Exodus Chapter 4
Moses is empowered to confirm his mission with miracles: his brother Aaron is appointed to assist him.
4:1. Moses answered, and said: They will not believe me, nor hear my voice, but they will say: The Lord hath not appeared to thee.
4:2. Then he said to him: What is that thou holdest in thy hand? He answered: A rod.
4:3. And the Lord said: Cast it down upon the ground. He cast it down, and it was turned into a serpent, so that Moses fled from it.
4:4. And the Lord said: Put out thy hand, and take it by the tail. He put forth his hand, and took hold of it, and it was turned into a rod.
4:5. That they may believe, saith he, that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared to thee.
4:6. And the Lord said again: Put thy hand into thy bosom. And when he had put it into his bosom, he brought it forth leprous as snow.
4:7. And he said: Put back thy hand into thy bosom. He put it back, and brought it out again, and it was like the other flesh.
4:8. If they will not believe thee, saith he, nor hear the voice of the former sign, they will believe the word of the latter sign.
4:9. But if they will not even believe these two signs, nor hear thy voice: take of the river water, and pour it out upon the dry land, and whatsoever thou drawest out of the river, shall be turned into blood.
4:10. Moses said: I beseech thee, Lord, I am not eloquent from yesterday and the day before; and since thou hast spoken to thy servant, I have more impediment and slowness of tongue.
4:11. The Lord said to him: Who made man's mouth? or who made the dumb and the deaf, the seeing and the blind? did not I?
4:12. Go therefore, and I will be in thy mouth; and I will teach thee what thou shalt speak.
4:13. But he said: I beseech thee, Lord, send whom thou wilt send.
4:14. The Lord being angry at Moses, said: Aaron the Levite is thy brother, I know that he is eloquent: behold he cometh forth to meet thee, and seeing thee, shall be glad at heart.
4:15. Speak to him, and put my words in his mouth: and I will be in thy mouth, and in his month, and will shew you what you must do.
4:16. He shall speak in thy stead to the people, and shall be thy mouth: but thou shalt be to him in those things that pertain to God.
4:17. And take this rod in thy hand. wherewith thou shalt do the signs.
4:18: Moses went his way, and returned to Jethro his father in law, and said to him; I will go and return to my brethren into Egypt, that I may see if they be yet alive. And Jethro said to him: Go in peace.
4:19. And the Lord said to Moses, in Madian: Go, and return into Egypt; for they are all dead that sought thy life.
4:20. Moses therefore took his wife, and his sons, and set them upon an ass; and returned into Egypt, carrying the rod of God in his hand.
4:21. And the Lord said to him as he was returning into Egypt: See that thou do all the wonders before Pharao, which I have put in thy hand: I shall harden his heart, and he will not let the people go.
I shall harden, etc. . .Not by being the efficient cause of his sin; but by withdrawing from him, for his just punishment, the dew of grace that might have softened his heart; and so suffering him to grow harder and harder.
4:22. And thou shalt say to him: Thus saith the Lord: Israel is my son, my firstborn.
4:23. I have said to thee: Let my son go, that he may serve me, and thou wouldst not let him go: behold I will kill thy son, thy firstborn.
4:24. And when he was in his journey, in the inn, the Lord met him, and would have killed him.
The Lord met him, and would have killed him. . .This was an angel representing the Lord, who treated Moses in this manner, for having neglected the circumcision of his younger son; which his wife understanding, circumcised her child upon the spot, upon which the angel let Moses go.
4:25. Immediately Sephora took a very sharp stone, and circumcised the foreskin of her son, and touched his feet, and said: A bloody spouse art thou to me.
4:26. And he let him go after she had said: A bloody spouse art thou to me, because of the circumcision.
4:27. And the Lord said to Aaron: Go into the desert to meet Moses. And he went forth to meet him in the mountain of God, and kissed him.
4:28. And Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord, by which he had sent him, and the signs that he had commanded.
4:29. And they came together, and they assembled all the ancients of the children of Israel.
4:30. And Aaron spoke all the words which the Lord had said to Moses: and he wrought the signs before the people.
4:31. And the people believed. And they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction: and falling down they adored.