Birth and Youth of Moses
1Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a Levite woman.2The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was a fine baby, she hid him three months.3When she could hide him no longer she got a papyrus basket for him, and plastered it with bitumen and pitch; she put the child in it and placed it among the reeds on the bank of the river.4His sister stood at a distance, to see what would happen to him.5The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her attendants walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid to bring it.6When she opened it, she saw the child. He was crying, and she took pity on him, “This must be one of the Hebrews' children,” she said.7Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, “Shall I go and get you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?”8Pharaoh's daughter said to her, “Yes.” So the girl went and called the child's mother.9Pharaoh's daughter said to her, “Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed it.10When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and she took him as her son. She named him Moses, “because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.”Moses Flees to Midian
11One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and saw their forced labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his kinsfolk.12He looked this way and that, and seeing no one he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.13When he went out the next day, he saw two Hebrews fighting; and he said to the one who was in the wrong, “Why do you strike your fellow Hebrew?”14He answered, “Who made you a ruler and judge over us? Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “Surely the thing is known.”15When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses.
But Moses fled from Pharaoh. He settled in the land of Midian, and sat down by a well.16The priest of Midian had seven daughters. They came to draw water, and filled the troughs to water their father's flock.17But some shepherds came and drove them away. Moses got up and came to their defense and watered their flock.18When they returned to their father Reuel, he said, “How is it that you have come back so soon today?”19They said, “An Egyptian helped us against the shepherds; he even drew water for us and watered the flock.”20He said to his daughters, “Where is he? Why did you leave the man? Invite him to break bread.”21Moses agreed to stay with the man, and he gave Moses his daughter Zipporah in marriage.22She bore a son, and he named him Gershom; for he said, “I have been an alien residing in a foreign land.”23After a long time the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned under their slavery, and cried out. Out of the slavery their cry for help rose up to God.24God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.25God looked upon the Israelites, and God took notice of them.Chapter 3Moses 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.Chapter 5Bricks without Straw
1Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, so that they may celebrate a festival to me in the wilderness.’ ”2But Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should heed him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and I will not let Israel go.”3Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has revealed himself to us; let us go a three days' journey into the wilderness to sacrifice to the Lord our God, or he will fall upon us with pestilence or sword.”4But the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people away from their work? Get to your labors!”5Pharaoh continued, “Now they are more numerous than the people of the land! and yet you want them to stop working!”6That same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people, as well as their supervisors,7“You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as before; let them go and gather straw for themselves.8But you shall require of them the same quantity of bricks as they have made previously; do not diminish it, for they are lazy; that is why they cry, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.’9Let heavier work be laid on them; then they will labor at it and pay no attention to deceptive words.”10So the taskmasters and the supervisors of the people went out and said to the people, “Thus says Pharaoh, ‘I will not give you straw.11Go and get straw yourselves, wherever you can find it; but your work will not be lessened in the least.’ ”12So the people scattered throughout the land of Egypt, to gather stubble for straw.13The taskmasters were urgent, saying, “Complete your work, the same daily assignment as when you were given straw.”14And the supervisors of the Israelites, whom Pharaoh's taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and were asked, “Why did you not finish the required quantity of bricks yesterday and today, as you did before?”15Then the Israelite supervisors came to Pharaoh and cried, “Why do you treat your servants like this?16No straw is given to your servants, yet they say to us, ‘Make bricks!’ Look how your servants are beaten! You are unjust to your own people.”17He said, “You are lazy, lazy; that is why you say, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.’18Go now, and work; for no straw shall be given you, but you shall still deliver the same number of bricks.”19The Israelite supervisors saw that they were in trouble when they were told, “You shall not lessen your daily number of bricks.”20As they left Pharaoh, they came upon Moses and Aaron who were waiting to meet them.21They said to them, “The Lord look upon you and judge! You have brought us into bad odor with Pharaoh and his officials, and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.”22Then Moses turned again to the Lord and said, “O Lord, why have you mistreated this people? Why did you ever send me?23Since I first came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has mistreated this people, and you have done nothing at all to deliver your people.”Chapter 6Israel's Deliverance Assured
1Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh: Indeed, by a mighty hand he will let them go; by a mighty hand he will drive them out of his land.”2God also spoke to Moses and said to him: “I am the Lord.3I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name ‘The Lord’ I did not make myself known to them.4I also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they resided as aliens.5I have also heard the groaning of the Israelites whom the Egyptians are holding as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant.6Say therefore to the Israelites, ‘I am the Lord, and I will free you from the burdens of the Egyptians and deliver you from slavery to them. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.7I will take you as my people, and I will be your God. You shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has freed you from the burdens of the Egyptians.8I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord.’ ”9Moses told this to the Israelites; but they would not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and their cruel slavery.10Then the Lord spoke to Moses,11“Go and tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the Israelites go out of his land.”12But Moses spoke to the Lord, “The Israelites have not listened to me; how then shall Pharaoh listen to me, poor speaker that I am?”13Thus the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, and gave them orders regarding the Israelites and Pharaoh king of Egypt, charging them to free the Israelites from the land of Egypt.The Genealogy of Moses and Aaron
14The following are the heads of their ancestral houses: the sons of Reuben, the firstborn of Israel: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi; these are the families of Reuben.15The sons of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman; these are the families of Simeon.16The following are the names of the sons of Levi according to their genealogies: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari, and the length of Levi's life was one hundred thirty-seven years.17The sons of Gershon: Libni and Shimei, by their families.18The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel, and the length of Kohath's life was one hundred thirty-three years.19The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites according to their genealogies.20Amram married Jochebed his father's sister and she bore him Aaron and Moses, and the length of Amram's life was one hundred thirty-seven years.21The sons of Izhar: Korah, Nepheg, and Zichri.22The sons of Uzziel: Mishael, Elzaphan, and Sithri.23Aaron married Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab and sister of Nahshon, and she bore him Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.24The sons of Korah: Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph; these are the families of the Korahites.25Aaron's son Eleazar married one of the daughters of Putiel, and she bore him Phinehas. These are the heads of the ancestral houses of the Levites by their families.26It was this same Aaron and Moses to whom the Lord said, “Bring the Israelites out of the land of Egypt, company by company.”27It was they who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt to bring the Israelites out of Egypt, the same Moses and Aaron.Moses and Aaron Obey God's Commands
28On the day when the Lord spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt,29he said to him, “I am the Lord; tell Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I am speaking to you.”30But Moses said in the Lord's presence, “Since I am a poor speaker, why would Pharaoh listen to me?”Chapter 71The Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet.2You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of his land.3But I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and I will multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt.4When Pharaoh does not listen to you, I will lay my hand upon Egypt and bring my people the Israelites, company by company, out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment.5The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out from among them.”6Moses and Aaron did so; they did just as the Lord commanded them.7Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh.