Exodus 4 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
Proof for Moses
4 Then Moses said to God, “But the Israelites will not believe me when I tell them that you sent me. They will say, ‘The Lord[a] did not appear to you.’”
2 But the Lord said to Moses, “What is that you have in your hand?”
Moses answered, “It is my walking stick.”
3 Then God said, “Throw your walking stick on the ground.”
So Moses threw his walking stick on the ground, and it became a snake. Moses ran from it, 4 but the Lord said to him, “Reach out and grab the snake by its tail.”
When Moses reached out and caught the snake’s tail, the snake became a walking stick again. 5 Then 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.”
6 Then 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 he brought his hand out of the robe and it was changed. His hand was covered with spots that were white like snow.
7 Then God said, “Now put your hand into your robe again.” So Moses put his hand into his robe again. Then he brought his hand out, and his hand was changed. Now his hand was good again, as it was before.
8 Then 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. 9 If they still refuse to believe after you show them both of these signs, 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.”
10 Then Moses said to the Lord, “But, Lord, I am telling you, I am not a good speaker. I have never been able to speak well. And that hasn’t changed since you started talking to me. I am still not a good speaker. You know that I speak slowly and don’t use the best words.”[b]
11 Then the Lord said to him, “Who made a person’s mouth? And who can make someone deaf or not able to speak? Who can make a person blind? Who can make a person able to see? I am the one. I am the Lord. 12 So go. I will be with you when you speak. I will give you the words to say.”
13 But Moses said, “My Lord, I beg you to send someone else, not me.”
14 Then the Lord became angry with Moses and said, “All right! I’ll give you someone to help you. Aaron the Levite is your brother, isn’t he? He is a good speaker. In fact, Aaron is already coming to meet you, and he will be happy to see you. 15 I will tell you what to say. Then you will tell Aaron, and I will help him say it well. I will tell both of you what to do. 16 So Aaron will speak for you. Like God, you will speak to him, and he will tell the people what you say. 17 So go and carry your walking stick with you. Use it and the other miracles to show the people that I am with you.”
Moses Leaves Midian
18 Then Moses went back to Jethro, his father-in-law. Moses said to him, “Please let me go back to Egypt. I want to see if my people are still alive.”
Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.”
19 Then, while Moses was still in Midian, the Lord said to him, “It is safe for you to go back to Egypt now. The men who wanted to kill you are now dead.”
20 So Moses put his wife and children on the donkey and returned to Egypt. He carried his walking stick with him—the walking stick with the power of God.
21 While Moses was traveling back to Egypt, the Lord spoke to him, “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. 22 Then you should say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what the Lord says: Israel is my firstborn son. 23 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
24 On 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.[c] 25 But Zipporah took a flint knife[d] 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.” 26 Zipporah said this because she had to circumcise her son. So God let Moses live.[e]
Moses Arrives in Egypt
27 The Lord had spoken to Aaron and told him, “Go out into the desert and meet Moses.” So Aaron went and met Moses at the Mountain of God.[f] He saw Moses and kissed him. 28 Moses told Aaron everything the Lord had commanded him to say and all the miracles he must do to prove that God had sent him.
29 So Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the Israelites. 30 Then Aaron spoke to the people and told them everything the Lord had told Moses. Then Moses did the miracles for all the people to see, 31 and they believed what they had heard. Then the Israelites understood that the Lord had seen their troubles and had come to help them. So they bowed down and worshiped God.
Exodus 4 New International Version (NIV)
Signs for Moses
4 Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”
2 Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?”
“A staff,” he replied.
3 The Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.”
Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. 4 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. 5 “This,” said the Lord, “is so that they may believe 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.”
6 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[a]—it had become as white as snow.
7 “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, like the rest of his flesh.
8 Then the Lord said, “If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first sign, they may believe the second. 9 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 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.”
11 The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”
13 But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”
14 Then the Lord’s anger burned 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 you, and he will be glad to see you. 15 You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; 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 and as if you were God to him. 17 But take this staff in your hand so you can perform the signs 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 you are dead.” 20 So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey and started back to Egypt. And he took the staff 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 I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. 22 Then say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what the Lord says: Israel is my firstborn son, 23 and I told you, “Let my son go, so he may worship me.” But you refused to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son.’”
24 At a lodging place on the way, the Lord met Moses[b] and was about to kill him. 25 But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it.[c] “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 of God and kissed 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 of the Israelites, 30 and Aaron told them everything the Lord had said to Moses. He also performed the signs before the people, 31 and they believed. And when they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.