January 18

Exodus 1:1 4:17


1  Now these are the names of Israel’s sons who came into Egypt with Jacob; each man and his household came: 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah, 3 Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin, 4 Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. 5 And all the souls who issued out of Jacob’s upper thigh came to be seventy souls, but Joseph was already in Egypt. 6 Eventually Joseph died, and also all his brothers and all that generation. 7 And the sons of Israel became fruitful and began to swarm; and they kept on multiplying and growing mightier at a very extraordinary rate, so that the land got to be filled with them.

     8 In time there arose over Egypt a new king who did not know Joseph. 9 And he proceeded to say to his people: “Look! The people of the sons of Israel are more numerous and mightier than we are. 10 Come on! Let us deal shrewdly with them, for fear they may multiply, and it must turn out that, in case war should befall us, then they certainly will also be added to those who hate us and will fight against us and go up out of the country.”

     11 So they set over them chiefs of forced labor for the purpose of oppressing them in their burden-bearing; and they went building cities as storage places for Pharaoh, namely, Pithom and Raamses. 12 But the more they would oppress them, the more they would multiply and the more they kept spreading abroad, so that they felt a sickening dread as a result of the sons of Israel. 13 Consequently the Egyptians made the sons of Israel slave under tyranny. 14 And they kept making their life bitter with hard slavery at clay mortar and bricks and with every form of slavery in the field, yes, every form of slavery of theirs in which they used them as slaves under tyranny.

     15 Later on the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, the name of one of whom was Shiphrah and the name of the other Puah, 16 yes, he went so far as to say: “When YOU help the Hebrew women to give birth and YOU do see them on the stool for childbirth, if it is a son, YOU must also put it to death; but if it is a daughter, it must also live.” 17 However, the midwives feared the [true] God, and they did not do as the king of Egypt had spoken to them, but they would preserve the male children alive. 18 In time the king of Egypt called the midwives and said to them: “Why is it YOU have done this thing, in that YOU preserved the male children alive?” 19 In turn the midwives said to Pharaoh: “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women. Because they are lively, they have already given birth before the midwife can come in to them.”

     20 So God dealt well with the midwives; and the people kept growing more numerous and becoming very mighty. 21 And it came about that because the midwives had feared the [true] God he later presented them with families. 22 Finally Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying: “Every newborn son YOU are to throw into the river Nile, but every daughter YOU are to preserve alive.”

2  Meantime, a certain man of the house of Levi went ahead and took a daughter of Levi. 2 And the woman became pregnant and brought a son to birth. When she saw how good-looking he was, she kept him concealed for three lunar months. 3 When she was no longer able to conceal him, she then took for him an ark of papyrus and coated it with bitumen and pitch and put the child in it and put it among the reeds by the bank of the river Nile. 4 Further, his sister stationed herself at a distance to find out what would be done with him.

     5 After a while Pharaoh’s daughter came down to bathe in the Nile River, and her female attendants were walking by the side of the Nile River. And she caught sight of the ark in the middle of the reeds. Immediately she sent her slave girl that she might get it. 6 When she opened it she got to see the child, and here the boy was weeping. At that she felt compassion for him, although she said: “This is one of the children of the Hebrews.” 7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter: “Shall I go and specially call for you a nursing woman from the Hebrew women that she may nurse the child for you?” 8 So Pharaoh’s daughter said to her: “Go!” At once the maiden went and called the child’s mother. 9 Pharaoh’s daughter then said to her: “Take this child with you and nurse him for me, and I myself shall give you your wages.” Accordingly the woman took the child and nursed him. 10 And the child grew up. Then she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, so that he became a son to her; and she proceeded to call his name Moses and to say: “It is because I have drawn him out of the water.”

     11 Now it came about in those days, as Moses was becoming strong, that he went out to his brothers that he might look at the burdens they were bearing; and he caught sight of a certain Egyptian striking a certain Hebrew of his brothers. 12 So he turned this way and that and saw there was nobody in sight. Then he struck the Egyptian down and hid him in the sand.

     13 However, he went out on the following day and here there were two Hebrew men struggling with each other. So he said to the one in the wrong: “Why should you strike your companion?” 14 At this he said: “Who appointed you as a prince and judge over us? Are you intending to kill me just as you killed the Egyptian?” Moses now got afraid and said: “Surely the thing has become known!”

     15 Subsequently Pharaoh got to hear of this thing, and he attempted to kill Moses; but Moses ran away from Pharaoh that he might dwell in the land of Midian; and he took a seat by a well. 16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters, and as usual they came and drew water and filled the gutters to water their father’s flock. 17 And as usual the shepherds came and drove them away. At this Moses got up and helped the women out and watered their flock. 18 So when they came home to Reuel their father he exclaimed: “How is it YOU have come home so quickly today?” 19 To this they said: “A certain Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds and, besides, he actually drew water for us that he might water the flock.” 20 Then he said to his daughters: “But where is he? Why is it that YOU have left the man behind? Call him, that he may eat bread.” 21 After that Moses showed willingness to dwell with the man, and he gave Zipporah his daughter to Moses. 22 Later she bore a son and he called his name Gershom, because, he said: “An alien resident I have come to be in a foreign land.”

     23 And it came about during those many days that the king of Egypt finally died, but the sons of Israel continued to sigh because of the slavery and to cry out in complaint, and their cry for help kept going up to the [true] God because of the slavery. 24 In time God heard their groaning and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 25 So God looked on the sons of Israel and God took notice.

3  And Moses became a shepherd of the flock of Jethro, the priest of Midian, whose son-in-law he was. While he was driving the flock to the west side of the wilderness, he came at length to the mountain of the [true] God, to Horeb. 2 Then Jehovah’s angel appeared to him in a flame of fire in the midst of a thornbush. As he kept looking, why, here the thornbush was burning with the fire and yet the thornbush was not consumed. 3 At this Moses said: “Let me just turn aside that I may inspect this great phenomenon, as to why the thornbush is not burnt up.” 4 When Jehovah saw that he turned aside to inspect, God at once called to him out of the midst of the thornbush and said: “Moses! Moses!” to which he said: “Here I am.” 5 Then he said: “Do not come near here. Draw your sandals from off your feet, because the place where you are standing is holy ground.”

      6 And he went on to say: “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses concealed his face, because he was afraid to look at the [true] God. 7 And Jehovah added: “Unquestionably I have seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and I have heard their outcry as a result of those who drive them to work; because I well know the pains they suffer. 8 And I am proceeding to go down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a land good and spacious, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the locality of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites. 9 And now, look! the outcry of the sons of Israel has come to me, and I have seen also the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 And now come and let me send you to Pharaoh, and you bring my people the sons of Israel out of Egypt.”

     11 However, Moses said to the [true] God: “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and that I have to bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?” 12 To this he said: “Because I shall prove to be with you, and this is the sign for you that it is I who have sent you: After you have brought the people out of Egypt, YOU people will serve the [true] God on this mountain.”

     13 Nevertheless, Moses said to the [true] God: “Suppose I am now come to the sons of Israel and I do say to them, ‘The God of YOUR forefathers has sent me to YOU,’ and they do say to me, ‘What is his name?’ What shall I say to them?” 14 At this God said to Moses: “I SHALL PROVE TO BE WHAT I SHALL PROVE TO BE.” And he added: “This is what you are to say to the sons of Israel, ‘I SHALL PROVE TO BE has sent me to YOU.’” 15 Then God said once more to Moses:

     “This is what you are to say to the sons of Israel, ‘Jehovah the God of YOUR forefathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, has sent me to YOU.’ This is my name to time indefinite, and this is the memorial of me to generation after generation. 16 You go, and you must gather the older men of Israel, and you must say to them, ‘Jehovah the God of YOUR forefathers has appeared to me, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying: “I will without fail give attention to YOU and to what is being done to YOU in Egypt. 17 And so I say, I shall bring YOU up out of affliction by the Egyptians to the land of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, to a land flowing with milk and honey.”’

     18 “And they will certainly listen to your voice, and you must come, you and the older men of Israel, to the king of Egypt, and YOU men must say to him, ‘Jehovah the God of the Hebrews has come in touch with us, and now we want to go, please, a journey of three days into the wilderness, and we want to sacrifice to Jehovah our God.’ 19 And I, even I, well know that the king of Egypt will not give YOU permission to go except by a strong hand. 20 And I shall have to stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all my wonderful acts that I shall do in the midst of it; and after that he will send YOU out. 21 And I will give this people favor in the eyes of the Egyptians; and it will certainly occur that when YOU go, YOU will not go empty-handed. 22 And each woman must ask from her neighbor and from the woman residing as an alien in her house articles of silver and articles of gold and mantles, and YOU must put them upon YOUR sons and YOUR daughters; and YOU must strip the Egyptians.”

4  However, Moses in answering said: “But suppose they do not believe me and do not listen to my voice, because they are going to say, ‘Jehovah did not appear to you.’” 2 Then Jehovah said to him: “What is that in your hand?” to which he said: “A rod.” 3 Next he said: “Throw it on the earth.” So he threw it on the earth, and it became a serpent; and Moses began to flee from it. 4 Jehovah now said to Moses: “Thrust your hand out and grab hold of it by the tail.” So he thrust his hand out and grabbed hold of it, and it became a rod in his palm. 5 “In order that,” to quote him, “they may believe that Jehovah the God of their forefathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.”

     6 Then Jehovah said to him once more: “Stick your hand, please, into the upper fold of your garment.” So he stuck his hand into the upper fold of his garment. When he drew it out, why, here his hand was stricken with leprosy like snow! 7 After that he said: “Return your hand into the upper fold of your garment.” So he returned his hand into the upper fold of his garment. When he drew it out of the upper fold of his garment, why, here it was restored like the rest of his flesh! 8 “And it must occur that,” to quote him, “if they will not believe you and will not listen to the voice of the first sign, then they will certainly believe the voice of the later sign. 9 Still, it must occur that, if they will not believe even these two signs and will not listen to your voice, then you will have to take some water from the Nile River and pour it out on the dry land; and the water that you will take from the Nile River will certainly become, yes, it will indeed become blood on the dry land.”

     10 Moses now said to Jehovah: “Excuse me, Jehovah, but I am not a fluent speaker, neither since yesterday nor since before that nor since your speaking to your servant, for I am slow of mouth and slow of tongue.” 11 At that Jehovah said to him: “Who appointed a mouth for man or who appoints the speechless or the deaf or the clear-sighted or the blind? Is it not I, Jehovah? 12 So now go, and I myself shall prove to be with your mouth and I will teach you what you ought to say.” 13 But he said: “Excuse me, Jehovah, but send, please, by the hand of the one whom you are going to send.” 14 Then Jehovah’s anger grew hot against Moses and he said: “Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I do know that he can really speak. And, besides, here he is on his way out to meet you. When he does see you, he will certainly rejoice in his heart. 15 And you must speak to him and put the words in his mouth; and I myself shall prove to be with your mouth and his mouth, and I will teach YOU men what YOU are to do. 16 And he must speak for you to the people; and it must occur that he will serve as a mouth to you, and you will serve as God to him. 17 And this rod you will take in your hand that you may perform the signs with it.”