Exodus 6

God promises to save the Israelites

1 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh. I will use my great power to make him let my people go. With my strong power I will cause him to make them leave his land.’

2 And God said to Moses, ‘I am the Lord. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I showed them that I am God Almighty. But I did not let them know me by my special name, the Lord. 4 I also made my covenant with them. I promised to give them the land of Canaan, where they were living as foreign people. 5 I have heard the Israelites when they cry in pain. I know that the Egyptians have caused the Israelites to be their slaves. Now I have thought about my covenant. 6 So you must say this to the Israelites: “I am the Lord. I will remove you from the power of the Egyptians. You will not have to do hard work to serve them as their slaves any more. I will use my strength to save you and I will punish the Egyptians. 7 I will cause you to be my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord. I am your God who saved you from the power of the Egyptians. 8 I will take you to live in another land. That is the land that I promised to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. Yes, I will give it to you and it will belong to you. I am the Lord.” ’

9 Moses told the Lord's message to the Israelites. But they refused to listen to him. They were very weak and tired, because their Egyptian masters were so cruel to them.

10 Then the Lord said to Moses, 11 ‘Go and speak to Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Tell him that he must let the Israelites go out of his country.’ 12 But Moses said to the Lord, ‘Look! Even the Israelites have not listened to me. So Pharaoh certainly will not listen to me. You know that I do not speak well.’

13 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron about the Israelites, and about Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. He commanded Moses and Aaron to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

The ancestors of Moses and Aaron

14 These were the leaders of their family clans:

Israel's firstborn son was Reuben. Reuben's sons were: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron and Carmi. These were Reuben's family clans.

15 The sons of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar and Shaul. Shaul was the son of a Canaanite woman. These were Simeon's family clans.

16 These are the names of the sons of Levi, from the oldest to the youngest: Gershon, Kohath and Merari. Levi himself lived for 137 years.

17 The sons of Gershon and their clans: Libni and Shimei.

18 The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel. Kohath lived for 133 years.

19 The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi.

These were the family clans of Levi, from the oldest to the youngest.

20 Amram married Jochebed, his father's sister. Aaron and Moses were their sons. Amram lived for 137 years.

21 The sons of Izhar: Korah, Nepheg and Zikri.

22 The sons of Uzziel: Mishael, Elzaphan and Sithri.

23 Aaron married Elisheba. She was the daughter of Amminadab and the sister of Nahshon. Elisheba's children were: Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.

24 The sons of Korah: Assir, Elkanah and Abiasaph. These were Korah's family clans.

25 Aaron's son, Eleazar, married one of Putiel's daughters. Phinehas was their son.

These were the leaders of the Levite family clans.

26 This shows us the ancestors of Aaron and Moses. They were the men to whom the Lord spoke. He said to them, ‘Lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Lead them out in their families and clans, like an army.’ 27 Moses and Aaron were the men who spoke to Pharaoh, king of Egypt. They told him that the Israelites would leave Egypt. They were the same Moses and Aaron as we read about in the list of Israelite families.

Aaron will speak on Moses' behalf

28 When the Lord spoke to Moses in the country of Egypt, 29 he said, ‘I am the Lord. Tell Pharaoh, king of Egypt, everything that I say to you.’ 30 But Moses said, ‘You know that I do not speak well. Pharaoh will not listen to me.’