Moses at the Burning Bush
1Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.2There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed.3Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.”4When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”5Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”6He said further, “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 he was afraid to look at God.7Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings,8and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.9The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them.10So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.”11But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”12He said, “I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.”The Divine Name Revealed
13But Moses said to God, “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?”14God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” He said further, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”15God also said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your ancestors, 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 my title for all generations.16Go and assemble the elders of Israel, and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying: I have given heed to you and to what has been done to you in Egypt.17I declare that I will bring you up out of the misery of Egypt, to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey.’18They will listen to your voice; and you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; let us now go a three days' journey into the wilderness, so that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.’19I know, however, that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand.20So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all my wonders that I will perform in it; after that he will let you go.21I will bring this people into such favor with the Egyptians that, when you go, you will not go empty-handed;22each woman shall ask her neighbor and any woman living in the neighbor's house for jewelry of silver and of gold, and clothing, and you shall put them on your sons and on your daughters; and so you shall plunder the Egyptians.”Chapter 4Moses' Miraculous Power
1Then Moses answered, “But suppose they do not believe me or listen to me, but say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you.’ ”2The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.”3And he said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw the staff on the ground, and it became a snake; and Moses drew back from it.4Then the Lord said to Moses, “Reach out your hand, and seize it by the tail”—so he reached out his hand and grasped it, and it became a staff in his hand—5“so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.”6Again, the Lord said to him, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” He put his hand into his cloak; and when he took it out, his hand was leprous, as white as snow.7Then God said, “Put your hand back into your cloak”—so he put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored like the rest of his body—8“If they will not believe you or heed the first sign, they may believe the second sign.9If they will not believe even these two signs or heed you, 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 will become blood on the dry ground.”10But Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor even now that you have spoken to your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”11Then the Lord said to him, “Who gives speech to mortals? Who makes them mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?12Now go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you are to speak.”13But he said, “O my Lord, please send someone else.”14Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses and he said, “What of your brother Aaron, the Levite? I know that he can speak fluently; even now he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you his heart will be glad.15You 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.16He indeed shall speak for you to the people; he shall serve as a mouth for you, and you shall serve as God for him.17Take in your hand this staff, with which you shall perform the signs.”Moses Returns to Egypt
18Moses went back to his father-in-law Jethro and said to him, “Please let me go back to my kindred in Egypt and see whether they are still living.” And Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.”19The Lord said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt; for all those who were seeking your life are dead.”20So Moses took his wife and his sons, put them on a donkey and went back to the land of Egypt; and Moses carried the staff of God in his hand.21And the Lord said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders that I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.22Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord: Israel is my firstborn son.23I said to you, “Let my son go that he may worship me.” But you refused to let him go; now I will kill your firstborn son.’ ”24On the way, at a place where they spent the night, the Lord met him and tried to kill him.25But Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son's foreskin, and touched Moses' feet with it, and said, “Truly you are a bridegroom of blood to me!”26So he let him alone. It was then she said, “A bridegroom of blood by circumcision.”27The Lord said to Aaron, “Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.” So he went; and he met him at the mountain of God and kissed him.28Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord with which he had sent him, and all the signs with which he had charged him.29Then Moses and Aaron went and assembled all the elders of the Israelites.30Aaron spoke all the words that the Lord had spoken to Moses, and performed the signs in the sight of the people.31The people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had given heed to the Israelites and that he had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.