Highlights from this Passage
- Moses keeps sheep, and God appears to him in a bush.
- God sends him to deliver the children of Israel.
- God reveals his personal name to Moses.
Now Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the back of the wilderness, and came to God’s mountain, to Horeb. Yahweh’sangel appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the middle of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. Moses said, “I will go now, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.”
When Yahweh saw that he came over to see, God called to him out of the middle of the bush, and said, “Moses! Moses!”
He said, “Here I am.”
He said, “Don’t come close. Take off your sandals, for the place you are standing on is holy ground.” Moreover he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”
Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God.
Yahweh said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey; to the place of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. Now, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to me. Moreover I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come now therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”
Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”
He said, “Certainly I will be with you. This will be the token to you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”
Moses said to God, “Behold, when I come to the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what should I tell them?”
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM,” and he said, “You shall tell the children of Israel this: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” God said moreover to Moses, “You shall tell the children of Israel this, ‘Yahweh, 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 memorial to all generations. Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and tell them, ‘Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt. I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, to a land flowing with milk and honey.”’ They will listen to your voice. You shall come, you and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt, and you shall tell him, ‘Yahweh, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Now please let us go three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to Yahweh, our God.’ I know that the king of Egypt won’t give you permission to go, no, not by a mighty hand. I will reach out my hand and strike Egypt with all my wonders which I will do among them, and after that he will let you go. I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, and it will happen that when you go, you shall not go empty-handed. But every woman shall ask of her neighbor, and of her who visits her house, jewels of silver, jewels of gold, and clothing. You shall put them on your sons, and on your daughters. You shall plunder the Egyptians.”
Moses answered, “But, behold, they will not believe me, nor listen to my voice; for they will say, ‘Yahweh has not appeared to you.’”
Yahweh said to him, “What is that in your hand?”
He said, “A rod.”
He said, “Throw it on the ground.”
He threw it on the ground, and it became a snake; and Moses ran away from it.
Yahweh said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand, and take it by the tail.”
He stretched out his hand, and took hold of it, and it became a rod in his hand.
“This is so that they may believe that Yahweh, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.” Yahweh said furthermore to him, “Now put your hand inside your cloak.”
He put his hand inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, as white as snow.
He said, “Put your hand inside your cloak again.”
He put his hand inside his cloak again, and when he took it out of his cloak, behold, it had turned again as his other flesh.
“It will happen, if they will not believe you or listen to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign. It will happen, if they will not believe even these two signs or listen to your voice, that you shall take of the water of the river, and pour it on the dry land. The water which you take out of the river will become blood on the dry land.”
Moses said to Yahweh, “O Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before now, nor since you have spoken to your servant; for I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.”
Yahweh said to him, “Who made man’s mouth? Or who makes one mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Isn’t it I, Yahweh? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth, and teach you what you shall speak.”
Moses said, “Oh, Lord, please send someone else.”
Yahweh’s anger burned against Moses, and he said, “What about Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Also, behold, he is coming out to meet you. When he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. You shall speak to him, and put the words in his mouth. I will be with your mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what you shall do. He will be your spokesman to the people. It will happen that he will be to you a mouth, and you will be to him as God. You shall take this rod in your hand, with which you shall do the signs.”
Moses went and returned to Jethro his father-in-law, and said to him, “Please let me go and return to my brothers who are in Egypt, and see whether they are still alive.”
Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.”
Yahweh said to Moses in Midian, “Go, return into Egypt; for all the men who sought your life are dead.”
Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them on a donkey, and he returned to the land of Egypt. Moses took God’s rod in his hand. Yahweh said to Moses, “When you go back into Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your hand, but I will harden his heart and he will not let the people go. You shall tell Pharaoh, ‘Yahweh says, Israel is my son, my firstborn, and I have said to you, “Let my son go, that he may serve me;” and you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your firstborn son.’”
On the way at a lodging place, Yahweh met Moses and wanted to kill him. Then Zipporah took a flint, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet; and she said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me.”
So he let him alone. Then she said, “You are a bridegroom of blood,” because of the circumcision.
Yahweh said to Aaron, “Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.”
He went, and met him on God’s mountain, and kissed him. Moses told Aaron all Yahweh’s words with which he had sent him, and all the signs with which he had instructed him.