Exodus 4:14–6:1

Aaron to Be Moses’ Mouthpiece

14 Then the anger of the Lord burned against Moses, and He said, “Is there not your brother Aaron the Levite? I know that 1he speaks fluently. And moreover, behold, ahe 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 aput the words in his mouth; and I, even I, will be with your mouth and his mouth, and I will teach you what you are to do.

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

17 “You shall take in your hand athis staff, bwith which you shall perform the signs.”

18 Then Moses departed and returned to 1Jethro ahis father-in-law and said to him, “Please, let me go, that I may return to my brethren who are in Egypt, and see if they are still alive.” And Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.”

19 Now the Lord said to Moses in Midian, “Go 1back to Egypt, for aall the men who were seeking your life are dead.”

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

21 The Lord said to Moses, “When you go 1back to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh all athe wonders which I have put in your 2power; but bI will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.

22 “Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord, “aIsrael is My son, My firstborn.

23 “So I said to you, ‘aLet My son go that he may serve Me’; but you have refused to let him go. Behold, bI will kill your son, your firstborn.” ’ ”

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

25 Then Zipporah took aa flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and 1threw it at Moses’ feet, and 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”—1because of the circumcision.

27 aNow the Lord said to Aaron, “Go to meet Moses in the wilderness.” So he went and met him at the bmountain of God and kissed him.

28 aMoses told Aaron all the words of the Lord with which He had sent him, and ball the signs that He had commanded him to do.

29 Then Moses and Aaron went and aassembled all the elders of the sons of Israel;

30 and aAaron spoke all the words which the Lord had spoken to Moses. He then performed the bsigns in the sight of the people.

31 So athe people believed; and when they heard that the Lord 1bwas concerned about the sons of Israel and that He had seen their affliction, then cthey bowed low and worshiped.

Chapter 5

Israel’s Labor Increased

1 And afterward Moses and Aaron came and said to Pharaoh, “aThus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘bLet My people go that they may celebrate a feast to Me in the wilderness.’ ”

2 But Pharaoh said, “aWho is the Lord that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and besides, bI will not let Israel go.”

3 Then they said, “aThe God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please, let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God, otherwise He will fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.”

4 But the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you 1draw the people away from their 2work? Get back to your 3alabors!”

5 Again Pharaoh said, “Look, athe people of the land are now many, and you would have them cease from their labors!”

6 So the same day Pharaoh commanded athe taskmasters over the people and their bforemen, saying,

7 “You are no longer to give the people straw to make brick as previously; let them go and gather straw for themselves.

8 “But the quota of bricks which they were making previously, you shall impose on them; you are not to reduce any of it. Because they are alazy, therefore they cry out, ‘1Let us go and sacrifice to our God.’

9 “Let the labor be heavier on the men, and let them work at it so that they will pay no attention to false words.”

10 So athe taskmasters of the people and their foremen went out and spoke to the people, saying, “Thus says Pharaoh, ‘I am not going to give you any straw.

11 ‘You go and get straw for yourselves wherever you can find it, but none of your labor will be reduced.’ ”

12 So the people scattered through all the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw.

13 The taskmasters pressed them, saying, “Complete your 1work quota, 2your daily amount, just as when 3you had straw.”

14 Moreover, athe foremen of the sons of Israel, whom Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, bwere beaten 1and were asked, “Why have you not completed your required amount either yesterday or today in making brick as previously?”

15 Then the foremen of the sons of Israel came and cried out to Pharaoh, saying, “Why do you deal this way with your servants?

16 “There is no straw given to your servants, yet they keep saying to us, ‘Make bricks!’ And behold, your servants are being beaten; but it is the fault of your own people.”

17 But he said, “You are alazy, very lazy; therefore you say, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.’

18 “So go now and work; for you will be given no straw, yet you must deliver the quota of bricks.”

19 The foremen of the sons of Israel saw that they were in trouble 1because they were told, “You must not reduce 2your daily amount of bricks.”

20 When they left Pharaoh’s presence, they met Moses and Aaron as they were 1waiting for them.

21 aThey said to them, “bMay the Lord look upon you and judge you, for you have cmade 1us odious in Pharaoh’s sight and in the sight of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to kill us.”

22 Then Moses returned to the Lord and said, “aO Lord, why have You brought harm to this people? Why did You ever send me?

23 “Ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done harm to this people, aand You have not delivered Your people at all.”

Chapter 6

God Promises Action

1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for 1aunder compulsion he will let them go, and 1under compulsion he will drive them out of his land.”

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