Exodus 4
International Standard Version

Moses Argues with God

1Then Moses answered, “Look, they won’t believe me and they won’t listen to me.a Instead, they’ll say, ‘The LORD didn’t appear to you.’”

2“What’s that in your hand?” the LORD asked him.

Mosesb answered, “A staff.”c

3Then Godd said, “Throw it to the ground.” He threw it to the ground and it became a snake. Moses ran away from it.

4Then God told Moses, “Reach oute and grab its tail.” So he reached out, grabbed it, and it became a stafff in his hand. 5God said, “I’ve done thisg so that they may believe that the LORD God of their ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.”

6Again the LORD told him, “Put your hand into your bosom.”h He put his hand into his bosom and as soon as he brought it out it was leprous, like snow.i 7Then Godj said, “Put your hand back into your bosom.” He returned itk to his bosom and as soon as he brought it out,l it was restored like the rest ofm his skin.n

8“Then if they don’t believe you and respond to the first sign, they may respond to the secondo sign. 9But if they don’t believe even these two signs, and won’t listen to you, then take some water out of the Nile Riverp and pour it on the dry ground. The water you took from the Nile Riverq will turn into blood on the dry ground.”

10Then Moses told the LORD, “Please, LORD, I’m not eloquent.r I never was in the pasts nor am I now since you spoke to your servant. In fact, I talk too slowlyt and I have a speech impediment.”u

11Then God asked him, “Who gives a person a mouth? Who makes him unable to speak, or deaf, or able to see, or blind, or lame? Is it not I, the LORD? 12Now, go! I myself will help you with your speech,v and I’ll teach you what you are to say.”

13Moses said, “Please, LORD, send somebody else.”w

14Then the LORD was angry with Moses and said, “There is your brother Aaron, a descendant of Levi, isn’t there? I know that he certainly is eloquent.x Right now he’s coming to meet you and he will be pleased to see you. 15You’re to speak to him and tell him what to say.y I’ll help both you and him with your speech,z and I’ll teach both of you what you are to do. 16He is to speak to the people for you as your spokesmanaa and you are to act in the role ofbb God for him. 17Now pick up that staff with your hand. You’ll use it to perform the signs.”

Moses Decides to Return to Egypt

18Moses left and returned to his father-in-law Jethro. Mosescc told him, “Please let me go and return to my own peopledd in Egypt so I can see whether they’re still alive.”

Jethro told Moses, “Go in peace.”

19The LORD told Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, because all the men who wanted to kill you are dead.” 20So Moses took his wife and son, put them on donkeys, and headed back to the land of Egypt. Moses took the staff of God in his hand.

21Then the LORD told Moses, “When you set out to return to Egypt, keep in mindee all the wonders that I’ve put in your power,ff so that you may do them before Pharaoh. But I’ll harden his heart so that he won’t let the people go. 22You are to say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what the LORD says: “Israel is my firstborn son. 23And I say to you, ‘Let my son go so he may serve me. If you refuse to let him go, then I will kill your firstborn son.’”’”

Zipporah Circumcises Moses’ Son

24But later on, at the lodging place along the way, the LORD met Mosesgg and was about to kill him. 25Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son’s foreskin, and touched Moses’hh feet with it, saying while doing so,ii “…because you are a bridegroom of blood to me.” 26Then the LORDjj withdrew from him, and she said, “…a bridegroom of blood because of circumcision.”

Moses and Aaron Meet and Return to Egypt

27The LORD told Aaron, “Go meet Moses in the desert.” So Aaronkk went, foundll him at the mountain of God, and embracedmm him. 28Moses told Aaron all of the LORD’s messages that he had sent with Moses, and all of the signs that he commanded him to do.nn 29Later, Moses and Aaron brought together all the elders of the Israelis. 30Aaron spoke everything that the LORD had spoken to Moses, and Mosesoo performed the miraclespp before the very eyes of the people. 31The people believed and understoodqq that the LORD had paid attention to the Israelis and had seen their affliction. They bowed their heads and prostrated themselves in worship.


Footnotes:
a 4:1 Lit. to my voice. And so through the passage
b 4:2 Lit. he
c 4:2 Or rod
d 4:3 Lit. he
e 4:4 Lit. Stretch out your hand
f 4:4 Or rod
g 4:5 The Heb. lacks God said, “I have done this
h 4:6 i.e. under the folds of the garment at the chest
i 4:6 i.e. his hand was white
j 4:7 Lit. He
k 4:7 Lit. his hand
l 4:7 Lit. out from his bosom
m 4:7 The Heb. lacks the rest of
n 4:7 Lit. flesh
o 4:8 Lit. latter
p 4:9 The Heb. lacks River
q 4:9 The Heb. lacks River
r 4:10 Lit. a man of words
s 4:10 Lit. either yesterday or the day before
t 4:10 Lit. heavy of mouth
u 4:10 Lit. heavy
v 4:12 Lit. will be with your mouth
w 4:13 Lit. by a hand send; i.e. by someone else’s hand send
x 4:14 Lit. he certainly speaks
y 4:15 Lit. put the words in his mouth
z 4:15 Lit. I’ll be with your mouth and with his mouth
aa 4:16 Lit. be your mouth
bb 4:16 Lit. be
cc 4:18 Lit. he
dd 4:18 Lit. my brothers
ee 4:21 Lit. see, watch
ff 4:21 Lit. hand
gg 4:24 Lit. him
hh 4:25 Lit. his
ii 4:25 Lit. touched to his feet
jj 4:26 Lit. Then he
kk 4:27 Lit. he
ll 4:27 Lit. encountered
mm 4:27 Lit. kissed
nn 4:28 The Heb. lacks to do
oo 4:30 Lit. he
pp 4:30 Lit. signs
qq 4:31 Or they heard



The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1
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