Moses Argues with God
4 Then Moses answered, “Look, they won’t believe me and they won’t listen to me.[a] Instead, they’ll say, ‘The Lord didn’t appear to you.’”
2 “What’s that in your hand?” the Lord asked him.
3 Then God[d] said, “Throw it to the ground.” He threw it to the ground and it became a snake. Moses ran away from it.
4 Then God told Moses, “Reach out[e] and grab its tail.” So he reached out, grabbed it, and it became a staff[f] in his hand. 5 God said, “I’ve done this[g] so that they may believe that the Lord God of their ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.”
6 Again the Lord told him, “Put your hand into your bosom.”[h] He put his hand into his bosom and as soon as he brought it out it was leprous, like snow.[i] 7 Then God[j] said, “Put your hand back into your bosom.” He returned it[k] to his bosom and as soon as he brought it out,[l] it was restored like the rest of[m] his skin.[n]
8 “Then if they don’t believe you and respond to the first sign, they may respond to the second[o] sign. 9 But if they don’t believe even these two signs, and won’t listen to you, then take some water out of the Nile River[p] and pour it on the dry ground. The water you took from the Nile River[q] will turn into blood on the dry ground.”
10 Then Moses told the Lord, “Please, Lord, I’m not eloquent.[r] I never was in the past[s] nor am I now since you spoke to your servant. In fact, I talk too slowly[t] and I have a speech impediment.”[u]
11 Then God asked him, “Who gives a person a mouth? Who makes him unable to speak, or deaf, or able to see, or blind, or lame? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now, go! I myself will help you with your speech,[v] and I’ll teach you what you are to say.”
13 Moses said, “Please, Lord, send somebody else.”[w]
14 Then the Lord was angry with Moses and said, “There’s your brother Aaron, a descendant of Levi, isn’t there? I know that he certainly is eloquent.[x] Right now he’s coming to meet you and he will be pleased to see you. 15 You’re to speak to him and tell him what to say.[y] I’ll help both you and him with your speech,[z] and I’ll teach both of you what you are to do. 16 He is to speak to the people for you as your spokesman[aa] and you are to act in the role of[ab] God for him. 17 Now pick up that staff with your hand. You’ll use it to perform the signs.”
Moses Decides to Return to Egypt
Jethro told Moses, “Go in peace.”
19 The Lord told Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, because all the men who wanted to kill you are dead.” 20 So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on donkeys, and headed back to the land of Egypt. Moses took the staff of God in his hand.
21 Then the Lord told Moses, “When you set out to return to Egypt, keep in mind[ae] all the wonders that I’ve put in your power,[af] so that you may do them before Pharaoh. But I’ll harden his heart so that he won’t let the people go. 22 You are to say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what the Lord says: “Israel is my firstborn son. 23 And I say to you, ‘Let my son go so he may serve me. If you refuse to let him go, then I will kill your firstborn son.’”’”
Zipporah Circumcises Moses’ Son
24 But later on, at the lodging place along the way, the Lord met Moses[ag] and was about to kill him. 25 Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son’s foreskin, and touched Moses’[ah] feet with it, saying while doing so,[ai] “…because you are a bridegroom of blood to me.” 26 Then the Lord[aj] withdrew from him, and she said, “…a bridegroom of blood because of circumcision.”
Moses and Aaron Meet and Return to Egypt
27 The Lord told Aaron, “Go meet Moses in the desert.” So Aaron[ak] went, found[al] him at the mountain of God, and embraced[am] him. 28 Moses told Aaron all of the Lord’s messages that he had sent with Moses, and all of the signs that he commanded him to do.[an] 29 Later, Moses and Aaron brought together all the elders of Israel. 30 Aaron spoke everything that the Lord had spoken to Moses, and Moses[ao] performed the miracles[ap] before the very eyes of the people. 31 The people believed and understood[aq] that the Lord had paid attention to the Israelis and had seen their affliction. They bowed their heads and prostrated themselves in worship.
Pharaoh Refuses to Let the People Go
5 After Moses and Aaron arrived, they told Pharaoh, “This is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘Let my people go so they may make a pilgrimage for me in the desert.’”
3 Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please let us go a three-day journey into the desert to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God so he does not strike us with pestilence or sword.”[at]
4 The king of Egypt replied to them, “Moses and Aaron, why are you keeping the people from their labor? Go back to your work!”[au] 5 Then Pharaoh said, “Look, the people in the land are now numerous, and you are stopping them from working.”[av]
Pharaoh Increases the Israelis’ Work
6 That day Pharaoh ordered the taskmasters of the people and their officials, 7 “You’re no longer to give the people straw for making bricks, as in the past.[aw] They must gather straw for themselves. 8 But you’re to impose the previous quota[ax] of bricks that they’re making. You’re not to reduce it! It is because they’re lazy that they’re crying out, ‘Let’s go offer sacrifices to our God.’ 9 So increase the work load on the people,[ay] and let them do it so they don’t pay attention to deceptive speeches.”
10 Then the taskmasters of the people and their officials went out and told the people, “This is Pharaoh’s response: ‘I’ll no longer give you any[az] straw. 11 Go get straw for yourselves wherever you can find it, but your work quotas won’t be reduced at all.’”[ba] 12 So the people scattered throughout the entire land of Egypt to collect stubble[bb] for straw.
14 The Israeli supervisors whom Pharaoh’s taskmasters had appointed over them were beaten and told,[be] “Why didn’t you, both yesterday and today, fulfill[bf] your quota[bg] for making bricks as before?”
The Israelis’ Appeal Rejected by Pharaoh
15 The Israeli supervisors came and cried out to Pharaoh, “Why are you doing this to us?[bh] 16 No straw is being given to us, yet they’re saying to us, ‘Make bricks!’ Look, we are being beaten. It’s wrong how you are treating your people!”
17 Then Pharaoh[bi] said, “You are lazy, lazy! That’s why[bj] you’re saying, ‘Let’s go offer sacrifices to the Lord.’ 18 Now, go! Get to work! And straw won’t be given to you, but you are to deliver the same[bk] number of bricks!” 19 The Israeli supervisors realized they were in trouble when he said,[bl] “You won’t reduce each day’s quota of bricks!”[bm]
The Israelis Blame Moses and Moses Complains to God
20 As they left Pharaoh’s presence,[bn] they met Moses and Aaron standing there.[bo] 21 The supervisors[bp] told them, “May the Lord look on you and judge you![bq] You have made us repulsive to[br] Pharaoh and his servants. You have put[bs] a sword in their hands to kill us.”
- Exodus 4:1 Lit. to my voice. And so through the passage
- Exodus 4:2 Lit. he
- Exodus 4:2 Or rod
- Exodus 4:3 Lit. he
- Exodus 4:4 Lit. Stretch out your hand
- Exodus 4:4 Or rod
- Exodus 4:5 The Heb. lacks God said, “I have done this
- Exodus 4:6 I.e. under the folds of the garment at the chest
- Exodus 4:6 I.e. his hand was white
- Exodus 4:7 Lit. He
- Exodus 4:7 Lit. his hand
- Exodus 4:7 Lit. out from his bosom
- Exodus 4:7 The Heb. lacks the rest of
- Exodus 4:7 Lit. flesh
- Exodus 4:8 Lit. latter
- Exodus 4:9 The Heb. lacks River
- Exodus 4:9 The Heb. lacks River
- Exodus 4:10 Lit. a man of words
- Exodus 4:10 Lit. either yesterday or the day before
- Exodus 4:10 Lit. heavy of mouth
- Exodus 4:10 Lit. heavy
- Exodus 4:12 Lit. will be with your mouth
- Exodus 4:13 Lit. by a hand send; i.e. by someone else’s hand send
- Exodus 4:14 Lit. he certainly speaks
- Exodus 4:15 Lit. put the words in his mouth
- Exodus 4:15 Lit. I’ll be with your mouth and with his mouth
- Exodus 4:16 Lit. be your mouth
- Exodus 4:16 Lit. be
- Exodus 4:18 Lit. he
- Exodus 4:18 Lit. my brothers
- Exodus 4:21 Lit. see, watch
- Exodus 4:21 Lit. hand
- Exodus 4:24 Lit. him
- Exodus 4:25 Lit. his
- Exodus 4:25 Lit. touched to his feet
- Exodus 4:26 Lit. Then he
- Exodus 4:27 Lit. he
- Exodus 4:27 Lit. encountered
- Exodus 4:27 Lit. kissed
- Exodus 4:28 The Heb. lacks to do
- Exodus 4:30 Lit. he
- Exodus 4:30 Lit. signs
- Exodus 4:31 Or they heard
- Exodus 5:2 Or obey
- Exodus 5:2 The Heb. lacks about
- Exodus 5:3 I.e. invasions by foreign armies
- Exodus 5:4 Lit. burdens
- Exodus 5:5 Lit. from their burdens
- Exodus 5:7 Lit. like yesterday and the day before
- Exodus 5:8 Lit. as yesterday and the day before
- Exodus 5:9 Or men
- Exodus 5:10 The Heb. lacks any
- Exodus 5:11 Lit. from your labor
- Exodus 5:12 I.e. the stalks left in the field after grain is harvested
- Exodus 5:13 Lit. matter
- Exodus 5:13 Lit. when there was straw
- Exodus 5:14 Lit. saying
- Exodus 5:14 Lit. complete
- Exodus 5:14 Lit. prescribed amount
- Exodus 5:15 Lit. your servants; and so throughout the book
- Exodus 5:17 Lit. he
- Exodus 5:17 Lit. therefore
- Exodus 5:18 The Heb. lacks same
- Exodus 5:19 Lit. saying
- Exodus 5:19 Lit. your bricks
- Exodus 5:20 Lit. from with
- Exodus 5:20 The Heb. lacks there
- Exodus 5:21 Lit. they
- Exodus 5:21 The Heb. lacks you
- Exodus 5:21 Lit. made our odor stink in the eyes of
- Exodus 5:21 Lit. servants to give
18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom from[a] heaven?”
2 Calling a little child forward, he had him stand among them. 3 Then he said, “I tell all of you[b] with certainty, unless you change[c] and become like little children, you will never get into the kingdom from[d] heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom from[e] heaven, 5 and whoever receives a little child like this in my name receives me.”
Causing Others to Sin(B)
6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a large millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned at the bottom of the sea. 7 How terrible it will be for the world due to its temptations to sin! Temptations to sin are bound to happen, but how terrible it will be for that person who causes someone to sin!
8 “So if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life injured or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell[f] fire.
10 “See to it that you do not despise one of these little ones, because I tell you, their angels in heaven always have access to my Father in heaven. 11 For the Son of Man came to save the lost.”[g]
The Parable about the Faithful Shepherd(C)
12 “What do you think? If a man has 100 sheep and one of them strays, he leaves the 99 in the hills and goes to look for the one that has strayed, doesn’t he? 13 If he finds it, I tell all of you[h] with certainty that he rejoices over it more than over the 99 that haven’t strayed. 14 In the same way, it is not the will of your[i] Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.”
Dealing with a Brother who Sins(D)
15 “If your brother sins against you,[j] go and confront him while the two of you are alone. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother. 16 But if he doesn’t listen, take one or two others with you so that ‘every word may be confirmed by the testimony[k] of two or three witnesses.’[l] 17 If, however, he ignores them, tell it to the congregation.[m] If he also ignores the congregation,[n] regard him as an unbeliever[o] and a tax collector.
18 “I tell all of you[p] with certainty, whatever you prohibit on earth will have been prohibited[q] in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will have been permitted[r] in heaven. 19 Furthermore, I tell all of you[s] with certainty that if two of you agree on earth about anything you request, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven, 20 because where two or three have come together in my name, I am there among them.”
- Matthew 18:1 Lit. of
- Matthew 18:3 The Gk. pronoun you is pl.
- Matthew 18:3 Lit. turn
- Matthew 18:3 Lit. of
- Matthew 18:4 Lit. of
- Matthew 18:9 Lit. Gehenna; a Gk. transliteration of the Heb. for Valley of Hinnom
- Matthew 18:11 Other mss. lack this verse.
- Matthew 18:13 The Gk. pronoun you is pl.
- Matthew 18:14 Other mss. read our; still other mss. read my
- Matthew 18:15 Other mss. lack against you
- Matthew 18:16 Lit. mouth
- Matthew 18:16 Cf. Deut 19:15
- Matthew 18:17 Or church
- Matthew 18:17 Or church
- Matthew 18:17 Lit. gentile; i.e. an unbelieving non-Jew
- Matthew 18:18 The Gk. pronoun you is pl.
- Matthew 18:18 Or will be prohibited
- Matthew 18:18 Or will be permitted
- Matthew 18:19 The Gk. pronoun you is pl.
19 But as for you, Lord, do not be far away from me;
My Strength, come quickly to help me.
20 Deliver me from the sword;
my precious life from the power of the dog.
21 Deliver me from the mouth of the lion,
from the horns of the wild oxen.
You have answered me.
22 I will declare your name to my brothers;
in the midst of the congregation, I will praise you, saying,[a]
23 “All who fear the Lord, praise him!
All the seed of Jacob, glorify him!
All the seed of Israel, fear him!
24 For he does not despise nor detest the afflicted person;
he does not hide his face from him,
but he hears him when he cries out to him.”
25 My praise in the great congregation is because of you;
I will pay my vows before those who fear you.[b]
26 The afflicted will eat and be satisfied;
those who seek the Lord will praise him,
“May you[c] live forever!”
27 All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord;
all the families of the nations will bow in submission to the Lord.
28 Indeed, the kingdom belongs to the Lord;
he rules over the nations.
29 All the prosperous people will eat and bow down in submission.
All those who are about to go down to the grave[d]
will bow down in submission,
along with the one who can no longer keep himself alive.
30 Our[e] descendants will serve him,
and that generation will be told about the Lord.
31 They will come and declare his righteousness
to a people yet to be born;
indeed, he has accomplished it!
The Delights of Marital Faithfulness
15 Drink water from your own cistern,
and fresh[a] water from your own well.
16 Should your springs flow outside,
or streams of water in the street?
17 They should be for you alone
and not for strangers who are with you.
18 Let your fountain be blessed
and enjoy the wife of your youth.
19 Like a loving deer, a beautiful doe,
let her breasts satisfy you all the time.
Be constantly intoxicated by her love.
20 Why should you be intoxicated by an adulteress, my son,
and embrace the bosom of a foreign woman?