Proof for Moses
1Then Moses answered, “What if the people of Israel do not believe me or listen to me? What if they say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”
2The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?”
Moses answered, “It is my walking stick.”
3The Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.”
So Moses threw it on the ground, and it became a snake. Moses ran from the snake, 4but the Lord said to him, “Reach out and grab the snake by its tail.” When Moses reached out and took hold of the snake, it again became a stick in his hand. 5The Lord said, “This is so that the Israelites will believe that the Lord appeared to you. I am the God of their ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”
6Then the Lord said to Moses, “Put your hand inside your coat.” So Moses put his hand inside his coat. When he took it out, it was white with a skin disease.
7Then he said, “Now put your hand inside your coat again.” So Moses put his hand inside his coat again. When he took it out, his hand was healthy again, like the rest of his skin.
8Then the Lord said, “If the people do not believe you or pay attention to the first miracle, they may believe you when you show them this second miracle. 9After these two miracles, if they still do not believe or listen to you, take some water from the Nile River and pour it on the dry ground. The water will become blood when it touches the ground.”
10But Moses said to the Lord, “Please, Lord, I have never been a skilled speaker. Even now, after talking to you, I cannot speak well. I speak slowly and can’t find the best words.”
11Then the Lord said to him, “Who made a person’s mouth? And who makes someone deaf or not able to speak? Or who gives a person sight or blindness? It is I, the Lord. 12Now go! I will help you speak, and I will teach you what to say.”
13But Moses said, “Please, Lord, send someone else.”
14The Lord became angry with Moses and said, “Your brother Aaron, from the family of Levi, is a skilled speaker. He is already coming to meet you, and he will be happy when he sees you. 15You will speak to Aaron and tell him what to say. I will help both of you to speak and will teach you what to do. 16Aaron will speak to the people for you. You will tell him what God says, and he will speak for you. 17Take your walking stick with you, and use it to do the miracles.”
Moses Returns to Egypt
18Moses went back to Jethro, his father-in-law, and said to him, “Let me go back to my people in Egypt. I want to see if they are still alive.”
Jethro said to Moses, “Go! I wish you well.”
19While Moses was still in Midian, the Lord said to him, “Go back to Egypt, because the men who wanted to kill you are dead now.”
20So Moses took his wife and his sons, put them on a donkey, and started back to Egypt. He took with him the walking stick of God.
21The Lord said to Moses, “When you get back to Egypt, do all the miracles I have given you the power to do. Show them to the king of Egypt. But I will make the king very stubborn, and he will not let the people go. 22Then say to the king, ‘This is what the Lord says: Israel is my firstborn son. 23I told you to let my son go so he may worship me. But you refused to let Israel go, so I will kill your firstborn son.’ ”
24As Moses was on his way to Egypt, he stopped at a resting place for the night. The Lord met him there and tried to kill him. 25But Zipporah took a flint knife and circumcised her son. Taking the skin, she touched Moses’ feet with it and said to him, “You are a bridegroom of blood to me.” 26She said, “You are a bridegroom of blood,” because she had to circumcise her son. So the Lord let Moses alone.
27Meanwhile the Lord said to Aaron, “Go out into the desert to meet Moses.” When Aaron went, he met Moses at Sinai, the mountain of God, and kissed him. 28Moses told Aaron everything the Lord had said to him when he sent him to Egypt. He also told him about the miracles which the Lord had commanded him to do.
29Moses and Aaron gathered all the elders of the Israelites, 30and Aaron told them everything that the Lord had told Moses. Then Moses did the miracles for all the people to see, 31and the Israelites believed. When they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their troubles, they bowed down and worshiped him.