Exodus 13:1–22

Consecration of the Firstborn

13 The Lord said to Moses, “Consecrate to me every firstborn male.z The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether human or animal.”

Then Moses said to the people, “Commemorate this day, the day you came out of Egypt,a out of the land of slavery, because the Lord brought you out of it with a mighty hand.b Eat nothing containing yeast.c Today, in the month of Aviv,d you are leaving. When the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites,e Hittites, Amorites, Hivites and Jebusitesf—the land he swore to your ancestors to give you, a land flowing with milk and honeyg—you are to observe this ceremonyh in this month: For seven days eat bread made without yeast and on the seventh day hold a festivali to the Lord. Eat unleavened bread during those seven days; nothing with yeast in it is to be seen among you, nor shall any yeast be seen anywhere within your borders. On that day tell your son,j ‘I do this because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ This observance will be for you like a sign on your handk and a reminder on your foreheadl that this law of the Lord is to be on your lips. For the Lord brought you out of Egypt with his mighty hand.m 10 You must keep this ordinancen at the appointed timeo year after year.

11 “After the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanitesp and gives it to you, as he promised on oathq to you and your ancestors,r 12 you are to give over to the Lord the first offspring of every womb. All the firstborn males of your livestock belong to the Lord.s 13 Redeem with a lamb every firstborn donkey,t but if you do not redeem it, break its neck.u Redeemv every firstborn among your sons.w

14 “In days to come, when your sonx asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ say to him, ‘With a mighty hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.y 15 When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord killed the firstborn of both people and animals in Egypt. This is why I sacrifice to the Lord the first male offspring of every womb and redeem each of my firstborn sons.’z 16 And it will be like a sign on your hand and a symbol on your foreheada that the Lord brought us out of Egypt with his mighty hand.”

Crossing the Sea

17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”b 18 So God ledc the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.a The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.d

19 Moses took the bones of Josephe with him because Joseph had made the Israelites swear an oath. He had said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place.”b f

20 After leaving Sukkothg they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert.h 21 By day the Lord went aheadi of them in a pillar of cloudj to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. 22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night leftk its place in front of the people.

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