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Moses Commits Murder and Flees to Midian

11 In the course of time Moses grew up. Then he went to ⌞see⌟ his own people and watched them suffering under forced labor. He saw a Hebrew, one of his own people, being beaten by an Egyptian. 12 He looked all around, and when he didn’t see anyone, he beat the Egyptian to death and hid the body in the sand.

13 When Moses went there the next day, he saw two Hebrew men fighting. He asked the one who started the fight, “Why are you beating another Hebrew?”

14 The man asked, “Who made you our ruler and judge? Are you going to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought that everyone knew what he had done.

15 When Pharaoh heard what Moses had done, he tried to have him killed. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and settled in the land of Midian.

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One day, while Moses was sitting by a well,

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Moses at the Burning Bush

Moses was taking care of the sheep of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian. As he led the sheep to the far side of the desert, he came to Horeb, the mountain of God.

The Messenger of the Lord appeared to him there as flames of fire coming out of a bush. Moses looked, and although the bush was on fire, it was not burning up. So he thought, “Why isn’t this bush burning up? I must go over there and see this strange sight.”

When the Lord saw that Moses had come over to see it, God called to him from the bush, “Moses, Moses!”

Moses answered, “Here I am!”

God said, “Don’t come any closer! Take off your sandals because this place where you are standing is holy ground. I am the God of your ancestors,[a] the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God.

The Lord said, “I have seen the misery of my people in Egypt, and I have heard them crying out because of the slave drivers. I know how much they’re suffering. I have come to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and to bring them from that land to a good land with plenty of room ⌞for everyone⌟. It is a land flowing with milk and honey where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites live. I have heard the cry of the people of Israel. I have seen how the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 Now, go! I am sending you to Pharaoh so that you can bring my people Israel out of Egypt.”

11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the people of Israel out of Egypt?”

12 God answered, “I will be with you. And this will be the proof that I sent you: When you bring the people out of Egypt, all of you will worship God on this mountain.”

13 Then Moses replied to God, “Suppose I go to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ What should I tell them?”

14 God answered Moses, “I Am Who I Am. This is what you must say to the people of Israel: ‘I Am has sent me to you.’ ”

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Footnotes

  1. 3:6 Samaritan Pentateuch, Greek, Acts 7:32; Masoretic Text “ancestor.”