Exodus Chapter 4 to 5 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Proof for Moses

4 Then Moses said to God, “But the people of Israel will not believe me when I tell them that you sent me. They will say, ‘The Lord* did not appear to you.’” 2But God said to Moses, “What is that you have in your hand?” Moses answered, “It is my walking stick.” 3Then God said, “Throw your walking stick on the ground.” So Moses threw his walking stick on the ground. The stick became a snake. Moses {was afraid and} ran from it. 4But the Lord said to Moses, “Reach out and grab the snake by its tail.” So Moses reached out and caught the snake’s tail. When Moses did this, the snake became a walking stick again. 5Then God said, “Use your stick in this way and the people will believe that you saw the Lord, the God of your ancestors,* the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” 6Then the Lord said to Moses, "I will give you another proof. Put your hand under your robe.” So Moses opened his robe and put his hand inside. Then Moses brought his hand out of the robe and it was changed. His hand was covered with spots that were white like snow. 7Then God said, “Now put your hand into your robe again.” So Moses put his hand into his robe again. Then Moses brought his hand out, and his hand was changed. Now his hand was good again, like it was before. 8Then God said, “If the people don’t believe you when you use your walking stick, then they will believe you when you show them this sign. 9If they still refuse to believe after you show them both of these things, then take some water from the Nile River. Pour the water on the ground, and as soon as it touches the ground, it will become blood.” 10But Moses said to the Lord, “But Lord, I am telling you the truth, I am not a skilled speaker. I have never been able to speak well. And now, even after talking to you, I am still not a good speaker. You know that I talk slowly and don’t use the best words.”* 11Then the Lord said to him, "Who made a person’s mouth? And who can make a person deaf or not able to speak? Who can make a person blind? Who can make a person able to see? {I am the One who can do all these things—} I am YAHWEH.* 12So go. I will be with you when you speak. I will give you the words to say.” 13But Moses said, “My Lord, I beg you to send another person—not me.” 14Then the Lord became angry with Moses and said, "Fine! I’ll give you someone to help you. I will use your brother Aaron, from the family of Levi. He is a skilled speaker. Aaron is already coming to see you. He will be happy to see you. 15He will go with you to Pharaoh. I will tell you what to say. Then you will tell Aaron, and Aaron will choose the right words to speak to Pharaoh. 16Aaron will also speak to the people for you. You will be like a great king, and he will be your official speaker.* 17So go. And carry your walking stick with you. Use your stick and the other miracles to show the people that I am with you.”

Moses Returns to Egypt

18Then Moses went back to Jethro, his father-in-law. Moses said to Jethro, “Please let me go back to Egypt. I want to see if my people are still alive.” Jethro said to Moses, “Sure! And may you go in peace.” 19Then, while Moses was still in Midian, God said to him, “It is safe for you to go back to Egypt now. The men who wanted to kill you are now dead.” 20So Moses put his wife and children on the donkey and returned to Egypt. Moses carried his walking stick with him—the walking stick with the power of God. 21While Moses was traveling back to Egypt, God spoke to him. God said, “When you talk to Pharaoh remember to show him all the miracles that I have given you the power to do. But I will cause Pharaoh to be very stubborn. He will not let the people go. 22Then you should say to Pharaoh: 23The Lord says, ‘Israel is my firstborn* son. And I am telling you to let my son go and worship me! If you refuse to let Israel go, then I will kill your firstborn son.’”

Moses’ Son Circumcised

24On the way to Egypt, Moses stopped at a place to spend the night. The Lord met Moses at that place and tried to kill him.* 25But Zipporah took a flint knife* and circumcised* her son. She took the skin and touched his feet. Then she said {to Moses}, “You are a bridegroom of blood to me.” 26Zipporah said this because she had to circumcise her son. So God forgave Moses {and did not kill him}.*

Moses and Aaron before God

27The Lord had spoken to Aaron. The Lord had told him, “Go out into the desert and meet Moses.” So Aaron went and met Moses at the Mountain of God.* Aaron saw Moses and kissed him. 28Moses told Aaron why the Lord had sent him. And Moses told Aaron about all the miracles and things he must do to prove that God had sent him. Moses told Aaron everything the Lord had said. 29So Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders (leaders) of the people of Israel. 30Then Aaron spoke to the people. He told them all the things that the Lord had told Moses. Then Moses did the proofs for all the people to see. 31The people believed that God had sent Moses. The people of Israel knew that God had seen their troubles, and that he had come to help them. So they bowed down and worshiped God.

Lord Or, “YAHWEH.” ancestors Literally, “fathers,” meaning a person’s parents, grandparents, and all the people they are descended from. I talk … words Or, “I stutter and don’t speak clearly.” I am YAHWEH Or, “I am the Lord.” You will be … speaker Literally, “He will be your mouth, and you will be his God.” firstborn The first child born into a family. The firstborn son was very important in ancient times. tried to kill him Or possibly, “wanted to circumcise him.” flint knife A sharp knife made from flint rock. circumcise(d) Cutting off the foreskin. In Israel this was proof that a man had made a special agreement to obey God’s laws and teachings. Verse 26 Or, “And he was healed. She said, ‘You are a bridegroom of blood’ because of the circumcision.” Mountain of God That is, Mount Horeb (Sinai).

Moses And Aaron Before Pharaoh

5 After Moses and Aaron talked to the people, they went to Pharaoh. They said, “The Lord* God of Israel says, ‘Let my people go into the desert so they can have a feast to honor me.’” 2But Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord? Why should I obey him? Why should I let Israel go? I don’t even know who this Lord is, so I refuse to let Israel go.” 3Then Aaron and Moses said, “The God of the Hebrew* people has talked with us. So we beg you to let us travel three days into the desert. There we will offer a sacrifice* to the Lord our God. If we don’t do this, he might become angry and destroy us. He might make us die from sickness or war.” 4But Pharaoh said to them, “Moses and Aaron, you are bothering the workers. Let them do their work! Go mind your own business! 5There are very many workers, and you are keeping them from doing their jobs.”

Pharaoh Punishes the People

6That same day, Pharaoh gave a command to make work harder for the people of Israel. Pharaoh said to the slave masters and Hebrew foremen, 7“You have always given the people straw and they use it to make bricks. But now, tell them they have to go and find their own straw to make bricks. 8But they must still make the same number of bricks as they did before. They have become lazy. That is why they are asking me to let them go. They don’t have enough work to do. That is why they asked me to let them make sacrifices* to their God. 9So make these people work harder. Keep them busy. Then they will not have enough time to listen to the lies of Moses.” 10So the Egyptian slave masters and the Hebrew* foremen went to the people of Israel and said, “Pharaoh has decided that he will not give you straw for your bricks. 11You must go and get the straw for yourselves. So go and find straw. But you must still make as many bricks as you made before.” 12So the people went everywhere in Egypt looking for straw. 13The slave masters forced the people to work even harder. They forced the people to make as many bricks as before. 14The Egyptian slave masters had chosen the Hebrew* foremen and had made them responsible for the work the people did. The Egyptian slave masters beat these foremen and said to them, “Why aren’t you making as many bricks as you made in the past? If you could do it then, you can do it now!” 15Then the Hebrew* foremen went to Pharaoh. They complained and said, “We are your servants. Why are you treating us like this? 16You won’t give us any straw, but you tell us to make as many bricks as before. And now our masters are beating us. Your people are wrong for doing this.” 17Pharaoh answered, “You are lazy. You don’t want to work. That is why you ask me to let you go. And that is why you want to leave here and make sacrifices* to the Lord. 18Now, go back to work! We will not give you any straw! And you must still make as many bricks as you did before!” 19The Hebrew* foremen knew they were in trouble. The foremen knew they could not make as many bricks as they made in the past. 20When they were leaving the meeting with Pharaoh, they passed Moses and Aaron. Moses and Aaron were waiting for them. 21So they said to Moses and Aaron, “You really made a mistake when you told Pharaoh to let us go. May the Lord punish you because you caused Pharaoh and his rulers to hate us. You have given them an excuse to kill us.”

Moses Complains to God

22Then Moses prayed to the Lord and said, “Master, why have you done this terrible thing to your people? Why did you send me here? 23I went to Pharaoh and said the things you told me to say. But since that time he has been mean to the people. And you have done nothing to help them!”

Lord Or, “YAHWEH.” Hebrew Or, “Israelite.” sacrifice(s) A gift to God. Usually it was a special animal that was killed and burned on an altar.

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