The Israelites Oppressed

These are the names of the sons of Israel(A) who went to Egypt with Jacob, each with his family: Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah; Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin; Dan and Naphtali; Gad and Asher.(B) The descendants of Jacob numbered seventy[a] in all;(C) Joseph was already in Egypt.

Now Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died,(D) but the Israelites were exceedingly fruitful; they multiplied greatly, increased in numbers(E) and became so numerous that the land was filled with them.

Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.(F) “Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become far too numerous(G) for us.(H) 10 Come, we must deal shrewdly(I) with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country.”(J)

11 So they put slave masters(K) over them to oppress them with forced labor,(L) and they built Pithom and Rameses(M) as store cities(N) for Pharaoh. 12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites 13 and worked them ruthlessly.(O) 14 They made their lives bitter with harsh labor(P) in brick(Q) and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their harsh labor the Egyptians worked them ruthlessly.(R)

15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives,(S) whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, 16 “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.”(T) 17 The midwives, however, feared(U) God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do;(V) they let the boys live. 18 Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?”

19 The midwives answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.”(W)

20 So God was kind to the midwives(X) and the people increased and became even more numerous. 21 And because the midwives feared(Y) God, he gave them families(Z) of their own.

22 Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile,(AA) but let every girl live.”(AB)

The Birth of Moses

Now a man of the tribe of Levi(AC) married a Levite woman,(AD) and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine(AE) child, she hid him for three months.(AF) But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus(AG) basket[b] for him and coated it with tar and pitch.(AH) Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds(AI) along the bank of the Nile. His sister(AJ) stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.

Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank.(AK) She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.

Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?”

“Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him. 10 When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named(AL) him Moses,[c] saying, “I drew(AM) him out of the water.”

Moses Flees to Midian

11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people(AN) were and watched them at their hard labor.(AO) He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12 Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?”(AP)

14 The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us?(AQ) Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.”

15 When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill(AR) Moses, but Moses fled(AS) from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian,(AT) where he sat down by a well. 16 Now a priest of Midian(AU) had seven daughters, and they came to draw water(AV) and fill the troughs(AW) to water their father’s flock. 17 Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue(AX) and watered their flock.(AY)

18 When the girls returned to Reuel(AZ) their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?”

19 They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock.”

20 “And where is he?” Reuel asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.”(BA)

21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah(BB) to Moses in marriage. 22 Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom,[d](BC) saying, “I have become a foreigner(BD) in a foreign land.”

23 During that long period,(BE) the king of Egypt died.(BF) The Israelites groaned in their slavery(BG) and cried out, and their cry(BH) for help because of their slavery went up to God. 24 God heard their groaning and he remembered(BI) his covenant(BJ) with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. 25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned(BK) about them.

Moses and the Burning Bush

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro(BL) his father-in-law, the priest of Midian,(BM) and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb,(BN) the mountain(BO) of God. There the angel of the Lord(BP) appeared to him in flames of fire(BQ) from within a bush.(BR) Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”

When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called(BS) to him from within the bush,(BT) “Moses! Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here I am.”(BU)

“Do not come any closer,”(BV) God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”(BW) Then he said, “I am the God of your father,[e] the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.”(BX) At this, Moses hid(BY) his face, because he was afraid to look at God.(BZ)

The Lord said, “I have indeed seen(CA) the misery(CB) of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned(CC) about their suffering.(CD) So I have come down(CE) to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land,(CF) a land flowing with milk and honey(CG)—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites(CH) and Jebusites.(CI) And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing(CJ) them. 10 So now, go. I am sending(CK) you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”(CL)

11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I(CM) that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

12 And God said, “I will be with you.(CN) And this will be the sign(CO) to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you[f] will worship God on this mountain.(CP)

13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’(CQ) Then what shall I tell them?”

14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.[g] This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am(CR) has sent me to you.’”

15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord,[h] the God of your fathers(CS)—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob(CT)—has sent me to you.’

“This is my name(CU) forever,
    the name you shall call me
    from generation to generation.(CV)

16 “Go, assemble the elders(CW) of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob(CX)—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen(CY) what has been done to you in Egypt. 17 And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt(CZ) into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.’(DA)

18 “The elders of Israel will listen(DB) to you. Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews,(DC) has met(DD) with us. Let us take a three-day journey(DE) into the wilderness to offer sacrifices(DF) to the Lord our God.’ 19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand(DG) compels him. 20 So I will stretch out my hand(DH) and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders(DI) that I will perform among them. After that, he will let you go.(DJ)

21 “And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed(DK) toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed.(DL) 22 Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver(DM) and gold(DN) and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder(DO) the Egyptians.”(DP)

Signs for Moses

Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen(DQ) to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”

Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?”

“A staff,”(DR) he replied.

The Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.”

Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake,(DS) and he ran from it. Then the Lord said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. “This,” said the Lord, “is so that they may believe(DT) that the Lord, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.”

Then the Lord said, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, the skin was leprous[i]—it had become as white as snow.(DU)

“Now put it back into your cloak,” he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored,(DV) like the rest of his flesh.

Then the Lord said, “If they do not believe(DW) you or pay attention to the first sign,(DX) they may believe the second. But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood(DY) on the ground.”

10 Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”(DZ)

11 The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute?(EA) Who gives them sight or makes them blind?(EB) Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go;(EC) I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”(ED)

13 But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”(EE)

14 Then the Lord’s anger burned(EF) against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet(EG) you, and he will be glad to see you. 15 You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth;(EH) I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. 16 He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth(EI) and as if you were God to him.(EJ) 17 But take this staff(EK) in your hand(EL) so you can perform the signs(EM) with it.”

Moses Returns to Egypt

18 Then Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, “Let me return to my own people in Egypt to see if any of them are still alive.”

Jethro said, “Go, and I wish you well.”

19 Now the Lord had said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all those who wanted to kill(EN) you are dead.(EO) 20 So Moses took his wife and sons,(EP) put them on a donkey and started back to Egypt. And he took the staff(EQ) of God in his hand.

21 The Lord said to Moses, “When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders(ER) I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart(ES) so that he will not let the people go.(ET) 22 Then say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what the Lord says: Israel is my firstborn son,(EU) 23 and I told you, “Let my son go,(EV) so he may worship(EW) me.” But you refused to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son.’”(EX)

24 At a lodging place on the way, the Lord met Moses[j] and was about to kill(EY) him. 25 But Zipporah(EZ) took a flint knife, cut off her son’s foreskin(FA) and touched Moses’ feet with it.[k] “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me,” she said. 26 So the Lord let him alone. (At that time she said “bridegroom of blood,” referring to circumcision.)

27 The Lord said to Aaron, “Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.” So he met Moses at the mountain(FB) of God and kissed(FC) him. 28 Then Moses told Aaron everything the Lord had sent him to say, and also about all the signs he had commanded him to perform.

29 Moses and Aaron brought together all the elders(FD) of the Israelites, 30 and Aaron told them everything the Lord had said to Moses. He also performed the signs(FE) before the people, 31 and they believed.(FF) And when they heard that the Lord was concerned(FG) about them and had seen their misery,(FH) they bowed down and worshiped.(FI)

Bricks Without Straw

Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let my people go,(FJ) so that they may hold a festival(FK) to me in the wilderness.’”

Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord,(FL) that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord and I will not let Israel go.”(FM)

Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Now let us take a three-day journey(FN) into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God, or he may strike us with plagues(FO) or with the sword.”

But the king of Egypt said, “Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people away from their labor?(FP) Get back to your work!” Then Pharaoh said, “Look, the people of the land are now numerous,(FQ) and you are stopping them from working.”

That same day Pharaoh gave this order to the slave drivers(FR) and overseers in charge of the people: “You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks;(FS) let them go and gather their own straw. But require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don’t reduce the quota.(FT) They are lazy;(FU) that is why they are crying out, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.’(FV) Make the work harder for the people so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies.”

10 Then the slave drivers(FW) and the overseers went out and said to the people, “This is what Pharaoh says: ‘I will not give you any more straw. 11 Go and get your own straw wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced(FX) at all.’” 12 So the people scattered all over Egypt to gather stubble to use for straw. 13 The slave drivers kept pressing them, saying, “Complete the work required of you for each day, just as when you had straw.” 14 And Pharaoh’s slave drivers beat the Israelite overseers they had appointed,(FY) demanding, “Why haven’t you met your quota of bricks yesterday or today, as before?”

15 Then the Israelite overseers went and appealed to Pharaoh: “Why have you treated your servants this way? 16 Your servants are given no straw, yet we are told, ‘Make bricks!’ Your servants are being beaten, but the fault is with your own people.”

17 Pharaoh said, “Lazy, that’s what you are—lazy!(FZ) That is why you keep saying, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.’ 18 Now get to work.(GA) You will not be given any straw, yet you must produce your full quota of bricks.”

19 The Israelite overseers realized they were in trouble when they were told, “You are not to reduce the number of bricks required of you for each day.” 20 When they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting to meet them, 21 and they said, “May the Lord look on you and judge(GB) you! You have made us obnoxious(GC) to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword(GD) in their hand to kill us.”(GE)

God Promises Deliverance

22 Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people?(GF) Is this why you sent me? 23 Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and you have not rescued(GG) your people at all.”

Footnotes

  1. Exodus 1:5 Masoretic Text (see also Gen. 46:27); Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint (see also Acts 7:14 and note at Gen. 46:27) seventy-five
  2. Exodus 2:3 The Hebrew can also mean ark, as in Gen. 6:14.
  3. Exodus 2:10 Moses sounds like the Hebrew for draw out.
  4. Exodus 2:22 Gershom sounds like the Hebrew for a foreigner there.
  5. Exodus 3:6 Masoretic Text; Samaritan Pentateuch (see Acts 7:32) fathers
  6. Exodus 3:12 The Hebrew is plural.
  7. Exodus 3:14 Or I will be what I will be
  8. Exodus 3:15 The Hebrew for Lord sounds like and may be related to the Hebrew for I am in verse 14.
  9. Exodus 4:6 The Hebrew word for leprous was used for various diseases affecting the skin.
  10. Exodus 4:24 Hebrew him
  11. Exodus 4:25 The meaning of the Hebrew for this clause is uncertain.

The Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread(A)

12 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, “This month is to be for you the first month,(B) the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb[a](C) for his family, one for each household.(D) If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect,(E) and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month,(F) when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight.(G) Then they are to take some of the blood(H) and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. That same night(I) they are to eat the meat roasted(J) over the fire, along with bitter herbs,(K) and bread made without yeast.(L) Do not eat the meat raw or boiled in water, but roast it over a fire—with the head, legs and internal organs.(M) 10 Do not leave any of it till morning;(N) if some is left till morning, you must burn it. 11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste;(O) it is the Lord’s Passover.(P)

12 “On that same night I will pass through(Q) Egypt and strike down(R) every firstborn(S) of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods(T) of Egypt. I am the Lord.(U) 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over(V) you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.(W)

14 “This is a day you are to commemorate;(X) for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord—a lasting ordinance.(Y) 15 For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast.(Z) On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off(AA) from Israel. 16 On the first day hold a sacred assembly, and another one on the seventh day. Do no work(AB) at all on these days, except to prepare food for everyone to eat; that is all you may do.

17 “Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread,(AC) because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt.(AD) Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.(AE) 18 In the first month(AF) you are to eat bread made without yeast, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day. 19 For seven days no yeast is to be found in your houses. And anyone, whether foreigner(AG) or native-born, who eats anything with yeast in it must be cut off(AH) from the community of Israel. 20 Eat nothing made with yeast. Wherever you live,(AI) you must eat unleavened bread.”(AJ)

21 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover(AK) lamb. 22 Take a bunch of hyssop,(AL) dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood(AM) on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. None of you shall go out of the door of your house until morning. 23 When the Lord goes through the land to strike(AN) down the Egyptians, he will see the blood(AO) on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over(AP) that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer(AQ) to enter your houses and strike you down.

24 “Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance(AR) for you and your descendants. 25 When you enter the land(AS) that the Lord will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. 26 And when your children(AT) ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ 27 then tell them, ‘It is the Passover(AU) sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’”(AV) Then the people bowed down and worshiped.(AW) 28 The Israelites did just what the Lord commanded(AX) Moses and Aaron.

29 At midnight(AY) the Lord(AZ) struck down all the firstborn(BA) in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock(BB) as well. 30 Pharaoh and all his officials and all the Egyptians got up during the night, and there was loud wailing(BC) in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead.

The Exodus

31 During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship(BD) the Lord as you have requested. 32 Take your flocks and herds,(BE) as you have said, and go. And also bless(BF) me.”

33 The Egyptians urged the people to hurry(BG) and leave(BH) the country. “For otherwise,” they said, “we will all die!”(BI) 34 So the people took their dough before the yeast was added, and carried it on their shoulders in kneading troughs(BJ) wrapped in clothing. 35 The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold(BK) and for clothing.(BL) 36 The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed(BM) toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered(BN) the Egyptians.

37 The Israelites journeyed from Rameses(BO) to Sukkoth.(BP) There were about six hundred thousand men(BQ) on foot, besides women and children. 38 Many other people(BR) went up with them, and also large droves of livestock, both flocks and herds. 39 With the dough the Israelites had brought from Egypt, they baked loaves of unleavened bread. The dough was without yeast because they had been driven out(BS) of Egypt and did not have time to prepare food for themselves.

40 Now the length of time the Israelite people lived in Egypt[b] was 430 years.(BT) 41 At the end of the 430 years, to the very day, all the Lord’s divisions(BU) left Egypt.(BV) 42 Because the Lord kept vigil that night to bring them out of Egypt, on this night all the Israelites are to keep vigil to honor the Lord for the generations to come.(BW)

Passover Restrictions

43 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “These are the regulations for the Passover meal:(BX)

“No foreigner(BY) may eat it. 44 Any slave you have bought may eat it after you have circumcised(BZ) him, 45 but a temporary resident or a hired worker(CA) may not eat it.

46 “It must be eaten inside the house; take none of the meat outside the house. Do not break any of the bones.(CB) 47 The whole community of Israel must celebrate it.

48 “A foreigner residing among you who wants to celebrate the Lord’s Passover must have all the males in his household circumcised; then he may take part like one born in the land.(CC) No uncircumcised(CD) male may eat it. 49 The same law applies both to the native-born and to the foreigner(CE) residing among you.”

50 All the Israelites did just what the Lord had commanded(CF) Moses and Aaron. 51 And on that very day the Lord brought the Israelites out of Egypt(CG) by their divisions.(CH)

Consecration of the Firstborn

13 The Lord said to Moses, “Consecrate to me every firstborn male.(CI) The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether human or animal.”

Then Moses said to the people, “Commemorate this day, the day you came out of Egypt,(CJ) out of the land of slavery, because the Lord brought you out of it with a mighty hand.(CK) Eat nothing containing yeast.(CL) Today, in the month of Aviv,(CM) you are leaving. When the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites,(CN) Hittites, Amorites, Hivites and Jebusites(CO)—the land he swore to your ancestors to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey(CP)—you are to observe this ceremony(CQ) in this month: For seven days eat bread made without yeast and on the seventh day hold a festival(CR) to the Lord. Eat unleavened bread during those seven days; nothing with yeast in it is to be seen among you, nor shall any yeast be seen anywhere within your borders. On that day tell your son,(CS) ‘I do this because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand(CT) and a reminder on your forehead(CU) that this law of the Lord is to be on your lips. For the Lord brought you out of Egypt with his mighty hand.(CV) 10 You must keep this ordinance(CW) at the appointed time(CX) year after year.

11 “After the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites(CY) and gives it to you, as he promised on oath(CZ) to you and your ancestors,(DA) 12 you are to give over to the Lord the first offspring of every womb. All the firstborn males of your livestock belong to the Lord.(DB) 13 Redeem with a lamb every firstborn donkey,(DC) but if you do not redeem it, break its neck.(DD) Redeem(DE) every firstborn among your sons.(DF)

14 “In days to come, when your son(DG) asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ say to him, ‘With a mighty hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.(DH) 15 When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord killed the firstborn of both people and animals in Egypt. This is why I sacrifice to the Lord the first male offspring of every womb and redeem each of my firstborn sons.’(DI) 16 And it will be like a sign on your hand and a symbol on your forehead(DJ) that the Lord brought us out of Egypt with his mighty hand.”

Crossing the Sea

17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”(DK) 18 So God led(DL) the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.[c] The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.(DM)

19 Moses took the bones of Joseph(DN) with him because Joseph had made the Israelites swear an oath. He had said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place.”[d](DO)

20 After leaving Sukkoth(DP) they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert.(DQ) 21 By day the Lord went ahead(DR) of them in a pillar of cloud(DS) to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. 22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left(DT) its place in front of the people.

14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol(DU) and the sea. They are to encamp by the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon.(DV) Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.’ And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart,(DW) and he will pursue them.(DX) But I will gain glory(DY) for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.”(DZ) So the Israelites did this.

When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled,(EA) Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds(EB) about them and said, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!” So he had his chariot made ready and took his army with him. He took six hundred of the best chariots,(EC) along with all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers over all of them. The Lord hardened the heart(ED) of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly.(EE) The Egyptians—all Pharaoh’s horses(EF) and chariots, horsemen[e] and troops(EG)—pursued the Israelites and overtook(EH) them as they camped by the sea near Pi Hahiroth, opposite Baal Zephon.(EI)

10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried(EJ) out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?(EK) What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”(EL)

13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid.(EM) Stand firm and you will see(EN) the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see(EO) again. 14 The Lord will fight(EP) for you; you need only to be still.”(EQ)

15 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me?(ER) Tell the Israelites to move on. 16 Raise your staff(ES) and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water(ET) so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. 17 I will harden the hearts(EU) of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them.(EV) And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. 18 The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord(EW) when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”

19 Then the angel of God,(EX) who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud(EY) also moved from in front and stood behind(EZ) them, 20 coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness(FA) to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.

21 Then Moses stretched out his hand(FB) over the sea,(FC) and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind(FD) and turned it into dry land.(FE) The waters were divided,(FF) 22 and the Israelites went through the sea(FG) on dry ground,(FH) with a wall(FI) of water on their right and on their left.

23 The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen(FJ) followed them into the sea. 24 During the last watch of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud(FK) at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion.(FL) 25 He jammed[f] the wheels of their chariots so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting(FM) for them against Egypt.”(FN)

26 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” 27 Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place.(FO) The Egyptians were fleeing toward[g] it, and the Lord swept them into the sea.(FP) 28 The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea.(FQ) Not one of them survived.(FR)

29 But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground,(FS) with a wall(FT) of water on their right and on their left. 30 That day the Lord saved(FU) Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. 31 And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand(FV) of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared(FW) the Lord and put their trust(FX) in him and in Moses his servant.

Footnotes

  1. Exodus 12:3 The Hebrew word can mean lamb or kid; also in verse 4.
  2. Exodus 12:40 Masoretic Text; Samaritan Pentateuch and Septuagint Egypt and Canaan
  3. Exodus 13:18 Or the Sea of Reeds
  4. Exodus 13:19 See Gen. 50:25.
  5. Exodus 14:9 Or charioteers; also in verses 17, 18, 23, 26 and 28
  6. Exodus 14:25 See Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint and Syriac; Masoretic Text removed
  7. Exodus 14:27 Or from

The Ten Commandments(A)

20 And God spoke(B) all these words:(C)

“I am the Lord your God,(D) who brought you out(E) of Egypt,(F) out of the land of slavery.(G)

“You shall have no other gods before[a] me.(H)

“You shall not make for yourself an image(I) in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship(J) them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God,(K) punishing the children for the sin of the parents(L) to the third and fourth generation(M) of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand(N) generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.(O)

“Remember the Sabbath(P) day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work,(Q) 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath(R) to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth,(S) the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested(T) on the seventh day.(U) Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 “Honor your father and your mother,(V) so that you may live long(W) in the land(X) the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “You shall not murder.(Y)

14 “You shall not commit adultery.(Z)

15 “You shall not steal.(AA)

16 “You shall not give false testimony(AB) against your neighbor.(AC)

17 “You shall not covet(AD) your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

18 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet(AE) and saw the mountain in smoke,(AF) they trembled with fear.(AG) They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak(AH) to us or we will die.”(AI)

20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid.(AJ) God has come to test(AK) you, so that the fear(AL) of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”(AM)

21 The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness(AN) where God was.

Idols and Altars

22 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites this: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven:(AO) 23 Do not make any gods to be alongside me;(AP) do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold.(AQ)

Footnotes

  1. Exodus 20:3 Or besides