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ESV — Exodus 4

Moses Given Powerful Signs

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.’” The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, i“A staff.” 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. 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—“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.” 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. 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. “If they will not believe you,” God said, “or listen to the first sign, they may believe the latter sign. 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.

Footnotes

[1] 4:6 Hebrew into your bosom; also verse 7
[2] 4:6 Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13
[3] 4:25 Hebrew his