Moses at the burning bush
1Moses was taking care of the flock for his father-in-law Jethro,#Also called Reuel Midian’s priest. He led his flock out to the edge of the desert, and he came to God’s mountain called Horeb. 2The Lord’s messenger appeared to him in a flame of fire in the middle of a bush. Moses saw that the bush was in flames, but it didn’t burn up. 3Then Moses said to himself, Let me check out this amazing sight and find out why the bush isn’t burning up.
4When the Lord saw that he was coming to look, God called to him out of the bush, "Moses, Moses!"
Moses said, "I’m here."
5Then the Lord said, "Don’t come any closer! Take off your sandals, because you are standing on holy ground." 6He continued, "I am the God of your father, Abraham’s God, Isaac’s God, and Jacob’s God." Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God.
7Then the Lord said, "I’ve clearly seen my people oppressed in Egypt. I’ve heard their cry of injustice because of their slave masters. I know about their pain. 8I’ve come down to rescue them from the Egyptians in order to take them out of that land and bring them to a good and broad land, a land that’s full of milk and honey, a place where the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites all live. 9Now the Israelites’ cries of injustice have reached me. I’ve seen just how much the Egyptians have oppressed them. 10So get going. I’m sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt."
11But Moses said to God, "Who am I to go to Pharaoh and to bring the Israelites out of Egypt?"
12God said, "I’ll be with you. And this will show you that I’m the one who sent you. After you bring the people out of Egypt, you will come back here and worship God on this mountain."
God’s special name
13But Moses said to God, "If I now come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they are going to ask me, ‘What’s this God’s name?’ What am I supposed to say to them?"
14God said to Moses, "I Am Who I Am.#Or I Will Be Who I will Be. So say to the Israelites, ‘I Am has sent me to you.’" 15God continued, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your ancestors, Abraham’s God, Isaac’s God, and Jacob’s God, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever; this is how all generations will remember me.
16“Go and get Israel’s elders together and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me. The Lord said, "I’ve been paying close attention to you and to what has been done to you in Egypt. 17I’ve decided to take you away from the harassment in Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land full of milk and honey."’ 18They will accept what you say to them. Then you and Israel’s elders will go to Egypt’s king and say to him, ‘The Lord, the Hebrews’ God, has met with us. So now let us go on a three-day journey into the desert so that we can offer sacrifices to the Lord our God.’ 19However, I know that Egypt’s king won’t let you go unless he’s forced to do it. 20So I’ll use my strength and hit Egypt with dramatic displays of my power. After that, he’ll let you go.
21"I’ll make it so that when you leave Egypt, the Egyptians will be kind to you and you won’t go away empty-handed. 22Every woman will ask her neighbor along with the immigrant in her household for their silver and their gold jewelry as well as their clothing. Then you will put it on your sons and daughters, and you will rob the Egyptians."