Exodus 1:6-2:15 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
6 Later, Joseph, his brothers, and all the people of that generation died. 7 But the Israelites had many children, and their number grew until the country of Egypt was filled with them.
Trouble for the Israelites
8 Then a new king began to rule Egypt. He did not know Joseph. 9 This king said to his people, “Look at the Israelites. There are too many of them, and they are stronger than we are! 10 We must make plans to stop them from growing stronger. If there is a war, they might join our enemies, defeat us, and escape from the land!”
11 The Egyptians decided to make life hard for the Israelites, so they put slave masters over the people. These masters forced the Israelites to build the cities of Pithom and Rameses for the king. The king used these cities to store grain and other things.
12 The Egyptians forced the Israelites to work harder and harder. But the harder they worked, the more they grew and spread, and the more the Egyptians became afraid of them. 13 So the Egyptians made them work even harder.
14 They made life hard for the Israelites. They forced the Israelites to work hard at making bricks and mortar and to work hard in the fields. The Egyptians showed no mercy in all the hard work they made the Israelites do!
The Nurses Who Followed God
15 There were two Hebrew[a] nurses who helped the Israelite women give birth. They were named Shiphrah and Puah. The king of Egypt said to the nurses, 16 “You will continue to help the Hebrew women give birth to their children. If a girl baby is born, let the baby live. But if the baby is a boy, you must kill him!”
17 But the nurses trusted[b] God, so they did not obey the king’s command. They let all the baby boys live.
18 The king of Egypt called for the nurses and asked them, “Why did you do this? Why did you let the baby boys live?”
19 The nurses said to the king, “The Hebrew women are much stronger than the Egyptian women. They give birth to their babies before we can go to help them.” 20-21 The nurses trusted God, so he was good to them and allowed them to have their own families.
The Hebrews continued to have more children, and they became very strong. 22 So Pharaoh gave this command to his own people: “If the Hebrew women give birth to a baby girl, let it live. But if they have a baby boy, you must throw it into the Nile River.”
2 There was a man from the family of Levi who decided to marry a woman from the tribe of Levi.[c] 2 She became pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy. The mother saw how beautiful the baby was and hid him for three months. 3 She hid him for as long as she could. After three months she made a basket and covered it with tar so that it would float. Then she put the baby in the basket and put the basket in the river in the tall grass. 4 The baby’s sister stayed and watched to see what would happen to the baby.
5 Just then, Pharaoh’s daughter went to the river to bathe. She saw the basket in the tall grass. Her servants were walking beside the river, so she told one of them to go get the basket. 6 The king’s daughter opened the basket and saw a baby boy. The baby was crying and she felt sorry for him. Then she noticed that it was one of the Hebrew[d] babies.
7 The baby’s sister was still hiding. She stood and asked the king’s daughter, “Do you want me to go find a Hebrew woman who can nurse the baby and help you care for it?”
8 The king’s daughter said, “Yes, please.”
So the girl went and brought the baby’s own mother.
9 The king’s daughter said to the mother, “Take this baby and feed him for me. I’ll pay you to take care of him.”
So the woman took her baby and cared for him. 10 The baby grew, and after some time, the woman gave the baby to the king’s daughter. The king’s daughter accepted the baby as her own son. She named him Moses[e] because she had pulled him from the water.
Moses Helps His People
11 Moses grew and became a man. He saw that his own people, the Hebrews, were forced to work very hard. One day he saw an Egyptian man beating a Hebrew man. 12 Moses looked around and saw that no one was watching, so he killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand.
13 The next day Moses saw two Hebrew men fighting each other. He saw that one man was wrong and said to him, “Why are you hurting your neighbor?”
14 The man answered, “Did anyone say you could be our ruler and judge? Tell me, will you kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday[f]?”
Then Moses was afraid. He thought to himself, “Now everyone knows what I did.”
15 Pharaoh heard about what Moses did, so he decided to kill him. But Moses ran away from Pharaoh and went to the land of Midian.
Moses in Midian
Moses stopped near a well in Midian.
Exodus 3:1-15 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
The Burning Bush
3 Moses’ father-in-law was named Jethro.[a] Jethro was a priest of Midian. Moses took care of Jethro’s sheep. One day Moses led the sheep to the west side of the desert. He went to a mountain called Horeb,[b] the mountain of God. 2 On that mountain, Moses saw the angel of the Lord in a burning bush.
Moses saw a bush that was burning without being destroyed. 3 So he decided to go closer to the bush and see how a bush could continue burning without being burned up.
4 The Lord saw Moses was coming to look at the bush. So he called to him from the bush. He said, “Moses, Moses!”
Moses said, “Yes, Lord.”
5 Then God said, “Don’t come any closer. Take off your sandals. You are standing on holy ground. 6 I am the God of your ancestors. I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”
Moses covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.
7 Then the Lord said, “I have seen the troubles my people have suffered in Egypt, and I have heard their cries when the Egyptians hurt them. I know about their pain. 8 Now I will go down and save my people from the Egyptians. I will take them from that land and lead them to a good land where they can be free from these troubles.[c] It is a land filled with many good things.[d] Many different people live in that land: the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 9 I have heard the cries of the Israelites, and I have seen the way the Egyptians have made life hard for them. 10 So now I am sending you to Pharaoh. Go! Lead my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.”
11 But Moses said to God, “I am not a great man! How can I be the one to go to Pharaoh and lead the Israelites out of Egypt?”
12 God said, “You can do it because I will be with you. This will be the proof that I am sending you: After you lead the people out of Egypt, you will come and worship me on this mountain.”
13 Then Moses said to God, “But if I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors sent me,’ then the people will ask, ‘What is his name?’ What should I tell them?”
14 Then God said to Moses, “Tell them, ‘I Am Who I Am.’[e] When you go to the Israelites, tell them, ‘I Am’ sent me to you.” 15 And God said, “Tell the Israelites that you were sent by Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob. This will always be my name. It is how I want the people to remember me from now on.
Exodus 4:1-17 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.”