Exodus 4:1-17

God shows Moses some strange things

1 Then Moses replied, ‘Perhaps the leaders of Israel will not believe me. Perhaps they will not listen to my message. Perhaps they will say, “The Lord did not really appear to you.” ’

2 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘What is that thing in your hand?’ Moses answered, ‘It is a stick.’

3 The Lord said, ‘Throw it down on the ground.’ So Moses threw it on the ground. Then the stick became a snake! Moses ran away from the snake. 4 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Take hold of the snake's tail with your hand.’ So Moses caught the snake with his hand. Then it became a stick in his hand again. 5 God said, ‘Do this in front of them. Then they will believe you. They will believe that I, the Lord God, have appeared to you. I am the God that their fathers worshipped. I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.’

6 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Put your hand inside your robe.’ So Moses did this. When he took his hand out again, the skin had become white, like snow. It was the bad illness called leprosy.

7 Then God said, ‘Put your hand back inside your robe again.’ So Moses did that. And when he took his hand out, it was well again, like the rest of his skin!

8 God said, ‘The leaders may not believe you. They may not think that the miracle with the stick shows anything. But they may believe you when you do the second miracle. 9 But they may still not listen to your message. If they will not even believe those two miracles, do this: Take some water from the River Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water that you take from the river will become blood on the ground.’

4:9These miracles would show the Israelites that Moses spoke with the authority of God.

10 Then Moses said to the Lord, ‘My Lord, I cannot speak well. I speak slowly and I speak with difficulty. I never could speak well. And even now, when you have spoken to me, I still cannot speak well.’

11 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Who has made human mouths? Who makes a person that cannot speak? Who makes a person that cannot hear? Who makes a person who can see, or who cannot see? It is I, the Lord God! 12 Now go! I will help you to speak well. I will teach you what you must say.’

13 But Moses said, ‘My Lord, please send some other person. Do not send me!’

14 Then the Lord became angry with Moses. He said, ‘Aaron, the Levite, is your brother. I know that he can speak very well. Look! He is coming to meet you now. When he sees you, he will be very happy.

15 So this is what you must do. You must speak to him. You must tell him what to say. I will help both of you to speak. And I will teach both of you what you must do. 16 Aaron will speak to the people on your behalf. He will be like your mouth, to speak your message. And you will be like God to him. You will tell him what to say. 17 Take this stick with you and hold it in your hand. You will use it to do the miracles to show that I have sent you.’