Exodus 4

1Then 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.” 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.’” 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˼. 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.

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