Israel Multiplies in Egypt
1 Now these are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob; each came with his household: 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; 3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin; 4 Dan and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. 5 All the descendants of Jacob were seventy people; Joseph was [already] in Egypt. 6 Then Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation, 7 but the [a]Israelites were prolific and increased greatly; [b]they multiplied and became extremely strong, so that the land was filled with them.
8 [c]Now a new [d]king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph [nor the history of his accomplishments]. 9 He said to his people, “Behold, the [e]people of the sons of Israel are too many and too mighty for us [they greatly outnumber us]. 10 Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, so that they will not multiply and in the event of war, join our enemies, and fight against us and escape from the land.” 11 So they set taskmasters over them to oppress them with hard labor. And the sons of Israel built Pithom and Raamses as storage cities for Pharaoh. 12 But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more they multiplied and expanded, so that the Egyptians dreaded and were exasperated by the Israelites. 13 And the Egyptians made the Israelites serve rigorously [forcing them into severe slavery]. 14 They made their lives bitter with hard labor in mortar, brick, and all kinds of field work. All their labor was harsh and severe.
15 Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah (beauty) and the other named Puah (splendor), 16 “When you act as midwives to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, she shall live.” 17 But the midwives feared God [with profound reverence] and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded, but they let the boy babies live. 18 So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this thing, and allowed the boy babies to live?” 19 The midwives answered Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth quickly and their babies are born before the midwife can get to them.” 20 So God was good to the midwives, and the people [of Israel] multiplied and became very strong. 21 And because the midwives feared God [with profound reverence], [f]He established families and households for them. 22 Then [g]Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, “Every son who is born [to the Hebrews] must be thrown into the Nile, but every daughter you shall keep alive.”
The Birth of Moses
2 Now a [h]man of the house of Levi [the priestly tribe] went and took as his wife a daughter of Levi.(A) 2 The woman conceived and gave birth to a son; and when she saw that he was [especially] beautiful and healthy, she hid him for three months [to protect him from the Egyptians].(B) 3 When she could no longer hide him, she got him a basket (chest) made of papyrus reeds and covered it with tar and pitch [making it waterproof]. Then she put the child in it and set it among the reeds by the bank of the Nile. 4 And his sister [Miriam] stood some distance away to find out what would happen to him.
5 Now the [i]daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the Nile, and [she, together with] her maidens walked along the river’s bank; she saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid [to get it], and she brought it to her. 6 When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby was crying. And she took pity on him and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.” 7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call a [j]wet-nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” 8 And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go ahead.” So the girl went and called the child’s mother. 9 Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him. 10 And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. And she named him [k]Moses, and said, “Because I drew him out of the water.”
11 One day, after Moses had grown [into adulthood], it happened that he went to his countrymen and looked [with compassion] at their hard labors; and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his countrymen. 12 He turned to look around, and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 He went out the next day and saw two Hebrew men fighting with each other; and he said to the aggressor, “Why are you striking your friend?” 14 But the man said, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and said, “Certainly this incident is known.”
Moses Escapes to Midian
16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters; and they came and drew water [from the well where Moses was resting] and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 Then shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses stood up and helped them and watered their flock. 18 When they came to [n]Reuel (Jethro) their father, he said, “How is it that you have come back so soon today?” 19 They said, “An Egyptian saved us from the shepherds. He even drew water [from the well] for us and watered the flock.” 20 Then he said to his daughters, “Where is he? Why have you left the man behind? Invite him to have something to eat.” 21 Moses was willing to remain with the man, and he gave Moses his daughter Zipporah [to be his wife]. 22 She gave birth to a son, and he named him Gershom (stranger); for he said, “I have been a stranger in a foreign land.”
23 Now it happened after a long time [about forty years] that the king of Egypt died. And the children of Israel (Jacob) groaned and sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out. And their cry for help because of their bondage [o]ascended to God. 24 So God heard their groaning and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel).(C) 25 God saw the sons of Israel, and God took notice [of them] and was concerned about them [knowing all, understanding all, remembering all].(D)
The Burning Bush
3 Now Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro (Reuel) his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb (Sinai), the mountain of God. 2 The [p]Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing flame of fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was on fire, yet it was not consumed. 3 So Moses said, “I must turn away [from the flock] and see this great sight—why the bush is not burned up.” 4 When the Lord saw that he turned away [from the flock] to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5 Then God said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet [out of respect], because the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Then He said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
7 The Lord said, “I have in fact seen the affliction (suffering, desolation) of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters (oppressors); for I know their pain and suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand (power) of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a land [that is] good and spacious, to a land [q]flowing with milk and honey [a land of plenty]—to the place of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. 9 Now, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me; and I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them.
The Mission of Moses
10 Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, and then bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” 12 And God said, “Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve and worship God at this mountain.”
13 Then Moses said to God, “Behold, when I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers (ancestors) has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “[r]I Am Who I Am”; and He said, “You shall say this to the Israelites, ‘I Am has sent me to you.’” 15 Then God also said to Moses, “This is what you shall say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob (Israel), has sent me to you.’ This is My [s]Name forever, and this is My memorial [name] to all generations. 16 Go, gather the elders (tribal leaders) of Israel together, and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared to me, saying, “I am indeed concerned about you and what has been done to you in Egypt. 17 So I said I will bring you up out of the suffering and oppression of Egypt to the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, to a land [t]flowing with milk and honey.”’ 18 The elders [of the tribes] will listen and pay attention to what you say; and you, with the elders of Israel, shall go to the king of Egypt and you shall say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; so now, please, [we ask and plead with you,] let us go on a three days’ journey into the wilderness, so that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.’ 19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless [he is forced] by a strong hand. 20 So I will reach out My hand and strike Egypt with all My wonders which I shall do in the midst of it; and after that he will let you go. 21 And I will grant this people favor and respect in the sight of the Egyptians; therefore, it shall be that when you go, you will not go empty-handed. 22 But every woman shall [insistently] ask her neighbor and any woman who [u]lives in her house, for articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; and you shall put them on your sons and daughters. In this way you are to plunder the Egyptians [leaving bondage with great possessions that are rightfully yours].”(E)
Moses Given Powers
4 Then Moses answered [the Lord] and said, “What if they will not believe me or take seriously what I say? For they may say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you.’” 2 And the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” And he said, “A staff.” 3 Then He said, “Throw it on the ground.” So Moses threw it on the ground, and it became a [living] serpent [like the royal symbol on the crown of Pharaoh]; and Moses ran from it. 4 But the Lord said to Moses, “Reach out your hand and grasp it by the tail.” So he reached out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand— 5 [“You shall do this,” said the Lord,] “so that the elders may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has [most certainly] appeared to you.”
6 The Lord also said to him, “Put your hand into your robe [where it covers your chest].” So he put his hand into his robe, and when he took it out, his hand was [v]leprous, as white as snow. 7 Then God said, “Put your hand into your robe again.” So he put his hand back into his robe, and when he took it out, it was restored [and was] like the rest of his body. 8 “If they will not believe you or pay attention to the evidence of the first sign, they may believe the evidence of the second sign. 9 But if they will not believe these two signs or pay attention to what you say, you are to take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground; and the water which you take out of the river will turn into blood on the dry ground.”
10 Then Moses said to the Lord, “Please, Lord, I am not a man of words (eloquent, fluent), neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am [w]slow of speech and tongue.” 11 The Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute or the deaf, or the seeing or the blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and will teach you what you shall say.” 13 But he said, “Please my Lord, send the message [of rescue to Israel] by [someone else,] whomever else You will [choose].”
Aaron to Speak for Moses
14 Then the anger of the Lord was kindled and burned against Moses; He said, “Is there not your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know that he speaks fluently. Also, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be overjoyed. 15 You must speak to him and put the words in his mouth; I, even I, will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and I will teach you what you are to do. 16 Moreover, he shall speak for you to the people; he will act as a mouthpiece for you, and you will be as God to him [telling him what I say to you]. 17 You shall take in your hand this staff, with which you shall perform the signs [the miracles which prove I sent you].”
18 Then Moses went away and returned to Jethro his father-in-law, and said to him, “Please, let me go back so that I may return to my [x]relatives in Egypt, and see if they are still alive.” And Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.” 19 Then the Lord said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all the men who were seeking your life [for killing the Egyptian] are dead.”(F) 20 So Moses took his wife [Zipporah] and his sons [Gershom and Eliezer] and seated them on donkeys, and returned to the land of Egypt. Moses also 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 (miracles) which I have put in your hand, but I will harden his heart and make him stubborn so that he will not let the people go. 22 Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Israel is My son, My firstborn. 23 So I say to you, ‘Let My son go so that he may serve Me’; and if you refuse to let him go, behold, I will kill your son, your firstborn.”’”
24 Now it happened at the lodging place, that the Lord met Moses and sought to kill him [making him deathly ill because he had not circumcised one of his sons].(G) 25 [y]Then Zipporah took a flint knife and cut off the foreskin of her son and threw it at Moses’ feet, and said, “Indeed you are a husband of blood to me!” 26 So He let Moses alone [to recover]. At that time Zipporah said, “You are a husband of blood”—because of the circumcision.
27 The Lord said to Aaron, “Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.” So he went and met him at the mountain of God (Sinai) and kissed him. 28 Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord with which He had sent him, and all the signs that He had commanded him to do. 29 Then Moses and Aaron went [into Egypt] and assembled all the elders of the Israelites; 30 and Aaron said all the words which the Lord had spoken to Moses. Then Moses performed the signs [given to him by God] before the people. 31 So the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord was concerned about the Israelites and that He had looked [with compassion] on their suffering, then they bowed their heads and worshiped [the Lord].
Israel’s Labor Increased
5 Afterward Moses and Aaron came and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Let My people go, so that they may celebrate a feast to Me in the wilderness.’” 2 But Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, nor will I let Israel go.” 3 Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please, let us go on a three days’ journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the Lord our God, so that He does not discipline us with pestilence or with the sword.” 4 But the king of Egypt said to Moses and Aaron, “Why do you take the people away from their work? Get back to your burdens!” 5 Pharaoh said, “Look, the people of the land are now many, and you would have them stop their work!” 6 The very same day Pharaoh gave orders to the [Egyptian] taskmasters in charge of the people and their [Hebrew] foremen, saying, 7 “You will no longer give the people [z]straw to make brick as before; let them go and gather straw for themselves. 8 But the number of bricks which they were making before, you shall [still] require of them; you are not to reduce it in the least. For they are idle and lazy; that is why they cry, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.’ 9 Let labor be heavier on the men, and let them work [hard] at it so that they will pay no attention to [their God’s] lying words.”
10 Then the [Egyptian] taskmasters [in charge] of the people and their [Hebrew] foremen went out and said to the people, “Thus says Pharaoh, ‘I will not give you any straw. 11 Go, get straw for yourselves wherever you can find it, but your work [quota] will not be reduced in the least.’” 12 So the people were scattered throughout the land of Egypt to gather stubble to use for straw. 13 And the taskmasters pressured them, saying, “Finish your work, [fulfill] your daily quotas, just as when there was straw [given to you].” 14 And the Hebrew foremen, whom Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, were beaten and were asked, “Why have you not fulfilled your required quota of making bricks yesterday and today, as before?”
15 Then the Hebrew foremen came to Pharaoh and cried, “Why do you deal like this with your servants? 16 No straw is given to your servants, yet they say to us, ‘Make bricks!’ And look, your servants are being beaten, but it is the fault of your own people.” 17 But Pharaoh said, “You are lazy, very lazy and idle! That is why you say, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.’ 18 Get out now and get to work; for no straw will be given to you, yet you are to deliver the same quota of bricks.” 19 The Hebrew foremen saw that they were in a bad situation because they were told, “You must not reduce [in the least] your daily quota of bricks.” 20 When they left Pharaoh’s presence, the foremen met Moses and Aaron, who were waiting for them. 21 And the foremen said to them, “May the Lord look upon you and judge you, because you have made us odious (something hated) in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants, and you have put a sword in their hand to kill us.”
22 Then Moses turned again to the Lord and said, “O Lord, why have You brought harm and oppression to this people? Why did You ever send me? [I cannot understand Your purpose!] 23 Ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has harmed and oppressed this people, and You have done nothing at all to rescue Your people.”
God Promises Action
6 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for [aa]under compulsion he will [not only] let them go, but under compulsion he will drive them out of his land.”
2 Then God spoke further to Moses and said to him, “I am the Lord.(H) 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob (Israel) as God Almighty [El Shaddai], but by My [ab]name, [ac]Lord, I did not make Myself known to them [in acts and great miracles].(I) 4 I also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they lived as strangers (temporary residents, foreigners).(J) 5 And I have also heard the groaning of the sons of Israel, whom the Egyptians have enslaved, and I have [faithfully] remembered My covenant [with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob]. 6 Therefore, say to the children of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will free you from their bondage. I will redeem and rescue you with an outstretched (vigorous, powerful) arm and with great acts of judgment [against Egypt]. 7 Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who redeemed you and brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 I will bring you to the land which I [ad]swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel); and I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord [you have the promise of My changeless omnipotence and faithfulness].’” 9 Moses told this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their [ae]impatience and despondency, and because of their forced labor.
10 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 11 “Go, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the children of Israel go out of his land.” 12 But Moses said to the Lord, “Look, [my own people] the Israelites have not listened to me; so how then will Pharaoh listen to me, for I am [af]unskilled and inept in speech?” 13 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, and gave them a command concerning the Israelites and Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the Israelites out of the land of Egypt.
The Heads of Israel
14 These are the heads of their fathers’ households. The sons of Reuben, Israel’s (Jacob’s) firstborn: Hanoch and Pallu, Hezron and Carmi; these are the families of Reuben. 15 The sons of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman; these are the families of Simeon. 16 These are the names of the sons of Levi according to their births: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari; and Levi lived a hundred and thirty-seven years. 17 The sons of Gershon: Libni and Shimei, by their families. 18 The sons of Kohath: Amram (Moses’ father), Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel; and Kohath lived a hundred and thirty-three years. 19 The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of Levi according to their generations. 20 Amram married his father’s sister Jochebed, and she gave birth to Aaron and Moses; and Amram lived a hundred and thirty-seven years. 21 The sons of Izhar: Korah, Nepheg, and Zichri. 22 The sons of Uzziel: Mishael, Elzaphan, and Sithri. 23 Aaron married Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab and the sister of Nahshon, and she gave birth to Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 24 The sons of Korah: Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph. These are the [extended] families of the Korahites. 25 Eleazar, Aaron’s son, married one of the daughters of Putiel, and she gave birth to Phinehas. These are the heads of the fathers’ households of the Levites by their families. 26 These are [the same] Aaron and Moses to whom the Lord said, “Bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their [ag]armies.” 27 They were the ones who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt about bringing the Israelites out of Egypt; these are [the same] Moses and Aaron.
28 Now it happened on the day when the Lord spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, 29 that He said, “I am the Lord; tell Pharaoh king of Egypt everything that I say to you.” 30 But Moses said before the Lord, “Look, I am [ah]unskilled and inept in speech; how then will Pharaoh listen to me and pay attention to what I say?”
“I Will Stretch Out My Hand”
7 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now hear this: I make you as God to Pharaoh [to declare My will and purpose to him]; and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. 2 You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall tell Pharaoh to let the children of Israel go out of his land. 3 And I will make Pharaoh’s heart hard, and multiply My signs and My wonders (miracles) in the land of Egypt. 4 But Pharaoh will not listen to you, and I shall lay My hand on Egypt and bring out My hosts [like a defensive army, tribe by tribe], My people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment (the plagues). 5 The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the children of Israel from among them.” 6 And Moses and Aaron did so; just as the Lord commanded them, so they did. 7 Now Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three years old when they spoke to Pharaoh.
Aaron’s Rod Becomes a Serpent
8 Now the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 9 “When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Work a miracle [to prove your authority],’ then you say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh, so that it may become a serpent.’” 10 So Moses and Aaron came to Pharaoh, and did just as the Lord had commanded; Aaron threw down his staff before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. 11 Then Pharaoh called for the wise men [skilled in magic and omens] and the sorcerers [skilled in witchcraft], and they also, these magicians (soothsayer-priests) of Egypt, did the same with their secret arts and enchantments. 12 For every [ai]man threw down his staff and they turned into serpents; but Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. 13 Yet Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and he would not listen to them, just as the Lord had said.
Water Is Turned to Blood
14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is hard; he refuses to let the people go. 15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning as he is going out to the water, and wait for him on the bank of the Nile; and you shall take in your hand the staff that was turned into a serpent. 16 You shall say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to you, saying, “Let My people go, so that they may serve Me in the wilderness. But behold, you have not listened until now.” 17 Thus says the Lord, “By this you shall know and recognize and acknowledge that I am the Lord: look, with the staff in my hand I will strike the water in the Nile, and it shall be turned to blood. 18 The fish in the Nile will die, and the Nile will become foul, and the Egyptians will not be able to drink water from the Nile.”’” 19 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, over their streams, over their pools, and over all their reservoirs of water, so that they may become blood; and there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, in containers both of wood and of stone.’”
20 So Moses and Aaron did as the Lord commanded; Aaron lifted up the staff and struck the waters in the Nile, in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants, and all the water that was in the Nile was turned into blood. 21 The fish in the Nile died, and the river became foul smelling, and the Egyptians could not drink its water, and there was blood throughout [aj]all the land of Egypt. 22 But the magicians of Egypt did the [ak]same by their secret arts and enchantments; so Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said. 23 Then Pharaoh turned and went into his house, and he did not take even this [divine sign] to heart. 24 So all the Egyptians dug near the river for water to drink, because they could not drink the water of the Nile. 25 Seven days passed after the Lord had struck the Nile.
Frogs over the Land
8 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Let My people go, so that they may serve Me. 2 However, if you refuse to let them go, hear this: I am going to strike your entire land with frogs. 3 The Nile will swarm with frogs, which will come up and go into your home, into your bedroom and on to your bed, and into the houses of your servants and on your people, and into your ovens and your kneading bowls. 4 So the frogs will come up on you and on your people and all your servants.”’” 5 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your staff over the rivers, over the streams and canals, over the pools [among the reeds], and make frogs come up on the land of Egypt.’” 6 So Aaron stretched out his hand [with his staff] over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. 7 But the magicians (soothsayer-priests) did the same thing with their secret arts and enchantments, and [al]brought up [more] frogs on the land of Egypt.
8 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and said, “Plead with the Lord that He may take away the frogs from me and my people; and I will let the people go, so that they may sacrifice to the Lord.” 9 And Moses said to Pharaoh, “I am entirely at your service: when shall I plead [with the Lord] for you and your servants and your people, so that the frogs may leave you and your houses and remain only in the Nile?”
10 Then Pharaoh said, “[am]Tomorrow.” Moses replied, “May it be as you say, so that you may know [without any doubt] and acknowledge that there is no one like the Lord our God. 11 The frogs will leave you and your houses and leave your servants and your people; they will remain only in the Nile.” 12 So Moses and Aaron left Pharaoh, and Moses cried out to the Lord [as he had agreed to do] concerning the frogs which God had inflicted on Pharaoh. 13 The Lord did as Moses asked, and the frogs died out of the houses, out of the courtyards and villages, and out of the fields. 14 So they piled them up in heaps, and the land was detestable and stank. 15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was [temporary] relief, he hardened his heart and would not listen or pay attention to them, just as the Lord had said.
The Plagues of Gnats and Insects
16 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the ground, and it will become [biting] gnats (lice) throughout the land of Egypt.’” 17 They did so; Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff and struck the dust of the earth, and there were [biting] gnats on man and animal. All the dust of the land became gnats through all the land of Egypt. 18 The magicians (soothsayer-priests) tried by their secret arts and enchantments to create gnats, but they could not; and there were gnats on man and animal. 19 Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the [supernatural] finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and he would not listen to them, just as the Lord had said.
20 Now the Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh as he is coming out to the water [of the Nile], and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Let My people go, so that they may serve Me. 21 For if you do not let My people go, hear this: I will send swarms of [bloodsucking] insects on you and on your servants and on your people and into your houses; and the houses of the Egyptians will be full of swarms of insects, as well as the ground on which they stand. 22 But on that day I will separate and set apart the land of Goshen, where My people are living, so that no swarms of insects will be there, so that you may know [without any doubt] and acknowledge that I, the Lord, am in the midst of the earth. 23 I will [an]put a division (distinction) between My people and your people. By tomorrow this sign shall be in evidence.”’” 24 Then the Lord did so. And there came heavy and oppressive swarms of [bloodsucking] insects into the house of Pharaoh and his servants’ houses; in all the land of Egypt the land was corrupted and ruined because of the [great invasion of] insects.
25 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God [here] in the land [of Egypt].” 26 But Moses said, “It is not right [or even possible] to do that, for we will sacrifice to the Lord our God what is repulsive and unacceptable to the Egyptians [that is, animals that the Egyptians consider sacred]. If we sacrifice what is repulsive and unacceptable to the Egyptians, will they not riot and stone us? 27 We must go a three days’ journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the Lord our God as He commands us.” 28 So Pharaoh said, “I will let you go, so that you may sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; only you shall not go very far away. Plead [with your God] for me.” 29 Moses said, “I am going to leave you, and I will urgently petition (pray, entreat) the Lord that the swarms of insects may leave Pharaoh, his servants, and his people tomorrow; only do not let Pharaoh act deceitfully again by not letting the people go to sacrifice to the Lord.”
30 So Moses left Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord [on behalf of Pharaoh]. 31 The Lord did as Moses asked, and removed the swarms of [bloodsucking] insects from Pharaoh, from his servants and from his people; not one remained. 32 But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and he did not let the people go.
Egyptian Livestock Die
9 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews: “Let My people go, so that they may serve Me. 2 But if you refuse to let them go and continue to hold them, 3 now hear this: the hand of the Lord will fall on your livestock which are out in the field, on the horses, the donkeys, the camels, the herds, and the flocks—a horrible plague shall come. 4 But the Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, so that nothing that belongs to the Israelites will die.”’” 5 The Lord set a [definite] time, saying, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this thing in the land.” 6 And the Lord did this thing the next day, and all [kinds of] the livestock of Egypt died; but of the livestock of the Israelites, not one died. 7 Then Pharaoh sent [men to investigate], and not even one of the livestock of the Israelites had died. But the heart of Pharaoh was hardened [and his mind was firmly set], and he did not let the people go.
The Plague of Boils
8 Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Take handfuls of soot from the brick kiln, and let Moses throw it toward the sky in the sight of Pharaoh. 9 It will become fine dust over the entire land of Egypt, and it will become boils breaking out in sores on man and animal in all the land [occupied by the Egyptians].” 10 So they took soot from the kiln, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses threw it toward the sky, and it became boils erupting in sores on man and animal. 11 The magicians (soothsayer-priests) could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for the boils were on the magicians as well as on all the Egyptians. 12 But the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he did not listen or pay attention to them, just as the Lord had told Moses.
13 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, “Let My people go, so that they may serve Me. 14 For this time I will send all My plagues [ao]on you [in full force,] and on your servants and on your people, so that you may know [without any doubt] and acknowledge that there is no one like Me in all the earth. 15 For by now I could have put out My hand and struck you and your people with a pestilence, and you would then have been cut off (obliterated) from the earth. 16 But indeed for this very reason I have allowed you to live, in order to show you My power and in order that My name may be proclaimed throughout all the earth.(K)
The Plague of Hail
17 Since you are still [arrogantly] exalting yourself [in defiance] against My people by not letting them go, 18 hear this: tomorrow about this time I will send a very heavy and dreadful hail, such as has not been seen in Egypt from the day it was founded until now. 19 Now therefore send [a message], bring your livestock and whatever you have in the field to safety. Every man and animal that is in the field and is not brought home shall be struck by the hail and shall die.”’” 20 Then everyone among the servants of Pharaoh who feared the word of the Lord made his servants and his livestock flee into the houses and shelters; 21 but everyone who [ap]ignored and did not take seriously the word of the Lord left his servants and his livestock in the field.
22 Now the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand [with your staff] toward the sky, so that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, on man and on animal and on all the vegetation of the field, throughout the land of Egypt.” 23 Moses stretched out his staff toward the sky, and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and lightning (fireballs) ran down to the earth and along the ground. And the Lord rained hail on the land of Egypt. 24 So there was hail, and lightning (fireballs) flashing intermittently in the midst of the extremely heavy hail, such as had not been in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. 25 The hail struck down everything that was in the field throughout all the land of Egypt, both man and animal; the hail struck and beat down all the plants in the field and shattered every tree in the field. 26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel lived, was there no hail.
27 Then Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “I have sinned this time; the Lord is righteous, and I and my people are wicked. 28 Pray and entreat the Lord, for there has been enough of God’s [aq]thunder and hail; I will let you go, and you shall stay here no longer.” 29 Moses said to him, “As soon as I leave the city, I will stretch out my hands to the Lord; the thunder will cease and there will be no more hail, so that you may know [without any doubt] and acknowledge that the earth is the Lord’s. 30 But as for you and your servants, I know that you do not yet fear the Lord God.” 31 (Now the flax and the barley were battered and ruined [by the hail], because the barley was in the ear (ripe, but soft) and the flax was in bud, 32 but the wheat and spelt (coarse wheat) were not battered and ruined, because they ripen late in the season.) 33 So Moses left the city and Pharaoh, and stretched out his hands to the Lord; then the [ar]thunder and hail ceased, and rain no longer poured on the earth. 34 But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, he sinned again and hardened his heart, both he and his servants. 35 Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not let the Israelites go, just as the Lord had said through Moses.(L)
The Plague of Locusts
10 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants [making them determined and unresponsive], so that I may exhibit My signs [of divine power] [as]among them, 2 and that you may recount and explain in the hearing of your son, and your grandson, what I have done [repeatedly] to make a mockery of the Egyptians—My signs [of divine power] which I have done among them—so that you may know [without any doubt] and recognize [clearly] that I am the Lord.”
3 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews: ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Let My people go, so that they may serve Me. 4 For if you refuse to let My people go, then hear this: tomorrow I will bring [migratory] locusts into your country. 5 They shall cover the [visible] surface of the land, so that no one will be able to see the ground, and they will eat the rest of what has remained—that is, the vegetation left after the hail—and they will eat every one of your trees that grows in the field; 6 your houses and those of all your servants and of all the Egyptians shall be filled with locusts, as neither your fathers nor your grandfathers have seen, from their birth until this day.’” Then Moses turned and left Pharaoh. 7 Pharaoh’s servants said to him, “How long shall this man be a trap to us? Let the men go, so that they may serve the Lord their God. Do you not realize that Egypt is destroyed?” 8 So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh, and he said to them, “Go, serve the Lord your God! Who specifically are the ones that are going?” 9 Moses said, “We will go with our young and our old, with our sons and our daughters, with our flocks and our herds [all of us and all that we have], for we must hold a feast to the Lord.” 10 Pharaoh said to them, “The Lord be with you [to help you], if I ever let you go with your children [because you will never return]! Look [be forewarned], [at]you have an [au]evil plan in mind. 11 No! Go now, you who are men, [without your families] and serve the Lord, if that is what you want.” So Moses and Aaron were driven from Pharaoh’s presence.
12 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, so that they may come up on the land of Egypt and eat all the plants of the land, all that the hail has left.” 13 So Moses stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt, and the Lord brought an east wind on the land all that day and all that night; when it was morning, the east wind had brought the [swarms of] locusts. 14 The locusts came up over all the land of Egypt and settled down in the whole territory, a very dreadful mass of them; never before were there such locusts as these, nor will there ever be again. 15 For they covered the [visible] surface of the land, so that the ground was darkened; and they ate every plant of the land and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left. There remained not a green thing on the trees or the plants of the field throughout all the land of Egypt. 16 Then Pharaoh hurried to call for Moses and Aaron, and he said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you. 17 Now therefore, please forgive my sin only this once [more], and pray and entreat the Lord your God, so that He will remove this [plague of] death from me.” 18 Moses left Pharaoh and entreated the Lord. 19 So the Lord shifted the wind to a violent west wind which lifted up the locusts and drove them into the [av]Red Sea; not one locust remained within the border of Egypt. 20 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart [so that it was even more resolved and obstinate], and he did not let the Israelites go.
Darkness over the Land
21 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky, so that [aw]darkness may come over the land of Egypt, a darkness which [is so awful that it] may be felt.” 22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and for three days a thick darkness was all over the land of Egypt [no sun, no moon, no stars]. 23 The Egyptians could not see one another, nor did anyone leave his place for three days, but all the Israelites had [supernatural] light in their dwellings. 24 Then Pharaoh called to Moses, and said, “Go, serve the Lord; only your flocks and your herds must be left behind. Even your children may go with you.” 25 But Moses said, “You must also let us have sacrifices and burnt offerings, so that we may sacrifice them to the Lord our God. 26 Therefore, our livestock must also go with us; not one hoof shall be left behind, for we must take some of them to serve the Lord our God. Even we do not know with what we will serve the Lord until we arrive there.” 27 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was not willing to let them go. 28 Then Pharaoh said to Moses, “Get away from me! See that you never enter my presence again, for on the day that you see my face again you will die!” 29 Then Moses said, “You are correct; I will never see your face again!”
The Last Plague
11 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will bring yet one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt; after that he will let you go. When he lets you go, he will most certainly drive you out of here completely. 2 Speak so that all of the people [of Israel] may hear, and tell every man to ask from his neighbor, and every woman to ask from her neighbor, articles of silver, and articles of gold.” 3 The Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover, the man Moses was greatly esteemed in the land of Egypt, [both] in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants and in the sight of the people.
4 Then Moses said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘At midnight I am going out into the midst of Egypt, 5 and all the firstborn in the land [the pride, hope, and joy] of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the hand-mill, and all the firstborn of cattle as well. 6 There shall be a great cry [of heartache and sorrow] throughout the land of Egypt, such as has never been before and such as shall never be again. 7 But not even a dog will [ax]threaten any of the Israelites, whether man or animal, so that you may know [without any doubt] and acknowledge how the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.’ 8 All these servants of yours will come down to me and bow down before me, saying, ‘Get out, you and all the people who follow you.’ After that I will leave.” And he left Pharaoh in the heat of anger.
9 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, so that My wonders (miracles) may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.” 10 Moses and Aaron did all these wonders (miracles) before Pharaoh; yet the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the Israelites go out of his land.
The Passover Lamb
12 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, 2 “This [ay]month shall be the beginning of months to you; it is to be the first month of the year to you. 3 Tell all the congregation of Israel, ‘On the tenth [day] of this month they are to take a lamb or young goat for themselves, according to [the size of] the household of which he is the father, a lamb or young goat for each household. 4 Now if the household is too small for a lamb [to be consumed], let him and his next door neighbor take one according to the number of people [in the households]; according to what each man can eat, you are to divide the lamb. 5 Your lamb or young goat shall be [perfect] without blemish or bodily defect, a male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats.(M) 6 You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to slaughter it [az]at twilight. 7 Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel [above the door] of the houses in which they eat it.(N) 8 They shall eat the meat that same night, roasted in fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 9 Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted in fire—both its head and its legs, along with its inner parts. 10 You shall let none of the meat remain until the morning, and anything that remains left over until morning, you shall burn completely in the fire. 11 Now you are to eat it in this manner: [be prepared for a journey] with your [ba]loins girded [that is, with the outer garment tucked into the band], your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; you shall eat it quickly—it is the Lord’s Passover. 12 For I [the Lord] will pass through the land of Egypt on this night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and animal; against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments [exhibiting their worthlessness]. I am the Lord. 13 The blood shall be a sign for you on [the doorposts of] the houses where you live; when I see the blood I shall pass over you, and no affliction shall happen to you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.(O)
Feast of Unleavened Bread
14 ‘Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as an ordinance forever. 15 [In the celebration of the Passover in future years,] seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, but on the first day you shall remove the [bb]leaven from your houses [because it represents the spread of sin]; for whoever eats leavened bread on the first day through the seventh day, that person shall be cut off and excluded from [the atonement made for] Israel. 16 On the first day [of the feast] you shall have a holy and solemn assembly, and on the seventh day there shall be another holy and solemn assembly; no work of any kind shall be done on those days, except for the preparation of food which every person must eat—only that may be done by you. 17 You shall also observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because on this very day I brought your hosts [grouped according to tribal armies] out of the land of Egypt; therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an ordinance forever. 18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, [and continue] until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. 19 Seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses; whoever eats what is leavened shall be cut off and excluded from [the atonement made for] the congregation of Israel, whether a stranger or native-born.(P) 20 You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread.’”
21 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and take a lamb for yourselves according to [the size of] your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. 22 You shall take a bunch of [bc]hyssop, dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and touch some of the blood to the lintel [above the doorway] and to the two doorposts; and none of you shall go outside the door of his house until morning.
A Memorial of Redemption
23 For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel [above the entry way] and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow [bd]the destroyer to come into your houses to slay you. 24 You shall observe this event [concerning Passover] as an ordinance for you and for your children forever. 25 When you enter the land which the Lord will give you, as He has promised, you shall keep and observe this service. 26 When your children say to you, ‘What does this service mean to you?’ 27 you shall say, ‘It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s Passover, for He passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians, but spared our houses.’” And the people bowed [their heads] low and worshiped [God].
28 Then the Israelites went and did [as they had been told]: just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.
29 Now it happened at midnight that the Lord struck every firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the prisoner who was in the [be]dungeon, and all the firstborn of the cattle. 30 Pharaoh got up in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians, and there was a great cry [of heartache and sorrow] in Egypt, for there was no house where there was not someone dead. 31 Then he called for Moses and Aaron at night and said, “Get up, get out from among my people, both you and the Israelites; and go, serve the Lord, as you said. 32 Take both your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and go, and [ask your God to] bless me also.”
Exodus of Israel
33 The Egyptians [anxiously] urged the people [to leave], to send them out of the land quickly, for they said, “We will all be dead.” 34 So the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading bowls being bound up in their clothes on their shoulders.
35 Now the Israelites had acted in accordance with the word of Moses; and they had asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing. 36 The Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they gave them what they asked. And so they plundered the Egyptians [of those things].
37 Now the Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides [the women and] the children. 38 A mixed multitude [of non-Israelites from foreign nations] also went with them, along with both flocks and herds, a very large number of livestock.(Q) 39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought from Egypt; it was not leavened, since they were driven [quickly] from Egypt and could not delay, nor had they prepared any food for themselves.
40 Now the period of time the children of Israel lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years.(R) 41 At the end of the four hundred and thirty years, to that very day, all the hosts of the Lord [gathered into tribal armies] left the land of Egypt.
Ordinance of the Passover
42 It is a night of watching to be observed for the Lord for having brought them out of the land of Egypt; this [same] night is for the Lord, to be observed and celebrated by all the Israelites throughout their generations.
43 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover: no [bf]foreigner is to eat it; 44 but every man’s slave who is bought with money, after you have circumcised him, then he may eat it. 45 No stranger (temporary resident, foreigner) or hired servant shall eat it. 46 It is to be eaten inside one house; you shall not take any of the meat outside the house, nor shall you break any of its bones.(S) 47 The entire congregation of Israel shall keep and celebrate it. 48 If a stranger living temporarily among you wishes to celebrate the Passover to the Lord, all his males must be circumcised, and then he may participate and celebrate it like one that is born in the land. But no uncircumcised person may eat it. 49 The same law shall apply to the native-born and to the stranger who lives temporarily among you.”
50 Then all the Israelites did so; they did just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron. 51 And on that very same day the Lord brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt by their hosts (tribal armies).
Consecration of the Firstborn
13 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Sanctify to Me [that is, set apart for My purpose] every firstborn, the first offspring of every womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of animal; it is Mine.”
3 Moses said to the people, “Remember [solemnly observe and commemorate] this day on which you came out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage and slavery; for by a strong and powerful hand the Lord brought you out of this place. And nothing leavened shall be eaten. 4 On this day in the month Abib, you are about to go onward. 5 And it shall be when the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, which He swore to your fathers to give you, a land [of abundance] [bg]flowing with milk and honey, that you shall keep and observe this rite (service) in this month. 6 For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the Lord. 7 Unleavened bread shall be eaten throughout the seven days; no leavened bread shall be seen with you, nor shall there be leaven within the borders of your territory. 8 You shall explain this to your son on that day, saying, ‘It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ 9 It shall serve as a sign to you on your hand (arm), and as a reminder on your forehead, so that the instruction (law) of the Lord may be in your mouth; for with a strong and powerful hand the Lord brought you out of Egypt. 10 Therefore, you shall keep this ordinance at this time from year to year.
11 “Now it shall be when the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanite, as He swore to you and your fathers, and gives it to you, 12 you shall set apart and dedicate to the Lord all that first opens the womb. All the firstborn males of your livestock shall be the Lord’s. 13 Every firstborn of a [bh]donkey you shall redeem by [substituting] a lamb [as a sacrifice for it], but if you do not [wish to] redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and every firstborn among your sons you shall redeem [that is, “buy back” from God with a suitable sacrifice]. 14 And it shall be when your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What does this mean?’ you shall say to him, ‘With a strong and powerful hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, from the house of bondage and slavery. 15 For it happened, when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, that the Lord struck every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of animal. Therefore, I sacrifice to the Lord all the males, the first [to be born] of every womb, but every firstborn of my sons I redeem.’ 16 So it shall serve as a sign and a reminder on your [left] hand (arm) and as [bi]frontlets between your eyes, for by a strong and powerful hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt.”
God Leads the People
17 So it happened, when Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, even though it was nearer; for God said, “The people might change their minds when they see war [that is, that there will be war], and return to Egypt.” 18 But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the [bj]Red Sea; the sons of Israel went up in battle array (orderly ranks, marching formation) out of the land of Egypt. 19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph had solemnly ordered (placed under an oath) the Israelites, saying, “God will assuredly take care of you, and you must carry my bones away from here with you.”(T) 20 They journeyed from Succoth [in Goshen] and camped at Etham on the edge of the wilderness. 21 The [presence of the] Lord was going before them by day in a pillar (column) of cloud to lead them along the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, so that they could travel by day and by night. 22 He did not withdraw the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from going before the people.
Pharaoh in Pursuit
14 Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Tell the sons of Israel to turn back and camp in front of Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. You shall camp in front of Baal-zephon, opposite it, by the sea. 3 For Pharaoh will say of the Israelites, ‘They are wandering aimlessly in the land; the wilderness has shut them in.’ 4 I will harden (make stubborn, defiant) Pharaoh’s heart, so that he will pursue them; and I will be glorified and honored through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians shall know [without any doubt] and acknowledge that I am the Lord.” And they did so.
5 When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his servants had a change of heart toward the people, and they said, “What is this that we have done? We have let Israel go from serving us!” 6 So Pharaoh harnessed horses to his war-chariots [for battle] and took his [bk]army with him; 7 and he took six hundred chosen war-chariots, and all the other war-chariots of Egypt with [bl]fighting charioteers over all of them. 8 The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he pursued the Israelites, as they were leaving confidently and defiantly.(U) 9 The Egyptians chased them with all the horses and war-chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army, and they overtook them as they camped by the sea, beside Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon.
10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up and saw the Egyptians marching after them, and they were very frightened; so the Israelites cried out to the Lord. 11 Then they said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What is this that you have done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Did we not say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians?’ For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians [as slaves] than to die in the wilderness.”
The Sea Is Divided
13 Then Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid! Take your stand [be firm and confident and undismayed] and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for those Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you while you [only need to] keep silent and remain calm.”
15 The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to move forward [toward the sea]. 16 As for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, so that the sons of Israel may go through the middle of the sea on dry land. 17 As for Me, hear this: I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they will go in [the sea] after them; and I will be glorified and honored through Pharaoh and all his army, and his war-chariots and his horsemen. 18 And the Egyptians shall know [without any doubt] and acknowledge that I am the Lord, when I am glorified and honored through Pharaoh, through his war-chariots and his charioteers.”
19 The [bm]angel of God, who had been going in front of the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them. The pillar of the cloud moved from in front and stood behind them. 20 So it came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel. It was a cloud along with darkness [even by day to the Egyptians], but it gave light by night [to the Israelites]; so one [army] did not come near the other all night.
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord swept the sea back by a strong east wind all that night and turned the seabed into dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 The Israelites went into the middle of the sea on dry land, and the waters formed a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 23 Then the Egyptians pursued them into the middle of the sea, even all Pharaoh’s horses, his war-chariots and his charioteers. 24 So it happened at the early morning watch [before dawn], that the Lord looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and put them in a state of confusion. 25 He made their chariot wheels hard to turn, and the chariots difficult to drive; so the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from Israel, for the Lord is fighting for them against the Egyptians.”
26 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may come back over the Egyptians, on their war-chariots and their charioteers.” 27 So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal flow at sunrise; and the Egyptians retreated right into it [being met by the returning water]; so the Lord overthrew the Egyptians and tossed them into the midst of the sea. 28 The waters returned and covered the chariots and the charioteers, and all the army of Pharaoh that had gone into the sea after them; not even one of them survived. 29 But the Israelites walked on dry land in the middle of the sea, and the waters formed a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.
30 The Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians [lying] dead on the [bn]seashore. 31 When Israel saw the great power which the Lord had used against the Egyptians, they feared the Lord [with reverence and awe-filled respect], and they believed in the Lord, and in His servant Moses.
The Song of Moses and Israel
15 Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this [bo]song to the Lord, singing,
“I will sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously;
The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea.
“The Lord is my strength and my song,
And He has become my salvation;
This is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.
“The Lord is a warrior;
The Lord is His name.
“Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has thrown into the sea;
His chosen captains are drowned in the [bp]Red Sea.
“The deep [water] covers them;
[Clad in armor] they sank into the depths like a stone.
“Your right hand, O Lord, is glorious in power;
Your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy.
“In the greatness of Your majesty You overthrow and annihilate those [adversaries] who rise [in rebellion] against You;
You send out Your fury, and it consumes them like chaff.
“With the blast of Your nostrils the waters piled up,
The flowing waters stood up like a mound;
The deeps were congealed in the heart of the sea.
“The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil;
My desire shall be satisfied against them;
I will draw my sword, my hand shall dispossess them and drive them out.’
“You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them;
[Clad in armor] they sank like lead in the mighty waters.
“Who is like You among the gods, O Lord?
Who is like You, majestic in holiness,
Awesome in splendor, working wonders?
“You stretched out Your right hand,
The [bq]sea swallowed them.
“You in Your lovingkindness and goodness have led the people whom You have redeemed;
In Your strength You have guided them with care to Your holy habitation.
“The peoples have heard [about You], they tremble;
Anguish and fear has gripped the inhabitants of Philistia.
“Then the [tribal] chiefs of Edom were dismayed and horrified;
The [mighty] leaders of Moab, trembling grips them;
All the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away [in despair]—
Terror and dread fall on them;
Because of the greatness of Your arm they are as still as a stone;
Until Your people pass by and [into Canaan], O Lord,
Until the people pass by whom You have purchased.
“You will bring them [into the land of promise] and plant them on the mountain (Mt. Moriah in Jerusalem) of Your inheritance,
The place, O Lord, You have made for Your dwelling [among them],
The sanctuary, O Lord, which Your hands have established.
“The Lord shall reign to eternity and beyond.”
19 For the horses of Pharaoh went with his war-chariots and his charioteers into the sea, and the Lord brought back the waters of the sea on them, but the sons of Israel walked on dry land in the middle of the sea.
20 Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron [and Moses], took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her with timbrels and dancing.(V) 21 Miriam answered them,
“Sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously and is highly exalted;
The horse and its rider He has hurled into the sea.”
The Lord Provides Water
22 Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea, and they went into the Wilderness of Shur; they went [a distance of] three days (about thirty-three miles) in the wilderness and found no water. 23 Then they came to Marah, but they could not drink its waters because they were [br]bitter; therefore it was named Marah (bitter). 24 The people [grew discontented and] grumbled at Moses, saying, “What are we going to drink?” 25 Then he cried to the Lord [for help], and the Lord showed him a tree, [a branch of] which he threw into the waters, and the waters became sweet.
There the Lord made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there [bs]He tested them, 26 saying, “If you will diligently listen and pay attention to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and listen to His commandments, and keep [foremost in your thoughts and actively obey] all His precepts and statutes, then I will not put on you any of the diseases which I have put on the Egyptians; for I am the [bt]Lord who heals you.”
27 Then the children of Israel came to Elim where there were twelve springs of water and seventy date palms, and they camped there beside the waters.
The Lord Provides Manna
16 They set out from Elim, and all the congregation of Israel came to the Wilderness of [bu]Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they left the land of Egypt. 2 The whole congregation of the Israelites [grew discontented and] murmured and rebelled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, 3 and the Israelites said to them, “[bv]Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and ate bread until we were full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this entire assembly with hunger.”
4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will cause bread to rain from heaven for you; the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, so that I may test them [to determine] whether or not they will walk [obediently] in My instruction (law). 5 And it shall be that on the sixth day, they shall prepare to bring in twice as much as they gather daily [so that they will not need to gather on the seventh day].” 6 So Moses and Aaron said to all Israel, “At evening you shall know that the Lord has brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7 and in the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, for He hears your murmurings against the Lord. What are we, that you murmur and rebel against us?”
The Lord Provides Meat
8 Moses said, “This will happen when the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening, and in the morning [enough] bread to be fully satisfied, because the Lord has heard your murmurings against Him; for what are we? Your murmurings are not against us, but against the Lord.”
9 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to all the congregation of Israel, ‘Approach the Lord, because He has heard your murmurings.’” 10 So it happened that as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory and brilliance of the Lord appeared in the cloud! 11 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 12 “I have heard the murmurings of the Israelites; speak to them, saying, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread; and you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’”
13 So in the evening the quails came up and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a blanket of dew around the camp. 14 When the layer of dew evaporated, on the surface of the wilderness there was a fine, flake-like thing, as fine as frost on the ground. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, “[bw]What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “This is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat.(W) 16 This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Let every man gather as much of it as he needs. Take an [bx]omer for each person, according to the number of people each of you has in his tent.’” 17 The Israelites did so, and some gathered much [of it] and some [only a] little. 18 When they measured it with an omer, he who had gathered a large amount had no excess, and he who had gathered little had no lack; every man gathered according to his need (family size). 19 Moses said, “Let none of it be left [overnight] until [the next] morning.” 20 But they did not listen to Moses, and some left a supply of it until morning, and it bred worms and became foul and rotten; and Moses was angry with them. 21 So they gathered it every morning, each as much as he needed, because when the sun was hot it melted.
The Sabbath Observed
22 Now on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each person; and all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses. 23 He said to them, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Tomorrow is a solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord’; bake and boil what you will bake and boil [today], and all that remains left over put aside for yourselves to keep until morning.” 24 They put it aside until morning, as Moses told them, and it did not become foul nor was it wormy. 25 Then Moses said, “Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. 26 Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will be none [in the field].”
27 Now on the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, but they found none. 28 Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long do you [people] refuse to keep My commandments and My instructions (laws)? 29 See, the Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you the bread for two days on the sixth day. Let every man stay in his place; no man is to leave his place on the seventh day.” 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.
31 The house of Israel called the bread manna; it was like coriander seed, white, and it tasted like flat pastry (wafers) made with honey. 32 Then Moses said, “This is the word which the Lord commands, ‘Let an omer of it be kept throughout your generations, that they may see the bread with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.’” 33 So Moses said to Aaron, “Take a pot and put an omer of manna in it, and place it before the Lord to be kept throughout your generations.” 34 As the Lord commanded Moses, so Aaron [eventually] placed it in the presence of the [by]Testimony, to be kept.(X) 35 The Israelites ate manna forty years, until they reached an inhabited land; they ate the manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan. 36 (Now an [bz]omer is the tenth of an [ca]ephah.)
- Exodus 1:7 In general, sons (children, descendants) of Israel or Israel or Israelites refers to all the people (males and females) of the various tribes descended from the twelve sons (Gen 35:23-26) of Jacob (later renamed Israel by God). In verses concerning things such as warfare or circumcision sons of Israel or Israel or Israelites usually refers only to the males. Tribes of ancient people were identified by the name of their founding ancestor. Therefore, this same general rule applies when referring to individual tribal groups, e.g. sons of Reuben, Reuben, Reubenites and so throughout.
- Exodus 1:7 Over two hundred years have passed since the death of Joseph.
- Exodus 1:8 The political attitude toward the Israelites living in Egypt changed from friendly and welcoming to suspicious and hostile, and Israel’s struggle for existence led to one of the most dramatic and memorable interventions that God would make in human history.
- Exodus 1:8 The identity of this pharaoh is uncertain. Some scholars think he was Ahmose I (1570-1546 b.c.), founder of the 18th dynasty of Egypt’s New Kingdom or Ahmose’s successor, Amenhotep I (1546-1525 b.c.). Others believe that this Pharaoh was one of the first of the Hyksos rulers; the Hyksos were foreign invaders.
- Exodus 1:9 This is the first record of the descendants of Israel (Jacob) being regarded as a separate nation (also see Gen 34:7 and note).
- Exodus 1:21 Lit made them houses.
- Exodus 1:22 If the early date of the exodus (1446 b.c.) is acknowledged, as most conservative scholars hold, then this pharaoh is likely Thutmose I (1525-1512 b.c.).
- Exodus 2:1 I.e. Amram; Ex 6:20 identifies Amram and Jochebed as the parents of Aaron and Moses.
- Exodus 2:5 If the pharaoh is Thutmose I, then this is likely his daughter, Hatshepsut.
- Exodus 2:7 Lit a nursing woman.
- Exodus 2:10 The name Moses is a wonderful choice. It means “drawing out” in Hebrew, but in Egyptian, a similar word means “man of royalty” (e.g. the syllable “mose” in names like Thutmose).
- Exodus 2:15 This pharaoh is likely to be identified as Thutmose III (1483-1450 b.c.).
- Exodus 2:15 After Sarah died Abraham took Keturah his concubine (see note Gen 22:24) as a secondary wife. Midian was the fourth of six sons born to Keturah. Abraham gave gifts to Isaac’s half brothers and sent them eastward so that they would have no claim on Isaac’s position as Abraham’s only heir and the son of promise.
- Exodus 2:18 Reuel’s other name, Jethro (Excellency), may have been a title indicating his rank in the tribe.
- Exodus 2:23 The description of God in this passage (vv 23-25) attributes human qualities to God, including human emotions and ways of thinking or decision-making. It is meant to relate to a human point of view, without concern for a strict theological accounting of God’s nature. In reality, God is present everywhere, and is always aware of everything that has happened and will happen.
- Exodus 3:2 “Angel of the Lord” has been capitalized here to reflect the likelihood that it is God appearing in a visible form (see vv 4, 6; also note Gen 16:7).
- Exodus 3:8 This phrase referred to the abundant fertility of the land of Canaan. Milk (typically that of goats and sheep) was associated with abundance; “honey” referred mainly to syrups made from dates or grapes and was the epitome of sweetness. Bees’ honey was very rare and was considered the choicest of foods.
- Exodus 3:14 Related to the name of God, YHWH, rendered Lord, which is derived from the verb HAYAH, to be.
- Exodus 3:15 To know the names of God is to understand His many attributes and grasp the godly characteristic which the name denotes (Ex 6:3; 1 Kin 8:33 ff; Ps 91:14; Is 52:6; 64:2; Jer 16:21). God’s name is His self-revelation.
- Exodus 3:17 See note v 8.
- Exodus 3:22 This indicates that the Egyptians had occupied the Israelites’ homes and confiscated their possessions as part of Pharaoh’s policy of enslavement. Later, after suffering all the plagues, the Egyptians would be more than willing to give the Israelites whatever they asked, in order to be rid of them.
- Exodus 4:6 The Hebrew term for “leprous” referred to any of several severe rashes or skin diseases, including Hansen’s disease (true leprosy).
- Exodus 4:10 Lit heavy of mouth and heavy of tongue.
- Exodus 4:18 Lit brethren.
- Exodus 4:25 Moses had not circumcised his son in obedience to the commandment that God had given to Abraham and his descendants (Gen 17:10 ff). It is possible that Moses refrained from doing the procedure because his wife Zipporah, a Midianite, had objected. If so, Zipporah now reluctantly performed the procedure herself as a last resort to save Moses’ life, not hiding her disgust over the situation.
- Exodus 5:7 Straw served as a binding agent with the mud, nearly tripling the strength of the brick.
- Exodus 6:1 Lit with a strong hand.
- Exodus 6:3 See note 3:15.
- Exodus 6:3 Heb YHWH (Yahweh), usually rendered Lord, i.e. the One who would redeem Israel.
- Exodus 6:8 Lit lifted up My hand.
- Exodus 6:9 Lit shortness of spirit.
- Exodus 6:12 Lit uncircumcised of lips.
- Exodus 6:26 Or hosts. The Israelites left Egypt arranged by tribes as a quasi-army prepared to defend themselves, if necessary.
- Exodus 6:30 Lit uncircumcised of lips.
- Exodus 7:12 Jannes and Jambres may have been among this group of Egyptian sorcerers. See 2 Tim 3:8.
- Exodus 7:21 At least some of the ground water was spared, and the Egyptians were forced to dig for it (v 24).
- Exodus 7:22 Perhaps the priests were able to change a small quantity of the blood back into water or vice-versa. That would explain why Pharaoh took the problem so lightly (v 23).
- Exodus 8:7 If the magicians had possessed true power they would have halted the plagues, not exacerbated them.
- Exodus 8:10 Pharaoh’s answer suggests that he still did not have an understanding of God’s power, since he could have requested the immediate removal of the frogs.
- Exodus 8:23 Lit set a ransom.
- Exodus 9:14 Lit to your heart.
- Exodus 9:21 Lit did not set his heart on.
- Exodus 9:28 Lit sounds.
- Exodus 9:33 Lit sounds.
- Exodus 10:1 Lit in his midst.
- Exodus 10:10 Lit for evil is in front of your faces.
- Exodus 10:10 Pharaoh was suspicious that Moses intended to lead Israel away from Egypt for good. He knew that as long as their children remained in Egypt, the Israelites would not attempt an escape to freedom.
- Exodus 10:19 Lit Sea of Reeds (Hebrew) yam suph. The traditional name “Red Sea” comes from the Greek, which is based on the designation of the fifth-century b.c. Greek historian Herodotus. The famous historian, who was called the father of history, considered the sea part of the Indian Ocean, which he called the Red Sea. Later the term came to refer to the sea itself. The name “Red Sea” is used throughout the O.T. instead of “Sea of Reeds.”
- Exodus 10:21 One of the primary gods of the Egyptians was Ra the sun-god. The darkness revealed his uselessness and prevented the daily rituals of pagan worship.
- Exodus 11:7 Lit move his tongue, that is, bark in a threatening way.
- Exodus 12:2 Originally known as Abib (March/April), after the Babylonian captivity the name was changed to Nisan.
- Exodus 12:6 Lit between the two evenings, that is, between sunset and nightfall (likely 6:00-7:20 p.m.) each household was to slaughter its own lamb or goat.
- Exodus 12:11 A variation of a phrase often found in the Bible that is an urgent call to get ready for immediate action, or to prepare for a coming action or event. The phrase is related to the type of clothing worn in ancient times. To keep from impeding the wearer during any vigorous activity, e.g. battle, exercise, strenuous work, etc., the loose ends of garments (tunics, cloaks, mantles, etc.) had to be gathered up and tucked into the girdle. The girdle was a band about six inches wide that had fasteners in front. It was worn around the loins (the midsection of the body between the lower ribs and the hips) and was normally made of leather. The girdle (band) also served as a kind of pocket or pouch and was used to carry personal items such as a dagger, money or other necessary things. Gird up your mind or gird up your heart are examples of variants of this phrase and call for mental or spiritual preparation for a coming challenge.
- Exodus 12:15 This is the first time leaven is mentioned in the Bible. The Hebrew word (seor) refers specifically to the leavening agent (as opposed to dough containing it), which today is thought of as yeast, a type of fungus. In Jewish thinking, leaven was symbolic of impurity and corruption. As leaven spreads through dough, sin spreads through a population. Jesus used it as a symbol for the corrupt and hypocritical teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees (see especially Luke 12:1; cf Matt 16:11; Mark 8:15), but He also used leaven’s ability to permeate a mass of dough many times its own size as an illustration of the spread of the kingdom of heaven (Matt 13:33; Luke 13:21).
- Exodus 12:22 This evidently was a bristly plant which was useful as a kind of brush.
- Exodus 12:23 Another translation is “the destruction,” which would make Yahweh (God) Himself, and not an “Angel of the Lord,” the One who either “passes over” (Ex 12:13) or “destroys.”
- Exodus 12:29 Lit house of a cistern. Cisterns, which were underground water reservoirs, were, when dry, sometimes used to confine prisoners.
- Exodus 12:43 I.e. a gentile who had not become a proselyte to Judaism; but see v 48 for an exception.
- Exodus 13:5 This phrase referred to the abundant fertility of the land of Canaan. Milk (typically that of goats and sheep) was associated with abundance; “honey” referred mainly to syrups made from dates or grapes and was the epitome of sweetness. Bees’ honey was very rare and was considered the choicest of foods.
- Exodus 13:13 For most Israelites, the donkey would eventually be important for their livelihoods as a work-animal, so God foresaw the need and allowed this exception. Those who had no need for an additional donkey were not required to redeem it, but were to kill it in recognition of God’s right to the firstborn. On the other hand, redemption was of course the only option for a firstborn son. God thereby honors His own right to the firstborn, but at the same time forbids human sacrifice.
- Exodus 13:16 Heb totaphoth, later renamed tefillin (“attachment”) but often called phylacteries (Gr “safeguards”) these came to be small cube-shaped leather pouches which contained tiny parchments of Ex 13:1-16 and Deut 6:4-9; 11:13-21. They were strapped to the forehead and the left forearm of Jewish men (or the right forearm, if a man was left-handed) in obedience to the commands in this verse and Deut 6:8. Phylacteries and the parchments contained in them were very artistically made, and are still worn today by observant Jews during morning services.
- Exodus 13:18 Lit Sea of Reeds. See note 10:19.
- Exodus 14:6 Lit people.
- Exodus 14:7 Or perhaps three-man teams.
- Exodus 14:19 See note Gen 16:7.
- Exodus 14:30 Lit the lip of the sea.
- Exodus 15:1 It was natural enough to create and sing a song of celebration to the Lord at this point, but the song, with all its detail, undoubtedly served as a memory device as well, a way to embed the account of the miracle in the minds of the people of Israel.
- Exodus 15:4 Lit Sea of Reeds.
- Exodus 15:12 Lit earth.
- Exodus 15:23 The water may have been like that of the Dead Sea, which has such a high salt content that it is bitter, and the natural reaction when attempting to sample it is to spit it out immediately.
- Exodus 15:25 God tests His people to see if they are learning from past experiences and growing in spiritual maturity.
- Exodus 15:26 Heb YHWH (Yahweh)-Ropheeka.
- Exodus 16:1 Pronounced “seen” in Hebrew, it means “the place.” Although the words are spelled the same in English, “Sin” is not related in any way to “sin” (an offense against God).
- Exodus 16:3 To understand Israel’s rebellious behavior, it is important to grasp the contrast between life in Egypt and nomadic life in the wilderness. Despite the hardships of slavery survival was not an issue in Egypt, where they were guaranteed food and other necessities. But the desert wilderness was hostile and unforgiving, and survival was an art. Desert nomads needed to understand the wilderness in order to stay alive; they had to learn, among other things, how to protect themselves from the weather, where to find water and pasture, and how to find and prepare scarce food, or live primarily from what their livestock could provide them. So the Israelites viewed every new problem they faced as life-threatening. Instead of looking back and taking comfort from God’s earlier miracles, they doubted God’s ability and willingness to help them. Their fears and doubts subsequently came to be expressed as irrational anger toward Moses.
- Exodus 16:15 Heb man hu, cf v 31.
- Exodus 16:16 I.e. a little over two quarts.
- Exodus 16:34 The stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written.
- Exodus 16:36 I.e. a little over two quarts.
- Exodus 16:36 I.e. approx one bushel.