Reading 16/341, Exodus 3-6

Moses sees a burning bush that is not burned up. He approaches it, and the Lord speaks to him. He tells him to return to Egypt and lead the Israelites out of slavery. Moses is reluctant, and God tells him signs that he can work as proof. Moses is still reluctant, and God tells him that his brother Aaron may do the speaking for him. Moses goes to Egypt, the Lord tries to kill him, he circumcises his son. He speaks to Pharaoh, who does not listen but only increases the burden of the Hebrews.

[A] I once watched a teacher teach children about Exodus and was confused by her descriptions. Then I realized that she was describing the movie to them. There are differences. For one, that movie does not capture at all the system Moses asked for where he told Aaron what to say, and Aaron did all the speaking. I suppose it would not have been as impressive if Charlton Heston were just in the background whispering in Aaron's ear.
[B]The genealogy at the end is problematic. We know that about 360 years have passed from the death of Joseph at the end of Genesis until the burning bush. Moses is 79. There are only 4 generations from Jacob to Moses. It seems that it was standard practice in genealogies to skip generations. It must have been at least 8 generations.

...Exodus...

Now Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the west of the wilderness and came to God's mountain, to Horeb. The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. Moses said, "I will turn aside now, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt." When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the midst of the bush, and said, "Moses! Moses!" He said, "Here I am." He said, "Do not come close. Take your sandals off of your feet, for the place you are standing on is holy ground." Moreover he said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. The Lord said, "I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey; to the place of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. Now, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to me. Moreover I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come now therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring forth my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt." Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?" He said, "Certainly I will be with you. This will be the token to you, that I have sent you: when you have brought forth the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain."

Moses said to God, "Behold, when I come to the children of Israel, and tell them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you;' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' What should I tell them?" God said to Moses, "I AM WHO AM," and he said, "You shall tell the children of Israel this: 'I AM has sent me to you.'" God also said to Moses, "You shall tell the children of Israel this, 'The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.' This is my name forever, and this is my memorial to all generations. Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and tell them, 'The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, "I have surely visited you, and seen what is done to you in Egypt, and I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, to a land flowing with milk and honey."'

They will listen to your voice, and you shall come, you and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt, and you shall tell him, 'The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Now please let us go three days' journey into the desert, that we may sacrifice to the Lord, our God.' I know that the king of Egypt will not give you permission to go, no, not unless under a mighty hand. I will put forth my hand and strike Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst of it, and after that he will let you go. I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, and it will happen that when you go, you shall not go emptyhanded. But every woman shall ask of her neighbor, and of her who visits her house, jewels of silver, jewels of gold, and clothing, and you shall put them on your sons, and on your daughters. You shall despoil the Egyptians.

Moses answered, "But, behold, they will not believe me, nor listen to my voice; for they will say, 'The Lord has not appeared to you.'" The Lord said to him, "What is that in your hand?" He said, "A rod." He said, "Throw it on the ground." He threw it on the ground, and it became a snake, and Moses ran away from it. The Lord said to Moses, "Put forth your hand and take it by the tail." He put forth his hand and laid hold of it, and it became a rod in his hand. "That they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you. The Lord said furthermore to him, "Now put your hand inside your cloak." He put his hand inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, as white as snow. He said, "Put your hand inside your cloak again." He put his hand inside his cloak again, and when he took it out of his cloak, behold, it had turned again as his other flesh. "It will happen, if they will neither believe you nor listen to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the second sign. It will happen, if they will not believe even these two signs, nor listen to your voice, that you shall take of the water of the river, and pour it on the dry land. The water which you take out of the river will become blood on the dry land."

Moses said to the Lord, "Oh, Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before now, nor since you have spoken to your servant, for I am slow of speech and of a slow tongue. The Lord said to him, "Who made man's mouth? Or who makes one mute or deaf or seeing or blind? Is not it I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth, and teach you what you shall speak." He said, "Oh Lord, please send someone else." The anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and he said, "What about Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Also, behold, he comes forth to meet you. When he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth. I will be with your mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what you shall do. He will be your spokesman to the people, and it will happen that he will be to you a mouth, and you will be to him as God. You shall take this rod in your hand, with which you shall do the signs."

Moses went and returned to Jethro his father-in-law, and said to him, "Please let me go and return to my brothers who are in Egypt, and see whether they are still alive." Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.” The Lord said to Moses in Midian, "Go, return into Egypt; for all the men who sought your life are dead." Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them on a donkey, and he returned to the land of Egypt. Moses took God's rod in his hand. The Lord said to Moses, "When you go back into Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your hand, but I will harden his heart and he will not let the people go. You shall tell Pharaoh, 'Thus says the Lord, Israel is my son, my firstborn, and I have said to you, "Let my son go, that he may serve me", and you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son, your firstborn.'" It happened on the way at a lodging place, that the Lord met him and wanted to kill him. Then Zipporah took a flint, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and she said, "Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me." So he let him alone. Then she said, "You are a bridegroom of blood," because of the circumcision.

The Lord said to Aaron, "Go into the desert to meet Moses." He went, and met him on God's mountain, and kissed him. Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord with which he had sent him, and all the signs with which he had charged him. Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel. Aaron spoke all the words which the Lord had spoken to Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. The people believed and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel and that he had seen their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshiped. Afterward Moses and Aaron came, and said to Pharaoh, "This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says, 'Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the desert.'" Pharaoh said, "Who is the Lord, that I should listen to his voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and moreover I will not let Israel go." They said, "The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please let us go three days' journey into the desert, and sacrifice to the Lord, our God, lest he fall on us with pestilence or with the sword." The king of Egypt said to them, "Why do you, Moses and Aaron, take the people from their work? Get back to your burdens!"

Pharaoh said, "Behold, the people of the land are now many, and you make them rest from their burdens." The same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying, "You shall no longer give the people straw to make brick, as before. Let them go and gather straw for themselves. The number of the bricks, which they made before, you require from them. You shall not diminish anything of it, for they are idle; therefore they cry, saying, 'Let us go and sacrifice to our God.' Let heavier work be laid on the men, that they may labor therein, and do not let them pay any attention to lying words." The taskmasters of the people went out, and their officers, and they spoke to the people, saying, This is what Pharaoh says: "I will not give you straw. Go yourselves, get straw where you can find it, for nothing of your work shall be diminished." So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw. The taskmasters were urgent saying, "Fulfill your work quota daily, as when there was straw!" The officers of the children of Israel, whom Pharaoh's taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and demanded, "Why have not you fulfilled your quota both yesterday and today, in making brick as before?" Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried to Pharaoh, saying, "Why do you deal this way with your servants? No straw is given to your servants, and they tell us, 'Make brick!' and behold, your servants are beaten, but the fault is in your own people." But he said, "You are idle! You are idle! Therefore you say, 'Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.' Go therefore now, and work, for no straw shall be given to you, yet shall you deliver the same number of bricks!" The officers of the children of Israel saw that they were in trouble, when it was said, "You shall not diminish anything from your daily quota of bricks!" They met Moses and Aaron, who stood on the way as they came forth from Pharaoh, and they said to them, "May the Lord look at you, and judge, because you have made us a stench to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to kill us."

Moses returned to the Lord, and said, "Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people? Why is it that you have sent me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, nor have you delivered your people at all. The Lord said to Moses, "Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh, for by a strong hand he shall let them go, and by a strong hand he shall drive them out of his land." God spoke to Moses, and said to him, "I am the Lord, and I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I was not known to them. I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their travels, in which they lived as aliens. Moreover I have heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage, and I have remembered my covenant. Therefore tell the children of Israel, 'I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm, and with great judgments, and I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, and I will give it to you for a heritage: I am the Lord.'" Moses spoke so to the children of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses for anguish of spirit and cruel bondage. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Go in, speak to Pharaoh king of Egypt, that he let the children of Israel go out of his land." Moses spoke before the Lord, saying, "Behold, the children of Israel have not listened to me. How then shall Pharaoh listen to me, who am of uncircumcised lips?"

The Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, and gave them a charge to the children of Israel, and to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt. These are the heads of their fathers' houses. The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel: Hanoch, and Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi; these are the families of Reuben. The sons of Simeon: Jemuel, and Jamin, and Ohad, and Jachin, and Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman; these are the families of Simeon. These are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations: Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari, and the years of the life of Levi were one hundred thirty-seven years. The sons of Gershon: Libni and Shimei, according to their families. The sons of Kohath: Amram, and Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel, and the years of the life of Kohath were one hundred thirty-three years. The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites according to their generations. Amram took Jochebed his father's sister to himself as wife, and she bore him Aaron and Moses: and the years of the life of Amram were a hundred and thirty-seven years. The sons of Izhar: Korah, and Nepheg, and Zichri. The sons of Uzziel: Mishael, and Elzaphan, and Sithri. Aaron took Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab, the sister of Nahshon, as his wife, and she bore him Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. The sons of Korah: Assir, and Elkanah, and Abiasaph; these are the families of the Korahites. Eleazar Aaron's son took one of the daughters of Putiel as his wife, and she bore him Phinehas. These are the heads of the fathers' houses of the Levites according to their families. These are that Aaron and Moses, to whom the Lord said, "Bring out the children of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their armies." These are those who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring out the children of Israel from Egypt. These are that Moses and Aaron. It happened on the day when the Lord spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, that the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "I am the Lord. Speak to Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I speak to you." Moses said before the Lord, "Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh listen to me?"

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