Redemption of the Firstborn
1Adonai spoke to Moses saying,
2“Consecrate to Me all the firstborn, from every womb of Bnei-Yisrael, both men and animals—this is Mine.”
3Moses said to the people, “Remember this day, on which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage. For by a strong hand Adonai brought you out from this place. No hametz may be eaten.
4This day, in the month of Aviv, you are going out.
5When Adonai brings you into the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, which He swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, you are to observe this service during this month.
6For seven days you are to eat matzah, and the seventh day is to be a feast to Adonai.
7Matzot is to be eaten throughout the seven days, and no hametz is to be seen among you, nor within any of your borders.
8“You are to tell your son on that day saying, ‘It is because of what Adonai did for me when I came out of Egypt.
9So it will be like a sign on your hand and a reminder between your eyes, so that the Torah of Adonai may be in your mouth. For with a strong hand Adonai has brought you out of Egypt.
10You are to keep this ordinance as a moed from year to year.
11“Now when Adonai brings you into the land of the Canaanite, as He swore to you and your fathers and gives it you,
12you are to set apart to Adonai every firstborn from the womb, and every firstborn male animal you have will be Adonai’s.
13Every firstborn donkey you are to redeem with a lamb, and if you do not redeem it, then you are to break its neck. But you are to redeem every firstborn male among your sons.
14“So when your son asks you in times to come, ‘What is this?’ say to him, ‘By a strong hand Adonai brought us out from Egypt, the house of bondage,
15and when Pharaoh refused to let us go, Adonai slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both men and animals. So I sacrifice to Adonai all firstborn males, but I redeem the firstborn of my sons.’
16So it will be like a sign on your hand and like frontlets between your eyes, for by a strong hand Adonai brought us out of Egypt.”
17After Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not lead them along the road to the land of the Philistines, although that was nearby, for God said, “The people might change their minds if they see war and return to Egypt.”
18So God led the people around by the way of the wilderness to the Sea of Reeds, and Bnei-Yisrael went up out of the land of Egypt armed.
19Moses also took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had made Bnei-Yisrael swear an oath saying, “God will surely remember you, and then you are to carry my bones away with you.”
20So they journeyed from Succoth and encamped in Etham, on the edge of the wilderness.
21Adonai went before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead the way and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light. So they could travel both day and night.
22The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night never departed from the people.