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Exodus 4 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Moses Given Powers

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.’” And the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” And he said, “A staff.” 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. 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— [“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.”

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 [a]leprous, as white as snow. 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. “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. 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 [b]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 [c]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.” 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]. 25 [d]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].

Footnotes:

  1. Exodus 4:6 The Hebrew term for “leprous” referred to any of several severe rashes or skin diseases, including Hansen’s disease (true leprosy).
  2. Exodus 4:10 Lit heavy of mouth and heavy of tongue.
  3. Exodus 4:18 Lit brethren.
  4. 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.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Exodus 4 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Miraculous Signs for Moses

Then Moses answered, “What if they won’t believe me and will not obey me but say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”

The Lord asked him, “What is that in your hand?”

“A staff,” he replied.

Then He said, “Throw it on the ground.” He threw it on the ground, and it became a snake. Moses ran from it, but the Lord told him, “Stretch out your hand and grab it by the tail.” So he stretched out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand. “This will take place,” He continued, “so they will believe that Yahweh, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.”

In addition the Lord said to him, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” So he put his hand inside his cloak, and when he took it out, his hand was diseased, white as snow.[a] Then He said, “Put your hand back inside your cloak.” He put his hand back inside his cloak, and when he took it out,[b] it had again become like the rest of his skin. “If they will not believe you and will not respond to the evidence of the first sign, they may believe the evidence of the second sign. And if they don’t believe even these two signs or listen to what you say, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the Nile will become blood on the ground.”

10 But Moses replied to the Lord, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent—either in the past or recently or since You have been speaking to Your servant[c]—because I am slow and hesitant in speech.”[d]

11 Yahweh said to him, “Who made the human mouth? Who makes him mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, Yahweh? 12 Now go! I will help[e] you speak and I will teach you what to say.”

13 Moses said, “Please, Lord, send someone else.”[f]

14 Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses, and He said, “Isn’t Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, he is on his way now to meet you. He will rejoice when he sees you. 15 You will speak with him and tell him what to say. I will help[g] both you and him to speak and will teach you both what to do. 16 He will speak to the people for you. He will be your spokesman, and you will serve as God to him. 17 And take this staff in your hand that you will perform the signs with.”

Moses’ Return to Egypt

18 Then Moses went back to his father-in-law Jethro and said to him, “Please let me return to my relatives in Egypt and see if they are still living.”

Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.”

19 Now in Midian the Lord told Moses, “Return to Egypt, for all the men who wanted to kill you are dead.” 20 So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey, and returned to the land of Egypt. And Moses took God’s staff in his hand.

21 The Lord instructed Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, make sure you do all the wonders before Pharaoh that I have put within your power. But I will harden his heart[h] so that he won’t let the people go. 22 Then you will say to Pharaoh: This is what Yahweh says: Israel is My firstborn son. 23 I told you: Let My son go so that he may worship Me, but you refused to let him go. Now I will kill your firstborn son!”

24 On the trip, at an overnight campsite, it happened that the Lord confronted him and sought to put him to death. 25 So Zipporah took a flint, cut off her son’s foreskin, and threw it at Moses’ feet.[i] Then she said, “You are a bridegroom of blood to me!” 26 So He let him alone. At that time she said, “You are a bridegroom of blood,” referring to the circumcision.[j]

Reunion of Moses and Aaron

27 Now the Lord had said to Aaron, “Go and meet Moses in the wilderness.” So he went and met him at the mountain of God and kissed him. 28 Moses told Aaron everything the Lord had sent him to say, and about all the signs He had commanded him to do. 29 Then Moses and Aaron went and assembled all the elders of the Israelites. 30 Aaron repeated everything the Lord had said to Moses and performed the signs before the people. 31 The people believed, and when they heard that the Lord had paid attention to them and that He had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.

Footnotes:

  1. Exodus 4:6 A reference to whiteness or flakiness of the skin
  2. Exodus 4:7 Lit out of his cloak
  3. Exodus 4:10 = Moses
  4. Exodus 4:10 Lit heavy of mouth and heavy of tongue
  5. Exodus 4:12 Lit will be with you
  6. Exodus 4:13 Lit send by the hand of whom You will send
  7. Exodus 4:15 Lit be with
  8. Exodus 4:21 Or will make him stubborn
  9. Exodus 4:25 Some interpret “feet” as a euphemism for genitals.
  10. Exodus 4:26 Zipporah appeased God on Moses’ behalf by circumcising Gershom.

Exodus 4 New International Version (NIV)

Signs for Moses

Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”

Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?”

“A staff,” he replied.

The Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.”

Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. Then the Lord said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. “This,” said the Lord, “is so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.”

Then the Lord said, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, the skin was leprous[a]—it had become as white as snow.

“Now put it back into your cloak,” he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.

Then the Lord said, “If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first sign, they may believe the second. But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground.”

10 Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

11 The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

13 But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”

14 Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. 15 You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. 16 He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. 17 But take this staff in your hand so you can perform the signs with it.”

Moses Returns to Egypt

18 Then Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, “Let me return to my own people in Egypt to see if any of them are still alive.”

Jethro said, “Go, and I wish you well.”

19 Now the Lord had said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all those who wanted to kill you are dead. 20 So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey and started back to Egypt. And he took the staff of God in his hand.

21 The Lord said to Moses, “When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. 22 Then say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what the Lord says: Israel is my firstborn son, 23 and I told you, “Let my son go, so he may worship me.” But you refused to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son.’”

24 At a lodging place on the way, the Lord met Moses[b] and was about to kill him. 25 But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it.[c] “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me,” she said. 26 So the Lord let him alone. (At that time she said “bridegroom of blood,” referring to circumcision.)

27 The Lord said to Aaron, “Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.” So he met Moses at the mountain of God and kissed him. 28 Then Moses told Aaron everything the Lord had sent him to say, and also about all the signs he had commanded him to perform.

29 Moses and Aaron brought together all the elders of the Israelites, 30 and Aaron told them everything the Lord had said to Moses. He also performed the signs before the people, 31 and they believed. And when they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.

Footnotes:

  1. Exodus 4:6 The Hebrew word for leprous was used for various diseases affecting the skin.
  2. Exodus 4:24 Hebrew him
  3. Exodus 4:25 The meaning of the Hebrew for this clause is uncertain.
New International Version (NIV)

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Exodus 4 King James Version (KJV)

And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee.

And the Lord said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.

And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it.

And the Lord said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand:

That they may believe that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee.

And the Lord said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow.

And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh.

And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign.

And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.

10 And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

11 And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord?

12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.

13 And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send.

14 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart.

15 And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.

16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God.

17 And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs.

18 And Moses went and returned to Jethro his father in law, and said unto him, Let me go, I pray thee, and return unto my brethren which are in Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive. And Jethro said to Moses, Go in peace.

19 And the Lord said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought thy life.

20 And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the rod of God in his hand.

21 And the Lord said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.

22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:

23 And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.

24 And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the Lord met him, and sought to kill him.

25 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me.

26 So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision.

27 And the Lord said to Aaron, Go into the wilderness to meet Moses. And he went, and met him in the mount of God, and kissed him.

28 And Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord who had sent him, and all the signs which he had commanded him.

29 And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel:

30 And Aaron spake all the words which the Lord had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people.

31 And the people believed: and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.

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