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.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake. When he did this, it again became a stick in his hand. 5The Lord said, “When this happens, the Israelites will believe that the Lord appeared to you. I am the God of their ancestors. I am 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 his hand out, it was white with a harmful skin disease.
7Then the Lord 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. It was like the rest of his skin.
8Then the Lord said, “The people may not believe you or be convinced by the first miracle. They may believe you when you show them this second miracle. 9After these two miracles they still may not believe or listen to you. Then take some water from the Nile River. Pour it on the dry ground. The water will become blood when it touches the ground.”
10But Moses said to the Lord, “But Lord, I am not a skilled speaker. I have never been able to speak well. And now, even after talking to you, I am not a good speaker. I speak slowly and can’t find the best words.”
11Then the Lord said to him, “Who made man’s mouth? And who makes him deaf or not able to speak? Or who gives a man sight or makes him blind? It is I, the Lord. 12Now go! I will help you speak. I will tell you what to say.”
13But Moses said, “Please, Lord, send someone else.”
14The Lord became angry with Moses. He 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. 15I will tell you what to say. Then you will tell Aaron. I will help both of you know what to say and do. 16And Aaron 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. Use it to do the miracles.”
Moses Returns to Egypt
18Then Moses went back to Jethro, his father-in-law. Moses 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, “You may go. Have a safe trip.”
19While Moses was still in Midian, the Lord said to him, “Go back to Egypt. The men who wanted to kill you are dead now.”
20So Moses took his wife and his sons and put them on a donkey. Then he 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 them. Show them to the king of Egypt. But I will make the king very stubborn. He will not let the people go. 22Then say to the king: ‘This is what the Lord says: Israel is my firstborn son. 23And I told you to let my son go. Let him 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. She took the skin and touched Moses’ feet with it. Then she said to him, “You are a bridegroom of blood to me.” 26Zipporah said this because she had to circumcise her son. So the Lord did not kill Moses.
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. And Moses told him about the miracles which the Lord had commanded him to do.
29So Moses and Aaron gathered all the elders of the Israelites. 30Aaron told them everything that the Lord had told Moses. Then Moses did the miracles for all the people to see. 31So the Israelites believed. They heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their troubles. Then they bowed down and worshiped him.