“Brothers and fathers,” he replied, “listen: The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he settled in Haran, and said to him: Leave your country and relatives, and come to the land that I will show you.
“Then he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. From there, after his father died, God had him move to this land in which you are now living. He didn’t give him an inheritance in it — not even a foot of ground — but he promised to give it to him as a possession, and to his descendants after him, even though he was childless. God spoke in this way: His descendants would be strangers in a foreign country, and they would enslave and oppress them for four hundred years. I will judge the nation that they will serve as slaves, God said. After this, they will come out and worship me in this place. And so he gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision. After this, he fathered Isaac and circumcised him on the eighth day. Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs.
“The patriarchs became jealous of Joseph and sold him into Egypt, but God was with him and rescued him out of all his troubles. He gave him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who appointed him ruler over Egypt and over his whole household. Now a famine and great suffering came over all of Egypt and Canaan, and our ancestors could find no food. When Jacob heard there was grain in Egypt, he sent our ancestors there the first time. The second time, Joseph revealed himself to his brothers, and Joseph’s family became known to Pharaoh. Joseph invited his father Jacob and all his relatives, seventy-five people in all, and Jacob went down to Egypt. He and our ancestors died there, were carried back to Shechem, and were placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.
“As the time was approaching to fulfill the promise that God had made to Abraham, the people flourished and multiplied in Egypt until a different king who did not know Joseph ruled over Egypt. He dealt deceitfully with our race and oppressed our ancestors by making them abandon their infants outside so that they wouldn’t survive. At this time Moses was born, and he was beautiful in God’s sight. He was cared for in his father’s home for three months. When he was put outside, Pharaoh’s daughter adopted and raised him as her own son. So Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in his speech and actions.
“When he was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites. When he saw one of them being mistreated, he came to his rescue and avenged the oppressed man by striking down the Egyptian. He assumed his people would understand that God would give them deliverance through him, but they did not understand. The next day he showed up while they were fighting and tried to reconcile them peacefully, saying, ‘Men, you are brothers. Why are you mistreating each other? ’