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Exodus 13 International Children’s Bible (ICB)

The Law of the Firstborn

13 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Give every firstborn male to me. Every firstborn male among the Israelites belongs to me, whether human or animal.”

Moses said to the people, “Remember this day, the day you left Egypt. You were slaves in that land. The Lord with his great power brought you out of it. You must not eat bread made with yeast. Today, in the month of Abib, you are leaving Egypt. The Lord made a promise to your ancestors. The Lord promised to give you the land of these people: the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites and Jebusites. The Lord will lead you to this land where much food grows. There you must celebrate this feast during the first month of every year. For seven days you must eat bread made without yeast. On the seventh day there will be a feast to honor the Lord. So for seven days you must not eat any bread made with yeast. There must be no bread made with yeast anywhere in your land. On that day you should tell your son: ‘We are having this feast because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ This feast will help you remember. It will be like a mark on your hand. It will be like a reminder on your forehead. This feast will remind you to speak the Lord’s teachings. This is because the Lord used his great power to bring you out of Egypt. 10 So celebrate this feast every year at the right time.

11 “The Lord will take you into the land of the Canaanites. He promised to give this land to you and your ancestors. 12 Then you must give him every firstborn male. And every firstborn male animal must be given to the Lord. 13 Buy back every firstborn donkey by offering a lamb. If you don’t want to buy the donkey back, then break its neck. You must buy back from the Lord every firstborn of your sons.

14 “From now on your son will ask you: ‘What does this mean?’ You will answer, ‘With his great power, the Lord brought us out of Egypt. We were slaves in that land. 15 In Egypt the king was stubborn. He refused to let us leave. But the Lord killed every firstborn male in Egypt, both human and animal. That is why I sacrifice every firstborn male animal to the Lord. And that is why I buy back each of my firstborn sons from the Lord.’ 16 This feast is like a mark on your hand. And it is like a reminder on your forehead. It will help you remember that the Lord brought us out of Egypt with his great power.”

The Way Out of Egypt

17 The king sent the people out of Egypt. God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country. That road is the shortest way. But God said, “They might think they will have to fight. Then they might change their minds and go back to Egypt.” 18 So God led them through the desert toward the Red Sea. The Israelites were dressed for fighting when they left the land of Egypt.

19 Moses carried the bones of Joseph with him. Before Joseph died, he had made the sons of Israel promise to do this. He had said, “When God saves you, remember to carry my bones with you out of Egypt.”

20 The people of Israel left Succoth and camped at Etham. Etham was on the edge of the desert. 21 The Lord showed them the way. During the day he went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud. And during the night the Lord was in a pillar of fire to give them light. They could travel during the day or night. 22 The pillar of cloud was always with them during the day. And the pillar of fire was always with them at night.

International Children’s Bible (ICB)

The Holy Bible, International Children’s Bible® Copyright© 1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson™, a division of Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.

Exodus 13 New International Version (NIV)

Consecration of the Firstborn

13 The Lord said to Moses, “Consecrate to me every firstborn male. 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, out of the land of slavery, because the Lord brought you out of it with a mighty hand. Eat nothing containing yeast. Today, in the month of Aviv, you are leaving. When the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites and Jebusites—the land he swore to your ancestors to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey—you are to observe this ceremony in this month: For seven days eat bread made without yeast and on the seventh day hold a festival 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, ‘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 and a reminder on your forehead that this law of the Lord is to be on your lips. For the Lord brought you out of Egypt with his mighty hand. 10 You must keep this ordinance at the appointed time year after year.

11 “After the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites and gives it to you, as he promised on oath to you and your ancestors, 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. 13 Redeem with a lamb every firstborn donkey, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. Redeem every firstborn among your sons.

14 “In days to come, when your son 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. 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.’ 16 And it will be like a sign on your hand and a symbol on your forehead 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.” 18 So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.[a] The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.

19 Moses took the bones of Joseph 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.”[b]

20 After leaving Sukkoth they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert. 21 By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud 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 its place in front of the people.

Footnotes:

  1. Exodus 13:18 Or the Sea of Reeds
  2. Exodus 13:19 See Gen. 50:25.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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