Moses leaves Midian, God's message to Pharaoh. (18-23) God's displeasure against Moses, Aaron meets him, The people believe them. (24-31)

Verses 1-9 Moses objects, that the people would not take his word, unless he showed them some sign. God gives him power to work miracles. But those who are now employed to deliver God's messages to men, need not the power to work miracles: their character and their doctrines are to be tried by that word of God to which they appeal. These miracles especially referred to the miracles of the Lord Jesus Christ. It belonged to Him only, to cast the power of the devil out of the soul, and to heal the soul of the leprosy of sin; and so it was for Him first to cast the devil out of the body, and to heal the leprosy of the body.

Verses 10-17 Moses continued backward to the work God designed him for; there was much of cowardice, slothfulness, and unbelief in him. We must not judge of men by the readiness of their discourse. A great deal of wisdom and true worth may be with a slow tongue. God sometimes makes choice of those as his messengers, who have the least of the advantages of art or nature, that his grace in them may appear the more glorious. Christ's disciples were no orators, till the Holy Spirit made them such. God condescends to answer the excuse of Moses. Even self-diffidence, when it hinders us from duty, or clogs us in duty, is very displeasing to the Lord. But while we blame Moses for shrinking from this dangerous service, let us ask our own hearts if we are not neglecting duties more easy, and less perilous. The tongue of Aaron, with the head and heart of Moses, would make one completely fit for this errand. God promises, I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth. Even Aaron, who could speak well, yet could not speak to purpose, unless God gave constant teaching and help; for without the constant aid of Divine grace, the best gifts will fail.

Verses 18-23 After God had appeared in the bush, he often spake to Moses. Pharaoh had hardened his own heart against the groans and cries of the oppressed Israelites; and now God, in the way of righteous judgment, hardens his heart against the teaching of the miracles, and the terror of the plagues. But whether Pharaoh will hear, or whether he will forbear, Moses must tell him, Thus saith the Lord. He must demand a discharge for Israel, Let my son go; not only my servant, whom thou hast no right to detain, but my son. It is my son that serves me, and therefore must be spared, must be pleaded for. In case of refusal I will slay thy son, even thy first-born. As men deal with God's people, let them expect so to be dealt with.

Verses 24-31 God met Moses in anger. The Lord threatened him with death or sent sickness upon him, as the punishment of his having neglected to circumcise his son. When God discovers to us what is amiss in our lives, we must give all diligence to amend it speedily. This is the voice of every rod; it calls us to return to Him that smites us. God sent Aaron to meet Moses. The more they saw of God's bringing them together, the more pleasant their interview was. The elders of Israel met them in faith, and were ready to obey them. It often happens, that less difficulty is found than was expected, in such undertakings as are according to the will of God, and for his glory. Let us but arise and try at our proper work, the Lord will be with us and prosper us. If Israel welcomed the tidings of their deliverance, and worshipped the Lord, how should we welcome the glad tidings of redemption, embrace it in faith, and adore the Redeemer!

Chapter Summary


This chapter is a continuation of the discourse that passed between God and Moses; and here Moses makes other objections to his mission; one is taken from the unbelief of the people of Israel, which is removed by giving him power to work miracles, by turning the rod in his hand into a serpent, and then into a rod again; and by putting his hand into his bosom at one time, when it became leprous, and again into the same place, when it became sound and whole, and by turning the water of the river into blood, Ex 4:1-9, another objection is formed from his want of eloquence, which is answered with an assurance, that God, that made man's mouth, would be with his mouth, and teach him what to say; and besides, Aaron his brother, who was an eloquent man, should be his spokesman, Ex 4:10-17 upon which he returned to Midian, and having obtained leave of his father-in-law to depart from thence, he took his wife and his sons, and returned to Egypt, Ex 4:18-20 at which time he received some fresh instructions from the Lord what he should do before Pharaoh, and what he should say unto him, Ex 4:21-23 then follows an account of what befell him by the way, because of the circumcision of his son, Ex 4:24-26 and the chapter is closed with an account of the meeting of Moses and Aaron, and of their gathering the elders of Israel together, to whom the commission of Moses was opened, and signs done before them, to which they gave credit, and expressed their joy and thankfulness, Ex 4:27-31.

Exodus 4 Commentaries

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