Exodus 4:1-5:21 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
Objections and Excuses
4 Then Moses said, “But look, they will not believe me or listen to my voice. They will say, ‘Adonai has not appeared to you.’”
2 So Adonai said to him, “What is that in your hand?”
“A staff,” he said.
3 Then He said, “Cast it on the ground.” When he cast it to the ground, it became a serpent, so Moses fled from before it. 4 Then Adonai said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand, and take it by the tail.” So he put out his hand, laid hold of it, and it became a staff in his hand.
5 “This is so that they may believe Adonai, the God of their fathers—the God of Abra-ham, Isaac and Jacob—has appeared to you.”
6 Adonai also said to him, “Now put your hand within your cloak.” So he put his hand inside, and when he took it out, his hand had tza-ra’at—white as snow. 7 Then He said, “Put your hand back into your cloak.” So he put his hand back in, and when he took it out it was restored again as the rest of his skin.
8 Then He said, “If they do not believe you, or listen to the voice of the first sign, they will believe the message of the latter sign. 9 But if they do not believe even these two signs nor listen to your voice, you are to take the water of the river and pour it on the dry land. The water which you take out of the river will become blood on the ground.”
10 But Moses said to Adonai, “Adonai, I am not a man of words—not yesterday, nor the day before, nor since You have spoken to Your servant—because I have a slow mouth and a heavy tongue.”
11 So Adonai said to him, “Who made man’s mouth? Or who makes a man mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, Adonai? 12 Now go! I will be with your mouth and teach you what to say.”
13 But he said, “Please, please, send it by another hand.”
14 Then the anger of Adonai was kindled against Moses, so He said, “In fact, Aaron the Levite is your brother. I know that he can speak well. Moreover, he is on his way to meet you! When he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. 15 You are to speak to him and put the words in his mouth. I will be with your mouth and with his, and teach you what to do. 16 He will be your spokesman to the people, so that he may act as a mouthpiece for you, and it will be as if you were as God for him. 17 Now then, you must take this staff in your hand to do the signs.”
Moses Returns to Egypt
18 So Moses went, returned to his father-in-law Jethro and said to him, “Please let me go, so I may return to my kinsmen who are in Egypt and see whether they are still alive.”
Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.”
19 Then Adonai said to Moses in Midian, “Go, return to Egypt, for all the men that sought your life are dead.” 20 So Moses took his wife and his sons, set them on a donkey and returned to the land of Egypt. Moses took the staff of God in his hand.
21 Adonai said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all the wonders before Pharaoh that I have put in your hand. Still, I will harden his heart, and he will not let the people go. 22 You are to say to Pharaoh, “This is what Adonai says: ‘Israel is My son, My firstborn. 23 So I have said to you, Let My son go, that he may serve Me, but you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will slay your son, your firstborn.’”
24 It happened along the way, at a lodging place, that Adonai met him and sought to kill him! 25 But Zipporah took a flint, cut off the foreskin of her son, and threw it at his feet, saying, “You are surely a bridegroom of blood to me.” 26 She said, “A bridegroom of blood” because of the circumcision. Then He let him alone.
27 Now Adonai said to Aaron, “Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.” So he went and met him at the mountain of God, and kissed him. 28 Then Moses told Aaron all the words of Adonai with which He had been sent, along with all the signs that He had commanded him to do. 29 Then Moses and Aaron went and assembled all the elders of Bnei-Yisrael. 30 Aaron spoke all the words that Adonai had spoken to Moses and did the signs in the sight of the people. 31 So the people believed. When they heard that Adonai had remembered Bnei-Yisrael and had seen their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshipped.
Pharaoh Will Not Let Israel Go
5 Afterward, Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh, “This is what Adonai, God of Israel, says: Let My people go, so that they may hold a feast for Me in the wilderness.”
2 But Pharaoh said, “Who is Adonai, that I should listen to His voice and let Israel go? I do not know Adonai, and besides, I will not let Israel go.”
3 They answered, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness, so we may sacrifice to Adonai our God, or else He may strike us with pestilence or with the sword.”
4 But the king of Egypt said to them, “Why do you, Moses and Aaron, make the people break loose from their work? Go to your labors!” 5 Then Pharaoh said, “Look, the people of the land are now so numerous, yet you would have them rest from their labors?”
6 Then on the same day Pharaoh commanded the slave masters of the people and their foremen saying, 7 “You are not to give the people any more straw to make bricks, as before. Let them go and gather straw for themselves. 8 But impose on them the quota of bricks that they made previously; don’t reduce it. For they are lazy—that’s why they cry out saying, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.’ 9 Let even heavier work be laid upon the men, so that they must labor, paying no attention to deceptive words.”
10 Then the slave masters of the people went out, along with their officers, and they spoke to the people saying: “This is what Pharaoh says: I will not give you straw. 11 Go and get straw for yourselves wherever you can find it, for there will be no reduction of your work.” 12 So the people were scattered throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw. 13 But the slave masters pressured, saying, “Fulfill your work, your daily amount, just as when there was straw.” 14 Moreover the foremen of Bnei-Yisrael, whom Pharaoh’s slave masters had set over them, were beaten and asked, “Why haven’t you met your quota of bricks, both yesterday and today like before?”
15 The foremen of Bnei-Yisrael came and cried out to Pharaoh saying, “Why do you deal this way with your servants? 16 No straw is given to your servants, yet they say to us, ‘Make bricks!’ and look, your servants are beaten. But it is your own people at fault.”
17 But he said, “Lazy! You’re lazy! That’s why you were saying, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to Adonai.’ 18 So go now and work! No straw will be given to you—but you must deliver the quota of bricks.”
19 So the foremen of Bnei-Yisrael saw that they were in trouble when they were told, “You are not to reduce the number of bricks from day to day.” 20 Then they met Moses and Aaron, who were waiting for them as they came from Pharaoh.
21 So they said to them, “May Adonai look on you and judge, because you have made us a stench in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of his servants—putting a sword in their hand to kill us!”