1.1. Now these are the names of the children of Israel who came into Egypt, every man and his household who came with Jacob; 2.Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, 3. Issachar, Zebulun, Benjamin, 4. Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. 5. And all the souls who came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls, for Joseph was already in Egypt. 6. And Joseph and all his brothers died, that whole generation. 7. And the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly, and multiplied and grew very strong and the land was filled with them.
1:8. Now a new king rose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. 9. And he said to his people, “Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we. 10. Come on, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply and it would happen that when there would be a war they could even join our enemies and fight against us, so get them up out of the land.”
1:11. Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. And they built treasure cities Pithom and Rameses for Pharaoh. 12. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. 13. And the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with harshness. 14. And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, in which they made them serve, was with harshness.
1:15. And the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of the one was Shifrah, and the name of the other Puah. 16. And he said, “When you do the office of a midwife for the Hebrew women and see them upon the stools, if it is a son then you will kill him, but if it is a daughter, then she will live.” 17. But the midwives revered God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive. 18. And the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this thing, and have saved the male children alive?” 19. And the midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are lively, bearing quickly, and are delivered before the midwives come in to them.”
1:20. Therefore God dealt well with the midwives and the people multiplied and grew very powerful. 21. And it was, because the midwives revered God that He made houses for them.
1:22. And Pharaoh charged all his people saying, “Every son that is born you will cast into the river and every daughter you will save alive.”
2.1. And there went a man from the house of Levi and took a daughter of Levi for a wife. 2. And the woman conceived and bore a son and when she saw that he was a goodly child, she hid him for three months. 3. Then when she could no longer hide him, she took a box made of bulrushes for him and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child in it, and she laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank. 4. And his sister stood far off, to know what would be done to him. 5. And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash in the river, and her maidens walked along by the river’s side. And, when she saw the box among the reeds, she sent her maid to fetch it. 6. And when she had opened it, she saw the child and, behold, the baby was crying. And she had compassion on him and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.” 7. Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call a nurse of the Hebrew women for you, so she can nurse the child for you?” 8. And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” And the maid went and called the child’s mother. 9. And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away, and nurse him for me and I shall give you your wages.” And the woman took the child and nursed him. 10. And the child grew and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses (Moshe). And she said, “Because I drew him out of the water.”
The LORD* Prepares Moses
2:11. And it was in those days, when Moses was grown that he went out to his brothers and saw their burdens, and he spied an Egyptian striking a Hebrew, one of his brothers. 12. And he looked this way and that way and when he saw that no one was there, he slew the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13. And when he went out the second day, there were two men of the Hebrews fighting, and he said to him that did the wrong, “Why did you hit your fellow Hebrew?”
2:14. And he said, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me, as you killed the Egyptian?” And Moses was afraid, and said, “Surely this thing is known.” 15. Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the presence of Pharaoh, and stayed in the land of Midian. He sat down by a well.
Moses Begins Forty Years of Preparation
2:16. Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17. And the shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses stood up and helped them and watered their flock. 18. And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, “How is it that you have come so soon today?” 19. And they said, “An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds and also drew water enough for us and watered the flock.” 20. And he said to his daughters, “Then where is he? Why is it you have left the man? Call him, so he can eat a meal.” 21. And Moses was content to dwell with the man, and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter. 22. And she bore a son and he called his name Gershom, for he said, “I have been a stranger in a strange land.”
Children of Israel Treated Cruelly
2:23. And it was over a process of time that the king of Egypt died, and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage and they cried and their cry came up to God by reason of the bondage. 24. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25. And God looked upon the children of Israel and God knew about them.
The Burning Bush
3.1. Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to the mountain of God, to Horeb. 2. And the angel of the LORD* appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush and he looked and, behold, the bush burned with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. (Acts 7:30) 3. And Moses said, “I shall now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.”
3:4. And when the LORD* saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him out of the midst of the bush and said, “Moses. Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5. And He said, “Do not draw near to here. Take off your shoes from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6. Moreover He said, “I AM the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” (Matt. 22:32, Acts 3:13) And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God. 7. And the LORD* said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their suffering. 8. And I have come down to rescue them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good, large land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. 9. Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me. And I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10. Come now therefore and I shall send you to Pharaoh, so you can bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” 11. And Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?”
3:12. And He said, “Certainly I shall be with you, and this will be a sign for you, that I AM has sent you. When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will serve God upon this mountain.” (Acts 7:6,7) 13. And Moses said to God, “Behold, when I come to the children of Israel and will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ then they will say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What will I say to them?”
3:14. And God said to Moses, “I AM THAT I AM!” And He said, “Thus will you say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you. 15. And God said further to Moses, “Thus will you say to the children of Israel, ‘The LORD* God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob (Acts 3:13) has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’ 16. Go! Gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The LORD* God, the LORD* of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob appeared to me saying, I have surely visited you and seen what has been done to you in Egypt. 17. And I have said, I shall bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, to a land flowing with milk and honey.’ 18. And they will heed your voice and you will come, you and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt and you will say to him, ‘The LORD* God of the Hebrews has met with us and now let us go, we beseech you, three days’ journey into the wilderness, so we can sacrifice to the LORD* our God.’ 19. And I AM sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand. 20. And I shall stretch out My hand, and strike Egypt with all My wonders which I shall do in the midst of it, and after that he will let you go. 21. And I shall give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, and it will be that, when you go, you will not go empty, 22. but every woman will ask from her neighbor and from anyone who stays in her house, jewels of silver, jewels of gold, and raiment. And you will put them upon your sons and upon your daughters, and you will plunder Egypt.”
The LORD* Proves Himself
4.1. And Moses answered and said, “But look, they will not believe me or heed my voice, for they will say, ‘The LORD* has not appeared to you.’” 2. And the LORD* said to him, “What is that in your hand?” And he said, “A staff.” 3. And He said, “Cast it on the ground.” And he cast it on the ground and it became a snake and Moses fled from before it. 4. And the LORD* said to Moses, “Put forth your hand and take it by the tail.” And he put forth his hand, and caught it and it became a staff in his hand. 5. “So that they may believe that the LORD* God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob has appeared to you.”
6. And the LORD* said further to him, “Now put your hand into your bosom.” And he put his hand into his bosom, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow. 7. And He said, “Put your hand into your bosom again.” And he put his hand into his bosom again and plucked it out of his bosom and, behold, it was turned again like his other flesh. 8. And it will be, if they will not believe you, either to obey the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign. 9. And it will happen, if they will not believe also these two signs, or obey your voice, that you will take of the water of the river and pour it on the dry land and the water which you take out of the river will become blood upon the dry land.”
4:10. And Moses said to the LORD*, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, not yesterday or the day before, or since You have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of a slow tongue.” 11. And the LORD* said to him, “Who made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Is it not I? I AM the LORD*! 12. Now go! I AM! I will be with your mouth and I will teach you what you will say.” 13. And he said, “O my Lord, send, please, by the hand of him whom You will send.” 14. And the anger of the LORD* was kindled against Moses and He said, “Is not Aaron (Aharon) the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you he will be glad in his heart. 15. And you will speak to him and put words in his mouth, and I AM will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and will teach you what you will do. 16. And he will be your spokesman to the people and he will be a mouth for you, and you will be his leader. 17. And you will take this staff in your hand, with which you will do the signs.”
4:18. And Moses went and returned to Jethro (Yitro) his father-in-law, and said to him, “Let me go, please, and return to my brothers who are in Egypt, and see whether they are still alive.” And Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.” 19. And the LORD* said to Moses in Midian, “Get out of here! Return to Egypt, for all the men who sought your life are dead.” 20. And Moses took his wife and his sons and set them on a donkey, and he returned to the land of Egypt. And Moses took the staff of God in his hand. 21. And the LORD* said to Moses, “When you go to return to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders, which I have put in your hand, in front of Pharaoh, but I shall harden his heart so he will not let the people go. 22. And you tell Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD*, Israel is My son, My firstborn. 23. And I say to you, Send My son away! So he can serve Me, and if you refuse to send him out, behold, I AM will slay your son, your firstborn.”
4:24. And it happened on the way, at the lodging place, that the LORD* met him and sought to kill him. 25. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone and cut off the foreskin of her son, casting it at his feet and saying, “Surely you are a bloody husband to me.” 26. So He let him be, then she said, “You are a bloody husband” because of the circumcision.
4:27. And the LORD* said to Aaron, “Go into the wilderness to meet Moses!” And he went and met him on the mountain of God and kissed him. 28. And Moses told Aaron all the words of the LORD* Who had sent him and all the signs which He had commanded him. 29. And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel. 30. And Aaron spoke all the words which the LORD* had spoken to Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. 31. And the people believed and when they heard that the LORD* had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.
Moses and Aaron Visit Pharaoh
5.1. And afterward Moses and Aaron went in and told Pharaoh, “Thus says the LORD* God of Israel, ‘Send My people away! So they can hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.’” 2. And Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD* that I should obey His voice to send Israel out? I do not know the LORD*, neither will I send Israel away.” 3. And they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Let us go, we pray you, three days’ journey into the desert and sacrifice to the LORD* our God so He will not fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.” 4. And the king of Egypt said to them, “Why do you, Moses and Aaron, release the people from their duties? Get to your burdens.” 5. And Pharaoh said, “Behold, the people of the land now are many, and you make them rest from their burdens.” 6. And the same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their officers saying, 7. “You will no longer give the people straw to make brick, as until now. Let them go and gather straw for themselves. 8. And the quantity of the bricks, which they have made till now, you will lay upon them, you will not lessen a bit of it, for they are idle. Therefore they cry saying, ‘Let us go sacrifice to our God.’ 9. Let more work be laid on the men, so they can work, and let them not regard vain words.” 10. And the taskmasters of the people and their officers went out and spoke to the people saying, “Thus says Pharaoh, I shall not give you straw. 11. Get out of here! Get straw for yourselves where you can find it! Yet none of your work will be reduced.” 12. So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw. 13. And the taskmasters pushed them saying, “Fulfill your duties! Do your daily tasks, as when there was straw!” 14. And the officers of the children of Israel, whom Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, demanding, “Why have you not fulfilled your quota in making brick both yesterday and today, like before?”
5:15. Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried to Pharaoh saying, “Why are you dealing like this with your servants? 16. No straw is given to your servants, and they say to us, ‘Make bricks!’ Then, behold, your servants are beaten, but the fault is in your own people.” 17. But he said, “You are idle. You are idle! Therefore you say, ‘Let us go sacrifice to the LORD*.’ 18. So now you will go. Work! No straw will be given to you, yet you will deliver the quota of bricks.”
5:19. And the officers of the children of Israel saw that they were in a bad way, after it was said, “You will not diminish any from your daily quota of bricks.” 20. And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in their way as they came out from Pharaoh. 21. And they said to them, “The LORD* look upon you and judge because you have made us to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants to put a sword in their hand to slay us.” 22. And Moses returned to the LORD* and said, “Lord, why have You done so much evil to this people? Why did You send me?
23. For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people and You have not delivered Your people at all.”
Plagues about to Begin
6.1. Then the LORD* said to Moses, “Now you will see what I shall do to Pharaoh, for he will let them go with a strong hand, and he will drive them out of his land with a strong hand.
Next week’s Torah readings: Va-era