Exodus 4-6 Revised Standard Version

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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, "A rod." 3  And he said, "Cast it on the ground." So he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. 4  But the Lord said to Moses, "Put out your hand, and take it by the tail" --so he put out his hand and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand-- 5  "that they may believe that the Lord, the 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 into your bosom." And he put his hand into his bosom; and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, as white as snow. 7  Then God said, "Put your hand back into your bosom." So he put his hand back into his bosom; and when he took it out, behold, it was restored like the rest of his flesh. 8  "If they will not believe you," God said, "or heed the first sign, they may believe the latter sign. 9  If they will not believe even these two signs or heed your voice, you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it upon the dry ground; and the water which you shall take from the Nile will become blood upon the dry ground."

10  But Moses said to the Lord, "Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either heretofore or since thou hast spoken to thy servant; but I am slow of speech and of tongue." 11  Then the Lord said to him, "Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him dumb, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12  Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak." 13  But he said, "Oh, my Lord, send, I pray, some other person." 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; and behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you he will be glad in his heart. 15  And you shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth; and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and will teach you what you shall do. 16  He shall speak for you to the people; and he shall be a mouth for you, and you shall be to him as God. 17  And you shall take in your hand this rod, with which you shall do the signs."

Moses Returns to Egypt

18  Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, "Let me go back, I pray, to my kinsmen in Egypt and see whether they are still alive." And Jethro said to Moses, "Go in peace." 19  And the Lord said to Moses in Mid'ian, "Go back to Egypt; for all the men who were seeking your life are dead." 20  So Moses took his wife and his sons and set them on an ass, and went back to the land of Egypt; and in his hand Moses took the rod of God. 21  And the Lord said to Moses, "When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. 22  And you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the Lord, Israel is my first-born 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 will slay your first-born son.'"

24  At a lodging place on the way the Lord met him and sought to kill him. 25  Then Zippo'rah took a flint and cut off her son's foreskin, and touched Moses' feet with it, and said, "Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!" 26  So he let him alone. Then it was that she said, "You are a bridegroom of blood," because of the circumcision. 27  The Lord said to Aaron, "Go into the wilderness to meet Moses." So he went, and met him at the mountain of God and kissed him. 28  And Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord with which he had sent him, and all the signs which he had charged him to do. 29  Then Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the people of Israel. 30  And Aaron spoke all the words which the Lord had spoken to Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. 31  And the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the people of Israel and that he had seen their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshiped.

Moses and Aaron before Pharaoh

5 Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, "Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, 'Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.'" 2  But Pharaoh said, "Who is the Lord, that I should heed his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and moreover I will not let Israel go."

3  Then they said, "The God of the Hebrews has met with us; let us go, we pray, a three days' journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to the Lord our God, lest he fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword." 4  But the king of Egypt said to them, "Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people away from their work? Get to your burdens." 5  And Pharaoh said, "Behold, the people of the land are now many and you make them rest from their burdens!" 6  The same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their foremen, 7  "You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as heretofore; let them go and gather straw for themselves. 8  But the number of bricks which they made heretofore you shall lay upon them, you shall by no means lessen it; for they are idle; therefore they cry, 'Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.' 9  Let heavier work be laid upon the men that they may labor at it and pay no regard to lying words."

10  So the taskmasters and the foremen of the people went out and said to the people, "Thus says Pharaoh, 'I will not give you straw. 11  Go yourselves, get your straw wherever you can find it; but your work will not be lessened in the least.'" 12  So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt, to gather stubble for straw. 13  The taskmasters were urgent, saying, "Complete your work, your daily task, as when there was straw." 14  And the foremen of the people of Israel, whom Pharaoh's taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and were asked, "Why have you not done all your task of making bricks today, as hitherto?"

15  Then the foremen of the people of Israel came and cried to Pharaoh, "Why do you deal thus with your servants? 16  No straw is given to your servants, yet they say to us, 'Make bricks!' And behold, your servants are beaten; but the fault is in your own people." 17  But he said, "You are idle, you are idle; therefore you say, 'Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.' 18  Go now, and work; for no straw shall be given you, yet you shall deliver the same number of bricks." 19  The foremen of the people of Israel saw that they were in evil plight, when they said, "You shall by no means lessen your daily number of bricks." 20  They met Moses and Aaron, who were waiting for them, as they came forth from Pharaoh; 21  and they said to them, "The Lord look upon you and judge, because you have made us offensive in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants, and have put a sword in their hand to kill us."

The LORD's Charge to Moses and Aaron

22  Then Moses turned again to the Lord and said, "O Lord, why hast thou done evil to this people? Why didst thou ever send me? 23  For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he has done evil to this people, and thou hast not delivered thy people at all."

6 But the Lord said to Moses, "Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand he will send them out, yea, with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land." 2  And God said to Moses, "I am the Lord. 3  I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself known to them. 4  I also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they dwelt as sojourners. 5  Moreover I have heard the groaning of the people of Israel whom the Egyptians hold in bondage and I have remembered my covenant. 6  Say therefore to the people of Israel, 'I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment, 7  and I will take you for my people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8  And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord.'" 9  Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel; but they did not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and their cruel bondage.

10  And the Lord said to Moses, 11  "Go in, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the people of Israel go out of his land." 12  But Moses said to the Lord, "Behold, the people of Israel have not listened to me; how then shall Pharaoh listen to me, who am a man of uncircumcised lips?" 13  But the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, and gave them a charge to the people of Israel and to Pharaoh king of Egypt to bring the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt.

14  These are the heads of their fathers' houses: the sons of Reuben, the first-born of Israel: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi; these are the families of Reuben. 15  The sons of Simeon: Jemu'el, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman; these are the families of Simeon. 16  These are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations: Gershon, Kohath, and Merar'i, the years of the life of Levi being a hundred and thirty-seven years. 17  The sons of Gershon: Libni and Shim'e-i, by their families. 18  The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uz'ziel, the years of the life of Kohath being a hundred and thirty-three years. 19  The sons of Merar'i: Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites according to their generations. 20  Amram took to wife Joch'ebed his father's sister and she bore him Aaron and Moses, the years of the life of Amram being one hundred and thirty-seven years. 21  The sons of Izhar: Korah, Nepheg, and Zichri. 22  And the sons of Uz'ziel: Mi'sha-el, Elza'phan, and Sithri. 23  Aaron took to wife Eli'sheba, the daughter of Ammin'adab and the sister of Nahshon; and she bore him Nadab, Abi'hu, Elea'zar, and Ith'amar. 24  The sons of Korah: Assir, Elka'nah, and Abi'asaph; these are the families of the Ko'rahites. 25  Elea'zar, Aaron's son, took to wife one of the daughters of Pu'ti-el; and she bore him Phin'ehas. These are the heads of the fathers' houses of the Levites by their families. 26  These are the Aaron and Moses to whom the Lord said: "Bring out the people of Israel from the land of Egypt by their hosts." 27  It was they who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt about bringing out the people of Israel from Egypt, this Moses and this Aaron. 28  On the day when the Lord spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, 29  the Lord said to Moses, "I am the Lord; tell Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say to you." 30  But Moses said to the Lord, "Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips; how then shall Pharaoh listen to me?"

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