The Burning Bush
3 Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the wmountain of God. 2 xAnd ythe angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” 4 When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, zGod called to him aout of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5 Then he said, “Do not come near; btake your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” 6 And he said, c“I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for dhe was afraid to look at God.
7 Then the Lord said, e“I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their ftaskmasters. I know their sufferings, 8 and gI have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and hto bring them up out of that land to a igood and broad land, a land jflowing with milk and honey, to the place of kthe Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 9 And now, behold, lthe cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the moppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10 nCome, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” 11 But Moses said to God, o“Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” 12 He said, p“But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, qyou shall serve God on this mountain.”
13 Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.”1 And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: r‘I am has sent me to you.’” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The Lord,2 the sGod of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is tmy name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. 16 Go and ugather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, v“I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt, 17 and I promise that wI will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land wflowing with milk and honey.”’ 18 And xthey will listen to your voice, and you and the elders of Israel yshall go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has zmet with us; and now, please let us go a three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.’ 19 But I know that the king of Egypt awill not let you go unless compelled bby a mighty hand.3 20 So cI will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with dall the wonders that I will do in it; eafter that he will let you go. 21 And fI will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and when you go, you shall not go empty, 22 but each woman shall ask of her neighbor, and any woman who lives in her house, for gsilver and gold jewelry, and for clothing. You shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So hyou shall plunder the Egyptians.”
Moses Given Powerful Signs
4 Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you.’” 2 The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, i“A staff.” 3 And he said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent, and Moses ran from it. 4 But the Lord said to Moses, “Put out your hand and catch it by the tail”—so he put out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand— 5 “that they may jbelieve that the Lord, kthe God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.” 6 Again, the Lord said to him, “Put your hand inside your cloak.”1 And he put his hand inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was lleprous2 like snow. 7 Then God said, “Put your hand back inside your cloak.” So he put his hand back inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, mit was restored like the rest of his flesh. 8 “If they will not believe you,” God said, “or listen to the first sign, they may believe the latter sign. 9 If they will not believe even these two signs or listen to your voice, you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground, and the water that you shall take from the Nile nwill become blood on the dry ground.”
10 But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but oI am slow of speech and of tongue.” 11 Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now therefore go, and pI will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” 13 But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” 14 Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses and he said, “Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Behold, qhe is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. 15 rYou shall speak to him and sput the words in his mouth, and pI will be with your mouth and with his mouth and will teach you both what to do. 16 tHe shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be your mouth, and uyou shall be as God to him. 17 And take in your hand vthis staff, with which you shall do the signs.”
Moses Returns to Egypt
18 Moses went back to wJethro his father-in-law and said to him, “Please let me go back to my brothers in Egypt to see whether they are still alive.” And Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.” 19 And the Lord said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for xall the men who were seeking your life are dead.” 20 So Moses took yhis wife and his sons and had them ride on a donkey, and went back to the land of Egypt. And Moses took zthe staff of God in his hand.
21 And the Lord said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the amiracles that I have put in your power. But bI will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. 22 Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord, cIsrael is my dfirstborn son, 23 and I say to you, “Let my son go that he may serve me.” If you refuse to let him go, behold, I ewill kill your firstborn son.’”
24 At a lodging place on the way fthe Lord met him and gsought to put him to death. 25 Then hZipporah took a iflint and cut off her son's foreskin and touched Moses'3 feet with it and said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!” 26 So he let him alone. It was then that she said, “A bridegroom of blood,” because of the circumcision.
27 The Lord said to Aaron, “Go into the wilderness jto meet Moses.” So he went and met him at the kmountain of God and kissed him. 28 And Moses ltold Aaron all the words of the Lord with which he had sent him to speak, and all mthe signs that he had commanded him to do. 29 Then Moses and Aaron nwent and gathered together all the elders of the people of Israel. 30 oAaron spoke all the words that the Lord had spoken to Moses and did the signs in the sight of the people. 31 And the people pbelieved; and when they heard that the Lord had qvisited the people of Israel and that he had rseen their affliction, sthey bowed their heads and worshiped.