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Exodus 6-7 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

But the Lord replied to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: because of a strong hand he will let them go, and because of a strong hand he will drive them from his land.”

God Promises Freedom

Then God spoke to Moses, telling him, “I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty, but I was not known to them by my name ‘the Lord.’[a] I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land they lived in as aliens. Furthermore, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are forcing to work as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant.

“Therefore tell the Israelites: I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from the forced labor of the Egyptians and rescue you from slavery to them. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and great acts of judgment. I will take you as my people, and I will be your God. You will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from the forced labor of the Egyptians. I will bring you to the land that I swore[b] to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord.” Moses told this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their broken spirit and hard labor.

10 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, 11 “Go and tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the Israelites go from his land.”

12 But Moses said in the Lord’s presence: “If the Israelites will not listen to me, then how will Pharaoh listen to me, since I am such a poor speaker?” [c] 13 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron and gave them commands concerning both the Israelites and Pharaoh king of Egypt to bring the Israelites out of the land of Egypt.

Genealogy of Moses and Aaron

14 These are the heads of their fathers’ families:

The sons of Reuben, the firstborn of Israel:

Hanoch and Pallu, Hezron and Carmi.

These are the clans of Reuben.

15 The sons of Simeon:

Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin,

Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman.

These are the clans of Simeon.

16 These are the names of the sons of Levi

according to their family records;

Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

Levi lived 137 years.

17 The sons of Gershon:

Libni and Shimei, by their clans.

18 The sons of Kohath:

Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel.

Kohath lived 133 years.

19 The sons of Merari:

Mahli and Mushi.

These are the clans of the Levites

according to their family records.

20 Amram married his father’s sister Jochebed,

and she bore him Aaron and Moses.

Amram lived 137 years.

21 The sons of Izhar:

Korah, Nepheg, and Zichri.

22 The sons of Uzziel:

Mishael, Elzaphan, and Sithri.

23 Aaron married Elisheba,

daughter of Amminadab and sister of Nahshon.

She bore him Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.

24 The sons of Korah:

Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph.

These are the clans of the Korahites.

25 Aaron’s son Eleazar married

one of the daughters of Putiel,

and she bore him Phinehas.

These are the heads of the Levite families by their clans.

26 It was this Aaron and Moses whom the Lord told, “Bring the Israelites out of the land of Egypt according to their military divisions.” 27 Moses and Aaron were the ones who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt in order to bring the Israelites out of Egypt.

Moses and Aaron before Pharaoh

28 On the day the Lord spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, 29 he said to him, “I am the Lord; tell Pharaoh king of Egypt everything I am telling you.”

30 But Moses replied in the Lord’s presence, “Since I am such a poor speaker, how will Pharaoh listen to me?”

The Lord answered Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother will be your prophet. You must say whatever I command you; then Aaron your brother must declare it to Pharaoh so that he will let the Israelites go from his land. But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart and multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt. Pharaoh will not listen to you, but I will put my hand into Egypt and bring the military divisions of my people the Israelites out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment. The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the Israelites from among them.”

So Moses and Aaron did this; they did just as the Lord commanded them. Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh.

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “When Pharaoh tells you, ‘Perform a miracle,’ tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh. It will become a serpent.’” 10 So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord had commanded. Aaron threw down his staff before Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a serpent. 11 But then Pharaoh called the wise men and sorcerers—the magicians of Egypt, and they also did the same thing by their occult practices. 12 Each one threw down his staff, and it became a serpent. But Aaron’s staff swallowed their staffs. 13 However, Pharaoh’s heart was hard, and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had said.

The First Plague: Water 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. When you see him walking out to the water, stand ready to meet him by the bank of the Nile. Take in your hand the staff that turned into a snake. 16 Tell him: The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to tell you: Let my people go, so that they may worship[d] me in the wilderness, but so far you have not listened. 17 This is what the Lord says: Here is how you will know that I am the Lord. Watch. I am about to strike the water in the Nile with the staff in my hand, and it will turn to blood. 18 The fish in the Nile will die, the river will stink, and the Egyptians will be unable to drink water from it.”

19 So the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron: Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt—over their rivers, canals, ponds, and all their water reservoirs—and they will become blood. There will be blood throughout the land of Egypt, even in wooden and stone containers.”

20 Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded; in the sight of Pharaoh and his officials, he raised the staff and struck the water in the Nile, and all the water in the Nile was turned to blood. 21 The fish in the Nile died, and the river smelled so bad the Egyptians could not drink water from it. There was blood throughout the land of Egypt.

22 But the magicians of Egypt did the same thing by their occult practices. So Pharaoh’s heart was hard, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said. 23 Pharaoh turned around, went into his palace, and didn’t take even this to heart. 24 All the Egyptians dug around the Nile for water to drink because they could not drink the water from the river. 25 Seven days passed after the Lord struck the Nile.

Footnotes:

  1. 6:3 Lord (in small capitals) stands for the personal name of God, which in Hb is Yahweh. There is a long tradition of substituting “Lord” for “Yahweh” out of reverence.
  2. 6:8 Lit raised my hand
  3. 6:12 Lit I have uncircumcised lips, also in v. 30
  4. 7:16 Or serve; Ex 4:23
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

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