Exodus 4-6Amplified Bible (AMP)
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 [a]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 [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].
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 [e]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 [f]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. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob (Israel) as God Almighty [El Shaddai], but by My [g]name, [h]Lord, I did not make Myself known to them [in acts and great miracles]. 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). 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 [i]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 [j]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 [k]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 [l]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 [m]unskilled and inept in speech; how then will Pharaoh listen to me and pay attention to what I say?”
Click the button below to continue.
For the best Bible Gateway experience, consider an upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus. For less than the cost of a latte each month, you'll get reduced banner ads and a huge digital Bible study library. Try it free for 30 days!
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.