Êxodo 4

1 Moses responded: »What if they will not believe me or listen to what I say? For they may say: ‘Jehovah has not appeared to you.’«

2 Jehovah asked him: »What is that in your hand?« He answered: »A shepherd’s staff.«

3 Jehovah said: »Throw it on the ground.« When Moses threw it on the ground, it became a snake, and he ran away from it.

4 Jehovah said to Moses: »Reach down and pick it up by the tail.« So Moses reached down and caught it. Suddenly it became a walking stick again.

5 Jehovah said: »Do this to prove to the Israelites that Jehovah, the God of their ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has appeared to you.«

6 Jehovah spoke to Moses again: »Put your hand inside your robe.« Moses obeyed. When he took his hand out, it was diseased, covered with white spots, like snow.

7 Jehovah said: »Put your hand inside your robe again.« He did so, and when he took it out this time, it was healthy, just like the rest of his body.

8 Jehovah said: »If they will not believe you or be convinced by the first sign, then this one will convince them.

9 »If in spite of these two signs they still will not believe you, and if they refuse to listen to what you say, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the ground. The water will turn into blood.«

10 Moses said: »O Jehovah I am not a man of words. I have never been so, and am not now, even after what you have said to your servant. Talking is hard for me, and I am slow of tongue.«

11 Jehovah said to him: »Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, Jehovah?

12 »Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth. I will teach you what you are to say.«

13 But Moses said: »Please, Jehovah, send the message by whomever you will.«

14 Then the anger of Jehovah burned against Moses, and He said: »Is there not your brother Aaron the Levite? I know that he speaks fluently. He is coming out 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 his mouth. I will teach you what you are to do.

16 Moreover, he shall speak for you to the people. He will be as a mouth for you and you will be as God to him.

17 »Take your staff in your hand with which you shall perform the signs.«

18 Moses departed and returned to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him: »Please, let me go, that I may return to my brothers who are in Egypt, and see if they are still alive.« Jethro said to Moses: »Go in peace.«

19 Jehovah said to Moses in Midian: »Go back to Egypt, for all the men who were seeking your life are dead.«

20 So Moses took his wife and his sons and mounted them on a donkey and returned to the land of Egypt. Moses also took the staff of God in his hand.

21 Jehovah said to Moses: »When you go back to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders that I have put in your power. I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.«

22 »Say to Pharaoh: ‘Thus says Jehovah, Israel is my son, my firstborn.

23 »‘So I said to you: ‘Let My son go that he may serve me. But you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son, your firstborn.« ’«

24 Now it came about at the lodging place on the way that Jehovah met him and sought to put him to death.

25 Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and threw it at Moses’ feet. She said: »You are indeed a bridegroom of blood to me.«

26 So He let him alone. At that time she said: »You are a bridegroom of blood, because of the circumcision.«

27 Jehovah said to Aaron: »Go to meet Moses in the wilderness.« So he went and met him at the mountain of God and kissed him.

28 Moses told Aaron all the words Jehovah sent him to tell Moses, and all the signs that he had commanded him to do.

29 Then Moses and Aaron went to Egypt and assembled all the elders of the people of Israel.

30 Aaron told them everything Jehovah had said to Moses. He also did the miraculous signs for the people.

31 The people believed them. When they heard that Jehovah was concerned about the people of Israel and that he had seen their misery, they knelt, bowed low and worshiped.