Exodus 14-15 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
The Israelites Cross the Red Sea
14 At Etham the Lord said to Moses:
2 Tell the people of Israel to turn back and camp across from Pi-Hahiroth near Baal-Zephon, between Migdol and the Red Sea.[a] 3 The king[b] will think they were afraid to cross the desert and that they are wandering around, trying to find another way to leave the country. 4 I will make the king stubborn again, and he will try to catch you. Then I will destroy him and his army. People everywhere will praise me for my victory, and the Egyptians will know that I really am the Lord.
The Israelites obeyed the Lord and camped where he told them.
5 When the king of Egypt heard that the Israelites had finally left, he and his officials changed their minds and said, “Look what we have done! We let them get away, and they will no longer be our slaves.”
6 The king got his war chariot and army ready. 7 He commanded his officers in charge of his six hundred best chariots and all his other chariots to start after the Israelites. 8 The Lord made the king so stubborn that he went after them, even though the Israelites proudly[c] went on their way. 9 But the king’s horses and chariots and soldiers caught up with them while they were camping by the Red Sea near Pi-Hahiroth and Baal-Zephon.
10 When the Israelites saw the king coming with his army, they were frightened and begged the Lord for help. 11 They also complained to Moses, “Wasn’t there enough room in Egypt to bury us? Is that why you brought us out here to die in the desert? Why did you bring us out of Egypt anyway? 12 While we were there, didn’t we tell you to leave us alone? We had rather be slaves in Egypt than die in this desert!”
13 But Moses answered, “Don’t be afraid! Be brave, and you will see the Lord save you today. These Egyptians will never bother you again. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you won’t have to do a thing.”
15 The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you keep calling out to me for help? Tell the Israelites to move forward. 16 Then hold your walking stick over the sea. The water will open up and make a road where they can walk through on dry ground. 17 I will make the Egyptians so stubborn that they will go after you. Then I will be praised because of what happens to the king and his chariots and cavalry. 18 The Egyptians will know for sure that I am the Lord.”
19 All this time God’s angel had gone ahead of Israel’s army, but now he moved behind them. A large cloud had also gone ahead of them, 20 but now it moved between the Egyptians and the Israelites. The cloud gave light to the Israelites, but made it dark for the Egyptians, and during the night they could not come any closer.
21 Moses stretched his arm over the sea, and the Lord sent a strong east wind that blew all night until there was dry land where the water had been. The sea opened up, 22 and the Israelites walked through on dry land with a wall of water on each side.
23 The Egyptian chariots and cavalry went after them. 24 But before daylight the Lord looked down at the Egyptian army from the fiery cloud and made them panic. 25 Their chariot wheels got stuck,[d] and it was hard for them to move. So the Egyptians said to one another, “Let’s leave these people alone! The Lord is on their side and is fighting against us.”
26 The Lord told Moses, “Stretch your arm toward the sea—the water will cover the Egyptians and their cavalry and chariots.” 27 Moses stretched out his arm, and at daybreak the water rushed toward the Egyptians. They tried to run away, but the Lord drowned them in the sea. 28 The water came and covered the chariots, the cavalry, and the whole Egyptian army that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them was left alive. 29 But the sea had made a wall of water on each side of the Israelites; so they walked through on dry land.
30 On that day, when the Israelites saw the bodies of the Egyptians washed up on the shore, they knew that the Lord had saved them. 31 Because of the mighty power he had used against the Egyptians, the Israelites worshiped him and trusted him and his servant Moses.
The Song of Moses
15 Moses and the Israelites sang this song in praise of the Lord:
I sing praises to the Lord
6 With the tremendous force
9 Your enemies boasted
11 Our Lord, no other gods
13 The people you rescued
17 You will let your people settle
The Song of Miriam
19 The Lord covered the royal Egyptian cavalry and chariots with the sea, after the Israelites had walked safely through on dry ground. 20 Miriam the sister of Aaron was a prophet. So she took her tambourine and led the other women out to play their tambourines and to dance. 21 Then she sang to them:
“Sing praises to the Lord
Bitter Water at Marah
22 After the Israelites left the Red Sea,[g] Moses led them through the Shur Desert for three days, before finding water. 23 They did find water at Marah, but it was bitter, which is how that place got its name.[h] 24 The people complained and said, “Moses, what are we going to drink?”
25 Moses asked the Lord for help, and the Lord told him to throw a piece of wood into the water. Moses did so, and the water became fit to drink.
At Marah the Lord tested his people and also gave them some laws and teachings. 26 Then he said, “I am the Lord your God, and I cure your diseases. If you obey me by doing right and by following my laws and teachings, I won’t punish you with the diseases I sent on the Egyptians.”
27 Later the Israelites came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees. So they camped there.
Matthew 17 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
The True Glory of Jesus
17 Six days later Jesus took Peter and the brothers James and John with him. They went up on a very high mountain where they could be alone. 2 There in front of the disciples, Jesus was completely changed. His face was shining like the sun, and his clothes became white as light.
3 All at once Moses and Elijah were there talking with Jesus. 4 So Peter said to him, “Lord, it is good for us to be here! Let us make three shelters, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
5 While Peter was still speaking, the shadow of a bright cloud passed over them. From the cloud a voice said, “This is my own dear Son, and I am pleased with him. Listen to what he says!” 6 When the disciples heard the voice, they were so afraid that they fell flat on the ground. 7 But Jesus came over and touched them. He said, “Get up and don’t be afraid!” 8 When they opened their eyes, they saw only Jesus.
9 On their way down from the mountain, Jesus warned his disciples not to tell anyone what they had seen until after the Son of Man had been raised from death.
10 The disciples asked Jesus, “Don’t the teachers of the Law of Moses say that Elijah must come before the Messiah does?”
11 Jesus told them, “Elijah certainly will come and get everything ready. 12 In fact, he has already come. But the people did not recognize him and treated him just as they wanted to. They will soon make the Son of Man suffer in the same way.” 13 Then the disciples understood that Jesus was talking to them about John the Baptist.
Jesus Heals a Boy
14 Jesus and his disciples returned to the crowd. A man knelt in front of him 15 and said, “Lord, have pity on my son! He has a bad case of epilepsy and often falls into a fire or into water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but none of them could heal him.”
17 Jesus said, “You people are too stubborn to have any faith! How much longer must I be with you? Why do I have to put up with you? Bring the boy here.” 18 Then Jesus spoke sternly to the demon. It went out of the boy, and right then he was healed.
19 Later the disciples went to Jesus in private and asked him, “Why couldn’t we force out the demon?”
20-21 Jesus replied:
It is because you don’t have enough faith! But I can promise you this. If you had faith no larger than a mustard seed, you could tell this mountain to move from here to there. And it would. Everything would be possible for you.[a]
Jesus Again Speaks about His Death
22 While Jesus and his disciples were going from place to place in Galilee, he told them, “The Son of Man will be handed over to people 23 who will kill him. But three days later he will rise to life.” All of this made the disciples very sad.
Paying the Temple Tax
24 When Jesus and the others arrived in Capernaum, the collectors for the temple tax came to Peter and asked, “Does your teacher pay the temple tax?”
25 “Yes, he does,” Peter answered.
After they had returned home, Jesus went up to Peter and asked him, “Simon, what do you think? Do the kings of this earth collect taxes and fees from their own people or from foreigners?”[b]
26 Peter answered, “From foreigners.”
Jesus replied, “Then their own people[c] don’t have to pay. 27 But we don’t want to cause trouble. So go cast a line into the lake and pull out the first fish you hook. Open its mouth, and you will find a coin. Use it to pay your taxes and mine.”
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