ESV — Chronological: Day 31
Exodus 4-6

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.

Making Bricks Without Straw

Afterward Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, that they may hold ta feast to me in the wilderness.’” But Pharaoh said, u“Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and moreover, vI will not let Israel go.” Then they said, “The wGod of the Hebrews has met with us. Please let us go a three days' journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God, lest he fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.” But the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people away from their work? Get back to your xburdens.” And Pharaoh said, “Behold, ythe people of the land are now many,4 and you make them rest from their burdens!” The same day Pharaoh commanded the ztaskmasters of the people and their aforemen, “You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as in the past; let them go and gather straw for themselves. But the number of bricks that they made in the past you shall impose on them, you shall by no means reduce it, for they are idle. Therefore they cry, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.’ Let heavier work be laid on the men that they may labor at it and pay no regard to lying words.”

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

15 Then the foremen of the people of Israel came and cried to Pharaoh, “Why do you treat your servants like this? 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; that is why you say, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.’ 18 Go now and work. No straw will be given you, but you must still deliver the same number of bricks.” 19 The foremen of the people of Israel saw that they were in trouble when they said, “You shall by no means reduce your number of bricks, your daily task each day.” 20 They met Moses and Aaron, who were waiting for them, as they came out from Pharaoh; 21 and dthey said to them, “The Lord look on you and judge, because you have made us stink in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants, and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.”

22 Then Moses turned to the Lord and said, “O Lord, why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me? 23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people, and you have not delivered your people at all.”

God Promises Deliverance

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, and with ea strong hand he will fdrive them out of his land.”

God spoke to Moses and said to him, g“I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as hGod Almighty,5 but by my name the iLord I did not make myself known to them. jI also established my covenant with them kto give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they lived as sojourners. Moreover, lI have heard the groaning of the people of Israel whom the Egyptians hold as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. Say therefore to the people of Israel, m‘I am the Lord, and nI will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and oI will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. I pwill take you to be my people, and qI will be your God, and you shall know that mI am the Lord your God, who has brought you out nfrom under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you into rthe land that I sswore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. mI am the Lord.’” Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel, but they tdid not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery.

10 So 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 tnot listened to me. How then shall Pharaoh listen to me, for uI am of uncircumcised lips?” 13 But the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron and gave them a charge about the people of Israel and about Pharaoh king of Egypt: to bring the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt.

The Genealogy of Moses and Aaron

14 These are the heads of their fathers' houses: the vsons of Reuben, the firstborn of Israel: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi; these are the clans of Reuben. 15 The wsons of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman; these are the clans of Simeon. 16 These are the names of the xsons of Levi according to their generations: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari, the years of the life of Levi being 137 years. 17 The ysons of Gershon: Libni and Shimei, by their clans. 18 The zsons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel, the years of the life of Kohath being 133 years. 19 The asons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. These are the clans of the Levites according to their generations. 20 bAmram took as his wife Jochebed his father's sister, and she bore him Aaron and Moses, the years of the life of Amram being 137 years. 21 cThe sons of Izhar: Korah, Nepheg, and Zichri. 22 The dsons of Uzziel: Mishael, Elzaphan, and Sithri. 23 Aaron took as his wife Elisheba, the daughter of eAmminadab and the sister of fNahshon, and she bore him gNadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 24 The hsons of Korah: Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph; these are the clans of the Korahites. 25 Eleazar, Aaron's son, took as his wife one of the daughters of Putiel, and ishe bore him Phinehas. These are the heads of the fathers' houses of the Levites by their clans.

26 These are the Aaron and Moses jto whom the Lord said: “Bring out the people of Israel from the land of Egypt kby 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, l“I am the Lord; mtell Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say to you.” 30 But Moses said to the Lord, “Behold, nI am of uncircumcised lips. How will Pharaoh listen to me?”


[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
[4] 5:5 Samaritan they are now more numerous than the people of the land
[5] 6:3 Hebrew El Shaddai