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The Burning Bush

One day Moses was ·taking care of [shepherding; grazing] Jethro’s flock. (Jethro was the priest of Midian and also Moses’ father-in-law.) When Moses led the flock to the west side of the ·desert [wilderness], he came to ·Sinai [L Horeb; C another name for Mount Sinai], the mountain of God. There the ·angel [messenger] of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire coming out of a bush. Moses saw that the bush was on fire, but it was not ·burning up [consumed]. So Moses said, “I will ·go closer to [L turn aside to see] this ·strange [or marvelous; great] thing. ·How can a bush continue burning without burning up [Why does not the bush burn]?”

When the Lord saw Moses was ·coming [L turning aside] to look at it, God called to him from the bush, “Moses, Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here I am.”

Then God said, “Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals [L from your feet], because the place where you are standing is holy ground. I am the God of your ·ancestors [fathers; L father]—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Moses ·covered [hid] his face because he was afraid to look at God.

The Lord said, “I have seen the ·troubles [affliction; or humiliation] my people have suffered in Egypt, and I have heard their cries ·when the Egyptian slavemasters hurt them [L before their foremen/taskmasters]. I ·am concerned about [L know] their pain, and I have come down to ·save [rescue; deliver] them from the Egyptians. I will bring them out of that land and lead them to a good land with lots of room—a ·fertile land [L land flowing with milk and honey; C an image of abundant fertility]. It is the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. I have heard the cries of the people of Israel, and I have seen the way the Egyptians have ·made life hard for [oppressed] them. 10 So now I am sending you to ·the king of Egypt [L Pharaoh]. Go! Bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt!”

11 But Moses said to God, “·I am not a great man! How can I go to the king [L Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh] and ·lead [bring] the Israelites out of Egypt?”

12 God said, “I will be with you. This will be the ·proof [sign] that I am sending you: After you lead the people out of Egypt, all of you will ·worship me [L serve God] on this mountain.”

13 Moses said to God, “When I go to the Israelites, I will say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors sent me to you.’ What if the people say, ‘What is his name [C names signified a person’s essence, character, or reputation]?’ What should I tell them?”

14 Then God said to Moses, “I Am Who I Am[C These Hebrew words are related to the name Yahweh, usually translated “Lord,” and suggest that God eternally lives and is always with his people]. When you go to the people of Israel, tell them, ‘I Am sent me to you.’”

15 God ·also [or again] said to Moses, “This is what you should tell the people: ‘The Lord is the God of your ·ancestors [fathers]—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. He sent me to you.’ This will always be my name, ·by which people from now on will know me [L this is my title for all generations].

16 “Go and gather the elders of Israel and tell them this: ‘The Lord, the God of your ·ancestors [fathers] Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has appeared to me. He said, I ·care about you, and I have seen [have paid attention to you and to] what has happened to you in Egypt. 17 I ·promised [L said] I would take you out of your ·troubles [affliction; or humiliation] in Egypt. I will lead you to the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites—a ·fertile land [L land flowing with milk and honey; 3:8].’

18 “The elders will listen to you. And then you and the elders of Israel will go to the king of Egypt and tell him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, ·appeared to [L met with] us. Let us travel three days into the ·desert [wilderness] to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God.’

19 “But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go. Only ·a great power will force him to let you go [L by a strong hand], 20 so I will ·use my great power against Egypt [L stretch forth my hand]. I will strike Egypt with all the ·miracles [wonders] that will happen in that land. After I do that, he will let you go. 21 I will cause the Egyptians to ·think well of [be favorable toward] the Israelites. So when you leave, ·they will give gifts to your people [L you will not leave emptyhanded; 12:35–36]. 22 Each woman should ask her Egyptian neighbor and any Egyptian woman living in her house for gifts—silver, gold, and clothing. You should put those gifts on your ·children [L sons and daughters] when you leave Egypt. In this way you will ·take with you the riches of [plunder] the Egyptians.”

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